Am I lifting to much weight?

  • I am trying to figure out if I am lifting to much weight. I feel great and my highest weight on each exercise is a challenge.

    I am hitting my 9's and 10's. The reason I'm asking is because my husband finally went to gym with me last night. I was on my 

    4th set of reps for shoulder. I was doing the incline press and using 105 pounds before dropping back down to 90 to finish up. 

    I moved so he could do a set during my minute rest and he couldn't budge the weights. I am in to my 7th week of the challenge.

    I am 42 years old. I have lost 22 pounds so far. I am curling 85 pounds, doing pec flys with 90 pounds. leg extensions with 105 

    pounds at my max weights just to give you an idea. I am hitting my cardio hard for 20 minuets 3 days a weeks. When I started I 

    weighed 262 pounds and wore a size 24 going into a 26. I am now in a size 18/20. I had no weight loss for almost 3 weeks 

    I think due to muscle gain and then dropped 4 pounds. I don't want loose skin and would rather it be filled out with nice muscle.

    So how do I know when or if to cut back on weight or should I just keep going? I don't get sore hardly at all but do get that nice tight

    feeling like my muscle will explode on my final set.





  • Wow. That sounds like a lot of weight. I must say I've never seen a women (or anyone less than a huge guy) curl 85s. Are you doing them slowly enough? You are supposed to be able to say, "I am building a body for life" normally, not fast, on the contraction and "body-for-life" on the release. Sometimes you can get away with doing these weights if you are going too fast or swinging.

    Also, are you doing the correct amount of sets? 12, 10, 8, 6, 12?


    "The joy of life is the fruit of discipline" -S. Randall

  • Hi,

    Yes I am holding for the correct amount and I always recite the phrase and I wait the full minute between sets. I also complete all sets for each exercise the 12, 10, 8, 6, 12 and then go on to a companion exercise for 12 reps. I have journal and have wrote everything down and gone up gradually.  Here is an example of what my curls are 50 pounds 12 reps, 65 pounds 10 reps, 75 pounds 8 reps, 85 pounds 6 reps, 75 pounds 12 reps. I then move on to hammer curls for 30 pounds per arm for 12 reps.

    I did use to work out about 14 years ago. The women in my family are all built big. I am only 5' 5" but I am wide at my shoulders and hips. My fathers grandmother was full blooded Indian.

    Also keep in mind I do most workouts on the machines but, I have done free weights also and can do the same amount with no problem. I would use free weights 100% of the time but it seems like all the big muscle bound guys have them or they are in the way.


  • I also forgot to add that is a preacher curl using both arms at once.


  • The idea is to challenge your muscles.  If you can do that much you should be.  You should be totally exhausting your muscles in the last set and hitting a failure point.  So I'd say if you can do it it's not too much weight.  I find that I can push more weight on the machines so that could be part of it.  The machines stabilize for you so you are focusing on the main muscle and not your stabilizer also.  

    That said I am 5'4" and currently 132lbs and I cannot push anywhere near that amount of weight.   I'm benching 80lbs at my top weight and cannot complete the 6 reps (usually get to 4).   Flyers 20lbs each arm, curls 20lbs each arm, squats 90lbs.   Now I'm curious to see what the other ladies are pushing.

  • I've been weight training for about a year but tend to find i'm stronger than most women. Its entertaining in the gym loading up bars for excercises with all the guys watching. You can see there thinking theres no way she'll lift that then when i do they look so shocked makes me giggle.

    I'm not as strong as Theresa but my top weights on 6 reps are as follows

    Lunges 110lb

    Squat 132lb

    Lying Tricep ext 50lb

    Bar Curl 50lb

    Dumb shoulder press 28lb

    Flyes 33lb

    Like Theresa though I have broad shoulders and build muscle pretty easily.


    "The future will be made up of the present. By taking good care of the present, we take good care of the future." Thich Nhat Hanh

  • WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!

    I feel like a weakling and I'm in my 7th week!

    Lets see...

    Lunges 25lbs in each hand

    Squat (on the total gym at the tallest setting) 150lbs on the weight bar

    lying tricep extension(skull crushers) 15lbs in each hand

    Shoulder press 20lbs in each hand

    Flyes 25lbs in each hand

    I guess I'm a slow strength builder because I really struggle with my last reps! But I will try to push myself harder! My weights went from 10, 12, 15 then jumped to 20, on certain exercises, that big difference was too much, so I made 18's (the little bar = 3lbs and then 2 5's and 2 2.5's).

    Is it ok for women to use weights while working on abs? I've started to, holding up to an 8 lb in each hand crossed over my chest while doing crunches on the ball. Not sure if thats ok, I don't want big muscles in my abs!

    Well very impressive ladies!



    Live   Love   Lift!

    Dee :)

  • IMHO I would not get caught up so much in the numbers ladies - it is all relative to YOU personally. Do not try to exceed one another because that is pointless. What matters is that you see an increase in strength, a decrease in scale weight and the way your clothes are fitting.

    Body for Life is a personal journey. If you think you are lifting enough - you probably are...but try a wee bit more next week. ;)

  • Are you able to lift and lifting with proper form?

    Are you able to lift and lifting with proper BFL cadence?

    If those questions received an answer of yes then you are fine.  Your weight has nothing to do with that of your husband.  He just might be more out of shape than you.  You just might be awesome strong.  It's unique and specific to you.  Assuming two positive answers, there's no such thing as lifting too much.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Thanks for all the great answers everyone! I don't want to look like some brute but, I do want muscle to fill out any loose skin. I am working really hard to make that happen. I actually had a trainer at the gym I go to tell me if you build muscle first it will push the fat out and make me look bigger. He suggested I do cardio and get rid of fat then build muscle. I found his idea ridiculous. I want to see something good once the fat is gone and besides muscles helps burn fat.


  • Theresa.  You were correct to think that trainer is ridiculous.  The really funny thing is that they still cannot prove that cardio reduces fat.  Lifting does NOT make you bulky or look like a brute.  It will actually tone you because it's 1/3 smaller than fat in volume.  Work the BFL program and the BFL program will work.  Best!

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Wow! This has been my favorite thread to read in almost a week! I am a firm believer in lifting weights, and I know that us ladies aren't going to "bulk up" and look like crazy beefcake just because we are challenging ourselves. It just won't happen. My mom is constantly cautioning me to do more cardio and lay off the weights etc., so I don't even bother talking about it to her anymore. Which is too bad, because I LOVE talking about BFL!!!!

    It's nice to see how strong we all are, and that no one is "afraid" to lift to their full potential! Every week I strive to increase as many weights as I can, and now I am more inspired to do so!

    Keep up the good work! RAWR!

  • Erica.  Tell your Mom that the reason people bulk is because of testosterone.  The average women simply lacks the testosterone to be able to bulk.  The reason female bodybuilders do, assuming no chemical enhancements are taken, is because of how much they lift.  By that I don't mean weight, but time spent.  By lifting for over 3 hours a day, which is clearly not aligned with the BFL program, a woman will increase her testosterone. 


    Keep it up!

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Erica: Jessica is right. Your mom is thinking about a whole different select group of women that train to gain and take supplements that increase mass and make them look more masculine and bulky.

    BFL is for those of us that want a lean, toned physique. You are making a very wise decision with choosing such a healthy program.

  • It is actually the opposite!

    Contraction "Body-for-Life", hold for a count of 1 at contraction, release "I am building my Body-for-Life,' and hold for a count of 1.

    You want to go let the weight down slower or resist the release. This gives your muscles a better workout.