Go Heavy But... Not Too Heavy!

When I first started going to the gym, I saw all these big guys lifting weight I never even dreamed existed. Try to remember they probably have been doing it for a very long time!
When I first started going to the gym, I saw all these big guys lifting weight I never even dreamed existed; we all would have felt that feeling. After seeing this, we go home after one of our first weight sessions and visualize being able to lift all that weight and be even just half that big.

The very next workout, you jump on the Bench Press or Leg Press and try to lift a weight for those who have lifted for a length of time and have been able to build up a reasonable amount of strength. You say I will get just 6 reps, but then you fail to lift it off the safety catch. Damn...

James Sadek, posing
Click Image To Enlarge.
James Sadek.

Us teenagers (as beginners) must realize that we must start somewhere. We are not all born with Hercules' strength, so we must start light and build up our strength and muscle mass.

Also, if you want big muscles this goes beyond the gym. To gain size, you must realize that it takes good nutrition, proper recovery, mental preparation and proper form.

I put proper form in bold because I think it is the most important part in building mass, size, and proportion. Without proper form, you will either receive an injury - and that will prevent you from lifting weights in the gym, which in turn means loss of muscle, or it could mean that you will still get muscles but you will sacrifice at least 50%.

Lifting Heavy, But Not Too Heavy

Now, getting back to lifting heavy but not too heavy, this doesn't mean to go lift 1 kg each arm on dumbbell curls, 100 reps for 10 sets. This means if you are doing a set of 10 reps, put a weight on the bar (or in your hand) that you can lift it for 9½ reps with true and proper form.

This means doing barbell curls without a rocking motion, bench presses without bouncing the bar off your chest and almost crushing your heart, and not only squatting down 1/3 of the way you are meant to.

I say put weight on heavy enough for only 9½ reps because with all your passion and intensity, you will be able to force out that last half rep with the aid of a spotter, again still with good and proper form.

To maximize muscle growth and strength gains, good form is very important. This also means the speed in which you move the weight (tempo).

What Does Tempo Mean?
Tempo refers to lifting speed. The first number is lowering, the second is pausing in the bottom position, and the third is lifting. So a 4-1-2 tempo would be a 4 second lowering, a 1 second pause, and a 2 second lift.

Think back to your last workout. Did you control the weight or did the weight control you? You should try for at least a 2 count on the way down to keep control of what you are lifting. Do not go too quickly on your way up either, although you shouldn't be able to because the weight won't allow you to.

You will find your gains in weight lifted will increase when using true form, also. Which is precisely what all teens want - we want to be strong (and huge)!