How to Lift Heavier Weights

"Just do exercises on a regular basis, and add more weights every week." This may sound very familiar to some of you, but yet you are not able to do this. But maybe if you read this article, you might just learn a thing or two about what you could be doing wrong.


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    It all starts with what you already have: If you are already somewhat muscular, are in decent shape and have all the equipment you need, very good. If not, try to get in shape as soon as possible and buy some basic equipment like dumbbells or join a gym.
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    Make sure you haven't eaten 30 minutes before you start exercising, or you might end up with cramps.
    • Do make sure you aren't exercising on an empty stomach either, or you won't have the energy to perform them. Have a meal 40 minutes prior to exercising, and just a little snack 10 minutes before you start if you are hungry again.
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    Do a warming up before you start exercising. This will get more oxygen in your bloodstream and to your muscles. It also prevent -or at least reduce- muscle soreness after your workout.
    • Try to do the same warming up every time, because it will eventually become natural for you.
    • A typical warming up routine is 5 push ups and 7 sit ups, after you have done both, rest for 30 seconds. Then 15 of each, rest 1 minute again. 30 of each, rest. Then work down to the 15 and 7. After that, stretch your torso and do squats and stretch those muscles again. This is just an example of what you could also do, but feel free to make your own warming up schedule. The main goal should be to get your blood flowing and increase your heart rate and to prepare your body for a workout.
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    After you are done with your warming up and stretches, it is time to grab your weights. Get a weight which you can comfortably handle, but is still heavy enough so you can train your muscles.
    • Get the weight heavy enough where you can 'only' do a max of 15-20 reps. Then do pyramid sets with the weights (this means that for example you do one set of 5, rest. Then 1 set of 10, rest. 1 set of 15, rest and then work your way down to the 5 again.)
    • An example of a workout could be to bench press 50 kilos 7 times, rest 30 seconds. Then 14 times, rest. 20 times, rest. 14 times, rest. 7 times. After this one pyramid set, rest for 1 minute (don't rest after your last reps, this rest is included in the minute of rest you get.) After the minute, do another pyramid set that trains the same muscle groups with the same amount of reps and rest, like a pectoral fly if you are training your chest. After this set, go back to the exercise you did before it (in this case the bench press) and do another pyramid set. After these three sets, you move on to another muscle group, your biceps for example.
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    Try to work out for at least 30 minutes. After your workout, do a cool down stretch. This could be just stretching, or the same like your warming up. The goal is to gradually lower your heart rate again and prepare your body for a rest.
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    After you are completely done, take a hot shower and/or bath. It really has to be hot, but still within your comfort zone. This will help you relax and will also make your arteries in and around your muscles expand, which allows oxygen to flow in more easily and let the acids that developed in your muscles flow out easier.
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    Try to make a routine that you follow. For example:
    • Monday: Concentrate on Biceps.
    • Tuesday: Concentrate on Legs and Back.
    • Wednesday: Concentrate on Triceps.
    • Thursday: Concentrate on Abs.
    • Friday: Concentrate on entire torso.
    • Saturday: Rest.
    • Sunday: Rest.
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    After about a week, you will notice that it has become easier to do the same exercises with the same weights. Continue with these exercises and weights until the end of the week, making sure you are doing it with the right form. After this week, add some weights to what you were already using. It shouldn't be too much, just enough to make it just as tough as your first week. So just to make it clear:
      1. You will want to make a schedule for an entire week which says on which days you train what.
      2. You will want to use weights which are still comfortable to use, but heavy enough to 'only' let you do 15-20 reps.
      3. You use the same weights for a total of two weeks, doing the same exercises.
      4. Add some more weights, and use these for the next two weeks, doing the same exercises.
      5. Repeat.


  • Keep in mind that a healthy diet is also mandatory to muscle building. If you continue to exercise but eat junk food, what is the point? Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are a few healthy foods.
  • "Less is More" when it come to building muscles. This means that if you use a heavier weight, which lets you do less reps, you stress your muscles more, which leads to more muscles being built. But even with this knowledge, do pyramid sets because even if you won't have those gigantic muscular arms as fast, you will train your endurance, which is more practical.

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Categories: Weights for Strength Training | Gym