Beginners Guide To Using Heavy Weights

Beginners Guide To Using Heavy Weights

Before you pick up any Weights... read this!

Incorporating weights into a new workout plan can be a little intimidating at first. You’re trying to nail those moves, and the form, and just get through a routine that’s more challenging than what you’re used to! Or you may have never entertained the idea of using weights at all! Well, it might be a good time to start.

Even if you have used weight before, it might have been a while since you last used them and this blog is going to be crucial to make sure you can still walk the next day. (Unlike what happened to me!)

Wherever you start, using weights is a great way to achieve a toned and tight physique!

What you need to know when using weights!

  • Do a full warm up and cool down to prevent muscle soreness 
  • Eat protein and carbs after you have worked out. GET MEAL PLAN!
  • Start with light weights with few reps and sets
  • Give your body parts 1-2 days of rest to repair and grow 
  • Increase your weights as the last few reps become easy 

Strength training is key to building your muscles. Lifting light weights and lifting heavy weights have a different effect because you are activating different muscle fibers. When strength training, it is good to switch it up and incorporate moves that require different weight amounts.

Let's say that 5lbs weights are where you feel challenged when doing overhead presses, and when it comes to flys you need to lower the weight in order to maintain proper form. Not a problem. Over time you will get stronger, so don't give up. It's best to get the form right with a lighter weight than a super heavy dumbbell and doing it wrong! 

Why Should You Use Weights?

  • Improved muscle strength and tone
  • Maintained flexibility and balance
  • Weight management and improved muscle-to-fat ratio
  • Prevention of muscle fatigue while engaging in other forms of exercise
  • Pain management
  • Better mobility, posture, and balance
  • Decreased risk of injury (due to improved resilience of the joints)
  • Increased bone density and strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons

The Basics

Resistance: The weight used to perform an exercise. Different weight sizes will affect the amount of repetitions and sets you're able to accomplish. 

Repetitions / Reps: One full exercise action. Heavier weights should amount to less repetitions. Beginners should use weights in which they can achieve about 8-10 repetitions (light weight) 2-5 reps (heavy weights) and 1-2 sets of each activity; increase the weight as the last few reps become easy.

As a general guideline, higher-rep routines are good for increasing muscular endurance, while higher-weight routines are good for increasing muscular size and strength. Also, rest time should parallel the intensity of a set! A harder workout means there should be greater resting time between sets. Your muscles need to take breaks in order to repair and grow!

When Beginning An Exercise Program 

Taking that first step is the hardest and as soon you will see that exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do for both your body and mind, there will be no slowing you down.

Know Your Why: 

When starting an exercise program as a beginner or coming back to working out, it is important for you to understand your "why". Everyone should exercise, remember though the motivation behind it is specific to each individual. Why are you working out in the first place? Are you going to be standing up in someone's wedding, did the doctor tell you to lose 20 pounds, are you trying to look good naked or is it just time to start living a healthy lifestyle?

Understanding your why will help keep you motivated throughout your fitness journey. There will be times when you want to give up and quit, remembering you're why and your primary reason behind why you started in the first place, will help you overcome any negative thoughts and propel you towards continuing to reach your goals. 

Plan It Out:

As a beginner in an exercise program, having a game plan in place will help you stick to your workouts. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! There is nothing more discouraging then saying you are going to workout 7 days a week and then only successfully tackling 3 workouts.

When starting an exercise program, it's more beneficial to start slow and work your way up once you catch the momentum and your fitness level increases. In the beginning, be sure to include rest days. Give your body a chance to adjust to your new program and recover.

Set Realistic Goals:

Setting smaller goals along the way will help keep you motivated and on track to the end goal. A major component of setting realistic goals when beginning an exercise program is to make your goals very specific. Having specific goals will keep your eyes on the prize all while providing motivation along the way. This will also help you stay focused and organized so you continue to be successful. 

Don't Forget To Stretch!

Stretching is what keeps our muscles flexible, healthy and strong! We need this flexibility in order to maintain a range of motion in our joints. Without stretching, our muscles can tighten and become shorter in length. When this happens and you go to use the muscle, they are unable to extend all the way and they are much weaker.  

Incorporating both a warm up and cool down with your workouts is crucial to the strength of your muscles. The warm up begins to increase blood flow to your muscles, which is when you begin to loosen up a bit. This will help reduce post workout muscle soreness and also lessen your risk of injury.

A cool down post workout allows your heart rate to recover, along with your body temperature and blood pressure. A warm up typically has faster movements, when a cool down is slower and more relaxing.

When stretching and warming up, remember to listen to your body. If you feel sore or something hurts, spend a little more tine stretching it out before jumping into rigorous activity. This gives you time to evaluate how sore you are, if you are injured or if you should continue to workout. Listening to your body is so important to prevent further injury. I know its hard to take time off, but a few days is better than 1 month! 

To My Fellow Females...

Do not fear that you will become hulk-like and bulging as a result of exercising with weights! We have varying hormone levels that will keep us from increasing muscle size as dramatically as you might fear.

Like with all fitness routines, the body will eventually adapt and become less responsive to those same exercises time after time. You need to challenge your body and engage in more strenuous workouts to experience continued improvement! All in good time, of course. Remember to give your body the rest it deserves after hard work! You should also target a different combination of muscle groups every time you train with weights – varying exercises and the order in which they are performed will help to prevent injury and optimize results.

Increased resistance = decreased repetitions & increased recovery time between exercises
Increased amount of sets =
decreased number of repetitions


Every month we have a new fitness challenge that features workouts with weights! Join this months current challenge today! This program is a great tool for reminding you to stay engaged in activities that help build essential muscle. Taking care of your body is critical for preventing diseases and chronic conditions. Also, when you build muscle, you’re simultaneously increasing your Resting Metabolic Rate, allowing you to burn more calories even when you’re just sitting at your desk or sleeping!

Did you know that 80% of your physique is determined by nutrition and 20% can be attributed to fitness?! This means that when we are unable to get our workouts in, we have to be supplying our vessel with a healthy and wholesome diet. Not only will the right eating habits help you to weight train, it will also speed up your recovery time. Check out my Free 5 Day Better You Program to receive a customized nutrition plan specifically for you to reach your goals!


I hope these tips help you out when beginning to lift heavy weights. Strength training is a great addition to any workout program. With all the variety in exercises that you can perform, it is easy to find something you like and can stick with.

Let me know in the comments some of your favorite heavy weight workout moves!

xxx Rebecca

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June 08, 2022

How can I maintain muscle tone in my upper body, especially tricep area, while recovering from tennis elbow? Any advice?