How much weight should I be using in the gym?


This seems to be the big question everyone who starts training wants to figure out.

How much weight should I be using in the gym? How do I know I have done enough in my workout when it comes to choosing weights? I don’t want to bulk up and become hulk, coach! Please help!

Well it really depends on where you are now.

One thing I need to let you all know is, a couple workouts a week with much heavier weights is not going to turn you into a scary beast. In fact, it is only going to tighten up your waist, tone up your legs and give you beautiful tank top arms! Progressive overload is the key phrase here!

You need to assess where you are now and how much weight you have been lifting in the past. Have you allowed your body to progress? Have you ever aimed to lift heavier every couple weeks? If you are a beginner, then of course please start light and see what you can manage in a set. If it feels too easy then BAM you know you need to up your game! As simple as that.

You need to be using enough weight for the workout to be challenging.

Research states we should increase our load 5-10% every week, and I do think this is overkill but all you need to do is use a small 1.25 kg plate extra every time! Or a heavier dumbbell after doing that exercise a few times at the same weight.

Keep yourself a workout log book where you can record what weights you have used. Overtime you know you are not dropping the ball on gains through progressive overload (see our post on progressive overload). I used to get asked all the time on my Instagram workouts what weight I used in that set. I stopped sharing numbers because this is my body and my workout. Your body may be further along than mine, or maybe it is a little behind. If you use what I use you could create a serious injury.

Ladies, please don’t be afraid of those heavy weights! Just progress with care and watch your body change before your eyes.

On that note, I want to give you a free gift to help you on this journey.

All you have to do is sign up to our mailing list below. Then you will be sent my lifestyle planner! This includes a workout log and so much more to make sure you are powering through these winter months 😉

Until next time..



Isilda Da Costa is a personal trainer and women’s fitness specialist who, if she isn’t at the gym training, is busy researching the most up to date information for growing those muscles. She has combined her love of everything healthy by being a health coach in her own health shop in Swaziland. Follow along on @izzy.healthandfitness

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