ideal weights for muscle building

Choosing the ideal weights for muscle building - how does it work?

So, you find yourself at the gym, staring at those weights and wondering, "How heavy should I lift to build muscle quickly?" It's a question. The various dumbbells and machine settings can be confusing. But don't worry; we're here to help you understand and make it simple for you to always select the weight for gym gains.




We've all heard about the range of 8-12 reps for muscle building. Have you ever wondered why this range is considered optimal?


It's not about lifting the weight 8-12 times. Let's break it down into three points:


Choose a weight that challenges you when reaching 8 reps – where lifting the weight for the time feels like pushing your strength to its limit.


Avoid going beyond 8 reps if your form becomes compromised. Focus on executing each repetition correctly.


Once you can comfortably complete 12 reps with that weight without reaching failure, it's time to increase the load. This will ensure that you continue pushing yourself by hitting failure at around 8 reps.


Now, let's delve into a practical scenario.


HONEST ADVICE: Let's discuss bench presses. The same principles apply to any exercise. Imagine weeks ago you reached your maximum at 120 lbs for 8 repetitions, pushing yourself to the limit on the one.


As time goes by, you're getting stronger. Now you can effortlessly complete 12 repetitions without breaking a sweat. That's an indication that it's time to increase the weight. However, don't aim for 12 repetitions again; instead, raise it to the point where completing 8 reps becomes your challenge.


So, from starting at 120 lbs for 12 reps, make a leap. Try lifting 140 lbs for a struggle of 8 reps, with pumped-up muscles. This approach not only enhances your strength but also takes you directly to Muscle City.


Guess what? You'll surpass those gym-goers who stick to the weights. They might think they're doing well in the range of 8-12 reps, but they won't progress like you will.


Mastering Multiple Sets, like an Expert


Now, let's move on and talk about sets. By the time you reach your fourth set, fatigue starts creeping in. It becomes more challenging to achieve that desired range of 8-12 reps, doesn't it? Exactly! If you find it challenging to complete 8 repetitions due to fatigue or strain, it's advisable to lower the weight. For instance, if you managed to perform 10 reps in the first set and 8 reps in the second, it's unlikely that you'll be able to achieve that level of success in the third or fourth set.


Therefore, adjust the weight accordingly. Maintain a range of 8-12 repetitions as per the principle for building muscles. The key is to sustain the momentum of muscle growth.

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.