How to Increase Weight and Reps | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for Our FREE Newsletter.

How to Increase Weight and Reps

March 28, 2013 | Robert Taylor

Must See Strength Training Videos

The most important component of successful training is an unremitting desire for progress.  Athletes and coaches sometimes become frustrated by lack of gains that their program delivers. This leads to the search for magical solutions, such as unconventional exercises, supplements or gimmicky equipment.

Constantly changing your program, or following complicated and chaotic methods will not yield the best results. An exercise may seem difficult or advanced, but that does not guarantee increased strength gains. You need to stick to methods that are proven to work, and follow a scheduled plan to achieve your goals.

Fortunately, the solution to your training woes is right under your nose. You can stick to tried and true exercises, but you need to change your sets, repetitions and speed of movement to continue challenging your muscles.

Muscles are not that smart. They do not have “eyeballs” that allow them to see a program, or if the resistance comes from a machine or barbell. The body changes by a force of will.  Strength training must be challenging and progressive.

The most efficient way to challenge your muscles and make gains is with the double-progressive method of overload.  Try to increase the weight or reps you do on an exercise every workout . Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify a repetition range for each exercise. For sake of illustration, we'll choose 8-12.
  2. If you can complete fewer than eight reps with good form, move the weight down 5-10 pounds.
  3. If you can complete 8-11 reps, keep the weight the same but try to add at least one rep to the next set or workout.
  4. When you can complete 12 or more reps, add a small amount of resistance and reset your rep goal back to eight.

Remember that every rep is critical. You need to make every inch count, so don’t cheat yourself by using momentum. If you can’t perform a complete rep with perfect form, then that rep doesn’t count towards your set.

In the short run you are trying to add reps. In the long run you are trying to add weight.  Small increases over time will help you achieve your goals.  Ultimately, you will determine your own results.

Watch this SMARTER Team Training video for a further explanation of the concept.

Learn more principles for your workouts through STACK's Weightlifting Guide.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Robert Taylor
- Robert Taylor is the founder and owner of SMARTER Team Training. He has served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Loyola University Maryland;...
Robert Taylor
- Robert Taylor is the founder and owner of SMARTER Team Training. He has served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Loyola University Maryland;...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Should Kids Lift Weights?

5 Major Weight Training Questions AnsweredWhen should my kid start training?No matter what the child's age the answer should be right now.There is more...

NBA Basketball Weightlifting: The Fundamentals

Common Lifting Accessories and What They Do For You

How PAP Complexes Can Help You Get Strong and Powerful

How Many Sets and Reps Should You Really Do?

The Best Exercise You're Not Doing

How to Fix Common Power Clean Mistakes

Training the Overhead Athlete

Top 5 Upper Trap Exercises You've Never Heard Of

Missed Reps: When Failure Training Goes Wrong

3 Loading Schemes to Build Muscle Size

I Added 200 Pounds to My Deadlift, And So Can You

Bare Bones Approach to Getting Stronger

No Gym? No Problem.

Should Youth Athletes Strength Train?

Exercises You Should Steal From Bodybuilders

Avoid the Top 6 Ways to Get Hurt in the Gym

How to Increase Weight and Reps

Do Your First Deadlift

Moves to Improve Your Clean and Jerk

5 Reasons Why Football Players Should Power Clean

The 10 Commandments of Weight Training

Get Creative With Dumbbell Chest Exercises

Intro to Squat Cleans

Guide to Common Training Terms, Part 1

In-Season Weight Training for Football

Summer Weightlifting for Fall Sports

Are You Making These 3 Shoulder Press Mistakes?

Female Athletes Should Hit the Weights

Pros and Cons of Using a Weightlifting Belt

Female Athletes: How to Start Weight Training

3 Exercises to Develop Your Barbell Snatch Technique

Improve Your Acceleration With Strength Training

Master the Power Snatch in 4 Steps

Unstoppable Exercise Pairs

Calculating Your One-Rep Max

Coaching Points for Proper Rep Execution

A Field Guide to Weird Looking Weightlifting Bars

Build a Successful Long-Term Weight Training Program

Timed Sets: The Key to Your Next Strength Breakthrough