When it comes to lifting weights I always suggest lifting heavy and I am always met with responses ranging from “I don’t want to get bulky!” to “I can’t lift 500lbs!!!” I believe the second one stems from social media. When we go on social media we see all of these people putting up huge numbers, and it’s not just men. Men and women from all over the world are putting their best lifts on the internet and it’s giving us, the viewers, a warped perception of what “heavy” really is. Next time you’re in the free weight section of your local gym pay attention to the weight other people have on the bar, you will realize very quickly that these people on the internet are not representative of the weight lifting population as a whole.
Though I have been working out in some capacity basically my whole life I am relatively new to the commercial gym scene. I have been going consistently for 2 years. In that time I have seen exactly 4 people squat 500lbs and 2 people bench 400 pounds. If you go based on what you see online you would think that everyone who has been lifting for any amount of time can hit these numbers. The truth is that it just simply isn’t that common. Even a 300 pound bench press isn’t that common.
You likely have some fitness goals. Maybe you want to lose some weight or get a little stronger, maybe you want to build some muscle. Regardless of what it is you’re trying to accomplish your plan and your time working toward those goals is going to be a very personal experience. Everything from the amount of calories you need to eat , to the amount of weight you should be lifting, is going to depend on you. It depends on what your experience is, how aggressive you want to be in reaching these goals, your body type, your physical limitations, your background, nearly everything comes into play.
With this you need to understand that the weight you are lifting is also very personal. If it’s your first week in the gym don’t compare what you are able to do to the guy who has obviously been going to the gym for years is able to do. Focus on the weight that is going to help you reach your goals and don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. As the title says, heavy is relative. What’s heavy to you now isn’t going to be heavy to you after you train for a while. What’s heavy to you might be a lifetime goal to someone else. These aren’t things you need to worry about. Just worry about your goals and staying in your lane.