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How Heavy Should You Lift to Get Big (HOW MUCH WEIGHT!)

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Build 100 percent strong, ripped, athletic muscle here…

If you want to get big, you have to lift big weights. That is the advice that you have probably been given by one of the trainers or meatheads at your local gym. The thing is, if you want to know how heavy should you lift to get big, it’s actually not bad advice if and only if you pay attention to one very important point. In this video, I’m going to cover the most important thing you should know when it comes to discovering how much weight you should be lifting when trying to get big in the gym. In fact, even when you just want to build better muscles, this advice still applies and always will unless you are competing as a powerlifter.

That said, the rule goes like this. If you want to know how much weight you should be lifting you only need to answer with the most you can lift without letting your posture succumb to the load. In other words, if your attempt to lift heavy weights makes your back crumble under a squat, or your knees cave in during a deadlift for example then you are lifting too heavy.

The main goal when trying to determine how heavy you should lift or how much weight to use on an exercise is to maintain proper posture under load. It is very easy to maintain a perfect posture on a squat when you are doing a bodyweight version of the exercise. Throw a bar on your back and add a couple of plates and everything could change. The big mistake you can make is thinking that just because your bodyweight squat is performed in good form that you are qualified to do weighted squats.

This isn’t automatically the case. If your posture rounds or breaks down as soon as you add a load you might want to reconsider the weight you are using if you want to stave off gym injuries. I’m not even talking about the injuries that happen on one single rep. I’m referring to those that occur over time as a result of the repetitive breakdown that comes from stringing too many ill performed reps together from workout to workout.

If on the other hand you can perform a lift while maintaining proper posture but feel comfortable with the weights you are using so you don’t add any weight to the bar, this is just as big a mistake. You must try at every opportunity to add more weight to your exercises if you want to develop into a bigger, faster or stronger version of you today than you were yesterday. If you add weight and your form breaks, then drop back slightly and work with the weights you can handle with good form as you aim to increase the reps you can do with it.

Once you get strong enough to handle the load of the new weight, you’re off and running and will have achieved progressive strength and likely size gains.

If you want a complete workout program that shows you how to build strength as well as how to get ripped athletic muscles, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. See how heavy you should lift and get big by following the advice of a pro athlete physical therapist and strength coach through every one of your workouts.

For more videos on how heavy you should lift to build muscle or if light weights serve any benefit when working out, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

Comment(41)

  1. Brilliant advice as usual.
    Can you do some stuff on training with Diastasis Recti please. I've had one for 10 years but I'm worried about making it worse.

  2. I'm 19 and my knees are pretty shit too. Injured them twice playing football (soccer) with bad genetics. Squats can make cartilage in my knee lock up but deadlifting is no issue at all.

  3. Out there, are a lot of practical and theoretical examples that you can build muscles with light weight as good as with higher weight
    But frequenzy, effort, Volume and trainings technique have to be adjusted.

    So the probabylity is higher not to injure yourself.

  4. Shit I needed this video.
    I got comfortable and then feared going heavier and though I'd never get to lift my weight in a squat but did!

    Can you apply the same reps to deadlifts?

    Jeff your the man

  5. Whenever you're dong exercises and you go up in weight, it'd be highly entertaining and great editing (very minor) if you just transitioned the shot mid-movement as opposed to a cut in the action to give it all a seamless transition. So, you are coming up with two plates, and just before you hit the top, three plates appear. All on the same movement.

  6. Hi Jeff, if you do a couple of facepulls that knee should clear right up. 3 sets of 10 at the end of each work out, let me know how it goes.

  7. Hi I'm following your videos at an almost daily bases – they are a constant part of my lunch breaks 😉
    You're doing a great job and I learned a lot from you.
    Going to join your training program next month as well…
    I've got a question:
    I noticed that on some of you videos the camera is too close up and some of the impotant detail like your legs when your doing squats on this one, don't show.
    You're talking about them, but you don't show them.
    As I mentioned, it happened quite often that the camera is simply too close and I wonder if that might be intentionally done?

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