Just Lift Heavy Sh!t

Just Lift Heavy Sh!t

Just Lift Heavy Sh!t This has become somewhat of a catchphrase for women these days, and it is so awesome to see women of all ages discovering the true benefits of strength. But to build strength we need to move against resistance in some way, and the resistance must be HEAVY enough to sufficiently challenge the body to stimulate change. So, what exactly is HEAVY?

Heavy is subjective.

Someone brand new to lifting weights will have a very different definition to someone who has been lifting for 5 years or more. “Heavy” depends on your experience and your environment. It’s important to determine your personal benchmarks to know if you are lifting heavy enough for your goals – what does heavy look like for you?

Heavy is relative

Heavy is only what heavy is for you right now. What is your personal strength level, and what are your goals? Comparison with others is only helpful if you are looking to win a competition or to qualify for an event. When it comes to training, its only helpful to know your own numbers to decide what you need to lift to make forward progress. For many of our athletes, heavy enough means simply lifting more than you did last week.

Heavy requires getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing DIScomfort

 Heavy must be heavy enough to trigger change, to stimulate your muscles to grow and adapt. Most women aren’t lifting heavy enough to see the results they desire, often underestimating their own ability.

Many women stop when things start to feel uncomfortable, finishing a set just because you reach the number of reps prescribed but still with PLENTY left in the tank. If you feel you could do more quality reps, it’s probably time to increase your weights and get out of the comfort zone.

Your heavy might surprise you. If you don’t challenge yourself or your capability, you won’t make progress.

Heavy gets heavier!

As you get stronger, you need to increase the challenge to keep making progress. This means lifting heavier. If you’re interested in staying exactly where you are, then keep using the same weights week after week, month after month.

If you’d like to make continued progress and  results – strength, performance, body composition – then it’s necessary to regularly increase the challenge or load placed on the body This is called progressive overlaod. Our body adapts to the challenge placed upon it, so we need to increase the challenge (or load) to induce further change. Aim to do MORE (weight, reps) than before. It won’t always be possible and over time it becomes harder to increase weight as regularly, just keep trying in small increments.

Heavy is transformative

Once you have embraced pushing into DIScomfort, magic happens! Your confidence increases, and all of a sudden you realise you are capable or more than you thought possible.

When you lift heavy stuff in the gym, you can “lift” more out of the gym. It’s empowering! You feel stronger for everything in your daily life, and being able to do something you didn’t believe you could.

How heavy should I be lifting?

A common way to determine how much to lift is based on what we call a “one-repetition maximum” (1RM) which is simply the amount of weight you are capable of lifting one time in a specific lift. This is what many of our members will be testing at our Lifting Party this weekend, when they will get the opportunity to lift as much as possible in the back squat, bench-press and deadlift.

But if you are new to lifting, we start where you are and gradually increase weight over time.

Heavy takes time

Although you are probably stronger than you think, we also want to be sure that you are ready to handle heavier loads – physically and mentally – and that you maintain good form as you increase your loads. Increasing slowly and incrementally will help ensure that you are ready.

We are here to keep you moving forward, little by little. Come and lift heavy sh!t with us today at Strong Women Can 💪


Interested in learning more about our womens only gym and coaching services?

Contact Strong Women Can at support@strongwomencan.com for more info.


blog by Jacqui Toohey

Jacqui is Head of Personal Training and Chief Women’s Health Educator at Strong Women Can.  She helps women – particuparly those in the ‘messy middle’ to embrace their changing physiology and design a way of life that empowers them to fuel, feel and function better.

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