Women in our Fit Female Club program often ask me about when to increase the weights they are using.
As with any program or workout routine, after several weeks of exercising you should be increasing your exercise capacity and strength, and in order to keep your workouts at the same intensity level you can either up the number of repetitions per exercise or increase the amount of weight you're using.
For example, say you were using five-pound dumbbells and after your third set of 12 reps (or basically at the end of whatever program you are doing) and you barely feel fatigued; the weights aren’t really challenging you anymore. This is when you need to increase your weights.
I personally believe that you need to use enough weight where you are getting fatigued on the last few reps of every set, with the last set being relatively difficult to finish. When you are in this “zone” your muscles will be burning, you will be consuming more oxygen, meaning your muscles will grow stronger and your overall fitness will continue to improve!
Josh Anderson is an AFAA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and the CEO of Always Active Athletics.