When we are new-er to strength training it’s hard to know when were doing “enough”. When doing cardio we KNOW when it’s hard/pushes us. But strength training we don’t really know… till about 48 hours later it seems.
While these tips here can hold true and you *could* do more. Ideally, the best way to know if you are doing ENOUGH is simply asking your self “Am I making progress across time?”. If you are — your program is working, at least for now.
Ideally, you want to feel like you worked pretty hard in your lifts, but not so much you are crawling out of the gym. You can note this by asking yourself 1) am I recovering session to session and 2) am I maintaining excitement to go back?. Generally, you should feel like you are working hard in the gym, can come back for your next session recovered & maintain excitement. If you are not recovering within the same week and/or find yourself over time resent training — may be a sign you’re doing ‘too much’.
Your fatigue + intensity will build across your training block. So while the above holds true it will be harder than last 1-2 weeks before you deload (a planned rest/recovery week — I have a post on this).
When picking your weights (assuming you are past your noobie gains learning curve) we want to find weights that challenge us taking us close to failure but right below it. Think 70-80% of your max effort. An easy tool used is RPE which allows you to rank your effort on a scale of 1-10. We want to aim for a 7-8/10 on most lifts.
However, many of us tend to under rank this at first and a really simple way is to go to failure, see how many reps you CAN do. Adjust your working sets moving forward based on that perception! (I have a post on RPE).
While of course, recovery + progress can be impacted by sleep/stress/food. These are 3 easy ways to check in with your training!
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