Heard the famous term ” Lightweight baby”? Watching legendary bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman pile up a tonnage of iron before his first set, I can only imagine an amateur trying to lift even a fraction of that, I’m sure it will definitely cause injuries with broken joints and ligaments.
So the important question is, how much weight is too heavy for someone? How does one get to quantify that? Try to understand this, what’s heavy for you might be light for someone and vice versa. Look at a butterfly and think how much baggage it can carry on its body if tied up with say barley or gram or less, on the contrary, look at an ant that can score upto ten times its body weight at ease like Hulk of the insect world. Both are tiny delicate little creatures, yet there is a vast difference in the strength and the heaviness of weight gauged by both.
A person’s capability to lift a certain amount of weight is one’s power or wattage. It depends on various factors such as age, gender, muscle mass, skeletal muscle mass, bone density, height etc. The human body does not understand or read the weights or dumbells in numbers, it can only gauge the stress caused to the muscle and the energy required to perform the lifting task. One may lift 10 kgs and feel complete exhaustion, contrary to someone like the legendary Ronnie Coleman lifting 400 kgs to reach exhaustion. Both bodies feel the same fatigue level, the latter’s wattage capacity was higher and could move more weights. Let us look at an example here, a lift with a capacity of 4 will say overload with the 5th person entering contrary to the lift with a 15 person ability. Different wattage motors burn out as per their wattage and strength, and so does the human body.
Hence, do not get carried away with a pro-athlete in the gym and injure yourself trying to lift Ronnie’s tonnage. Remember, when you push your body slightly beyond its max capacity, it will reach exhaustion and lead to muscle growth when one feeds them. It will be similar to the big guy’s development; however, it is proportional to its size on a different scale.
So some take aways from this write up – lift what you can handle, the spotter in the gym is only to guide your form and help you unload at the end when the muscle reaches exhaustion, else an injury. Slowly and progressively increase the weights as the body adapts to the new normal and needs a further challenge. Please give it a year and see how much the progression from a 10 kg dumbell has been. It will be a significant rise.
” If you are a butterfly, flap your wings beautifully and do not mimic an ant.”