In Weight Training, what is Heavy

Written by: Lee on 16th Dec 2010

In a sport that seems to be obsessed with weight, I think it’s important to clarify just what heavy should mean to the individual. There are no set weight bands that say, this is light, medium and heavy, weight is relevant to the individual and how much stress it puts on that individuals muscle. The heaviest weight you can lift for one clear, unassisted repetition is your 1 rep max, but this is very difficult to do without a spot and someone trained with you. This 1 rep max, whether it be 30kg, 100kg or 200kg is your heaviest, it doesn’t matter if the person next to you can lift 3 times as much, this is the pinnacle of your heavy weights. Working down from this 1 rep max, your heavy range will, roughly, be weights that make you fail between 1 and 5reps, medium is 6-12 reps and light is your 13-20 reps. Working along these rough groupings is how you should judge what is heavy, not on what others lift. With this in mind, always start a training regime light to perfect your technique, then increase weight as more stimulus is needed.


Exactly! Heavy weight is a

Exactly! Heavy weight is a very relative term although it is sometimes referred to it as absolute strength or maximal force.

That's so true. Thanks for

That's so true. Thanks for reminding us that the goals of doing workouts is not to compete with others, and lift the same weight as the others do. That's what we especially beginners usually do.

This is a great breakdown for

This is a great breakdown for those of us who like to base what is heavy on keeping up with your neighbor at the gym. I tend to get into that mode and forget that what is light for one is heavy for another.

Thanks for breaking that down

Thanks for breaking that down for those of us that are new to weight training exercises. After my baby is born and I start working out again I definitely want to add some weight routines for strength to my work out.