Many people have trouble selecting the correct weight or resistance to use when performing exercises at the gym or at home.

Too little Weight:

You will not stress your muscles enough to make a measurable difference in improving your strength.

Too much weight:

You will find you may not be able to maintain proper technique which will compromise the effectiveness of the exercise and may cause injury.

We recommend you follow this general rule of thumb for selecting weights/resistance for each exercises:

• You have chosen the correct weight if the last two repetitions of each set are difficult to complete without altering technique.

For Example:

Select a light weight to start performing your chosen exercise

Eg. 5kg for a bicep curl

Complete one set with this weight. If you can complete the desired number of reps (eg. 10 reps) without any trouble – you need to add more weight.

Eg. Add 2.5 kg and complete the set again.

If you cannot complete a set of 10 you must reduce the weight.
Continue to add or reduce weight until the last 2 reps are difficult to complete without losing technique.


1. It is extremely important to choose the correct weight needed for each of your exercises otherwise you will not achieve your desired strength goals.
2. Once you have chosen the correct weight – after approximately 4 to 6 weeks you must increase the resistance again to continue progressing.

Good luck with your training!

Please post a comment of any questions you may have we would be more than happy to help achieve your goals!

Written by Beth Chiuchiarelli
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health

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