# How Much Weight Should I Use?

Please note that I do not figure this for my own exercise routine. I simply start with a weight that lets me do about 6 reps. I find that by trial and error, starting light and working my way up. Using 1-RM is the technically correct way to do it, though.

## One Rep Max or 1-RM

1-RM means "one rep max." That is the most weight you can lift once for any given exercise using weights. You can figure your 1-RM for each exercise, then try using about 50% of that. Healthy people use 75% of their 1-RM for workouts. The real 1-RM method is way too hard for someone with heart failure but if you want to know what it is, read this. A real 1-RM test should only be done with an exercise professional who understands your overall health situation!
Figure 1-RM for each weight lifting exercise you do. Do a warm-up set with light weights and then rest for 5 minutes. Then lift a weight that you can only do for 5 to 10 reps. Now, use one of the following 3 methods to figure your 1-RM for that exercise:

Method One
1-RM in pounds = pounds lifted 2 to 10 times divided by (100% minus [repetitions times 2] )
Example :
You can just barely lift 80 pounds 10 times
1-RM = 80 pounds divided by [100% minus (10 times 2)]
1-RM = 80 divided by (100% minus 20)
1-RM = 80 divided by 80% or 0.80
1-RM = 100 pounds
Method Two
Using the table below, multiply the amount of weight you lifted by the factor given for the number of reps you did.
Example :
You can just barely lift 10 pounds 10 times for an exercise.
Multiply the weight (10) times the factor in the table below for 10 reps (1.318)
That equals 13.18 pounds so 13.18 pounds is your 1-RM for this exercise.
Method Three
Use a sports site with a 1-RM calculator:
www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html
www.strengthcats.com/strengthtesting.htm
 Estimating 1-RM Reps 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Factor 1.057 1.086 1.116 1.148 1.179 1.212 1.247 1.282 1.318

For a healthy person, using about 75% of 1-RM for your weight lifting exercises increases strength best. However, significant strength gains are seen at just 40% of 1-RM using circuit training in heart attack patients. Another trial showed that using 30% to 50% of 1-RM increased strength by 20% to 25% and endurance by 10% to 12% in heart patients. Recent evidence suggests that more benefit is seen with moderate intensity exercise programs than with a high-intensity program. Why? Because patients stick with the program better. <g>

All information on this site is opinion only. All concepts, explanations, trials, and studies have been re-written in plain English and may contain errors. I am not a doctor. Use the reference information at the end of each article to search MedLine for more complete and accurate information. All original copyrights apply. No information on this page should be used by any person to affect their medical, legal, educational, social, or psychological treatment in any way. I am not a doctor. This web site and all its pages, graphics, and content copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Jon C.