Are You Lifting Too Much Weight In The Gym?

Wassup guys,

Today I have to get this off my chest because I don't want any of you guys to be like some of the guys I've seen at my gym.

You know the guys I'm talking about.

The guys who look brand spanking new to gym, barely look like they work out, and they're the ones who go and grab more weight than you do for an exercise.

I've seen this a number of times at the gym so far, and now that the weather is getting better, I'm starting to see these "guys" more and more often.

And after what happened to me yesterday I said "Enough is Enough".

So here's the story:

Yesterday, I was working on my "Pull" exercises as part of this strength training program I'm on, when this guy I've never seen before in the gym asks me to spot him.

(Note: I have been going to the gym the same time everyday for the past YEAR AND A HALF. Which means, if I haven't seen you there at that time before.... you haven't been going to the gym)

So of course I spot him on his exercise, which was Incline Dumb Bell Presses.

Problem #1: When I went over to give this guy a hand, I saw he was about to do this exercise with 70lbs Dumbbells.

Now I've been on a strength training program for the past 9 weeks or so and I "just" graduated to doing Incline DB Presses with 80 lbs Dumbbells. And this guy who looks like he barely works out, is about to do this with 70 lbs. That's a problem!

Problem #2: He asked me to help him lift the weight off his chest on the VERY FIRST REP.

Ok, it's one thing to give someone a "lift", like helping them unrack the Barbell if they're doing Bench Presses. and then it's something completely different to have someone lift the weight off your chest because the weight is too heavy for you to do so under you own power.

Problem #3: He was only going "half way" down.

I imagine you guys can picture how this exercise is done. It's pretty simple, you bring the weight down to your chest and you push up.

Since the weight was too heavy for the guy he was only able to go halfway down (if that) if he would have gone any further than there would have been an accident on our hands.

Problem #4: I gave him some advice and he didn't take it.

As helpful as I am, I'm somewhat reluctant to give advice to those who did not ask for it. Because in all honesty, most guys don't want to hear it.

They just want to do what they "think" they saw in a magazine one time and they'll be fine. But I saw that if this guy continues doing what he's doing, he's not only going to waste his time, he's seriously going to hurt himself or someone else (by picking a weight he can't fully control)

So, after his set I told him, "I think you're using too much weight for this exercise. You need to be able to go down all the way and feel a good stretch at the bottom" He looks at me and says "Ok, I think I'll try 60lbs next time".

First off, I think 60lbs would still be to heavy for this guy and second, he didn't even drop the weight he went back and did his 70lbs "whatevers" because those definitely wasn't Incline DB Presses he was doing.

Once I saw that he didn't take my advice, I told myself "That's the last time I spot that guy". And it's not to be mean or anything, hey it's a free country, if he wants to train improperly and waste his time at the gym so be it. But I refuse to let him waste my time as well.


Lesson of Today's Story:

3 Ways to Tell If You're Using Too Much Weight



1. If You Need Help Getting It Up

- If you need help lifting the weight from the starting position (i.e. off your chest) for the very first rep, then you're using too much weight.

2. If You're Struggling To Get AT LEAST 6 Reps On A Given Weight

- Remember, if you're goal is to build muscle then you should be doing 6 - 10 reps "roughly" each set. If you can't do AT LEAST 6 reps then you're using too much weight

3. If You Can't Keep Proper Form Using A Given Weight

- FORM IS EVERYTHING, if you can't keep proper form then you're wasting your time and you seriously put yourself at risk of getting injured on certain exercises.

Later on me and Jimmy will be posting some videos on how to do exercises with "proper form" so you guys know how to do these exercises with proper form and technique.

This is a REALLY IMPORTANT lesson you need to learn so I'm gonna take a page out of Jimmy's Workout commandments:


Work out your body, NOT YOUR EGO!

- This means PERFECT YOUR FORM FIRST, ADD WEIGHT LATER. I’d rather have perfect form and lift moderate weight on an exercise than lift a ludicrous amount of weight with terrible form.

I'll admit it, I was on of these guys myself. And it's EXACTLY what Jimmy said, I was working out my Ego rather than my body. In my eyes I didn't want to look like a "weakling" in the gym.

I had to learn some of my lessons the hard way, but it ultimately took getting advice from guys who had success building muscle and transforming their bodies to turn everything around for me. (Similar to what I'm doing with you guys right now).

So if you're one of these guys (or think) you're one of these guys who are using too much weight in the gym..... STOP IT!!!

You're only hurting yourself and killing your results in the long run.

Ok, I'm through venting, thanks for listening guys.

I hope you enjoyed today's lesson / rant.


P.S. -Let me hear what you think! Leave me a comment below if you agree, disagree or know of guys who are using too much weight in the gym.

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  1. Ahmed Alsaeed says

    I dont know man maybe you right but how you gonna built muscles if you dont lift weight. I’m working out for a year and I cant lift 45lb in chest and my weight 117lb. I’m trying to get to 140 I couldn’t. I dont know what the best way for me to workout and get more weight of muscles?

    • Hey Ahmed,

      Thanks for the comment.

      And you’re 100% right. You DO need to lift weight to build muscle. And you also have to lift HEAVY in order to build muscle.


      You can’t sacrifice form and proper technique for lifting a weight that is TOO heavy. Without PROPER form you’re just wasting your time. Plus with proper form you WILL get stronger, which will allow you to lift heavier weight, which will help you build even more muscle.

      But it all starts with PROPER FORM not with “just” lifting heavy weights.

      Thanks for the comment. Hope this helped,


  2. He’s doin’ it right, you’re doin’ it wrong. Trust me. I know!

  3. At my local gym this is always the situation with people, there ego is in a battle with there physical. When I say that I mean people have a conception that if there using a lower amount of weight and using proper technique they will be looked at like wimps or whatever they are scared of being named of. I used to tell my friend for the Dumb Bell Bench Press, to use a lower weight about 5 pounds lighter since his form was good but he was always shaky on the lift up when he started his set. He would not listen because I think his ego was too big for his own good. I have took quite a long break from the gym but I will be getting back soon starting from rock bottom with proper technique and patience. A lot of people now a days just aren’t interested in gaining results the proper way instead they look for shortcuts. Thanks for listening, Keep up the good work Rich!

    • Hey Mearon,

      That’s some good advice you gave your friend, proper technique with lighter
      weights is far more effective than poor technique and heavy weight, some people
      just don’t get it.

      I’m not gonna lie, I “used” to be one of those guys but I learned my lesson,
      the hard way unfortunately. But look at me now…. so I guess it was worth it
      in the end.

      I know all about long breaks (just look at my last transformation photos), it can
      be done.

      When you get back, just train hard and keep using your proper technique and
      you’ll be there in no time Mearon.


  4. What up Rich,
    I am 31 yrs old, I’m 6’4″ and weigh 160lbs. My goal is to weigh 200+. I plan on hitting up the gym mid April or the 1st of May. I am a truck driver that drive local during the night hrs, between 7-5. I have no microwave or cooler to keep my food cool or to warmup. So, my 2 questions I have for you is: What basic exercises can I do at home till I hit the gym, and what foods can I eat while I’m out working to help me pick up weight?

    Thanx in advance!


    • Hey Odell,

      Man you’re tall, and i don’t say that often. I’m 6′ 3” and I could definitely relate to breaking out of a high school body, I had mines for YEARS after highschool. If I can do it, you certainly can

      To answer your questions:

      Question: What basic exercises can I do at home till I hit the gym?

      Answer: Some good home exercises would be (assuming that you don’t have any weights at home) – Pushups, Dips, Squats, Crunches and Pullups (you may need to buy a pullup bar or be creative when trying to find a place to do these – like go the park and do them on the monkey bars there)

      Questionwhat foods can I eat while I’m out working to help me pick up weight?

      Answer:You need to eat alot of “healthy” calorie dense foods, which are foods that have a high amount of “healthy” calories per portion size. Here’s an article I found Odell, that’s an excellent resource for figuring out what to eat and how to eat to gain weight:

      You really can’t go wrong with following the diet plan on that page.

      Hope that helped Odell,


      P.S. – Let me know how the gym goes.

  5. Just a quick question, what are the consquences if you lift too much weight in the gym? What will happen?

  6. Hello, I’ve been going to the gym since september 2011 and have been ego lifting which resulted in pain whenever I put sress on my wrists! It gets bad at times and makes it difficult for me to lift. I am only 5’7 and 130 lbs. I eat a ton, protein, etc. But I never realized that I was lifting too much fpr my size. Jeez, I wonder what people thought when they saw me dp bicep curls…my wrists are in pain and I had to see why. Thank you for straightening. My ego out. I was oblivious ans sp concerened about lifting more. I have a question: how much do you think someone around my size and weight should be curing for bicep for my weight and size? Bicep is the only thing that tweaks my wrist really bad. I’m doing 35’s with curls, but that is probably what led to my downfall

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