We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I call it the Costco Walk. Even though it is not a body-weight exertion, I put it into my calisthenic days. Nothing is simpler or more basic.
It is a functional total body stressor, especially as your kettlebells or dumbells get heavier. If you get to a weight where your grip fails due to grip strength or sweat, you can use a towel around the weight. Maintain posture. It's sort of fun to walk until failure.
Due to CCP/PRC supply chain it took three months for an auto engine rebuild and during that time it was walking about one mile each way to the local Sack-N-Save for groceries, this was a much needed arms workout and the fitness level went up because of it.
Robots Destroy Humanoid Future
Exercise is good. Over doing it is bad. There are a number of ways to over do an exercise but heavy weights is the most common. I don't really have a problem with this specific example but I would recommend a lighter weight and a longer hold time to reduce the risk of injury.
There is no iron clad rule but a good rule of thumb is this: If you can do an exercise 10 times in a set and o three sets without pain or injury you are probably using the correct weight. If the weight you are using is so great that you cannot do 10 reps you are using too much weight.
What does that mean? Different things depending on your goal. If you want to build strength and improve your physical health than that rule of thumb is perfect. If your goal is to be Mr. America then you will have to take risks with heavy weights and tough routines and probably drugs too. If you want to get 'buff" in weeks you are going to injure yourself trying.
Best possible advice; start easy, stay within that rule of thumb, don't listen to gym rats and (my apologies ahead of time) 20 something trainers. Everyone is different. The 20 something graduate from some community college is too young physically and mentally to understand. You do remember when you were young and did stupid things that you regret and now put you on a first name relationship with your doctors, right? The trainers don't have the experience to know what is down the road for them and you at age 65 or so. They are filled with the enthusiasm of youth and the energy of a teenager. They will be using a walker at age 65.
Slow and steady, stay within the rule of thumb, resist the urge to be the next Arnold Schwarzeneggar.
There's nothing inherently bad about heavy weights (we're not talking about Eddie Hall or Ronnie Coleman-level heavy weights here, of course). Lifting heavy weights with bad form is what causes problems.
If you don't want to get strong, then follow OneGuy's 10-rep rule. If you do want to get strong, learn the proper way to perform the compound lifts (Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training) and keep adding weight to them. It's good to do hard things now and then. Heavy weights also teach you things about yourself. For example, as you prepare for that fifth and final rep of the third and final set of heavy squats, when you're not sure if you can come back up after squatting down. Do you go for it or not? If you fail, you learn something about your programming and that you hav eovercome your fear of failure. If you make it, you learn you can do something hard you've never done before. If you don't make the attempt, you also learn something, and it ain't good. You don't learn anything from easy sets of ten.
But OneGuy is correct about the globo-gym trainers. They don't know anything other than how to set the pins on the machines and that's why they're hired (rare exceptions, of course).
You can get strong doing 10 rep sets, as long as you increase the weight every time, just maybe not as fast as doing 5 reps.
You do have to work to almost failure, and you do have to increase your weights from time to time.
I do 5 rep sets on the last two sets of "important" lifts--presses, squats, deadlifts, because I want as much strain as I can there. But I warm up with 20, then 10 reps, and I often do 10 reps on the auxillary lifts/exercises.
As long as you're making progress--either more reps or more weight--you're doing what you need to do to be healthy and get stronger.
William, you raise a very good point there and you are absolutely correct. Regardless of the rep range, if you can lift more weight, you are indeed getting stronger.
And yes, the 5-rep range has been shown to be the most efficient way of gaining strength, especially for those new to weight training. More advanced lifters will vary the rep range to a greater extent.
Warm up is of course important, as you also point out. I always start out with the empty bar, regardless of the lift (other than deadlift), and do 5-10 reps. I then make 4-5 relatively even weight jumps up to the work set weight, reducing the number of reps for each warm up set as the weight goes up, usually something like 5, 3, 2, 1, followed by the 3x5 work set (one set of 5 for the deadlift, as that is enough stress to drive improvement).
I do farmers carries of two sorts at the end of just about every weightlifting session.
First either grab a heavy kettle bell in one hand, walk to the other end of the gym, switch hands and walk back, or I grab two dumbells (today was 40 pounds in each hand) and walk to the other end of the gym and back.
Then grab either the 5 or the 7.5 pounders *by the weights*--this puts my hands at "end range of motion" and do the walk. This is good for wide grip strength and elbow ligament rehab.
William O. B'Livion
I used to carry two food service buckets full of wet coffee grounds home from work about 5 days a week. Very strenuous. Good compost. Hottest pile I've ever had.