New Rule 6 The weight you lift is a tool to reach your goals It is not a goal by itself

Weight lifting and powerlifting are terrific sports. So are Strongman competitions, the Highland Games, and other organized contests that involve feats of maximum strength and strength endurance.

But those are sports—exhibitions of the results of hard exercise. They are not exercise in themselves. When you walk into your workout space with the purpose of exercising, your goal is to improve some parameter of your function and physical appearance.

So, before you begin these workouts, forget any ideas you had about how much you want to bench-press. Forget any preconception about the size of the dumbbells someone of your magnificence should be able to work out with. You will work out with the weights that allow you to accomplish the goals of your workouts, no more and no less.

If you use too much weight, you can't complete the workout as designed. If you use too little, you can complete the workout without achieving the goals of the workout.

However, if you're going to err—and all of us have to use trial and error to pick the right weights when we're doing new exercises or routines—it's best to take your risks on the light side, and then use heavier barbells or dumbbells in subsequent sets or workouts. Don't fear light weights because you think someone might laugh at you. Speaking as someone who's seen his share of dummies with dumbbells, the guys using too-heavy weights always look more ridiculous than the ones using too little.

That said, if you're intimidated by the heavy iron, I want those thoughts stopped, too. You may very well be capable of using more weight than you've used in the past.

Turbo Charged Fitness With The Tabata System

Turbo Charged Fitness With The Tabata System

The Tabata workout system is a version of the High Intensity Interval Training program developed by Professor Izumi Tabata as training for Olympic speed skaters in 1996. The results studies conducted on the training program confirm that even a four minute cardiovascular exercise routine improves a persons level of fitness.

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