- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 16, 2004


A study shows that many inexperienced weightlifters don’t come close to pumping enough iron to change the shape of their muscles, or get any benefit at all.

The study, conducted by exercise physiology professor Stephen Glass of Grand Valley State University in Michigan, was based in part on previous research that said people must lift no less than 60 percent of the maximum weight they can lift to increase the size of their muscles.

In a test involving 30 novice weightlifters — 17 men and 13 women — not a single person chose to start at the 60 percent mark. “When it comes to strength training, people need to know what is heavy and what’s not,” Mr. Glass said.

“If you lift 50 percent of what you can, that may feel moderately difficult,” Mr. Glass said. “But people don’t realize it’s not near the weight you need to lift to induce gains.”

The study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, recommends that beginners ask trainers to help them figure out what they should be lifting.

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