How To Lift Heavier Weights: Mistakes To Avoid & Tips To Follow
Have you been working on your lifting routine for a long time and you have been thinking of lifting more weights because your results have levelled off? Or have you been thinking of increasing the weights you lift because you do not feel as exhausted as you used to be before?
Well, guess what?
We’ve got good news for you. It seems that you might have hit a strength limit. It means that you now need to lift more weights to get the most out of your workout
However, lifting more weights is a risky area. One small mistake and you might end up hurting your back or your legs. The best way to go on about this is by purchasing a weightlifting belt first and then making sure that you do not make any mistakes that people commonly make.
To make sure that you don’t end up hurting yourself or making a mistake that can leave you injured, we have created a guide for you with some super clever tricks, so keep an eye out for them:
Mistakes To Avoid When Lifting Weights
Holding Your Breath
We get it.
It is a natural inclination to hold your breath when doing any kind of strenuous exercise whether it is jump squats or burpees or lifting weights. However, lifting weights can lead to an increase in blood pressure and this can sometimes cause hernia or you might even lose consciousness.
So, no matter what, never hold your breath. Try to slowly breathe out when you exert effort and breathe in when you relax.
Not Taking Any Rest
Another mistake that strength trainers often make is not taking any rest between their workouts. What people fail to realise is that their muscles get sore after every weightlifting session and they need some time to get back to a relaxed state.
You need to allow your tissues to recover before you exert force on them once again. Therefore, it is better to allow them 48 hours before you do the same exercise.
Lifting Weights Through Injuries
You do not need to work out every single day or as per your schedule, especially when your body needs rest. So, if you have some sort of an injury, be it a sore muscle or a sharp pain in your legs. it is better to give it a rest.
If you have injured yourself, give your muscles a rest for two days. But if the pain persists, it’s better to go and seek medical attention before you go on lifting heavier weights.
Not Correcting Your Form
Not correcting improper form and technique is another reason why people never get the most benefits out of their routines. If this is your first time increasing your weights, try to find a fitness specialist who can improve your form and help you lift the weights properly.
Even if you have experience in lifting weights, it is better to have a fitness instructor around if it is your first time going up.
Not Eating Enough
One of the most common weight lifting mistakes people make is not giving their bodies the nourishment they need. You cannot run your car without fuel and neither can you lift weights without eating before and after a workout.
Include healthy fats, lean protein, and good carbohydrates in your diet because the lack of these nutrients won’t allow for an efficient workout.
Pro Tip: Wrist supports can help you lift more weight easily without adding extra strain to your joint. AQF Sports produces one of the best Wrist Wraps & Wrist Straps in UK.
Here’s How To Lift Heavier Weights
Irradiation Is Your Best Friend
Try to squeeze as hard as you can while making a fist, then squeeze your glutes, and squeeze your fist once again. You will notice that the second time you squeeze tighter.
That is irradiation.
When you activate only one muscle you radiate tension and unlock strength in your body. However, when you activate all your muscles, you unlock your maximum potential.
Now, if you apply the same principle when you are lifting weights, you’ll be able to lift heavier than you can imagine. So, before you lift a heavier weight, squeeze your glutes, tighten your core, and crush your grip as hard as you can.
We recommend using irradiation only when you are doing heavy sets.
You don’t know the magic of chalk if you haven’t used it yet. When you are doing exercises like deadlifts, pull ups, or weight lifting you exhaust your grip before you exhaust your muscles. Plus, as a result of sweating, you start losing your grip earlier.
In order to avoid that from happening, slap some chalk on your hands and rub some on the bar as well. The chalk will increase the friction and wick the moisture. Consequently, you will be able to grip your barbell tighter, and lift more weights by letting your muscles do more work.
Push Your Feet Into The Floor
When lifting heavier weights, it is important to make sure that your feet are planted firmly, so you do not lose your balance. Moreover, pushing your feet into the floor also creates friction that lets you generate more force for lifting heavier weights. Whether you’re doing bench presses or deadlifts, proper foot placement will do wonders for you.
Make Sure That Your Breathing Is Controlled
When you are doing cardiovascular exercises, you need to breathe with your lungs. On the contrary, when you are lifting weights, you have to breathe from your belly.
But how does that help you in lifting heavy weights?
Well, when you breathe with your belly, you keep your apps tight and you create tension that helps you lift heavier weights and lowers your risk of injury.
So, the next time you are lifting weights, try to hold your breath until you are near the end of the movement, reset, and then repeat it over and over again.
Pro Tip: A weightlifting belt helps to stabilize the spine and pelvis, and also aids in the performance of the lift by providing additional intra-abdominal pressure. Here is definitive weightlifting belt guide for more information.
Try New Exercises And Techniques
Perform the following Warm Up and Stretching Exercises to Lift Heavier Weights
- Jumping Jacks: This is a great way to get your heart rate up and warm up your entire body.
- Lunges: Lunges help to warm up your lower body and increase your flexibility.
- Arm Circles: Arm circles help to warm up your shoulders and upper back.
- Squats: Squats warm up your legs and glutes, which are important muscle groups for many weightlifting exercises.
- Hip Flexor Stretches: Tight hip flexors can limit your range of motion during exercises like squats and deadlifts, so stretching them out before lifting can be beneficial.
- Shoulder Stretches: Stretching your shoulders can help prevent injury and increase your range of motion during exercises like bench presses and overhead presses.
- Wrist Stretches: If you’re planning to do exercises that require a strong grip, it’s important to stretch your wrists to avoid injury.
There are certain exercises that train your body to lift heavier without exerting a lot of pressure. Some exercises that you can add to your training protocols are pyramid sets. Pyramid sets enable the body to lift heavier without increasing the number of sets.
And if you are doing hypertrophy training, you can just increase the number of repetitions you do in every set.
Mentally Prepare Yourself for Lifting Heavier Weights
If you are mentally unprepared to lift heavier weights, you will most likely fail to boost lifting. Here are some psychological tips for heavy lifting:
- Set realistic goals: Setting realistic goals can help you stay motivated and focused on your lifting program. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Stay motivated: Motivation is crucial for sticking to your lifting program. Find a source of motivation that works for you, whether it’s listening to music, watching videos of your favorite lifters, or working out with a friend.
- Manage stress: Stress can negatively impact your lifting performance. Practice stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to help you stay calm and focused during your lifts.
- Develop mental toughness: Mental toughness is essential for lifting heavier weights. Train your mind to overcome negative thoughts and self-doubt. Use positive affirmations and visualization techniques to help you stay focused and confident during your lifts.
- Keep a training journal: Keeping a training journal can help you track your progress and identify areas where you need to improve. It can also help you stay motivated by reminding you of how far you’ve come.
- Visualize success: Visualizing yourself successfully lifting heavier weights can help improve your mental toughness and increase your confidence. Spend a few minutes each day visualizing yourself achieving your goals.
- Work with a personal trainer: Working with a personal trainer can help you develop a program that is tailored to your individual needs and goals. They can also provide guidance and support to help you stay motivated and focused.
Modify Your Existing Lifting program To Lift Heavier Weights
To lift heavier weights, you may need to modify your lifting program.
Here is what we recommend:
- Gradually increase the weight: Gradually increasing the weight you lift can help your body adapt and prepare for heavier lifts. Aim to increase the weight by small increments each week.
- Incorporate compound exercises: Compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are effective for building overall strength and can help prepare you for lifting heavier weights.
- Include accessory exercises: Accessory exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and calf raises can help strengthen specific muscle groups and improve overall strength.
- Focus on good form: Maintaining good form when lifting weights is essential for preventing injury and improving your overall lifting ability. Make sure you’re using proper technique and engaging the correct muscle groups.
- Take rest days: Taking rest days is essential for allowing your body to recover and build strength. Don’t lift heavy weights every day – make sure you’re taking adequate rest days between workouts.
Improve Grip Strength to Lift Heavy Weights
Grip strength plays an important role in lifting heavy weights. Here are some grip strengthening tips to follow:
- Incorporate strength training exercises focused on building grip strength. Some effective grip strengthening exercises are farmer’s walks, deadlifts, pull-ups and chin-ups.
- Use grip-specific tools like grip strengtheners, grippers, or wrist rollers to train your grip.
- Use lifting gloves, chalk, or lifting straps to maintain a better grip on the weights. Avoid overusing lifting gloves as their padding may reduce grip strength.
- Gradually increase the amount of weight you lift. Lift small weights and then move to lifting heavy weights as you adapt and improve over time.
- Incorporate hand and forearm exercises like wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, and forearm curls to build the muscles in your hands and forearms.
- Focus on proper form when lifting weights to engage your grip strength more effectively
Wrapping It Up
In strength training, there are myriad ways to lift heavier weights. You can achieve your goal by training more often or performing more challenging exercise variations. Or you can take less rest or use more chalk. The methods are endless! But what matters at the end of the day is how devoted you are and how many mistakes you avoid.
The next time you try to lift heavier weights, keep in mind that the more mistakes you make, the more antagonistic effect they are going to have in response to your efforts to lift more.
Hence, if you want to achieve good results, make sure that you are following the tips you need to follow and avoid the mistakes you need to avoid.
Best of luck and happy lifting!