How To Increase The Weight You Lift

If you aren’t increasing the weight you lift, then you probably aren’t making much progress. Unless you’ve only just started, and you’re still working on form and basic fitness, then moving onto a new weight should be a priority for you.

I know, you’re not necessarily trying to bulk up or put on weight, you just want to be strong and toned. Trust me on this though, the more you are able to lift, the more easily all of those things can be achieved.

Before I go through how you can increase the weight, let’s first figure out if you are ready.

Here are some signs that you need to be lifting more:

  1. Your current weight is too easy – If you don’t find it a challenge, put more weight on
  2. You aren’t making any progress – This is the easiest sign to spot
  3. You can easily do more than the recommended reps, almost indefinitely
  4. It’s been a long time since you last increased the weight

To be honest, you should be looking to increase the weight you lift as often as possible. With some exercises, like lifts and crunches, you might find it physically possible to increase every single time.

With other exercises, that’s not going to be the case. It really comes down to you to figure out your progress.

Knowing how to increase the weight you lift without injuring yourself is vital. I don’t want you to take my words too literally and throw a huge amount of weight on in your next exercises, then come running back here to complain.

It’s not my intention to injure you!

How To Increase The Weight You Lift Safely

First up, if you can’t do the recommended reps, you aren’t ready. If an exercise recommends 10-15 reps and you are just about managing 8 or 9, then you need to keep at that current weight for now.

Taking on too much weight too early is going to cause you to lose form, struggle, and ultimately injure yourself. Not a good idea.

When you feel you’re ready, just move up to the next weight. With Kettlebells, if you’re using a 10kg bell, move up to 12 or 14. Make sure to keep hold of your previous bell as well though, because as I stated above, some exercises are easier to increase than others.

It might well be a good idea to have a transition period where you are doing half your exercises with the new weight, and half with the old weight.

Kettlebells are actually great for this, because they workout so many of your muscles at once. When you start exercising with a higher weight, your other muscles are soon going to get up to speed and strengthen themselves while you work on other muscles.

Swings, squats and crunches are going to be the exercises you can increase first, as they are generally the easiest to perform.

Pay attention to your form.

I’ve said it many times before, but correct form is the most important part of exercising well, and developing strong, lean, toned muscles and burned fat.

Equally, incorrect form is the fastest way to an injury that posts all your progress on hold.

Another tip is to follow a workout routine that has weight increases included. Our number one recommended program, Kettlebell Kickboxing is a great example of this.

It has different difficulty settings (from beginner to advanced) and a variety of different routines (across 4 DVDs), so it is a phenomenal workout for making steady progress, and very difficult to “outgrow” the exercises.

Finally, I’ll leave you with the “common sense” tip.

If you are working out and it’s too easy, put more weight on. If you find that your workout is just killing you, take off some weight.

Don’t overdo it, but don’t waste your potential either.


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Hey, I'm Dom. I've been using Kettlebells for over two years, and am a firm believer that men and women can do very similar routines and exercises, yet get the different results they desire. If you click here to subscribe, you'll receive my tips, tricks, and recommended workouts in your inbox automatically.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Peter - November 20, 2013

This is a really great tip in my eyes. I see way too many people at the gym apparently thinking it’s just about getting through the numbers on the paper they got from the trainer. “I did my 12 reps.. time to move on”.

But it’s never about the numbers, it’s always about how exhausted you are after the set/the workout and how much reason you give your body to adapt and build more muscle for the next workout. If the reps from last time feelt too light for you, either go up in the rep count or -even better- in the used weight.

Great advice!


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