It's hard to know when your body is ready to up the ante and add pounds to your strength-training routine. You may want to add more muscle, but you also don't want to injure yourself. Before increasing that weight, there are a couple of important factors to consider — especially if you're new to strength training.
David Chesworth, a personal trainer and fitness director at Hilton Head Health, offers a simple test to see if your body is ready to take on more weight. "A good measure to start with is three sets of 15 repetitions," Chesworth said. "If you can do three sets of 15 repetitions of biceps curls at 10 pounds per hand with ease — and, more importantly, with good form — then it is now time to increase the weight." Chesworth continued on to say that if you are new to strength training, "one set of 10 repetitions is an even better place to start."
Chesworth also emphasized that the quality of your movement should always be prioritized over the quantity of movement. "If you aren't measuring both quality and quantity, it's impossible to progress effectively AND consistently," he said. In other words, if you aren't doing the exercises correctly with the particular weight that you are currently using, do not add more weight yet. You have to be able to do those exercises safely and with proper form before adding more weight.