How Heavy Should You Lift to Get Big (HOW MUCH WEIGHT!)

  • Published: 13 September 2015
  • Build 100 percent strong, ripped, athletic muscle here…

    If you want to get big, you have to lift big weights. That is the advice that you have probably been given by one of the trainers or meatheads at your local gym. The thing is, if you want to know how heavy should you lift to get big, it’s actually not bad advice if and only if you pay attention to one very important point. In this video, I’m going to cover the most important thing you should know when it comes to discovering how much weight you should be lifting when trying to get big in the gym. In fact, even when you just want to build better muscles, this advice still applies and always will unless you are competing as a powerlifter.

    That said, the rule goes like this. If you want to know how much weight you should be lifting you only need to answer with the most you can lift without letting your posture succumb to the load. In other words, if your attempt to lift heavy weights makes your back crumble under a squat, or your knees cave in during a deadlift for example then you are lifting too heavy.

    The main goal when trying to determine how heavy you should lift or how much weight to use on an exercise is to maintain proper posture under load. It is very easy to maintain a perfect posture on a squat when you are doing a bodyweight version of the exercise. Throw a bar on your back and add a couple of plates and everything could change. The big mistake you can make is thinking that just because your bodyweight squat is performed in good form that you are qualified to do weighted squats.

    This isn’t automatically the case. If your posture rounds or breaks down as soon as you add a load you might want to reconsider the weight you are using if you want to stave off gym injuries. I’m not even talking about the injuries that happen on one single rep. I’m referring to those that occur over time as a result of the repetitive breakdown that comes from stringing too many ill performed reps together from workout to workout.

    If on the other hand you can perform a lift while maintaining proper posture but feel comfortable with the weights you are using so you don’t add any weight to the bar, this is just as big a mistake. You must try at every opportunity to add more weight to your exercises if you want to develop into a bigger, faster or stronger version of you today than you were yesterday. If you add weight and your form breaks, then drop back slightly and work with the weights you can handle with good form as you aim to increase the reps you can do with it.

    Once you get strong enough to handle the load of the new weight, you’re off and running and will have achieved progressive strength and likely size gains.

    If you want a complete workout program that shows you how to build strength as well as how to get ripped athletic muscles, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. See how heavy you should lift and get big by following the advice of a pro athlete physical therapist and strength coach through every one of your workouts.

    For more videos on how heavy you should lift to build muscle or if light weights serve any benefit when working out, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 1 554

  • Md Sabbar Imam
    Md Sabbar Imam  2 days back


    • Coping Doomer
      Coping Doomer  2 days back

      WOW his form is literally perfect on the deadlift, the term "text book" gets used a lot in sports and it most certain applies here.

      • Mr Kurd
        Mr Kurd  1 weeks back

        I cant follow this. I think in kilo grams...

        • Andrew Levister
          Andrew Levister  2 weeks back

          I think he made this to flex his massive deadlift. Lol kidding he worked for it and earned it.

          • rectangleboy
            rectangleboy  2 weeks back

            7:07 *barf*

            • ATP Synthase
              ATP Synthase  3 weeks back

              I'm 19 and my knees are pretty shit too. Injured them twice playing football (soccer) with bad genetics. Squats can make cartilage in my knee lock up but deadlifting is no issue at all.

              • Enigma
                Enigma  3 weeks back

                How much do you deadlift
                Jeff: yes..

                • Alchemia Official
                  Alchemia Official  3 weeks back

                  Anyone else notice the 44lb plate at 4:30?

                  • Kevin Roth
                    Kevin Roth  3 weeks back

                    Out there, are a lot of practical and theoretical examples that you can build muscles with light weight as good as with higher weight
                    But frequenzy, effort, Volume and trainings technique have to be adjusted.

                    So the probabylity is higher not to injure yourself.

                    • Lewis Miranda
                      Lewis Miranda  3 weeks back

                      This is a great education! And yes, my knees rattle too... Thank You Jeff!!!

                      • Possle
                        Possle  3 weeks back

                        Shit I needed this video.
                        I got comfortable and then feared going heavier and though I'd never get to lift my weight in a squat but did!

                        Can you apply the same reps to deadlifts?

                        Jeff your the man

                        • Dlifts n GBears
                          Dlifts n GBears  3 weeks back

                          If the Bar isn’t bending you’re pretending

                          • David Womack
                            David Womack  4 weeks back

                            those knees sound like my shoulder...

                            • Yd C
                              Yd C  4 weeks back

                              Hey man don't beat yourself up over your squat.. I hope you're doing better now, since this was 4 years ago!

                              • Cousin Mose
                                Cousin Mose  4 weeks back

                                Do u not train legs cause ur knee?

                                • Yound Se
                                  Yound Se  1 months back

                                  You are like a father man. Hope youre christian

                                  • Jun Villanueva
                                    Jun Villanueva  1 months back

                                    The most natural on youtube

                                    • Brandon Allen
                                      Brandon Allen  1 months back

                                      Whenever you're dong exercises and you go up in weight, it'd be highly entertaining and great editing (very minor) if you just transitioned the shot mid-movement as opposed to a cut in the action to give it all a seamless transition. So, you are coming up with two plates, and just before you hit the top, three plates appear. All on the same movement.

                                      • Juscody
                                        Juscody  1 months back

                                        Hi Jeff, if you do a couple of facepulls that knee should clear right up. 3 sets of 10 at the end of each work out, let me know how it goes.

                                        • Henchman Bodybuilder
                                          Henchman Bodybuilder  1 months back

                                          I think you controled it fine deadlift

                                          • The Sheed
                                            The Sheed  1 months back

                                            Thank you! Great video!

                                            • Diche Bach
                                              Diche Bach  1 months back

                                              Oh man, that knee cam crunching! YIKES!

                                              • Marco  Ornelas
                                                Marco Ornelas  1 months back

                                                Just lift heavy asf boy.

                                                • B C
                                                  B C  2 months back

                                                  Have you tried a low bar squat technique?

                                                  • soulwreckedrsps
                                                    soulwreckedrsps  2 months back

                                                    Wow.. 500 pounds, no belt, no starps and wait he's 42 years old.. insane man respect

                                                    • Caffeinated Critic
                                                      Caffeinated Critic  2 weeks back

                                                      Bob Donald

                                                      The dude is in his 40s AND 170lbs...but sure, be jealous and downplay him deadlifting 500lbs 🤣

                                                    • Fastnail
                                                      Fastnail  1 months back

                                                      Mark Rippitoe of Starting Strength.
                                                      64 years old, 500 pounds deadlift Lol.

                                                  • Peter Shanley
                                                    Peter Shanley  2 months back

                                                    Keep going do yourself an injury work through it. Don't load up like this you will do urself an injury and be away from the gym for weeks or months.

                                                    • coffeeguy
                                                      coffeeguy  2 months back

                                                      I Use trap bar deadlift for squating

                                                      • Richard Mahoney
                                                        Richard Mahoney  2 months back

                                                        Freakin pt's at my gym stare like im not doin it right

                                                        • Stefan Weiss
                                                          Stefan Weiss  2 months back

                                                          Hi I'm following your videos at an almost daily bases - they are a constant part of my lunch breaks ;)
                                                          You're doing a great job and I learned a lot from you.
                                                          Going to join your training program next month as well...
                                                          I've got a question:
                                                          I noticed that on some of you videos the camera is too close up and some of the impotant detail like your legs when your doing squats on this one, don't show.
                                                          You're talking about them, but you don't show them.
                                                          As I mentioned, it happened quite often that the camera is simply too close and I wonder if that might be intentionally done?

                                                          • CGadventures
                                                            CGadventures  2 months back

                                                            Cartilage grinding in the knees,😱. I feel your pain Jeff.

                                                            • Stanley13
                                                              Stanley13  2 months back

                                                              i lose form at 12500lbs. Jeff is right... don't push it. Titanic survivor.

                                                              • Enceladus Eve
                                                                Enceladus Eve  2 months back

                                                                Jeff is pure, organic, strong and original athlete! 👏👌🏆

                                                                • Claire Redfield
                                                                  Claire Redfield  2 months back

                                                                  How heavy should you lift if you're just starting out?

                                                                  • GhostSniper
                                                                    GhostSniper  2 months back

                                                                    Jeff when he does a squat:

                                                                    *MY LEG*

                                                                    (Yes I know it’s his knees)

                                                                    • Brad Suarez
                                                                      Brad Suarez  2 months back

                                                                      Didn't know Jeff was part of team no calves.

                                                                      • mynameistitch
                                                                        mynameistitch  2 months back

                                                                        jeff deadlifting 2 plates 2:33, me deadlifting 2 plates 3:38

                                                                        • Sarmad Ghafoor
                                                                          Sarmad Ghafoor  2 months back

                                                                          Can anyone help me I weigh 70 kg 3 months ago I was 60 kg. 2-3 weeks ago I started deadlift and now I been stuck on 70 kg....

                                                                          • 0x 73636f7474
                                                                            0x 73636f7474  2 months back

                                                                            If you have had disc surgery, is the deadlift still a safe exercise?

                                                                            • reza fitranto
                                                                              reza fitranto  3 months back

                                                                              ASMR at 7:08 hear it out guys. Soo satisfying

                                                                              • Hsitimuh
                                                                                Hsitimuh  3 months back

                                                                                Jeff, using over under rather than hook grip?!

                                                                                • jake h
                                                                                  jake h  3 months back

                                                                                  one of your best videos in my opinion. thanks for the advice!

                                                                                  • W. L. Orodor Calaerchon
                                                                                    W. L. Orodor Calaerchon  3 months back

                                                                                    Quality not quantity
                                                                                    (though if done properly you can do both lol)

                                                                                    • emeraldo
                                                                                      emeraldo  3 months back

                                                                                      Internet: How heavy should I lift?
                                                                                      Jeff: Yes

                                                                                      • Ravi Mishra
                                                                                        Ravi Mishra  3 months back

                                                                                        Very informative.. Thank u

                                                                                        • Ahsan Habib
                                                                                          Ahsan Habib  3 months back

                                                                                          i have done this and i have a very hard low mussle back pain.can you please tell me how can i normal again without pain please tell me it will very help please?

                                                                                          • Kas J
                                                                                            Kas J  3 months back

                                                                                            Touch and go deadlift???

                                                                                            • A Z
                                                                                              A Z  3 months back

                                                                                              Those calves kinda skinny

                                                                                              • Karl K
                                                                                                Karl K  3 months back

                                                                                                Ah, the sounds of crepitus. Another good reason to consistently maintain excellent posture