Skip Nav
Healthy Living
9 Things to Cut Out of Your Life to Be Healthy
Beginner Fitness Tips
12 Best Dumbbell Exercises For Strong, Chiseled Arms
Personal Essay
My 6-Month CrossFit Transformation Isn't What I Thought It'd Be

Weight Lifting Doesn't Need to Take ALL DAY

Weight Lifting Doesn't Need to Take ALL DAY

I hear people complain and I have said it myself, "Weight lifting takes too long - I don't have time for 3 sets of 10." This then evolves from a complaint into an excuse, and no strength training happens at all.

Well, here's a new technique to try and I think it is virtually excuse proof. You let me know about that below in the comments section - OK?

Research shows that a single set of 12 repetitions with the proper weight can build muscle just as efficiently as can three sets of the same exercise. The trick is you need to be using a weight that really challenges your muscles in those dozen reps. You need to feel like you really couldn't lift the weight again for a thirteenth repetition. Less reps will cut down on your lifting time tremendously.

Fit's tip: If you are just beginning with weight lifting, start slowly and find a weight that you can lift 12 times. Once you can easily do 12 repetitions with a particular weight, increase the weight by up to 10 percent at a time.

Join The Conversation
muchacha muchacha 10 years
This is a great article, yet I'm unimpressed by the picture accompanying it - this motion of pulling the bar behind the head is unnatural for the body, and can cause neck problems. I'm not sure what the machine is called, but my trainer related the above information to me. Has anyone else heard this?
reeveske reeveske 10 years
I've actually tried this-i read that article too last week and decided to give it a shot-especially since us females tend to erroneously think that we cant train with heavy weights or we will "bulk up." I already workout with weights 4 times a week (but only two of those days are actually hard weight training days, the other two are circuit training days)and it kicked my butt! It took half the time I normally took to do my entire upper body, and I was soo sore the next day! I cant wait to work my upper body again next week to see if any strength gains already have occurred. I'm sold, I'm definitely training this way from now on.
vrico2005 vrico2005 10 years
I'm just getting into this so this is excellent!
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
I'm lucky to eek out a little yoga or walk and once in a while some aerobic exercise...I can't even imagine fitting lifting in there...I KNOW how important it is... but doing what I can is better than nothing, right?
Sugar_Rush Sugar_Rush 10 years
Oh I always really enjoy the weights part of it... after I've done my work on the bike the weights signals to me to being over halfway through!
Will Lifting Heavy Weights Make Me Bulky?
Best Dumbbell Arm Exercises
How Do I Know When to Increase Weight When Lifting?
Full-Body Circuit Workout Poster
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds