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Jerea6 is a YouTube viewer and he says, "Dear Jacob, I'm wondering how much weight I need to be lifting, I am 5'7" and weigh about 150 right now, pretty much all muscle. (Awesome) I know that in your workout it says that you need enough weight to do only eight reps and explode, but that is a lot of weight, especially dead lifting, any suggestions?"
So how much weight do you need to be lifting? Well how much weight does anyone need to be lifting? Well this is a great question so let's go right into it. Now, lifting weights helps you get stronger, getting stronger allows you to overcome your own body weight easier and thus faster. Just think if you weighed fifty pounds, how much easier it would be, you would feel like a feather, and you could actually move faster. Just like if this was a bowling ball and I tried to throw it, I couldn't throw it very far, why? Because the strength to resistance ratio would be pretty high, but since it is a basketball or if I were super-duper strong and it was a bowling ball, it's easy, it's light to throw so I can get the high velocity very fast. So that's why it's important to be strong.
So how much weight should you be lifting? Probably as much as possible, yes there is a point of diminishing returns. What that means is there is a point where you stop increasing your vertical even if you are getting stronger, because that strength doesn't help you move any faster. Just like this basketball, there is probably only a certain amount of strength that it takes so then I need to start working on my actual technique and accelerating faster. There comes a point where more strength isn't going to help me move it faster because I have enough. The same thing with jumping higher, now with one caveat, very few people ever reach that point of diminishing returns with their strength. Some people get, yes some reduced returns but they don't just stop gaining. Few people are so strong that no longer can they benefit from getting stronger.
So with that as an introduction, how much weight should you be lifting when you are training? Well, you should be lifting enough weight that it challenges you to functional hyper trophy, so what that means is if you are lifting very light weight it's not going to challenge your muscles to the point of super compensation. Super compensation means that your body is not going to say dang this is something we need to get stronger at, because the weight is so light. That is why walking doesn't make you stronger, because it's not very much resistance.
So as a general rule, as a general rule, don't go above eight reps, if you can do it more than eight times, you are starting to get to a point where you are not challenging yourself to get stronger; you are actually challenging your endurance, your anaerobic endurance. So it's just a different type of super compensatory response. You want the strength response, not the endurance response.
That is why we say in general don't go over eight reps. Yeah you can get stronger with two reps, one rep, five reps, maybe even ten, but as a general rule we stick people around eight. Don't go over eight, so if you can do it more than eight, add weight. I hate to say to somebody, "hey you're 150 lbs. and you need to do this weight so many times," because it's just not the case. What you need to do is find a weight you can do no more than eight times, if you can do it more add weight until you can't do it more than eight times.
So that's how it goes for getting stronger. So you kind of obey those rules and understand that there is no given weight based on your size and based on the fact that you are all muscle and all that. So you just need to continue to be getting stronger. Some people say, in order to jump 40" you need to jump two times your body weight. Well that is not necessarily true, every individual is different, why? Because people's muscle fibers are different types, people's technique, peoples limb lengths, there are lots of different variants.
There are people who can't even squat their body weight and can jump pretty well, and who only squat 1.5 of their body weight and jump very well, that's because there are a lot of variables. There is also another thing to consider, is even if you can squat say 300 lbs. what is important is how much of your strength you can use during your vertical leap, you see a vertical leap only last about .3 seconds. So you only have a very slight amount of time to recruit and use muscle fiber in order to create acceleration and reach a high velocity, I know that is a big mouth full.