Freeletics Gym suggests a weight for you to use based on scientific training principles and your athlete assessment. This, however, should only be used as a guide.
The amount of weight you actually use should be based on your training experience and your current level of strength and endurance. You can adjust the weight you are using, up or down, at any time. It is very important to start light and make sure you have proper lifting technique. If you are unsure of your technique, our “Learn the Movements” section is a good place to practice the exercises and master the movements involved.
Proper lifting technique must be maintained at all times. During the barbell strength couplets, if you cannot perform all repetitions without assistance (if you reach concentric failure), then the weight being lifted is too heavy and you should immediately reduce it or take longer rest breaks.
Challenges are usually performed with a lighter weight, but the same rules apply as to a workout.
Recommended weight and your barbell
The recommended weight includes the weight of the bar. Whenever the weight to be lifted needs to be entered into the app it should include the weight of the bar. For instance, most standard Olympic bars weigh 20 kg (44 lbs), so an Olympic bar including a single 10 kg (22 lb) plate per side would weigh in total 40 kg (88 lbs). If the suggested weight is lower than the standard barbell weight, you can use a light barbell, an EZ bar, dumbbells, or plate weights, but again the session cannot be given a star.
Concentric failure refers to the point at which concentric movement is no longer possible and finishing a repetition requires assistance. An example of concentric failure can be demonstrated using the bench press exercise. In the bench press as the weight is lowered towards the chest an eccentric movement is being performed. Eccentric contractions occur as a muscle lengthens under tension. As the bar is driven back up in the air the chest muscles contract and shorten, this is the concentric phase of the bench press.
If during the concentric phase an athlete cannot complete the repetition and drive the bar all the way up and extend their arms, then concentric failure has occurred. Concentric failure should be avoided.
Freeletics Gym uses a “not to failure” training protocol that minimizes the likelihood of reaching concentric failure.
A “not to failure” training protocol does not mean that the weight being lifted will be light or that the work sets will be easy. However, this also does not mean you will never experience failure! In the quest to get stronger and build muscle sometimes you will reach concentric failure. That is OK. To be able to progress in your training, you have to occasionally reach your limits and push past them.
The reason that “not to failure” training is recommended is because this type of training has demonstrated greater strength and power gains than training to concentric failure.