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How YOU Can Lift a Ton, Believe It or Not!

November 12, 2009

In a recent email exchange with Scott over at My P90X Log, the subject that came to the surface of my mind involved a topic I’ve never discussed and frankly forgot about it.  When I posted my results from the Chest and Back routine a few days ago, I did not include my resistance weight exercises because the weights lifted weren’t consistent throughout the program.  How do you compare a resistance exercise where you do 10 reps @ 25 lbs. one week  vs. 10 9 reps @ 35 lbs.?

I have the answer – and it’s called Tonnage. SPORTS OLY-WEIGHTLIFTING 9 SA

By Tonnage, I mean using a simple formula to understand how much weight you’re actually lifting to allow you the ability to truly compare your progress.  Using the above example, simply multiply your reps by your weight to get your “tonnage.”  So in our example above, the tonnage for week 1 is 250 (25*10).  For the last week, it would be 315 (9*35).  With these numbers in hand take the last week minus the first week and then divide that number by the first week to see your improvement:  (315-250)/250 = 26% improvement.

I hope that makes sense and it’s a great way to measure your overall effort.  But, wait Jeff!  You said I could lift a ton.  And you can!  Considering most weight resistance workouts last  45-60 minutes, think how many reps you would be doing.  A sample workout could have you doing 20-24 exercises.  Let’s assume you do 20 different exercises for the arm and shoulders (P90X has you doing 24).  Just doing 10 reps for each of those exercises using just 10 lbs. adds up to 2,000 lbs.   That’s exactly a ton!  For other exercises you will certainly lift more and/or do more reps.  Tell that to your friends and family that you can lift a ton!  Because you are – just not all at the same time, but no one would believe that in the first place unless you’re that Norwegian hulk of a dude on ESPN 2 at 2 in the morning.

Use the tonnage formula and report back your findings in the comments section below.  It’s a great way to track your progress when the initial numbers don’t compare.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2009 6:25 pm

    hmmmm….very interesting concept! I’m going to have to go figure that out for my weights. Your blog posts are always interesting.

    • November 12, 2009 6:30 pm

      Thanks Lisa – gotta keep it fresh and expose others to the things I’ve been exposed to. That’s what social media is all about!

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