Weight training may have its own rules and procedures, but there is no one size that fits all. What you go for in terms of weight sizes primarily depends on the fitness goals you have set before you and any previous experience you may have on weight training. The National Strength and Conditioning Association suggests that athletes should lift weights heavy enough so as to fatigue their muscles during specific repetition range when doing CrossFit exercise. This means if you work out in the CrossFit gym and you don’t feel the burn after you are done with your sets, then your lifting is not heavy enough.
The recommended starting weight for beginners should be one that they can easily lift about 12 to 15 times for a set or two. The size of this dumbbell weight may range between 2 to 15 pounds depending on the target muscle group. With this dumbbell weight range, you will develop baseline musculature and strength as well as proper technique and rhythm. It is suggested that you train with this repetition and weight range for a period of about 4 weeks.
The choice of weight for a dumbbell differs according to the muscle groups. For instance, when doing bicep curls, you can use weights ranging from 5 to 8 pounds. On the other hand, working out weaker triceps muscles requires weights of about 2 to 5 pounds. When performing squats, the recommended weights should be much heavier up to 45 pounds because your glutes and legs are much stronger than your arm muscles.
If you are a distance athlete such as triathlete or marathon runner, your CrossFit training should have more of muscular endurance. To train for this, you should aim at using dumbbell sizes that will seriously fatigue your muscles in repetitions of about 15 to 20. Start with light weight and if you can perform up to 20 repetitions with ease, increase the weight. Your goal here is to get the maximum possible weight which you can lift through 20 repetitions and one which maxes out your endurance. Endurance training is not much about muscle mass, rather it enhances the amount of work your muscles can do over a long period.
When you hear of muscle hypertrophy it simply means building muscle size. The best repetition range to make this possible is 3 sets between 8 and 12 repetitions. Perform this between 2 to 3 times in a week. The dumbbells for muscle hypertrophy should be anything from 10 to 20 pounds.
If your target is to build strength, your CrossFit exercise should have higher intensity and weight compared to muscle hypertrophy. Make your sets around 3 to 4 and your dumbbell weight should enable you to max out at about 6 to 10 reps. The CrossFit exercise will determine the weight of dumbbell to use. For instance, when doing shoulder presses, start with 2 to 5 pounds of weight and when doing squats, aim at 45 pounds. It is advised that you get adequate rest in between the sets so that your muscles can fully recover.