First Time Using Body By Science, How Do You Choose Weights?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Hi All,

I just took my first stab at the Body By Science Big 5 which includes a Compound Row, Chest Press, Lat Pulldown, Overhead Raise and Leg Press done one set to failure with a cadence of between 5-15 seconds up and down. I started off with a higher weight and a 5 second cadence to get a feel for the workout and found that I did not get as out of breath as I've seen in videos, and like I expected. Below are my stats and weights, can somebody let me know if they've been able to make it work better?

Row: Weight: 130, Reps: 6, TUL: 30s

Chest Press: Weight:150, Reps: 6, TUL: 30s

Lat Pulldown: Weight: 80, Reps: 3.5 (went way too high on this one) TUL: 17

Overhead Press: Weight: 100, Reps: 6, TUL: 30s

Leg Press: Weight: 290, Reps 12 (too light to reach true failure on this one), TUL: 60s

Medium avatar


on June 20, 2013
at 05:55 PM

Increase the weight. Possibly increase the length of total cadence. This happened to me first BBBS workout. After I increased weight and went slower during reps, I was almost throwing up after each exercise.



on June 20, 2013
at 02:12 AM

If you aren't getting exhausted you need to up the intensity (the weight).

  • E9c408b0348fc4e7afe863aeb37b055c

    asked by

  • Views
  • Last Activity
    1792D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

1 Answers


on June 20, 2013
at 12:41 PM

Gonna go with Stephen on this one; for any sort of lifting (whether it's machine based, free weights, or barbells) if you're only doing one set of lifts, you'd better not only be out of breath, but also pouring sweat and have an elevated heart rate by the end of the set. One set routines are intended to shock the central nervous system to encourage muscular strength (if you're trying for muscular hypertrophy - i.e. putting on muscle - you'd be better off with a 3x8 or 4x6 routine) and should feel like a strain, not skeletally, but in terms of effort.

I'm not familiar with the Body by Science protocol, but can I ask what your goals are for the program? If you're aiming for strength, you might be better off looking at Stronglifts or Starting Strength, which are both programs based around barbell lifts (squats, bench press, deadlift, overhead press) instead of machine weights. In general, compound lifts like the barbell lifts produce better strength results than machines because they put more of your body under the weight and stimulate the central nervous system pretty heavily. The main weakness that machines have (in my opinion) is that they don't require you to provide stability from your core during the lift, since you're not actually UNDER the weight. This means less strain on the CNS, but it also means that functionally, when you're trying to lift something that weighs as much as you can leg press, you're not going to be able to actually lift it, because your body isn't used to stabilizing that weight as you lift it.

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!