Reset Fitness

Working out: Lift fast or slow?

The good news here, is that there’s generally no right or wrong in terms of the speed of lifting weights. However, your experience and objective for working out can dictate the speed at which you should lift weights.


If you’re new to working out or haven’t worked out for an extended period, then lifting slowly is advisable. The slower pace enables you to focus on ‘how’ you are lifting, ensuring that you use proper form and technique and engage the right muscles. If you’re at Reset Fitness, our Coaches will be on hand to demonstrate and guide you through this. Then, as you grow more experienced and confident, you can look at increasing the pace of your reps.


Additionally, if your goal is to build muscle then slower, but not too slow, reps are the way to go (for reference, a 2015 study indicated that a rep longer than 10 secs is too slow and less effective). Lifting at a slower pace boosts the time muscles spend under tension, which leads to an increase in muscle size (also known as hypertrophy).


On the flip side, if you’re looking to build power and strength, then faster reps will support your goal, they can also help to enhance your overall fitness level. A fast rep could last only 2 secs, though this can be longer depending on the exercise. During our classes, our Coaches can direct participants on how many reps they should be aiming for when working at a particular pace.


Our Functional and Athletic exercise options are also great for adjusting lifting speeds. We always recommend beginners or newcomers start with the Functional exercise so they can develop their technique, then they can progress by staying with Functional and increasing their pace or weight, or by moving to the Athletic option. Throughout Reset Fitness classes, participants can alternate between the two options, tailoring their journey. Again, our Coaches are able to guide our members on the best option based on their ability and goals.


Other factors that can also dictate lifting speed include age and injury. When returning from injury start at a slower pace to see how your body responds and gradually build from there. Also, if you feel like you’ve hit a plateau, then changing pace can help to lift you out of it.