How much do I lift? This is somewhat of a complicated question, but the simple answer is this: Do sets and reps at 60-70% of your maximum lift ability on that particular exercise.
Free weights give you a more comprehensive training effect in that many stabilizer muscles are required to control the weight. This type of exercise uses natural body motions, and dumbbells offer maximum choice of exercises with maximum range of motion.
The key equipment selection point is experience and/or trainer availability. Lifting weights can sometimes require a 'spotter' or a person functioning as work-out assistant providing:
- Slight assistance to complete a movement and maximize a workout.
- Major assistance to help complete a movement and avoid injury or being trapped under a weight.