when I first started lifting (a few years ago) I remember doing sets of bench with 50lbs (total). now I'm sure a lot of that was form, stabalizers, etc, but even so I doubt it would've been that much higher. Basically my point is that I have very little natural strength. I was always one of the weaker kids in highschool gym class, and I know my dad isnt very strong. Doing squats I could never lift significant amounts of weight (dont do them now because of unrelated knee/back injury). Deadlifts were better, but every once in a while I would hurt my lower back and have to take a break for a few weeks. And now just recently I hit a 5 rep max on bench, and the next day/that night my elbow starts hurting like a bitch. So my point is, I never really had much strength, and when I lift heavy I end up hurting myself. Let me assure you that I dont have horrible form or whatever. So should I even bother going heavy, or just try to be happy with going lighter?