Thursday, January 22, 2009
Weight Lifting Workout Format
Thanks to Karissa for inquiring about when to do what exercises. This post is LONG overdue. Let me begin by saying there are so many different workout formats that you can follow. It really all depends on what you want to accomplish. I gear my workouts toward the average woman wanting to lean up, lose weight, and become more toned, because I feel like that is the main sum of my reader-base. Writing workout programs is a very individualized process, and is very different for each person. For that reason I try to include general exercises and tips that can benefit anyone. Hopefully these tips can help give your workouts some direction.
1- For the average woman I would recommend doing a full body lifting routine each time you lift weights. Why? Well, as you've read previously I recommend lifting weights three times a week. If you are hitting this goal, working all those muscles three times a week I can guarantee you will see results. BUT, If you are doing a full body routine, and one week life gets crazy and you only get it in twice you won't feel that bad. At least you are still getting all those muscles worked twice rather than having a split routine and having entire muscle groups left out for the week. Kapeesh?
2-So...like I said, full body. What does that mean you ask? Well looking at the basic format you want to hit the following muscle groups (in this order if possible): legs, chest, back, biceps, shoulders, triceps, abs. Aim to do one exercise for each (I usually triple up on legs).
3- Time saver Double ups. Now you see why I talk about multi tasking when working out. If you don't have time for each do squats with a shoulder press, and then do triceps kickbacks in a lunge position. Kill two birds with one stone!
4- USE YOUR CORE. You will benefit in so many ways. You will have better balance, you will decrease your lower back problems, you'll improve your overall strength, and you'll slim down that waistline.
5- Push yourself. Make sure that you are using heavy enough weight. You won't burn as many calories, and you won't see improvements if you aren't pushing yourself.
(Click here if you need to be reminded about the MANY benefits of weight training)
Lastly...So, you get the basic format idea but you're still wondering how often to switch up your workout? This is another area where it depends on what your goals are. If you are looking to increase weight at a certain pace sticking to the same routine for about a month at a time will give you a way to gage your progress. BUT...I like to train my clients in a method dealing with muscle memory. I feel a future post coming on... I switch up my workout every time I lift. I'll go in to detail in a later post, but the main idea is not letting your body get comfortable. Changing things up, so you continue to progress. Makes sense, doesn't it? I hope so.
I've spoken with several of you about offering online training programs. I'm still working out the basic pricing and everything, but for those of you who are motiviated to workout on your own, but just need a little more guidance as far as what to do I think it will be a very valuable tool. I'll let you know when the details are finalized. Keep up the good work, and thanks for the great questions. Keep them coming!