Lift To Be Fit (Guest Post)

04/25/2011 at 10:45 am 54 comments

Happy belated Easter everyone!! Hope you had lots of indulgent treats and I know some of you had one too many cadbury eggs 😉

My first egg=

(My boyfriends treats me so good

I love all the feedback I got from my last post “Tone” Your Body and some of you wanted my workout routine. My boyfriend was awesome enough to write up a guest post on how to train for the most efficient results. So here it is!!

Hi! Thanks for all the birthday wishes and for the luck on my exams. I’m just chiming in to offer some advice on workouts.  A lot of you requested Jenny’s workout and while it’s fine for you to see it, it might not be the best for you so I have come up with some tips that will help you way more than simply copying her workout.  Here they are.

  1. The most important aspect of any weight lifting program is progression. That’s it. If you aren’t progressing you are wasting your time. The following tips are all directly related to progression in one way or another.
  2. Focus on compound exercises. Compound exercises are movements that work more than one joint at a time. For example: The squat, which is probably the king of all movements, involves your knee and your hip joint at the same time.  It also incorporates a huge amount of other muscles to stabilize your body through the movement. This is much more effective of an exercise than say a leg curl which only involves the knee joint.  The top compound exercises that give you the most bang for your buck are:
    1. The Squat (
    2. The Deadlift (
    3. The Benchpress  (
    4. Overhead Press (
    5. Row/chin-ups/other pulling movement — I like these a lot:  but a two arm barbell row would probably be a better choice because of efficiency.

    There are others, but if you focus on these movements you will get stronger and look better in no time.

  3. Keep the reps low and the weight high.  As I started off with: to get strong you need to progress and by progress I mean you need to lift progressively heavier weights. The best way to accomplish this is to stay at the lower range of repetitions which for women should be around 8 reps for most movements. 5 is enough for the deadlift.  Higher reps are ok for endurance purposes and for people who love to build up lactic acid in their muscles but they aren’t going to help us with point #1
  4. Train your whole body.  Don’t neglect your arms because your goal is to have nicer legs. The most effective way to have nice legs is to work your whole body out. The same goes for “abs”. Crunches are probably the least effective way of showing “the six pack”. Squats and presses will do much more for abs than crunches will.
  5. Maintain proper form. If you can’t perform a movement with the correct form then you need a lighter weight. Generally, for a beginner, you want to have a goal rep range (say 8 barbell bench presses). Once you can complete your goal while maintaining proper form you will increase the weight by the smallest increment possible and again try and reach that same goal weight. If you can’t reach your goal weight, keep the same weight the next workout and try again.
  6. Try and stay away from machines for the most part. The majority of machines in the gym are junk. They are not ideal to progress on and many of them can even get you injured. They are designed to occupy a small amount of space so that gym owners can get more people into the gym so they can make more money.  Barbells and dumbbells are almost always the best way of performing any exercise.
  7. Practice makes perfect.  You do not have to “confuse your muscles” Your muscles don’t have a brain so they can’t be confused. Muscles do one thing: They contract and that’s it. In order to progress you need to keep doing an exercise over and over until you master it. Adaptation is what leads to progression.
  8. Warm-up. Never go all out on an exercise without warming up. I don’t mean stretching. Stretching is actually controversial in the weight lifting community right now.  Dynamic warm-ups however can really help you perform better. Generally, performing the same or a similar movement without any weight or with less weight is recommended before your actual exercise and is always a great idea.
  9. Rest, rest, rest. Muscular adaptation happens while resting.  It will take a few days for your muscles to be ready to be worked again so don’t overdo it and try to work the same muscles two days in a row.
  10. Weights before cardio. Personally, I prefer cardio on a whole separate day from lifting weights but if time constrains make it impossible to do that then lift weights first and do your cardio after your workout. The reason for this is that you need to give your workout every bit of energy so that you can reach your goals. If you tire yourself out by doing half an hour of the elliptical then your workout will suffer.  If you are a runner and your run is more important to you then run first, but keep in mind that you might not progress as well in your weights this way.
  11. Never push through pain. If a movement hurts: stop right there! Do not keep going. Seek the assistance of a certified physical trainer, a physical therapist or a doctor before attempting any similar movement again.
  12. It is normal to be a bit sore a day or two after working out. This is called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and does not mean you are injured.  It can sometimes be very bothersome when one starts and new program but it will generally get better as you improve.
  13. See your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  14. Have fun. Set goals for yourself and try to beat them. Listen to music you like, chat with a friend.  It’s great to relieve stress on a barbell.
  15. Educate yourself. There are many great books and websites where you can learn the proper way to exercise. Please don’t do anything you read in “Women’s health” or those types of magazines. My favorite weight lifting book and “must read” for anyone serious about weight lifting is “Starting Strength” by Mark Rippetoe

Another great book is

Thanks for reading and good luck. Push it hard.

There you guys have it! 😀 I have one of my workouts posted under the Fact or Fiction tab. This isn’t my current one but I was doing this around a month ago. I’ll update it soon enough. I hope this was helpful and informative for most of you whether you are a runner or gym rat like me 🙂


  • Have you done any of these compound exercises before?

Entry filed under: Fitness, Health. Tags: .

“Tone” Your Body WIAW Easter Edition

54 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cinnamonalicious  |  04/25/2011 at 10:58 am

    GREAT post!!
    I’ll deffo be keeping these tips in mind 😀
    Aren’t you lucky to have such a good trainer as a boyfriend! 😉

    • 2. Jenny  |  04/26/2011 at 10:09 pm

      Aww thanks 😀

  • 3. Andrea @ Vegvacious  |  04/25/2011 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for the great info! I’ve been thinking about emailing you to get your workout — this will be very helpful!

    • 4. Jenny  |  04/26/2011 at 10:09 pm

      Hope it helps 😀

  • 5. applesnoats  |  04/25/2011 at 11:21 am

    i love especially the part about doing higher weights less reps….so many people misunderstand this its frustrating!

  • 6. ThE DiVa DiSh  |  04/25/2011 at 11:33 am

    THanks so much for sharing this!! I def need help when it comes to weights! I am major clueless!! 🙂

  • 7. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun)  |  04/25/2011 at 11:37 am

    I agree-so many people are clueless (especially woman) about lifting. I haven’t done these together before but I’ll have to give them a try. What a great blog!

  • 8. Kimberley  |  04/25/2011 at 11:50 am

    Love the post– I just saved it to look back at it. Because I am clueless when it comes to this!

  • 9. Katie  |  04/25/2011 at 11:54 am

    YAY!! Cadbury egg loving! haha!!!!

    I love always hearing tips from other people in regards to working out and fitness! Thanks for sharing love!!

    xoxo ❤

  • 10. Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries  |  04/25/2011 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks so much, Jenny & BF!! 🙂 This is great! He seems like a pretty smart dude 😉

  • 11. leashieloo  |  04/25/2011 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I’ll definitely be incorporating what I’ve learned into my routine!

  • 12. movesnmunchies  |  04/25/2011 at 1:41 pm

    SUCH A PERFECT POST!! im starting to do more weight training now and this is what i needed!

  • 13. Reyna  |  04/25/2011 at 1:59 pm

    Cadburry eggs are delicious! I didn’t even remember what they tasted like before this Easter when my Mom gave me a few, yum, yum, yum! Thanks for the great post, a great resource!

  • 14. Hungry Dancer  |  04/25/2011 at 2:04 pm

    Awesome post!! Thanks for all these tips!!

  • 15. Sophia @ Raven Waves  |  04/25/2011 at 2:24 pm

    Awesome tips!!! I love the compound exercises in Jillian’s 30-Day Shred. I always feel the burn so much more when I’m working my arms…and my legs at the same time!

  • 16. Laury  |  04/25/2011 at 2:27 pm

    GREAT guest post, Jenny’s BF!!! I am ALL about the compound exercises! Been a trainer for about 8 years o I am loving all the info you are putting out there to the readers! I am all about switching it up and doing lots of multi-joint workouts 🙂 I am a cardio junkie though so I DO train both in the same day. However, I agree and don’t do that a lot with clients. I have them doing strength and cardio on separate days.

  • 17. Lara @ six times the yum  |  04/25/2011 at 2:44 pm

    I loved this guest post. It was so informational! I like how he emphasizes that each person needs to do things a bit differently to suit their needs. There is not “one size fits all” workout, so it’s good to customize it to your needs. His point about machines being junk is interesting. I much prefer using my body weight or other gear (e.g. hand weights, resistance bands, etc) than machines. Also, machines require going to the gym for most people, and not everyone has time for that. 🙂 PS. Thanks for commenting on my post! I’m so glad you love Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. That stuff is the bomb!!

    • 18. Jenny  |  04/26/2011 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks for telling me about it 😉

  • 19. Ellie  |  04/25/2011 at 3:14 pm

    awesome post!! yayyyyy. these are all some of my fave workouts!! I totally agree with all of the points made here, especially that gym machines aren’t great in improving yourself nor do they give you a customizable range of motion. I also love the fact that he mentioned full body workouts. Also, for myself I do cardio while doing weights or bodyweights because it keeps me going full blast all throughout. 😀 thanks Frankie! (that’s the spelling right? 😛

    • 20. Jenny  |  04/26/2011 at 10:11 pm

      Lol it is! 😀

  • 21. lindsay  |  04/25/2011 at 3:25 pm

    great advice! I think you deserve another cadburry for this post! hehe.

    • 22. Jenny  |  04/26/2011 at 10:11 pm

      Ahh yay I need one ;D

  • 23. Jessica @ Dishin' About Nutrition  |  04/25/2011 at 3:34 pm

    What a great guy! I’d kill to have my BF guest post on my blog! You really are a lucky girl! 🙂

  • 24. Parita @ myinnershakti  |  04/25/2011 at 3:55 pm

    Awesome advice! I love how he broke everything up into little sections…made it easy to understand! Thanks!!! I hate crunches, so I loved hearing that squats and other excersises actually help more with abs. Woo hoo!

    • 25. Jenny  |  04/26/2011 at 10:12 pm

      I hate situps, so hateful lol

  • 26. Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner)  |  04/25/2011 at 4:19 pm

    LOVE THIS POST!! I literally learned so much!! Your bf is clearly the!! Just caught up on your last post and girl you look AMAZING!! 😀

  • 27. BrocStar  |  04/25/2011 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I haven’t done any weights since I started running in 2008- no matter how many times I injured myself as a runner, or was told to cross train, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
    I’m stopping off at the weights floor before i hit the cardio, tomorrow.

    THANK YOU again, for the motivation! You both rock!

  • 28. allieksmith  |  04/25/2011 at 5:29 pm

    I love this post and all of the information! I didn’t know a lot of these ‘rules’ and it was good to learn 🙂 Have a great day !

  • 29. Olivia  |  04/25/2011 at 6:25 pm

    Love these tips! I’m into weight lifting recently, and I definitely learned a lot from this…I’m going to check out that strength-training book at my library! And I also usually do the arm machines to get a good arm workout in; I never thought about the negative side effects! Thanks for this guest post, I loved it!

  • 30. Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food  |  04/25/2011 at 6:48 pm

    Great post! I actually like to only do compound exercises because they are so much more efficient than moves that work only one muscle group.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 31. Sara Meets Life  |  04/25/2011 at 7:55 pm

    Yay I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing and I think it’s important to understand that everyone works out at different paces, it’s all about what works best for you and YOUR body! 🙂

  • 32. IHeartVegetables  |  04/25/2011 at 8:39 pm

    those eggs are addicting!!!! You’ve got a sweet bf;)

  • 33. Ma Ma Megan  |  04/25/2011 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks for this! I’m not the best at weight training but I deff want to get more into it. 🙂

  • 34. paoang  |  04/25/2011 at 9:57 pm

    I loveddd this post!
    So many great tips; thank you so much! I definitely needed pointers ;D

    Hope you had a great Monday!

  • 35. Rach @ This Italian Family  |  04/25/2011 at 11:15 pm

    Girl, I just saw your last post… you look Ah-mazing! I’m super impressed! 🙂

    This is a really great post! It reminds me a lot of my weight training class I took in college. Good stuff!

  • 36. Kate (What Kate is Cooking)  |  04/25/2011 at 11:48 pm

    Great tips, especially because I have no clue what to do when it comes to weight lifting!

  • 37. Stefanie @TheNewHealthy  |  04/26/2011 at 12:24 am

    Ah, I definitely had one too many cadbury creme eggs – they are an Easter must for me!

  • 38. fashionfitnessfoodie  |  04/26/2011 at 2:17 pm

    How sweet of your boyfriend to write up that post for us!?!?!

    I do some of that in body pump but will def write this down for when I do my solo sessions 🙂

  • 39. fashionfitnessfoodie  |  04/26/2011 at 2:17 pm

    How sweet of your boyfriend to write up that post for us!?!?!

    I do some of that in body pump but will def write this down for when I do my solo sessions 🙂

  • 40. thehealthyapron  |  04/26/2011 at 4:19 pm

    Very informative! Great post!

  • 41. Nicole, RD  |  04/26/2011 at 4:23 pm

    Weights high? No kidding. I always thought I should use lower and do more reps…but I’m happy to hear the opposite! Great post with lots of great tips….ones I certainly need to put into action!! 🙂

  • 42. Alexa @ Simple Eats  |  04/26/2011 at 6:23 pm

    This is an awesome post. I actually LOVE weight training and it’s one of my favorite things. I’ve noticed my legs are so much stronger now!

  • 43. Gina  |  04/26/2011 at 7:19 pm

    I must try those eggs!!

  • 44. (what runs) Lori  |  04/26/2011 at 7:58 pm

    More reason to lift. 🙂 LOVE it! Great post!

  • 45. Jenn @ Peas & Crayons  |  04/26/2011 at 8:05 pm

    I keep hearing sooo many good things about compound exercises from my group fitness instructors! I need to do more of them! =) and do more of my workout vids at home too! =)

  • 46. keepnthefaith  |  04/26/2011 at 9:28 pm

    I seriously wish my hubby was into working out but he HATES it!! He has a very active job, so hes always moving. He has some pretty strong arms as a result of carrying heavy things around all day, so I can see why he wouldnt want to workout. It just means that I get kind of lonely in the garage (aka home gym!)

  • 47. Tara  |  04/26/2011 at 10:18 pm

    Awesome tips! I’ve always been afraid to do low rep, high weight. My trainer always put emphasis on high rep, low weight to build endurance since I’m a runner, but I really have no idea how it works. I’m going to study to become a personal trainer this summer, so hopefully I’ll get it sorted out then!

  • 48. Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles  |  04/26/2011 at 10:28 pm

    Mmm! Aren’t Cadbury eggs the best?! So sweet of your boyfriend to write a guest post. 🙂

  • 49. kbwood  |  04/26/2011 at 11:28 pm

    these tips are SO AWESOME!

  • 50. paijery  |  04/27/2011 at 4:24 am

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips!!
    Hahaha push it hard <–love it!!

  • 51. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen)  |  04/27/2011 at 7:43 am

    That was so nice of your boyfriend to do this!! These look like some awesome tips! Tell him thank you for us for sharing his knowledge 😀

  • 52. glidingcalm  |  04/27/2011 at 9:14 am

    i HATE cardio, but loveee lifting!

  • 53. katiivey  |  04/27/2011 at 10:19 pm

    GREAT POST!! I agree on all of it 🙂

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