Lift To Be Fit (Guest Post)
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.
- 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.
- 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:
- The Squat (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html)
- The Deadlift (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/ErectorSpinae/BBDeadlift.html)
- The Benchpress (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/PectoralSternal/BBBenchPress.html)
- Overhead Press (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/DeltoidAnterior/BBMilitaryPress.html)
- Row/chin-ups/other pulling movement — I like these a lot: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/BackGeneral/DBBentOverRow.html 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- See your doctor before starting any exercise program.
- 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.
- 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 http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength-2nd-Mark-Rippetoe/dp/0976805421/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303716322&sr=8-1
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?