Monday, March 7, 2011

Strength Training

It's been almost two months since my initial training sessions at the gym. I'm really proud to say that I've not only stuck with the routine, but added a few different exercises and increased the weight on almost all of them.

My standard 'strength day' workout looks like this:

10 minutes of light cardio warm-up

3 sets of 12-15 of each of the following exercises:

Lunges - sometimes with one foot on a bosu board
Squats with 8 kg kettle ball OR hold a squat on a bosu board while I do shoulder presses with dumbells - 3-5 lbs, depending on what's available
Narrow-grip lat pulldowns - 50lbs
Hamstring curls on machine - 40 lbs
Bicep curls on 'preacher bench' thing - 20 lbs, which is WAY more than I'd ever consider possible but is getting too light now
Bent over row OR row machine thing - 20 lb barbell OR 30 lbs on machine
Tricep pull-down - 40 lbs
Ab work - crunches on ball, planks, reverse crunches

Sometimes I add in chest presses, more shoulder work or some extra tricep curls; sometimes I also add leg lifts and leg presses. Sometimes I also add another 10 minutes of cardio in, or, if I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll do 30 minutes of cardio first and then the weight training stuff.

I've pretty much mastered my routine. I try to do the exercises in a different order each time, to keep up some variety, but generally speaking, I start with some arm work, then do tne leg stuff, then some core, then back to arm work and finish with more core.

I'm pleased with my results, but I think it's time I keep stretching beyond my comfort zone. I've got a stack of workout guides and a bunch of different books to look at for ideas in varying my routine. I think I need to add in more core work and more lower-body exercises.

Do you have a favourite strength training move? Do you like free weights, machines or body-weight exercises?


Laurel said...

Sounds like a great workout. I'd love to come with you one day to see how its all executed. I often get stuck repeating the same exercises because 'I know how to do them' but I know that I need to mix it up a bit more too.

bellini said...

Sounds Awesome! That's a lot- I would be wiped! When I was feeling unchallenged in my strength routine I joined that bootcamp- and I actually took away a really great routine.

I call it: The Final Countdown (helps if you play the song)

It's like a circuit:
-90 seconds of cardio (jumping jacks or skip rope)
-20 lower body (sumo squats, jumping lunges, jumping squats, squats w/ 5 lbs shoulder presses- something lower body)
-20 arms (i like to do a curl/press combo with a slow lateral raise or something)
-20 deadlifts
-20 pushups
-20 abs (40 bike crunches or 20 of full sit up or or leg raises or something)

THEN! Do it again- but do 19 of everything this time...then 18...And you get the picture. Take breaks whenever you need to, but try to do each round in full. :) I do it for 45 minutes, or until i get to 10. Whichever comes first. Also- it's really easy to do at home when you get snowed in or can't make it to the gym. Saved me from wimping out during this last cold snap.

OH! And my favorite move (love handle killer!) is this: Grab a pair of weights (i use 5 lbs) and hold them up like a goal post (arms at 90 degree angle, weights up...if that makes sense). Keep your arms in place and crunch your body to the left and right, like you're pouring the little teapot. Do 10 on each side. It's like a arm thing and side crunch- it will KILL your sides but it's awesome.

Meg said...

Oh my god, Alex, you're trying to kill me! That's actually a really great suggestion, though - thanks :) And I'll totally try that love handle killer.

Laurel - anytime!!

Need to Get ME Back said...

Nice workout! I work out at home, so I only use free weights. I do arms with free weights, doing random different lifts. And then lately I have been doing the Biggest Loser DVD that combines weights with squats and stuff to get cardio in while you're using weights. I like it!