Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting Results!

"There is no such thing as failure, there are only results."
-Anthony Robbins

I have two posts for you this week, the first of which is weight training.  Many people expect to get results without implementing the three major components needed to get results.  It isn't just diet and exercise-it's diet, cardiovascular exercise and weight training.  We tackled cardio last week so this week I want to address weight training.

There are many philosophies on weight training and they all depend on what you're trying to accomplish.  Most of my female clients are interested in "toning but not bulking up" and some males share this goal as well.  Other males are interested in building muscle mass.  The main thing to realize is that everyone's body reacts to exercise including weight lifting, differently.  There may be some trial and error involved.  It makes sense to test things out and pay close attention to how your body reacts and if you're getting the results you want-if not, discontinue that exercise and try something different.  You should also set reasonable expectations-most people are not going to see major results in 2-3 weeks however if you are on a consistent program there is no reason why you shouldn't at least begin to see results within 6-8wks (if all major factors, diet, cardio and weight training are in place).  Just don't be the person who says "I've been working out for 2 weeks and I haven't lost any weight"...get a hold of yourself, be patient and keep putting in the work, your results will come!

1.  High reps, low weight.  Traditionally this is what I recommend to my clients, male or female who do not want to bulk up.  As long as you can do three sets of 12-20 repetitions of an exercise you should not have to worry about bulking up.  Take about 20 to 30 seconds of rest in between sets.  Once rep number 12-20 of set number three gets easy, it's ok to up your weight, that just means you're getting stronger-whoo hoo! 

2.  Circuit workouts.  This is a great way to weight train if your ultimate goal is weight loss because you will burn more calories.  Circuit style just means you minimize rest and have the option of adding in short bursts of cardio 30 seconds to 2 minutes in between sets to keep your heart rate up.  The circuit should address several different muscle groups.

Sample circuit: 
To start, jump rope 2 minutes (this could also be jumping jacks, mountain climbers...etc.)
15 body weight squats, plank for 30 seconds to 1 minute, 15 bicep curls to shoulder press, 15 push ups, 15 tricep extensions then you would go back to your 2 minute cardio burst and repeat the circuit 2-3 more times.

*According to SELF Magazine online- Ashley Borden, celebrity trainer to Natasha Bedingfield recommends planning out your circuits in advance to increase efficiency once you get into the workout-no thinking, just doing!  I strongly concur :)

3.  Low reps, high weight.  Lots of men train this way, but it can be effective for females as as well depending on your body type.  Again, some trial and error may be necessary.  This would mean only doing 6-10 reps in 3-4 sets with more weight and longer rest in between sets.

4.  Body for Life Weight Training Plan.  I like this plan because it's a hybrid between some of the strategies I've already mentioned.  
*Alternate training your upper body and your lower body on different days.
*Perform two exercises for each major muscle group of either the upper or lower body.
*For each exercise you choose you will do 5 sets, beginning with 12 reps, and working your way down to 6 reps, each time increasing the weight, then reduce weight again and go back to 12 reps.
*For each muscle group, rest for one minute between the first four sets.

For example: Shoulders
1st set: 12 front deltoid raises with 3 lb weights
2nd set: 10 front delt raises with 5lb weights
3rd set: 8 front delt raises with 7.5 lb weights
4th set: 6 front delt raises with 10 lb weights
5th set: 12 front delt raises with 5 lbs weights.

This should be a good start with weight training...I look forward to your comments, questions and feedback as always.

In Fitness and in Health,

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