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Strength training tips part deux

Posted Jan 28 2011 6:52pm

Welcome to Friday! Regarding the Wordless Wednesday post from, errr,  Thursday…. Ever have those days where you think it is a day that it actually is not? Raising hand here. I had that all yesterday. Hence the post. At least I now know it is Friday, though! Yay!

I headed out for my lifting session today. I am totally ditching any isolation arm exercises except for shoulder now because they just don’t need the extra work.

Exercise Set/rep/weight Muscle worked
Barbell Squat 1 set of 10 at 55#

2 sets of 10 at 65#

Lower Body
Dumbbell Pull Over 3 sets of 8 with 30# DB Back
Barbell Bench Press 3 sets of 10 at 55# Chest
Decline Situps 3 sets of 10 Core
Alternating Reverse Lunge 3 sets of 10 each leg with 25# plate Lower Body
YTWL 3 sets of 4 each letter with 8# DBs (16# total) Shoulders
Low Back extension 3 sets of 10 at 100# Low back

New furnace at the gym now, so it was warmer today. I hopped on the treadmill for a little walking. I decided to have a lighter workout today. Maybe because it is Friday?

I was so  ready for brekkie. I soaked some steel cut oats last night so I could make pumpkin custard oats today!

I love those bowls where I am literally saying “yum, yum” as I eat them.  I love food.

Continuing the discussion from last week on lifting and talking a little more about designing a strength workout.  Let’s talk upper body from my unprofessional viewpoint.  Remember that you can choose how you want to do your strength training.  Either full body, or split training.  When doing split training, you will concentrate on one section of your body for that day.  So taking the upper body, you will work the triceps, biceps, shoulders, back and core (abs).  For general conditioning, you basically want to hit each group once during your workout.  Once you have a good solid chunk of time (6 months or so) on conditioning, then you can move to more specific body tweaking if that is the direction you want to go.

I like to start with the big muscle groups first, so I would do chest and back first.  There are so many different exercises to choose from, but the most important thing always is form.  If you cannot get a trainer to help you, do your research. Do a lot of reading and check out online videos like at or .  Also – do all movements without any weight at all to make sure you have the form right.  There is no hurry to add weights, ever.  Attention – do not be afraid to get off the machines and step to the free weights!  Trust me.  I might talk about that at a later date, but I am sure most of you know by now that I am mostly off of all machines.  Not that they don’t have their use, but there is a huge difference between doing a chest press on a machine and with free weights.  But start there if you feel more comfortable.  I’d rather see you on a machine than not lifting at all.

So for me, this is an upper body workout that I have done in the past.

Incline chest fly : Chest
Assisted Dips: Full upper body
Lat pulldown: Back
Reverse crunches: Core
Biceps curls:  Biceps
Triceps kickback: Biceps
Front raise: Shoulders

Question – how many reps and how much weight?  As far as reps go, for good general conditioning you should be doing 8-12 reps with 3 sets, resting 1 minute between each set.  Again, that is just a good average.  As far as the weight goes – it really depends on you.  Do not be afraid to lift heavier.  Your body will tell you what is too much.  With that said, don’t pick up a 40# dumbbell for biceps curls right off the bat. Pick up a weight and do your set of 10.  If you can do that easily, try a little bit heavier weight on the next set.  If on the 3rd set you are easily completing your 10 reps, move heavier.  You want the last set to be really hard to finish, but not complete failure.  I never advise going to failure, especially if you are working by yourself.  Safety first!

Phew – now it’s time for lunch!  I made an omelet and added in some cooked (I just typed cookie) lentils and a laughing cow wedge .   This was actually quite good!

You know, I really don’t like beans that much, but I do love lentils.  I don’t know why I just don’t eat those more instead of worrying about getting in beans.  My mind is just so silly sometimes.

Work was slow in the midday, so I futtered around while waiting for it to be latte time!  I had a mint cup to kick things off:

Then the good stuff.

Again, my appetite is not ravenous.  This is really, really weird.  I think it must have to do with my decreased exercise finally catching up with me.  Normally on a rest day I am very hungry, but with lowered exercise in general, maybe my body finally is caught up?  (Lowered exercise because I am trying to lose some weight, btw).

I was up for the easy dinner tonight.  Cooked up some clams, sauteed brussel sprouts and ready to go!

I had one of those pescetarian days without even planning it.  I have to work tonight, hoping I can get a full day in to end the week off on a good note.  Hope you all have a more exciting night planned than I do!

Question:  Do like lentils or beans (or both?)

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