Hey Ya’ll,

I am still alive and well and wholly overwhelmed by life…but I’m back on the Internet, and I hope I’m here to stay.

You know where else I’m back?

The weight room.

There’s nothing like a really tiny deadline to turn your entire life upside down, and I have sort of let my daily devotional to the gym fall by the wayside while I have instead devoted myself to my keyboard.

Not only are my pants feeling a wee bit tight, but I’m really missing the daily stress release that lifting heavy things provides me.

I asked The Fella to whip me up a new training routine (one of the perks of dating a personal trainer), which I have pasted below in case anyone is interested in mooching.  But, being back in the weight room after a hiatus reminded me how totally intimidating it can be if you don’t have a plan of action.

I think one of the things that keeps people from seriously strength training is simply not knowing what to do with the equipment once they’re inside the confines of the matted area.

If you’re interested in muscle-making and not quite sure what to do, I would suggest checking out the personal training services your gym provides.  Most gyms have an introductory package, even giving a free session to members to acquaint them with machines.  Working with a personal trainer has been really motivating for me in the past, but it’s also way too expensive for me to continue with.

When I’m not squeezing routines out of my boyfriend, there are places I go to look for challenging weight-room tutorials.  One of my favs is Bodybuilding.com.  Now, the site is first and foremost designed to sell supplements, but there’s a lot of amazing resources within its pages.  Including a whole bunch of routines and video tutorials of almost any exercise you can think of.  They’re currently running a 12-week program that’s very beginner friendly, that I think is really well laid out.

I also steal ideas from fitness magazines.  Mags like Shape, Self, and Women’s Health all provide very accessible workouts–most of which don’t require a gym membership.  Magazines like Oxygen, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Fitness RX for Women don’t always have the best editorial (in my humble opinion, and I hope I don’t blog myself out of future work here) but they usually provide really comprehensive workouts for serious gym rats.  Not only do they provide the routines, but there’s usually an accompanying spread to explain how to properly do each exercise.

And, when in doubt of how to perform an exercise correctly, one word: YouTube.  Whenever I’m not entirely sure if I understand a workout I either hit up  BodyBuilding.com’s video database or YouTube–more often than not I check both.

Personal trainers are great, but they’re expensive and not entirely necessary.  Consider yourself your own personal trainer…with a little help from the Internet.  To help out, I’ll try to remember to keep posting my new strength training routines as I badger The Fella to make them (usually once every 4-6 weeks).

So, here’s what I’m up to.  I alternate A,B, and C days.  I tend to strength train five days a week, with two days off.  Optimally I like to separate my cardio and my strength.  My goal is to be so wiped after one that the other seems impossible.  This often means strength training in the middle of the day and hitting up the gym for some cardio at the end of the day for a class or a post-dinner run.  I also use this as a way to clear my head between writing assignments.

A

Exercise

Sets

Reps.

Smith Machine Squats

4

10

One-Legged Press

3

8

High Bench/Step-Ups/w Plate

3

12

Bent-Over One-Legged Cable Kickbacks

3

12

Glute Machine

3

10

One-Legged DB Calf Raises

3

15

Roman Bench Back Extensions

4

Max.

  • Rest btwn. sets 60 secs. / btwn. exercises 60-90 secs.
  • Specific warmup before large muscle groups (1-3 sets before first exercise).

 

 

B

Exercise

Sets

Reps.

Push-Ups to Plank Leg & Arm Raises

4

Max.

Assisted Parallel Bar Dips

3

6

Cable Flys

3

12

Seated DB Shoulder Press

3

8

Machine Shoulder Press

3

6

Crossed-Cable Lateral Raises

3

12

Standing BB Bicep Curls

2

6

Standing BB Bicep Curls
(lower weight)

2

12

“6s”

4

Max.

  • Rest btwn. sets 60 secs. / btwn. exercises 60-90 secs.
  • Specific warmup before large muscle groups (1-3 sets before first exercise).

 

C

Exercise

Sets

Reps.

Assisted Narrow-Grip Pull-Ups

3

6

“Pull-Up” Rows

3

Max.

Cable Pullovers

3

12

BB Skull Crushers

2

6

BB Skull Crushers

2

12

Hamstring Curls

4

12

Reverse Crunches

4

Max.

Diagonal Crunches

3

Max.

  • Rest btwn. sets 60 secs. / btwn. exercises 60-90 secs.
  • Specific warmup before large muscle groups (1-3 sets before first exercise).

 

Cardio 20 miles/wk. accumulative.

 

And, now for some food…

Breakfast

Smoothie with low-fat kefir, banana, spinach, and chocolate protein powder

Snack

Chobani mango yogurt with trail mix

Lunch 

Brown rice pasta with broccolini, and grilled chicken

Dinner

Salad with lettuce, carrot, onion, Mandarin oranges, cucumber, grilled chicken and lite sesame ginger dressing

Exercise: (am) B-day, (pm) 4-mile run