Thursday, December 27, 2007


Most importantly, as you begin strength training, is to focus on challenging yourself, not killing yourself. Within the first few weeks, focus on learning how to do each exercise rather than on how much weight you're lifting or how many exercises you're doing.

Warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio or with warm up sets of each exercise using a light-medium weight.

Choose 1-2 exercises for each muscle group (see below) and do 1-2 sets of 8-16 repetitions of each exercise. As a beginner, you may want to start with about 15-16 reps until you feel comfortable with the moves and build some strength. After that, you can add more weight and reduce your reps for a different challenge.

If you exercise in a gym, you may want to start with machines so you have more stabilization for the movements.

Give yourself at least a day of rest (though you may need more after the first workout) to recover.

Each week, add either 1 repetition and/or a few pounds of weight to each exercise to progress. Just keep your reps at about 16 or below. Once you hit 16 reps, increase your weight and drop your reps down to 10 or 12 reps.

Below is a list of muscle groups along with sample exercises. If you're a beginner, you only need to choose 1-2 exercises for each muscle group in the upper body and 3-4 moves for the lower body.

Chest: bench press, chest press machine, pushups, pec deck machine
Back: seated row machine, back extensions, lat pulldowns
Shoulders: overhead press, lateral raise, front raise
Biceps: bicep curls, hammer curls, concentration curls
Triceps: tricep extensions, dips, kickbacks
Lower Body: Squats, lunges, leg press machines, deadlifts, calf raises Abdominals: crunches, reverse crunches, oblique twists, pelvic tilts

You will be amazed at how quickly your body responses to your new workout routine!

Mollie McCarl
Personal Trainer, Fitness Spa
Comcast "on Demand" channel 886 "workout routines"