From Tish

Workout I Did: The Art of Adding a Little More

weight lifting, workout of the week, chest press, pull downs, squats, back rows, strength training

Credit: karinlouwersephotography

It’s never fun for me when Mark, the training husband, gets creative. For this week’s workout he’s offered up a workout plan that involves lifting heavier each week. (I think Jenn’s Light-Medium-Heavy post inspired the beast.)

I can’t lie: when he walked me through my first day I wanted to pop him nice and good for even thinking I could do these things. Then I wanted to hug him for thinking I could actually do all these things. If you’re looking to get stronger and increase the burn, this is a good workout to try for a month. I do these every Monday and Wednesday, mixing in other circuits on Wednesdays. Note: You will need gym equipment for these.

Weight Time Workout

The Warm-Up: Begin with a three-minute run on a treadmill. Build up a good sweat. You’ll need your muscles to be warm and loosened up!

For the first set of this workout you’ll need to find weights that are challenging, but doable.You’ll be switching between two moves for this: Chest Press and Pull Downs.

Chest Press Machine: Choose a weight that will be comfortably challenging when doing multiple reps. Start with whatever weight you’ve decided and do six reps. The next time you lift, you’ll add five pounds and do five reps. The next round, stay at that same weight and do five reps. The next round is FOUR reps (same weight), and then for the last round you’ll do four reps again (still same weight). In total you should be at the chest press machine five times.

Pull Downs: Find a comfortable weight and do 10 to 12 reps between each round of chest press.

For the next set you’ll be squatting and doing back rows. I can actually lift a lot heavier in my squats so don’t sell yourself short. Remember you want it to be challenging, but doable (especially since you’ll be adding that five pounds later in the workout.) You can either use a Smith Machine for this or the free weight bar. (These links should give you an example of good form, but I recommend asking a trainer to show you how to use each machine if this is your first time. It’s good for someone knowledgeable to see your form, at least until you get the hang of each movement.)

Squat Machine: You’ll start by squatting six reps. The next time you squat you’ll add five pounds total (2.5 weights to both sides) and squat five times, then five again, then four reps and then finally you’ll finish by doing four reps.

Back Row: Do 10 – 12 reps between each round of squats.

For the last set of this workout you’ll be doing deadlifts and band walks.

Deadlifts: I usually lift and squat the same so whatever you started with for the squat machine is probably what you’ll start with for your deadlifts. Like the two lifting workouts before this, you’ll lift six reps the first time. The next round you’ll add five pounds and then do five reps. Do five reps in the next round and four reps for your last two.

Band Walk: For the bands you’ll put lateral (yoga) bands around your thighs and ankles. Walk to the right 10 times and then to the left 10 times. This completes a round. Do one round of band walks between each round of deadlifts.

I laugh now, but I was so angry when I saw that he had me doing (what I thought was) a “meat head” workout. It really does help your strength, though! Each week you add a little more weight to that first round and then five more pounds to that. I didn’t think it was possible, but I did it. You won’t bulk up. You WILL get stronger and you WILL burn more calories doing workouts like this.

If you’re looking to toughen up a bit, this might be a great workout for you to try. Again, meet with a trainer at your gym. Show them this plan of attack and let them help you with your first round of each just to make sure you’re doing everything correctly. Form is key when you’re lifting heavy! — Tish



Comments

  1. Cat says

    This is such a useful post! I’ve been doing a bit of a ‘meathead’ routine myself for the last few weeks – it was scary at first, but soooo rewarding when I find myself lifting heavier than my last workout! It’s super motivating (but a bit of a bummer when I realise I can’t always move up every workout!)

  2. Carolyn says

    In order to keep great shape you have to develop healthy eating habits. I’ve read somewhere that even if you attend gym every day but keep eating junk food – you are wasting your time. Lots of useful advices on proper nutrition I have found here militarygradenutritionals.com/blog/military-for-women/. They provide special tips for women and lots of motivative ideas!

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