Strength and Cardio Training with Robert Reames, Part 1
By Robert Reames, CSCS, *D, RTS1, CPT
All right! Now you've made the decision to begin your exercise program and master Key #6: Intentional Exercise in The Ultimate Weight Solution. This decision is a great one. You must follow through, stick with it, make it happen and don't look back. None of the following information will benefit you without commitment, consistency and total effort. This decision will no doubt add quality years to your life.
Whether you decide to join a gym or exercise at home or at work, I want to provide you with some guidelines, specific tips and a sample program. This information can help you to make the very best use of the valuable time that you invest in yourself and your weight/fat loss program.
Strength training, resistance training, lifting weights, is the most important mode of exercise that you can incorporate into your weight/fat loss program. Strength training builds and develops lean, precious, active, valuable fat-burning muscle! Muscle works like a brigade of fat-burning fireplaces throughout your body always on fire. By continuing to build and develop muscle you literally kick your metabolism into super power high gear. Not only do you burn more calories when you work out, but more importantly this brigade of fireplaces is working to burn fat 24/7! The more you strength train the more fireplaces ignite and the more intense existing fireplaces become. For every one pound of muscle that you gain, you will burn roughly an additional 50 calories per day " even at rest. It's like a great investment that just keeps the cash coming in around the clock. Muscle is like hiring a fleet of employees and putting them in your body to burn fat, and they never fail you. Another huge payoff is that by building muscle you increase your body's sensitivity to insulin which greatly enhances your weight loss efforts. This is major because many folks across America who are overweight are insulin resistant as well. It's a win/win situation all the way.
Here is a sample strength training program:
5 to 8 minutes on a cardio piece of choice or a walk around the premises.
20 seconds arm circles front, 20 seconds arm circles to the back.
16 high knee lifts (alternate 8 per side)
*Appropriate warm up is vital to the preparation, safe application and quality of your workout.
Strength Week #1 (all sets should consist of 12 reps)
3 sets of pushing motions (chest presses)
3 sets of pulling motions (i.e. row, pulldowns)
2 sets of overhead presses or lateral raises (if the overhead motion is uncomfortable)
3 sets of squats (leg press will also work here)
3 sets of ball bridges (see Ball Training)
1 set of standard reverse wood chops on each side. Use tubing or a medicine ball (see Plateau Busters)
3 sets of basic abdominal crunches
3 Supermans (Hold for 10 seconds each) (see Resistance Training with Tubing)
Cardio (piece of choice or auxiliary sport workout)
2 to 3 minutes calming stretch and relaxing breathing
Total workout time 35 to 45 minutes
All the same. Just add one more set to the pushing, pulling and ball bridge sets.
All the same. Just do 10 reps per set and add more resistance to all exercises. Do your crunches on the ball.
Same sets, reps and weights as week three. Switch the order of the pushing and pulling motion sequence and do the squat and ball bridge series first.
Same as week 4. But go to 15 rep sets on the ball crunch. You can begin to incorporate various abdominal exercises here including but limited to vertical knee raises, planks, supine bicycles, Russian twists. Do these ONLY if you are completely comfortable with the basic abdominal crunch.
Same as week 5 in terms of the sets, reps, exercises and exercise order. Go to heavier weights and move to 8 reps per set. (With the exception of the wood chop, ball crunch and Supermans " stay at 10 reps.)
** Use good sense and always be mindful not to exceed your limitations on any given day or time. If you feel pain, nausea or dizziness at any point in time, discontinue activity immediately and seek medical attention. These are your body's methods of communication. Safety is always your number one priority in any fitness endeavor.
** Individual recommendations for a total strength program will vary from individual to individual. The is not one single "perfect" workout that applies to the goals, abilities and genetic pre-disposition for all human beings across the board. Your individual progress is ever changing. However, the above illustrates a balanced, total body strength approach with the goal of comprehensively building and developing lean, working, active, fat-burning muscle. This is again why we put the focus on large muscle group, "multi-joint" movements in order to access and stimulate the maximum amount of muscle tissue per given workout.
This program WILL work and is an excellent base foundation. If you are already doing resistance work then let this information enhance your present program. You will continue to progress and modify your workouts based on these guidelines and tips long after the initial six week period. Additional focus on "problem areas," weaknesses, and or parts of your body that you do not develop as quickly as others is valid and warrants additional attention. However, it's very important to keep in mind that "spot reduction" is a myth. Your muscular system works as a unit to deliver the weight/fat loss results that you strive for and WILL accomplish. So keep on strength training!
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