I am a cardio lova! Cardio tends to consume the majority (or all) of my workout time in the AM. That is until lately. I have been really trying to throw in some weights, but honestly I feel a little lost. I know what to do when it comes to cardio and am loving my new-found HIIT. However, when it comes to weights, I’m flailing a bit.
I have used Body Pump in the past as my way to weights, but since I no longer am a member of a gym that offers it, I’m having to go at it alone. I have found an Ipod app from Women’s Health that I really like and it has multiple workouts that are either total body or target one area (butt/thighs, arms/back, legs, abs, etc). For the past month or so that has been what I’ve been using as guidance. This morning I ventured into another regimen. Body for Life. I have seen it mentioned on several blogs and thought I would see what its all about. This is my body for life and that is one of my major motivations for working out, so I found the idea fitting.
The nutrition part of the program is similar to what I already do. Balance carbs and protein and eat 5-6 small meals a day. Check. I’m not strict or hardcore about eating, but that tends to be my natural style. The training is where I really took some advice.
The idea is to do a weight workout 3 times a week focusing on upper body and lower body separately. The first week you would say do upper body Mon and Fri and lower on Weds. The next week it would be lower on Mon and Fri and upper on Weds. Alternate like that for 12 weeks. I printed off the chart found here and took it with me to the gym.
I started with upper body today. You choose two exercises from each muscle group and do the first exercise for 4 sets increasing weight and decreasing reps (12, 10, 8, 6) then rest for a minute. Then go back to the lower weight for 12 more and finish with the second exercise for 12. Here’s how it went.
- chest – barbell press and dumbell flyes
- back – one arm dumbell rows and wide-grip lat pulldown
- shoulders – seated dumbell press and lateral raises
- biceps – barbell curls and hammer curls
- triceps – seated tricep press and lying tricep press
The Body for Life plan has you do weights 3 days a week and short HIIT cardio the other 3 days. Since we have already diagnosed my cardio-obsesssion, I chose to combine the shorter HIIT with the weight days and do a more moderate tempo 60 minute cardio on the other three days (Tues, Thurs, and Sat). It ends up being about 60 minutes of work on all days which is perfect for me.
My HIIT today (just over 30 minutes and just over 4 miles):
- run 1/2 mile to gym
- warm-up 2 min (1 at 6.5/1 at 7.0)
- 30 sec at 9.5/30 sec at 9.0 followed with 1 min at 7.0. Repeat 10 times
- cool down 2 min same as warm-up
I felt energized for the novel weight session after and I think it went pretty well. I plan to give the lower body a go on Weds, so I’ll let ya know how I feel then. One thing I have to say is that with all the varying weight, there are lots of dumbells and weights being hogged by your truly. I may modify a bit and use one weight for 2 sets of 12 followed by one set of 8-10 with a heavier weight (what my trainer used to have me do years ago) and one set of 12 of the secoond exercise, but will still use the chart as a guide for the actual exercises. it would end up being about the same number of over-all reps.
Any other good weight regimens out there?