Last Monday I began Body For Life. Sort of. I did the upper body on Monday and the lower body on Wednesday. According to the plan, I was supposed to go back to upper body on Friday, but opted for a total body workout instead. I’m not totally leaving behind the Body for Life idea, but after several comments and some thought, I decided that total body weights were more my style and the use of all the different weight sizes for one exercise in the Body for Life plan made me the total weight hog of the gym. I don’t want to be a hog even if I am often one of only two or three people in the gym. The set-up time was a bit much.
I’m L-O-V-I-N the strength training and already feel tighter and stronger (really, in a week?! Yep. Just let me think so 🙂 ) I am totally dedicated to three days a week of 30 min HIIT plus 30 minutes of weights. Some weeks it will be all three days total body and others I’m sure I will take an upper body day, a lower body day, and then a total body day like I did lastweek. Whatever I’m feelin. I love my hour cardio that was my 6 day a week routine, but this change-up for half my weekly workouts gives me more variety. BIG FAN!
I found a great article on the Mayo Clinic website about the pros of strength training. It is so important especially for us women and our brittle bones.
Strength training helps you:
- Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger “engine” to burn calories more efficiently — which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.
- Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
- Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won’t fatigue as easily.
- Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
- Sharpen your focus. Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults.
This morning I repeated the total body today after a HIIT workout similar to last week’s.
- run 1/2 mile to gym (and half mile home after the weights)
- 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
Total Body Strength – 3 sets /12 reps per set
- one-legged squat (pistol squat) – I used a modified version where you stand on a step, curl one leg back heel to butt and hold onto a bar. Squat back pushing butt back and then pull back up using that planted leg
- step up lunge with overhead press
- single-leg bench squat and bicep curl – standing on the edge of a bench holding weights at your side. Lift right foot off the bench and hang to the side and squat down a few inches. Curl the dumbbells as you stand back up.
- duck squat
- tricep dips
- medicine ball twisting lunge
- dead row with barbell
I did supersets with two exercises together with no rest in between. For example I did 1 set of the one-legged squat with each leg and then one set of the step up lunge with over-head press with each leg and then rested for 30 sec to 1 min. Then back to the second set of one-legged squats and so on. I did the single-leg bench squat with bicep curl and the duck squats together, the pushups and tricep dips, and the medicine ball twisting lunge with the dead rows. Feeling good!