Beast It Out.

Here it is! The new lifting working I’ve been obsessing over for the past 3 weeks or so. There’s actually multiple facets to it; I’ve kind of adapted two different lifting routines from two different books. For now, I’ll post one component of the the two part workout. I’ll save the rest for another post. If you’re new to the weight room, this component will be more than enough for a starting point.

Book #1: The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler [It’s an incredibly interesting and thought-provoking book if you’re a freak like me and enjoy to read fitness related books; however, I don’t fully agree with what Schuler says. I’m also not too sure about his educational background other than he is a strength and conditioning coach.]

Book #2: Body for Life by Bill Phillips. [I am obsessed with everything about this book. I love the way that Phillips writes. He makes valid points, has inspiring stories, and a very realistic plan. I found out about BFL through Janetha’s blog over at Meals & Moves. You can read her incredible story about BFL here. =)

Another reason why I love BFL is that it was written in like 1999. That might sound weird, but think about it. Back then (ha, “back then”, I feel so old) there weren’t as many gimmicks and hoopla about getting thin fast. There weren’t weird shoes that made your legs more toned, or an irrational obsession with kettlebells, etc etc etc.. For whatever reason, I personally find it comforting that this book was made in an era with much less diet and weight-loss gimmicks. I digress…]
If I do cardio + weights at the gym in the same day- I can guarantee that I’ll be there for at least 2 hours. If you can’t commit that much time at once to the gym, feel free to break the lifting into multiple sessions over the weeks. Make sure you never strength train two days in a row. If you absolutely must, due to schedules or whatnot, make sure you are not working the same muscle groups two days in a row. Remember, your body gets stronger while it’s resting. If you don’t allow ample time for your muscles to repair, you will actually get weaker instead of stronger.

I betcha Dara Torres has taken plenty of rest days 😉 She is such a bad-ass!

(If you don’t know who Dara Torres is, please click here)

Here goes (bear with me!):

This is an example of one of the many upper body workouts you can do using this same method.
Your upper body muscle groups that you will be working are: chest, shoulders, back, triceps, and biceps.
I do them in that order; feel free to switch it up.

Now, for each of those muscle groups, pick two exercises.
For example: chest: dumbbell bench press & dumbbell flies. 
Now, you are going to do a total of 5 sets for ONE of those exercises.
With each set, the weight increases and the repetitions decrease.
Still with me?

This is what it looks like:

Chest Press
Reps: 12 10 8 6 12
Weight: 12.5 lbs 15 lbs 17.5 20 12.5
Chest Flies xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx 12.5

In English:
For chest press, you will do 12 sets at 12.5 lbs (this is the weight that I use. You have to play around with the weights to make sure what you’re lifting is right FOR YOU. this is ridiculously important!!!)
You will take a 60 second break after that set. (This allows your body to rid itself of lactic acid. Just take the minute break, trust me.) You will then increase your weight, not by  a lot- as you can see, I only went up a few pounds. If you’re only comfortable going up 1 pound- that is fine! Take another 60 second break. Bump your weight up, do 8 reps. 60 second break, bump weight up, 6 reps. (You are still doing chest press at this point! Chest press for all of these reps so far!) After your 4th set @ 6reps, go back to the first weight you were using- your lightest weight. Do 12 more reps at this weight and then without a break, go straight into the next exercise, so in this case- 12 reps of chest press @ 12.5lbs then straight into 12 chest flies @ 12.5. Your chest muscles should be ON FIRE by the last set, in which case- you did it correctly. =) However, do not compromise good form!! There have been many-a-workout where I cannot increase my weight and keep good form, so I will just repeat that weight for the next set.

You may now move on to the next upper body muscle group!

Shoulders.
Same deal.
5 sets: 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 12 reps.
Increase weight each set, except for the last set: decrease to original weight.
Do the same shoulder move for each set. Once you’ve completed all sets, do one final set for 12 reps of a different move without resting in between.
Some shoulder exercise examples:
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Deltoid Raise
Bent-Over Raise
Barbell Press

Biceps: same deal.
Some options:
incline dumbbell curls
seated curls
standing barbell curls
hammer curls

Some Tricep Ideas:
dumbbell extensions
close-grip pushdowns
reverse-grip pulldowns
lying dumbbell extensions

Back ideas:
wide-grip lat pulldowns
one-arm dumbbell rows
reverse-grip pulldowns
dumbbell pullovers

And then you are done!!! It should take you about 45 minutes to complete this. When I pair it with cardio, which I always do, I’m at the gym for a good 2 hours if not more. And I love every single burning, sweating second of it. =)
Let me know if you try it!! =)

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