Wednesday, March 30, 2005

weight training for beginners

Weight training is a great way to tone up, boost your metabolism, help burn fat, and prevent injury. It's good to focus on your whole body and large muscle groups. This will make you stronger the fastest. It's very easy to do, and you don't need a lot of equipment. To learn more, go to the link above. You might want to get a good book with illustrations since there are a million different exercises to choose from. Or do a session with a trainer, or use the machines at the gym. However, with just a few free weights or a resistance band at home, you can do all the weight training you need in your own bedroom in front of the t.v. How awesome is that? I also love my exercise ball. I can do all sorts of core (abs) exercises on it as well as lots of other things. They're pretty cheap and easy to keep in the house.
To get started, I recommend 30-45 minutes 2 to 3 times a week with 24-48 hours of rest in between sessions. Focus on the entire body. Shoot for 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions for each set. By the end of 10 reps, your muscles should be very fatigued. It should take almost everything you got to push out that last rep. Rest for 30 seconds to a minute between reps.
Always maintain good form (back straight, abs contracted). If you're really straining, lighten the weight. If it's too easy, increase the weight. Experiment until you find what's right. You may have to play with the weight or the type of exercise you're doing. Every body responds differently. Stop if you have any sharp pain. You may be sore the next morning, and that's good. It means it's working!
Below, I've listed my favorite exercises for all major parts of the body. There are countless exercises so experiment and find the ones that work for you. Good luck!

My overall favorites:
1. Push-up: mostly chest, some triceps
2. Bench press: chest
3. Pull-ups: back, biceps; everything for me; the all-time hardest
4. Lat pull-down or rows: lats, back
5. Shoulder raises: shoulders (push weights up over head)
6. Triceps extensions: triceps (backs of arms)
7. Bicep curls: biceps (fronts of arms)
8. For Abs there are a million: crunches on ball and bicycles are my favorites
9. Dead-lifts: lower back; hamstrings (backs of legs); some glutes
10. Squats: glutes; quads (fronts of legs)
11. Lunges: glutes; quads

I want to be brief so as not to overwhelm anyone. I'm not going into a lot of detail on each exercise b/c illustrations are best. Refer to the link for more ideas, and please, ask me questions to clarify anything. Hope this is helpful!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rachel,
I Thank You for the inspiration you have given me and are continuing to give me. I am easily able to walk between 5 to 10 miles a day; went to a gym today to enrol and will start on cardio and strength training in a couple of day.
Wanna run the London Marathon one day...and who knows, maybe do a triathlon shoulder to shoulder with you and your husband in a couple of years?
:)
Can you give any links on your next blog which have some details on workouts for unfit individuals who want to be marathon runners?

I really really appreciate your assistance.

God Bless You
:)

A_Guy_Curious_About_Blogging said...

Oh and what would be a good mp3 player? I am thinking of getting an iPod photo anyways. But you mentioned somewhere that an iPod might not be good for running.
Any suggestions would be extremely valuable. Also...some suggestions about clothes/bags/water bottles...entire outfit per se?

Thanks in advance
God Bless You
:)

Rachel said...

I think I will do a post on getting into running for beginners. I will include links in that post to help you out.

Congrats on your walking! That's awesome. Don't overdo it though. You are giving your body a huge shock, and it will take awhile for it to adjust. The key to marathon training is patience and taking it slow.

I think you'll enjoy the benefits belonging to a gym will give you. It's amazing the gains I made in the first 6 months after I joined.

I definitely do not recommend an iPOD for running. They have a hard drive inside which is sensitive to jostling. They come with 25 minutes of skip protection, but after that, it has to access the hard drive. Every time I've run with mine, even though it's on an arm-band, after 25 minutes, it begins skipping songs, and then it crashes, and you're left musicless with a heavy piece of silicon attached to your arm that you feel compelled to hurl to the ground, regardless of the fact that it cost you $500. But I digress.

You can use the iPOD for everything else (biking, walking, cleaning the house). Some people use it for organizing their music and then get the shuffle (flash memory; no hard drive), which can hold 1 gig or more of music (lots of songs), but that pisses me off b/c it's Apple's way of screwing their customers who just wanted the iPOD to begin with. Honestly, I'd recommend getting an MP3 player that holds 1 gig of music. Sony and other companies sell them. You'll be happier.

I'll do a post on songs I like to run to as well for your convenience. Play around. Different songs for different folks.

I think it's great that you have such awesome goals. Keep it up, and you'll definitely be running marathons (and doing triathlons) in no time.

Happy running!

10:56 AM

Erin Nicole said...

i read womens health (which i would highly reccomend) and they posted an article about how to ease into training for a 5K in ~3 weeks. if you want, i will post it to this site to give a daily plan.

also, i agree with rachel that the gym is a great way to break into the workout routine. i love my membership and am slowing moving from the weight machines to free-weights. i do think that the machines are a good way to start b/c they are safer for beginners. free-weights ultimately will be better, but it's always good to start small.

gradman1 said...

Understatement of the Year (so far) from Rachel:

"I want to be brief so as not to overwhelm anyone..."

Too funny...

Rachel said...

Shut up, Gradman! So I like to talk a lot. Isn't that the whole point of a blog?