So far in our weight training series, you’ve learned about sets, reps and the tempo of an exercise. You’ve also learned different ways of putting exercises together. Now let’s explore some workouts to get you closer to your health and fitness goals.
The goal of these combinations is to drastically increase the amount of fat your body uses for fuel by increasing your energy expenditure and stimulating the release of free-fatty acids. These acids are shuttled into the bloodstream thanks to an elevation in growth hormone brought on by an increase in lactic acid production.
The best way to create this reaction is by using a combination of one weighted, relatively heavy exercise and one high-speed, lower-load movement (or you can add an abdominal movement to the group). Do two to three sets of the prescribed reps below.
Sample Fat-Burning Workout
A1. Dumbbell squat, 15-20 reps (0 rest)
A2. Vertical jump, 8-12 reps, into body weight squats for 30 seconds (30-60 seconds rest)
B1. Standing shoulder dumbbell press, 10-12 reps (0 rest)
B2. Seated bicycle crunches, 15-25 reps each side (30-60 seconds rest)
C1. Bulgarian squat (rear leg elevated lunge), 8-10 each leg (0 rest)
C2. Shuffle running (run in place, tap front foot to top of step), 45 seconds (30-60 seconds rest)
Improving Muscular Strength
The goal of this combination is to stimulate muscle fibers to activate more often, thereby improving overall strength. Lower intensities and longer rest periods allow muscles to recruit more fibers in each subsequent lift.
The best way to create this reaction is to keep body parts separated to allow maximal recovery. Being efficient at this method requires you to use opposing or “non-related” muscle groups within a circuit.
Sample Strength Workout
A1. Flat bench press, 1 set x 12 reps (warm up), 1 x 10 reps, 2 x 8 reps
B1. Incline dumbbell bench press, 3 sets x 8-12 reps
C1. Lat pull downs, 3 sets x 8-12 reps
C2. Seated row, 3 sets x 8-12 reps
D1. Barbell curls, 3 sets x 8-12 reps
E1. Weighted crunches, 3 sets x 15 reps
I would be foolish not to include something regarding the almighty Gluteus Maximus (or butt). Most women looking to improve this area spend hours lunging, squatting or running to no avail. The combination below will show you how to better activate the muscles so you can actually reshape, tighten and tone that area.
Sample Glute-Improving Workout
A1. Glute bridge, 2 sets x 10 reps (5 second isometric hold up top)
A2. Hip thrust (shoulders on one bench, heels on another, glutes on the floor. Raise hips up high, balancing on shoulders and heels, hold for 5 seconds, then lower) 2 sets x 10 reps (5 second isometric hold up top)
B1. Lying hip abduction, 2 sets x 10 reps each side (5 second isometric hold up top)
C1. Weighted bird dog, 2 sets x 20 reps each side
C2. Band standing abduction, 2 sets x 20 reps each side
Good luck and happy training!