This is Part 2 of the Strength Training post. The first part- the Basics– can be read here, as can my disclaimer (important-please read!!). By the way, if you aren’t very interested in this topic, I did a ‘normal’ post this morning, so you can skip to that if you want!
So in this post:
- How to go about strength training
- 5 tips for strength training nutrition
- A strength training routine- upper body only (the abs one will be done in a separate post coming soon, as this was a popular request!)
- Sweet Tooth Runner’s ‘Tone Up’ challenge!
How to go about strength training
- Check with your doctor. This may sound silly, especially if you’re young and fit, but it is recommended you talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness program of any kind.
- You don’t have to use weights! Like I mentioned in my previous post, strength training doesn’t necessarily have to be weight lifting. It can be in other forms, such as yoga.
- Know the lingo! Sorry if this is too basic, but there are just two words you need to know as far as weights go:
- So how many sets and reps? How many sets and reps you do is totally up to you, and dependant on a number of things (e.g. your goal, how heavy your weights are, etc.) but the ‘usual’ recommended amount is 3 sets of 10-12 reps, with a short rest in-between sets.
- Go slow! Lifting weights should be done fairly slowly and with control, otherwise your muscles won’t be doing the work- momentum will!
- Rest is important. Muscles should be allowed at least 24 hours of rest before being worked again, because your muscle fibres need time to repair.
- Set goals! I’ll be talking about my personal goal at the end of the post
Repetition (rep) – One complete exercise motion.
Set– A group of repetitions
5 tips for strength training nutrition
- The most important fact: If you aren’t consuming enough calories, your muscles cannot grow (the muscle tissues can’t be built). You actually need to be consuming more than you burn. If you’re not eating enough, you won’t see muscle gain!
- Drink up! An obvious, but important one! You’ll need more than the normal recommended amount of water to replace what is lost, so try to drink before, during and after your workout.
- Get yo protein! Strength trainers need to consume more protein than the nomal recommended amount, as protein is the ‘basic building material’ for muscle tissue.
- Pre-workout munchies. Before working out (this applies to all exercise really, not just strength training) try to eat a small meal (no more than 30 mins before) that contains complex carbohydrates and protein. The carbs for sustained energy and the protein to help your muscles as they are broken down. Example: high protein cereal and milk.
- The all-important post workout meal. Directly after a strength training workout your muscles are broken down and so a fair bit protein is essential. Carbohydrates also play an important role because they are needed for an insulin spike which will release a growth hormone. Example: a big Green Monster with a couple of scoops of quality protein powder.
My strength training routine!
I was going film a video for you guys today, so you can see how completely idiotic I really am, but tragically the video camera I dragged out from the attic won’t turn on . Not a surprise really… So Plan B! I have linked all these exercise to pages with descriptions and pictures so you know what they are and how to do them. I do the usual 3 sets of 10 reps but obviously if you do this it is up to you.
Upper body exercises:
- Chest Press (chest)
- Push-ups (chest)
- Concentration curls (biceps)
- Hammer curl (biceps)
- Front raises (shoulders)
- Tricep kickbacks (triceps)
- Tricep dips (triceps)
The abs post is coming at you at some point in the next few days, so stay tuned for that!
The Tone Up challenge!
So what is crazy Sweet Tooth Runner’s ‘Tone Up’ challenge? Basically, I’m going to try and do the whole strength training workout (this+abs) for 8 weeks, and see what results I get! So starting next week (Monday 17th Jan) I’m going to be doing this at least twice a week, as I have BodyPump and yoga too, and I’m excited to see what results I’ll get by the end! There will be Before and After’s too (I think we all agree here- the best bit )! This is also part of my plan in helping to accomplish #7 of my 2011 goals! And if anyone wants to join me on the ‘Tone Up’ challenge, that’ll be awesome too!
Have you ever done an exercise/toning challenge before? I’ve always been interested in trying Jilian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, since everyone seems to rave about it so much! And do you have a plan of how to achieve your 2011 goals? Caitlin did a great post on this recently- check it out!
Hope you’ve all had a great weekend, and have an amazing week!