I Love it When Weight Training Routines Comes Together
Weight training routines can be complicated as we mentioned. It is hard to know exactly what to work out, what not to work out and when to do it. If you can find a plan that fits your body, then it is priceless. That isn’t easy to come by.
To do what we can we are going to provide you a framework here. It will allow you to fill in the details according to what you realize your body needs.
Most importantly this can get you the life you want quickly with little time spent daily. It’s about getting the health, confidence, energy, stronger family relationships, and smokin’ body you have always wanted.
Let’s make it simple with a weight training plan and let’s make those dreams a reality as fast as we can.
The Know My Body Weight Training Routines
The KMB Workout Routine has two stages, Basic Weight Training Routine and Split Weight Training Routine. These are fine weight training routines for women as well as weight training routines for men.
This beginner weight training routine is for those that have lived a sedentary lifestyle, which is little or no activity for over a year unless you count excessive remote control operation and microwaving a ton of pizza rolls. This is for the people that are just starting weight training or trying to get back into it.
This is a three day cycle for this weight training routine. It consists of:
- resistance (Cycle Day),
- cardio (Intensity Day), and
- stretching (Flexibility Day) in that order.
You will then repeat the process but with some variation of “more”. That could mean more speed, more force, more reps, more weight, or more challenging exercises. The only thing that will be less will be less rest between reps. Don’t freak out. You can take this very gradually and at a pace that works for you.
This starts with circuit training. As a reminder circuit training is where you work all muscle groups each day that you lift weights, compared to split training where you focus on one or two groups of muscles per day.
You only do one exercise per muscle group for 2 sets. Multiple sets are important because it gives you enough muscle fatigue to increase muscle size after workouts. It also increases growth hormones and testosterone. Make sure you do at least 2 sets on even the Circuit training to create muscle tissue growth.
As I mentioned, this is a three day process that is repeated twice a week. As you get to the seventh day you can either repeat Day 1 or take a rest. Again listen to your body. If you need a break, take it. Or mix it up by going for a light walk.
As you start working out, you should feel some tightness or a sore feeling after reintroducing your muscles to the world. If you had a rough day, it is ok to take a break any day during this process or to limit the workout all together. If you have to take a couple days off to recover, that is fine too. Always think: “Live to fight another day.”
Day 1-Cycle Day
This day is all about doing resistance or weight training for the various muscle groups of your body. We are going to focus on just getting your body accustomed to the rigors of working out. Think of this like you are resurrecting the Frankenstein inside of you. It might not be pretty at first, but it is alive.
- Make sure to warm up during Cycle Day by either walking or jogging for 5-10 minutes.
- Legs: squats or lunges without weights (8-10 reps, 2 sets)
- Rest 1-2 minutes
- Calves (optional): calf raises (8-10 reps, 2 sets)
- Rest 1-2 minutes
- Chest/Back: push-ups (8-10 reps, 1 set) and either full body rows or one-arm bent over rows (8-10 reps, 1 set). If you feel comfortable enough you can do two sets of each.
- Rest 1-2 minutes
- Shoulders: upright rows or dumbbell press (8-10 reps, 2 sets)
- Rest 1-2 minutes
- Arms (optional): curls, triceps (8-10 reps, 1 set each)
Don’t be afraid to do less reps or only one set of an exercise. You are working your way into it.
You will notice there is a minimum of 6 sets, but this could go as high as 12-14 sets as we grow more comfortable. If you want to do 1 set of one exercise for a muscle group and then another exercise for the final set of that muscle group, that is totally fine.
This is your baby. We are just providing a framework.
Day 2-Intensity Day
This day is all about focusing on cardio and doing high-intensity interval training or HIIT. Do 20-120 seconds of high intensity, followed by 1-2 minutes of low to medium movement with cardio.
This might mean brisk walking or jogging to start. Eventually it turns into running and full on sprints. This isn’t a perfect science. Figure out what works best for you. I am a big fan of swimming, but find what gets you the results you want and also make sure you really enjoy it.
You can read more about HIIT here.
Day 3-Flexible Day
This is a great time to introduce some stretching or yoga. P90X provides videos for both and there are plenty of other DVD and online options to follow. Also you can get a variety of Yoga and stretching videos at Beachbody.
I would also include some core exercises like crunches during this day. Again you can find free videos on Bodybuilding.com or feel free to purchase training videos on Beachbody.
Day 4-Cycle Day 2
This day you should ask yourself, “How can I make it more challenging than Day 1?”
You can accomplish that in a few ways. I would go in this order:
- decreasing rest intervals by 5-10 seconds
- adding resistance with bands, including weights, or adding more weights by 5-10 pounds.
- adding reps (from 6-10 up to 12-16)
- or doing a more challenging workout.
You can even pull multiple levers above by doing a couple at the same time.
The reason why I am recommending that you increase intensity is not because I am a masochist. It is done in order to generate a better hormonal response, thus burning more fat and storing more lean mass.
This idea of keeping your body guessing, known muscle confusion, is a great way to get in shape faster by forcing your body to respond to keeping up with the positive rollercoaster ride you are sending it on.
Start working your way down to 30 seconds of rest between sets by decreasing 5-10 seconds each time you do the Circuit Day. So say if day one I started at 1 minute rest periods, then this time I would do 50 second rest periods the next Circuit Day.
When you get to the point where you have 30 seconds of rest, then add another round of sets among your legs, chest/back, shoulders, and optionally add calves and arms sets.
3 sets per workout will be more than enough for this Circuit Day. You won’t need to exceed that.
You can add reps as well. Say you start off with only 6 reps, then move your way up to 8, then 12, and the max would be 16. Continue to increase the difficulty whether with introducing weights, more weight by 5 pounds, tighter bands, or start progressing toward more difficult exercises.
In order of exercise difficulty I would go in this order:
- Squats without weights
- Walking lunges
- Squats with bands
- Squats with weights (barbell or dumbbells)
- Lunges with weights (dumbbells)
- Dumbbell swings
- Kettlebell swings
- Optional: calf raises with either bands, dumbbells, or barbells
- Wall push-ups
- 45 degree angle push-ups with hands on chair
- Push-ups on knees
- Standard push-up with feet on ground
- Elevated push-ups with feet on chair or balanced on exercise ball
- Hand or hands balancing on medicine ball while doing push-ups
- Body rows
- Bent-over rows (one or two arms)
- Pull-ups with wider or narrow grip
- Upright rows
- Dumbbell press
- Push press
- Optional: bicep curls
- Optional: tricep extensions
Again the optional choices are just purely if you want to work certain isolated muscle groups. You can get them in the other major body workouts, but these are options if you would like to address those areas a bit further.
There is a lot of leeway and no wrong answer. The main focus is to improve your strength by increasing power, difficulty, and sets as you can handle it. If you can’t, then repeat what you did three days before.
Also if you don’t find yourself improving, it is most likely due to lack of sleep or poor nutrition. Revisit those areas first. They are the most impactful when it comes to results.
Day 5-Intensity Day 2
Again this is all about increasing intensity. So that means, can you go faster and can you go farther, but that doesn’t mean you have to go longer. Try to go farther in the same amount of time or in a shorter period of time. Push yourself. Become competitive with yourself.
Day 6-Flexible Day 2
Go back to stretching or yoga. 30-45 minutes should be good. This day isn’t about beating the previous day, but over weeks you would like to see more balance and stretching capability than before. Don’t push yourself to see it because you don’t want to pull a muscle and set yourself back weeks.
Day 7-Day Off
Take the day off. Don’t be a hero. Recovery is just as important as the exercise is in weight training plans. Get outside, rest in a hot tub, take five naps, watch classic reruns of Mork and Mindy, or whatever floats your boat. Just try to make it a day that isn’t filled with stress if possible, whether on your body or your mind.
We talked about how with cardio you can increase from 2 days up to 4 days. If you add a third day, I would do it on the seventh day or during one of the days you stretch. That gives you three days out of the week while you are weight training where you could add more cardio. If you do add that day of cardio, again I would keep it light on time. 20-30 minutes should be more than fine.
As much as you can, keep track of time, reps, sets, what you did, etc. You won’t know you are getting healthier unless you can see you really did better each time compared to the last.
If not, then it is up to you to become Columbo and find out why. That may mean less refined carbs or sugar. It may even mean no fruit or nuts for a while. It also may mean you need to do a better job of getting 8-9 hours of sleep in a pitch dark, cool environment.
Tinker with it. You will get to where you want to be faster if you are keeping track in a journal or spreadsheet. You will really get to “know your body”. Sorry, had to pull that.
The second option you can do is the Split Routine or split training. This routine is about emphasis on certain muscle groups on certain days. This is another great weight training plan for weight loss. You would also add additional sets and reps.
For example, maybe on Cycle Day One of the training I would do only lower body (legs, calves and indirectly core). On Cycle Day Four I would do only upper body (chests, back, shoulders, arms and indirectly core).
Again this means you can add more reps and sets. This might move you faster to three sets of 10-16 reps for each set.
One of the major benefits of the Split Routine is that there is no weak link. With Circuit Training your last reps tend to struggle the most. This means if you are always doing shoulders last, they are not going to get the benefit that maybe legs might get from being first.
The Split Routine allows for more balance in your exercise for each muscle group. As we mentioned before reverse the order of your circuit training weight lifting exercises and I would do the same even for the Split Routine.
What About After the First Week?
I would do the Basic Routine for the first month while increasing weight, speed, reps, etc. Then I would start alternating weekly between Circuit and Split. You could even try bi-weekly or monthly between the two training stages. See what works best for you to continue to see results: faster time, more reps, more weight, etc.
It is important to keep looking for ways to mix it up. Adjust with HIIT, different workouts, and trying to challenge your body with every new week.
So let’s hear what works for you. Share your own workout program. Find the (Your Name) Workout Plan that makes sense and share with the community here. I along with the others here are always looking for feedback and advice!
A Strong Warning: As we dive deeper into fitness, I want to make sure you are being cautious and safe. You have to make sure to consult a physician, doctor, or a certified health individual that can give you clean bill of health to start working out if you haven’t in a while or if you are doing something new.
Some of you have been working out for years and this won’t be an issue, but some have not thought about sweating for years. Either way I am excited to learn from you and work with you, but please be safe and smart about this and ease your way in.