Oh Strength Training, How Do I Love Thee–Let Me Count The Ways
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last decade, you’re well aware of the benefits of strength training.
Increased muscle mass = a more toned physique. Loss of fat = not only looking better but also preventing dangerous diseases associated with stomach fat. Stronger bones and joints protect you against injuries. Plus, let’s face it, lifting weights makes you feel like a badass.
Your confidence will skyrocket, you’ll feel strong, and capable and downright sexy.
So, why do so few women do it?
I touched upon how intimidating weight rooms can be, especially for females, in my recent post. But let’s step outside gender lines and go ahead and say strength training can be intimidating to ANYONE who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Today I’m going to map out a fairly basic 3 Day Split. This will be a great first step for someone who is looking to start a weight-lifting routine but is unsure how.
Each day should have a specific theme, or body-part breakdown. For today’s example we are going to choose: Push, Pull and Legs.
For each day, you should pick a minimum of 5 different exercises you will perform. Each exercise should be done 3 times, with each set consisting of 8-12 reps.
Your upper body can be broken down into two main categories, your push and your pull muscles. Your push muscles consist of your chest (pecs– and yes, women have them too), shoulders, and triceps. You want the bulk of your workout to be around pressing motions, so include at least one chest press and one shoulder press. You might also want to include: chest fly, pushups, lateral shoulder raises, tricep pushdowns and tricep dips.
Your pull muscles are found in your back (mid and upper) as well as your biceps. Again, focusing on larger muscles first, the bulk of your workout should center around pulldowns (or pull ups) and midback rows. You should also include rear delt flys, and bicep curl variations. You may also want to include core exercises here, such as planks, back extension (aka supermans) and crunches.
Start with your big lifts first. You should open with some type of squat (barbell or dumbbell), and then a deadlift. The equipment you use will depend on how heavy you are lifting and variety. In addition to those two major lifts, you should consider adding: lunge variations, glute bridges or hip thrusts, leg press, leg extensions, calf raises and hamstring curls.
There Is No Substitute For A Personal Trainer
Now, let’s be honest, this is just the tip of a very large and muscular iceberg. From here many questions will emerge. How much weight should I be lifting, how quickly should I be progressing? What happens if I plateau? How can I switch things up to keep my mind and my body from getting bored?
These are all legitimate questions that can be researched as you progress in your strength training journey. However, there will never be a replacement for having a personal trainer. Even if you meet once a week (or even once a month!) having someone guide you on how to perform these moves, to ensure your form is proper and that you are engaging the right muscles, these are lessons you won’t be able to learn online.
Lucky for you, at WorkTrainFight we offer some of the best personal training in NYC. So you don’t have to go through this journey alone. And stay tuned for some kick-ass promos that will leave your muscles AND your wallet happy.
But for now, take this basic structure, pick your exercises, watch some YouTube videos, then get out there and get strong.