It is no secret that I love fitness. It is one of my favorite hobbies. This past winter/Spring I got certified to teach group exercise classes.
I learned a lot, and I also discovered that teaching a class is very different than exercising on your own or participating in a class. My hat is off to the excellent teachers I have had in the past. There is so much to think about and do while teaching. I am working on sharpening my skills as a teacher and hope to start teaching in the next 6 months to a year.
While trying to get my foot into the teaching scene, my own fitness was put on the back burner. I was focusing on studying and taking lots of classes. My fitness level has somewhat surpassed the strength training classes, so I decided to try out a strength training plan on my own.
This article has been my guide (please excuse the immodest pictures). There is a lot of great information packed into this article. They dispel the myth that lifting weight will cause females to get bulky. Thankfully, we don’t have the ability to get big and bulky without the help of added testosterone. No worries about looking like Arnold Schwarznegger. Weightlifting will lead to toned muscles. Who doesn’t want that!?!
It was intimidating to go out onto the floor with all of the muscle bound dudes. I put my headphones on, turned on Pandora, and went to work. Now I am not bothered at all. Here is the schedule from the article:
During weeks 1-4, you will be lifting in the 8-12 rep range. What this means is that you want to complete at least 8 reps but no more than 12 reps for each set. If you cannot complete 8 reps, then the weight is too heavy and you should decrease the load. If you can complete more than 12 reps, then the weight is too light and you should increase the load.
During weeks 5-8, you will be lifting in the 6-8 rep range. What this means is that you want to complete at least 6 reps but no more than 8 reps for each set. If you cannot complete 6 reps, then the weight is too heavy and you should decrease the load. If you can complete more than 8 reps, then the weight is too light and you should increase the load.
During weeks 9-12, you will be lifting in the 4-6 rep range. What this means is that you want to complete at least 4 reps but no more than 6 reps for each set. If you cannot complete 4 reps, then the weight is too heavy and you should decrease the load. If you can complete more than 6 reps, then the weight is too light and you should increase the load.
This phase of the 12-week program is going to be very challenging and produce accelerated results.
Here are a few thoughts about the program. I am in week four and I LOVE the workouts. The results have been pretty awesome. Each strength portion takes about 30-40 minutes. I don’t always take the full minute rest. I let my heart rate regulate a bit and get back to work. This saves some time. If you are beginning your fitness journey, you will probably need the full minute. I have been tracking my reps/weight on the notes app on my phone. This helps to see where I left off and track progress. I do the strength portion and then a 22 minute interval workout. With cardio, my workouts take about an hour. I do Upper and Lower A on Mondays and Tuesdays, Cardio Intervals at the gym on Wednesdays, and Upper and Lower B on Thursdays and Fridays. One tip for the Dips/Pull-ups portion of the Upper B workout. You will more than likely want/need an assisted pull-up/dips machine. These moves are very strenuous for even very fit people.
The recommended cardio workouts in the article are really great; however, I have been working off another schedule and taking my favorite class at the gym for my cardio.
I hate pictures of myself, but I will have to take some to track the progress. It is unfortunate I didn’t take them at the beginning. Better late than never. Hope others give this strength plan a whirl. You will not be disappointed!