Copyright 2006 Lynn VanDyke
Your goal is to lose fat and tone up. You’ve read plenty of my other articles and know that I recommend a mix of 5 tools to create and sculpt the body of your dreams. Those 5 tools are nutrition, hydration, cardio, rest and strength training. Today’s article is all about creating a killer routine that delivers amazing results.
In my many years of experience in the fitness industry I have come across a few timeless myths. One of those myths really gets me piping mad. Have you ever heard, “Lift lighter weights for more repetitions if you want to tone up”? You probably have if you are a woman. I can already feel my blood beginning to boil!
The truth about strength training routines is that they can only be effective if they are created for you and your goals. Lifting light weights for 15 or more repetitions is not going to reduce body fat or help you tone. It will help you work on endurance. If endurance is your goal, then by all means lift lighter for a longer rep time.
On the flip side, and the most popular side, is lifting to lose fat. Your fat loss strength training routine should include heavier weights for low-to-medium repetition ranges. Below is a check list of items that your strength training routine should include:
- An exercise for each major muscle
- Between 3-4 sets for each exercise
- 8-10 reps per set
- A correct weight for each exercise
- 1-2 minute rest periods between sets
Here are all the major muscle groups in suggested order: back, chest, quads, shoulders, hamstrings and glutes, biceps, triceps, abs and calves. You can select from a full body routine done 2-3 times per week or split your lower body and abs from your upper body. An example would be: lower body and abs on Monday and Friday and upper body on Tuesday and Saturday.
Regardless of doing a full body routine or a split routine you will choose an exercise for each of these muscles and do it 3-4 times per workout. Each set will include 8-10 repetitions. You should rest for at least a minute between each set.
The way for you to determine what weight you should lift is to choose a weight that you can safely lift 8 times with perfect form. By the last repetition in each set, you should feel tired. If you feel as though you could do a few more reps with perfect form than move to a higher weight on the next set. You have selected the correct weight so long as you can get within 2-3 reps of the called for rep range with perfect form and your muscles feel tired.
Grouping together the correct weight, rep range, amount of sets, and exercises will result in a fabulous strength training routine that blasts away unwanted pounds. There are more than enough Internet sites providing free routines and information. I recommend using a routine that is developed specifically for you and your goals. You can have a master trainer (me!) create a routine for you for $25 these days. You simply fill out a few forms and I send you an email with your custom build routine attached. Easy, simple, and designed for results!