For the first time I ever, I am consistently lifting weights in the gym. And I don’t hate it!
My husband has always wanted me to “lift heavy” with him at the gym (our small little gym where we live… we don’t have gym memberships). Usually when I went with him, I’d do some bicep curls, stand near the squat rack to look really tough, and then hop on the treadmill where I am comfortable and zone out.
While I do love to zone out on the ol tready, and still run occasionally with friends, I have put some time and effort into strength training. No, I’m not looking to become a body builder, but some tone-age would be nice. And I’d also be doing my muscles and bones a favor, too! (Logging miles at the same ol pace- aka what I fall into habit of doing- only causes muscle imbalances and isn’t so great on the bones and joints over time). Plus, its good quality “us” time for me and hubs.
I went onwebsite, where they offer a TON of info on everything fitness- from strength training, to nutrition, to articles to fill your noggin with fit knowledge. After browsing through their training plans for women, I decided upon Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer program.It’s divided into 3 phases, each 4 weeks long. I’m recapping on here each phase.
Phase 1 Weeks 1&2: 4 days of strength training, 3 days of rest.
I didn’t realize that week 2’s exercises were the exact same as week 1. At first, I didn’t think I’d be a fan. The same thing? Again? BUT, after 1 week I was already able to increase some of my weights.
Now for weeks 1 and 2, it’s considered the muscle endurance phase. Just getting those muscles all warmed up for what’s to come! But because Ryan is a go big or go home kinda guy, I wasn’t allowed to slack. 😉 From the website: “The goal is to prepare your muscles for a strength-training program that will also promote muscle growth. Not bodybuilder-quantity muscle, but lean, toned muscle that’ll give your body the “lines” you’ve always wanted.”
Jamie instructs you to do 3 sets of 12 each exercise, at 60% max effort. (More explanations when you read the plan.)
Favorite exercise: One arm dumbbell preacher curl (isolates the bicep really well)
Phase 1 Weeks 3&4: 5 days of strength training, 2 days of rest.
Because life and work gets hectic, I had a harder time doing my days in order. I took one of my rest days in the middle of the week, and worked out one of the weekend days. Life happens, it’s good to be flexible.
Weeks 3 and 4 are considered muscle-building phase. The reps per set are lowered to 10, however you want to be lifting at 80% max effort (heavier weights, fewer reps).
There were some of the same exercises from the first two weeks, with some new ones thrown in to keep those muscles guessing. I feel I am a lot more comfortable adjusting gym equipment, and more confident with heavier weights.
Favorite exercise: Single-leg barbell deadlift… these left my booty sore for days!
Other stuff I’d like to add about the program:
-Jamie offers nutrition tips, as well as suggestions on WHAT to eat. It’s a big help when making my grocery list.
-I print out each day’s workout… I freaking love workbooks so this is right up my alley. I like to have a visual of what I am doing, how much I am doing, and there’s space to write your mood and anything else you want to add regarding your progress.
-Changes I’ve noticed: my arms are a bit more vein-y, which I think looks kinda cool, as long as it doesn’t get too outta control 😉 I also think my quads are getting stronger; I’ve been able to increase my weights more with lower body exercises than upper.
-So far, I think it’s a perfect tool for someone wanting a solid strength training program!
Phase 1 & Done!
How often do you lift weights? What % effort
Anyone love a particular training guide? Do share!