Weightlifting Routine

Strength training is one of the foundations of physical fitness. The following is an approach to strength training.

I prefer to use Nautilus machines, because they provide the most complete workout. You can use them if you prefer, or any other type of weights.

The routines described here provide a balanced workout. I also do the abdominal routine following the Nautilus routines. This routine is originally described in The Nautilus Book” by Ellington Darden. I put them on a set of laminated cards, with another card to record weights and reps. Email me if you want me to make a set for you.

For a complete workout routine, I do 15 minutes of hard walking, then the Nautilus routine, then the ab routine, then a Tai Chi or martial arts set, then the stretch routine, then 15 more minutes of hard walking. I do this three times a week. Between each major section of activity I also do a smaller stretch to keep from pulling muscles.

I’ve recently discovered Pilates, which combines the stretching with dynamic movements to give a combination workout-some muscular stress, stretching and cardio. I would suggest it if you don’t have a lot of time and want to keep in shape-you can get a good workout in 15 minutes. I have a laminated set of pages with the 34 core Pilates mat exercises-email me.

I also have a quickie 6 minute workout if you’re interested. I do this one now because I have no time in my life for any other exercise-it’s not bad for maintaining a low level of fitness. It’s simple.

  • one minute of high steps
  • one minute of trunk rotation
  • 20 deep squats
  • 20 rear lunges
  • 30 sec of side bridge each side
  • 30 sec of pushup position

I think this is best done every other day, but every day might be better.

I’ve also discovered the Tibetan 5 Rites. It’s a little more involved than the short one, but shorter than Pilates. Here it is (all go up to 21 reps):

  1. Stand with arms outstretched horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Spin around clockwise until you become slightly dizzy. Inhale and exhale deeply.
  2. Lie flat on your back. Stretch your arms along your side and place your palms on the floor, fingers close together. Raise your head up, tuck your chin. Lift your legs, knees straight, straight up. Extend your legs towards your head, legs straight. Slowly lower legs and head to the floor, knees straight. Relax, and repeat. Breathe in deeply as you lift and exhale as you lower.
  3. Kneel, body erect. Hands on the backs of your thigh muscles. Tilt head and neck forward, tuck chin into the chest. Throw the head and neck backward, arch the spine. Toes curled under. Brace your arms and hands against the thighs. Return to an erect position. Inhale as you arch and exhale as you return.
  4. Sit down, legs straight out, feet about 12″ apart. Place your palms alongside your backside. Tuck the chin forward. Drop the head backward. Raise your body-knees bend, arms straight. Tense every muscle. Relax and return to sitting. Rest. Breathe in going up, hold your breath as you tense, and breathe out going down.
  5. Lie down, face down. Hands palms down, toes flexed. Hands and feet are straight. Push up with arms perpendicular to the floor, spine arched,
    cobra position. Throw the head back as far as possible. Bend at the hips and bring the body into an inverted “V”. Bring the chin forward and tuck it against the chest. Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, and exhale fully as you lower the body.
  6. Stand straight and breathe out completely. Bend over forward putting your hands on your knees, forcing out the last trace of air. With your lungs empty return to standing straight posture. Put your hands on your waist and push your shoulders up by pressing down with your hands. Pull the abdomen in as much as possible and raise your chest, keeping your lungs empty. Hold this position as long as you are capable, with empty lungs. Breathe in through the nose until your lungs are full. Exhale through the mouth, relaxing arms to hang free. Take several deep breaths before the next repetition.

Here’s another set I’ve begun doing during work-I’m also standing all day and walking back and forth from work and home to public transit. It seems to work pretty well for me.

0
Squat-Pushup-Crunch
7
Step
15
Cloud hands-Pull up-Crunch
23
Stretch
30
Squat-Overhead press-Crunch
37
Step
45
Cloud hands-Rowing-Crunch
53
Stretch

Here are the guidelines:

Step: about 30 seconds of high stepping.
Squat: 8-15 medium to low squats.
Lunge/Cloud Hands: 8-15 side to side lunges or cloud hands (from t’ai chi). Low position.
Stretch: Stretch calves, adductors, hamstrings, quads, twist,
lean, arms up, arms back, delts, neck-5 sec for each (I do 10 secs for my hamstrings)
Pushup/overhead press: 8-30 repetitions, depending on weight and fitness level.
Crunch: 8-24 repetitions depending on fitness level. I do mine standing.
Pullup/Row: 8-15 repetitions, dependin on weight and fitness level.

Here are some general guidelines for lifting.

  • Alternate BASIC ROUTINE 1 with the other 5 basic routines.
  • Do a NEGATIVE workout once a week.
  • Do a CHANGE-OF-PACE routine once a month.
  • Do each exercise for 1 set, 12 to 15 reps for legs, 8 to 12 reps for arms. If you do +12 or 15 good reps, increase weight.
  • The 9-12th (12th-15th) reps should be to FAILURE.
  • Substitute exercises if you can’t use a machine (eg., bent rows for rowing torso, shoulder machine for 70 shoulder, leg lifts for hip flexion, etc.)
BASIC ROUTINE I

Duo Hip and Back
Hip Adduction
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Pullover
Behind Neck Pulldown
Lateral Raise
Overhead Press
Neck and Shoulder
Arm Cross
Decline Press
4-Way Neck


BASIC ROUTINE II

Hip Abduction
Leg Extension
Leg Press or Duo Squat
Calf Raise
Behind Neck
Behind Neck Pulldown
Dip
Rowing Torso
Multi-Triceps Extension
Multi-Biceps Curl
Abdominal
Lower Back

BASIC ROUTINE III

Side Leg Curl
Hip Adduction
Leg Press or Duo Squat
Hip Flexion
Pullover
Overhead Press
Chin or Negative Chin
Dip or Negative Dip
Wrist Curl
Reverse Wrist Curl
Abdominal
Rotary Torso


BASIC ROUTINE IV

Hip Flexion
Leg Extension
Leg Press or Duo Squat
Leg Curl
Calf Raise
Lateral Raise
Overhead Press
Pullover
Behind Neck Pulldown
Arm Cross
Decline Press
Neck and Shoulder


BASIC ROUTINE V

Hip Adduction
Hip Abduction
Duo Hip and Back
Hip Flexion
Behind Neck
70 degree Shoulder
Decline Press
10 degree Chest
Triceps Extension
Compound Position Biceps
Abdominal
Lower Back


BASIC ROUTINE VI

Leg Press or Duo Squat
Leg Extension
Calf Raise
Leg Curl
40 degree Chest/Shoulder
Lateral Raise
Pullover
Duo Decline Press
Wrist Curl
Reverse Wrist Curl
4-Way Neck
Rotary Neck


NEGATIVE ROUTINE I

Leg Extension(Lift w/two, lower w/one)
Leg Press(Lift w/two, lower w/one)
Leg Curl(Lift w/two, lower w/one)
Hip Adduction(Lift w/two, lower w/one)
Pullover(Negative Only)
Chin(Negative Only)
Lateral Raise(Negative Only)
Overhead Press(Negative Only)
Neck and Shoulder(Light weight, push down)
Dip(Negative Only)


NEGATIVE ROUTINE II

Hip Abduction(Light weight, push down)
Leg Curl(Light weight, push down)
Leg Press(Light weight, push down)
Leg Extension(Light weight, push down)
Rowing Torso(Light weight, push down)
Decline Press(Negative Only)
Pullover(Negative Only)
Overhead Press(Lift w/two, lower w/one)
Abdominal(Negative Only)


CHANGE OF PACE ROUTINE I

Overhead Press
Chin
Duo Decline Press
Pullover
Dip
Rowing Torso
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Triceps Extension w/Towel
Compound Position Bicep
Hip Flexion


CHANGE OF PACE ROUTINE II

Leg Press (Seat Back)
Pullover
Leg Press (Seat Close)
Behind Neck
Calf Raise
Abdominal
Dip
Triceps Extension
Chin
Biceps Curl
Lower Back


ABDOMINAL ROUTINE

EXERCISE REPS SPEED
Hanging leg raises 12 med
Hanging knee-ups 5 med
Rest 10 seconds
Hanging leg raises 10 med
Hanging kneeups max med
Lying leg raises 30 med
Rest 10 seconds
Lying leg raises 20 med
Cross crunch max slow
Abdominal crunch max slow
1/4 situps 15 fast
Knee rock-back 20 med

DEFINITIONS
Hanging leg raises Hang from a bar, raise slightly bent legs almost to chest. MAKE SURE BACK IS ROUNDED.
Hanging kneeups Hang from a bar, lift bent legs to chest.
Lying leg raises Place hands under pelvis. Raise and lower legs from 12″ to 18″ above floor. MAKE SURE BACK IS ROUNDED.
Abdominal crunch Bent knee situp position. Raise shoulders and upper back off the ground, hold and lower. Rest hands on neck but DO NOT PULL.
Cross crunch Abdominal crunch but turn elbow and shoulder towards opposite knee.
1/4 situps Abdominal crunch but raise knees to a right angle from floor.
Knee rock-back 1/4 situp position. Lift legs up and to the chest.

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