If you are beginning weight training, please start with Month One. Skipping ahead may in the long run hinder your progress.
Maintain the same schedule of weight training one day and aerobic walking the next. Take one day off every week and do no exercise at all.
On Cardio Days
Continue walking 30 minutes per session. By now, you are probably moving along at a pretty fast clip. That’s good. If you can manage to walk over hilly terrain, which builds intensity, be sure to do it. If there are no hills nearby, think about adding a weighted waist belt or small day-pack with some added weight inside, just enough to make you work a little harder. Some people carry hand weights or wear ankle weights. Personally, I don’t like them when walking, as they seem to throw off my natural stride.
If you are not ready yet for hills or wearing a weighted belt, that’s okay. Gradually, keep doing a little more until you get there.
Remember to always begin by walking slowly for the first few minutes; then gradually work up to a faster pace and maintain it until the last few minutes; then gradually slow it down. I’ll mention again that a “fast pace” is one where you begin feeling a little perspiration after 10 or 15 minutes and you'll be huffing and puffing bit – but still be able to speak in short sentences comfortably.
Don’t sit down immediately after finishing your cardio walk. Cool off by moving around and walking in a leisurely manner for a few minutes. Then, softly, stretch your hamstrings and calves a bit. Good. You’re finished for the day.
Beginning Weight Training 2
This month we will change some of the exercises and add a second set to some of them.
Start with a 3- to 5-minute warm-up. Walk in place, cycle, move around or do light calisthenics.
Reps: That’s short for repetitions. Doing an exercise for 10 reps means repeating it consecutively 10 times.
Sets: Sets are groups of reps. Let’s say you do 10 reps, rest, and then do 10 more: that’s 2 sets.
Clean: To pull and lift a weight from the floor to shoulder level.
Exercises Sets x Reps
Soft (non-ballistic), relaxed stretching: 5 minutes
Weight training notes for month two:
1. Weight train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Rest one minute between sets. This routine should take one longer than one hour.
2. Do the exercises in good form. No swinging, bouncing or cheating. Maintain a smooth, steady cadence, always controlling the weights by muscle power alone. Don’t let them kind of drop while lowering them. It is bad for tendons and ligaments. Control them, always.
3. Continue adding 1 rep per exercise at each workout until you reach the number of reps called for. Then at the next workout, add some weight – not too much – and go back to the minimum number of reps; once again, add 1 rep at each subsequent workout. Now is a good time to explain that eventually you won’t be able to progress in such a regular, structured manner. Adding more weight or repetitions will become more and more difficult. That is normal. If you could forever make gains in a straight line progression, eventually you would be lifting thousands of pounds. But keep improving at a planned rate for as long as you can. Once straight line progression is no longer possible, use your intuition as to when you can make further increases. Push yourself – but do not train to failure. End each set when you could squeeze out 1 or 2 more reps if you had to.
4. If you experience pain (as opposed to mild muscular soreness) from a particular exercise, discontinue that exercise. If pain persists, consult a health care professional.
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