Weight and Resistance Training - Weight Training, don't know where to start.

03-03-2008, 12:57 PM
I'm in the process of changing my old bad habits for better ones to become more healthy and more fit.

I'm interested in weight training. I don't belong to a gym and can't afford a personal trainer. I do however own two sets of weights, 3 lbs and 5 lbs, no laughing please! ;)

I have never, yep that's right, never done weight training. I don't know where to start. I don't want to be a body builder. I just want to add more muscle to my body and be more toned. I've been trying to read previous posts but I couldn't find anything that has just basic moves and info for someone like me. There was an older post from Meg with links to basic moves, but the videos are no longer there when I click on them.

What basic moves are good? How many reps should I do? How often should I work out? What kind of weights should I use (how many lbs)?

Any help is appreciated!!! :)

03-03-2008, 01:04 PM
Kat, we have a quite a few members who are currently following the plan in the New Rules of Lifting for Women (http://www.amazon.com/New-Rules-Lifting-Women-Goddess/dp/1583332944/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204563252&sr=8-1), with great results. It's a book that a beginner could easily follow and it has illustrations of all the exercises. You don't need to have any prior experience and all the workouts are laid out for you, week by week. You work at your own level (3 and 5 # DBs are fine to start ;) ) and progress when you're ready. I think you'll outgrow those weights pretty quickly, but heavier DBs are inexpensive and a good investment.

If it's something you want to try, you'll find plenty of support here in the chat thread with the others who are following the plan. :)

03-03-2008, 03:10 PM
Well, I've heard the book mentioned a number of times around here, so today I ordered it. I always feel like I'm playing with the weights. Don't get me wrong, I've seen some strength improvement (ie. I can actually do push-ups, not many, on my toes - which I could never do before). I just feel like I need some guidance in the strength training area.

I've got the smaller weights around the house, but lately I've been using AquaBells. I bought them for a long trip I was taking, but decided afterwards that there was no reason I couldn't use them at home. You fill them with water (up to 16-lbs for each set). Right now I'm using them just under 8lbs ea., but it will give me a little room to grow into. Then I'll look at whatever I need.

03-03-2008, 06:10 PM
I bought the NRL4W book and have had a hard time reading it let alone doing it.:D
It just seems way too hard to me. Maybe I am not understanding it properly.
However I have been very interested in reading the link to JP Fitness forum where they discuss the book that I think Baffled posted.
Learned a lot of good information reading those threads.
As a beginner, like you, even though I have been lifting for a short while, my favorite site is Krista's:
I am following her beginner 2 day split but adding in lunges on the lower body WL day and tricep/bicep work on the UBWL day.
I also do 4 ab exercises on each WL day.
On the three other days I do high intensity interval training. I am lucky to have a treadmill at home. I am running for 1 min ( with about a 15 min each warm up and cool down) and a 2 min recovery for about 30 min--total 60 mins.
When you go to her site you can type in either Workout 1 or Workout 2 which are the beginner work outs.
She is excellent on learning the right form for squats, deadlifts and other exercises.
Oh and she has a workout --workout 6-using dumbbells only which you could adapt to your aquabells I think.
When you want to go up in weight bowflex makes a great weight set where you simply dial the setting to change the weights. I can't remember exactly how much it costs --I think between $100 and $150.
It makes it so easy as a beginner to go up in 2 and 1/2 lb increments of weight.

03-03-2008, 07:04 PM
Katie - too late, I had already sent the order when I posted it. It should be here in a couple of days so I'll see how it goes. I'll also look at Krista's site in the meantime. Once I have the book in hand I'll probably check out the forum link you posted. I'm actually quite lucky to have a treadmill at home as well. I don't run, but I use the incline to raise my heart rate. I don't have any problems doing 3 x 30 min sets a day (lucky to have time at the moment as well). With the best will in the world I'm not limber enough to do a lot of toning exercises (although I have a DVD I suffer through every now and then). I've got a long way to go and need to work on other things (ie. not just the treadmill).

Thanks for the response.

03-04-2008, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the information. I'll look into that book too, maybe that's something that will help me. I can always return it if it doesn't work out for me.

I also have the older TurboJam DVD and it does have a portion for weight training, I'll give that one a try and see how I do.

Thanks again! :)

03-04-2008, 02:25 PM
I just started the NRLW program. When I first picked up the book, I must've not been into it but I really wanted nothing to do with it. A month later, I started the program and have to say I really like.

It starts slow. I also know you are supposed to do the program as designed and not add on but I am adding on some kettlebell stuff just because I can. It also makes sense on why you don't need to work smaller muscle groups which is partially what I've believed for years.

I also like that the pushups are straight leg pushups rather than on your knees. It makes more sense to me to do straight leg pushups at an incline and I was doing that even before I got the book.

I think it is a good program and doable for basically anyone.

03-04-2008, 05:10 PM
I agree, Nelie, except that I have had to adapt a few things for my poor knees which will not tolerate any impact, or bending too low. But I totally agree about the push-ups, and I'm able to do them at a much lower incline these days, and someday I'll get to the floor :crossed:

03-04-2008, 05:25 PM

I have horrible knees too so I know I'll have to adapt some stuff.

03-04-2008, 07:59 PM
So how are you adapting things like the jumps? I've done everything low impact for years but when it comes to jumping of any kind (rope, jacks, the squats and lunges in the NRL4W etc.) I never feel walking through them gives me enough resistence to get the same benefit that I would get if I could just jump. Mind if I pick your brain?


03-04-2008, 08:07 PM
BTW, I love using my cage to do the elevated pull ups. It is easy to adjust down (or up) I just put my Olympic bar across the supports at the level I'm capable of doing and have at it, the mat under it really helps keep my feet from slipping too. As I get stronger I lower the bar. You can also suspend yourself under it and do an "assisted" pull up of sorts.

03-04-2008, 11:32 PM

Basically what you do intead of the jumps really depends upon why the jumps were programmed in to begin with.

In the case of the leg matrix where Alwyn has you do squats, lunges, jump squats, and jump lunges, he has that programmed in as a finisher primarily for metabolic purposes. In this case, find some type of exercise that will really rev up the heart rate. If you can do squat thrusts, they'd be a good alernative to throw in there for example. Or if you can't really come up with something similar to that particular finisher, create a similar metabolic challenge. Even doing a few sets of a barbell complex, such as 10 RDLs straight into 10 bent over rows straight into a 10 front squats straight into 10 push presses straight into 10 good mornings straight into 10 back squats. Go light. Basically you are going to use your 10-12 RM for your weakest excercise in the complex (which in this example is probably the push press). Do this complex 3 or 4 times with a minute in between and you will get gassed as you would in the leg matrix. Tabata kettlebell swings or tabata squats will also do.

Now, if the jumps were programmed in as a power exercise, then find a power exercise with less of a violent jump, such as power cleans, snatches, a high pull, or a jump shrug.

03-05-2008, 02:18 AM
Oh, thanks for the suggestions, Depalma. :) I'm just about finished with stage 1, and those jump squats, etc. are right at this point. I can do regular squats and lunges, just can't go too deep. I had a lot of trouble with my right leg in doing the step-ups. I just cannot put all my weight on that knee joint that many times or for that long. I just did a regular basic step from an aerobics class. Not as good for the balance or the core, but active. The left knee will stand for (ha, ha) the exercise and I do use it.

Nelie, it took a bit to get used to that prone whatever on the ball. It's a great core/ab workout though. I really felt it the first time.

03-05-2008, 02:30 PM
Depalma -- excellent, I feel like a light bulb just came on and blinded me, that makes perfect sense I should have thought of that myself.

Thank you,