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Check my routine, please!

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
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Default Check my routine, please!

Hi all, I'm hoping I can get some advice about my routine. I'm 5'4", 157 lbs., 30% body fat, and I'd like to get down to around 28-27% body fat and 150-155 lbs. I'm restricting calories but not extensively (using MyFitnessPal which puts me at 1580 but gives calories back for exercise), and have lost about 2 lbs. a month over the past three months. I really don't want to lose too much hip/breast tissue (although I know you can't specify where the fat comes off).

Right now, I take bellydance classes 2-3 hours a week and practice 1-2 hours at home (lots of core/shoulder strength, plus some legs), and I do the routine below 3x a week (takes about 30 min, then I add 10 min of yoga to cool down). I increase either weight or reps every other week or once a month depending on how accustomed I'm getting to the workout. I never lift two days in a row, and I always drink a protein shake or eat a protein bar after lifting (unless I'm about to eat a balanced dinner with protein). However, I don't get a lot of protein in my regular diet (just not a big meat eater).

Exercise are done more or less in this order, and I go through the whole routine twice. I just upped my weight from 15 lbs. dumbbells to 20 lbs.
Bicep Curls 6-12 reps
Tricep Extensions 8-14 reps
Bent Over Rows 8-14 reps
Lunges 20 reps (w/ dumbbells)
Bench Press 6-12 reps
Exercise Ball Crunches 25 reps
Pointers/Bird Dogs (25 counts of extended arm and leg moving up and down)
Squats 20 reps (w/ dumbbells)
Exercise Ball Push-Ups 6-12 reps (difficulty increased by moving further up on ball)
Calf Raises 16 reps (unweighted)
Overhead Press 6-12 reps (alternating arms)

Does anyone have advice on something I'm missing, or something I should change? I just don't feel like I'm gaining as much muscle as I should be! I'm not tightening up the way I expected. Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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Well, part of the problem that I can see is that you are using the same weight for all exercises and you shouldn't be. On your last rep of a set you should barely be able to complete it. And anything you are doing more than 12 reps on I would add more weight and take it down to 8-12 reps.

Do you mean you do it once all the way through and then do it again or you do each one twice one right after the other? If you are doing it once all the way through and then again, you should be doing set of the same exercise one right after another with a rest period of 30-90 seconds (30 is more for a cardio-type weight lifting). And personally I would be doing 3 sets instead of 2.

Is there a reason the calf raises are unweighted? They'll be more effective if you hold weights.

By no means am I an expert, these are just my opinions =)
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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I do the whole thing all the way through and start over. This way, I get some cardio too since I don't have to take breaks because I'm not doubling up on body parts and I can just power through. I use the same weight, just different reps, because I work out at home (like I do 6 reps of bicep curls but 8 reps of tricep extensions at the same weight, and of course with leg exercises I'm holding both dumbbells for 40 lbs). My dumbbells are loose plates so I can go from 5-20 lbs. (need to get more plates to increase). With the screw caps I hate trying to change weights mid-workout but I could play around with the rotation and try it if it might make a big difference! I do work each exercise to exhaustion, or just shy of it if I'm doing my first round.
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Size 14 to Size 8, 41-35-44 to 38-28-38

Maintaining Size 8, 39-29-39
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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Well, to be honest, I would scrap it

You have to think large body parts then to smaller body parts. Your biceps are dinky little muscles... why fatigue them before a bench press, which works them anyways? In fact, with a bench press, you don't even need bicep curls.

Think of it like a statue - you carve out the shape/figure first - then you work on making a perfect human-like finger after. Weight training is similar - you work on major body parts (bench press, squat, rows) and then later on you work on the minor details.
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