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Weight Lifting Routine -- how do you choose

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Old 08-03-2005, 09:34 AM   #1
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Default Weight Lifting Routine -- how do you choose

your routine? I went through a 12 week program a few months ago. Since then I've been kind of hit and miss as to following someone else's routine or trying to put my own together. I'm getting more comfortable with which exercises work which body parts, but it's still a learning curve. I've looked at things like BFL but they seem like a lot of sets/reps for 1 work out. Looking online, I find a good deal of workouts designed for either end -- bodybuilders/fitness models or people who are just starting out.

So, how do you pick what to do and design? What factors are in play? How often do you switch up your routine and which parts (reps/sets/exercises/frequency/splits vs fullbody/etc).

And, on a side note, what kind of goals do you set now? It was easier to say "workout regularly --3x a week" or "lose 50#" (easier to "say" not necessarily "do" LOL). I know I need goals, but I'm kind of lost as to what to goal towards.

I know, I just come on here and keep asking questions that you've probably answered before, but I know you ladies (and gents) know what you're talking about and are living it so I feel confident that you're not trying to sell anything, but share your experiences.

Thanks,
Brenda
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Old 08-03-2005, 09:57 AM   #2
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Check out www.stumptuous.com I hand-picked mine from there, she has just about everything and the site is great! Lots of advice and humour!
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:16 PM   #3
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I created my workouts with the help of Krista's site, the BFL book, the book The Body Sculpting Bible for Women (ignore the word sculpting in the title, it's actually a decent book), and especially the workout menus on exrx.net which I find are a wonderful reference. It took me a while to figure out what length etc. worked best for me - if you post what you're thinking about on the forum, you can get some great thoughts and advice from people.

Goals: Most of my weight-lifting goals right now are of the "increase my weight on this exercise" format. I track all of my workouts on index cards so that makes it easier to keep track of where I'm at and where I've been. I've also started experimenting with a 'focus' for each workout, which is something I've taken from my Nia classes. One day it might be "perfect form" or another "go heavy" or "go light but superslow". There are a lot of mechanical ways to change things up - go heavier on weights and lighter on reps, or vice versa, or do supersets or dropped sets, but it can get overwhelming really fast, so I'm sticking with my pyramid sets, 3 sets of 10 reps, for right now.

Overall goal-wise, besides getting my weight-loss restarted, I can leg press my bodyweight, and now I want to be able to squat, deadlift, and eventually bench press my own bodyweight.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:10 PM   #4
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Here are some good split examples: http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Instructions.html
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:40 AM   #5
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I had an interesting chat with a physiotherapist this week. He used to kayak and have muscles, before they had three daughters in four years. Now he says everything has dropped to sit just hanging over his waistband So he started lifting weights.
I talked to him about the Body Sculpting Bible for women. Although I'm really glad I bought it. It has excellent pictures, instruction, anatomy, nutrition advice. I find the workouts tedious, long drawn out affairs of counting and waiting.....
He's all in favour of customizing what works for you, emphasizing good form of course. Heavy and don't worry about sets and reps except to track progress. Work on muscle groupings, he feels there's really only 3 or 4.
I've known all this before (learned it here) and enjoyed a 2 or 3 day split. I don't know why I went hunting for something else .... the magic fix , I guess.
Again let me say that I'm glad I bought the book for many reasons however I think I'll go back to what worked before.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm finding that the more I visit sites and books that I may have looked at earlier in this "journey" the more I realize that my knowledge has expanded and things make more and more sense than they did previously. Guess I have to just remember to keep reviewing the same things and see if they click yet!
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:14 PM   #7
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Susan - I agree with you about the workouts as given in the body sculpting book - there's a lot of stuff in there about supersets and two different workouts for each body part that you switch between and all that, it made my head hurt Mainly I find the exercise illustrations by body part the most useful.

Brenda, it's funny how we take what we've learned for granted sometimes isn't it? I'm another one who always is looking for the next big thing and probably changes my routine up too often, but I'm trying to get better.
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:58 PM   #8
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I usually work out my routines using books and sites as Laura mentioned. One book that helped me a lot at the beginning was Weight Training for Dummies - not so much for the exercises (which are found elsewhere as well) but for helping me create routines, and also for spelling out in what order you should work muscles, i.e. from small to large in each area. I always refer back to the order when making a new routine, and making sure the exercise I'm planning hits the muscle group I want. I've been planning to change my routine for several weeks now, but so far I've not taken the time to sit down and do it. But since I spent the last week on a boat and then at a conference, I haven't done much so another week on the old routine will be fine.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:14 AM   #9
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(sorry to hjack - but....) WELCOME HOME, PAT!!!!
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:01 PM   #10
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From small to large? Are you sure that's what it said?
and welcome back!

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Old 08-09-2005, 01:14 PM   #11
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No, I'm not sure. I'll have to go look again. I was operating in post-vacation mode yesterday. Now that I think about my routine, I'm questioning myself. Sigh. I hate getting old.

Edit: Okay, I do run a library. Duh, get the book off the shelf. So, I had it backwards. Here's what it says:

In general, work your large muscles before your small muscles. This practice ensures that your larger muscles - such as your butt, back and chest - are sufficiently challenged. . . . If you were to work smaller muscles first, they'd be too tired to help out [the larger musccles].

Feel better Mel? Sorry I was out of it yesterday.
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Last edited by WaterRat : 08-09-2005 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 08-11-2005, 12:34 AM   #12
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Oh, yes, Weight Lifting for Dummies is actually a great book; I have it around here somewhere. (And welcome back too, Pat!)
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