Devising a Weight Lifting Routine without a Personal Trainer

For weight lifting novices – or those that need to be motivated to workout – a personal trainer can be very helpful. He will devise a weight lifting program for you, while keeping you accountable for showing up and giving 100% effort. Personal trainers can be expensive, however, with a few tips, you can devise your own unique weight lifting routine without a personal trainer!

A solid weight lifting routine is important to accomplish any muscle building and toning goals. A weight lifting routine must be adhered to on a regular basis in order for results to be seen. Your attention and dedication to your routine will produce the results you are after.

Outline a Schedule

The first thing you should do is outline a daily schedule of the weight lifting exercises you will perform. Since muscles require 48 hours of recovery after weight lifting, it would be a good idea to set a schedule where each muscle is scheduled at least every second day. For example, if biceps are worked today, they should not be worked on until at least two days from now.

Planning a weight lifting routine depends on how many days you want to workout – or are able to workout – and your recovery days. A sample weight lifting schedule would look like this (using muscle groups to illustrate):

Day 1

  • Biceps
  • Back
  • Abdominals

Day 2

  • Rest

Day 3

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Legs

Day 4

  • Rest

Day 5

  • Shoulders
  • Abdominals

In the above simplified weight lifting schedule, the muscle groups are scheduled so that they are not worked on consecutive days to allow proper recovery. You will also notice that there are days of rest that are incorporated into the schedule. One of the biggest mistakes that novice and intermediate weight lifters make when they begin a weight lifting regimen is over-emphasizing training and not resting enough. The resting period is very important.

Repetitions and Sets

Each exercise should be performed with the optimal number of repetitions – or reps – and sets. This will ensure proper growth of the muscle. A rep is the number of times a weight is lifted and returned to starting position. For example, when conducting bicep curls, one rep is completed when the weight is lifted towards the bicep, then lowered back to starting position. Ideally, you should be doing about eight to 12 reps for maximum results. If you are unable to do more than four or five reps, then the weight is too heavy. If you can continue doing more than 15 reps, then the weight is too light.

A set incorporates the number of reps conducted before taking a rest. Ideally, three sets should be done per exercise. This will maximize the work that the muscle must do without over-working it.

Keep Yourself Motivated

Be your own personal trainer for yourself and keep motivated. Give yourself pep talks before your routine and visualize the results that you would like to achieve. It may help to write down your weight lifting goals, as written goals are more likely to be adhered to. Training with a friend can also be a great help, especially if you need a spotter. If you are working out in a gym, this shouldn’t be too difficult. Do not be hard on yourself if a workout does not go well – these things will happen, and do happen to even the best ath


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