Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weight Lifting in October

My brother has enjoyed doing weight lifting at the gym for most of his life.

Here's a record of my current routine in the P.E. class I am taking. Now my brother can smile at how much stronger he is than me. :-)

For those who have not done weight lifting, know that the order of exercises depends upon your training goals and philosophy. The order I use is perhaps the most common in this country for the goal of endurance. To summarize:
  • each workout do upper body and lower body exercises, but categorize these separately
  • within the upper/lower body group of exercises work the large muscle-groups first
  • for the upper body, do pushing movements first and then pulling movements second
With only 50 minutes, I try to do the upper body exercises once, the lower body exercises once, and then the upper body exercises a second time. Ideally I would do three sets of each exercise, but I am not that dedicated to the weight training. There is also an "ab workout" the instructor leads each class with difference exercises done on a mat; I won't list this below.

Also, after about nine times the exercises become less efficient as your muscles adapt. Since my class meets three days per week, this means that every three weeks I adjust which exercises I do. This can be a small change, for example using a wider or narrower grip on a barbell. Or it can be a larger change, for example switching from a machine to a barbell or dumbbells.

Anyway, Friday's routine, as unimpressive as it was, was to do:
This is not a very impressive list as far as weight. The fact my bicycling and skateboarding keep my lower body in better shape than my upper body is readily apparent if you are familiar with these exercises.

The weight I use on the bench press and "total hip machine" is lower than it should be for ideal exercise because I am new to these exercises. I need to use a lesser bench press weight to be able to train my muscle memory for proper bench press technique. The "total hip machine" makes my leg muscles sore as I push against its roller, so I stop my reps before muscle fatigue requires.

To build endurance well I should be doing 10-20 repetitions for each exercise. Next week I need to up the weight for my dumbbell arnolds and the exercises of which I am did 20 repetitions. The exception are hip abductor and adductor exercises, which most people do many repetitions of lighter weight to avoid getting huge thighs, and the wrist roller.