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3/13/14 10:39 P

DROP SETS. I do them to exhaustion. Start rather heavy until you can do no more in good form. Then "drop" to a lighter weight to exhaustion. Then finally drop to the lightest to exhaustion. Reps will depend on weight. I love doing this when I'm working with free weights.

IMREITE SparkPoints: (410,756)
Fitness Minutes: (295,233)
Posts: 20,776
3/13/14 1:15 A

i like spark videos. fitness blender has some online as well
here is an example

you can also search this site by area you want to work, equipment you have and difficulty level.

STITCH4EVER SparkPoints: (37,673)
Fitness Minutes: (56,956)
Posts: 4,033
3/12/14 3:07 P


TASSLES917 Posts: 90
3/11/14 2:12 P

I'm glad I found this thread. I was looking for assistance and have found a couple of exercises I will actually try.


3/11/14 1:47 P

Unlike DiscDog, I have had success with the Sparkpeople strength training videos. The sources are geared for beginners and provide a safe way to begin strength training on one's own. There are workouts that just use your own body weight for resistance if you don't have any equipment at home, as well as recommendations for workouts with all types of home/gym gear. The SP videos and workout generators did help me with my first experiences with strength training on my own and I was able to get started more quickly without having to buy a thing at first.

Edited by: CARLAWILLDOIT at: 3/11/2014 (13:47)
GENRE009 SparkPoints: (33,687)
Fitness Minutes: (15,287)
Posts: 4,367
3/2/14 6:24 P

Best strength exercises, that aren't hard are resistance, try Curves. You will be amazed how fast you'll tone up, and what it does.

DISCDOG Posts: 2,668
2/26/14 6:16 P

Honestly, I don't like the "programs" that SP has. I think they're pretty terrible, actually.

Get on a good beginner's lifting program. Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Bill Starr's 5x5. All-Pros Beginner's Workout. Google any of these. They are vastly superior to anything offered here or that a beginner would throw together themselves.

Here's the way I see it: Why waste time? The above are designed by he crème-de-le-crème of the strength and conditioning industry. The one's here are...well, they're not. ;)

JEANMALMGREN SparkPoints: (15,904)
Fitness Minutes: (55,805)
Posts: 5
2/25/14 6:48 P

What are you referring to when you say "the bar for resistance"?

N_SPECT_R Posts: 308
2/25/14 4:20 A

Check this blog, daily bible reading and workout.

This did not come up where I expected and I can edit but can't delete it. Sorry that it shows up twice.

Edited by: N_SPECT_R at: 2/25/2014 (04:22)
SPYGIRL777 SparkPoints: (733)
Fitness Minutes: (56)
Posts: 5
2/24/14 9:43 P

This is some awesome advice. Thanks so much. I am about to embark upon strength training for the first time at the suggestion of my doctor. She said I have very little muscle. My test # is 20.9. She said it should be between 21-29. That said, I have quite a ways to go. Please continue to share information to newbies like myself. Vey much needed. Thanks again.

LIFEINTHEZONE SparkPoints: (14,474)
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Posts: 333
2/24/14 12:44 P

Thanks guys for all the suggestions! I love SparkPeople!!!

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
2/24/14 12:29 P

I like that because I enjoy daily devotionals and just doing or finding a workout to do at the end of the reading would be great.

JR0124 Posts: 382
2/23/14 9:11 A

I also really enjoy the new rules of lifting plans. I've done women and have abs but only from the library so I'm not sure I can finish that one.

N_SPECT_R Posts: 308
2/20/14 4:11 A

I've been doing a daily bible reading blog and at the bottom of each blog I'm putting a daily workout. Very basic, based on interval training and uses a suspension trainer. I even have a video showing how to make one. Right now I am in a five week cycle working Back and biceps on Monday, legs on Wednesday, chest-shoulders-triceps on Friday. Tuesday and Thursday are cariod and Saturday is an option day. Check the blog or check this site;
m The site has only been up for a few weeks and still under construction. I have at least two more pages to add.

IMREITE SparkPoints: (410,756)
Fitness Minutes: (295,233)
Posts: 20,776
2/19/14 10:36 P

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
2/18/14 3:39 P

I like lifting in order to build strength.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (246,095)
Fitness Minutes: (123,259)
Posts: 14,871
2/18/14 6:44 A

XH managed a gym. The 'common' workout schedule was a 3 day rotation
chest, shoulders, triceps
back & biceps

they'd work in abs every other day.

or you can do a 2 day rotation - upper body one day; lower body one day

I do the machines for my planned muscle group, working in the free weights moves for the day. Most of the things I learned are from when I hired a personal trainer. I love the cable leg exercises he taught me.

I also picked up a good variety of ST exercises from The Firm videos. And watching some of the muscle heads do their thing.

I have a 3-ring binder of pages from Shape magazine, each in a sheet protector, and organized by muscle group. That's a good way to get some variety. If your gym has magazines in the waiting area, ask if you can have some of the old issues they are going to throw out.

come visit me & I'll take you to the personal fitness class. It's definitely your kind of workout!

MARYDOBBS SparkPoints: (5,342)
Fitness Minutes: (3,849)
Posts: 4
2/18/14 1:36 A

Congrats on wanting to start a strength training workout! You can do it! I operated a strength training gym in Austin TX. Its important to have someone help you who knows what they are doing and can help you get started. Weight training is great and can really help get the body you want!!

2/17/14 12:52 P

Just wad to thank ELLGEEBEE for the pintrest idea! Due to that awesome idea I found a great beginner kettle ball work out. I used to weight lift in high school but it's been awhile and I ended up a cardio junkie. I got a kettle ball that's 10lbs (not to light and not to heavy for me) and found a greats site via pintrest complete with pictures to start back up again! I also found a killer 10 minutes work out session that's sure to kick my butt one day a week. Thanks all!


Edited by: CEDARCITYMOM at: 2/17/2014 (13:00)
PATTIEMCD Posts: 1,107
2/17/14 12:36 P

I do lots of SP exercise videos. I'm never bored.

BETH_FROM_LA Posts: 348
2/17/14 10:23 A

I use
tone.html they have lots of routines and video demonstrations of most exercises.

I have used New Rules of Lifting for Women, I'd recommend that too, as have others before.

You can also have 1-2 sessions with a personal trainer, they can put a routine together for you, you don't need to pay for a lot of sessions, I have done that too.

Good luck. Strength training can be a lot of fun. I enjoy being a little sore, being able to lift heavier things and seeing my muscles develop.

GENRE009 SparkPoints: (33,687)
Fitness Minutes: (15,287)
Posts: 4,367
2/16/14 4:36 P

Best thing I have seen out there for $10.00 is the bar for resistance. or you could go to Curves. I worked machines, and did weights since 1968, and they weren't natural for the body. it took a long time to see results. yet with resistance you see everything quickly. it strengthens your back, tightens your stomach, strengthens your pelvis-helps against urinary problems like in continuance, stops jiggle arms. lifts breasts, tones butt, and is so easy. At the place I go to the one lady is 89, and looks & works out like someone in her 50's. then their is another that is 150 pounds overweight.

KNEEMAKER SparkPoints: (104,729)
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Posts: 1,336
2/14/14 9:33 P

Wish I could help but I'm trying to learn more myself.

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
2/14/14 7:05 P

I second Starting Strength and New Rules of Lifting for Women. NRLFW convinced me that I should be using free weights but the program seemed fussy and overcomplicated; SS focuses just on the core lifts, and Mark Rippetoe has a ton of form videos on YouTube that are incredibly helpful.

2/14/14 5:00 P

There are SO many options these days with weight training, cross training, core training, etc. etc. A personal trainer might be a good idea, though honestly, as I was one for 4 years as well as a fitness instructor for 11, I am often not impressed by many I see at the gym. That's probably because I'm at the YMCA and 24 Hour Fitness, where trainers are making just $20 an hour or less. Nonetheless, good form is everything, so that's why a trainer might be of great service.

I'm old school these days - back to basics and not combining muscle groups (such as bicep curl with a lunge or shoulder press with a squat). I don't split my routines - full body 3x week. Here are some thoughts for an hour routine -
Squats of course, and wide leg squats for inner thigh, but remember they are very different - keep the upper body upright completely. Try lifting up the heel of one foot or both - adding the calves. Try one-legged squats to add core. Can also squat then side leg lift to add more inner/outer thigh. If you use the bar for squats, remember that back squats are harder on your back but work the glutes and hamstrings more than front squats which focus more on the quads.
Lunges - we love to hate lunges! Front, back, side, walking - they're all great.
Deadlifts rock, but only if you do them correctly, which you'll need to have a professional check your form on. (Alternate to deadlifts to work hamstrings - hamstring curl machine)
Rows - the cable machine or one armed with free weights. (Alternate - reverse fly with free weights) Add lat pull down on cable machine if you'd like.
Chest press - do incline once a week. I recommend free weights but bar is fine too.
Triceps - on cable machine - important to use split rope and do it correctly.
Bicep - curls with free weights or bar - can switch it up with hammer curls
Shoulders - upright row with bar or free weights, overhead press with free weights (there are MANY shoulder exercises - take your pick and watch your form).
Remember any standing exercises can be done standing on one leg or on the Bosu balance trainer to add core work.
Abs - I'm not a long ab workout person. It's pointless to do a long ab workout, for once the muscles involved are fatigued, others will kick in to do the work. Slow bicycle and oblique twists (watch your form - twist from waist up as not to stress lower back - and use a free weight or alternate lifting opposite leg as you are twisting for added challenge)
Core - Planks rule. Regular on elbow, on the ball or adding lifting one leg up; side plank; straight arm plank with knee twist etc.

Have fun, be safe, work to fatigue and experiment!

DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
2/14/14 3:01 P

Someone suggested the New Rules of Lifting for Women already....I'd add that the New Rules of Lifting for Life AND the one for Abs are both great. I'm working my way through the Abs book right now, and to have routines that look almost too simple wipe me out so thoroughly is really refreshing emoticon

EGRAMMY Posts: 13,491
2/14/14 2:42 P

Get a personal trainer.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
2/13/14 4:30 P

Some really, really great suggestions here. MPLANE97: I love squats too. Anytime I'm in the gym, if I'm weight training, there has to be some squats there. I did some the other day, and could feel the right form; my abs were still a bit sore from a workout a few days back, and could feel it in my core. ;)

ARDISSA SparkPoints: (12,524)
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2/13/14 4:25 P has really good workouts.

KYLAR_STERN SparkPoints: (22,234)
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Posts: 1,053
2/13/14 12:53 P

DRAGONCHILDE- I know you know of it, and go ahead and start light if you desire. My mom (53 years old) ran it for 4 months before our small town gym closed up. She definitely got stronger, felt better, and never once felt like she was going to injure herself.

Starting strength- focuses on real, applicable, compound barbell lifts

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench press
3x3 Deadlift

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Shoulder/military press
3x5 bent over row (sub this in for the clean)

Start light enough that you're comfortable with the weight, alternate woukout A and B lifting 3 days a week, add whatever supplementary lifts you want after (although not needed), and increase legs by 10 pounds, and upper body by 5 each week

LOVEISMUSIC24 SparkPoints: (2,394)
Fitness Minutes: (4,703)
Posts: 61
2/13/14 12:09 P

A good friend of mine is studying to become a personal trainer and has offered me a lot of tips that have been working well for me.

He told me to alternate between strength and cardio days. One secret is, you still have to do about 30 minutes of cardio prior to lifting on your strength days. I'll usually hop on the treadmill and put it on an incline setting and just go.

I know some people who alternate body parts (one day arm work-outs, etc) but I've heard its important to include those rest days (i.e. your cardio days) and you'll really do better doing a full body work-out with weights every other day and you'll see more toning and strength development.

Mine usually looks like this:

30 min on the treadmill or elliptical
Seated Leg Extension Machine 3 sets of 15
Bench Press Machine 3 sets of 15
Lateral Pull Down 3 sets of 15
Pulls 3 sets of 15
Free Weights:
Alternating Curls 3 sets of 15
Tricep Extension 3 sets of 15
Chest Fly 3 sets of 15
Calf Raises 3 sets of 15
Core Rotation 3 sets of 15
Squats 3 sets of 15

Remember to rest between sets 30 seconds-1 minute and to increase your weight as your body gets stronger so you don't plateau. Good luck!

SEPT2014 SparkPoints: (9,886)
Fitness Minutes: (4,870)
Posts: 62
2/12/14 11:36 P

I have been strength training for several years and the best advice I can offer is progress slowly. Lifting too much too quickly or trying to do impressive numbers is the fastest way to invite injury. Listen to your body and make sure you give yourself recovery time because you are essentially "tearing muscles" so that when they reconnect they fuse even stronger. Be patient, you will get there!

2/12/14 11:20 A

Thanks for the help guys..... that pinterest idea sounds awesome! Never thought of that :-)

ELLGEEBEE SparkPoints: (1,038)
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Posts: 128
2/11/14 10:21 P

I've actually found a lot of great workouts on Pinterest. I scroll through the health and fitness section on a daily basis and find a lot of interesting/effective workout ideas, and you can always perform searches for something more specific (ie upper body). Pinterest has also led me to some helpful websites or video channels on youtube that I continue to utilize for workout routines. I'm not exactly the crafty or creative type so I was happy to find Pinterest can serve other uses. :)

SAMMI-SAM SparkPoints: (26,311)
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Posts: 844
2/11/14 8:31 P


LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
2/11/14 2:21 P

Strength training can be simple, Cedarcitymom, but it shouldn't be easy. :)

Check out "Body by You" by Mark Lauren. It's a book dedicated to body weight strength training exercises which means no extra equipment or weights to get started.

2/11/14 9:54 A

Help! I love running and weight lifting..... I live in a very small town, so limited access to gyms with no money to join.... I do have a 10lb kettle weight .... at least that's what I think its called..... anyhow.... I run/walk 3 days a week and am looking for an easy but effective weight lifting for my other 2 days a week.... my weekends need to be very flexible with a family..... any suggestions? emoticon

Edited by: CEDARCITYMOM at: 2/11/2014 (09:56)
MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (78,864)
Fitness Minutes: (77,635)
Posts: 2,170
2/11/14 9:52 A

When I started lifting weights, one condition was that it had to be over quickly. I was not particularly fond of the gym setting, especially if there are many people around. While looking through several programs, both split and full body workouts, I found the easiest one, and I went ahead and trimmed it further down. I ended up with barbell squats, barbell bench presses, and barbell rows.

Technically, I must be also doing deadlifts and overhead presses. I have no problem with any one of these two lifts, and in fact I am kind of good at deadlifts, but I can't do all 5 lifts. It is not just that I don't have time to do all, but I can't focus on all of them in any given week. It just beats me. It is more of a mental problem than a physical one.

Now... I do squats. I got to like them. I have just deloaded from 115kgs (about 260lbs) doing 5 sets of 5 reps. It is not that I could not load the bar any more... I just missed the joy of lifting at about 80% of the 1 rep max instead of a difficult 90% of the 1 rep max. But I must say that if I were to trim the workout even more, I would do squats. In every rep, a large percentage of all your body is working. You can't beat that in strength training efficiency.

I also do bench presses, mainly because my arms are not as strong as my torso. I would like them get stronger. So I get to focus on my bench presses. Yesterday I hit a personal record, at 80kgs (about 180lbs).

And I do the barbell rows. Mainly for lats (squats already work your back muscles). I will be giving them more attention in the future.

For all three lifts, I deload occasionally, and my sets and reps vary between 3x8 and 5x5. I like this program mainly because:
- it is small enough to let me to focus on each lift,
- yet it practically hits almost all muscles in my body in the shortest time period possible,
- it provides functional fitness (like I can run up the stairs 3 floors literally feeling like I am running on a flat surface).

It is not the technically perfect program, but it is *my* perfect program!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
2/10/14 5:20 P

ARCHIMEDES: I love group classes, but unfortunately, my gym dropped all of the morning classes, and now only offer the free classes during the evening hours when the gym is jam-packed and I can't get there. To get a decent group class, I'd have to pay $10 extra per session! Which is SO infuriating. I really, really miss my boot camp.

I love that pushup/plank combo (I think you've recommended it before to me, it sounds really familiar) and will try it tomorrow!

HAPPY92003 Posts: 1,048
2/10/14 5:17 P has some awesome workouts you can use to get started...

Jamie Eason (also on has a great program for women.

There is also a great book called New Rules of Lifting for Women that would be perfect for what you are looking for...

I hope you fall in love with the weights, they are amazing and will do so much for your body and mind:)

BOB240 SparkPoints: (6,131)
Fitness Minutes: (1,285)
Posts: 359
2/10/14 3:29 P

As you're pretty experienced Dragonchild - you might try this:

Its not only a full routine but also periodised has built in recovery and testing.

The team area logs gym attendance, I have run this program for 18 months. It does what its supposed to do. It gives you a little more strength every year, keeps your body balanced and reduces gym time to 3 hours a week.

I really wouldn't recommend the "staying power" team area to many here - but you're more than able to extract value out of it...

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,245)
Fitness Minutes: (294,523)
Posts: 27,086
2/10/14 11:48 A


I would suggest two things for you. One check out SERGEANTMAJORs resistance band team. He's got a bunch of beginner resistance band workouts posted. The sarge is also 70+ and still working part time as a personal trainer.

I would also recommend checking out this website for additional workouts. Tufts University did a landmark study during the 1990s. They did the study that proved that strength training can help older people (who've been sedentary) regain their strength as well as increase lean muscle.

However, because of your physical limitations, DO check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to do some of these exercises. Your doctor might want you to lay off any exercises that may irritate your arthritis.

Tufts has an excellent strength training program for older people.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,245)
Fitness Minutes: (294,523)
Posts: 27,086
2/10/14 11:41 A


Since you have a gym membership, I would suggest checking the schedule for a group weight training class like Body Pump. If your gym doesn't have Pump, they probably have something equivalent. A group weight training class will show you the basics of working with barbells and free weights. While you may do more repetitions with a more comfortable weight in the class, you can take anything you learn from that class into the weight room.

That's what I tell the students who take my class. I encourage them to take what they've learned to the weight room, once a week. Lift a heavier weight with fewer reps.

Some of the thing I do in my own routine include squats, wall sits, Romanian deadlifts, single arm rows, tricep extensions, chest press, push ups, clean/press, plank, side plank, etc...

Here's a simple, but challenging workout you and your friend can try.

Do 5 pushups, then go straight to modified plank (or regular plank if you want) for 15 seconds. Go straight to the next five pushups, then straight to plank. repeat until you've done 20-25 push ups. If you'd like something a little more advanced, 5 push ups followed by 30 seconds of plank. no rest between sets. You keep going until fatigue or 25 push ups are completed.

GGMOM06 Posts: 9,224
2/10/14 11:38 A

I am 70 yrs old with arthritis , bone spurs and carpal tunnel . I would like to lift some weights at home for my arms and midsection . I only have 5# and (10# which i can't use ) i have a left shoulder that is limited in ROM too . I do have a band i can use , just not sure what to do . My biceps are looking really bad , arms are all wrinkled ......not sure when i stopped using them enough in the last 2 yrs ....i shovel snow few times a week if needed :( guess holding a book to read for hrs isn't helping any . Thanks for any suggestions emoticon

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
2/10/14 9:08 A

The cable machines are pretty cool. What I like about it is that you could do a full body workout right there. Fortunately, when I was using the machine, I used what I got from here, plus what I saw on a display at the gym (on a university campus) as well as from watching other people.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
2/10/14 8:32 A

My order of exercises depends on when a squat rack is open but with that in mind, I do:

Dumb bell bench press
Assisted pull ups
Overhead press
Double row

Because I'm using a squat rack and set the safety bars up (for squats), I feel comfortable lifting heavy without a spotter since I can just drop the weight onto the bars if I get stuck. The bench press is the only one that gets a little hairy without a spotter but cable machines can provide a good analog.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,372
2/10/14 7:03 A

I enjoy doing Zumba with my 5 pound dumbbells. Gets my cardio and arm strength training done together.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (194,457)
Fitness Minutes: (189,710)
Posts: 15,824
2/9/14 9:46 P

sample low-rep workout:
(superset, 3x5)
1 arm DB row
standing barbell push press

(superset, 3x5)
cable lunge & row
bench press

a workout like this takes me about 45 minutes.

ZURICHMAN SparkPoints: (1,775)
Fitness Minutes: (1,919)
Posts: 363
2/9/14 8:58 P

Here's an hr. workout I can recommend but you should still have a trainer show you how to use the equipment and how much weight to use.

10 minute warm up possibly cycling or tread mill walking

these are planet fitness machine exercises

Roman Chair

Hyper Extension for back

low row cable

lat pulls

seated leg curl

back extension

abdominal machine

all the above machine workouts were 2 sessions of 20 reps

these are workout on you own exercises

ball squat

planks work out till failure


wall sits workout till failure

push up

hope that helps some

Edited by: ZURICHMAN at: 2/9/2014 (21:04)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
2/9/14 6:15 P

Now, I know about the Sparkpeople generator. I've used it. However, I find some of the workouts to be lackluster. I'm going to try it again, but I'd also like some real-person feedback. :)

I have gym access, and a friend nagging me to go. She's the type that likes to go for two hours or more. Now, I honestly don't have that kind of patience, but I do need some focus, and I'd like to get the most out of the hour or so I think I'm willing to hang out with her.

It's been a while since I was a regular, so my knowledge of routines has decayed somewhat. With that said, I'm comfortable in the free weights, although I'm a little more hesitant to lift very, very heavy since I don't have a trustworthy spot partner right now.

I do want to focus a bit more on upper body, my lower body strength has always been good, and frankly, I love chest presses. LOL. Call me weird.

So, what I like: I'm interested the cable machines, (as demoed here:
) but don't have a lot of experience with them. I'm definitely including the assisted pull up machine, because I love it. I need a good core workout, but I don't care about machines nor weights with it. I do planks, and have access to stability balls. I don't mind pushups and other bodyweight exercises, but I can do those at home, so I'd like to use equipment (but breaking for planks and pushups is fine)

I'm not afraid to lift heavy, and prefer fewer reps (8 or less, but I'll go up to 12)

Thoughts? What's your favorite workout? I can knock out something in 30 minutes and go home, but I do kinda like spending some time, and don't mind it. I'd like to split the difference with my friend. I ain't spending two hours, but I'll go for an hour. :)

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 2/9/2014 (18:17)
Page: 1 of (1)  

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