The following workouts are based on 3 days per week of strength training. You can track your progress by downloading this spreadsheet. You are working between 8-12 reps. For example, you do bicep curls and you do 8 reps/10 lbs. Choose a weight that you cannot do more than 8 reps. Next time, try to do 10 reps/10 lbs. Next time, try to do 12 reps/10 lbs. When you can do 12 reps/10 lbs pretty easily, move to 8 reps/12 lbs, and so on. To build strength, we lift heavy weight/lower reps.
Day 1: Upper Body
Wide stance, hips tucked under, shoulders back. Hands begin in front with palms facing each other. Lift to shoulder level, keeping arms straight. Don’t pull shoulders up into a shrug position.
Using a bench or chair, sit with fingertips facing toes. You can start with bent knees/feet on floor and work up to straight legs/on heels. Keep hips close to step. Bend elbows and lower hips as low as you can. For this one, you’re doing as many as you can and you’re going to keep trying to do more. Once you can do 25 with bent knees, move to straight legs.
Wide stance, hips tucked under, shoulders back. Weights are up and down with palms facing each other. Elbows are glued to the waist, arms only moving from elbow down.
Feet together, knees bent, flat back. Keeping your back flat is important and commonly not done correctly. Think of pinning your shoulder blades together and pulling belly to spine. With rounded arms, pull weights up and out.
Wide stance, hips tucked under, shoulders back. Arms begin at 90 degrees with palms facing forward. Press up and down.
Begin completely lying down and place hands to either side of your shoulders. Pull belly to spine and press up in straight line. Lower almost to the floor but not quite. Don’t lift your booty up; your torso is in a straight line. For this one, you’re doing as many as you can and you’re going to keep trying to do more. Once you can do 25 on your knees, move to toes.
Feet in parallel, hold weight up and down. As you squat, your weight shifts into your heels and your knees track over your toes. Don’t let knees dip in toward each other. Try to bring your hips down to knee level. Hold the weight in close. As you stand, press the weight overhead, holding belly to spine. You can also squat to a chair.
Day 2: Lower Body and Core
Feet in parallel, hold weight up and down. As you squat, your weight shifts into your heels and your knees track over your toes. Don’t let knees dip in toward each other. Try to bring your hips down to knee level. If you have access to a barbell, you can also do this squat with a weighted barbell on your shoulders.
Keeping your upper body straight and not leaning forward, step forward with your heel and drop the back knee almost to the floor. Your shoulders should remain over your hips. Weights are just held in your hands at hips.
Feet in parallel, first “pin” your shoulder blades together and engage your lat muscles. Keeping your back flat, hinge forward. Notice the weights stay close to the legs and also that it’s not a squat. Your knees are slightly bent but the exercise is a hinge forward and back up.
Standing upright with shoulders back, step up onto a platform with weights in your hands. The foot doesn’t come back down until you’re done. You can increase both the weight in your hands and the height of the platform.
Legs are wide and toes are pointing out. Your torso should be completely straight up and down, and not leaning forward. Squat as deep as you can, trying to take the hips to knee level.
Think of pulling your shoulder blades apart and belly up to spine. Don’t let your hips sink. You’re holding this for as long as you can; try to hold a little longer each time.
You can begin with arms out in front and work your way up to hands behind your head. Do as many as you can each time. Once you can do 25 with arms in front, change to hands behind your head.
Day 3: Upper body
Single arm row
Using a bench, put one knee and one hand on the platform. Your shoulder should be directly over your hand and your back should be flat. Pull the weight up, keeping your elbow close to your body. Keep your shoulders parallel to the floor and don’t let your arm with the weight drop.
Lying on your back on a bench, hold weights with your palms toward your feet. Press your lower back down onto the bench. You can also use a barbell for this exercise.
Wide stance, hips tucked under, shoulders back. Begin with hands facing toward you and twist as you press up so that palms are facing forward overhead.
Overhead triceps press
Hold the weight with your hands making a triangle like I show at the beginning of the video. Wide stance, hips tucked under. Keep your elbows close to your head. Drop the weight down between your shoulder blades and then press to straight.
Lie on your back on a bench, pressing your lower back down. Begin with arms straight, palms facing each other. Open the arms out – they’re slightly rounded, not completely straight.
Wide stance, hips tucked under, shoulders back. With your palms facing your body, lead with the elbows pulling straight up.
Wide stance, hips tucked under, shoulders back. Palms up and keep your elbows glued to your waist, only moving from the elbow down.