this is by attempting to increase the
resistance / weight used and, or increase the number of repetitions
performed at each workout.
Intensity is also very
important. You must force your body to increase its strength. For example,
if you typically do 3 sets of 10 reps on the leg press at 115 pounds, and
your legs are capable of doing 16 reps, why is your body going to make any
improvements? Your body will only add muscle if you force it to work at a
higher level than it is used to. The most effective way to overload your
muscles is to perform one or two sets per exercise, and continue each set
to muscular failure. That means continuing each set until no more
repetitions are possible. Challenge yourself!
Once you have overloaded the
target muscle group you must then allow for proper recovery and over
compensation. This means you must rest long enough to allow for recovery
of the targeted muscle group, the nervous system, refill glycogen stores
(Energy stored within your muscles), and also allow enough time for the
muscles to make improvements or increases. This process takes time.
Generally, it takes between 2-7 days to recover from a strength workout!
The harder you work the longer it takes your body to repair. Don't
short-circuit your progress by strength training too often!
Basic Guidelines for Successful
Strength train no
more than three times per week!
Perform 1-2 sets per
Choose 1-2 exercises
for small muscle groups and 2-3 for large muscle groups. (ex. 2-3
exercises for legs, back, chest, and 1-2 for arms, shoulders,
Choose no more than
8-10 exercises and work hard on them! Always keep a record of all
workouts! Take each set to failure or fatigue!
Perform each exercise
SLOWLY! Force the muscle to do the work -- NOT momentum!
As soon as you see a
slow down in progress it's time to make a change to your program!
Below are some sample workouts
and frequently asked questions regarding strength training.
Full-body Workout 1-2 times per week
(approx. 30-40 mins.)
Lat Pull-Down 2 Sets Chest Press
2 Sets Leg Press 2 Sets
Lateral Raise 1 Set Bicep Curl 1
Triceps Pushdown 1 Set Leg
Leg Extension 1 Set
Upper/Lower Split 2-3 times per week
(approx. 25-40 mins.)
Seated Row 2 Sets
Shoulder Press 2
Lat Pull-Down 1 Set
Pectoral Fly 1 Set
Lateral Raise 1 Set
Bicep Curl 1 Set
Tricep Pushdown 1
Leg Curl 2 Sets
Glute Machine 1
Leg Press 2
Leg Extension 1
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I lose the flab on the back of my arm or my spare tire?
Answer. It is physically
impossible to only lose fat in one area. What you can do is decrease
body fat by burning more calories than you consume. Increase muscle
tissue with strength training and burn more calories all day long,
even while you are sleeping!
Question. How often should I
strength train if my goal is to burn fat?
Answer. 2-3 times per week would
be great! You will build muscle tissue, which burns calories 24
hours a day, and you will decrease the chance for excess calories to
be stored as fat!
Question. What if I don't want
to bulk up? I just want to tone.
Answer. If it were that easy to
bulk or get big nearly every guy in the gym would be huge] Women
generally don't have the genetic potential to build large muscles
due to hormonal differences. Plus, don't forget that adding muscle
tissue to your body is a good thing! It makes everything you do much
easier, reduces the chance for injury, and increases your
Question. How many sets and
repetitions should I do?
Answer. This will vary depending
upon your goal. If you are training to increase strength, due fewer
sets but higher intensity (1-2 sets to failure per exercise). If
training for muscle size, perform multiple sets (2-4 sets, but only
1 to failure). The number of repetitions will vary also depending
upon the speed at which you move the weight and your goals. In
general, shoot for 8-12 reps.
Question. What are the benefits
of strength training?
Answer. Strength training, if
done correctly, can make some major changes to your body and mind!
Here are just a few:
Increased Strength and
Increased Muscle Tone
Reduced Stress Levels
For more information on how you
can maximize the benefits of strength training, please call me at
(240) 731-3724 or e-mail
Jesse Cannone is a certified
personal trainer, nutritionist, and best-selling fitness author.
Sign up to receive his free email course, Muscle Building Tips which
is full of powerful tips and techniques for maximizing strength and