I’ve laid out the groundwork for you to embrace a personal weekly resistance/weight lifting program with You’ve Got The POWER..With Weight Lifting! Part 1 and we’ve explored The Why of resistance training:
Recap: THE WHY:
- The Physical Therapist’s Prescription
- Metabolism/Weight Loss Booster
- Chronic Disease Buster
- Recovery Tool
- Balm For the Mind and Hormone Balancer
Even the American College of Sports Medicine was quoted as saying:
Resistance training is medicine, for muscle loss is the single greatest contributor to age-related decline in metabolism.
Now it’s time to lay out the Where, When and How of it!
So are you ready to get started?
But wait, first I need to ask you what your goals are. Do you just want to lose some weight and tone up? Do you solely want to tone up? Do you want to strictly have more definition of muscle in your physique? Do you just want to strengthen areas of your body that have been injured? Or do you just want to make sure you are stronger in general for overall well-being and health?
Once you’ve figured out what your goals are, then a resistance training plan can be formulated to meet your needs.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight while gaining muscle, go with the science, as outlined in Can You Gain Muscle While Losing Weight by U.S. News and World Report:
1) Strength train 3 times per week.
2) Eat protein at every meal.
3) Keep cardio short and sweet.
4) Give your muscles a rest (don’t exercise the same muscle group two days in a row).
5) Be patient.
6) Lose weight slowly.
Actually, that was my goal-to lose weight and gain muscle (as I outlined in Time To Think About A New You?)-and I’ve followed all of the tenets outlined above. My daughter Sammi REALLY gets credit for this new love I have for weight lifting. I embraced her program (Sammi Gregory Fitness ) after the marriage of our daughter Shannon. I WAS NOT HAPPY with the way I was feeling, my looming hypertension and the way I looked. I’ve reached the big 60 mark and I thought that it’s not going to get easier, only harder as I age (maybe you all can commiserate on that)! She had all the right pillars of a healthy plan in place that I knew in my gut were scientifically sound from my doctoral training in holistic nutrition. She rightfully, put nutrition as being the “coach of the team” for a lifestyle plan and exercise being a secondary ” major player of the team”. Weight lifting is also a pivotal part of this program, actually putting cardio on a secondary (but still important) basis as a far a time. I also knew she was getting major kudos from her clients for their great results!
The toughest things for me to get over though, besides truncating my cardio sessions from marathons into “short and sweet” was allowing myself in-between “rest” days from exercise and realizing, after tracking all of my food intake on MyFitnessPal that my diet was not as healthy as I thought, I was adding too much fat and sometimes carbohydrate (definitely not enough protein), so my diet was not conducive to the “fat burning machine” I thought it was. I am also no longer in a big hurry to lose weight, for I know it took decades to put on those extra pounds of fat, I’m in this for the long run.
So let’s get to the WHERE of it
Where can we resistance train/weight lift?
As the Dr. Suess’s “Green Eggs & Ham” says:
Fyi, and much to the chagrin of my husband Randy, I have done some resistance training (pilates) in a boat when he’s been fishing!
At a gym:
This is Scotland County Fitness Center, our community fitness gym. We are so lucky to have such a great facility! And here are some Scotland County Community members that embrace weight lifting. Lin & Mike Stephenson come in as a couple:
They both wanted to learn a weight lifting routine after coming back from their injuries. Lin & Mike learned about targeted weight machines and equipment and how to use the equipment correctly from SC Hospital’s Director of Physical Therapy, Dr. Meagan Weber.
This is MaryAnn Troutman, a cancer survivor.
She also embraces weight lifting as a go-to for maintaining her health.
The gym is where I do my primary weight lifting. It provides structure and new challenges with new equipment. I do encourage you to think about this option, if possible, because it gives you a starting point and additional challenges when you are ready to move on to a higher level with your workout. AND, all you have to do is ask and a weight lifting machine/weights tutorial and routine can be made for you!
And at your home:
This is also where I do my workouts. Even though the gym is optimal, most weight lifting machine routines can be substituted with home weights and resistance bands in a pinch. Besides, I also have two furry buddies to keep me company there!
II. WHEN?- According to the American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) the desirable amount of resistance/weight training is 2 to 3 days per week, with the goal of training each muscle group, coupled with moderate cardio of 150 minutes per week (roughly 20+ minutes per day) for optimal health.
And in following these guidelines, as I said in You’ve Got the POWER…With Weight Lifting! Part 1, I was surprised how I’ve actually decreased the amount of total exercise sweat time I put in with much better results!
Here’s the Old Movement Routine vs. New Movement Routine math for me:
Old Movement Routine- I was doing moderate cardio (swimming, elliptical, long walks) roughly 60 minutes per day, 7 days per week. That was my average. Some days I took off, so I’d put in more cardio time on the other days. Those were also the days I was much more hungry after every sweat session!
New Movement Routine-I am doing moderate cardio 20+ minutes per day and weight lifting 40 minutes, 4 times per week (targeting all muscle groups). I’m also allowing at least one rest day per week. Note I do weight lift on consecutive days but I alternate between upper and lower body muscle workouts That is roughly 44 minutes per day average with the iron pumping/cardio duo over 60 minutes per day, cardio only. I’m not as hungry, seeing better results on the scale and my clothes AND I have that healthier well-being boost that I was missing!
So the when of it, after you figure out the amount of time you need to put in is this:
WHENEVER THE OPTIMAL TIME IS FOR YOU!
You are in this for the long haul, FOR LIFE! FOLLOW A ROUTINE, AND A TIME THAT WORKS FOR YOU!
Just make sure to fuel up on a timely basis for those workouts too! Don’t skimp! Protein should be at every meal for optimal results. These are the meals I fix for Randy and I on a regular basis to not only get those protein/nutrition requirements in, but to actually enjoy each meal:
Breakfast-2 eggs over hard with a drizzling of ancho chili oil, 2 strips of chicken bacon, fresh blueberries and coffee with almond milk.
Lunch-A smoked salmon salad with avocado and a kaleidoscope of fresh veggies, topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Dinner-Grilled chicken breast in a stuffed pita with a side fresh veggie salad, topped with Sriracha mayo sauce and feta.
III. HOW- First understand that resistance training entails the exercise regimen of weight lifting, yoga, pilates and tai chi. What we are talking about now, primarily, is pumping iron. When I say primarily, there are standard body weight exercises (using your body as weight) that are also thrown in the mix, like the bicycle or plank that are a customary part of a weight lifting routine. You can solely follow a weight lifting exercise regimen that only uses body weight as the medium. I actually did this when I was recovering from surgery, utilizing this book as my guide: You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren. Mr. Lauren was in the Green Barets and was also a Navy Seal, so it’s an excellent resource for everyone!
However, what we are focusing on now is singularly using weights and throwing in some body weight exercises to round out your weekly routine. That is because you can keep challenging yourself and go on to the next level of physical fitness by increasing weights and new routines, when you have mastered a set level. Otherwise, your body gets used to the same weight, same old exercises and you stagnate or stop progressing physically (and that is where I’ve been for decades physically, stagnating, because I didn’t challenge myself with weights or new routines).
So that leads us to the recipe for how:
A. Go With The Expert First- I know everyone has access to the internet and you can make up your own weight lifting routine based on that info, however, when you really want to “get the skinny”on the routine that is right for your personal fitness goals, as I outlined above, go to an expert that can show you how to correctly work the weight lifting machines, tell you what muscles you are working with each exercise, what form you should demonstrate and suggestions for the correct weights (free and machine) and exercises for you.
If you want just a taste of what a weight lifting program entails before beginning a program, check out: Best Beginner Weight Training Guide to give you an idea.
And if you are older (or know someone that is) and pretty much home bound, making the gym on a regular basis might not be an option. Check out Strength Training For Older Adults, created by the Center For Disease Control. It maps out a plan of very simple strength training exercises (like wall push-ups and squats) and how to build on them, thereby improving the quality of life for you or your older loved one.
B. Have A Plan- To keep your progress on track, when you walk into the gym or you are just doing a workout at home, have a written or computerized plan that day of:
1. What muscle groups you are working.
2. How many sets and repetitions (that is reps in weight-lifting gym lingo! 😉
3. What poundage of weights you used
The Sammi Gregory Fitness Plan that I follow on Back Muscle day has me doing:
-3 sets of 15 Back Extension
-4 sets of 15 (each arm) Dumbbell Row
-3 sets of 10 Standing Barbell Row
-4 sets of 15 Rope Lat Pushdown
-3 sets of 15 (each arm) One Arm Wide Lat Pulldown
And here is my lower-body home plan that I whipped up, based on the weight-lifting gym plan that I now follow, that is no-time-for-the-gym friendly:
And here is my home equipment (dog included, lol) :
You can throw in some resistance bands if you want also!!
C. Mindfully Work Those Muscles- The mind needs to be engaged just as much as the body during your workout! Here are two scenarios to prove my point:
1.You know it’s Back Muscle Day (as I outlined my routine above) and you blindly follow your outlined routine, without much thought of why you are doing what you are doing.
2.You know it’s Back Muscle Day and you mentally concentrate by envisioning working out your back muscles:
with each repetition of each weight, getting stronger every time you do each exercise.
Now I ask you, which scenario will leave you feeling more accomplished, stronger and ready for the rest of your day?
The point is, why not get the most out of the limited time you have for yourself, to get the best physical and mental results?
I don’t really need to answer that, you get it….
Here is a terrific resource to use to understand what parts of the body you are using with each type of exercise, what exercise you can utilize PLUS the correct exercise form you can follow to make sure you are doing it right: MuscleWiki to the rescue!:
You simply click on the muscle you want to work and you will be directed to the right set of exercises (with correct form) for that muscle!
You might wonder why I am so jazzed about weight lifting. You all know that I’m a culinary nutritionist first and foremost, always looking, discovering and excited about new ways to prepare nutritious, yet delicious foods for my family and the community I serve. However, this new weight lifting program I’ve been following (since October of last year) offers me a feeling of extreme accomplishment that I can master, and a new way of staying fit (with no kidding, many hours of learning and still many to go) that leaves me feeling terrific and ready for even more challenges, in all aspects of my life!
That includes fishing! I wrote off this Canadian trip that I took with my husband this past July as strictly a labor of love because fishing just is not my strong point. However, I was emboldened to have fun on this trip by fishing with my guy for the duration of the trip (9 hours a day, for 3 ½ days) because, yes, it’s another challenge I am capable of!
And yes, I caught a lot of fish AND had a wonderful time, all because I was open to tackling a new challenge! And I challenge you to do the same with pumping some major iron!!!
Recap of :
You’ve Got the POWER…With Weight Lifting! Part 2
I. Where- Anywhere!
II. When-WHENEVER THE OPTIMAL TIME IS FOR YOU!
A. Go With The Expert First.
B. Have A Plan.
C. Mindfully Work Those Muscles.
I’ve got to give you the background on this recipe before you try it. I’ve been preparing this recipe for decades because of it’s terrific health benefits and great taste. As you know, salmon is an absolute super-star star for quenching inflammation in the body, the foray to all chronic diseases. But adding two other amazingly healthy ingredients like the cruciferous vegetable cabbage (a cancer-slayer) and blackberries (one of the berry antioxidant stars) make it a go-to for me! The reason I put this together recently though, was another reason. I’m trying to not buy so many food items at the store so often, so all of these items were left over from other recipes, I just put them together! A win-win for my pocket book AND our health and taste buds!
SALMON OVER SWEET & SOUR CABBAGE
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ heads of red cabbage (1.5 pounds), cored and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
Salt & Pepper
½ cup dry red wine
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 cup blackberries
4 pieces (4 ounces each), skinless salmon fillets
Chopped parsley, cilantro or thinly sliced snap peas to garnish
- Heat 12 inch skillet (I used an iron skillet) on medium heat, when heated, add oil. Add onion and cook until just tender (3 or so minutes).
- Add cabbage with 1/4 salt and pepper. Cook until wilted while stirring (about 3 minutes).
- Add wine and vinegar.Heat until boiling. Cover and let simmer about 25 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in blackberries and ½ tsp. of salt.
- Preheat broiler.Use a 7 x 11 glass Pyrex (I use this) or standard cookie sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper before placing them in cooking tray. Transfer to pan and broil. Check at the 5 minute mark. Fish should have slight carmelization but still barely cooked through.
- Divide cabbage/blackberry mixture among serving plates. Top with salmon and parsley. Enjoy!!
*Menu adapted from Good Housekeeping
Nutrition Info: Each serving is calories, 25.7 g of carbohydrates, 3.7 g of fat, 24.3g of protein, 291.3 mg. of sodium, 6.9g of fiber and 13.8 g of sugar.