Weightlifting

I’m a big advocate for strength training. It’s fun to do, and seeing what your body is capable of can be so rewarding. (Read about how heavy lifting works for me.)

Some benefits of strength training include:

– increased strength
– increased metabolism
– better bone density
– looking like you can kick some ass
– fun!

I’ve been lifting weights for about 9 years now and often times my favourite part of the week is my training days when I can just head to the gym and take out all my anger, stress, and boredom on the weight racks. On good days, when I push out more weight than I even think I’m capable of, I feel amazing about my body’s abilities– a definite bikini confidence booster.

My personal favourite workouts involve heavy weights and few repetitions. I find this combination is most effective for me to build strength, plus there’s that added satisfaction of seeing just how heavy you can lift 😉

Fun Facts about Me:

PRs:

Squats: 250lb x 2
Deadlifts: 265lb x 2
Push Press: 135lb x 1
Bench Press: 165lb x 1

Favourite Muscle Group to Work: Back. There’s nothing I like more than that tight feeling of soreness after a GOOD back workout.

Least Favourite Muscle Group to Work: Biceps– *yawn*

Favourite Exercise: Squats. I’m obsessed with squats.

Weightlifting Goals: 1) To do 5 Military Style Pull-Ups;  2) To bench my body weight; 3) 275lb deadlift

Current Programme:

5/3/1 Strength Training
5/3/1 for Women – How To – a comprehensive guide on how to get started with the 5/3/1 plan.

Favourite Workouts:

4 Day Upper/Lower Body Split #1
4 Day Upper/Lower Body Split #2
4 Day Upper/Lower Body Split #3
3 Day Strength/Endurance/Power Split
Drop Sets
3 Day High Rep Fat Burner Routine
3 Day Marathon Weight Training #1
3 Day Marathon Weight Training #2
2 Day Marathon Weight Training
Strength Conditioning for Football
Olympic Weightlifting Routine

Circuit Workouts:

Upper Body Burn Workout (uses body weight only)
Supersets
Playground Circuit Workout
3 Day Full Body Circuit Routine
6 Day Full Body Lift and Circuit Routine (combines heavy lifting with circuit training)

Tips and Tricks:

Squat Improvement Strategy
More Squatting Tips
Cable Triceps Extension trick
Sled Push Substitutes for Conditioning

Disclaimer: I’m not a personal trainer and basically have no idea what I’m talking about. My workouts are pretty sweet for me and feel free to use them, but don’t come suing me if you don’t get results/get injured/are OMGsore after. If you’re going to be that guy, then talk to a pro.


4 Day Upper/Lower Body Split #1

4 day Upper/Lower Body Split Click image or link for Printable PDF

First 4 weeks: 3 sets of minimum 8 reps but no more than 12 reps (you should be spent if you make it to rep #12).

Second 4 weeks: increase the weights and lower the repetitions to no less than 6 and no more than 8 (or 4-6 reps if you’re comfortable with the movements)

Day 1

  • Bench Press
  • Bent-over Barbell Row
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Skullcrushers
  • Barbell Bicep Curl

Day 2

  • Barbell Squat
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
  • Leg Extension (Machine)
  • Lying Leg Curls (Machine)
  • Standing Calf Raises (Machine)
  • Lying Leg Raises
  • Crunches on the Exercise Ball

Day 3

  • Chest Dips
  • Pullups
  • Lateral Raises
  • Cable Tricep Pushdowns (with a rope)
  • Cable Bicep Curls

Day 4

  • Deadlifts
  • Leg Press Machine
  • Dumbbell Lunges
  • Seated Calf Raises
  • Dumbbell Shrugs
  • Decline Crunches
  • Back Extensions

4 Day Upper/Lower Body Split #2

4 day Upper/Lower Body Split #2 Click link or Image for Printable PDF


First 4 weeks:
3 sets of minimum 8 reps but no more than 12 reps (you should be spent if you make it to rep #12).

Second 4 weeks: increase the weights and lower the repetitions to no less than 6 and no more than 8 (or 4-6 reps if you’re comfortable with the movements)

Day 1

  • Incline Bench Press
  • T-Bar Row
  • Lateral Pulldown (Cable Machine)
  • Dumbbell Pullover
  • Machine Chest Flys
  • Barbell Upright Row
  • Barbbell Preacher Curls
  • One-Arm Cable Tricep Pulldowns
  • Pushups to failure (2 sets)

Day 2

  • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
  • Deep Step-Ups
  • Vertical Leg Press Machine
  • Seated Leg Curl Machine
  • Side Lunge
  • Single Leg Deadlift
  • Ab Roll
  • Dumbbell V-Up

Day 3

Day 4


4 Day Upper/Lower Body Split #3

4 day Upper/Lower Body Split #3 Click link or Image for Printable PDF

 

 

4-6 weeks: 4 sets of 6-8  reps.

Day 1

  • Bench Press
  • Assisted Chin-Up
  • DB Shoulder Press
  • Push-Ups
  • External Rotation
  • Isolateral Low Row
  • Alternating DB Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Pulldowns

Day 2

  • Back Squats
  • Split Squats
  • DB Hang Clean to Push Press to Squat
  • Turkish Get Ups
  • 12″ Box Jumps
  • Wall Sits & Get-Ups

Day 3

  • Machine Chest Flyes
  • Parallel Grip Pullups
  • One Arm DB Snatch
  • Inverted Row
  • Push-ups
  • Upright Rows
  • Close Grip Bench Press
  • Hammer Curls

Day 4

  • Deadlifts
  • Reverse Lunge to Good Mornings
  • Leg Press
  • Turkish Get-Ups
  • Leg Curls
  • Calf Raises
  • Tibia Raises

 

 

 


3 Day Strength/Endurance/Power Split

(guest posted at The Happiness in Health)

3 day Strength/Endurance/Power Split Click link or Image for Printable PDF

Day 1 Strength
(Beginner: 4 sets of 10 reps; Intermediate 4 sets of 6 reps)

Day 2 – Endurance
(4 sets of 10 reps)

Day 3 – Power
(Perform each exercise for 20 seconds and then rest for 40 seconds before proceeding to the next exercise. Rest for 2-3 minutes at the end of the circuit. Repeat circuit 2 more times)


Drop Sets

Drop Sets -Click link or Image for Printable PDF

Check out my blogs posts on drop sets (here, and here)

The point of a drop set is to hit failure and mutilate the muscles. When I say hit failure what I mean is not honest to God, gun to your head, you cannot lift any more weight.

The sequence:
1-2 warm-up sets (12 reps);  rest 1 minute; 1 drop set.

The strategy:
The drop set is ~22 reps in total and will require 3 different weights.
For the drop set:
1) go to failure (~10 reps) then drop the weight by 25%
2) go to failure again (~8 reps) drop the weight by 25%
3) go to failure one more time (~4 reps). And you’re spent.

The Workout

Warm-Up: ~12 reps
Drop Set: Go to failure (~10 reps), drop the weight 25% to failure (~8 reps), drop the weight 25% to failure (~4 reps)

Day 1: Chest/Biceps

Incline Dumbbell Presses                               2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Incline Dumbbell Fly                                        1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Vertical Bench Press Machine                     2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Cable Crossovers                                               1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Dumbbell Curls                                                   2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Preacher Curl Machine                                    1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Barbell Curl                                                           1 warm-up; 1 drop set

Day 2: Back/Triceps

Lat Pulldown to the Front                               2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Narrow Grip Pulldowns                                   1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Seated Cable Row                                               1 warm-up; 1 drop set
One Arm Dumbbell Rows                                1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Narrow Bench Press in Smith Machine     1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Triceps Pushdowns with Rope                      1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Overhead Triceps Extension Machine       1 warm-up; 1 drop set

Day 3: Shoulders/Abs

Shoulder Press Machine                                 2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Reverse Fly Machine                                        1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Front Raises                                                         1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Lateral Raises                                                      1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Cable Upright Row                                            1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Crunches                                                               2 sets x 15 reps
Roman Chair                                                        2 sets to failure
Sit-ups                                                                    2 sets x 20 reps

Day 4: Legs

Leg Press                                                              2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Deep Squats                                                        2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Leg Extension                                                    1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Lying Leg Curl                                                   2 warm-up; 1 drop set
Seated Leg Curl                                                 1 warm-up; 1 drop set
Standing Calf Raises                                        1 warm-up; 1 drop set


3 Day High Rep Fat Burner Routine

4 weeks, 3 sets of 10-12 reps

-Click Image for Printable PDF


3 Day Marathon Weight Training #1

This is the routine that I`m doing through my marathon training. I only include one lower body day so that I do not exhaust my leg muscles.

4 weeks, 4 sets of 4-8 reps

Day 1 – Upper Body

  • Bench Press
  • T-bar Row
  • Dumbbell Chest Flys
  • Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
  • Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Skull Crushers
  • Barbell Bicep Curls

Day 2 – Lower Body

 

  • Barbell Squat
  • Stiff Legged Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Lunges
  • 45° Leg Press
  • Calf Raises
  • Plank
  • Dumbbell V-Up

Day 3 – Upper Body

 

  • Chin-Ups
  • Decline Bench Press Mach.
  • Cable Row
  • Lateral Raises
  • Arnold Press
  • Tricep Pushups
  • Cable Rope Bicep Curls

3 Day Marathon Weight Training #2

3 Day Marathon Weight Training -Click link or Image for Printable PDF

This is the routine that I`m doing through my marathon training. I only include one lower body day so that I do not exhaust my leg muscles. On the second Upper Body day I do Drop Sets

4 weeks, 4 sets of 4-8 reps

Day 1 – Upper Body

Day 2 – Lower Body

 

  • Stiff Legged Deadlift
  • Curtsy Lunges
  • Vertical Leg Press
  • Good Mornings
  • Lying Leg Curl
  • Leg Extensions
  • Clam Crunches
  • Ab Roll

Day 3 – Upper Body Drop Sets

Go to failure (~10 reps), drop the weight 25% to failure (~8 reps), drop the weight 25% to failure (~4 reps).

 

  • Wide Grip Pulldown
  • Chest Press Mach.
  • Cable Low Row
  • Cable Cross Overs
  • Front Raises
  • Upright Row
  • Machine Preacher Curl
  • Cable Triceps Pushdowns
  • Captain’s Chair

2 Day Marathon Weight Training

2 Day Marathon Weight Training -Click link or Image for Printable PDF

Day 1

  • Push Ups (4 sets)
  • Dumbbell Squat with Shoulder Press (4 sets)
  • Dumbbell Row with Tricep Kickback (4 sets)
  • Decline Bench Press (3 sets)
  • Cable Upright Row in Sumo Squat Pos’n (3 sets)
  • Incline Bench Dumbbell Bicep Curls (3 sets)
  • Leg Extensions (2 sets)

Day 2

  • Deep Back Squat (4 sets)
  • Pull Ups (4 sets)
  • Bench Press (4 sets)
  • Lateral Raises (3 sets)
  • Tricep Dips (3 sets)
  • Barbell Bicep Curls (3 sets)
  • Leg Curls (2 sets)

Strength Training for Football

Strength Training for Football

I don’t play football, but I got this routine from a Strength Conditioning for Football book that my brother-in-law lent to my husband who coaches high school football.

Each exercise has 3 to 4 sets in a Descending Pyramid (ie. increase weight and decrease reps). There is not a lot of core conditioning here so I also do the Core portion of Jackie Warner’s DVD twice per week.

Day 1

Bench Press       10, 8, 5, 2 reps
Back Squat       10, 8, 6, 5 reps
Incline Press      10, 8, 6, 5 reps
Shoulder Shrugs  10, 8, 8 reps
Bent-Over Rows  10, 8, 8 reps
Bicep Curls         10, 8, 6 reps
Calf Raises         10, 8 reps

Day 2

Power Clean                  5, 4, 3, 3 reps
Behind-the-Neck Press    10, 8, 6, 5 reps
Walking Lunge                10, 10, 10 reps
Dumbbell Flyes               10, 8, 8 reps
Shoulder Shrugs             10, 8, 8 reps
Tricep Extensions           10, 8, 6 reps
Leg Curls                      10, 8 reps

Day 3

Back Squat 10, 8, 5, 3 reps
Power Clean                    5, 4, 3, 3 reps
Bench Press                    10, 10, 6, 6 reps
Bent-over-rows               10, 8, 8 reps
Alt Incline Dumbbell Press 10, 8, 8, reps
Bicep Curls                     10, 8, 6 reps
Oblique Twists                10, 8 reps


Ultra Super Sets

Ultra Super Sets -Click link or Image for Printable PDF

Super Sets helps with developing muscular endurance and will get you in-and-out of the gym a lot faster.

These are ultra super sets with 3 back to back exercises each. Perform exercise 1 then exercise 2 then exercise 3 with no break in between. Then rest for 1 minute. Repeat 4x.

Chest/Triceps

  • 1. Incline Dumbbell Press
  • 2. Push Ups
  • 3. Dumbbell Flyes
  • 1. Cable Pushdowns
  • 2. Cable Extensions
  • 3. Bench Dips

Back/Biceps

  • 1. Narrow Grip Pulldowns
  • 2. Cable Low Rows
  • 3. Back Extensions (or Superman)
  • 1. Barbell Curls
  • 2. Hammer Curls
  • 3. Preacher Curls

Shoulders/Abs

  • 1. Lateral Raises
  • 2. Front Raises
  • 3. Upright Rows
  • 1. Leg Raises
  • 2. Side Bends
  • 3. Crunches

Legs (superset 2 exercises)

  • 1. Walking Lunges
  • 2. Leg Press
  • 1. Leg Curls
  • 2. Leg Extensions
  • 1. Standing Calf Raises
  • 2. Seated Calf Press

3 Day Full Body Circuit Routine

3 Day Full Body Circuit Workout -Click link or Image for Printable PDF

This workout is for cardio and muscular endurance. Alternate workout days with cardio days and allow 1 rest day per week.

Method:

Complete 1 set of 12 reps of each exercise, consecutively without rest in between.
When all the exercises are completed, rest 1-2 minutes.
Repeat the circuit for a total of 3 or 4 times.

Day 1

DB Bench Press

DB Row

Shoulder Press

Burpees

Overhead Tricep Extensions

Box Jump

V Tuck (Abs)

 

Day 2

Plyometric Push-Ups

Chin-Ups

BB Front Raises

Squat Jumps

BB Bicep Curls

BB Clean & Jerk

Ab Roll

 

Day 3

Push Ups with Tuck

Reverse BB Lunge

Hindu Push ups

Tricep Dips

1-Legged Bosu Deadlift

Bench Straddle Jump

Side Bends


6 Day Full Body Lift & Circuit Routine


6 Day full Body Lift and Circuit Routine
Click Link or Image for PDF

Method:

The workout cycle is 2 weeks: Days 1-3 are completed in week 1, Days 4-6 are completed in week 2. Over 6 weeks the cycle will be completed 3 times
Complete 3 sets of 8 reps of each Heavy Lifting Exercise.
Complete 3 rounds of the Circuit Exercises.

Day 1

Heavy Lifting

Back Squat
Bench Press
Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

Circuit

Handstand Pushups (x10)
Walking Lunges w/ Twist (x10)
Bosu Mountain Climber (x15)

Day 2

Heavy Lifting

Deadlifts
Assisted Pull-ups
Barbell Shoulder Press

Circuit

Jump Squats (x15)
Push-Ups (x15)
Inverted Row (x8)

Day 3

Heavy Lifting

Front Squat
Plank with Dumbell Row
Decline Bench Press

Circuit

Pull-Up Negatives (x6)
Plank Jacks (x15)
Slalom Jumps (x10)

Day 4

Heavy Lifting

Hip Thrusters
Hang Cleans
Lat Pull Downs

Circuit

Jumping Lunges (x10)
Burpees with Push-Up (x6)
Sumo Squat & Crunch (x10)

Day 5

Heavy Lifting

Deadlifts
Dips
T Bar Rows

Circuit

Box Jumps (x12)
Burpee Pull-Ups (x4)
Pike Push-Ups (x12)

Day 6

Heavy Lifting

Overhead Barbell Squat
Incline Bench Press
Bicep Curls

Circuit

Bench Straddle Jumps (x12)
Decline Push-Ups (x10)
Tricep Bench Dips (x10)


Olympic Weightlifting Routine

Olympic Weightlifting Routine -Click link or Image for Printable PDF

These kinds of lifts incorporate full body strength and tonnes of power. They also require a lot of technique; it’s not the type of thing that you can easily pick up on either. If you’re not familiar with Olympic lifts then maybe you should give this routine a pass

Method:

Complete 3-4 sets of 3-4 reps each (5 sets of 5 reps for squat exercises). Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.

Day 1

Snatch
Clean
Jerk
Clean Pull
Front Squat
Behind the Neck Press
Sit Ups
Back Extensions

Day 2

Power Clean
Power Snatch
Snatch Balance
Back Squat
Bench Press
Leg Raises
Superman

Day 3

Clean & Jerk
Hang Snatch
Snatch Pull
Front Squat
Good Morning
Dumbbell Press
Crunches

Day 4

Power Snatch
Power Clean & Jerk
Clean Pull
Overhead Squat
Bench Press
Chin-Ups
Back Extensions