Wednesday, September 26, 2012

3 Sample Weight Training Programs (by Monica Brant)

I found what I think are three good weight training programs in Monica Brant's book, Secrets to Staying Fit and Loving Life.  For those of you who don't know Monica Brant, she was a fitness and figure competitor and champion from the 1990s to now.  She also runs fitness camps and does personal appearances.  Keep in mind, she's got a lot more muscle mass than I strive for (she's been dedicated to wight training/muscle gain for YEARS), but I think her training principals are sound.

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These programs assume you have a general knowledge of how to lift weights for different body parts.  In her book (which I ordered online for $1.50) she has photos of how to perform different exercises.  I will write a separate post on specific exercises for each body part in the future.

Always warm up with medium-intensity cardio before weight training.  I usually start on the treadmill and do 2.5 mph at a 15% incline, for 8 minutes.  Monica does 3.5 mph with a 5% incline for 10 minutes.

SAMPLE PROGRAM 1:  Train 3 Days a Week for General Conditioning

*Each time in the gym, you'll do a total body circuit, going from one exercise to another without resting in between.  You can do the circuit once, twice, or three times, depending on your time and conditioning level.  You rest more more than 30 seconds between exercises.

Monica says doing circuits are one of the best ways to burn fat and condition your body.

Example Exercises 

Body Part        Exercise
Shoulders          Dumbbell press
Chest                 Incline dumbbell press
Biceps               Seated alternating dumbbell curl
Triceps              Triceps bench dip
Back                 Dumbbell bench row
Legs                  Lunges
Abs                   Basic ball crunch

Frequency:  3 days a week, skip a day in between

Exercises:  If you do a second or third round, you can choose different exercises or do the same

Sets:  Do one set per exercise

Reps:  15-20 per exercise.  Add weight if you can do more than 20.  It should not be so heavy that you can't do the last reps by yourself, but should feel challenging enough that you're ready to quit at 20.

Rest:  No more than 30 seconds between exercises

Cardio:  If you have time and these are the only 3 days you are at the gym, do 15-20 minutes of cardio before your circuit and 15-20 minutes after.

* * * * * 

SAMPLE PROGRAM 2:  Train 4 Days a Week for General Conditioning

*This is still a circuit workout, but your body parts are split into two days.

Example Exercises 

Frequency        Exercise
Monday             Arms/legs/abs
Tuesday             Chest/shoulders/back
Wednesday        Off
Thursday           Arms/legs/abs
Friday                Chest/shoulders/back
Saturday            Off
Sunday              Optional cardio day

Exercises:  Pick two exercises per body part.  If you do a second or third round, you can choose different exercises or do the same

Sets:  Do one set per exercise

Reps:  15-20 per exercise.  Add weight if you can do more than 20.  It should not be so heavy that you can't do the last reps by yourself, but should feel challenging enough that you're ready to quit at 20.

Rest:  No more than 30 seconds between exercises

Cardio:  If time allows, do cardio before, during or after your circuit training.  Otherwise, save it for another day.  Monica says that doing cardio, even 15 minutes, will help you see results faster.  She also recommends mixing it up- higher intensity on some time and lower intensity others.

* * * * * 

SAMPLE PROGRAM 3:  Train 5 Days a Week for Muscle Definition and Conditioning

*This is good for the woman who wants to build muscle definition throughout her entire body.  The program is a three day training split.  (THIS IS WHAT I'M DOING NOW).


Example Exercises 

Frequency        Exercise
Monday             Chest/shoulders/triceps
Tuesday             Back/biceps/abs
Wednesday        Legs
Thursday           Off or Cardio
Friday                Chest/shoulders/triceps
Saturday            Back/biceps/abs
Sunday              Off

Exercises:
Chest                 2 exercises
Shoulders          3 exercises
Triceps               2 exercises
Back                  3-4 exercises
Biceps                2 exercises
Abs                    2-3 exercises
Legs                   4 exercises


Sets:  3-4 sets per exercise

Reps:  1st set 15; 2nd set 12; 3rd set 10

Rest:  One minute between sets

Cardio:  Monica recommends doing some cardio for conditioning and to control body fat.  She says, "Interval cardio sessions after weight training are best for optimal performance and results.  Do not do your cardio before weights if you are trying to build muscle.  Keep in mind that heavier training requires more attention and energy, so make sure you don't exhaust all your fuel by doing your cardio first."

* * * * * 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the sample programs. Is there a way to determine when we should increase our weights the next time we work out?

    I just incorporated the treadmill for warming up but I'm not sure if I'm using the right treadmill. It can only go up to 3%. Would this be enough to warm up?

    ReplyDelete

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