How to plan an exercise routine


How to plan an exercise routine 

A good exercise program is a combination of cardiovascular and weightlifting exercises.  Your weightlifting should consist of seven to twelve exercises.  Make sure to balance your workout to include all muscle groups.  For the best results, perform a few exercises for each muscle group. 


A complete workout program changes slightly every couple of weeks.  Performing the same routine causes progress to decrease.  Challenge your body by doing different weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises.  If you are walking two miles per hour on the treadmill, speed up to three miles per hour.  Change your exercises on each body part periodically.    

YOU HAVE TO LIFT weights along with cardiovascular exercises if you desire good results.  To speed up your metabolism you must increase muscle mass.  Some type of weightlifting should be performed at least two times a week.  

The first example workout is a full body workout that focuses on the entire body.  This type of program would be performed three times a week with a day of rest in-between.  If you work a muscle group on one day you should rest those muscles the next day.   You may also choose to perform upper body exercises one day and lower body the next.  When performing this type of program you can lift weights on consecutive days.  This program allows your upper body to rest while performing lower body exercises. 

Spot reducing- trying to lose weight in one part of your body by exercising that area- simply doesn’t work.  If you continue to workout the fat will eventually come off your target area. 

You may add an exercise or two to target a specific area of the body.  When targeting an area, do not NEGLECT the rest of your body. 

Every workout should be designed to fit your needs and goals.  Take into consideration any health issues you may have. 

If you need help putting together a routine please email me at


Workout #1


1.  Walk or jog on Treadmill for 20 Minutes  

2.  Flat Bench Press - 12-15 Reps for 3 sets 

Lie on a flat bench and firmly position your feet flat on the floor a little more than shoulder width apart. Keep your back flat on the bench!  Using a grip broader than shoulder width, hold the barbell above your body, then lower slowly to the middle of your chest.  Without bouncing the weight off your chest, drive the barbell up over the middle of your chest until your arms are straight and your elbows are locked.  Lower the bar down slowly. 

3.  Bent-Over Barbell Rows - 6-10 Reps for 3 sets 

Begin with your right foot flat on the floor and your left knee resting on a flat bench. Lean forward so that you're supporting the weight of your upper body with your left arm on the bench.  Your back should be flat, almost parallel with the floor.  Reach down and pick up a dumbbell with your right hand.  Your left arm should be locked at the elbow so it will support the weight of your upper body.  Before starting, look straight ahead instead of at the floor in order to keep your back straight. Tighten your abs to keep your body from turning to the side as you lift the dumbbell. Concentrate on pulling your elbow back as far as it can go.  The dumbbell should end up roughly parallel with your torso.  After you've rowed the dumbbell up as far as you can, slowly lower it to the starting position. Switch arms after one set. 

4. Barbell Curls 12-15 for 3 sets 

With your hands shoulder-width apart, grip a barbell with an underhand grip.  Stand straight up with your shoulders squared and with your feet shoulder-width apart.  Let the bar hang down at arm's length in front of you, with your arms, shoulders and hands in a straight line.  WITHOUT leaning back or swinging the weight, curl the bar up toward your chest in an arc.  Keep your elbows in the same place and close to your sides.  Bring the weight up as high as you can and squeeze the biceps at the top.  Lower the weight slowly, resisting all the way down until your arms are nearly straight.

5.  Triceps Pull-downs – 15 Reps for 3 Sets

Using a high-cable pulley, grasp a short straight bar with an overhand grip. Your hands should be about 10 inches apart.  Position your forearms so they are parallel to the floor.  Keep your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly.  Keep your elbows locked in close to your body and your wrists straight. Keep your WHOLE body steady, push the bar down as far as possible towards your legs, locking your arms and feeling the triceps full contract. Keep the upper arms close to the body.  Return to the starting position using the same motion.  Never move your elbows or torso!  Stay standing straight up. 

Tips: Possibly the best biceps exercise! With your hands shoulder-width apart, grip a barbell 

6.  Leg Press – 12-15 Reps for 3 Sets

Sitting on a leg press machine, position your feet together against the crosspiece about should-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward.  Grasp the handle grips or sides of the seat.  Bend your knees and lower the weight as far as possible without changing the position of your hips. Do not lower the weight so far that your hips start to curl up off the seat!  Then slowly push the weight back up using your heels, not your toes.  Do not lock your knees at the top, but rather take the weight to just before lock.  Then begin to lower the weight again SLOWLY.  You can change your foot positions to vary the angle on the muscle. 

7.   Leg Extensions - 12-20 Reps for 3 Sets 

Using a leg extension machine, sit in the seat and hook your feet under the padded bar. Adjust the pad and/or the seat so that your knees hang off the end of the seat and the footpad rest on the lowest part of the shins. Grasp the handles on the machine or the edges of the seat to keep your hips from lifting up as you perform the exercise. Extend your legs until knees are straight, making sure you remain seated flat on the machine.  Raise the weight all the way, lock and hold briefly, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.  Get the full range of motion and feel the muscle being worked during the entire movement.  Do not SWING the weight up! 

8.      Lying Leg Curls 12-15 Reps for 3 Sets 

Lie face down on a leg-curl machine and hook your heels under the roller pad.  Your legs should be stretched out straight so that the pads rest on the back of your ankles. Grasp the handles under the bench for support.  Remaining flat on the bench, curl your legs up until your hamstrings are fully contracted.  Release and lower the weight slowly back to the starting position.  Concentrate on using a full range of motion and do not SWING the weight up.  You can point your toes to intensify the burn in your hamstrings.

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