Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This week the group got their second free weight workout. After a month of using the machines to build a base of muscular strength and endurance, we taught them their first workout with dumbbells (DB) and an exercise ball.

We try and shift people over to free weights whenever possible. Machines are great for stabilizing the body and targeting specific muscles, but doing exercises with dumbbells and barbells, forces you to use more accessory and stabilizers muscles to control the movement and maintain your posture.

Using more muscle means you’re burning more calories which will help with weight loss. It also means you’re more fully developing the body. There are hundreds of different exercises that exercise the body as a whole, or that zero in on specific muscle groups.

Start with a pair of dumbbells that you can easily hold in each hand. It keeps you from lifting too much weight too soon. If it seems too heavy, it probably is.

Have someone that knows what they’re doing show you the movements, and then try them with a fairly light pair of dumbbells. If you don’t have access to anyone, get a magazine or go online. There are lots of resources out there.

When you do the exercise, shoot for 10-15 repetitions. If you can’t do 10 reps, it’s too heavy. If it was easy to do it 15 times, then the weight is too light and you need to use try the next heavier dumbbell.

Do the movements slowly, making sure you are in complete control of the weights. Keep your posture correct by tightening your core. Make sure you don’t hold your breath. If possible, watch yourself in the mirror to keep an eye on things.

Start with a whole body program three days a week, (M, W, F). Later, if you want to split things up, there are lots of ways to do that. For best results, do opposing body part exercises back-to-back with no break in between. That will keep you burning more calories!

Here are the two full body programs they learned. They did the first one last week, and will be doing the second one this week. They’re both similar, working the same body parts, but using different exercises to do it.

Workout #1: Chest Press on Ball, Squats (3x); Single Arm Row, Deadlifts (3x); Lateral Raises, DB Curls, Overhead Tricep Press (3x); Assorted Ab Crunches on Ball.

Workout #2: Pec Fly’s on Ball, Walking Lunges (3x); DB Pullovers on Ball, Deadlifts (3x); Arnold Press, Double Curl, Tricep Kickbacks; more assorted Ab Crunches on Ball, planks.

Our Week Five winner was Sande Sherer, who lost 2.6% of her body weight and 4.8 lbs. Kara Englum and Shirley Fiscus tied for second place, both losing 1.9% and 3.2 lbs and 3.8 lbs respectively. Kelli Stidham placed third, losing 1.7% and 4.4 lbs.

If you have any questions about fitness or working out, please feel free to contact me at Tom’s Fitness on Facebook!

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