In yesterday’s Part 1, I looked at the key ingredients of a truly effective workout and provided a training programme for a summer body in winter. Here I finish by looking at weight training… 

Weight Training

A beginner weight-lifter will want to have a broad focus on learning technique and developing proper form, versus a well-seasoned lifter who has specific power, strength or muscle-gaining goals. In order to quickly gain strength and stamina, a newbie will want to focus on compound lifts, meaning the type of movement that incorporates several different muscle groups.

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As your muscles learn the movements and you grow more confident in the gym, you can always begin the isolation lifts to work a specific muscle.

Examples of compound lifts: front or back squats, lunges, shoulder press, dead lift, cleans.

A circuit-style workout is my personal favorite because it keeps the session flowing without many breaks between sets, so the entire workout can be completed much quicker with a circuit than with the standard “rest-between-sets” style.

summer body in winter_2With a circuit, the exercises are ordered in a specific way to rotate muscle groups.

While you are working one set of muscles, the other muscle groups are technically resting. I like to rotate between upper body, lower body and core. Each person has their own opinions on what makes a good workout, so learn your preferences and adjust accordingly!

The following workout has been developed for the beginner weight-lifter with a circuit style session:

Week 1 / Session 1

3 sets of 8-10 reps each

– Alternating Shoulder press
– Goblet Squats
– Land-mine Press
– Hanging Sumo-squats
– Lawn-mower pull
– Pitcher’s Mound lunges

Week 1 / Session 2

3 sets of 8-10 reps each

– Suitcase Deadlift
– Lat Pulls
– Bulgarian Step-ups
– Chest press
– Leg Press
– Bench Dips

Endurance cardio

An important dichotomy in the cardio exercise world is the pairing of sprint and endurance activity.

The sprint cardio intervals introduced in Part 1 of this article will condition your body for endurance activity. Endurance day is the chance for you to see how far or how long you can perform a moderate pace without rest.

Let’s say your short-term goal is to run a 5k race.

summer body in winter_3The first step is to pick a time (let’s say 30 minutes) as your ultimate running goal. That means you will need to wear a watch that has a stopwatch/timer function to help keep track of your progress.

The second step is to go run! If you ever feel too winded to continue running, slow your pace down to a walk. The only rule is that you cannot stop moving for the entire 30 minutes! Start your stopwatch as soon as you begin running and stop it as soon as you take your first break to walk. You can jot that initial run time down when you get home. You may begin with 1:00 run before you need to walk and that’s okay. Everyone starts slow, so don’t give up!

The third step is to watch your progress over 6 weeks or so. There are good days and bad days, so don’t get down on yourself if you see a run time that doesn’t please you. Instead of beating yourself up, congratulate yourself on getting out and doing it!

Make sure you eat well, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest to see proper results.

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