Ester Marsh: Add some weights to your workouts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 10, 2022

Resistance exercise should be included in your workouts, training each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment. Not only is it recommended by the American College of Sports medicine, it will make you feel better!

And you are putting a bigger “engine” into your body. In other words, your base metabolism will rise, so you will burn more calories than someone who doesn’t do it. Just imagine a car with a V8 engine versus a four-cylinder Pinto. Both are sitting at a stop light. Which of the two is burning more gas just sitting there? Right, the big engine.

My preference for beginners is two time a week about 10 to 12 exercises total starting with one set to begin with. If you feel OK after a few weeks of workouts you can go to two sets. Start with a low weight and get your body used to working with weights. After that, a good rule of thumb is to increase no more than 10 percent each week (remember from last column?). Do 8-20 reps per set. Doing one set at 8 reps, go up in reps before going up in weight.

This way not only your muscles can get used to the working out, but your tendons do too. So after your initial beginning phase of one set of 8-20 reps work up to two to four sets of each exercise anywhere between 8-20 reps. Again, making sure there is 48 hours between the muscle groups

A full body workout could look this:

• Two chest exercises such as a bench press or vertical press and pectoral machine or dumbbell flies

• Two back exercises such as lat pull down and Low row or cable row, or dbell row.

• Two leg exercises such as leg press and calf raises, lunges or squats

• One shoulder exercise such as shoulder press, dumbbell side lateral raises or front lateral raises.

• One bicep exercise such and bicep curl machine or dumbbell or barbell curls.

• One triceps exercise such as triceps extension machine or cable triceps extensions, or dbell kickbacks.

• One abdominal such as abdominal machine or crunches.

• One lower back exercise such as lower back machine or prone leg and arm lifts (supermans)

Of course start with at least a 10-minute warm up and finish your workout stretching each muscle group you used! If it truly doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.

There are plenty of other exercises I can hook you up with.

So pump that iron, but most importantly keep moving!

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the J.F. Hurley YMCA.