Monday, November 18, 2013


Insanity;  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.- Albert Einstein

Training For Beginners

In this article on training we are concerned with bodybuilding with weights, barbells, dumbbells,
machines, benches, stability balls, and, sometimes, elastic bands.  There are many other forms of exercise and maybe weights will not be your forte over a period of time.  The advantage of weight training is that you can work the entire body, or parts of the body, and include the benefits of leaner muscles, strength increases, improvement in your metabolism, and reducing the chances of many debilitating diseases.  You can include exercises for balancing, core strengthening, flexibility, agility, and weight reduction.  As you advance in the training process, you will notice improvement in sleeping, energy, digestion, etc.  The list can go on and on!  You will come to the realization that the human being is a muscle machine designed for movement.  One gets in trouble by thinking rest heals all.  Usually exercise, rest, proper diet, and moderation in all aspects are the keys to healthful fitness - first & forever.

A physical exam in a good practice for all ages, and especially for seniors.  You should know where your body needs special attention, it's weaker areas, and limited movement locations.  If you have knee problems, arthritis, balance problems, as well as heart and lung limitations, your doctor can advise you as to what, where and when your body will need special considerations.
To save you time and money, have a certified personal trainer develop an exercise program according to your desires, capabilities, and general health.  Many, if not most, clients of a gym are poor exercise trainees.  Their form is incorrect, they train with distractions (conversations with others, cell phones, and wasting time resting between sets of exercises) to an extent that their progress is hampered and goals are not obtained.  Once you have experience training you can go on your own and whether you progress is up to you.  Remember this statement as it pertains to most everything you do in life..................It's not the time you put into this program as much as it is what you do during the time spent!  Review a previous article on "Movement vs. Exercise". To work the entire body usually means doing exercises that affect the larger muscle groups. They are as follows:

  • Legs (calves, quadriceps, hamstrings).
  • Back (upper and lower back - from the neck to the lumbar region).
  • Chest (pecs, over the head extensions on a bench, side raises with dumbbells, chest pressing with both dumbbells and barbells).
  • Arms, upper/lower including biceps, triceps, forearms, dips, curls, with dumbbells and barbells).
  • Abs and core exercises using benches, stability balls, crunches, etc.
  • Cardio training on treadmills, elliptical trainers, running, step machines, stationery bikes.

Usually a period of 1 hour for a workout is recommended and, if possible, 4 times/week.  If this requires more time than you want to devote to your exercise programs, do a workout 2 times per week.  You can start out with 1 set of each exercise and learn the proper form for each movement.  8 to 15 reps are usually suggested and as you progress you can do multiple sets of each exercise.  Also try to allow about 1 week of rest for each of the muscle groups.  Cardio can be done at the beginning or ending of each exercise period.

Do at least 10 minutes of cardio and use whatever machine you like best.  The exercises listed for the various areas can be divided by the number of times you wish to workout during the week.  

With regard to how to do each exercise, you now have the benefit of the Internet.  Apple and android phones, tablets, and computers have a lot of information on each exercise you may expect to do.  You can see videos, diagrams, and pictures of exercises, starts and finishes.  Check out the apps available for your type of phone.