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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: November 09, 2008

Well we’ve made to the half-way point of the twelve weeks. We started with 53, but only 33 made the weigh-in on Friday. It was Halloween, and I know some of them had to go trick-or-treating. Even fewer people made the workout—just 10 people. Yikes!

Of course, the workouts keep getting tougher. The whole goal is to teach them how to continually raise the intensity of their workouts—and that’s what we’re doing.

In week five, we introduced our Level Two training with free weights into their routine. Free weights are better than machines because machines guide the work, give you a leverage advantage, and provide support for the body.

Those sound like good things, but here are the benefits you get by using dumbbells (DB), barbells, and exercise balls:

1. There is nothing to guide the weights—you have to do all the work.
2. There is no leverage advantage—again, you’re doing all the work.
3. There are no supports, so your core muscles are much more active.
4. All the additional stabilizer muscles work harder to balance the weights.

This means that you’ll be using more and different muscles, especially your core, to lift the free weights than you would on machines. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be lifting more weight.

Let’s say you’re a lady that can lift 60 pounds on the bench press machine. This doesn’t mean you’ll be able to press two 30 lb dumbbells. Typically, we cut the weight in half (one for each arm), and then cut it in half again because you have to balance it now.

Then, we make it even tougher by having you do the movement on an exercise ball. The instability of it forces you to use your core muscles even more. This means you’ll be burning more calories too.

So, it would be reasonable to expect to be able to bench press two 15 lb dumbbells starting out. We might even drop down to 12 lb dumbbells, until you get a sense of how to do the movement, and how to control the weights.

At some point, you’d bump it up to 15’s, and then even 20’s. Don’t be afraid to try a heavier weight once you understand how to do the motions. We’ve had lots of women amazed when we show them they can lift 25 lb, 30 lb, 35 lb, and even 40 lb dumbbells (after lots of training)!

This doesn’t mean that you’ll get big like a body-builder, either, so don’t worry about it. My goal personally, and for most of our clients, is to get as lean as possible, as strong as possible.

It’s not easy to get big, especially women, because most people won’t train hard enough, long enough, and eat anywhere near enough to put on that kind of muscle. And women don’t have enough of the human growth hormone, testosterone, either. What you will do, is get lean and strong, tone up, and feel amazing.

It doesn’t even take that long. Most of our advanced workouts last 20 minutes, or 30 minutes at most. Some are even quicker. We did a killer routine last Friday that took around 18-20 minutes.

A few finished in around 15 minutes, and a couple young studs knocked it out in just over eleven minutes! Of course, they were totally trashed afterward. I even had a personal best that day (13:15). Not bad for a papaw! Anyway, here are two of the beginning Level II workouts to get you started:

1. Body Squat—Hips, Legs
2. DB Bench Press on Exercise Ball—Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
3. DB Deadlift (slightly bent legs)—Hips, Legs
4. Single Arm DB Rows—Upper Back, Biceps
5. DB Lateral Raises—Shoulders
6. DB Bicep Curls (alternating)—Biceps, Forearms
7. DB Tricep Overhead Press—Triceps, Shoulders
8. Ab Crunches on Exercise Ball
9. Side to Side Twists holding a weight or heavy ball.

1. Walking Lunges (with bent knee)—Hips, Legs
2. DB Pec Flys on Exercise Ball—Chest, Shoulders
3. DB Deadlift—Hips, Legs
4. DB Pullovers on Exercise Ball—Chest, Upper Back, Shoulder, Triceps
5. DB Shoulder Press—Shoulders, Triceps
6. DB Bicep Curls (together)—Biceps, Forearms
7. DB Triceps Kickbacks—Triceps
8. AB Routine #1-5: Ab Crunches—Knees Bent, Legs Straight, Crossing (both sides), and Leg Flutter Kicks

Do the workouts three days a week, in place of the machines. Start with Workout #1. When you’re familiar with it, switch to Workout #2. Then start alternating then each time you lift weights. Next week, I’ll tell you how to make these workouts even better.

Our winner this week was Weston Hughes, who lost 2.1% of his bodyweight and a total of 5.3 pounds of fat. Weston received a $20 Walmart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance.

Don’t forget that Terry and State Farm are sponsoring the grand prizes the group is competing for: $250 for 1st place, $150 for 2nd place, and $100 for 3rd place. Right now, Weston is in first place overall, having lost 11.3% of his body weight, and a total of 32.4 pounds—in just six weeks!
2nd place for the week went to Jean McConkey, who lost 2.0% of her body weight and 3.8 lbs, and 3rd place went to Carol Cline, who lost 1.6% of her body weight and 3.4 lbs.