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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: May 10, 2009

This week we introduced them to free weights in the Saturday morning workout. Sometimes people get nervous about using dumbbells and the other equipment, but they don’t need to be. The key is starting out with a weight you can easily handle for 15 repetitions and learning how to do the techniques correctly.

If you do those two things, you’ll be amazed at the differences in your workout. While the machines guide the motion, with free weights, you guide the motion. This alone makes it more interesting—and intense. All of a sudden, new stabilizer muscles have to come into play. Your core is more involved, keeping you in the correct position.

It kind of resembles real life. When something happens and you have to move a certain way to get out of danger, you have to move—right then. When you have to lift something and the angle’s a little awkward, you still have to lift it. Working out with real weights prepares you for those moments. Here’s an example of the workout they did.

· DB Chest Press on the Stability Ball x 3
· AB Crunches x 3 (knees bent, legs up, crossing)

· DB Deadlifts (slightly bent leg) x 3
· DB Lateral Raises x 3

· DB Single Arm Rows (each side) x 3
· Body Squats (with or w/o DB) x 3

· DB Bicep Curls & DB Overhead Tricep Presses x 3
· Side Twists with a Ball x 3

Once you’re comfortable with the motion, the next step is to add a little weight. If you find yourself doing 15 repetitions and it’s still pretty easy, grab the next set of dumbbells. Don’t be afraid to try a heavier weight. Do the motions slow and always in control.

After adding weight, another trick we use is to group things together so you don’t take rest breaks. Do a set of one exercise, followed by another set of a different exercise that works a different muscle group. I call this “active rest.”

While one group of muscles is resting, another is working. This really jacks up the intensity of the workout, helping you burn more calories, and getting a better workout. You’ll be stronger, and have more endurance too.

The winner of Week Five was John Crow who lost 1.9% of his body weight and 5.0 lbs. This means he’s lost 21.4 lbs in the first five weeks. John won a $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and our friends at State Farm Insurance. Here’s the rest of the top ten this week.

% lbs
John Crow 1.9 5.0 
Vince Porter 1.8 4.7 
Dawn Hopper 1.6 3.0
Jaymi Warner 1.6 2.6 
Lacey Strow 1.5 2.8
Brittany Cline 1.3 2.4
Margo Yeargin 1.1 1.8
Stephanie Crampton 1.0 1.6
Brian Bradley 0.7 1.4
Kara Englum 0.5 0.8