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weight routine

hey everyone. am new to strength training and wanted to know if any knows of good routines online. i've no idea where to start looking.

i did find the strong woman thing, but wanted something a little more extensive.

Mon. Nov 21, 1:11pm

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Why dont you look up the internet and order some good CDs/DVDs?? I think strength training should always be done with some professional help

Tuesday, November 22, 2005, 10:59 PM

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Weight Training for Women

I'm venturing where perhaps no man should dare to go when I offer suggestions on the subject of weight training for women.

I have had a bit of experience in this area, as well as fair success.

I have marked your thread for follow-up, and will get back to you within the next few days.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005, 7:35 PM

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I would love to hear from you as well.. I have marked the thread too!

Thursday, November 24, 2005, 2:53 AM

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Try Cathe Friedrich's tapes. She is amazing, and really tough. Don't give up...


Thursday, November 24, 2005, 11:13 PM

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Weight Training for Women

I have been weight training fairly regularly for approximately 20 years, and off-and-on for 20+ years before that. The two best references I know for someone just getting interested in weight training are:

"Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Men and Women", by Bill Pearl (1986)
Bill Pearl is a 4-time Mr. Universe, as I recall, and has run gyms in California for perhaps the past 50 years. The edition above is available used from Amazon.Com starting at $3.49. A revised edition is available new from Amazon for $14.93 (link to below)

"Lift Your Way to Youthful Fitness: The Comprehensive Guide to Weight Training", by Jan and Terry Todd (1985)
Jan and Terry Todd were respectively the strongest man and woman in the world at one time. They were, and perphaps still are, in the athletic department at the University of Texas, Austin. This book is available used from Amazon starting at $2.99.

The two books reference each other, and Bill Pearl shows up as a model in some of the lifting movements in the book by Jan and Terry Todd. Kinda hard to beat getting the pair of them for under $10.00 used, plus shipping!

My own experience instructing weight training came in a karate studio where I was instructing karate in exchange for my own lessons. I started a class in strength training for interested students, and as it turned out, most of my students were women. I devised a simple program based on the periodization principle outlined in detail in the book by Jan and Terry Todd. (Bill Pearl also has a good section on periodization in his book).

1. Movements we used: squat, powerlifting deadlift, bench press, clean and press, barbell curl, and bent-over row. At any given time, we usually limited the exercises used in a training cycle to 4 or 5 to avoid overwork.

2. Length of a training cycle: 14 weeks.

3. Sets and repetitions at target weight:
Week 1-4: 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Increment weight by 2.5% per week
Week 5-8: 3 sets of 5 repetitions. Increment weight by 5% per week
Week 9-11: 3 sets of 3 repetitions: Increment weight by 7.5% per week.
Week 12: Test for maximum lift for one repetition (Heavy singles)
Week 13-14: "Active Rest", with no organized weight training.

4. Upon completion of the Active Rest phase, start another cycle with weights approximately 5%-10% heavier than previous cycle.

The students were very pleased with their results, as were their significant others. The women students replaced fat with muscle, but never got "masculine" in any way---except they got "bad" because they knew they could really take care of themselves. A couple of the students competed along with me in power lifting competitions at the county & state level. We all came back with trophies to show off at the karate studio, as I recall.

I will continue to watch this thread, and will respond to questions if I can add anything else.



Friday, November 25, 2005, 11:35 AM

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thanks for the OP

digby, thanks for "weighing in" (pun intended).

let's see if i understand correctly.

i should do 14 weeks of squats, powerlifting, bench press, clean and press, barbell curl, and bent over row? right? that sounds great to me, the only prob is, i don't really know what these moves are. will the books detail that for me?

Sunday, November 27, 2005, 10:21 AM

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Follow-up on Weight Lifting Routine for Women

The short answer is that, yes, the books will give a great deal of explanation on these moves, using illustrations and/or photos of models doing the moves.

The books will also have a great many recommended training plans depending on what the specific aims of the individual might be. The example I gave is for a program where, after a while, we decided we wanted to train to compete. It just so happens that these moves also gave a good whole body workout. It isn't a bad routine to start with, then switch to other moves that an individual thinks might work better for them. But the book by the Todds, in particular, gives some good guidelines for what to include in a weight lifting program.

Finally, I laid out a program that included 12 weeks of lifting, then two weeks of "active rest" or rejuvenation for a total of 14 weeks. It is good both mentally and physically to get away from the weights for a couple of weeks, rather than immediately starting a new training cycle. I find that after a while, I am counting the weeks until I get my "time off".

Hope this helps clarify.


Sunday, November 27, 2005, 12:46 PM

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form, form form

There is a lot of info out there.I believe Shape magazine offers a guide which shows in depth muscles worked and proper form. You will honestly benefit far more with fewer sets, reps, total weight, etc if you use and maintain proper form. Many lifters and gym "trainers" do not reinforce this. Learn to move correctly, increase gradually and you will see success, including more efficient calorie burning and less risk of injury, which can set you back weeks ( not to mention the pain!) Good luck and start slowly! Debs

Friday, December 02, 2005, 12:27 AM

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weight training

I really like the Body by Jake DVD Strength Training for Women. It is an beginning instructional guide that has a complete total body program.

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 12:29 PM

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If you're going to do your weight training at a gym, ask them if they have a trainer who will show you how to use the machines/free weights. Both the Y I belonged to in Boston and both college gyms I've been to provided this service. These folks won't devise a routine for you - that's what a personal trainer is for - but they will show you proper form and how to use the equipment without hurting yourself. Books are a great start, but it really helps to have someone show you in person.

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 1:22 PM

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I also think that it is really important to have some one show you the proper form in person. And I recommend getting a good personal trainer (ask for certified level 3 or 4) that can help you learn. I did weight training for a long time with no results so I just gave up. When I finally got a trainer (I had to go through a couple before I found a good one, but the gym gave me credit for the one I was unhappy with) I learned so much, and have really changed by body. I am now hooked to weights and am starting to read magazines like Oxygen (for fitness models) rather than Shape. But I know I wouldn't have got the same results without the trainer.

(btw, i have started a group for women that want love to strength train and want to share information, but don't have any members yet. if you are interested, come to "buff ladies")

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 11:22 PM

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i agree with the above post that women stick with low weights. doing a hundred reps with these won't do anything for you. you must fatigue the muscles, i.e. it better HURT so bad once you have done 15, that you couldn't imagine doing one more. then rest for 2 min and do it again. keep moving upward and progressing, absolutely.

i see so many women (and men) using the equipment incorrectly. its very dangerous. please have someone show you how to use this stuff!

oh, and you must must must use free weights! don't be scared of those big guys in the weight room! soon you'll find your self lifting more than some of them. what a great feeling that is!

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 11:28 PM

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Need progressive weight increases to increase strength

Sorry I have been a bit slow in spotting the posting on Jamuary 26th asking for my opinion on the necessity to progressively increase poundages in strength training.

Yes, I agree 100 per cent that to keep gaining strength, the weights must be increased at fairly frequent intervals. I increase the weight every week in my own strength training, though there are some other factors involved as well.


Thursday, February 02, 2006, 8:30 PM

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yes, sheer repetition pays huge dividends as well. If you increase your pushups by 5 each week, you notice the difference. And the difference between 25 and 100 pushups is huge. If you workout more, you'll build more muscle.

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