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  • July 2011
    M T W T F S S

Weight Lifting 101

Well, guess what guys?!?! WE MADE IT! 😀 Welcome to Friday, my friends!!

If you haven’t had a chance to enter my giveaway yet, you definitely should. 🙂 It is over at 5pm TODAY!

So today I thought I would talk about working out. The ins & outs of how I do my workouts, and some of my favorite workouts for all of the different muscle groups.

I don’t know about you, but I typically go through which muscle group is my favorite to work. When I first started lifting, my favorite was always leg days. After a few months I think loved working my biceps & triceps. I know I’ve told you before, but I LOVE Kelly Ripa’s arms! Hers are ROCKIN’!!

After a few months, I went back to legs being my favorite. I guess I can’t really pick a favorite though, I love weight lifting in general! 🙂 I have been finding so many new exercises too which helps switch things up!

Now I also recommend when you are doing weight workouts that you SWITCH up the amount of reps & sets that you do.

Here is a ‘guideline’ for how many reps you should do depending on what YOUR current goals are:
*6-8 reps to BUILD MUSCLE
*12-20 reps for ENDURANCE

Personally I like to switch up the number of reps that I do each month. Like right now I am doing Muscle & Fitness Her’s Lift to Burn series, and most of the rep counts are for endurance.

Most of the exercises I am actually doing 20 reps per set! I have never done that many reps for exercises before. I always believed that the ‘magic’ number for the amount of reps that you are supposed to do was 12. I have no idea why, but that number got stuck in my head, and that’s what I followed.

Now, like I said, I try to gain the rep count that I do each month. After this month I will focus more on the ‘gain muscle’ count- so between 6-8 reps for each set.

Another thing about the reps, is that how MUCH you lift will correlate to how MANY reps you are doing. Here is a guideline:
*6-8 reps- lift HEAVY weight
*8-12 reps- lift MODERATE weight
*12-20 reps- lift LIGHT weight

Hopefully that makes sense. Personally I had to just do a lot of research on all of this weight lifting stuff. Once you really get into it, you will see WHY people like it so much.

I remember when I first started reading blogs & seeing how many bloggers were big into weight training. Some more than others, but it kind of caught me off guard seeing so many females talking about weight lifting! I was ALWAYS under the impression that the weight room was kind of a ‘boys only club.’ And of course I thought I might bulk up, which I definitely did not want to do.
<–Eek! Didn’t want to turn into that!

The funny thing is that in high school, when I was on both the cross-country & track team, we had at least 2 days of weight lifting. Of course we ran for at least 2 hours a every day, but I kind of just let the weight training go once I got to college.

^that’s me running cross-country in high school!! 🙂 I MISS those days.

Blogs really showed me that it was OK to lift weight. They also showed me that I wouldn’t turn into a female version of the Hulk. (thank goodness! that would be frightful! 😉 )

Below I have come up with some of my favorite weight lifting workouts for different muscle groups. You should NOT be afraid of the weight room. If you are really to tone up & lose those extra pounds, I PROMISE it will soon become your best friend!! 😀

Biceps/ Triceps

^that is my intimidating face. Scared, aren’t you?! 😉

1. Reverse Grip Barbell Curls- 3 sets of 25 – 20lb. barbell
Superset with
Overhead tricep extensions (holding one DB)- 3 sets of 12- holding 25lb. DB

2. Bicep Curls- up from the side– 3 sets of 12- 15lb. DB each hand
Superset with
Bench dips- 3 sets of 12- body weight (you can also add weight if you are more advanced, just place a weight place in your lap)

3. Incline DB Hammer Curls- 3 sets of 12- 15lb. DB each hand
Superset with
‘Nose breakers’- 3 sets of 12- 20lb. barbell

4. Alternating Curls- 3 sets of 12- 15lb. DB each hand
Superset with
Tricep kick backs- 3 sets of 12- 10lb. each hand

5. V- Bar cable curls- 3 sets of 12- 40lb.
Superset with
One arm over head cable tricep extensions- 3 sets of 12 (each hand) – 20lb.

***Let me also explain what it means to ‘superset’: Just do one exercise right after the other. Do 3 sets of each exercise (one right after the other) & then move on to the next set of exercises***


(& obviously I can’t spell…oops! Should be positively, not positiviely…oh boy, there’s another problem- it should say ‘these pictures’ not ‘this pictures’ …good grief- TGIF, right?! Looks like I need a break! haha!!)

*Warm up for 5-10 minutes doing some kind of cardio (I typically use the treadmill & run at 6.0-7.0, depending on how I feel)

*Straight Set- 5 total- Barbell Sumo Squats:
65lbs. x 15 reps
75lbs. x 10 reps
95lbs. x 6 reps
75lbs. x 8 reps
65lbs. x 10 reps

*Straight set:
Single Legged Deadlifts- 12 reps each leg- 4 sets total- 15lbs. each hand

*Alternating set:
Lean Lunges (description below!) – 12 reps each leg- 3 sets total- 10lbs. each hand (these BURN your buns!!)
Superset with:
Back extensions on stability ball- 12 reps- 3 sets total- holding 25lb. weigh

*Alternating Set:
Leg Extensions on machine- 12 reps- 3 sets total- 40lb. on machine
Superset with:
Hamstring curls on machine (OR stability ball) – 12 reps- 3 sets total- 50lb. on machine

*Alternating Set:
Calf Raises on machine- 15 reps- 3 sets total- 70lb. on machine
Superset with:
Calf Raises holding dumbbells- 15 reps- 3 sets total- holding 35lb. dumbbells each hand

*Cool down for 5- 10 minutes on cardio equipment of your choice.

So, what in the heck is a lean lunge?? I got the move from http://www.howsweeteats.com/. Not only is she a culinary GENIUS..but she always has awesome workouts too!!!

Here is a description STRAIGHT from Jessica herself (taken directly from her website!):
Start in a stationary lunge position: 1 leg forward, 1 back, with the back foot up on your toe. Make sure your front knee is in line with your front toe. You can do a few stationary lunges just to get the feel.

The fun part: Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the waist keeping your posture. Your back should be totally flat, not rounded at all, so make sure to keep your shoulders back. Perform the lunge with your legs exactly like you would normally – your upper body should not move, but still be bent over. The dumbbells should be on either side of your front leg, and almost move up and down when you are lunging as if they are on a ‘track.’

Anyways, I have a ‘Cardio 101’ coming soon too!! 😀

Hope you have a GREAT day! WOOOHOOOO for Friday! TGIF!

1. Do you like weight training? When did you first start weight training, if you do?
2. Do you have any fun weekend plans??
I’m supposed to babysit my ADORABLE nephew tomorrow!! YAY! I’m SO excited!! 😀

Leave a comment


  1. ittybitsofbalance

     /  July 22, 2011

    I do like weight training– but have been incorporating a lot more body weight workouts into my routine! They seem to work wonders 😀

  2. I love weight training–almost more than cardio! I started in highschool but kicked it up a notch last summer (i.e. much heavier weights and using protein supplements).

    Weekend plans = wedding festivities!

    Have fun with your nephew!!

  3. I weight train. I seem to vary… sometimes I’m really into it, and then sometimes I drift away a bit. Not sure why. And recently, I’ve been trying to vary my weights and reps. So I’ll do 6-8 reps with really heavy weights, then 10-12 reps with medium-level weights, then 15 reps with lighter weights. I like changing it up. It’s similar to what you were talking about it your post… the different types of weights and reps do slightly different things for your body. 🙂

    Great post!

  4. I love weight training! The only thing I hate about it is when you have something in mind to do and then all of the equipment is being hogged. If I lived near you, I would totally have you take me through a workout 🙂

  5. I recently fell in love with weights 100%, but there’s still a part of me that hesitates to lift as heavy as I can because I do not want to be bulky or big. I’m always looking for new workouts to switch things up, this is great, thanks!

  6. Nicole Soffian

     /  July 22, 2011

    I have always wanted to get into weight lifting because I’ve heard muscles help speed up your metabolism ALL day even looong after the workout and I want that “toned” look but like you said NO HULK style! My problem is I feel like I am not doing the exercise properly so not getting the full effect. & I am one of those self-conscious people in the gym that thinks everyone is looking at me like I am crazy!

    • Hey Nicole!! 🙂
      YES, weight lifiting is WAY better to burn calories, rather than long, steady cardio. You have the ‘after burn’ once you are finished with your weight lifting workout.
      Here is my favorite website: http://www.bodybuilding.com- you should check it out- there are videos of pretty much ANY exercise you could possibly think of!! & there is a section just for women too.
      Oh, and don’t even worry about if people look at you, they are probably just jealous!! 🙂 A lot of girls are intimidated to go to the weight lifting area, so they might look at you because they are envious of your determination..and because you ‘braved’ the weight area! :). & the guys will start to get jealous when you can lift more than them 😉

  7. I LOVE THIS POST! I just starred it and am considering printing it as a guide! I love love love strength training/weight lifting! YAY! xoxoxoox

  8. I want Kelly Ripa’s arms. SO BADLY.

  9. Amy

     /  July 22, 2011

    I love weight training and totally hate cardio. I’m a heavy weights kinda girl. I’ve been doing it for 2 years now and I’m def a hardgainer. I have quite alot of trouble putting on muscle cause I’m so thin.

  10. I love feeling the burn after weight training! I try to balance out both cardio and weight training each week so I can get a bit of both. Body Pump is my weight training class of choice but I’m feeling more comfortable with the weight area in the gym, thanks! 🙂


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