Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Workouts, Part I: Free Weights

I started working out on a regular basis as part of a 2009 New Year's resolution. For all of last year, I did nothing but cardio workouts. Wii Fit, walking, various workout DVDs and the like were the crux of my activity for the year. For the first 7-8 months, they worked great. I consistently lost weight and, therefore, never varied my workouts. Don't fix it if it ain't broke, right? But that all came to a halt towards the end of the summer, when I hit a plateau and stayed there. And stayed there. And stayed there.

I didn't understand how I could be doing the very activities that had been so effective only the week or month before, and see absolutely no results. It was beyond frustrating. I just kept doing the same workouts and waited for them to start working again. I even did two 1-hour workouts per day one week thinking that would help break the plateau.


As the holidays approached, I just gave up. I stopped working out altogether and allowed myself to indulge in all the decadent, naughty treats that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas had to offer. As a result, I gained back about 15 of the pounds I had worked so hard to lose.

But now it's a new year. 2010, baby! I'm completely recharged and recommitted. I've done my research and understand that varying workouts is important to shock the body into responding. I'm doing more than just cardio, incorporating free weights into my routines and trying to change things up every couple of weeks, or so. And, I'm already seeing results.

Several of you have asked about my workout routines, so I'm going to start blogging about them. I've added a box on the sidebar that shows my current workout schedule. For January, it looks like this:

Weeks 1 & 2:
  • Monday: Upper body free weights and 30 minutes cardio
  • Tuesday: 60 minutes cardio
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Lower body free weights and 30 minutes cardio
  • Friday: 60 minutes cardio
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 60 minutes cardio

Weeks 3 & 4:

  • Monday: Upper body free weights and 30 minutes cardio
  • Tuesday: 60 minutes cardio
  • Wednesday: Lower body free weights and 30 minutes cardio
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Upper body free weights and 30 minutes cardio
  • Saturday: 60 minutes cardio
  • Sunday: Lower body free weights and 30 minutes cardio

My current weight routines are pretty simple. For weeks 1 & 2, I'm doing two sets of 15 reps using high weight for each exercise.

Upper Body:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Two-Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Standing Twisting Dumbbell Press
  • Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
  • Dumbbell Curl
  • Double Crunch

Lower Body:

  • Dumbbell Squat
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Side Lunge
  • Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
  • Dumbbell Unilateral Calf Raise

If you'd like to know more about these exercises and routines, check out the January 2010 issue of Oxygen as that's where I pulled the information.

I'm excited to be exercising again, excited about the change to my routine and super-excited about the results I've already seen in such a short period of time. I'm committed to sticking with things this year, even if I hit another plateau, and I'm doing everything in my power to avoid that scenario.

I can't tell you as I approach that dreaded plateau weight that I'm not going to be a bit nervous. I'm sure I will. But I'm confident things will be different this time around. I'm better equipped, better informed and I'm certainly more fit than I was this time last year. Everything's in my favor.

This was Part I of what I think will be a 2-part, initial series on my workout routines. I hope to be back sometime very soon to explain what I'm doing for cardio and how I use my Wii Fit (and now Wii Fit Plus!) to full advantage.

If you have any questions just let me know and I'll do my part by blogging as I go with reports on how I'm doing, what's working and what's not.


Anonymous said...

Your routines look great and good luck! If you DO hit another plateau, now you know what to do--change it up!


jessy said...

thanks so much for sharing your workout routines with us, Marni! i love weight training, but have totally fallen in to a bit of a rut with it. think i'm gonna follow some of your program. yay! changing it up is brilliant - thanks!

Jenn said...

You're right, 2009 is in the past. With this kind of attitude you'll reach your goals in no time. Good for you!

Jenn, HelloVeggie.Org

Darren said...

Great Post! The right upper workout will not only get you results, it will make you look years younger.

Alex said...

Congratulations on the weight loss! I've been hitting the gym pretty hard this year. Four days a week weight training and three a week of cardio, and it's done wonders for me. I've only lost ten pounds, but I've gained a lot of muscle, so my body composition has totally changed. I still want to lose another twenty pounds though. ;) Workin' on it. Food is my weakness though, and you know what they say: abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

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