Weight Training | Effective Training Programs for Home Gym

I was having a chat with Mrs Niko today about our training and what different options we had when it comes to training together. During this conversation the topic of weight training came up. Now Mrs Niko has never shown an interest in specific weight training, we complete cross-fit together and she used to do Les Mills Body Pump classes when were previously member of a commercial gym, however she has never completed any specific weight training program.

When I asked Mrs Niko why she had previously been reluctant to complete a weight training program, she couldn’t really give me an answer. I think it’s because there are a lot of misconceptions about weight training for females. I think the primary misconception is that females fear that it will make them gain weight and look bulky, which is the goal for most men who undertake a weight training program, but for 99% of woman, it is the exact opposite result that they want from training. This misconception is just that, a misconception. There are a number of reasons why this is a misconception, but for this post I will concentrate of two.

The first reason why woman will not get bulky is their lack of the male hormone testosterone. It is a lack of testosterone in females that will restrict them from gaining a large amount of muscle. Males obviously have testosterone in their system, especially younger males, hence they have the ability to gain muscle and strength at a much more obvious rate than females.

The second reason is to do with basic science. If you don’t eat a surplus of calories, then in simple terms you won’t gain weight and look bulky. It is no different for males, your body doesn’t magically make muscle while you are lifting weights. Weight training is the stimulation or stress on your body, you are actually breaking down muscle while you are lifting weight (at a microscopic level). Your bodies response to this stimulation/stress is to repair the muscle and grow more muscle in order to be better prepared next time that sort of stress is placed on it again. Now in very basic terms, you body needs a surplus of calories to grow more muscle. So if you are only eating a maintenance level of calories you will not add to your body weight and you will not become too bulky. This principle is no different for males or female.

To my surprise when I told her that I was doing a weight training session, she asked could she join in. So at about 8:00pm Mrs Niko and I headed into ‘The Pit’ for a session of Back and Biceps.

As I have outlined on previous posts, I have set myself several strength goals, which I am aiming to achieve by the end of the 12 week program. I am placing these goals in brackets after the exercise that I am performing.

My Program for Staying Lean and Strong

Pre-Workout Nutrition:
• About an hour before training I downed a Pre-workout shake.

Warm-up:
• 5 minutes of skipping
• Dynamic Stretching
• Push-ups x 20

Workout:

Pulldowns (Goal Weight: 90kg)
– Set 1: 10 reps x 30kg
– Set 2: 8 reps x 50kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 70kg
– Set 4: 6 reps x 70kg

Bent over rowing in action.

Bent Over Barbell Rows (Goal Weight: 120kg Dumbbell)
– Set 1: 6 reps x 80kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 100kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 100kg

Barbell Shrugs (Goal Weight: 140kg)
– Set 1: 6 reps x 110kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 120kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 130kg

Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls (Goal Weight: 27.5kg Dumbbell)
– Set 1: 10 reps x 7.5kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 15kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 22.5kg
– Set 4: 6 reps x 22.5kg

Standing Straight Bar Curls (Goal Weight: 55kg)
– Set 1: 8 reps x 40kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 45kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 45kg

Finishers – My High Intensity Fat Burning Circuit

I am still incorporating finishers at the end of my weight training session. Today I alternated between Jump Squats and Explosive Push-ups. I started by doing 10 of each back to back, then 9 of each back to back and so on until I reach zero. The whole circuit is done without rest and took me only about 4mins to complete.

Warm Down:
• Static Stretching

The whole session including warm-up, the workout, finishers and warm down took me 47mins to complete buring about 510 kcals.

Post-Workout Nutrition:
• Straight after the session I downed a Post-workout shake.

Notes:
• All reps and sets are done with good form (no cheating or swinging the weight)
• Rest for exactly a minute between all sets except for the last 2 working sets where you rest for 2mins.
• During the workout sip on water.

How weight training can transform your body

After reading the first part of this post you might be wondering, if your goal isn’t to get muscular and bulky, then what is the point of weight training. Good question. The point is, weight training will change you body composition and it has a drastic ability to speed up your metabolism. Through correct weight training you can remain the same body weight, but you can significantly reduce your body fat percentage whilst at the same time increase you lean muscle mass. The end result is that you will look leaner and your actually body weight measurements will have reduced in areas of your body that typically store fat. A primary example of this is myself, over the last 2 years, my body weight has only varied about 1-2kgs, however in that time I have increased my lean muscle mass and decreased my bodyfat levels from about 18% to 10% and my waist measurement has gone from 92cm to 81cm.

It is this increase in lean muscle mass that speeds your metabolism up. It takes your body more calories to support muscle than it does fat, so the more lean muscle mass you have the greater amount of calories your body needs to burn to support itself. Even when you are sitting still you body is burning more calories, than that of a person who has less muscle mass than you. For people that are trying to loss weight my advice in relation to training is that weight training is probably the best form of training to transform you body shape due to the aforementioned reasons.

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