Weight Workout Basics for Lean Sculpted Muscles

Because of the number of hours spend in the gym either training others or training myself, I routinely have the opportunity to see a select group of people. I watch many of them as they go through the motions, performing the same program day after day.

Falling into a workout slump is pretty common. Perhaps, you are ready to break out of your routine and try something new? If that is the case, I have a different format to help you develop lean sculpted muscles throughout your entire body! It combines the model from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a few elements from Core Performance. The model may seem long and extensive, but it works to keep you from being injured and keeps total body wellness in mind. This is a very different routine for those who are used to focusing on specific sections of the body instead of the entire body.

Following is my “5-​​Step Workout Guide”:

Step One –
A. Foam rolling: Foam roll tight muscles (example: IT bands or upper back)

B. Dynamic stretching: Such as hip crossovers or calf stretch. I will generally add anywhere from three to five dynamic stretches to the warm-​​up.
C. Core exercises or cardiovascular exercise: A good example of a core exercise is the prone hold or pillar bridge.

Step Two –
A. Lower back strengthening combined with rotator cuff stretching and strengthening: Such as Y, T, and L. The rotator cuff and lower back are often overlooked areas of the body.
B. Balance exercises: Quadruped is a good example of a balance exercise.

Step Three –
A. Reactive exercise: The reactive exercise can be as simple as a box jump or lateral jumps.

Step Four –
A. Resistance training program: This is your weight workout.
B. Cardiovascular exercise: I like to add a short burst of cardiovascular exercise in between sets during the weight workout.

Step Five –

A. Cool-​​down

Next, I will show you an actual workout I gave to a client. His goal is to achieve a faster running times with no injuries. When we started he was a basic exerciser but has progressed to an intermediate level in just a few months. He was able to run a little more than half a mile when he started training with me, and is now able to run seven miles without stopping!

Step One –

A. Foam rolling: Hip flexors, upper back and IT bands
B. Dynamic stretching: Hip crossovers, scorpion (another full body stretch), calf stretch, sumo squat to hamstring stretch, and walking knee stretch (walk and pull one knee in to chest)
C. Core exercises or cardiovascular exercise: A good example is the prone hold or pillar bridge.

Step Two –

A. Lower back strengthening combined with rotator cuff stretching and strengthening: Y, T, W and L.
B. Balance exercises: We added in a standing one-​​legged stretch to the dynamic stretch section in step one. Leg curl with stability ball.

Step Three –

A. Reactive exercise: For this workout, I used this area to add in an additional core exercise. Prone hold (pillar bridge) to side hold and repeated each side three times.

Step Four –

A. Resistance training program and cardiovascular exercise

Part One – Complete each exercise. Repeat Part One before moving on to Part Two.

a. Walk with 25lb dumbbells, squat, stand and shrug
b. Jump-​​squats with the TRX
c. Walking lunges
d. Inch-​​worm with plastic plates underneath feet
e. One quick sprint around an indoor track (you can use substitute with a treadmill)

Part Two – Complete each exercise. Repeat Part Two before moving on to Step Five.

a. Hang on pull-​​up bar for 30 seconds
b. 8 pull-​​ups
c. 20 push-​​ups
d. Reverse fly, 10 reps
e. One quick sprint around an indoor track (you can use substitute with a treadmill)

Step Five –

A. Cool-​​down: repeat dynamic stretches and add static stretching

We would love to hear your comments! If you find these suggestions helpful, please post a comment below or email me at Stephanie@​STARTfitness.​com. HOOAH!

Remarks:

Need some new exercise ideas? Try our free fitness video clips. Or, if you prefer a full workout, try our fitness DVD set, Operation Living Fit. Military​.com subscribers can get $4 off the trilogy by entering the promotional code, “military”.

Are you located in Nashville, TN the San Francisco Bay Area and want to train like the military? We have the longest-​​running Boot Camp fitness program in the U.S. We would love to have you try it out! Contact me at Stephanie@​STARTfitness.​com for a free two-​​day pass, or sign-​​up on our Web site at www​.STARTfitness​.com.

Warning: Always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have prior to commencing a fitness program. This article should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. The exercises presented are for suggestion only. Participate at your own risk. Stop if you feel faint or short of breath.

Photo credit: Evan Baines

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Stephanie Weichert

Published author, Strategic Director of START Fitness and military wife. Stephanie Weichert became the Strategic Director of START in 2001 and developed and co-produced the Operation Fit to Fight™ fitness series. She has written health and fitness articles for GX® magazine (circ. 375,000), Foundations (circ. 400,000), Hooah! (circ. 6.5 million) and Military Spouse Magazines (circ. 60,000). She co-developed a tactical fitness instructor training and testing program for the Army National Guard. Stephanie comes from a strong Water Polo background where she achieved the All-Valley goalie, co-MVP and Coaches Award. She is certified in Personal training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and has a B.A. in marketing from SFSU.