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Old 05-12-2011, 11:47 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 10,083

Originally Posted by gamerprincess View Post
Congrats on the weight dropping! That's always a great feeling

I'm really clueless with weights. What do you recommend for all over toning? Calves, butt, thights, hips, arms... everything. I'm doing good with the cardio. Either walking at a good pace for 45 mins to an hour or doing high intensity on the elliptical for 20-30 mins or 10 mins on the bike and 10-20 on the elliptical.

Any woman interested in weight training should visit The site owner, Krista, has been sharing advice on strength training for women on her site (now a blog) for years and years. Krista has an awesome bod. Especially check out the "From Dork to Diva" section which explains in detail how to do the exercises correctly. My workout is very basic, uses compound exercises to save time, and is based on a routine that Krista emailed me years ago - it's an all dumbbells total body workout (I never liked doing upper body one day and lower body another):
Beginner, Full-Body 2: Get In, Get Out, Go Home

This workout is done either 3 x weekly, or on alternating days (1 day of workout, 1 day of rest, 1 day of workout, and so forth). You can even do this workout only twice weekly and see some gains, say on a Monday-Thursday split. Never do this workout two days in a row. Rest no more than 60-90 seconds between sets (you might want a little longer between squat sets).

squat 2 x 15-20
deadlift 2 x 15
standing shoulder press 2 x 12-15
one-arm dumbbell row 2 x 12-15
bicep curls 2 x 15
calf raise 1 x 15
weighted crunch 2 x 12-15
This routine takes about 30-45 minutes, tops. Those numbers mean how many sets of how many reps. For example: 2 x 15-20 means two sets of 15 to 20 reps each. Krista either has pics and instructions of each exercise or links to pics and videos on other sites. Not every site out there shows good form that protects the back.

Experiment with how heavy to go with the weights you use. Since I'm starting out after a lo-ong time not working out, I'm going pretty light. For shoulder press, and because I have cranky shoulder joints, I use 7.5 lbs (I'm talking in each hand); bicep curls, I use 10 lbs; for all the other exercises, I currently use 20 lbs. Although the standing shoulder press works the triceps, sometimes I throw in triceps extensions with very light weights, like 5lbs. I will also occasionally add walking lunges to practice balance (I know I said this is only the second workout I've done in a long time, but I used to do this regularly 4x/week). Women are usually stronger in the lower body already, so it's fine to have more upper body exercises than lower.

There are some classic books I recommend (some are out of print but can still be found):
*A Woman's Book of Strength - Karen Andes
Flex Appeal - Rachel McLish
Fit Happens - Joanie Greggains
The Interval Training Workout - Joseph and Kimberlie Nitti
Stronger Abs and Back - Dean Brittenham
Fat Free and Fit - Cory Everson
No More Aching Back - Leon Root
Goodbye to Bad Backs - Judith Scott

*If you can only get one, get this one!
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-13-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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