T Nation

Need suggestions for my workout

Hi Everyone,

I started working out again about 2 months ago after roughly 10 years of being a couch potato. I’ve been searching the internet like crazy to develop a training program that meets my schedule (regular day job and night job on Tuesdays and Thursdays - also studying for computer certification exams). My goal is to lose 30 pounds and build some muscle definition. I’m 44, 6’, 207. Here’s my current program:

Monday: 30 minutes aerobics
Tuesday: 20 minutes running
Wednesday: 1 hour circuit training with weights
Thursday: 20 minutes running
Friday: 30 minutes aerobics
Saturday: 1 hour circuit training with weights

My circuit training with weights program is:

Bench press - 3 sets of 12
Lying French Press - 2 sets of 12
Squats - 3 sets of 12
Upright Rows - 3 sets of 12
Barbell Curl - 2 sets of 12
One arm row - 2 sets of 12
Crunches - 3 sets of 25

I have limited time so I do the aerobics and running early in the morning and I like the weight program because it only takes an hour because I also want to have some family time in my hectic life. In the two months that I’ve been working out, I’ve lost 8 pounds and I haven’t changed my eating habits, but I think I need to so I can see more and faster results.

I’m posting this because I’m sure there are some experienced people out there who can help me fine tune my workout. By the way, how fast should a rep be performed? And what is a superset?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all of you in advance.

Whoo boy, where to start. First, I think you deserve some congratulations for what you’ve already accomplished. I’m not so much referring to the weight loss (comparatively that’s the easy part) but rather on getting yourself off the couch and into the gym.

I’m going to do this in reverse order so:

Superset - two exercises performed back to back with alternating sets of each exercise with little or no rest between sets. Typically this is done with antagonistic (opposing) muscle groups like biceps and triceps but this is not always the case.

Rep speed - There’s quite a bit of variation here depending on your goals and the program that you’re working on. If you’re not interested in sport performance try and stick to a general rule of a 3 second eccentric (lowering) and a 3 second concentric (lifting) with a brief pause at the top and bottom of each rep. This is not set in stone and exercises that use a smaller range of motion (calf raises) should have shorter times. These are suggested and somewhat arbitrary but they’ll work for you. For more info start reading everything on the site by Polquin and King.

For your workout I would suggest letting go of the circuit. I’m not a big fan of circuit training rather I think you might do better to try something like the following for your weight program:
A1) Bench Press
B1) Squats

A2) Bent Over Rowing
B2) Hamstring Curls

A3) Standing Overhead Barbell Press
B3) Standing Calf Raise

A4) Barbell Curl
B4) Lying French Press

Leg Raises

To do this you alternate between the A and the B exercise in each group. This is very reminiscent of something Polquin once put together somewhere on here. . . Anyway, do 3 sets of each with 6-10 reps on each exercise. Do three sets to failure for your abs.

Stick with the aerobics and running but you may want to try some interval training as it’s more efficient for burning calories (amongst other things).

Also, take a look at all the articles on this site by Berardi about diet including:

Foods that make you look good nekkid
Don’t Diet
Lean Eating I & II

This is just a sample workout program without knowing a little more about you this is about as good as you can expect. If you’re really enthusiastic look into:
Fat to Fire
Meltdown Training

Both of those will do wonders for you. Anyway, I hope this helps and feel free to throw in more questions. Really though make certain you read every back issue you’ve got time to read, they’re worth your while.


"their are 10 types of people, …

those who understand binary and those who don’t"

Looks pretty good. I would lift more the 2 times a week. The more muscle u have the more calories u burn exercising or not. Atleast 3x a week. Also I would complete 3 reps of each and doing cable rows instead of one arm rows. It is mor of a compound movement and will save u time. Just concentrate on pulling the weight into ur stomach and not your chest.

Also your upright rows using dumbells instead of barbell is easier on the rotator cuff.