Beginner Exercise Program: Month 1

author : acbadger
comments : 16
Introduction:

This program has been designed for not only the beginner triathlete, but the beginner exerciser as well. This program focuses on utilizing the bike for cardiovascular exercise and moderate strength training for low-impact training-especially good for starting out and/or you have weight to lose.  Eventually, this monthly series will lead to a Sprint triathlon. 

  

Please read the Medical Clearance article and the Restrictions and Terms of Use so that you are aware of certain medical conditions which could negatively affect you if not checked-out by a physician beforehand.

 

I will detail below what is meant by sets, repetitions, cool down and give some examples of exercises for different body parts. This program is meant to aid in weight loss by incorporating low to no impact exercises that will be gentle on your joints while strengthening muscles, bones and cardiovascular systems.

  

All new athletes/exercisers should do what they are capable of. If you find that one week is difficult, DO NOT move onto the next week until you feel comfortable with the week you are currently on! There is no time limit to this program. Work at your own fitness level. Feel good! Feel invigorated! Feel like you are accomplishing your goals…and at the end of a session, feel like you WANT to do these workouts!!

 

Also, please keep in mind that any of these workouts (aside from the programmable ones on the stationary bikes) can be done outside if you prefer to start on your own road bike. However, if you are like me and do not live around any hills, you may have no choice but to take the “hills” inside to a stationary bike in the gym or to an indoor cycling class where the instructor cues you to add resistance when simulating a climb.

 

Day

Week 1
Goals: Begin baseline workout.  Get through the first week feeling rejuvenated and enthusiastic.

1

Lift: Legs (include abductors and adductors)*, Back and Abdominals. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 20 to 25 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep your resistance light to moderate.  Just trying to create some endurance in this first mode. 5 minute cool down!
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching!  Stretching reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

2

Lift: Shoulders, Chest, Abdominals.  2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 30 to 35 minutes indoors.  Stick with Upright Bike (you burn more calories on an Upright Bike as the position forces you to work against gravity).  Use a program and add hills in this routine.  Time to start getting used to using those vital leg muscles. 5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift:  Biceps, Triceps, Abdominals. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 40 to 50 minutes.  Incorporate hills and endurance with this workout.  There will be one longer ride each week; this is the first for the month.  Try to put the resistance higher for a minute here and there (no more than 4 times) and come out of the saddle.  Working on leg power and relaxed upper body.  No bouncing or rocking.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.  Aids in injury prevention as well.

 

Day 

Week 2
Goals: Build on previous workouts, endurance and hills.  Add variation.

1

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 25 to 30 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep your resistance moderate to heavy.  Try to stay in the saddle.  Do an interval program. 5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Abdominals.  2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 30 to 35 minutes indoors.  Stick with Upright Bike.  Check your heart rate often on this workout.  Try to stay within 70 to 75 % of your max heart rate (220-age as rough estimate) and add 15 to 30 second sprints (fast pedaling no more than 5 to 10 times).  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift:  Shoulders, Back, Abdominals. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 50 to 60 minutes.  This is an endurance ride.   Try to put the resistance higher for a minute here and there (no more than 4 times) and come out of the saddle.  Working on leg power and relaxed upper body.  No bouncing or rocking. 5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day  

Week 3
Goals: Go back to the lengths on week one’s workout.  Just add a bit more speed work.  Work on leg turnover.

1

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Legs. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 20 to 25 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep your resistance moderate and throw in 30 to 45 second sprints every 5 minutes.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Back, Shoulders, Abdominals.  2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 30 to 35 minutes indoors.  Stick with Upright Bike.  Check your heart rate often on this workout.  Do a continuous hill workout.  Every 2 minutes, add on a gear or two (increase resistance).  Keep climbing until you have reached half way through the ride/workout.  At the halfway point, start taking a gear or two OFF every 2 minutes.  Come down as slowly as you went up.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift:  Biceps, Chest, Abdominals. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 50 to 60 minutes.  Try a spinning/indoor cycling class if your gym offers them.  This will shake up your workouts and get you on a different bike with different people. Enjoy the variation! 5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day 

Week 4
Goals: Increasing time.  Endurance is important!  Have fun!  Use your imagination while riding and picture yourself racing while you are on the bike.  Time to start believing and getting mentally prepared for races.

1

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 35 to 40 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep your resistance moderate to heavy.  Moderate to difficult resistance.  This is a push set.  You really need to strengthen the legs to get through the tough hills and/or terrain. 5 minutes difficult resistance (really climb), 5 minutes moderate resistance. Remember that 5 minute cool down!!
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Abdominals.  2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 45 to 50 minutes indoors.  Hit another spinning/indoor cycling class.  Try to stay in the harder gears for 5 seconds longer than the instructor calls for! 5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift:  Shoulders, Back, Abdominals. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 60 to 70 minutes.  This is an endurance ride.   Set the bike for an interval or hill workout.  Time to start emulating your outdoor/competitive rides!  You CAN do it!!  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

*Abductors: Outer Thighs and

 Adductors: Inner Thighs

** Upright Bike: Looks like a regular stationary bike at the gym. A Recumbent Bike has a chair on it with a back. Aids in lower back support. Some beginning bikers may need to start on a Recumbent Bike and graduate to an upright bike.

STRENGTH TRAINING

When you are choosing weights, you need to choose weights that will allow you to complete the set, but not so little weight that you are not feeling the work by the 8th or 10th repetition. It is smart to start with lower weights, complete a full workout and then make the adjustments as you go or during the next workout.


Sets: The number of times you perform a series of repetitions.
Repetitions: The number of times you perform a particular exercises in a row.


Examples of exercises:


Legs:

Ball Squats: use a large Swiss ball (big rubber ball). Place the ball against a wall and lean against it, back to the ball. Place the ball on your lower back. Your lower back should be supported by the ball. Place your feet out in front of you and have your toes pointed slightly outward (the outward point of your toes takes some pressure off of your knees). Practice one squat without weight. If your knees go OVER your toes, your feet are not far enough out in front of you. Your knees should be over your ankles when you are in the squat position. Take light weights (after you have confirmed your positioning is correct) and let your arms hang to your sides holding the weights. Squat down and up 10 to 12 times for 2 sets.


Chest:

Dumbbell chest press: Lie in a supine position (back on bench) on a flat bench. Take two light-to-moderate weight dumbbells and hold them up over your eyes. Slowly lower the weight down so your elbows are even with your shoulders/the bench. Elbows should not go below the bench. Slowly bring the weights back up to starting position. Do not clink the dumbbells together when they reach the starting position.


Back:

Lower Back Extension on the Ball: Again, take a Swiss Ball and place it under your belly with your feet planted on the floor. Men are typically more top heavy and may need to support themselves with their feet against a wall when they first do this exercise. Women may also use the wall if necessary. Fold your body over the ball (face down) with your hands either under your chin or behind your head. Slowly raise your upper body using your lower back muscles. Once at the top of the lift, slowly lower your body back down onto the ball. Move SLOWLY for this exercise. DO NOT take chances with your back by moving too quickly through your full ROM (range of motion).


Shoulders:

Bilateral Dumbbell Shoulder Raise: Sitting or standing take 2 dumbbells and have them hang down at your sides. Lift both arms up together at the same time ONLY to shoulder height. Once the weight is at the top of the movement, slowly lower the weights back down to your sides. Keep your arms as straight as possible keeping the elbows soft (NEVER lock out a joint). If this movement is too difficult for you, a modification would be to bend the elbows to a 90 degree angle and lift that way. As you start gaining strength…slowly straighten the arms.


Triceps:

Overhead Tricep Extension: Sitting on a Swiss Ball, take a dumbbell in two hands up over your head. Slowly lower the dumbbell down behind your head. Get a full stretch of the triceps in the lowered position and then slowly extend both hands back up over head to a straight position, again, being careful not to lock out the joint.
 

Biceps:

Hammer Curls: Take a dumbbell in each hand. Holding the dumbbells at your sides keeping your palms facing your thighs (like you would hold a hammer). While keeping your palms facing in lift, the dumbbell up to you shoulders and slowly lower them back down maintaining the same position.
 

Abdominals:

Ball Crunches: While seated on the Swiss Ball lower your body down so that your lower back is again supported by the ball. Moving through a full ROM, perform a crunch on the ball. Pick a spot on the ceiling and be sure to keep your nose pointed up to that spot. Do not let your chin fall to your chest. Keep your airway open. This will ensure you are in the proper crunching position.


STRETCHIING:

Be sure to hold stretches for 10 to 20 seconds. DO NOT bounce when you stretch. All stretches should be held where you feel a stretch only. You should feel NO pain while stretching!! Most health clubs have posters of what stretches to do for what body parts. If you are unsure of any, please consult an exercise specialist at your local gym. You should rotate through each stretch at least twice. This part of your exercise regimen is as important as your strength or cardiovascular component.
 

Warm Up:

Take 5 minutes to jump on a cardiovascular machine/walk in place/etc. to get your body moving, blood flowing and muscles warmed up. We encourage warm ups to loosen muscles which will prevent any strains, sprains or tears.
 

Cool Down:

It is IMPORTANT to bring your heart rate back down after a workout. Be sure to walk around the gym, walk slowly on a treadmill, pedal slowly on a bike, and etc. 5 to 10 minutes after a workout. If you workout hard and then stop immediately with no cool down, this could promote blood pooling in the legs!! Be sure to keep moving SLOWLY after a workout until your HR (heart rate) is back down TO less than 100 bpm.

NUTRITION:

Here, I will give you one or two tips on nutrition a month. I am not a licensed Nutritionist, so please only use these as guidelines. I think they will be helpful where most of you are just starting out. If you require additional help, please contact a Nutritionist in your area.

Tip #1

Because you are going to be ‘upgrading’ your workout regimen by taking on cycling, your body is going to require more fuel to sustain your activity. The key is to choose the proper fuel. After all, you wouldn’t put diesel fuel in a car that requires unleaded, right??? So, let’s start by cleaning out the junk you have in your house. Go through your cupboards and refrigerator. Discard anything that is cram-packed with sugar, saturated fat or Trans fats. Re-stock those cabinets and that fridge with fruits, veggies, whole wheat breads and pastas and low fat protein options (lean beef, chicken, pork, etc.). Be sure you have something low fat and sweet so when you get a craving, there is something to have in the house so you don’t binge later. Just watch portion sizes. That is the key!!!

Tip#2

That brings me to nutrition tip #2 …portion sizes. This is where we tend to get ourselves in trouble. We are a society that is prone to SUPER-SIZING!!! When you cook dinner at home, start serving meals on smaller dishes as opposed to large dinner dishes. When going out…ask for a to go box when they bring out your dinner. As soon as your dinner is put down in front of you, load half of your meal into the to go box and just eat what is left on your plate. Save your ‘to go’ box for lunch the following day. That way, you will have purchased two meals for the price of one.


Be sure your portion sizes are about the size of a deck of cards. You don’t need any more than that when you’re eating protein or carbohydrates. You can always have a little extra in the fruit and vegetable department.

NEXT MONTH:

Next month, look to stick with your strength training workout. Perhaps make an appointment with your local Wellness Director/Personal Trainer to get your body measurements and body composition taken. This way, you have now established a workout regimen; now let’s establish a baseline for your fitness level. Revisit this testing every 4 months and chart your progress. This is another GREAT way to stay motivated!!

As for the rides, we are going to start working on cadence with some simple ways to do cadence checks while you are riding, either out or indoors.

Stretching should remain the same, but I will give you some new stretches to help you mix it up and keep your workouts FRESH!!!

….Sprint triathlon. Here we come!!!

 

Beginner Exercise Program Month 2

Rating

Click on star to vote
474485 Total Views  |  3294 Views last 30 days  |  758 Views last 7 days
date: January 30, 2006

Author


acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

Author

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

View all 47 articles
 






    From the forums