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!
I just bought a slant board (for sit ups) and an adjustable dumbbell bench, as well as a starter set of dumbbells (25’s, 20’s, 15’s and 10’s). Now, I need a good dumbbell workout.
I just bought a slant board (for sit ups) and an adjustable dumbbell bench, as well as a starter set of dumbbells (25’s, 20’s, 15’s and 10’s). Now, I need a good dumbbell workout. It is definitely time for me to hit the weights and build some strength, tone, and some core strength as well (which is why I bought the slant board). Anyone have a good plan for me??
What a great setup you have at home! You are very lucky to have access to all of that apparatus, and to have it so close! Now, let’s get you started and put all that fabulous equipment to work!
First of all, I want you to focus on a full body workout. This is crucial to any kind of resistance training in order to decrease chances of overuse injuries, and to keep all of your muscle groups balanced.
A major source of injuries to athletes is unbalanced muscle groups. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, let me give you a brief anatomy/kinesiology lesson. We have muscles that we call agonist and antagonist muscles. Examples of these muscle groups are the biceps/triceps, the quadriceps/hamstrings and the back/abdominals. It is VERY important that these muscles stay balanced, because if/when one group gets stronger and larger than the other group, we tend to get hurt very easily.
It is also great that you have a set of dumbbells and a weight bench. Weight machines are great, but utilizing free weights for your workouts engages your core muscles throughout your entire workout and increases your balance.
Now, back to my first statement, “I want you to focus on a full body workout.” This full body workout does not have to be all in one day. Depending on the time you have allotted per day (and the number days per week) to resistance train, you may have to make some modifications.
I would recommend a 3 to 4 day resistance training plan alternating upper body and lower body exercises. Day 1, lift biceps, chest and triceps. Day 2 lift legs, back and shoulders. Day 3 lift biceps, triceps and back. Day 4 lift legs, shoulders and chest (day 4 is the change so your body does not have time to adapt to your routine). I also recommend keeping dumbbells low to moderate in weight and increasing repetitions. This way, you will tone, strengthen and define muscles without adding bulk.
An additional tip to save time: On 2 or 3 of the 4 resistance training days, do your abdominal/core work BETWEEN the bicep, chest and tricep sets. This is called “active recovery” and it’s VERY effective when resistance training. This active recovery keeps your heart rate up while resting the muscle group on which you are focusing.
For example, perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 tricep dips on your adjustable bench, taking 30 to 60 seconds to recover between sets. During those 30 to 60 recovery seconds, drop down on the floor (or jump on your slant board) and perform an abdominal exercise. Continue this throughout your workout and you’ll get a fabulous abdominal/core workout. It will also prevent you from saving your core workout until the end and finding some excuse not to do it, or come back to it. You’ll utilize your time and body better with this workout.
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