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cjohnson728 01-23-2011 04:11 PM

A Man With a Plan...
...or actually, a man in need of a plan.

Could you all give me some thoughts about a good program for a beginner?

So, DH is finally realizing that he needs to jump on board and be proactive about his health. What he wants is someone to tell him exactly what to do when; he doesn't have the time or the inclination to research it and experiment...he just won't do it. Living with him for 20+ years, I know this to be the case. I told him I would ask for suggestions for a starter exercise plan, since y'all have so many good ideas.

Think about being a beginner, about 30 pounds overweight. Probably HIIT for cardio more than anything, as work hours are long and time is limited. We don't have access to a gym; dumbbells top out at 20#, but we do have an old "pulley" system weight bench thingy in the basement, as well as a treadmill and an exercise bike.

If anyone could throw out a good sample schedule with specific exercises and specific days of the week, that would be exactly what he's looking for.


rpmcduff 01-25-2011 06:11 PM

Sorry I didn't see this earlier, I can't believe nobody else replied yet. Working within your constraints (no gym, limited weights and only a pulley type exercise station) and assuming that he doesn't have a physically demanding job here is my best shot.

This routine is meant to increase both aerobic and anarobic fitness levels for overall fitness. Performing the resistance exercises with with only 60-90 second rest intervals will provide increased aerobic results.
Three days a week, ideally with a break day between each day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday is ideal).
Day 1: Legs
*Warmup & stretch (5 minutes of Windmills, running in place, jumping jacks, and stretching).
* Lunges, 3 sets of 5 for each leg. (Add weighted dumbells depending on fitness level)
* Squats, 3 sets of 8. (Add weighted dumbells depending on fitness level or if your equipment has a low pulley do these with resistance from the machine. )
* Straight leg Deadlifts, 3 sets of 8. (Again as with squats add resistance per fitness level.)
* HIIT cardio of your choice. (20 minutes).
DAY 2: Arms/Shoulders/Abs
* Warmup & Stretch (5 minutes).
* Crunches, 3 sets of 10 (As fitness level improves add reps, twists and alternate knee raises.)
* Bicep curls, 3 sets of 5 (If your machine is set up to do these weight shouldn't be a problem but if you only have the 20 pound dumbells then you may have to change ignore the suggested number of reps and just go till failure.)
* Lateral raises, 3 sets of 5.
* Front raises, 3 sets of 5.
* Seated dumbell press, 3 sets of 5.
* Seated behind the head tricep press, 3 sets of 5.
* HIIT cardio.
DAY 3: Chest/Back
* Warmup 7 Stretch.
* Push ups, 3 sets of 5 (Adjust depending on fitness level and as you progress. If 5 reps are too little go to ten or elevate feet for more effort.)
* Dumbell Flyes, 3 sets of 5 (Preferably inclined but flat also works. Your machine may also have this called a Pec Deck, or Pec Dec Fly)
* Lat Pulldowns/Bent over row, 3 sets of 5 (If your machine doesn't have a high pulley do bent over rows.)
* Shrugs, 3 sets of 5.
* Bent over Lateral Raises, 3 sets of 5.
* HIIT cardio.

Workouts should be about an hour and not longer than 1.5 hours. If you prefer 5 days a week instead of 3 just add cardio (Steady State or HIIT) on the off days. If the your limited weights don't provide enough resistance to reach failure in the suggested reps increase the tempo (always maintaining safe form and control) and work until failure. 5 Repetitions is optimal for building both mass and strength but don't get hung up on the number. Working the muscle to failure and using the energy stored in the muscle is the more important goal.

If you have more questions or anything is unclear just ask.

mecompco 01-25-2011 06:38 PM

Ron, thanks for posting--that looks like a plan!


cjohnson728 01-25-2011 06:57 PM

Thanks so much, Ron! I really appreciate the thought you put into that. It helps to have a male perspective...I know muscle is muscle for men and women, but I just wanted to be sure that the plan targeted the muscles guys like to target...if that makes any sense.

I did get him going on HIIT last night with the bike, so he's on his way. I'm going to print out your response and post it up plain as day. Thanks again!

almeeker 01-26-2011 12:01 AM

If you have a Wii, check out the EA Active 2. It has pre-set programs, you just get up in the morning turn it on and do what the trainer tells you. If you want to work towards a goal like upper body, you tell it "upper body" and whatever length of time you have available. It takes your HR and asks for your weight so that you can get a fairly accurate calorie burn from it. Or if you need a "program" there are 3 and 9 week options, and you can do the 9 week program through several levels. I really like it so far and DH seems to be motivated by it as well. Actually the pre-set programs are pretty much like rpmcduff's suggestions.

rpmcduff 01-26-2011 03:39 PM


Originally Posted by almeeker (Post 33593)
Actually the pre-set programs are pretty much like rpmcduff's suggestions.

I feel so smart!! Now if I could just implement my own advise.

kcolville 01-26-2011 04:23 PM

What about training for a 5k- google "COUCH to 5K".
That is what started my lifestyle change.
You'd think it was hard but takes you in baby steps to the overall goal!

and you have the treadmill!

almeeker 01-26-2011 05:53 PM


Originally Posted by rpmcduff (Post 33668)
I feel so smart!! Now if I could just implement my own advise.

Oooh that would be fabulous!!! Say, can I be a beta test site? You could call it something classy like "Burn off your McDuff".

Oh wait, dyslexia moment there. I thought it said "implement my own devise". Sorry about that.

cjohnson728 01-26-2011 06:51 PM

Yes, Ron...knowing and doing are two different things! But you are indeed a vast warehouse of fitness knowledge and I bow to you!

Thanks, almeeker; I'll reseach the EA game. He tried a Biggest Loser one for the Wii about a year ago and, well, just ended up cussing at Bob the trainer. He might like the program aspect better, though.

Kaitlin, great minds think alike. I suggested the C25K (it's awesome, isn't it!) also; he knows I did it last year and took it all the way to a real 5K in December (which he did with me; just walking). Supposedly the treadmill is "boring."

When it comes down to it, though, all the good ideas in the world won't make him do it, and neither can I. But I said I'd ask, and I did, and now it's not mine to make happen.

Although, geez, after he got dressed this morning, he comes out and says, "Do I look fat?" Talk about a role reversal! What's a good answer to that question, really? :p

Thanks again, guys!

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