The Now What Fitness Series lays out the foundation of fitness in a concise and simplified manner, making for a collection of books that help the reader truly comprehend how to improve one's health and well-being from A to Z. I've broken fitness down into comprehensive concepts, giving anybody who truly wants to change their health and their lives in profound ways, the step-by-step tools and knowledge to do so.
My purpose for this website is to clarify for the average Joe or Josie, if you will, how to live a healthier life. I, therefore, will leave the power lifters and bodybuilders to their own devices and keep our focus on general fitness--pure and simple.
Therefore, the strength training guidelines below are geared towards strength training for general fitness purposes for the average adult. The rules may vary here and there for specific clientele, i.e., higher rep range of 15 or more for elderly or arthritic individuals or more rest between sets, etc.
This is my very simplified version of The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Strength Training Guidelines.
1) Perform a minimum of 8 to 10 exercises that train the major muscle groups.
2) Workouts should not be too long (longer than one hour are associated with higher drop out rates).
3) Never train the same muscle group 2 days in a row.
4) Strength train at least twice a week.
5) Always use slow and controlled form. Never allow momentum to rob you of your efforts. Always use proper technique moving your joints through their full range of motion.
6) Work large muscle groups, i.e., chest, back, and shoulders before small ones, i.e., biceps and triceps.
7) When using strength training machines, do not let the weight stack touch on the machines between reps.
8) Choose a weight that makes 8-12 repetitions a challenge. The last two reps need to be very difficult to perform but still doable in good form. If you cannot pull out at least 8, it is too heavy, and if you can pull out more than 12, it is too light.
9) Breathe naturally. If you find yourself holding your breath, exhale on exertion.
10) Do at least 1-2 sets of each exercise, resting 30-60 seconds between sets, using this time to stretch.
11) Don’t forget to stretch the muscle group that was just worked between sets.
12) Do core (abs and lower back) exercises at least 2 or 3 times per week, working up to as many as 25 repetitions for abs per set, in very slow and controlled form.
To get started strength training check out strength training routines.
Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise plan.