Intro to Iron Pumping
When my friend Caitlin (who just ran her first marathon!) consulted me to help her with a weight-lifting plan, I was stoked to help out.
Weight-Training vs Cardio
Like many women out there, she is a cardio machine but doesn’t have a regular weight training routine. I always tell my clients that healthy eating and cardio is what helps to “shrink” you, but weight training is what’s going to “tone” you and give your body an entirely different look.
I devised the following workout plan to be done on 3 non-consecutive days each week, and utilizes a synergistic muscle split. Synergist muscles assist other muscles in performing the same movement –for example, when you do a “row”, you’re mainly working your back, but the biceps are assisting in the movement and makes them synergistic muscles. By splitting the muscle groups up this way, it helps to ensure that muscles aren’t overworked and have adequate time to rest and repair (when they repair, they grow back stronger and leaner).
Tips for This Workout Plan
-Combine with cardio (5 days per week, alternating intensities) for a complete routine
-Perform weight exercises on non-consecutive days in addition to a shorter cardio workout on that day (maybe 20 minutes of higher-intensity cardio)
–Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps for each workout with 30 seconds of rest in between each set –just take a short rest in between sets and you’ll know when you’re ready to start the next one
-Choose weights that are challenging but that you can fully complete at least 10 reps at that weight for each set- you’ll need to push yourself to finish the last two reps of each set. If you can easily do 15 or more reps of that exercise with the current weight, you’ll know it’s time to increase the weight
-Begin each weight session with a 5-minute cardio warm-up and remember to stretch and cool down when you’re finished
-Follow each workout session with a high-quality protein source 30-60 minutes following the workout sesh (like cheese and an apple, a small protein smoothie, or almonds)
-Remember that healthy eating has so much to do with fitness and weight loss improvement—what we look like is 80% nutrition, 10% working out, and 10% genetics. Pair every fitness routine with clean and healthy eats 😀
-As always, honor your injuries and needs. If you’re injured or feel pain (as opposed to a “burn”), don’t do it! Double-check with a trainer for proper form on exercises and with a doc if you’re beginning a new fitness program
-Have fun! 😀
So here it is….
Intro to Iron Pumping Workout
Day 1: Shoulders, Chest and Triceps
Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Back and Biceps
Stability Ball Ys and Ts (alternate between “Y” and “T” with light weights- 3 sets of 10 of each)
21s (can use dumbbells or barbells)
© 2010 The Fitnessista
Please feel free to join Caitlin in her new weight training routine and I’ll also be starting a Winter Shape Up on January 18 😀
See ya for lunch <3
I just did the arms with 5 pound weights and a stability ball and WOW. I have been looking for a weight routine – thanks for doing the work to put this together – now I have no excuse for slacking!
whoo hoo! i’m so glad you liked it 🙂
Cool! Thanks for posting these.
Maybe this is a silly question but I am very new to iron pumping. Do you do each exercise once through and then do the next set after? In other words do you do 10-13 reps of each 1-8 exercise then start over again or do you do 3 sets of the first exercise then move to the next and so on?
sorry i didn’t explain that part very well!
do 3 sets of one exercise before moving on to the next 🙂
Thanks G! You’re the best. I have been reading your blog for a while but never posted. One last question – when you say 5 minutes of cardio – how intense should this be? Example?
Also – I, as many women I am sure, have really tight calf muscles and have read that this issue can cause many other issues. I am trying to add a nice cool down stretch to my work outs but I feel a bit lost. Do you have a good standard stretch routine (one that might especially focus on calfs but still well rounded) that one can add to their workout plan daily?
easy cardio for the warm-up.. this is just to get your body moving a little
a great calf stretch is to stand about a foot away from a wall and put one foot, toe up, against the wall, so your heel is still on the ground and the toes are against the wall. bend your front knee slightly and bring your body closer to the wall, repeat on the other side. remember to hold stretches for 15-25 seconds 🙂
this is fantastic! thanks! can’t wait to learn more about the winter shape up!
WIsh you were here local to help me whip my arse into shape…great workout – can’t wait to give it a go 🙂 Thank you
I love your blog!! And I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I was feeling so lost with my weights workouts and feeling like I was getting NOTHING out of it (my personal trainer has injured himself so is off work for a while), so this plan looks fantastic for me.
Just a question… You say to do it on non-consective days… but my work schedule changes week to week. So would it be okay to do Day 1 and then Day 2 the day after and then have a day’s break and do Day 3? And should the days be done in that order or can they be mixed up ie Day 3 first, then Day 2, then Day 1?
Thanks so much again! You’re a lifesaver and an inspiration.
Such a great post, thanks! I’m excited to try these workouts as I’m hoping to improve my strenght as well.
Gina – thanks so much. Went to the gym for the first time last night and did your workout. A trainer was helping me and was reviewing the plan – when he saw the list of your exercises, he commented on what a great work out it was, and asked where I got it! 🙂 My goal is to lose 75 pounds this year (lost 65 last year), and your blog has been a wonderful help!
that’s awesome! it always makes me happy when a fellow trainer give compliments 😀
best of luck to you with your fitness and weight loss endeavors- you can do it!
This is great! I’m a loyal reader of Caitlin’s and also am at a complete loss when it comes to weight training. I’m training for my second half marathon and I know I should integrate more weight training while I prepare. Thanks for the tips!
you’re very welcome!
thanks for stopping by the little blog.. hope to see you around here more often! 😀
I love getting new move ideas from you, looks great!
Do you suggest skipping a day between any weight training or just skipping days between muscle groups? For example, should I do shoulders one day, legs the next, back a third then start over? I only train with weights 3-4 times a week, and I feel like training a muscle group only once a week might not produce results – or am I totally wrong? Thanks!
I did the first set of exercises (chest, arms and back) this morning and it was great! I’ve just started back on weights – I’ve really let it slide in the last year and I think that’s why I kept getting injured running. I’m now committed to doing your plan and hopefully I’ll see some results before too long!
Keep up the great work!
i’m so glad you liked it so far 🙂
This routine came at the perfect time! I used to be really dedicated to my workout plan (working out 5-6 days a week), and then my lifestyle completely changed (got married, quit work, and started university). I struggled to find that balance again, this workout plan seems to be the perfect motivation to get me back into it! Thanks for providing this. I did the shoulders, chest and triceps yesterday… just breathing deeply hurts! I do have one question. On the days were I’m not doing weights, how long should my cardio sessions be?
Hey Gina. I really want to try this plan but I have one problem – no gym membership! All of the exercises you mentioned I can do at home (like regular rows for the seated cable row, etc…) except for the lat pulldown. What would you recommend to replace that?
do you have resistance bands??
I have a pilates band.
i’d take the pilates band and wrap it around a railing, door way or stair well, then use the resistance bands to do the same movment
Thanks, this is just what I needed! I recently joined a gym and mostly use the classes or cardio machines, but get really intimidated by all the workout equipment. I’ve never gone in with a plan of what to do and I think that I where I have been lacking. I want to incorporate this into my routine and hope to see great results. I want to lose about 30 pounds. How often should I change a weightlifting routine? I’m also training for a half marathon in March
Hello! I have started this program and just finished up the leg portion today. I like it and I’m super excited about having a nice strengthiening routine. I do yoga and cardio, but I’ve never consistently strength trained. Thank you for giving some guidance. I felt pretty awesome doing lunge lifts and step ups in the gym in front of the guys lifting their weights!
Thank you for being so awesome.
that is so freaking cool! so glad you’re liking the program and that i could give a little help to get started 😀
keep me updated!
Hi! I’m going to be using your plan as one of my goals for Lent. I hope you don’t mind that I included a link to your site on my web page. If it’s a problem, please feel free to let me know. Thanks. 🙂
of course i don’t mind- enjoy!!!
This is exactly what I have been looking for! I am a cardio person and have been in need of some weight training for a long time, but hesitant because I didn’t know where to begin. This plan is perfect.
wonderful! please let me know what you think!
I completed the 12 weeks and extended it to 16, which I will complete next week! LOVED IT, thank you! =)
that’s so awesome!!!
This looks great! A quick question, I was wondering if you have any alternatives for the exercises involving a stability ball? I don’t have room for one in my tiny dorm room at the moment, so I was curious. Thanks for the routine 🙂
Thanks so much for posting these. I have been needing a more structured strength plan and this gives me something balanced and do-able. Just started it today:)
so cool- let me know how it goes!
I just finished my first week using this training regimen, and I think it is great! I am still fairly new to this blog and am excited to read your past and future posts. -Carol
thanks carol! so glad you’re enjoying it so far 🙂
Gina – You may have already done a post on this, but would you mind doing a post on beginner weight training someone could do at home? I was looking at the exercises above and it looks like some of those require a gym. Actually it looks like you answered that in the comments about using a pilates band. Well, if you have any changes to the above list, feel free to share. Love your blog! – S