Monday, December 17, 2012

Weight Lifting Tips

Nordic Track NordicFlex : Weight bearing exercises are an important part of any cross training program.
I really enjoy walking, cycling, snowshoeing and skiing but the truth is, these are all aerobic exercises.  These are great for your cardio-vascular system but are non-weight bearing exercises. To torch fat, build muscle and bone density, you might consider adding lifting weights to your routine.

Muscle Strength Can Increase at Any Age
While we lose about 1-2 % muscle each year beyond the age of 30, this doesn't have to be the case if you start weight training. That's because studies have shown people can build muscle mass at any age.  That's a good thing because lean muscle:

Burns more calories when resting
Takes up less space making you look slimmer
Supports your skeletal system for better posture
Torches fat calories for up to 48 hrs after you stop

10 lb Kettle Bell

Danskin 3 lb weighted Toning Ball
Free Weights
You don't need to join a gym and you can use free weights like the new kettle bells or weighted "medicine balls" by Danskin. You can start with low weights and do lots of repetitions for toning but to get serious results you'll need to "put some weight up on the bar"!  Using heavier weights will not bulk you up if you are a woman.  We're just not engineered that way but you have to challenge your muscles so they will develop.
Weight Lifting Tip: Lift only as much weight as you can maintain correct form throughout the rep. If the lift is shaky or jerky, lower the weight until you can complete the motion smoothly.

Adding Weight Training to Your Exercise Routine
If you choose to join a gym, most will give you a complimentary trainer session.  The trainer should show you the functions and operations of each piece of exercise equipment but if you need specifics on building a personalized program, you may want to schedule a one on one appointment.  Discuss your goals and tell your trainer about the exercise you're already getting running, walking, bicycling, rock wall climbing, etc.  The trainer then can set up specific exercises to help improve your performance in these other activities and give you the needed rest days to make sure you have time to recover.

Nordic Track's Nordic Flex Home Gym
Location, Location
If you prefer to stay home, there are several weight training machines or benches on the market that will give you a comparable workout. Some people like the Bow Flex but I've found the footprint on that machine to be a bit too bulky. You could put it in the basement but unless you routinely spend time down there, any equipment stored there may not get used very much.

Nordic Track
If possible, set up your workout area and weight station in an location that gives you access to water and perhaps a television as it will help you stick to the program.  Also any area that offers you access to fresh air and sunlight is going to be a major plus. I've had my Nordic Flex UltraLift by Nordic Track for over 20 years and it still works perfectly.  A universal machine like this offers a very small footprint and allows for both a full upper and lower body workout.  It uses your own weight, (no stacks), with a system of levers and pulleys to give you a controlled, assisted lift.  Free weights are actually even better though because you use smaller muscle attenuation to control the full motion of the lift.  Right now my program calls for weight training 4 days a week.  I split upper and lower body exercises on alternate days for a better pump and blood flow to isolated muscle groups.

Exercise Chart

Weight Lifting Gear
Whether you decide to use a full universal system like what you find at a gym, a home bench press or just want to start with free weights you might want to have a few accessories on hand.

Gloves:You can use fingerless gloves with a bit of grip on the palms to help you hold the lat bar or kettle bell handles securely and comfortably.  You might have a pair of old cycling gloves on hand so you can use them.

Water Bottle: I like to fill up a thermal water bottle with ice and keep it nearby the machine.  Just being able to sip a cold beverage between sets is a major help and drinking something icy helps step up your fat burning metabolism.

Recovery Drink: You should always have a recovery drink ready for when you finish your weight training session.  Some people like chocolate milk.  I like to go one better and include a whey protein drink that helps with muscle recovery and growth.  Whey protein is very easy to digest and I like Reservage Organics Grass Fed Whey Protein which gives you a whopping 20 grams of protein per scoop.  It is absolutely delicious, hormone free and mixes in an instant with no lumps. 

6 lbs Toning Ball is soft and easy to grip

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  1. Thanx for your post. Plzzz tell me wht is the main benifts of FO & WP ..??

    1. Hi Kushal,

      The main benefits of the Whey Protein Energizer by Rainbow Light is that it contains digestive enzymes for easier assimilation. Each serving offers 20 grams of protein plus Ginseng, Ginger juice extract and citrus peel plus 1 gram of fiber.

      None of the other Whey Protein mixes I've seen are this complete. If you can not digest your shakes or they cause bloating, you might want to switch to this type.

      Hope this helps!


      Dr. M

  2. Hi Marie,

    I have the Nordicflex Ultralift and have also had it for about 20 years but admittedly have not used it in a very long time. I had gained 50 pounds and had taken my Exercise Guide to a trainer a few years ago in hopes he could help me with setting up a program for training, Sadly he threw the guide out. Do you by chance still have the Guide?

    Thanks so much,