Here's a resistance workout for busy people, in review

August 01, 1997

I presented two articles on an effective resistance exercise program for busy people Monday, July 14, and Monday, July 21. In the July 21 article, part of the program was inadvertently omitted, so I will review the complete workout here.


Always do a 4 to 5 minute warmup and total body stretching before beginning any resistance program. Also, be sure to cool down and stretch after workout. Start slowly and gradually work up to higher weights.

The short workout

* Start with the legs first, then work up to your back, chest and shoulders. Arms and neck should be last.

* The workout is performed with one set of 12 to 15 repetitions (reps). Split your reps in half so that you lift or pull 6 reps with a slow 10-count and lower with a slow 4-count. Then reverse for 6 reps by lifting or pulling for a slow 4-count and lowering with a slow 10-count. Use enough weight so the muscle is exhausted, which means it can't lift any more reps. Start with 12 reps and work up to 15 reps. When you reach 15 reps, add weight and drop down to 12 reps and start over.


Additional intensity

After doing the above workout, add the following routine:

* When finished each set of 12 to 15 reps, and muscles are exhausted, decrease the weight you are using to the next lower weight and slowly work through a full range until each muscle you are working is exhausted. You should get a good pump.

For information

In response to a number of people who have written to ask for additional information and sources, the following are a few I used that may be helpful:

* "Strength Fitness: Physiological Principles and Training Techniques (Expanded)," by W.L. Wescott, Allyn and Bacon Inc., 1983

* "Exercise, Speed and Strength Development," by W.L. Wescott, American Fitness Quarterly, 1994, volume 13, No. 3

* "Does Strength Training Improve Health Status?" by B. Hurley, Strength and Conditioning Journal, 1994, volume 16

* "The Recommended Quality and Quantity of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiovascular and Muscular Fitness in Healthy Adults," American College of Sports Medicine, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1990, volume 22.


The workout presented here obviously will not be the answer to all persons' desires or needs. This workout is a very effective short workout designed for people with a limited amount of time. Additional workouts will be featured in future articles. However, keep in mind that even this workout should be tailored to meet your specific fitness goals or needs.

If you are interested in a workout program for a specific area or sport that you wish to be addressed, write to me. While space will not permit an answer to each person individually, I will suggest and explain workouts for different fitness goals.

John Rhodes is co-owner of J&J Health Enterprises in Hagerstown. Write to him in care of The Herald-Mail Co., P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, Md. 21741.

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