Weight lifting is my new jam. I haven’t lifted since my days on the U.S. National Rowing team back in the late 90’s so I am enjoying using and strengthening my body in a different way. I have always been a true lightweight, hovering around 160 lbs. Despite my Brown teammates reminding me at every opportunity, I believed I was really a heavyweight. It wasn’t until recent years that my denial shifted into acceptance of my lighter status. This winter, I tried to gain a few pounds with this superset workout for strength gains. I wanted to build a stronger foundation for all the activities I enjoy – surfing, skiing, circuit training, cycling and swimming.
Timing couldn’t have been better,as I was training 2X World Champion Physique Competitor, Tracy Rabbit for her Crash B’s debut. In exchange for my rowing coaching, she would train me for my weight-gaining mission. Knowing I would be guided by the best gave me added confidence to handle the prescribed 2-3 x a week lifting program. Below for you is one of my favorite workout designed by Tracy.
Familiar with lifting weights and proper form? Well, get to it. If you are newer to weight lifting or have taken a long hiatus from it like I did, then enlist the expertise of a trainer to help you with form and foundation.
Bottom line, lifting can increase bone density and help prevent injury while delivering big performance gains – increased power, flexibility, endurance. You might just feel a little more confident walking into a board room brawl!
Superset Workout For Strength Gains
This program takes 45-50 min. and is done is a “superset” format, meaning you do each exercise back to back with a 1.5 min break in between each round. Supersetting allows more muscle groups to be hit in less time than a traditional lifting format. It also adds a bit of a cardio component to the mix. Here you will hit the triceps, biceps, chest, lats, core, glutes and a few muscles in between.
Start out with a weight that is challenging for the last 4-5 reps. As you continue to lift over the next few weeks, add weight to achieve the same feeling.
Like I said above, if you don’t know how to do the specific exercise below, ask an expert or email me for more details. Weight should be challenging from the start. Keep good form and increase weight as you feel ready. Next time you see me, I might finally be a heavyweight!
Seated Shoulder Press : 12 reps
- Sit on a bench with upright support
- Sit tall, chest up shoulders back core engaged
- With palms facing forward press the DB’s overhead
- Slowly lower weight and once you have reached collarbone press back overhead
Lateral Dumbell Side Raises : 12 reps
- Stand tall, chest up shoulders back core engaged
- Start with the DB’s on the outer side of thighs, palms facing in
- Bring the weight up to shoulder level and then slowly descend with control
Front Raises : 12 reps
- Using one plate (15,25,35 or more), hold it with arms fully extended
- Raise the plate from waist to your shoulders and lower down slowly
Close Triceps Push-ups : 12 reps
- Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and arms close to your body.
- Keep elbows in as you lower your body to the ground, not out to the side
Take a 1.5 min break and repeat. Do 4 sets total.
Bent-Over Row with Dumbells : 12 reps
- Place 1 knee on the bench with the same side hand on bench.
- Keep back flat and arm close to your body.
- Drive the weight up, pause at the top and then it’s a 1-2-3 count on the way down.
Seated Bicep Curls : 12 reps
- Sit tall, shoulders back and chest up.
- Squeeze at the top of the curl and then lower with a 1,2,3 count
Dips : 12 reps
- As many as you can do with good form
Rest 1.5 min. and then repeat. Do 4 sets total.
Kettlebell Deadlifts : 12 reps
- Focus on sticking your butt and hips out as you lower.
- Keep a nice flat back.
Dumbbell Step Ups : 12 reps
- Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing the side of your legs)
- Place the right foot on bench and step up on the bench extending the hip and knee of the right leg.
- Make sure you’re heavy on the heel when driving up on the right leg, bring the left leg up and then step down with the left.
Kettlebell Swings : : 12 reps
- If you haven’t done these, have someone show you. They are great for strength and bring some cardio to the mix.
Rest 1.5 mins and then repeat. Do 4 sets total.