Workout program - how does it look?

Which workout routine or program is best for your fitness goal? Post your programs here!

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Melanie G.
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Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Melanie G. » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:14 pm

Hello, I'm new to the site (just signed up actually) so hopefully I'm posting this correctly. I'm 20 years old, female, 5'4 (165 cm) and weigh 118 lbs (53.5 kg). My body fat percentage is within normal range (closer to minimum) but my muscle percentage is very low, like the bare minimum. I have flab especially on lower belly and inner thighs. I really want to get stronger and more toned all over, especially in these problem areas but I definitely don't want to bulk up or get bigger in any way anywhere. I used to play tennis all through high school - not professionally but I liked to think I was good at it- but then college happened and I haven't worked out regularly until around mid February. The past 2 months I've been jogging and jumping rope at home with the occasional body weight exercises thrown in (squats and push-ups mainly). When I didn't see any results I joined a gym and learned about my pathetic muscle mass through the body assessment thingy they did. One of the instructors came up with a schedule for me and I did it for the first time today, it's a bit challenging yet not too difficult. But I wanted to hear your opinion since this is my first time at a gym and the instructor seemed quite disinterested in my stats, he barely glanced at them. Here it is:

10 min treadmill warm up

Front lunge 3x15
Smith machine squat 3x15
Kneeling leg curl 3x15
Dumbell side lunge 3x15
Chest press 2x15
Seated dumbell press 2x15
Pull-up wide (assisted) 2x15
Low cable curl 2x15
Reverse press down 2x15
Rope press down 2x15
Bosu crunch 3x15
Twist crunch 3x15
Seated knee up 3x15
Lying back extensions 3x15

20 min cardio of my choice

Stretching

Also he advised me to try out some of the group fitness classes now and then to switch it up (I get bored quickly) and I checked out the schedule and the classes that caught my eye are: kickboxing, TRX, power yoga, boxing, spinning, trampoline and body shock (which is supposed to be a fast paced circuit type class that does cardio + strength training at the same time). They all seem fun (which is my priority) but I don't know which one would be beneficial. Which do you suggest? If there is any other fitness class you can think of that would fit my fitness goals, feel free to suggest it since my gym offers quite a wide variety and chances are there will be at least something similar to it.

Thank you so much for your time! :)

Melanie G.
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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Melanie G. » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:16 pm

Also, I'm supposed to do this 3 or 4 times a week with a group fitness class (or maybe outdoor run?) thrown in for diversity, once or twice a week with 1-2 rest days per week. He said it was OK to do something light like yoga or walking on rest days if being completely inactive bores me - which it usually does.

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Boss Man
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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Boss Man » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:16 pm

Hi Melanie good to speak with you.

You would be wise to do the workout 3 times a week, not 4 times a week, as that would be too much.

As for the other workouts, I'd suggest the kickboxing would be a good one and if you did not like that one, then consider something else.

However this would have to fit around the weights workouts, as they should be done every other day and not on back to back days as that would not allow adequate recovery time between workouts.

AS for getting bulky, I wouldn't believe stuff like that about women lifting weights. There are female power lifters that weight close to 140lbs of muscle that don't look bulky.

Melanie G.
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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Melanie G. » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:06 am

Thank you so much Boss Man! I assume you find the actual weights workout adequate for me then? Will doing it x3 a week hopefully help me gain muscle? Is there anything I need to watch about my diet for muscle gain? Sorry I'm asking a lot of questions but since I played tennis before I believed I was stronger than this and finding out my muscle percentage is minimum has made me feel very weak and I'm anxious to get stronger.
I also get what you are saying about bulking up, I know I probably couldn't bulk up if my life depended on it with my 118 lbs weight and shockingly low muscle mass :oops: I guess what I mean is I want lean, elongated muscles. Guess I'd have to do some yoga on those rest days for that.
And kickboxing was my main choice! It just seems so fun, there is something terribly appealing about punching and kicking your frustration away :lol:
Again, thank you for your reply!

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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Boss Man » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:28 pm

Melanie I will politely decline the apology, as I would feel rude accepting an unnecessary apology from a Lady. You have to ask questions, otherwise it becomes difficult to find out what you need to know, so whatever you feel you need to ask just do it and no worries okay :).

I would make one minor amendment to the workout routine, which is to cut the reps down to 10, as I don't think you need to be doing 15 rep sets to begin with, or indeed at all.

As for doing it 3x a week, yes it will help with what you need to do, because 4x is too much, ut 2x won't be productive enough.

As for the diet, what times do you eat and what foods do you eat at those times?

Melanie G.
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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Melanie G. » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:30 am

Well it varies A LOT since I'm a law student, I sometimes get too busy to eat proper food and snack on very unhealthy stuff like candy bars, ice cream, chips etc. :( But that's usually just for the midterm or finals week, other times my eating goes something like this:
Breakfast: I usually have a veggie omelette or oatmeal with skim milk and nuts and fruit as topping -usually bananas, blueberries and walnuts. I always have fresh orange or grapefruit juice to go with it, it's just a childhood habit for me. Sometimes I'll have peanut butter or avocado on toast.
Snacks: I'll have a giant cup of coffee with skim milk and some fruit (bananas are my go to) whenever I'm hungry until lunch. I usually snack just once between breakfast and lunch though.
Lunch: This varies a lot more since I'm always out for lunch or at school. I usually get a salad with tuna and eggs or chicken and cheese. I might have grilled chicken with grilled veggies as a side too. If I'm super busy I'll get a grilled cheese sandwich on the go.
Snacks: I like nuts in the afternoon: sometimes in a trail mix with dried fruit or just 1-2 handfuls of almonds. I also usually have an organic protein bar made with dates and almonds, no added sugar. I also have another piece of fruit sometimes.
Dinner: If I'm eating at home, I get to have salmon or a nice steak with a side of veggies or salad. If outside, I usually go for sushi or if at a place that doesn't serve it, I go for the biggest salad they have, usually with beef or chicken strips. And I order crispy sushi rolls which means it's fried and battered and full of sauce - I can never feel full with sashimi alone though snacking on some edamame beforehand does keep me from eating too many pieces.
Snacks: I snack the most at night. I can never stop eating after a certain hour, it's just not doable for me, if I'm awake, I eat every 2 hours or so regardless of how close it is to bed time. I eat Greek yogurt with berries, another serving of fruit, maybe more nuts and lots of green tea. Add coffee and dark chocolate if it was a busy day.
Also if I worked out that day I have a giant glass of fresh fruit and veggie juice after workout or a protein shake if I worked out for long, like 2 hours.
I guess my main problems are I eat too often, I eat at night and I have a sweet tooth and caffeine addiction that is manageable on regular days but they cannot be ignored on busy days/exam weeks.

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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Boss Man » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:50 pm

Melanie G. wrote:
Breakfast: I usually have a veggie omelette or oatmeal with skim milk and nuts and fruit as topping -usually bananas, blueberries and walnuts. I always have fresh orange or grapefruit juice to go with it, it's just a childhood habit for me. Sometimes I'll have peanut butter or avocado on toast.

(The veggie omelette is fine with a glass of juice, but if you're having the oatmeal, you could still add more protein to it, by having a couple of scrambled eggs for example, or something like ham or chicken as other examples.)

Snacks: I'll have a giant cup of coffee with skim milk and some fruit (bananas are my go to) whenever I'm hungry until lunch.

(Ditch the coffee, because when you're able to do without it you'll feel so much better. One possibility I've heard of recently as an alternative, is buying a milk frothing machine, because you could always experiment with that by adding things like mocha powder, ground nutmeg, ground ginger and cinnamon to the milk see how that pans out and I drink warm / hot milk especially in the winter and it is superb, so I have no need and have never had need for hot caffeinated beverages, although mainly because to me they stink :tongue: .)

Lunch: This varies a lot more since I'm always out for lunch or at school. I usually get a salad with tuna and eggs or chicken and cheese. I might have grilled chicken with grilled veggies as a side too. If I'm super busy I'll get a grilled cheese sandwich on the go.

(That seems okay)

Snacks: I like nuts in the afternoon: sometimes in a trail mix with dried fruit or just 1-2 handfuls of almonds. I also usually have an organic protein bar made with dates and almonds, no added sugar. I also have another piece of fruit sometimes.

(That doesn't seem too bad)

Dinner: If I'm eating at home, I get to have salmon or a nice steak with a side of veggies or salad. If outside, I usually go for sushi or if at a place that doesn't serve it, I go for the biggest salad they have, usually with beef or chicken strips. And I order crispy sushi rolls which means it's fried and battered and full of sauce - I can never feel full with sashimi alone though snacking on some edamame beforehand does keep me from eating too many pieces.

(The fish is the one issue to overcome due to the metals in it. Tuna is recommended at 3 portions a week, so if you're going to have fish more than 3x a week, then I'd suggest having something with Tuna in once a week and then have lower metal fish around 3-4 more times a week, so the fish consumption is kept to 4-5 days a week tops.)

Snacks: I snack the most at night. I can never stop eating after a certain hour, it's just not doable for me, if I'm awake, I eat every 2 hours or so regardless of how close it is to bed time. I eat Greek yogurt with berries, another serving of fruit, maybe more nuts and lots of green tea. Add coffee and dark chocolate if it was a busy day.

(I'd forget the tea and coffee, as you really don't need the caffeine and caffeine can block your iron intake as can tannic acid in tea and iron is needed for Erythrocyte, (red blood cell formation), so it could increase your risk of anemia, and also it constricts your blood vessels, which isn't good for exercise or for study, because then you're getting less oxygen and slower flow to the muscles, organs and brain.

A small portion of nuts might be preferable closer to bed than anything else, as carbs can help with sleep and so can some of the amino acids in protein like tryptophan and phenylalanine, as they exert influence on the hypothalamus, the area of the brain responsible for hormone production, some of which are related to mood and sleep like dopamine, seratonin and hypocretin.

I wouldn't go bazurk on the nuts, just probably limit yourself to around 1/4 of a cup at most.)


Also if I worked out that day I have a giant glass of fresh fruit and veggie juice after workout or a protein shake if I worked out for long, like 2 hours.

(The protein shake will work better after workouts than the juice)


You might not like the spiel about the caffeinated drinks, but you'll thank me for it when you're over that. I've passed exams a long time in my past and never been reliant on such things, so you don't need to be either :).

There are other things you can consider as snacks or to be used to make snacks, one or two you already eat like microwave baked bean, soup and rice dishes, vegetables like pineapple, raw carrot and celery sticks, fruits including tomatoes and cucumber, bread, peanuts, low fat cheese, nuts, flax seeds, low sugar yoghurt. sandwiches, pre-boiled eggs, ham, turkey, beef and chicken from a packet and oat granolas.

So there's some interesting options for you and some fresh thinking about some of what you do :).

The stuff relating to caffeine though is all in the mind. The strength not to have such things is within all of us and you have it too and you'll feel better conquering that need, you can trust me on that one :).

Melanie G.
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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Melanie G. » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:04 am

Yeah I get what you are coming from with the caffeine though I'm very attached to it haha so maybe I'll try to limit my intake first instead of going cold turkey. And starting to carry some healthy snacks with me instead of going for candy bars on busy days, particularly when I'm running on zero sleep and at the library a lot seems like a good idea since I can't be trusted to make the right choices at that state of mind. It's a good idea to make the snack choices beforehand and carry them around so I don't have to hit the vending machine :D
Thank you so so much Boss Man, you've been a great help! :)

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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Boss Man » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:09 pm

If you need any more help don't hesitate to ask and please do keep us updated now and then, as we are always interested in how people progress.

GOOD LUCK and be proud of the choices you are making, because you deserve to be :).

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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby swanso5 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:08 am

cut that workout in half its far too much...by the last 5 exercises you're just hanging to get out of there so you'll be getting limited benefit from them

day 1 - front lunge, leg curl, chest press, pull up, reverse pressdown, bosu crunch, knee up
day 2 - squat, side lunge, seated db press, low cable curl, rope press down, twist crunch, back ext

overall a pretty crappy program for your goals especially exercise selection and set/rep schemes

Melanie G.
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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Melanie G. » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:08 am

swanso5 - really? That's too much? I've been alternating 3 days of this and 2 days of kickboxing with yoga on one of my rest days (vinyasa if feeling energetic, yin if feeling sore or just wanna chill out) and I feel like it's just enough - I could probably do a lot more since I'm never very tired afterwards and rarely feel sore, but I like a more relaxed approach to exercise so I don't push myself any further than this. But you say it's too much? I feel like if I did any less, I'd be bored and be way too worked up with all the energy I would no longer be letting out. As for crappiness, any other reason besides "too much" for it being inadequate for my needs and goals? Because if the workload is the only problem you see, there is just no way I'm doing any less.

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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby swanso5 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:22 am

36 total sets equaling 540 reps per session

there is no way you can maintain a high quality work with even a quarter of that volume in 1 session...

you're stuck in a quantity state of mind and it needs to change

more is not always better

and the fact that every exercise is the same sets and reps is a sign that the workout could do with a fair bit of improvement

some exercises fit 15 reps per set and others do not...lets take lunges for example...at 15 reps per set and say 2secs per rep that 60secs+ per set...try this next session: double the wt for your lunges and do 5 reps per set...if the wt is still too light then increase it each set until you're almost a 5 rep max...then increase 1 rep per week

let me know how that feels compared to what you do now

Melanie G.
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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Melanie G. » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:03 pm

So basically you suggest heavier weights, less reps? Well, I could try that since I always try to switch things up a bit too keep from getting bored and this seems like a neat way to avoid doing the same old stuff week after week. I'll try this next time and let you know how that goes compared to the more reps version :)

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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby swanso5 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:44 pm

you don't want to just "mix it up though", not dramatically anyway...you need a program that has built in progression with the thought to the long term, not just today

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Re: Workout program - how does it look?

Postby Boss Man » Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:27 pm

Melanie, heavier weight and less reps always makes more sense than light weight and more reps, because the difficulty and increased exertion and stimulus on the muscles is more beneficial.

If people want to breakdown and rebuild muscle stronger and better, then what's best, 15 reps squatting with a 5kg barbell, or 8-10 reps with a 10kg barbell and then hopefully more more than that, because you could use the weights you start with forever and a day and get scared that the heavier weights would make you look "manly", when they wouldn't.

Make the muscles work harder when you weight train and then you reap more rewards, but you do it without working out for excessive amounts of time, otherwise it starts to become unnecessary and potentially detrimental and sometimes more is better, but other times less is more, so you need to find the balance where you lift hard, but don't train for too long and don't over-emphasise certain muscles versus others, so your weekly schedule promotes balanced, even muscle progression :).


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