YES! It’s time to lift some weights! We are going to the gym today for a fun full-body workout
This basic, but very effective, workout can be the foundation of a great health and fitness program. Simply do this full-body workout 3 times per week and supplement with a few cardio sessions (like my cardio home workout videos).
Equipment needed: You need access to a full gym for this workout
Time needed: 50 minutes
Alternative workouts: A similar workout at home using dumbbells and body weight
Do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions (reps) for each exercise. That means that you’ll do one exercise for 12-15 reps, rest for 30-60 seconds, do 12-15 more reps, rest again, and then do the last set of 12-15 reps.
The reason why I’m giving you a range is that you should pick a weight that really challenges you between 12 and 15 reps. If you can only do 11 reps, the weight is too heavy, and if you can easily bang out 15, it is too light.
Two of the exercises are done as a superset. A superset means that you do both exercises immediately after one another before you take the recommended rest (e.g. 15 dumbbell curls, then 15 triceps extensions, and then rest).
As always, when you do resistance workouts, please remember that you may see an impact on your insulin sensitivity 24-36 hours after your workout, so be diligent about watching your blood sugars. If you aren’t used to resistance workouts, I really recommend you read my post about how resistance training affects your blood sugar before you do this workout.
1) Sit down in the leg press machine and place your feet on the platform directly in front of you with you, shoulder-width apart. If the machine has a safety pin, disengage it now.
2) Press the platform away from your body until your legs are fully extended but without locking your knees. Push through the heels of your feet.
3) Slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90-degree angle. Make sure to keep your back and glutes firmly in the seat.
4) Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. If the machine has a safety pin, make sure to re-engage it before trying to get out.
1) Stand with your feet 4-6 inches wider than your shoulders, with your toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle.
2) Grasp a dumbbell with both hands in the center of your body.
3) While keeping your back straight, descend slowly by bending at the knees and hips as if you are sitting down (squatting).
4) Return to the starting position by pressing upwards and extending your legs while maintaining an equal distribution of weight on your forefoot and heel.
1) Attach a wide bar to the pulldown machine. Sit down and adjust the kneepad of the machine to fit your height.
2) Grab the bar at slightly more than shoulder-width with your palms facing forward.
3) Keeping your torso upright, stick your chest out and pull the bar down until it almost touches your chest. Focus on pulling with your back muscles (contract your back) rather than your arms.
4) Squeeze your shoulder blades together for a second before slowly raising the bar back to the starting position (arms fully extended).
Machine chest press
1) Sit down on the chest press machine and select the weight.
2) Grab the handles and lift your elbows so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor to the sides of your torso (some machines have a foot pedal that you push to bring the arms of the machine forward).
3) Push the handles away from you as you flex your pecs. Hold the contraction for a second before going back to the starting position.
Biceps barbell curls
1) Stand up and hold a barbell with a shoulder-width grip. The palm of your hands should be facing upwards and the elbows should be close to the torso.
2) Curl the weights upwards while contracting the biceps. Keep the elbows stationary and only move your forearms.
4) Slowly bring the barbell back to the starting position.
Superset barbell curls with triceps pushdowns
1) Attach a straight or angled bar to a high pulley and grab it with your hands at shoulder width and your palms facing down.
2) Standing with your elbows close to your body, use your triceps to bring the bar down until it touches the front of your thighs and your arms are fully extended. Keep your elbows stationary and only move your forearms.
3) After a short hold at the contracted position while you contract your triceps, bring the bar slowly up to the starting position.
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
1) Stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arm’s length with the palms of the hand facing you.
2) While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend in the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until your arms are parallel to the floor.