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Changing it up

November 9, 2008

I’m working on creating a new weight training schedule. I do this about every 5-6 weeks both as a way to avoid boredom and because it’s supposed to be good for your body to switch things up.

So for those of you who lift weights, where do you get your workout routines? From trainers? From the internet? From some favorite book that you’re gonna tell me all about?

If you don’t have a strict routine, do you have any favorite exercises or lifts? Do you have any unique exercises you do that you don’t generally see other people doing?

For me, I get ideas from everywhere. My focus is on building functional strength so I don’t do a lot of isolation work. I also don’t use weight machines since I think their benefit is limited. (True story, when I started lifting, I could push 70lbs for 8 reps on the chest press machine, but I could barely manage 5 reps with the bar (45lbs) when trying to bench press.)

My favorite website for general lifting information is It’s great for anyone, but most especially women who tend to feel a bit intimidated around the free weights. My favorite book is “New Rules of Lifting for Women”. It focuses on building strength and includes a chapter on why dieting is a stupid idea.

My favorite exercises include squats, good mornings, and one-armed dumbbell snatches. That last exercise is one I pretty much never see anyone else doing, but it is awesome and everyone who can do it, should.

And just to get some inspiration for kicking ass, here are some videos of women picking up heavy stuff:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2008 12:05 am

    I recently stumbled upon this site:
    and I’ve been playing around with the free features.
    I guess it’s mildly annoying that the figure doing the exercises is a guy and not a woman, but I like the sheer number of exercises offered.
    I’m not a power lifter, and I don’t mind some machines (if I feel they are doing what I want them to) and I also don’t like using the bar without a spotter. Maybe when I’m stronger.

    I might try to get a used set of kettlebells at some point.
    I think strength training is great.

  2. Entangled permalink
    November 10, 2008 1:12 am

    I use a lot of free weights and do a couple of exercises on machines (upping my weight to 90 lbs on the lateral pulldown feels AWESOME and I’m not sure how to mimic that motion with dumbells).

    I think my two favorites are the fly and the skullcrusher. They both involve lying on my back.
    The fly:
    arms at sides, grasping weights with palms up
    lift in an arc inwards until the dumbells meet above your chest with your arms straight up

    start w/ arms straight above your chest, palm-side inward.
    bend elbows so weights come towards your forehead
    straight arms

  3. November 10, 2008 3:44 am

    I do pretty much the opposite of you – only machines, no free weights. That’s because I have tendonitis in both wrists which has caused all kinds of problems; the fact that I can lift at all is pretty amazing to me. This all goes to reaffirm my belief that people have to figure out what works best for them and it’s not all the same thing. Some of the weights you all are using are impressive and inspiring! I get my routines from my husband, who worked with his personal trainer for about 7 years.

  4. November 11, 2008 11:10 am

    I mostly always used the weight machines at the gym, but I’ve come to adore trainer Gilad Janklowicz (whom, I’m sure, I’ve mentioned here before). Workouts with him require only inexpensive light weights, available at most big box stores, but he uses them in creative ways and combines them with your body’s own resistance that I often feel like I’ve gotten a better workout after 20 minutes with him than after 30-45 minutes using the machines at the gym.

  5. November 17, 2008 7:31 pm

    I love squats, deads, cleans. I like front squats and zerchers the more I do them.
    I use variations on old programs that the owner of the gym where I used to train designed for me.
    Also, there was a good post on bench press technique at Lyle McDonald’s site the other day. I prefer a higher arch though, more PL style.

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