Building Strength: Shoulders, Legs, and Calves

Hi guys!  I've been working on building strength recently (as in lifting/ pressing weights) and I'm finding it very rewarding.  Reaching personal records is very exciting- I write everything I do down so that I can beat it the next week.

Here's what I did today.  It's Shoulders/ Legs/ Calves Day, meaning my favorite day!  On other days, I do Back/ Biceps, Chest/ Triceps, or run.  Lifting weights has actually made me a faster runner because any time that I don't have that extra 30 pounds in my hands, it's a whole lot easier to get around ;)



Building Strength: Shoulder's, Legs, and Calves:
Gym Workout- Dumbbells, Bar, and Leg Press Machine
Between sets, do some light jogging, jumping jacks, squat jumps, etc., to give your muscles a rest while keeping your heart rate up.
  • 5-10 minute warm-up.  You can do the stair master, walking, incline walking, running, dancing, stepping, elliptical-ing, whatever you fancy.  Just get your heart pumping and your mind ready. I like to look over the workout I have planned and get familiar so that I don't waste as much time in the gym.
Shoulders:
  • 4 sets x 25 reps of Side Shoulder Lifts.  I bend my elbows to 90 degrees and bring my elbows out to my sides until I reach shoulder height, then come back to starting position.  I do lighter weight for the first 50 reps, then a slightly heavier weight for the next 50 reps.  This makes it really challenging right away.
  • 4 x 6-8 reps of Dumbbell Shoulder Presses.  With a higher weight, you'll find you won't be able to do more than 6-8 reps at a time.  That is your goal. 
  • 4 x 9-11 reps of Barbell Shoulder Presses.  Pretty much the shoulder press, but you use a bar instead.  I drop the weight a bit and do higher reps.
  • 4 x 16-20 reps Barbell Upright Row
  • Burnout: 7 -> 1 Barbell Shoulder Presses to Upright Rows
Legs and Calves:  
  • 4 x 6-8 reps of Heavy Dead Lifts.  I set a personal record for myself today.  Watch this video before you do this exercise to avoid injury.
  • 10 x 6-8 reps of Leg Presses.  On this machine, I usually start at a weight I know I can do, then work my way up to reaching personal goals throughout my sets.  These are killer.   Today, I pressed 209% of my weight, beating my goal of 200% for today.  It always feels good.
  • 3 x 15 reps of Medium Dead Lifts.  After all of those heavy weights, I dropped down to about 35 lbs. for these next dead lifts and did higher reps.
  • 50 Weighted Squats Pulses or 8 -> 1 Squat Jumps to Weighted Bridge Presses
  • 3 x 75 Weighted Calf Raises.  I try to increase my weight by 10 lbs. every week, but you have to fight to get those 30 pound weights.  Do 25 with your feet facing forward, 25 with your feet facing outward, and 25 with your feet facing inward.  
Great job!  End with a little bit of abs and lots of stretching.  You're going to want to stretch your hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves, inner thighs, back, arms, everything.  Lifting things that are half your body weight takes a lot out of you, and if you want to be able to walk ever again, stretch.

It's hard and challenging- probably some of the hardest work I've ever done in my life- but ever so rewarding.  You might love it!  I'm absolutely in love with training my shoulders- it's so satisfying!  Another thing I like to work is my forearms.  Isn't that strange?

What's your favorite body part to work?

Have a nice weekend!

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