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How many exercises does one do per muscle group?

For example would you do only one

exercise for chest or the three listed on full body workout card?
On a full body workout (performing all major body parts in one session on 3 non-consecutive days
per week) it is suggested you only perform one exercise per muscle group. When you are starting
a program (or even starting back after a long layoff), more exercises and sets are not necessary
and sometimes can sometimes be counterproductive. Since the training response is relative to
what you are accustom to, which is next to nothing, you will make sufficient progress with a
minimal exercises. Keep in mind the greatest gains in strength and muscle mass will occur in the
initial stages of your program, seemingly no matter what you do.
Choose basic exercises, movements that work more muscles in fewer exercises. The compound
exercises are also typically more functional than the isolated exercises, working the muscles and
joints more similar to how they will move in nature.
As in the workout templates, muscles in italics are optional. You may already be working some of
these muscles indirectly on other movements. For example, a specific low back movement can
be included if you have not already exercise it during your quad/glute, hamstrings, or upper back
exercises. Likewise, the biceps and triceps are exercised on the back and chest movement
respectively. Including a specific isolated exercise for the arms would essentially be adding a
second exercise for the biceps and triceps.
For many beginners, the weight increases on these isolated exercises are much greater than
what is typically suggested. For example, if you are using 25 lbs for a workout weight and you
prepare to move up to the next weight, 30 lbs, this represents a 20% increase in weight! Keep in
mind 5 to 10% graduations are typically recommended. In these cases, it sometimes makes
sense to hold off on these auxiliary exercises until greater function strength is achieved during the
compound basic exercises.
Certain feel free to choose a few optional movements you may want to target that month. Guys
usually pick isolated arm movements where as women may even add an additional hip adduction
and abduction movement. Just keep in mind there is no such thing as spot reduction as many
info-commercials would have you believe.
Be careful though that you do not make a common mistake in trying to specialize on too many
muscle groups. Firstly, during a long full body workout, intensity maybe inadvertently be
compromised, essentially decreasing the efficacy of all other exercises. You will probably end up
pacing yourself if your workout consists of too many exercises and sets. The exercises at the end
of the workout will also suffer after a long workout as your energy level diminishes. Secondly, you
may also end up spending less time on the cardio exercise or stretches at the end of a long
workout. Thirdly, those beginning an extended weight training program may have a greater
difficulty in adhearing to their program as compared to those who begin a more abbreviated full
body workout.
It seems experienced weightlifters who prescribe beginners high volume or intense workouts
have forgotten what is was like when they first began lifting. Getting sore will only postpone your
ability to recuperate and increase the likelihood of dropping out of your new program.
During your first workouts you only need to workout until you feel comfortable fatigued (also see
identify initial resistances). Each workout attempt to perform one or two additional reps until you
have reached the upper repetition range (typically 12 reps: see suggested repetition ranges) then
increase your resistance by 5 to 10%. You should be able to continue this progression of reps
then resistance for one to two months.

After a few months of training you will be able to push your self much harder that when you first
began. Your ability to recover between sets will be enhanced but not to the extent of your ability to
workout more intensely. You may find your self requiring a bit more rest between your sets.
As you continue to perform these exercises, you will find it increasingly difficult to progress as you
once did. This is an indication your program is becoming stale. Changing your exercise program
every month or two will not only allow for continued progress, but will also make training more
enjoyable. It can be quite boring performing the same exercises month after month. In the
beginning it is important to choose exercises you feel comfortable with. Later on the most
effective exercises are the ones you are least familiar. These relatively unfamiliar movements are
the exercises you have the most potential to make the greatest improvements.
Some time later, depending upon your goals and available time, you may consider changing to a
2 day split program. This would lend its self to working out 4 days per week, each body part
exercised two times per week (see ideal frequencies). This type of program may allow you add
volume to your program by introducing an additional exercise for the larger muscles.

Upper Body Exercises :A well-rounded workout program should always include a selection of various
upper body exercises that target all the main muscle groups, including the chest,
shoulders, back, biceps, and triceps. When a workout program contains
movements for each group, the result is great overall strength gains without the
occurrence of muscular imbalances.
Since the body is constantly adapting to the exercise stress you throw at it, if you
go into the gym day after day and perform the same old upper body exercises
over and over, your progress is going to go stale. Instead, switch up your
exercises from time to time in order to guarantee that your body is always
responding and youre continually making progress.
With each of the following descriptions of upper body exercises, you should keep
in mind that the compound exercises are to be performed before the isolated
ones. Most men will choose to use a rep range of 6-8 at a heavier rate for the
compound movements, while bumping up the reps to 8-12 using slightly less
weight for the isolated exercises.
Chest exercises
Ideally, you should include two different movements for the chest in each
workout. As an added plus, the compound exercises listed below will also
stimulate the triceps and the biceps to a small degree, reducing the amount of
exercises needed for those muscle groups.
Compound exercises: The bench press is the best-known chest exercise, and it
can be performed with either a barbell or dumbbells on a flat, incline or decline
surface. In addition to this, dips make for another good compound exercise and
allow you to choose between a narrow, regular or wide stance. Finally, push-ups
are a classic standby anytime you dont have access to a gym.
Isolated exercises: Adding one or two isolated chest exercises, such as the pec
dec fly, cable crossovers or dumbbell pullovers, will round out your workout
nicely. Be sure to really focus on squeezing only the pec muscles when
performing these.

Back exercises
Moving on to the back, youll want to perform an equal number of exercises as
you did for the chest for this area of the upper body to ensure that you balance
out your chest work.
Compound exercises: The best compound exercise for the back that allows you
to lift a higher total weight is any variation of the row. Rows can be performed
with dumbbells, a barbell, T-bar, or with cables in a bent-over or horizontal
fashion. You can also use a wide grip, narrow grip or a reverse grip to work the
biceps along with the back.
Other exercises that can be done for the back that especially hit the lats include
pull-ups (close, wide and reverse grip) and cable pull-downs. Finally,
hyperextensions are great for working the muscles in the lower back as well as
for calling the hamstrings slightly into play.
Shoulder exercises
Developing strong shoulders will make a big difference in how broad you appear,
so its important to dedicate a good amount of time during your workouts to this
body part. Some individuals will choose to perform shoulders on the same day
they do chest since the shoulders are worked slightly when doing the chest
exercises (especially the incline chest press), while others will work shoulders
with back or on their own day altogether.
Compound exercises: The most popular compound exercise for the shoulders
is a shoulder press, which can be performed with a barbell or a set of dumbbells.
If using a barbell, you can perform the press moving behind the neck or in front
of the neck for variety.
Another variation some people like is the Dumbbell Arnold Press, in which you
rotate the arms as you progress, moving the weights from the front of the
shoulders to the top position over the head.
Isolated exercises: There are a number of isolated shoulder exercises you can
perform to target specific muscles in this muscle group. Generally, most people
are slightly weaker on these exercises, so do expect to see a slight decrease in
the weight lifted.
The exercises to focus on include front and side lateral dumbbell raises, upright
rows, shoulder cable flyes, and the reverse pec deck (or alternatively, reverse
cable flyes). Biceps exercises
If youre doing a good chest and back workout, chances are your biceps will get
hit quite well with those exercises alone. If youd like to add one or two isolated
exercises for the biceps to really bring out definition thats fine, just ensure it
doesnt cause you to start overtraining.
Good bicep exercises to include are dumbbell or barbell curls, incline curls,
hammer curls, concentration curls, single arm dumbbell or cable curls, or close-

grip chin-ups. Triceps exercises

Finally, to round out your upper body workout, dont forget the triceps. These
muscles actually comprises the largest part of the arm, so if you want to make
your arms look bigger, you should focus more on triceps and less on biceps.
Compound exercises: Just like the biceps, the triceps will be worked whenever
you do a chest workout (bench press and incline press both work the muscle) as
well as when you do any type of shoulder pressing activity. If youre lifting heavy
on these, youre getting a great head start on working this muscle.
Isolated exercises: To isolate just the triceps and bring out more definition,
consider adding a close-grip bench press, triceps push-downs with a variety of
grips, overhead dumbbell or barbell extensions, dips, bent-over triceps kickbacks,
or the French Press. change it up
Make sure you arent performing the same group of five exercises over and over
again. Give one exercise at least two to three weeks to allow progression, and
then move on to another that works the same musc


Isometric exercise
The term isometric has been abused over a great period of time. At one point the term tonic
contraction was used interchangeably with isometric contraction. This trend seems to be
decreasing. Isometric contraction and isometric exercise are again two interchangeable terms. To
elaborate on this it seems people describe an isometric contraction as performing isometric
exercise. Hislop and Perrine (1967) described isometric exercise as muscular contractions
against a load which is fixed or immovable or is simply too much to overcome. Two German
physiologists (Muller and Hettinger, 1954) performed a study which claimed that one six second
isometric contraction at two-thirds maximum performed once each day for five days was sufficient
for 5% strength gains per week. This received a disproportionate amount of publicity from which it
would appear that the medical community has never recovered.
Although it has been shown that strength gains are possible from isometric contraction these
strength gains are very minimal and almost all studies since have shown that the gains in pure
muscular strength are only at the specific angle at which the exercise is performed. Hence, to
make isometric exercise effective at increasing functional strength it must be repeated at many
different joint angles. Isometric improvements have also been shown to be rate specific
(Morrissey, Harman and Johnson 1995), this means that isometric strength gains can be best
utilized only at particular speeds. These improvements are seen mostly in slower movements
which are not functional and of little use to people wishing to return to any kind of physical activity.

Isometric exercise does not, contrary to popular opinion, increase muscular endurance or
functional capacity in real world situations.
The extreme effort involved with isometric exercises causes considerable internal pressure both
within the muscles themselves and in the abdominal and thoracic cavities. Isometric exercise can
increase blood pressure and heart rate to levels that would be dangerous for anyone with
undiagnosed cardiac problems (Nagle, Seals and Hanson 1988, White and Carrington 1993 and
Baum et al. 1995), whilst also increasing intra abdominal pressure to dangerously high levels
(Williams and Lind 1987).
For those in good health this is not problematic however, for those who have suffered muscular or
tendonus injuries the consequences can be dire. Isometric exercises are, however, extremely
good for strengthening muscle groups around an injured joint as the joint surfaces actually
distract from one another during isometric contraction. However, following isometric exercise
there is a decrease of muscle power by up to 60-70% (Tidas and Shoemaker 1995), this can last
for up to 96hrs (4 days). During this time the associated joints are exposed to much higher than
normal impact and sheer forces as they have lost one of their most vital protective mechanisms.
This could lead to discomfort as demonstrated by Melchionda et al. (1984) which is not
experienced with isokinetic concentric contractions (Dvir 1995). In reality electrical stimulation of a
muscle is more effective at increasing muscular strength than isometric exercise as has been
shown by Draper and Ballard (1991).

Isotonic exercise
Isotonic literally means equal tension. In exercise science isotonic contraction is a contraction in
which the tension remains constant as the muscle shortens or lengthens. Although isotonic is the
term used most frequently to describe fixed resistance variable speed exercise, isoinertial is a
more accurate description of this type of movement (Abernethy et al. 1995). I will continue to use
isotonic throughout. In reality it takes a very complicated piece of equipment, like an active
dynamometer, to create pure isotonic exercise. People generally think of isotonic exercise as that
seen in the gymnasium. The simplest example of this is where a dumbbell is lifted from the
ground and used to perform an exercise. The tension generated by the dumbbell is now the
constant, or in other words if you pick up a 2 kilo dumbbell it weighs 2 kilos whatever you do with
The elaborate cam systems seen on most modern weight training equipment allow for a more
isotonic movement to be performed. The key to isotonic exercise is that although the weight is
constant the speed of movement associated with the exercise is variable. Think again of the
dumbbell curl. The dumbbell always weighs 2 kilos but you can decide how quickly to move it.
Although the reliability of isotonic exercise is generally good, controlling the inertial forces that
develop with different lifting techniques make it inappropriate for the study of musculoskeletal
performance in humans (Sapega 1990). This method of testing should be limited to active
dynamometers. Even then isotonic movement should only be used for the assessment of speed
production at a given resistance.
Exercise programs have been proven to be most effective when the movements performed match
those experienced most frequently by the person in question (Morrissey, Harman and Johnson
1995). For humans the closest form of exercise to normal movement is isotonic. So it would not
be surprising to find that isotonic exercise increases muscle strength at double the speed of
isometric exercise in the untrained population according to Connelly and Vandervoort (1995).

Isokinetic exercise
This form of exercise is in contrast to the other forms in that it permits maximum muscle
contraction throughout the full range of joint movement. You will often seen it referred to as
accommodating resistance exercise (a term first introduced by Hislop and Perrine, 1967). The

A Comparison Of The Different Types Of




Does not aggravate sensitive joint surfaces.

Not functional.
Easy to perform and remember.
Any improvements are speed and angle specific.

Many contraindications.
Easy to measure.
Not efficient in terms of strength.
No endurance enhancements.
Cost effective.


Maximal loading only at specific angles.

Easy to monitor.

Momentum key factor.

Minimal equipment needed.

Synergists either limit progress or are under trained.


Unsafe for joints.

Best strength and endurance


Highest likelihood of injuries.


Gives delayed onset muscle soreness.

Many contraindications.
Difficult to monitor accurately.

Maximal loading throughout whole range of

Objective, reproducible and easily

Time consuming.
Requires a lot of training and skill to use.


Muscles easily isolated.

Safest form of exercise.
Not functional.
Few contraindications.

The Best Compound Exercises

The best way to add muscle is to do compound exercises. Compound exercises are the kind of
exercise that work more than one muscle group and although compound exercises are harder to
do they tend to have a bigger payback in muscle mass gained.
If you are looked to lose weight compound exercises are also good as they tend to concentrate
on the massive muscle groups that will help to increase your metabolism.
One thing to really concentrate on when doing compound exercises is to make sure that you are
controlling the weight on the up as well as down part of the rep so that you do not cheat and not
use those weaker muscles at all. Slow and controlled is the message when doing these exercises
A great example of the difference between an isolated exercise and a compound exercise is
Flyes, which are very isolated to your pectoral muscles compared to bench presses which hit
your pecs, deltoids, and triceps. So know that you know the difference here is that list.

Bench press
As already mentioned bench presses are great as they will work all of your chest, shoulders and
triceps. There are three kinds of bench press. Inclined bench presses get the upper part of your

chest and shoulders more, flat bench presses hit all of your chest and declines (when you are
using a decline bench) are best for the lower part of your chest and triceps although doing too
many decline bench presses will really give you a saggy looking chest.

Military press
This is the classic exercise where you sit upright and push a barbell up from behind your neck
straight up above your head. Military presses push your anterior deltoid (front of shoulder) and
again your triceps and are a great mass gainer for both.

Doing squats are great for all of your core muscles as well as the muscles in your legs. This is
perhaps the toughest and best workout for gaining mass ever devised. As you likely know the
biggest muscles in your body are your quadriceps on the front of your legs. To do squats properly
you need to take care that you lower back is not bowed in or out and to do this a weight belt or
lower weight helps most. Also when doing squats I have found that my calves do not extend far
enough so I have always rested my heels on a block of wood.

Using a machine row is a great way to work your whole back and is hard to emulate doing free
weights. This exercise works all of your back muscles, upper and lower and also work your
biceps. After doing a few sets of rows your whole back will be sore. Doing rows it is again
important to protect your lower back by making sure that you do not twist it in any direction.

Pullups are done by holding a barbell with both hands fairly close together and then pulling up
towards your chin. Pullups work your biceps, rear deltoids and your traps. Traps are the muscles
on either side of the top of your back beside you neck. This a great exercise I find for opening up
and strengthening the very top of my body.
OK now that you know the exercises there is one thing that is important to note and that is the
locking out of your joints. Over years of lifting weights locking out at the tops of bench presses or
squats or really any exercise can lead to joint problems. On every rep try to get right to the end of
the extension until you are about to lock your joint and then stop. Locking your joints is bad and is
one thing to really remember especially when lifting the heavy weights that compound exercises
allow you to lift.

Compound & Isolation Exercises

What Are Compound Exercises?
Today's fitness programs tend to focus on functional fitness, which refers to exercise that

simulates real-life activities and uses a wide variety of movements through a wide range of
motion. At the heart of these routines are a variety of compound exercises. Compound
exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles or muscle groups at one time.
A great example of a compound exercise is the squat exercise, which engages many muscles
in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the calves, the glutes,
the lower back and the core.
What Are Isolation Exercises?
Isolation exercises work only one muscle or muscle group and only one joint at a time.
Examples of isolation exercises include the biceps curl or the quadriceps extension. These
exercises are often performed with the commercial weight machines found in health clubs. The
idea is to isolate one muscle group and move from from one machine to the next until you
"work" your whole body. Isolation exercises are frequently used in physical therapy clinics and
rehab centers in order to correct a specific muscle weakness or imbalance that often occurs
after injury, illness, surgery or certain diseases.
Why Use Compound Exercises?
For healthy athletes who are trying to get the most out of a training program, compound
exercises are generally preferred and recommended. There are many reasons to use
compound exercises during your workout, including the following:
Using more muscle groups. . .

means more calories burned during exercise.

simulates real-world exercises and activities.
allows you to get a full body workout faster.
improves coordination, reaction time and balance.
improves joint stability and improves muscle balance across a joint.
decreases the risk of injury during sports.
keeps your heart rate up and provides cardiovascular benefits.
allows you to exercise longer with less muscle fatigue.
allows you to lift heavier loads and build more strength.

Examples of Compound Exercises

Lunge with a Twist
One-Leg Squat-and-Reach
Kettlebell Swings (PDF)
Shoulder Press
Pull Down
Pull Ups
Push Ups
Chest Press
Jumping Rope

Why Use Isolation Exercises?

Isolation exercises are often recommended to correct muscle imbalance or weakness that
often occurs after an injury. Isolating a specific muscle is sometimes necessary to get it to
activate and increase it's strength. Often, after an injury, a muscle becomes weak and other
muscles compensate for that weakness. If you never retrain the injured muscles to fire
properly again, it may set up a biomechanical imbalance that is difficult to correct.
Even if your weakness isn't noticeable because other muscles are compensating, imagine how
much stronger you would be if all the muscles were firing at maximum contraction. That alone
is a good reason to occasionally do isolation exercises.
Another reason to perform specific isolated exercises is to increase the size or bulk of a
specific muscle group. If you want big biceps for your spring break beach vacation, you'll
probably want to add some bicep isolation work to your regular exercise routine.
Most healthy athletes will use compound exercises for the majority of a training program and
use isolation exercises to complement that program as needed.
Examples of Isolation Exercises

bicep curls
tricep kickbacks
lateral raises
front raises
rope pull-downs
leg extensions
hamstring curls
calf raises

The Bottom Line

If you are interested in getting a complete, efficient and functional workout, doing
predominantly compound exercises during your training is ideal. But there are times when
isolating a specific muscle, muscle group or joint is necessary and recommended. If you aren't
sure what is best for you, a personal trainer or athletic trainer can help locate any muscle
imbalance or weakness you may have and design a program to fit your needs.

Compound exercises are movements that require you to use more than one muscle to lift
the weight. Take the bench press as an example, while the chest is the primary muscle targeted
while performing it you'll also be working the front deltoids and triceps to get the weight up. While
you squat you'll not only be training the quadricep muscles, but also the hamstrings, glutes, and
lower back. Most upper and lower back exercises are compound movements as well because
you'll get some assistance from the arm and leg muscles while doing them during your workouts.

Isolation exercises are movements that are working one particular muscle without much,
or any, assistance from other muscles. Most bicep, tricep, and calf exercises are isolation
exercises because you'll only be using those muscles to lift the weights for the most part (the
forearms will get some work from biceps and triceps exercises). Other isolation exercises include

flyes for the chest, laterals (front, side, or rear) for the shoulders, leg extensions for the
quadriceps, and leg curls for the hamstrings.
Compound weight training exercises are superior to isolation exercises because you're using
multiple muscle groups while doing them. Squats and deadlifts are the best exercises you can do
to gain size and strength because not only do they need many muscles to assist while doing
them, but they'll also give your testosterone levels a boost if you train with high intensity.
Compound exercises are especially important for weight training beginners, as they give them the
best chance for muscle size and strength gains. If you're new to weight training you won't get the
results you want if you focus more on exercises like leg extensions instead of squats or flyes
instead of bench and incline presses.
Even though isolation weight training exercises aren't as important as compound exercises, they
should still have a place in your workouts. Obviously you'll need to do bicep and triceps exercises
to build your arms, and most of them are isolation exercises. If you want wider shoulders you'll
need to isolate the side head of the deltoid muscle with lateral raises. Fles for the chest and leg
extensions for the quadriceps are great isolation movements to finish off your chest and leg
workouts. Once you've gained a nice amount of muscle size you'll probably want to do more
isolation exercises during your workouts to add more shape where you need it and get a nice
stretch and contraction for certain muscles.
To get the most out of your weight training workouts start them off with the major compound
exercises and use isolation exercises as finishers.

All exercises are not created equal and do not deliver the same amount of stimulus conducive
to building strength and muscle. Compound exercises bring into action multiple muscle groups
and move the body through multiple joint movements. Isolation exercises involve movements with
only one joint of movement. For example, a deadlift involves multiple muscle groups and multiple
joint movements - this is basically an entire body exercises starting with your legs, glutes, back,
arms, shoulders, traps, and etc...
There are many benefits of compound exercises for strength training.

Compound exercises require more physical effort and output, thus burn more calories great for helping weight loss

Compound movements involves multiple muscle groups and requires a certain level of
balance, body coordination - great for developing core strength

Compound strength training exercises help build joint stability and improves your overall

You can achieve an entire body workout using compound strength exercises

The level of physical exertion required to perform compound exercises allows you to get a
great cardio workout at the same time

Finally, compound exercises are, hands down, the best exercises you can perform to build
Compound Strength Training Exercises
Some of the best compound exercises you can perform include (in no particular order):

Bench press
Front squats
Military press
Clean and press

From a pure strength training perspective, you should solely use compound exercises to build
raw strength. However, from a bodybuilding standpoint, to develop a well rounded physique, you
should take advantage and make combined use of both compound-exercises and isolation
exercises to stimulate the maximum amount of muscle fibers.
One of the most effective and efficient ways of developing true strength is using the static
contraction training method. This type of strength building involves performing a static hold using
a very heavy load to stimulate muscle growth and strength development. Using static contraction
methods, experienced bodybuilders have made exceptional strength gains including 51%
average increase in static strength and 27% increase in one rep max. Does your strength training
measure up to these kinds of accomplishments? If not, then it's time you take a look at the Static
Training program and its recommended strength training exercises.

Isolation Exercise Demonstrations

The isolation exercise demonstrations that follow are examples of some very basic
isolation exercises, including start and finish pictures and instructions on how to
perform them correctly. Remember: Isolation exercises are single-joint exercises
that work primarily one muscle, i.e., curls, extensions, raises, flys, reverse flys, etc.
The exercises shown below are:

Leg curls
Leg extensions
DB fly
Pec deck or Pec Fly Machine
Prone DB Raise
DB side raises
Biceps curls
Triceps press-downs

These are just a few of the literally hundreds of isolation exercises and variations
thereof. The ones shown below are not meant to be performed together as a routine,
but are merely examples of isolation exercises.

With these isolation exercise demonstrations and instructions, you will better
understand the difference between isolation and compound exercises and why you
need to perform both kinds.
It is my hope that with this better understanding you can plan a strength training
program utilizing these basic strength training exercises more appropriately, and,
thus, more effectively and safely.
You should read the guidelines of strength training and check with your doctor before
beginning your resistance program.
Notice how there is only one joint movement involved in the execution of each
For instance with flys: The arms stay locked in a slightly bent position thereby
stabilizing the elbow joint and initiating single joint movement at the shoulders.
For curls and extensions: The only movement is at the elbow or knee joint whilst the
other joints stay locked in a stabilizing position throughout the exercise.
Because you are only utilizing single-joint movement, you are better able to isolate a
particular muscle group such as quadriceps in a leg extension, hamstrings in leg
curls, biceps in biceps curls and triceps in triceps extensions.
Now, do you see why these are called isolation exercises?


Leg curls-This is a seated leg curl machine. It works primarily the hamstrings (the
back of the upper leg).

Starting Position: Adjust the back rest so that the knees align with the axis or red
dot and the pad rests on the back of the lower leg or calf. Movement: Exhale as you
slowly press the pad down by bending the knees and pretend you are going to try
and touch your butt with the pad. Slowly return to the start for desired amount of
Back to the top.

Leg extensions-This is the seated leg extensions machine. It works primarily the
quadriceps (the front of the upper leg). There is controversy that it is hard on the
knees and is not very functional. It is still very widely used.

Starting Position: Set the back rest in a position that puts your knees in alignment
with the axis or red dot on the machine and set the lower leg pad at just above the
top of the shoe on the lower ankle. Your knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle.
Movement: Exhale as you slowly straighten your legs to a soft lock position. Pause
and squeeze the quadriceps. Inhale and slowly return to the start position. Repeat
for the desired amount of reps.
Back to the top.

DB fly-This can be done flat, incline, or decline and works primarily the chest. Here I
am demonstrating an incline DB fly.

Starting Position: Lie on your back on an incline bench; hold a dumbbell in each
hand above your shoulders with your elbows locked in a slightly bent position as
shown. Movement: Inhale as you move the dumbbells away from each other and
lower them towards the floor. Exhale as you slowly return the dumbbells to the
starting position. Repeat as required. Tips: As you lower the dumbbells keep a slight
bend locked into the elbows. Picture making a circle with the arms at the top of the
move and opening the circle as you lower the dumbbells, keeping the wrists straight
and keeping the elbows flared throughout.
Back to the top.

Pec deck or Pec Fly Machine-This is the machine version of the DB fly and works

primarily the chest.

Starting Position: Adjust the pads (using pin above head) at a distance that allows
for a good stretch across the chest, being careful not to strain, without the weight
stack touching between reps. Sit with good posture and your feet flat on the floor or
against the foot stand, whichever is more comfortable for you. Allow your head and
neck to rest upon the bench for support. Wrap your arms around the pads at about
chest height with your palms facing the floor. Movement: Exhale as you slowly
squeeze pads together, pausing and squeezing for a second as the pads touch.
Inhale as you slowly return to the start position and repeat for the desired amount of
Back to the top.

Prone DB Raise-This works primarily the posterior delts (rear shoulders) and can be
done on the reverse pec deck machine or prone with DBs as shown.

Starting Position: Adjust bench in incline position as shown. Lie prone on bench
holding dumbbells in a palms facing each other position. Movement: Keeping elbows
in a slightly bent position, retract shoulder blades as you raise the dumbbells to
about shoulder height. Pause and squeeze shoulder blades together and return to
starting position. Repeat for desired amount of reps. Tip: Perform these as you
would perform a standing side lateral dumbbell raise, except you are lying face
Back to the top.

DB side raises-This works the deltoids (shoulders) and can be done with DBs or
cables; there are also many brands of side raise exercise machines, i.e., Nautilus,
Hammer Strength, etc.

Starting Position: Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Grasp
dumbbells with palms facing each other and arms hanging to side. Keep a slight
bend locked into the elbows throughout the move. Movement: Raise the dumbbells
to shoulder height, trying to keep everything parallel to the floor at the top of the
move. Slowly return to the start position and repeat for desired amount of reps.
Tips: Avoid urge to bend or straighten elbows during the lift. Keep a slight bend
locked in the elbow as if arm is in a cast and envision a flapping-wings motion. At the
top of the move, slightly turn dumbbell so that pinky finger is slightly higher than the
Back to the top.

Biceps curls-This can be done with DBs, barbells, cable, machine, etc., in a wide
variety of ways. It targets the biceps (front of the upper arm).

Starting Position: Sit on an upright bench with arms straight and dumbbells
hanging to your side, palms facing forward. Movement: Bend the elbows raising the
weight as high as you can without moving the upper arm forward, keeping elbows in
direct alignment underneath your shoulders throughout the move. Return to the start
position and repeat for desired amount of reps. Tips: Exhale as you raise the weight
up. Avoid the urge to curl your wrists or to move the upper arms forward at the top
of the move.
Back to the top.

Triceps press-downs (done correctly)-This is done standing at a high cable

machine and can use a wide variety of handles, i.e., rope, V-bar, straight bar, etc.
and it targets the triceps (back of the upper arm).

Starting Position: Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent and
locked in front of high cable using a V-bar. With arms bent at a 90 degree angle,
grasp bar on back of palm with thumbs up and over the top of the bar using a loose
grip, as shown in picture. Movement: Press bar down until elbows are at a soft lock.
Pause and squeeze triceps and return to the start position and repeat for desired
amount of reps. Tips: Keep upper arms back and in close to the body with elbows in
direct alignment beneath the shoulders throughout the move.
Back to the top.

I have only scratched the surface of the myriad choices of exercises, be they isolation or compound.
It should also be noted that it is possible to perform all of the above or some version of them with
resistance bands. With so many exercise choices, you should never be bored with your workout.
If you want me to design your workouts specifically to meet your personal needs and goals, and have
them delivered right to your email, be sure and check out my online personal training.

Compound Exercise Demonstrations

Following are some very basic compound exercise demonstrations, including start
and finish pictures and instructions on how to perform them correctly. Remember:
Compound exercises are double-joint exercises that work more than one muscle at a
time, i.e., presses, pull-ups, pull-downs, rows, squats, lunges, leg presses, etc. The
exercise demonstrations shown below are:

DB (dumbbell) Chest Press

DB Shoulder Press
Lat Pull-downs
Bent-over DB Rows
Swiss Ball Wall Squats
Anchored Reverse Lunges
Leg Press

These are just a few of the literally hundreds of compound exercises and variations
thereof. The ones shown below are not meant to be performed together as a routine,
but are merely examples of compound exercises. With these compound exercise

demonstrations and instructions, you will better understand the difference between
compound and isolation exercises and why you need to perform both kinds.
It is my hope that with this better understanding, you can plan a strength training
program utilizing these basic strength training exercises more appropriately, and,
thus, more effectively and safely.
You should read the guidelines of strength training and check with your doctor before
beginning your resistance program.
Notice how there are at least 2 joint movements involved in the execution of each
Also note that each upper body exercise, though meant to target primarily bigger
muscles such as chest, back, or shoulders, must utilize the arms in order to be
performed. Therefore, for the most part, the upper body compound exercises utilize
all the upper body muscle groups; likewise, the lower body exercises utilize all the
lower body muscle groups.
It should be duly noted, however, that particular compound exercises do put more
emphasis on specific muscle groups, i.e., the chest press on the chest and the
shoulder press on the shoulders.
Now, do you see why these are called COMPOUND exercises?

COMPOUND EXERCISE DEMONSTRATIONS :Dumbbell Chest Press-These may be done flat, incline, or decline. There are also
many brands of chest press exercise machines, i.e., Nautilus, Hammer Strength, etc.
Primary muscle group worked-Chest.

Starting Position: Place an adjustable bench in the flat position. Hold the dumbbells
just above shoulder height, keeping the weight distributed in a straight line directly
above the elbows as shown in picture. Movement: Exhale as you slowly straighten
the arms to a soft lock position (almost straight) at the top, pressing the weight up
to touch at the top. Reverse this arching motion on the way back down and repeat
for desired amount of reps. Tips: Exhale as you press the weight up and keep the
wrists as straight as possible. Try to use the chest muscles instead of the arms. This
is tricky, so focus and remember practice makes perfect. Optional: Bringing the feet

up on the bench helps protect your lower back. You may opt to keep your feet flat on
the floor.
Back to the top.

DB Shoulder Press-These may be done with dumbbells, barbells, the Smith

machine, or a number of other brands of machine, i.e., Nautilus, Hammer Strength,
etc. Primary muscle group worked-Shoulders.

Starting Position: Place a seated bench in the upright position. Allow the bench to
support your head and neck with your head resting against the bench and feet flat
on the floor. Hold the dumbbells in each hand at just above shoulder height. Be sure
weight is distributed in a straight line directly above the elbows. Movement: With
palms facing away from you press the weight straight up until arms are extended
overhead. Lower and repeat for the desired number of reps.
Back to the top.

Pull-ups-These are very difficult and require an enormous amount of upper body
strength. They can be done in a modified style to build up strength in order to
become strong enough to do free style. I am demonstrating the modified style, the
Smith Pull-up. Primary muscle group worked-Back.

Starting Position: Set the bar on the Smith Machine at desired height. (The lower
the bar, the greater the difficulty.) Take a wide, overhand grip keeping elbows in soft
lock at bottom of move. Lie beneath the bar with the bar just above the chest. Keep
body straight from head to toe with a soft lock in knees throughout. Movement:
Exhale as you slowly bend arms and raise body towards the bar nearly touching
chest to bar. Inhale as you slowly return to start position for desired number of reps.
Back to the top.

Lat Pull-downs These should be done pulling only to the front since the back pulldown has been proven to be dangerous for your shoulders and neck. Primary muscle
group worked-Upper/mid Back.

Starting Position: Grasp the bar just past the bend on each side with thumbs up
and over the bar. Allow upper body to feel a good stretch and keep a slight natural
arch in the lower back throughout the move. Movement: Slightly lean back as you
pull the bar down to the upper chest. Pause and slowly return to the start position
while bringing body back up completely straight for the stretch in the lats (upper
back). Repeat for the desired number of reps. Tips: Envision bringing the chest up to
meet the bar and keep chin slightly tilted up throughout.
Back to the top.

Bent-over DB Rows-These can be done with dumbbells, Smith machine, barbells,

various machines and apparatuses. I am demonstrating the Bent-over DB row.
Primary muscle group worked-Back.

Starting Position: Place one hand and the same-side knee on an exercise bench,
the foot of the opposite leg on the floor, and the hand on that side of the body
holding a dumbbell in your hand, hanging at arms length below your shoulder at a
slight angle as shown. Movement: Exhale as you pull the dumbbell upward in a
slight angle until it touches your lower ribs/outer waist as if starting a lawnmower or
sawing. Inhale as you lower the dumbbell slowly to the starting position. Repeat for
desired amount of reps. Switch sides and repeat. Tips: Be sure to keep arm/elbow in
tight and as close to the body as possible as you raise the dumbbell. Think good
posture, keeping a natural slight arch in your lower back and flat upper back
Back to the top.

Swiss Ball Wall Squats-There are many variations of the squat. I prefer these
because of the lumbar spine (lower back) support that the Swiss ball provides. These
work the entire lower body--Quads (front of upper leg), Hams (back of upper leg),
and Glutes or butt.

Starting Position: Position an exercise ball between your middle/lower back and a
wall. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly outward.
Distribute your body weight equally between both feet and lean back against the
ball. Movement: Inhale, keeping your heels in contact with the floor at all times,
slowly lower into a squat position while rolling the ball up your back. Exhale as you
slowly straighten your legs, keeping your head and chest up, returning to the
starting position. Repeat as required. Tips: Squat down as low as if you were going
to touch your butt to a chair and then return to the upright position. You may hold a
dumbbell (as shown) for added resistance or increased level of difficulty.
Back to the top.

Anchored Reverse Lunges-There are several forms of the lunge. I am

demonstrating an anchored reverse lunge. Primary muscle group worked-Glutes,
Hams, Quads.

Starting Position: Stand with your feet hip width apart and a slight bend in your
knees. Grip a stable handle that can support your weight and slightly hang
backwards, keeping your body in a straight position as shown in the picture with both
arms extended out in front of you. Movement: Inhale as you take a large step back
and lower yourself down until your front knee has a 90-degree bend in it. Exhale as

you press yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat with other leg, alternating
sides for desired amount of reps.
Back to the top.

Leg press-This is only one of many types of Leg press machines. Primary muscle
group worked-Glutes, Hams, Quads.

Starting Position: Adjust back rest as low as it will go (or to comfort) and adjust
sled setting underneath hips so that you can achieve a 90 degree angle with the
knees without the weight stack touching as shown in picture. Place feet in desired
position (close together, wide apart, etc.) with toes slightly pointed out. Movement:
Exhale as you slowly straighten legs until knees are in a soft lock (slightly bent)
position. Inhale and slowly return to start position for desired number of reps.
Back to the top.

I have only scratched the surface of the myriad choices of exercises, be they isolation or compound.
It should also be noted that it is possible to perform all of the above or some version of them with
resistance bands. With so many exercise choices, you should never be bored with your workout.
If you want me to design your workouts specifically to meet your personal needs and goals, and have
them delivered right to your email, be sure and check out my online personal training.

Strength Training Routines

Below are some sample strength training routines. With the video demonstrations of
each workout, you will see the proper execution of each exercise, thereby learning
proper form and technique.
Be sure and read the strength training guidelines before actually beginning your
I have included a demonstration of the appropriate stretch between each exercise in
the first video; this way you can do some flexibility conditioning utilizing an active
rest of 30-60 seconds between sets.

To see more video workouts by me, go to my You Tube channel at You can subscribe to my channel while you're there if you
wish, and they will notify you every time I submit a new video. How cool is that? And
it's free! Even better! Enjoy!!

NOVICE TOTAL BODY WORKOUT (with accompanying stretches)

Perform 1 set of 8-12 reps for first week. Beginning 2nd week you may do 2 sets.
Begin with light weights until you have mastered proper form and technique. Then
choose a weight that makes the last 2 repetitions very challenging, yet still doable in
good form.

Machine chest press

Shoulder press
Lat pull-down
Seated biceps curl
Triceps press-downs
Leg press
Inner/outer thigh
Heel raises
Oblique crunches
Back extensions


Perform 2-3 sets each of 8-12 repetitions. Choose weights that make the last 2 reps
very challenging, yet still doable in good form.

Dumbbell chest press

Pec fly machine
Smith machine pull-ups
Cable row
Shoulder press
DB side raise
EZ bar biceps curls
Lying DB triceps extensions

Core (Abs and lower back) Intermediate Core Workout

Perform 2-3 sets each of up to 25 repetitions.
Superset the first two exercises. This means go from the Hanging Leg Raises

immediately into the Cable Ball Crunches. Rest about 1 minute and then repeat for 2
to 3 sets. Then go on to perform the Swiss Ball Side Raises, being sure to do 2-3
sets on each side. Finally, finish up with 2 to 3 sets of the Back Hyperextensions as
shown. Enjoy!

Hanging leg raises (Regular and Oblique)

Cable Swiss Ball crunches (Regular and Oblique)
Swiss Ball Side Raises
Swiss Ball Back Hyperextensions


Perform 2-3 sets each of 8-15 repetitions. Choose weights that make the last 2 reps
very challenging, yet still doable in good form.

Leg Extensions
Leg Curls
Outer Thigh
Inner Thigh
Leg Press
One-legged Kickups
Hanging Anchored Reverse Lunges
Triple Threats
Heel Raises

Stretching Demonstrations
The stretching demonstrations below are the most basic stretches and can be easily
done between strength training sets. You have to rest for about a minute anyway, so
might as well stretch the muscle you just worked. Try it!
Or you may do them as a stretching routine before, during, or after your strength
training as a cool-down or warm-up.
In that case it could look a little something like this:

Just remember to never stretch a cold muscle, so 5 or 10 minutes of moderate

cardio will suffice as a precursor for stretching. Also, never stretch past the point of
comfort. Just stretch. It feels good and its good for you.
Dissect the above routine and it looks a little something like:

Standing double anchored chest stretch

Stand between two stable objects and reach high so that the upper arm is a bit
higher than parallel to the floor. Anchor arms and lean forward for a nice stretch
across the chest and hold for 30 seconds.

Standing single anchored chest stretch

Anchor left arm on stable platform with upper arm slightly higher than parallel to floor. Gently twist
torso away feeling a good stretch across the left side of the chest area. Hold 30 seconds and repeat on
other side.

Behind the back shoulder stretch

In a standing position, reach behind and clasp fingers (thumbs facing floor) and gently pull up. Hold for
30 seconds.

Standing double upper back stretch

Hold onto stable platform, bend knees, and hang for 30 seconds. Focus on feeling stretch in upper

Standing biceps stretch

Reach behind with both arms, turning thumbs up with palms facing back, pause and turn thumbs up
with palms facing forward or up. Hold for 30 seconds in both positions focusing on feeling the stretch
in upper arms.

Standing triceps stretch

Reach up with one arm and bend at elbow bringing hand down behind the neck. Grasp hand with other
hand and gently pull, holding for 30 seconds. Repeat on other arm, focusing on feeling the stretch in

Standing hamstring stretch

Elevate right foot on stable platform and gently lean directly over that leg. Keep upper back flat (do
not hump shoulders)with slight natural arch in lower back. Think good posture throughout. The
straighter the knee in the right leg, the greater the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with left

Standing quad stretch

Hold onto something stable for balance and bend leg grasping the foot at the ankle and hold for 30
seconds. Repeat with other leg.

Leaning calf stretch

Stand in front of stable platform or wall. Lean against very stable platform, keeping back legs heel flat
on floor, while slightly bending that knee over toe. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on other leg.

Flexibility describes the amount of movement that can be accomplished at a joint,
such as the knee or shoulder; this is also referred to as the range of motion about
a joint.
It is an often overlooked component of fitness, which is unfortunate, because
maintaining it may help reduce the risk of injury and can also help improve
performance in many activities.
1) Increased physical efficiency and performance. A supple joint requires less energy
to move through the range of motion.
2) Decreased risk of injury. Most experts agree that a more supple joint is less likely
to exceed tissue extensibility during activity.
3) Increased blood supply and nutrients to joint structures.
4) It may also contribute to improved circulation and nutrient
transport, allowing greater elasticity in tissues.
5) Improved nutrient exchange. Range of motion exercises may increase the
quantity and decrease the viscosity, or thickness, of synovial fluid, thereby enabling
better nutrient exchange. Healthy synovial fluid also allows greater freedom of
movement and may decelerate joint degenerative processes.
6) Increased neuromuscular coordination.
7) Improved muscular balance and postural awareness.
8) Decreased risk of low-back pain.
9) Reduced muscular tension. Stretching promotes muscular relaxation.
10) Enhanced enjoyment. You are much more likely to stick with a program that you
enjoy. By relaxing both the mind and body, flexibility training increases your sense of
wellbeing and personal gratification during exercise. Not to mention, it just plain
feels good.

Just a couple of things to remember when stretching:

1) Never stretch past the point of comfort.
2) Always do static (long, held) stretches (preferably 15-30 seconds). Ballistic
stretching (bouncy, jerky) movements are more risky and should only be done for
sports specific training and not usually by general population.

Although there is continuing controversy over which stretching exercises are best,
whether to stretch before or after exercise, or just how much to stretch, I believe
that if you adhere to the above rules you will reap the benefits of improved flexibility
and enhanced wellbeing.
At the very least, you can stretch between sets when strength training. You have to
rest for 30 to 60 seconds anyway. Why not spend that time stretching the muscle
you just worked? I find that it also helps you keep your focus on what you are doing
and which muscle group you are working while strength training.
And oh yeah, did I mention how good it feels? Well, it does! So come on and join me
in a stretch.
Go here for illustrations of the basic stretches for every major muscle group. See,
there really are no more excuses. Let's stretch like there's no tomorrow, baby!


There are many different cardio modes of exercise. A few examples are brisk
walking, jogging, running, treadmill, biking, stationary cycling, elliptical machines,
swimming, jumping rope, aerobic classes, climbing stairs, etc. The key is finding the
one you will enjoy (or for some, that you will hate the least) and do it consistently.
You may want to give this some thought when deciding which of the aforementioned
activities you will choose: Walking for 30 minutes will burn
approximately 180 calories, whilst 30 minutes on an elliptical
machine can burn more like 300 calories. Yes, it is a bit tougher, but I, personally,
would rather work a bit harder for less time and a better calorie burn. However, you
can increase your calorie burn by adding sprinting, hills, or an incline to your
There are many ways to skin a cat. (I love cats. This is just a figure of speech. I
would never dream of skinning a cat.)

So what I mean to say is there are lots of ways to do cardio.

Let's explore a few, shall we?
This is the long duration (usually 45 minutes to an hour) at moderate intensity way. The theory behind
this is that you burn more calories from fat than carbs and it is easier on the joints; hence, older, less
fit bodies who may not be able to handle high intensity workouts may find this more suitable.
ATTENTION: Just be sure not to be lulled into complacency with this longer duration. You
still need to reach a training heart rate zone.
You can split the time up with cross training. This is done by mixing it up with a couple of modes,
i.e., 60 minutes of cardio can be split into 20 minutes on the stationary bike, 20 minutes on the
treadmill, and 20 on the elliptical. It's a great way to stave off boredom.

Tip: I like to read while doing cardio so that I forget about the time. It makes me feel doubly
productive. Some people like to watch TV while exercising. Anything that will help you hang in there
until your time is up has got to be a good thing.
This involves alternating relatively more intense bouts with less intense ones such as walking and
running on a treadmill or changing intensity levels on an elliptical machine every few minutes. Click
here for a sample or two of interval training routines.
Then there is HIIT training, which stands for high intensity interval training. This is done by
alternating short burst of high intensity with active recovery, which is typically a less intense form of
the original activity, i.e., warm up for 5 minutes then do 1 minute at high intensity and 2 minutes at
moderate, then back to 1 minute high, etc. for the duration of anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes then
cool down for around 5 minutes. You can be creative with those parameters.
Then there is the extreme HIIT cardio mode where you do intervals of short bursts where you go as
hard as you can for 15-30 seconds and slow down to a moderate pace for 1-3 minutes until your
heart rate returns to about 45% to 50% of max heart rate and then do another 15-30 second all out,
and keep up that pattern for a duration of no longer than 20 minutes. TIP: This is not for sissies. It
is intense!!!
HIIT has gained in popularity since studies purport that the exercisers metabolism reaches a
more heightened state for a longer period of time after high intensity intervals, assuring the
performer of continued fat burning effects. Cardiovascular conditioning is achieved much sooner
according to studying physicians. Obviously, this is not for a beginner or someone in poor physical
condition. You will want to have been exercising for a couple of months before trying this mode.

The way I see it, it couldnt hurt to throw HIIT into your routine a couple of times a week in the place
of a 45-60 minute routine. Lets see 12-20 minutes versus 60you do the math. Almost sounds to
good to be true, but studies sayand people are swearing by it. I am trying it as we speak, as I
recently started a HIIT routine twice weekly along with a couple of 45-60 minute routines per week. I
will cast my vote in a few months.
Choice of cardio routine is a personal preference type of thing. This whole exercise experience really is
one big fat experiment, pun intended, because people are like snowflakesno two are exactly alike and
we all react a little differently to things. Thats why one cookie cutter exercise routine doesnt work for
everybody. So just experiment and try new things. The main thing is to do something. Get off the
couch!! Put down that candy bar and MOVE!!
pal's cat, Jack. Isn't she cute? Here is another picture of her (skin intact) playing with my Christmas
present to her. I think she liked it, what do you think? Too bad I can't bottle her energy. We'd all be
having some awesome workouts and I'd be rich for sure.


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has instituted a
list of cardiovascular fitness guidelines, which I have listed for you
The 3 basic components to any exercise conditioning session are warm-up,
conditioning stimulus, & cool-down.
Warm-up & cool-down performed at approximately 50% of stimulus intensity
(hold conversation without much difficulty).
Warm-up & cool-down may take 5-15 minutes, depending on age & fitness level.
Accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most
days of the week. (Intermittent activities have same health benefits as continuous
Frequency: 3-5 days a week.
Intensity: 50-85% of heart rate maximum (220 - age x .50 to .85) or 60-80%
heart rate reserve (220 age - resting heart rate x .60 to .80 + resting heart rate).
Note: Be sure and see the "caution" concerning the 220-minus-age theory on the
Target Heart Rate page.
Duration: 20-60 or more minutes per session, continuous or intermittent activity.
If you are very de-conditioned you may even need to split it up into several 10minute segments. Like Nike says, JUST DO IT! Increase your duration by 5 minutes a
week until you reach your desired amount.
Type: Aerobic (run, brisk walk, swim, cross-country ski, dance, elliptical trainer,
cycling, stationary bike, etc.)
The 3 stages of cardiorespiratory training: Initial, Improvement, Maintenance.
Progression of both intensity and duration in a single session is not
recommended. Increase the duration first before increasing the intensity. If you can
complete an exercise session at the upper level of frequency and duration for 2
weeks without signs of excessive fatigue, progress to the next level.

If training is discontinued, gains in fitness regress by approximately 50% within

4-12 weeks.
If weight loss is your goal, frequent, enjoyable exercise periods of low to
moderate intensity and relatively long duration result in the largest weekly caloric
Stay within your heart rate range. Monitor through a heart rate monitor or
manually at carotid artery on neck or radial artery on thumb side of wrist.

If you're ready to begin your aerobic training, click here to learn how to get started. There's no time
like the present. However, be sure and check with your doctor before starting any new exercise