Strength training help

Hi all! (Is it strange to have a greeting? Maybe it is. Mixing it up, trying new things!)

I had a pretty great week; nothing fancy or special. Just busy, productive, good workouts, great sleep (yoga nidra, people). Jon submitted very extensive applications for two awesome photography/ multimedia jobs. Like, 10+ pages of essay questions when all was said and done. For the initial application. Seems crazy to me. Anyway, he’s been writing all week and I spent a few evenings reading over it all (P.S. Jon knows his shit and I’d totally hire him).

I’m also ramping up my strength training lately, and can use all the tips I can get! I’m using free weights and a resistance machine, and I’m generally doing 50 total reps for each move (usually doing sets of 10 at a time). Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

I want shoulders like this.

I want shoulders like this.


• This 12:00 core tabata from Melissa Bender Fitness.
• 50 reps additional abs work and 50 reps back extensions.
• Brief crow and side crow balances.
• Finished with some easy stretching for my sore legs.


Part I: TM cardio – 2 miles, 20:00 (9:54 pace)
2% incline for most of this, 3% for about a 1/4 mile. Warm today!

Part II: weights – 40:00

50 each: {upper body} 50 each: {lower body}
• rows | 120#, 120#, 110#, 110#, 110#
• lat pull downs | 70#, 70#, 60#, 60#, 50#
• chest press | 50#, 40#, 40#, 30#, 30#
• overhead triceps dips | 20#
• basic curls | #10
• dumbbell chest press pulse | #20
• full pushups
• straight leg triceps dips
• lunges | 40#
• squats | 40#
• deadlifts | 40#
(15 each single leg, 20 double leg)
• squat jumps


• Intermediate vinyasa flow – 50:00
I’ve done this class several times and enjoy and pace, background noise and the level. Really really nice. Also did 50 full pushups for some extra shoulder work.


• Sun salutation A and B – 15:00
Just a quick sun salutation A and B on my rest day. 🙂


Part I: HIIT from Melissa Bender – 15:00
Well actually, more low impact, or LIIT. I took out the squat jumps and burpees because I have neighbors below and did squat pulses, kettlebell swings and deadlifts instead.

Part II: weights – 30:00
At home with my limited free weights. This was too heavy for the lateral raises, so I kept the movements smaller. This worked my shoulders hard!

50 each: {upper body} 50 each: {lower body}
• lateral raises, front | 10#
• lateral raises, side | 10#
• raises, back | 10#
• shoulder rolls | 10#
• basic curls | 10#
• overhead triceps dips | 15# kettlebell
• dumbbell chest press pulse | 15# kettlebell
• in table top position,
single-leg leg lifts, pulses
and cross over lifts | 50 each leg
• same thing to each side for
outer hips | 50 each leg

Part III: yoga – 30:00
I began the evening the a 10 minute sun salutation C to loosen up. After finished my weight workout, I did some tree pose into lord of the dance pose for a leg balance and back work. Then I spend significant time in arm balances: crow, side crow, pose dedicated to the sage koundinya I, shoulder-pressing pose, firefly pose, tripod headstand and supported headstand. My arms, shoulders, back and core are going to SORE tomorrow after everything tonight!

Sheesh that was alot to put in! Nothing interesting from instagram this week, so I’ll leave you with a dog who’s more excited to use a treadmill than I am these days.


How was your week?
Did summer hit with a vengeance where you are?

I’m totally figuring out this strength training/weights/resistance machine stuff as I go, so any tips?

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8 Responses to Strength training help

  1. Heavy weights, less reps. You have to tear muscles up so they can grow and your body only physiologically changes (gets stronger, builds muscle) in states of extreme fatigue. Short, intense workouts (15 minutes-ish) with weights that could force you to failure are going to help you out the most. Yoga is a great addition to any program, so stick with it!
    Meredith @FitNiceRunner recently posted…2014 EquiKids 5K and Run with the HoundsMy Profile

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      Thanks! I hadn’t figured out if more weight/less reps or less weight/more reps is best. Less reps – i.e. less time – makes me happy!

  2. I don’t do that many reps anymore, Larissa.
    I used to do it for one week when in contest prep just to work the deeper muscle fibers for a change.
    Now, I prefer intermediary reps (from 10 up to 15 for most exercises) or till failure so that I can build more mass.
    Debbie Rodrigues recently posted…Friday Five : Five Reasons to Plan AheadMy Profile

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      I knew I would get some great advice! Less reps, less time on the workouts, more mass and definition… sounds great to me. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Lindsey says:

    I need to do better with the whole strength training thing. I’ve been trying to do the 15 minute Get Focused workouts from the Nike Training Club app and I think it’s helping, but man are they tough! I can’t wait until I can power through them! How are you liking the DC area?!
    Lindsey recently posted…Friday Five: MADDUX!!My Profile

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      If those are like HIIT workouts, then yes, I totally feel ya! They always leave me dripping sweat. I love incorporating workouts like that (not every day, but they’re great to mix things up). Melissa Bender is usually my first stop because she has a ton of videos and lots of bodyweight-only workouts.

      So far we love DC! Only been here about 5 months, so still exploring and meeting people. Definitely feel good about settling here for a while.

  4. Wow lots of good workouts here – I’ll have to try that vinyasa flow video. I’m trying to get more into yoga. As someone above mentioned, I’d focus on doing less reps with heavier weights, to focus on form and build some muscle!
    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal recently posted…Peanut Butter Bee’s Knees GiveawayMy Profile

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      Perfect, I love this consensus. 🙂 That video is one of my favorites I’ve found for free. It’s long enough to be more like a full class, a good intermediate level and the setting is so peaceful. Some days I can’t do everything, but it’s a good measure of progress too!

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