In May 2012, I began my fitness plan with the Insanity Workout. I finished it with great results(strengthened my whole body and I lost 20 pounds), but because it is such a high-intensity program and really beats up your body, there is no way I wanted to continue that for the long term.
So instead, I’m currently following Body for Life® ‘s exercise program. I was able to talk with my sister-in-law, Lyndsy, about it for quite a while, and after seeing how great it has worked for her, I decided to try it out for myself!
Each week, I alternate weight-training and cardio workouts for six consecutive days and I rest on Sunday. Here is the schedule I’m following every two weeks:
The following chart describes Body for Life’s cardio routine:
Their website describes the 20-minute cardio workout like this:
- Warm up the first 2 minutes at Intensity Level 5
- Minutes 2-3 move from Intensity Level 5 to 6
- Minutes 4-5, 6-10 and 11-14 work your way from Intensity Level 6 to Level 9, maintain for one minute.
- Minutes 15-19 work your way from Intensity Level 6 to Level 10 (High Point at Level 10), maintain for one minute.
- Minute 20 cool down to Intensity Level 5 for one minute.
Cardio exercises can be any exercise that raises and maintains your heart rate over a predetermined amount of time such as the following:
♦ Walking/jogging fast (with Chloe in the stroller…on hills)
♦ Stair Climber
Although Body for Life doesn’t advise this, sometimes on my weight training days, I will also do cardio… it depends what my body feels like on those days. I may also do cardio for more than 20 minutes on my cardio days.
For every major muscle group in upper and lower body, I only perform two exercises. I rotate which two exercises I choose for a given muscle group so that my body never gets accustomed to the same one.
For the first exercise of a muscle group, I will perform 5 sets using these repetitions: 12x, 10x, 8x, 6x, 12x. I rest for about 30-60 seconds in-between each set. For the first set I will start with a lighter weight and then with each following set I will increase my weight, except for the very last set. For the final set of 12 reps, I will go back to the original lighter weight. Increasing weight with each set is known as pyramiding and works well for building muscle.
For the second exercise of a muscle group, I will only perform 1 set of 12 repetitions using a lighter weight.
Below is a list of all the weight training exercises that I do for upper and lower body. As shown in the chart above, I do upper and lower body weight training exercises on separate days.
Bench Press (Barbell or smith machine)
Fly (Dumbbells on Bench)
Cable crossovers (like the Hulk!)
Upright Row (Barbell or Cable)
Side Lateral Raise (Dumbbells)
Front Lateral Raise (Dumbbells)
Standing Reverse Dumbbell Fly
Plank Reverse Dumbbell Fly
Tricep Dip (Using 2 benches, or the pull-up machine)
Standing Cable Press-down
Tricep Kickback (kneeling on bench)
Standing Dumbbell Curl
Angled Bench Dumbbell Curl
Against wall Dumbbell Curl
Arnold Schwarzenegger Curl
Wide Grip Pull-up
Wide Grip Lat Pull-down
Seated Cable Row
Plank Position Dumbbell Row
Hammer Strength Back Extensions
Weighted Wide Leg Stance Squats (Smith Machine)
Weighted Normal Stance Squats (Smith)
Leg Press (Machine)
Leg Extension (Machine)
Reverse Dumbbell Lunges
Seated Inner Thigh Machine
Straight Leg Dead Lifts (Barbell)
Leg Curl Machine
Calf Raise (Leg Press Machine)
Leg lifts (Lying on the edge of a bench)
Ab Coaster (Machine)
Hammer Strength Oblique Extensions
Hanging Knee Raises (Captain’s Chair)
Mountain Climber Plank
Printable Weight Training Chart:
If you are interested in printing a chart of these exercises to bring with you to the gym, here are two weight training charts I made for keeping track of your upper and lower body exercises, weights, sets and reps:
Upper Body Weight Training Chart
Lower Body Weight Training Chart
Preview of Weight Training Chart:
Just as a final note, remember not to overwork yourself or use weights that are too heavy for you! Hurting yourself will only result in you not being able to exercise, pushing your goals even further away.