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Weight Lifting WorkoutsUsing weights is one of the best ways to get back into shape. But what happens if you have been out of the game for a while and you’re not really sure where to start? Well, there’s plenty of beginning weight lifting workouts out there. Too much in fact.

You might try to look up the best workouts and come across hundreds of weight lifts to do.

All of that has probably left you swimming a bit, which is exactly why you need to look for something a bit more streamlined.

We’ve got that for you right here.

We’ll get into some basic weight lifting workouts that you may even be able to do at home.

This way, whether you have picked up some weights off of a local garage sale or you just signed up for a gym membership, you’ll have everything you need to begin right here. 

Workout Schedule

Before we dive into some of the weight lifting workouts, let’s consider the best workout schedule.

A workout schedule is necessary to follow as it both keeps you hitting all of your muscles, and it helps prevent you from overworking other muscles.

You want to regularly engage your muscles but you also don’t want to overwork groups. This prevents full muscle recovery and growth, stunting your ability to recover and perform. 

There are a few schedule options, which you can perform based on the kind of lifting you’re doing. We’ll go over each briefly and then you can decide which works. Weight Lifting Workouts

Traditional Weight Lifting Workouts

First, there’s the more traditional weight lifting workouts. This is where you train your upper body on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and your legs on Tuesday and Thursday.

This is an okay workout if you’re only doing one or two lifts per muscle group and you’re not lifting heavy.

For example, perhaps you’re using lighter weights to tone your muscles and not build strength or size. If that’s the case this workout can work for you.

This is because you’re not doing much in the way of damage. It’s more along the line of intensive cardio.

Either way, if you’re lifting light, this schedule works. 

Modern Weight Lifting Workouts

The second option is the more modern weight lifting workouts. This is where you train a different muscle group each day.

This is a great option if you’re hitting each muscle group with five or more lifts.

This way, you can do chest on Monday, legs on Tuesday, back on Wednesday, cardio on Thursday, arms on Friday and shoulders on Saturday.

Of course, you can mix and match those days and slip in cardio days when you need a break or when certain muscle groups are still sore.

By hitting your muscles hard and then giving each a week to recover, you’ll help increase size and strength size.

The problem with lifting big and then returning two days later is your muscles will not recover.

If you’ve ever done a heavy squat set one day and then attempted to do it two days later, your body is still recovering and you not only lift less, but it hurts to do it. 

The Push, Pull, Leg Weight Lifting Routine

The third option is breaking the lifts into a push, pull, leg routine.

This means on one day all of the lifts you’re doing is pushing the weight away from your body.

This includes a bench press and shoulder press. A pull day includes lifts where you’re pulling the weight toward you, such as a lat pulldown or a curl.

You won’t have as much rest and recovery time with this schedule, but it’s a great way to hit different muscles on a given day while organizing the lifts by how your joints move while you’re lifting (Harvard Health, 2015). 

Sets And Reps For Weight Lifting Workouts

This is a general rule you can use for most of your lifts.

You will break down the number of reps per set based on whether you want to increase in size, increase in strength, or just tone your muscles. 

First, if you’re lifting to increase strength you want to go with the heaviest weight and the fewest reps of any of the other two lifting methods.

Ideally, you’ll shoot for around four to six reps per set (perform the major lifts four times and secondary lifts two to three times).

However, if you can do more than six reps doing a given set keep going.

Always lift until failure. It just means you need to increase the weight the next set. 

The second option is if you want to increase your size.

You’ll still increase strength (and with the other rep numbers you’ll increase size as well, there’s just an emphasis on the other benefit), but this is when you want to build size.

Here you’ll shoot for eight to 12 reps per set.

Again, if you can do more, continue to failure, then increase your weight. If you can’t hit eight you’re lifting too heavy and reduce the weight. 

The third option is if you want to tone your muscles but don’t want to gain strength or size.

When this is the case do each exercise twice and shoot for 15 to 20 reps.

You don’t need to go until failure here (as you can probably do many more than 20 reps). It’s more about keeping your muscles engaged than anything else (Medicine Net, 2017). 


The chest is one of the easier weight lifting workouts to hit.

That’s because the muscle is front and center without much in the way of curvatures.

However, there are a few angles you need to hit your chest in to make sure you maximize the impact of your chest workout. 

First, there’s the traditional bench press.

If you only do a handful of lifts, this is one of the best to do. Ideally, you’ll do it with a barbell and plate weights.

If you’re at a chain gym like Planet Fitness where there isn’t such an option you can use the Smith machines, although using free weights is desirable because it forces you to work stabilizing muscles.

But if it’s not an option you just have to use what you have access to. 

You also need to perform the incline and the decline bench press. The incline hits the top of your chest while the decline hits the bottom.

Your chest muscles are broken down into three different sections, so performing the bench press at varying angles helps hit these areas.

If you want any improvement in chest definition (both for men and women) these lifts are a must. 

Outside of the bench presses, you can go with a chest fly to finish it off.

There are two ways to do the chest fly.

One, you can use one of the machines where your arms are stretched out and you pull the bars to center.

You can also use dumbbells, lay on a bench, start with the weights extended out to your side, and swing them forward as if you’re doing a fully-extended hand clap.

Do this lift at the end of the routine to finish off your chest day. 


While building your chest and biceps might be more fun, you need to target your legs.

You have larger muscles in the legs, which means you’ll burn more calories faster.

There are also all kinds of leg lifts you can do and even more variations of the leg lifts. 

First, there is the classic squat.

With the standard squat, you want to start with your legs about shoulder width apart and lower your body down, keeping your back straight.

Lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel with the ground, then push yourself back up. 

Again, ideally, you’ll do this with a barbell for maximum weight.

You can use a dumbbell and hold it with both hands in front of you (this will work your arm grip as well), although if you’re going for strength or size gains, the barbell is the way to go. 

There are tons of variants to this lift. One of the best is the sumo squat.

The sumo squat is where you spread your legs out wide (like a sumo wrestler).

When you squat down you’ll really hit your butt with this lift. So if you want to improve your glutes at all, this is one of the very best lifts. 

Other leg exercises include the front and backward lunge.

This works both your quads and your hamstrings and is a solid lift if you don’t have access to leg extension machines. 


Out of all of the weight lifting workouts, biceps are probably the easiest muscles to work.

However, the main issue is no matter what lift you do, it’s basically going to be some kind of a curl.

For maximum muscle growth you want to force your muscles to move in different ways, but with the bicep, you need to find ways to change up the curl. 

First, there’s the regular curl.

Make sure to keep your back straight with this (you can rest your back against a wall if it helps).

Now, do a wide curl. This is where instead of holding the weight right in front of you the weight will be slightly off to each side as you curl to your shoulder.

You’ll also want to do a cross body curl, which is where with your right hand you’ll curl the weight across your left pectoral up to your right shoulder. 

Why do all of these different curl movements?

Your bicep is made up of two heads (if you flex you’ll see it forms almost a tear shape moving toward your forearm.

The point of this tear is where the heads split).

By hitting each head you’ll help expand the width of your arm and the peak of your bicep. 

Adding in an incline curl is great as it increases the stretch on your bicep.

For this just sit on an incline bench and curl.

You can also do a hammer curl if you’d like. This is where you curl the plate to your shoulder instead of the handle. This works a small muscle under your bicep that can help increase size. 

For your forearms, if you curl slowly and lower the weight down slowly you’ll increase the impact on the back of your arms.

You should also do a tricep extension (start in the top position of a hammer curl and slowly lower the weights with your arms fully extended) (WebMD, 2015). 

Shoulders And Back

These are closely knit together so you can hit both if you’d like on the same day.

With the back, you’re going to focus on your lats, which is a butterfly-shaped muscle group on your back.

The lat pull-down is one of the best exercises for this, as is the row.

You can do both of these using the cable machine (this is where having a gym membership can help as these are lifts you can’t do at home). 

For the traps, which is the area above the lats moving into your neck, heavy shoulder shrugs is a great exercise.

With this, hold heavy weights in each hand and round your shoulders.

You can also do a farmer’s walk, where you hold the weight to your side and walk for as long and as far as you can until you need to put down the weight. 

The delt muscles are your shoulders. They’re a couple weight lifting workouts for your delts. 

The shoulder shrugs and farmer’s walk will help hit these muscles. Shoulder extensions are good as well.

This is where you take a weight, hold it by your side, then, without bending your elbow, extend the weight out in front of you.

This hits the front delt. Now do it to the side. This hits the side delt.

To maximize the front delt lift you can bring the weight all the way up overhead. 

Whey Protein Alternatives


There’s never a wrong time to get back into shape and to begin working with weights.

Whether it is a New Year’s resolution or you just find it’s time to begin working out again, weightlifting is great for the body and the heart.

By following these tips and suggestions you’ll have a number of weight lifting workouts at your disposal.

 Many of these lifts you can do at home.

Wherever you decide to get your lifting in, now is the perfect time to begin working on a better you. 


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The Bench Press is probably the most popular barbell exercise in every gym. It’s an excellent upper body exercise for developing your…

  • Chest muscles
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids


Reverse Grip Bench Press


The bench press can be performed with both a barbell and dumbbells.  This tutorial will be focused on using the barbell. -Terry Asher

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The deadlift is classed as the king of all exercises when it comes to powerlifting and bodybuilding.

In order to do a deadlift, start by lifting a barbell from the ground to the hips and then lower it back to the ground. It’s a simple move, and it uses almost every muscle group in the body. It not only helps by strengthening certain muscles, but it also helps with poor posture and back pain. The deadlift helps the body  to lift anything heavy from the ground in the safest way possible. It is used by many powerlifting and bodybuilding athletes so that they can lift as much weight as possible. As powerlifting and bodybuilding has grown overtime, it has put athletes to challenge both their physical and mental toughness. This has not gone unnoticed by online bookmakers as they now have powerlifting and bodybuilding at the Olympics and at the Common Wealth Games. The deadlift is a simple exercise and a lot of people would say it’s the best exercise to work the entire body.

Deadlifts will mainly work your…

    • butt (glutes)
    • back
    • quadriceps
    • abs and obliques

The deadlift is the key lift to building muscle. Deadlifts should be done by not only men, but women as well! 

-Terry Asher

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For a full bodyweight squat you want to put your arms straight out in front of you and make sure they are parallel to the ground. Keep your spine in a neutral position during the entire exercise. You do not want to round your back while making sure you do not hyper extend and over accentuate the natural arch of your back. You could strain your back and cause serious injury, especially if you decide to add weights to the squats exercise.

Most of your weight will be on the heels and balls of your feet (imagine you are glued to the ground). To know if you are doing this part of the exercise correctly, you want to make sure you are distributing your weight to the right places. You should be able to wiggle your toes during the entire exercise.

To get the most out of the squat exercise, make sure you are keeping your whole body tight the entire time. Here are a few steps to help us breakdown squats:

  1. Bend at your hips and push your butt backwards. While your hips continue going backwards make sure your knees begin to bend.  It’s important to be conscious about starting with your hips going back and not by bending your knees.
  2. Keep your back straight and a neutral spine the entire length of your squat. You want to keep your chest and shoulders up. A good way to maintain the correct form, is to look straight ahead and find a spot or object on the wall to concentrate on; this will help with your balance as well.
  3. Now squat down, focusing on keeping your knees in line with your feet the whole time. You don’t want your knees to start to go over your toes, if they do bring them in but make sure to have your knees no wider than your feet.
  4. Squat down as far down as you can go while maintaining correct form or until your hip joint is lower than your knees (which would be parallel to the ground.) This part of the exercise you want to be focusing on your hip joint, not your legs. Remember depending on the size of your thighs, your squat may look as if you have reached your uttermost depth. I promise you can go deeper than this. But anything less than parallel is a going to be only a partial squat.
  5. Once you get to the bottom, it’s time to go back up and repeat. You have completed a full bodyweight squat.

A few tips when doing a full bodyweight squat…

  • Keep everything nice and tight, take a deep breath in and breathe out putting your weight and pressure on your heels while keeping the balls of your feet on the ground the whole time.
  • If you want to tone your butt, make sure to squeeze your butt when you return to your starting position.
  • To get the most out of the squat exercise, keep your body and core tight the entire time. It is very important to get your form down when starting. Especially because you will want to start adding weights to your squats to challenge yourself.
  • Do not get discouraged when you first start. Everyone is different, so our squats won’t look exactly the same. For example, someone with a longer femur, will squat slightly different than someone with a shorter femur, starting with their range of motion. So if your squat looks different than the person next to you, it doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong!
  • For more information, you can also check out “Do squats really work?”


-Terry Asher

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The proper way to start an overhead press is to start by standing with the bar on your shoulders. Push the bar up and over your head until your elbows are locked. Don’t use your legs and make sure to keep them straight. Then lower the bar to your shoulders and repeat.

The overhead press is a full body exercise. Your shoulders and arms are what push the weight up and over your head. Your legs, lower back and abs is what helps you maintain your balance. The overhead press is one of the best exercises to build strong and muscular shoulders as well as bigger arms. To avoid shoulder pain, you want to overhead press with a narrow grip so you don’t flare your elbows. Then you want to shrug your shoulders at the top. Push the bar up and over your head, lock your elbows and shrug your shoulders upwards towards the ceiling. This is what engages your traps and prevents shoulder injury. You’ll definitely struggle to add weight than you would on other exercises. The poorer your form is, the more you will struggle with this exercise. Which is why it’s so important to have a proper form.

You can overhead press inside your power rack if it’s tall enough for you. If it’s too low you can set the bar in the outside upright of your power rack and then unrack it. If your power rack doesn’t have outside uprights, or you simply do not have a power rack, pull the bar from the floor on to your shoulders, which is called power clean. Once the bar is on your shoulders, you can follow these simple STEPS to overhead press. Again with proper form…

  1. Put the bar on the front of your shoulders. With a narrow grip, keep your wrists straight and your forearms vertical. You want to make sure to lock your knees and hips.
  2. Raise your chest towards the ceiling by arching your upper-back. Try to touch your chin with the upper part of your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath. Hold it in and push the bar in a vertical line. You don’t want to press it in front or behind your head. You want to press it over your head.
  4. Go forward. Stay close to the bar as you press the weight up. Once the bar has passed your forehead you need to shift your torso forward.
  5. Lock it in and hold the bar over your shoulders. Lock your elbows and shrug your shoulders up to the ceiling.
  6. Return the bar to your shoulders. That is one rep.
  7. Breathe out, raise your chest and set your forearms vertical. Don’t bend your legs because you’ll take the work away from your shoulder muscles by using stronger muscles in your legs which would defeat the purpose of this exercise. You want to keep your hips and knees locked from start to finish. If you can’t lock in your knees and hips, then the weight is too heavy.

The overhead press looks dangerous because you’re putting weight right above your head, but it is a lot safer than the squat or bench press. If you aren’t able to push the weight, you can simply lower it back your shoulders. Then return it to the floor or drop the bar if you use bumper plates. Don’t worry, you won’t get stuck under the bar.


-Terry Asher

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When doing the pull-up hang on the pull-up bar. If you don’t have a pull-up bar, you can use a squat rack. Raise the uprights of the squat rack as high as you can. Then you can put the barbell in the upright position  and hang from it to do your pull-ups. You can also get a doorway pull-up bar.

Once you have a bar to hang from, follow these five simple steps to do pull-ups while keeping a proper form.

Grip the bar. You want it to be about shoulder-width apart with a full grip keeping your palms down.

    1. Now you hang. Bend your knees and raise your feet off the floor. You want to hang so your arms are straight.
    2. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down to the ground keeping your elbows close.
    3. Here’s the difficult part. Passing the bar. Pull yourself ALL the way up until your chin passes the bar. You want to make sure you do full reps to get the most out of your exercise.
    4. Repeat. Lower yourself all the way down until your arms are straight again at starting position. Breathe and pull-up again.

    If you lack the strength to do one pull-up, just do negatives. Get your chin over the bar by standing on the bench. Lower yourself slowly and then jump off and up again for the next rep. Another way to switch it up if you aren’t able to do one pull-up, is by using a resistance band around your leg to help you up. You can always can ask your gym partner/spotter to help you by holding your legs. You want to stay away from assisted pull-up machines. The reason being is the only way to get stronger at pull-ups is by doing pull-ups by yourself.

    Pull-ups are mostly an upper-back and arm exercise. Unlike Barbell Rows, they actually train your back differently. Barbell Rows also are a horizontal movement like the Bench Press. And Overhead Press pull-ups are a vertical movement. The main difference between Barbell Rows and pull-ups is that pull-ups work less muscles than Barbell Rows because your legs and hips do nothing but hang. pull-ups are more of an upper-body focused exercise and less of a full body exercise.

    The Muscles That Pull-Ups Work Are…

    • Your biceps, forearm and triceps. They bend your elbows in order to pull yourself up. If you want to work your biceps the hardest when you do pull-ups, try the exercise with your palms up. Your forearm muscles also get worked when you bend your elbows and grip the bar. Your triceps pull your elbows back towards your torso.
    • Your core. Your ab muscles help your lower back from arching while you pull yourself up. It keeps a straight line from your shoulders all the way to your knees. This works your abs. If you eat right and keep doing pull-ups we promise those muscles will show.
    • Your upper back. Your lats pull your arms down in order to pull yourself up. If you want that “v-shape” look, you want to make sure to do your pull-ups. You also work your traps, shoulders and various small muscles in your upper back.

    Chin-ups are easier than pull-ups. If you can’t do a pull-up try doing chin ups. Also if you want bigger arms I suggest doing chin ups instead of pull-ups. Chin ups force you to lift more weight because you have to lift your own body weight.


-Terry Asher

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Barbell High Pull

Skill Level: Advanced

Type: Strength Training

Equipment Needed: Barbell

Main Muscle Group(s): Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Shoulders, Biceps, Abs and Traps

Barbell high pulls help develop full-body power. High pulls also build size and strength through the legs, back and shoulders. The high pull is good for building clean strength and improving your deadlift unlike the hang pull. This exercise requires you to pull the weight up from a dead stop on the floor. Make sure you extend your hips to pull the weight up as you shrug your shoulders and traps and bring your elbows back to lift the weight. The movement should mimic what your lower body would be doing in a jump without actually leaving the floor. 

Make sure you place your feet (shoulder-width apart) and stand close to the barbell so your shins are a couple inches away from it. You want to push your hips back, bend your knees, while grabbing the barbell with an overhand grip.

This is where you want stand as tall as you can and shrug your shoulders pulling the barbell as high as possible before slowly lowering back to your starting position.

A couple of tips when doing the high pull with barbells:

* Avoid leaning too far forward during the exercise. You want to keep your chest up throughout the entire exercise.

* The majority of the power is going to come from the hips. You don’t want to use your upper body to pull the weight up. This will defeat the purpose.

* Be sure you are fluent between the different steps of the exercise and try not to pause at any point during the exercise.


Upright Row

Skill Level: Beginner

Type: Strength

Equipment Needed: Barbell

Main Muscle Group(s): Traps

Secondary Muscle Group(s): Biceps and Shoulders

Here are the five steps to do the barbell Upright Row…

  1. The barbell upright row is one of the top exercises for building your upper traps and your shoulders. Put the weight you want to use on the barbell and stand with it in front of you, with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip. Palms facing down and hands slightly closer at shoulder width apart.
  3. When picking up the bar, bend your knees and make sure you are keeping your back straight.
  4. Look forward while keeping your back straight and lift the bar straight up, keeping it as close to your body as possible. The bar should be up to your chest height almost touching your chin.
  5. Then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Some tips to remember when doing the Upright Row:

  • Make sure you focus on keeping your elbows higher than your forearms. The elbows are what push the motion for the exercise.
  • You need to keep your body fixed throughout the set. Don’t lean forward as you lower the bar and don’t lean back as you raise it. You won’t get the most of the exercise if your movement isn’t right.
  • Squeeze your traps at the top of your movement. If you want to add intensity to your exercise, lower the bar really slowly.



-Terry Asher

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Dips are a great exercise that works the pecs and also stretches and helps the flexibility of the shoulder. The first thing you need to do, is raise yourself on two dip bars with straight arms. You are going to lower your body until your shoulders are below your elbows. Then push yourself up until your arms are straight again.

Dips work your arm muscles, back, chest and shoulders. The proper Dip form is key to avoid severe shoulder and chest pain. Do not let your shoulders roll forward. Make sure to keep your shoulders back and down. You want to lower yourself until your shoulders are below your elbows, but don’t go lower than that. It’s best to do Dips on fixed parallel bars instead of Ring Dips. You don’t need them to gain strength and muscle. If you want to emphasize your arms and want to add another exercise to your routine, you can add Dips to your workout. Dips are mostly for gaining overall strength and muscle. Here is the guide to the proper form on Dips.

Start with two Dip bars. These bars should be parallel, fixed and stable. Most gyms have a Dip station that is also used for pull ups and hanging knee raises. You don’t want to do Dips on Rings or between benches, both can hurt your shoulders and are not very stable. Use the parallel bars instead.

Here’s how to do Dips with proper form in five simple steps:

  1. Grab the bars and jump up. You want to balance yourself with locked elbows.
  2. Lower your body by bending your arms and leaning your torso slightly forward.
  3. Go down until your shoulders are below your elbows at the bottom.
  4. Rise Up. You will lift your body back up to the starting position by straightening your arms out.
  5. Balance yourself with your shoulders over your hands. Lock your elbows.

If you are not able to do a full dip skip the way up for now and only do the way down until you’re stronger.

Here are some tips on how to do the downward:

  1. Grab the dip bars.
  2. Jump up and straighten your arms.
  3. Lower yourself slowly until your shoulders are below your elbows.
  4. Then put your feet on the floor and jump back on the dip bars with straight arms.

When you are able to do 10 negatives with proper form, you’re ready to do a Dip.

To keep proper, form remember and follow these guidelines and tips:

  • Your hands should be under your shoulders and right outside your hips.
  • Use a full grip and make sure to squeeze the bars.
  • Keep your forearms vertical from all angles both on the way down and on your way up.
  • Lock your elbows at the top. You want to tuck 45° at the bottom.
  • Raise your chest up before lowering yourself. Also, you want to raise your chest between reps when you get to the top.
  • Push your shoulders back and down. You don’t want to shrug or let them roll forward.
  • It is important to keep your head inline with your torso. Don’t look at the ceiling, instead focus on the floor in front of you.
  • You torso must be at a slight incline for balance. Leaning slightly forward while you lower yourself.
  • Don’t over-arch your lower back. Stay neutral. You need a straight line from shoulders to knees.
  • Bend your knees and cross your feet. If you have high bars you can keep your legs.
  • Keep your shoulders down and rise up by straightening out your arms. Don’t look up.
  • Inhale at the top and hold it on the way down and exhale.


-Terry Asher

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Exercises using your own body weight such as lunges, squats, push ups and pull ups can be good for cardiovascular training, if you do several sets at once. Learning how to do lunges the right way can help your strength and tone your hips, buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings.

Make sure you wear athletic shoes. Cross-trainers can give you comfort and support while doing a lunge exercises.

You do not want to do lunges on an exercise mat. These exercises are best done on a hard, even surface in order to get the most out of the exercise.

It’s always a good idea to set yourself up parallel to a mirror. The mirror is a great help to make sure you have proper form and to ensure that you do not get injured.

  1. Stand up straight, with your legs hip-width apart. Put your hands on your hips. You want to flex your abdominal muscles so you get the most out of your lunge, inward and upward.
  2. Take a moment to relax and take a deep breath with your chin downward. Make sure to stand up as straight as you can and relax your shoulders down as far as you can go. It is essential that you keep good spinal posture throughout the duration of the lunge in order to get the most out of the exercise.
  3. Take a step forward with your right foot approximately 2 to 3 feet. The taller you are, the further you will need to step forward to have proper form. Make sure to keep your back straight throughout the exercise even as your body moves forward.
  4. Lift your left foot up slightly, so that the toe is in pressed to the floor, but your heel is off the ground.
  5. Bend both knees at the same time. The goal is to make sure both of your knees stop at a 90 degree angle, there is no need to go further. Your right knee should not go over your toe line. This is where the mirror comes in handy so you can constantly check your form, especially if you are doing a lunge for the first time. You want to check that your right foot hasn’t stepped too far forward or that you did not step far enough forward. Adjust if you need and try again.
  6. Pause in that position for 1 to 5 seconds. The best way to help you rise from the lunge is stopping your forward momentum. Push off of your right heel to rise up. You will return your right leg to its starting position.
  7. Now repeat with your left leg. Again use the mirror to check your form and correct if needed.

In order to get the full benefit of the cardio AND the strength training, you will need to lunge until your thigh muscles become exhausted and you get your heart rate up. Although you need to stop doing the exercise if you are no longer able to hold proper form.

You can use hand weights to increase difficulty of the lunges. A good place to start is 2 lb. hand weights in each hand. Keep your arms at your sides, hanging. Do the same lunge instructions, checking your form in the mirror, while holding the weights.  As you get stronger you can increase the amount of weight.


-Terry Asher

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The body row is a great upper body exercise and helpful for those who want to get into full body weight pull-ups.

Primary Muscles Used: Biceps

Secondary Muscle(s) Used: Triceps and Back

How To Do Body Rows

Grip the rings that are at around waist height with your feet on the ground.

Squeeze the shoulder blades together and pull your chest up to the rings.

Some helpful hints and reminders…

  • Keep a straight line with your body.
  • The closer your body is to being horizontal the more difficult the exercise becomes.
  • Beginners can bend the knees and use more of their heels to help push up to the top of the exercise.

The body row is a pull-up exercise great for beginners. The body row is one of the final stage exercises before you try a full bodyweight pull-up.

It’s kind of like the pull-up since you use the same muscles. It’s easier to do because you are not lifting all of your body weight and you have some help with your feet on the ground.

As you gain strength with the body row, lower the bar or rings until you are able to do full bodyweight pull-ups without any help.

Barbell Rows work your upper back, lower back, hips and arms. They build a muscular back and bigger, stronger biceps. Barbell Rows are one of the best exercises you can do to increase your form and strength for squats, bench press and deadlift. Make sure to keep your lower back neutral in order to avoid back pain.

Do not hold the bar in the air between reps or your back will get tired quickly, so rest the bar on the floor between reps. Set your lower back neutral every time before you Barbell Row the next rep. Barbell Rows are easy to cheat and have a bad form. You can lift heavier weights by using your hips, but your upper-back should be doing most of the work; which is why it’s good to keep your back neutral. A good thing to remember is if your torso rises too far, the weight is too heavy. Make sure you are not using your hips and you are lowering to work mostly your upper-back. Barbell Rows are not deadlifts.

You pull from the floor so make sure to set your lower back to neutral. Proper form on Barbell Rows is similar to deadlifts, in that each rep starts and ends on the floor. Here’s how to Barbell Row with a bar in proper form in 5 steps…

  1. Walk up to the bar with it starting on the ground. Stand with your feet under the bar. Make sure not to touch it with your shins. Go into a medium stance with your toes pointing out.
  2. Grab the bar using a medium grip width. You want to be narrower than doing a Bench Press and wider than doing Deadlifts. Hold the bar low in your hands.
  3. With your knees unlocked, keep your hips higher than when doing the Deadlift. Bend your knees but keep them back so the bar won’t hit them.
  4. Lift your chest up. Straighten your back keeping it neutral. Do not move the bar and don’t drop your hips. You don’t want to squeeze your shoulder-blades together.
  5. Take a big breath, hold it in and pull the bar against your lower chest. Lead with your elbows and pull them to the ceiling.

-Terry Asher

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