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Advice for New Year’s Resolutioners in the Gym Part Two

January 9, 2010

One thing I hear from people is that “I want to start lifting weights, but I’m not ready yet.” Unfortunately, they never seem to have a clear idea of when they’ll be ready or how to prepare. So here’s my advice if you’re in that situation.

Start today. Do something. Get off the couch.

A great way to start getting in shape is to start a small, pre-written program that tells you what to do every day, provides a way of measuring your progress, and then translates that progress into the next step.

I recommend the One Hundred Pushups, Two Hundred Situps and Two Hundred Squats programs to all beginners, and even experienced trainees who cannot complete each of those namesake workouts.

The pushup, situp and squat are all fundamental movements that anyone starting in strength training should be familiar with. If you’re unsure of your form or unfamiliar with the movement, the websites have great writeups.

Additionally, each of those exercises is a “bodyweight exercise” requiring no equipment and only a place to perform them.

Each of those programs is a six-week cycle in which you start and end with a test of how many reps of each exercise you can perform.

After the initial test, you choose a column based on how many reps you ground out, and get at it for three days each week. At the end of the week you do another test for max reps, then choose the column for the next week.

These are very simple programs and they work. I follow them myself.

And if you are able to complete them, you will have sufficient strength and conditioning to get started in the weight room as well as the self-confidence that comes from having completed a rigorous workout program.

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