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Plan Your Resistance Training Regimen Like a Pro

Read a few fitness magazines and you’ll quickly learn that you need to vary your workouts if you want to keep progressing. Most fitness-loving moms know this, and so they are always trying the latest new workouts. However what most of them don’t know is that there are methods of varying your workouts beyond just choosing different activities every so often.

Periodization is a systematic way of varying your workouts.  Below is a standard way to periodize your resistance training regimen. 

Modifications for busy moms follow.  Typically each “period” is about 2-4 weeks, but some programs make a period as little as one workout.  Try out longer and shorter periods to see what works best for you .

Note:  RM = rep maximum – the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a certain number of repetitions without compromising form.  For example, your 5RM is the heaviest weight you can lift five times in a row using correct form.

Period 1:  Muscular Endurance

  • 15-25RM
  • up to 1 minute rest
  • For an extra challenge try:
    • circuit training with no rest between exercises
    • grouping 2-3 exercises together that hit the same muscles

Period 2:  Hypertrophy (building muscle mass)

  • 8-12RM
  • 1 minutes rest
  • For an extra challenge try drop sets

Period 3:  Max Strength

  • 3-6RM
  • at least 3 minutes rest

Period 4:  Power Training

  • 3-5RM
  • at least 1 minute rest

For busy moms, muscular endurance is tough because it requires more uninterrupted time.  Power training can be dangerous at home with little ones running around.  However, you can still work these in. If you’re working out in short bursts while multitasking as a mommy, try focusing on hypertrophy and max strength training.  Every few weeks, incorporate a week that centers on muscular endurance.  While back to back sets might be tough, you can do higher rep sets, 20-25RM, and minimize rest between sets when possible.

While you don’t want to be snatching 100lbs barbells at home, some power exercises are great for home workouts, such as dumbbell snatches, clapping pushups, and plyometrics. Cycle these in during your hypertrophy or max strength periods.

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