Regimens: Going Long the Light-Weight Way

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, April 1996

Regimens: Going Long the Light-Weight Way
By Mark Jannot

Endurance training happens in the weight room too, with light weights and lots of repetitions. These exercises provide a full-body workout with that aim. Stu Mittleman recommends "stacking" three sets for each exercise: Start with a light weight that you can lift 20 to 25 times. Then add weight so that you can do only 15 to 20 reps. Finally, add a bit more, to the point that you can barely get through ten to 15 reps. Exercises should be done in a circuit, working from the largest to the smallest muscle groups, separated by minimal rest.

Leg presses
Since these work the largest muscle masses in the body--the hips, buttocks, thighs, and quads--they call for the heaviest weights. Place your feet about hip-width apart, with your toes pointing slightly inward so that your knees are straight. When you reach the end of the push, don't lock your knees.

Leg curls These work the hamstrings, though the calf muscles are also involved at the start. Adjust the seat so that your knee is in line with the machine's axis. Then flex your ankles up, toward your knees, and pull your heels toward your butt. Squeeze as far as you comfortably can before letting it out.

Chest presses
Adjust the seat so that your hands on the bar are just below the level of your armpits. Keep your arms out, away from your chest. Exhaling and keeping your chest raised--don't slouch--push the bar to the point just before your elbows lock. Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Compound rows
These work your upper-back and shoulder muscles. Start with the handles far enough away that you can barely get your hands around them. From this stretched position, pull your elbows back as far as they can go and concentrate on trying to bring your shoulder blades together.

Shoulder presses
Start with your hands at shoulder level and, using your shoulder muscles, raise the weight until your elbows are just short of locking. Keep your back straight and pressed to the seat, and look straight ahead. These work the shoulders and the triceps.

Copyright 1996, Outside magazine

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web