Here we go with the second installment and week 2 of the 12 week body transformation series. The first week was meant for you to set goals, establish baselines and begin building the foundations of your program.
This week you will focus on three things: Learning to lift weights with more intensity, continue with moderately intense aerobics and moderate calorie restriction. As you’ll see, week 2 will be pretty much like week 1 , but with a few adjustments.
Your weight training program now becomes a little more serious and intense (in terms of effort). More time will be spent on learning to feel the muscles contract to help achieve this increased perception of intensity. Remember that increasing ones lifting intensity requires extreme mental focus and determination. I often tell my clients to get a little angry when they lift weights.
The reason is because an angry person is a strong person due to the increased adrenaline production. This may be one reason men tend to be more intense with exercise, since, perhaps, women are raised to be calmer and nurturing and their demeanor reflects this. I believe this is why women often find it difficult to be aggressive when they train, particularly if it means grimacing or exerting themselves in public.
Regardless of your gender, you must make an effort to increase your level of effort this week and during subsequent weeks as well. I do realize that if you are new to exercise, any stimulus can be overwhelming at first. Don’t let this distract you from what you are capable of doing. When the muscles can no longer contract against the resistance then you’re there. Just because it gets uncomfortable doesn’t mean you should terminate the set. This is the zone you want to encourage and extend as long as mechanically possible.
Now that you’ve had some decent practice in the first week (and gotten over the soreness), it’s now time to adjust the number of sets you perform to match the level of exertion ( as described above) that you are now experiencing. This means that the harder you work, the less sets that are needed to get the job done. It unlikely you’ll need more than a couple of sets to achieve this.
Once this number has been determined you will begin to increase the demands each week until your tolerence to weight training is at it’s threshold. For now however, just focus on adding reps to each exercise every workout. It doesn’t need to be a lot, just more than you are accustomed to.
If you’re confident in your lifting ability, you will now need to change your routine to 2 workout split to allow for greater focus and volume per muscle group. If you follow a Monday/ Wednesday/Friday schedule ( as most do) you’d be advised to use something like this:
- Mon – Upper Body exercises
- Wed – Lower Body exercises
- Fri – Full body exercises
or another option would be:
- Mon – Upper Body dominant/ Lower Body light
- Wed – Lower Body dominant/ Upperbody light
- Fri – Upper Body dominant/ Lower Body light
Aerobic work and nutrition.
Nothing much changes here. Keep your heart rate around 60% of your HRmax. Trying to do more while simultaneously increasing the weight training demands will only result in sub optimal recovery and eventual burnout. The aerobics are best done on your off days, between weight training session to facilitate recovery and not hamper it. If you must perform it on the weight training days, understand that your strength and muscle building potential may suffer.
Your caloric intake also must not change, in order to cope with the aforementioned training needs. If your not counting calories, keep working on building good eating habits until your at least eating clean, wholesome food.
This should get you through week 2 of your 12 week body transformation.
Stay tuned for the final installment with Week 3, coming soon!