I have to give a weight-training workshop for Kansas Extension
Agents (mostly middle-aged women). This is supposed to be (1)
a practical demonstration of lifting techniques and also (2)
covering the benefits of resistance training (for muscular development
and strength) - about 60 minutes.
I'd like to give them a simple weight-training program
- "minimal" but following ACSM
- something that they can adapt for home use and
- uses either free weights or just their body weight.
I don't think most of them have access to a gym since most
are from western Kansas. I'll feature your website if we can
get internet hook-up, but would like to do demonstrate the minimal
program above. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks for consulting me and including ExRx.net as a reference.
Here is a basic run down of the benefits
of resistance training compared to cardio training. Certainly,
they should see their doctor before increasing their activity,
particularly if they have health issues or orthopedic concerns
(see ERQ and Risk
Class Form). Obviously, certain exercises may not be recommended
if they have orthopedic problems or experience joint pain during
a particular exercise. Although full range of motion is suggested
for healthy individuals, ACSM suggests elderly trainees should
perform the exercises with the maximum range of motion that does
not elicit pain or discomfort. For example, the depth of a squat
will be dependent upon the health of the knees. If they are just
too weak to squat their body weight, they may initially either
perform a half squat or assist by pulling themselves up with
their upper body.
Here is an abbreviated program that requires minimal equipment,
each with a progressive resistance method as strength increases.
This program develops functional
strength and endurance for either men or women beginning an exercise
program. It can either be done at home or outside. Many local
parks have calisthenics stations around a walking trail where
these exercises can also be performed.
Abreviated Workout for Beginning Exercisers
- Begin with 6" to 8" (15-20 cm) step, or platform
with no added weight
- Progress to slightly higher elevations as strength increases
- Alternate starting leg on each rep
- A removeable pull up bar can be used.
- Begin sitting on bottom and bend at hip, lifting only upper
body with legs on floor.
- Also consider alternative
version with bar positioned higher
- progressively lower bar or heighten feet as strength increases
- Also see gravity
- Begin on knees and progress to standard
- Also consider alternative
- push-ups from high bar, edge of high platform, or furniture
- body is angled approximately 45 degrees from floor
- progressively lower elevation
- Begin with arms straight to sides (if head does not require
- Position arms progressively away from waist as more reps
This program should be performed in 3 non-consecutive days
per week (e.g.: Monday, Wednesday, Friday). Walking can be performed
on alternative days (3-4 days per week). After taking the Rockport Walking test,
this calculator can suggest a walking
program based fitness level.
Once they have proven to themselves, they can adhere to this
program for a couple of months, I would suggest they invest in
at least an assortment of dumbbells and an exercise bench or
exercise ball. Also see home gym
equipment. Some may find they have too many distractions
at home and may need to seek out local gym facilities. Also see
suggestions for exercise
Pick one exercise per muscle group(s). A weight
training log (Excel
or HTML Document) should
be encouraged to record progress. Consider changing
exercises in a month or two to see continued progress. Most
exercise may be initially performed without weight, with light
dumbbells or a barbell, or exercise bands. Some exercises may
be a bit challenging for some or too easy for others who have
only lighter weights. It is best to experiment with different
exercises until a suitable one can be found. See Exercise
Directory for more options.
Basic Full Body Workout with
Choose one exercise per muscle group. Eliminate or skip optional
exercise(s) to abbreviate workout.
- Lower Back/Hamstrings (begin with light weight and progress
- Hips: Abductors (optional: isometrically exercised during
single leg quad/glute exercises and hip flexors exercises)
- Calf (optional if already sufficiently developed, perform
on stairs or block)
- Side Shoulder
- Front Shoulder (optional if performing Side Shoulder exercise)
- Biceps (optional: exercised during upper back movements)
- Triceps (optional: exercised during chest movements)
- Hip Flexors (optional, performed only if abdominals are
For more exercise options, choose one of the full
body workout listed, then choose one exercise per muscle
group. Exercises requiring no to minimal equipment are listed
in right column under each muscle group.
can be performed at the end of the program. Although a flexibility
prescription should be based upon an individual
assessment. Here are three stretches that concentrate on
the major muscles that cross the hip, muscles that are commonly
in need of more flexibility in most people.
Let me know if you have any other
questions. I'm glad I could help. Sounds fun, good luck!