SSGT NICHOLS - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Lifting Weights
Posted by Navy Diver

After many years in the Navy, and having gone through several boot camp style schools (including Dive School), my knees are shot.  So doing one of my favorite activities, medium-distance running, is now off the table.  And when running went away, so did the wonderful endorphin rush that comes with it.  To keep a modicum of sanity, I had to find a way to replace the benefits that came with a good running workout.  Swimming was a possibility.  But honestly, after spending years working in the water for the Navy, the idea of getting wet for exercise carried little appeal.  So eventually I settled on weight lifting.

Weight Lifting Is Not All About Bulking Up Muscles

It is not necessary to lift weights with the sole intention of building massive muscles.  Of course, you can achieve large muscles by lifting heavy, and achieving lift-failure by six or fewer repetitions.  But you can also get a more cardiovascular workout by lifting lighter, and aiming for 15 repetitions in a circuit routine.  I noticed that during my weight lifting workout, I could get my heart rate up to a very high level – and this was without doing any cardiovascular activities (such as the treadmill, stationary bicycle, or elliptical trainer).

Now I’m not necessarily recommending that you avoid cardiovascular.  It’s probably best to mix cardio with your weight lifting.  But in my case, my knees prevent me from using a lot of cardio options, which means I try to raise my heart rate by lifting weights.

Start With An Easy Weight And Work Your Way Up

If you decide to start lifting weights, your first day should be with very light weights.  Mentally, your goal should be for weight lifting to be a regular activity, like eating and sleeping.  Going to the gym three times per week for the next thirty years is far preferable to going to the gym seven times per week for only one month.  If you have the thirty-year mentality, then there should be no rush to turn into an Olympic weightlifter overnight.  You can afford to take the time to ease yourself into your routine.  So start with very light weights and work your way up slowly.

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Workout Routines

I have three workout routines that I try to complete at least once and sometimes twice per week.  That means a total of three to six weight lifting sessions each week.  Each routine has six different workouts.  Each workout has four sets.  Each set has 10 reps.  Below are my three workout routines.  Of course, DISCLAIMER, discuss with your doctor before commencing any physical activity.

Workout 1

BENCH PRESS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
LEG PRESS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
INCLINE PRESS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
SQUATS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
ROWS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
ABS: 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps

Workout 2

BARBELL HIP RAISES : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
TRICEPS PULL DOWN : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
LEG PRESS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
ARM CURLS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
SQUATS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
ABS: 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps

Workout 3

LAT PULL DOWNS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
LEG PRESS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
ABS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
SHOULDER PRESS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
SQUATS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps
PULL UPS : 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps | rest | 10 reps

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Diet

In the past, I was very much guilty of believing that I could work out and then eat whatever I wanted.  In no uncertain terms, as important as exercise is to your daily health, what is even more important is the food consumed.  My past diet of potato chips and ice cream did not lead to optimal health.  Today, my diet is much more simple (and healthy).  My carbohydrates come from fruits.  Protein comes from fish and other healthy sources.  Fruits are snacks.  Lots of water, no soda or juices (too much excess sugar).

Here is a basic diet that can be followed to help achieve optimal results.

Sunday to Saturday

Breakfast

One Can of Tuna

Grilled Vegetables

Green Tea

Snack

Grapes

Lunch

Salad (No Dressing)

Dinner

Grilled Chicken

Salad (No Dressing)

Snack

Strawberries

What you can see with this diet is that it focuses on clean, healthy fuels.  Your goal is to treat your body like a high-octane vehicle, and put only top rated gasoline into your tank.  Stay healthy and stay happy.

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