Weight training can yield different results depending on how the workout is set up.
“For size, you lower the number of reps, do them slower and increase the weight,” said personal fitness trainer Daniel A. Ortiz, who’s based out of the Lord’s Gym in Waxahachie and who also works with Larry North. “For muscle definition or leaning up, you increase the number of reps and the speed you do them, but decrease the weight and decrease the rest between sets. You also involve super sets, tri sets and giant sets.”
A super set involves doing two exercises back to back such as squats and leg extensions. A tri set involves three exercises such as leg extensions, leg presses and reverse lunges. A giant set involves four exercises such as leg curls, stiff leg dead lifts, squats and leg extensions.
The results achieved depend on what exercises are put together, what order they’re done, the number of reps and the amount of weight, said Ortiz, noting that nine out of 10 of his clients are in fitness training to lean up.
“Two to three days a week, they’re lifting weights and they’re training at a faster pace with a 30-second to a minute rest (in between sets),” he said. “They have me encouraging them to move on if the rest is longer than a minute.”
Ortiz has worked with each of his clients on what his or her goal is – and has designed individualized workouts accordingly.
Each exercise in a set has a specific purpose, he said, noting, as an example, that leg curls isolate the hamstrings, while a stiff leg dead lift hits the lower back, the glutes and the hamstrings.
“The squat involves the quads, glutes, the low back as well as the hamstring,” he said. “Then, when you go to the leg extension, that isolates your quadriceps.”
By putting four exercises together in the proper order to obtain the desired result, a person can get a great sculpting workout, he said, noting repetitions need to be kept from 15 to 25.
And, in lieu of the brief rest period in between sets, do five minutes on a treadmill – advancing from a fast walk to running –to increase the caloric burn even more, Ortiz said.
“A semi-fit person would do the rest period. As he or she gets more fit, they would get on the treadmill,” he said. “That’s going to increase the intensity of the workout.”
Adding the treadmill work in between sets makes it an entire body workout.
“The more intense the exercise … the more you’re going to burn calories,” he said.
With 20 years of experience in personal fitness training, Ortiz has several key pieces of advice for people wanting to add weights into their workout programs.
The first would be to have some level of fitness before adding weights into their routine.
“They don’t need to come straight from a couch to doing sets,” Ortiz said. “They should have at least a couple of months of walking, running or biking on their own at least. They need to move a little bit first before using weights.”
When ready to add weights, he advises people to get in touch with a personal fitness trainer.
“They should really work with a trainer to do it safely and put their program in the order to where it benefits them,” he said. “You see people throwing in all kinds of stuff with no pattern to it. They just jump from this to that. It’s got them moving, but there’s no pattern. (By working with a trainer) you get it all set out.”
Besides preventing injuries, working with a trainer can eliminate getting the wrong results.
“If you’re working out in the wrong weight range, rep range and rest period, you might actually increase your jeans, waist and shirt size,” Ortiz said. “You can actually make yourself bigger.”
The workout has to be matched to the results desired, he said, noting that the trainer also detail how to increase the intensity and level of the sets.
A person might start out doing one giant set involving 15 reps several days a week for a two-week period. A second set is added in the third and fourth weeks, working up to three sets during the fifth and sixth weeks.
“They want to make sure that what they’re doing is in a comfortable weight and range,” Ortiz said. “You don’t want to go too hard in the beginning – leave your ego at the door. People tend to think, ‘I did that in high school or college.’ They go all out in a workout and then they can’t move and they quit.
“The workouts need to be comfortable,” he said. “They don’t need to start out doing a workout like I would personally be doing. They need to slowly build themselves up.”
Ortiz said he wants to remind people there are no quick fixes.
“The only thing that will make you healthier is a lifestyle change. You have to get off of the couch and stop watching the TV,” he said.
For more information on personal fitness, e-mail Ortiz at Daniel@daofsff.com, visit online at www.daofsff.com or stop by the Lord’s Gym in Waxahachie.
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