Beginner Exercise Program: Month 2

author : acbadger
comments : 1

We will continue to use the bike for cardio workouts for the next two months of the plan and then begin incorporating the other 2 disciplines included in the sport of triathlon.

Introduction:

Introduction: This program is a continuation of the Beginner Exercise Program: Month 1, an introductory cycling program designed for the beginner exerciser/triathlete for the month of February. We will continue to use the bike for cardio workouts for the next two months and then begin incorporating the other 2 disciplines included in the sport of triathlon.

 

This program is meant to aid in weight loss by incorporating low- to no-impact exercises that will be gentle on your joints while strengthening muscles, bones and cardiovascular systems. All new athletes/exercisers should only do what they are capable of. If you find that one week is difficult, DO NOT move onto the next week until you feel comfortable with the week you are currently on! There is no time limit to this program. Work at your own fitness level. Feel good! Feel invigorated! Feel like you are accomplishing your goals…and at the end of a session, feel like you WANT to do these workouts!!

 

Also, please keep in mind that any of these workouts (aside from the programmable ones on the stationary bikes) can be done outside if you prefer to start on your own road bike. However, if you are like me and do not live around any hills, you may have no choice but to take the “hills” inside to a stationary bike in the gym or to an indoor cycling class where the instructor cues you to add resistance when simulating a climb.

 

At the end of this months program is a few new strength exercises and also two new nutrition tips.

  

Please read the Medical Clearance article and the Restrictions and Terms of Use so that you are aware of certain medical conditions which could negatively affect you if not checked-out by a physician beforehand.

 

Day

Week 1
Goals: Work off of the improvements you have already made to your cardiovascular health.  Improve cadence/turnover.

1

Lift: Legs (include abductors and adductors)*, Back and Abdominals. 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 25 to 30 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep your resistance moderate.  Perform an endurance ride.  Maintain the same cadence*** on the bike for the entire workout time.  5 minute cool down!
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching!  Stretching reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

2

Lift: Shoulders, Chest, Abdominals. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 30 to 35 minutes indoors.  Stick with the Upright Bike (you burn more calories on an Upright Bike as its position forces you to work against gravity).  Use a program that gives you random hills.  Work on keeping your cadence the SAME even when the resistance gets difficult.  This will create stronger legs and will give you a GREAT cardiovascular workout. Don’t let the resistance (hill size) dictate your cadence if possible.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

Lift:  Biceps, Triceps, Abdominals. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 60 to 75 minutes.  Incorporate pick ups into this workout.  There will be one longer ride each week; this is the first for this month.  Try to pedal faster (not a sprint) for 1 minute every 5 to 10 minutes.  This will not only help the workout go by faster, but it will increase your turnover rate on those pedals.  No bouncing in the saddle when you perform your pick ups.  If you are bouncing, you need to put more resistance on your bike.   5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.  Aids in injury prevention as well.

 

Day 

Week 2
Goals: Build on previous workouts, endurance and hills. Add variation and continue to increase repetitions on strength training.

1

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 35 to 45 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Do a hill workout.  The first half of the ride, increase the resistance SLIGHTLY every 2 minutes.  After half of the workout is over, take resistance off SLIGHTLY every 2 minutes until you are back down at the resistance you started at.  Ascending and descending hill workouts are GREAT for leg strength and endurance.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Abdominals.  2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 20 to 25 minutes indoors.  Stick with Upright Bike.  Check your heart rate often on this workout.  Try to stay within 80 to 82 % of your max heart rate (220-age as a rough estimate) and add 30 to 45 second sprints (fast pedaling).  Give yourself 1 ½ to 2 minutes to recover between sprints.  Moderate to heavy resistance on the bike.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift:  Shoulders, Back, Abdominals. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 50 to 55 minutes.  This is a FUN endurance ride.   Recharge the IPod and buy new batteries for the walkman if inside.  Put your favorite songs in the music source of your choice.  Pedal at tempo (on the down beat of the song you are listening to) during the verses of the songs, on the chorus, pedal as fast as you can.  Return to tempo when the new verse comes on.  No bouncing or rocking on those sprints.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day  

Week 3
Goals: Make these workouts fun. Figure out here what works for you. It’s important to keep workouts fresh and invigorating. Enjoy the tunes!

1

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Legs. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 40 to 45 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep resistance moderate and stay in the saddle.  Every 5 minutes, put LOTS of resistance on your bike and come out of the saddle.  Climb for 30 to 60 seconds, then take the resistance off of the bike and ride at moderate resistance for another 5 minutes.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Back, Shoulders, Abdominals. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 30 to 35 minutes indoors.  Stick with Upright Bike.  Keep this workout easy.  You have been working HARD for almost two months!  Take a nice easy, leisurely ride.  Just keep your cadence at a moderate pace and be sure your heart rate is between 70% and 75%.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift:  Biceps, Chest, Abdominals. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 60 to 70 minutes.  Another FUN one!  This time, instead of pedaling faster when you get to the chorus of your favorite songs (yes, dust off those MP3 players again), load up your resistance and CLIMB for the chorus (out of the saddle).  When the new verse comes on, have a seat and pedal at tempo. 5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day 

Week 4
Goals: Increasing time. Endurance is important! Have fun! Simulate a race and be mentally prepared for them.

1

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 35 to 40 minutes indoors.  Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep your resistance moderate.  Use the race program on the upright bikes.  Set the speed for what is reasonable, yet challenging.  You will race a ‘competitor’ on the course.  Set your pace a little faster than you THINK you can do.  Let the ‘competitor’ challenge you!   Remember that 5 minute cool down!!
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Abdominals.  2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 45 to 50 minutes indoors.  Hit another spinning/indoor cycling class.  Try to stay in the harder gears for 5 seconds longer than the instructor calls for!  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift:  Shoulders, Back, Abdominals. 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 75 to 80 minutes.  This is an endurance ride.   Set the bike for an interval or random workout.  Keep your resistance moderate and keep your cadence at about 75 to 80 RPM’s per minute.  Time to start emulating your outdoor/competitive rides!  You CAN and WILL succeed!!    5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

*Abductors: Outer Thighs and

 Adductors: Inner Thighs

** Upright Bike: Looks like a regular stationary bike at the gym. A Recumbent Bike has a chair on it with a back. Aids in lower back support. Some beginning bikers may need to start on a Recumbent Bike and graduate to an upright bike.

 

***Cadence: Check cadence by placing one hand above one knee. Every time the knee comes up on the upstroke of your pedal it should hit your hand. Hold your hand above your knee and count the number of times your knee hits your hand for 15 seconds. Take that number and multiply it by 4 to get your cadence.


RPM: Revolutions per minute. The number of times you pedal stroke in a minute.


STRENGTH TRAINING

When you are choosing weights, you need to choose weights that will allow you to complete the set, but not so little weight that you are not feeling the work by the 8th or 10th repetition. It is smart to start with lower weights, complete a full workout and then make the adjustments as you go or during the next workout.


Sets: The number of times you perform a series of repetitions.
Repetitions: The number of times you perform a particular exercises in a row.


Examples of exercises:

 

Legs

Lunges: Place one foot in front of the other, like you are taking a giant step forward. Your foot in the back should be positioned on the ball of the foot, heel up off of the floor. The front foot should be flat out in front of your body. Before you begin your lunge, tuck your hips under your body and lower the back knee STRAIGHT down to the floor. The front knee should be over your ankle, NOT over your toes. If your knee goes over your toes, you are lunging forward and not down. Practice one set of lunges without weight. Take light weights (after you have confirmed your positioning is correct) and let your arms hang to your sides holding the weights. Lunge down and up 12 to 15 times each side for 2 sets.


Chest

Dumbbell chest flies: Lie in a supine position (back on bench) on a flat bench. Take two light to moderate weight dumbbells and hold them up over your eyes, palms facing each other. Slowly lower the weight down to your sides, elbows should not go below the bench. Slowly bring the weights back up to starting position. Do not clink the dumbbells together when they reach starting position. Be sure that you have a slight bend in the elbows…NEVER lock a joint.


Back

Good mornings: Placing a straight body bar (bars that are covered in rubber, usually come in 9, 12 and 15 pound weights) across your shoulder blades. Legs should be shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Hinge at your hips (push your bottom back) and lower your upper body down, keeping your back straight, shoulders back and chest out. “Bow” half way over and slowly return to starting position. Do not use fast movements with this exercise. Slower is better on these. Be sure to use muscle NOT momentum. You also don’t want to throw your back out by moving too quickly.


Shoulders

Front dumbbell shoulder raise: Standing, take 2 dumbbells and have them hang down in front of you at your thighs. Lift both arms up together at the same time ONLY to shoulder height. Once the weight is at the top of the movement, slowly lower the weights back down. Keep your arms as straight as possible keeping the elbows soft (NEVER lock out a joint). If this movement is too difficult for you, a modification would be to lift one arm at a time (alternating lifts). As you start gaining strength…perform the exercise with both arms together.


Triceps

Tricep kickback: Taking a single dumbbell in each hand, bend slightly forward at the waist. Keep shoulders and elbows back. Keeping your shoulders stationary (no swinging/movement) and elbows back, lift the weights up behind your back and then slowly lower them back to a 90 degree angle. “Kick” the weights back, controlling the movement, do not swing the weights. You can do either arms together or one arm at a time. A variation of this would be to add a twist to the kickback (turn the palms up to the ceiling after ‘kicking’ them back.


Abdominals

Bikes: Lying on the floor, place one leg up, knee bent at a 90 degree angle. The opposite leg should be out straight. If your lower back is coming off of the floor with your leg out straight, your leg is too low to the floor, bring it up a bit to relieve some of the tension in your lower back. With your hands behind your ears (DO NOT lock fingers behind the head), take the opposite shoulder over to the hip on the side where the knee is bent. Alternate sides, switching the shoulder and bent/straight legs. Perform 15 to 20 each side.


STRETCHING:

Be sure to hold stretches for 10 to 20 seconds. DO NOT bounce when you stretch. All stretches should be held where you feel a stretch only. You should feel NO pain while stretching!! Most health clubs have posters of what stretches to do for what body parts. If you are unsure of any, please consult an exercise specialist at your local gym. You should rotate through each stretch at least twice. This part of your exercise regimen is as important as your strength or cardiovascular component.
 

Warm Up:

Take 5 minutes to jump on a cardiovascular machine/walk in place/etc. to get your body moving, blood flowing and muscles warmed up. We encourage warm ups to loosen muscles which will prevent any strains, sprains or tears.
 

Cool Down:

It is IMPORTANT to bring your heart rate back down after a workout. Be sure to walk around the gym, walk slowly on a treadmill, pedal slowly on a bike, and etc. 5 to 10 minutes after a workout. If you workout hard and then stop immediately with no cool down, this could promote blood pooling in the legs!! Be sure to keep moving SLOWLY after a workout until your HR (heart rate) is back down TO less than 100 bpm.


NUTRITION:

Here, I will give you one or two tips on nutrition a month. I am not a licensed Nutritionist, so please only use these as guidelines. I think they will be helpful where most of you are just starting out. If you require additional help, please contact a Nutritionist in your area.

Tip #1

Now that you have an idea of what you should be eating and how much, lets talk about how often. You should be eating low-fat meals, SMALL meals every 3 to 4 hours. This does not mean 5 to 6 meals that fill a large dinner plate. We’re talking breakfast (i.e. 3 egg whites, whole wheat English muffin, fruit, cup of tea/coffee), AM snack (1/2 cup of fat free plain yogurt and mix in your favorite berries--the fruited yogurts tend to have more sugar then fruited yogurts you make yourself), lunch (lean protein sandwich with baby carrots and baked chips on the side), PM snack (1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese with ¼ cup salsa mixed in on whole wheat crackers…one of my favorites….THANKS GWYNNE!!!), dinner (fish, chicken, lean steak, vegetable and small portion of a starchy carb). Be sure you are getting PLENTY of calcium…drink skim milk and eat low fat yogurt and cheeses. Craving a sweet?? Try some jell-o or pudding…or (this time of year) a cup of hot chocolate with a few mini marshmallows in it!

Eating every 3 to 4 hours will keep your blood sugar in check and you will not become ravenous or crave food items that are not ideal for your new meal plan.

Tip #2

Eat your main meals on small dinner plates…not the large ones. This will help curb portion size issues as well. Also, a new BIG nutritional tip…DRINK lots of water. I’m sure you’ve heard the recommended amount of H2O to drink are (8)-8 ounce glasses a day. That’s good, IF you are a sedentary person. Now that we are up and moving and gearing up to enter our first triathlon, we need to consume more water. You should be drinking half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water!! So, if you weigh 140 pounds, you will be drinking 70 ounces of water a day.

NEXT MONTH:

Next month, look to increase your strength training workout. We’ll be adding another set to each exercise to increase your strength and stamina.

As for the rides, we are going to start working on strength and speed. We’ll try to hit the roads once a month and get outside (weather permitting), as we will be adding run/walking workouts to the program in a month or two.

Stretching should remain the same, but I will give you some new stretches to help you mix it up and keep your workouts FRESH!!!

….Rock on TRIATHLETES!

 

Beginner Exercise Program Month 3

Rating

Click on star to vote
51220 Total Views  |  760 Views last 30 days  |  138 Views last 7 days
date: March 5, 2006

acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

View all 47 articles