Adding Muscle Where it Counts III – Personalizing Your Routine

different body typesAfter assessing and measuring yourself, the next step is planning your routine. Choose the body type below that best approximates your present shape and then follow the designated routine. Before starting any exercise program, however, check with your physician first. If you’re a beginner, get qualified instruction.

The workouts consist of both freeweight and machine exercises (you can find explanations of how to perform them in any good weight-training book). Bar- bells are best for adding size to muscle groups that need extra emphasis. Dumbbells and machines help isolate muscles for general toning. To find your correct starting weight, select a poundage that allows you to lift 10 to 12 reps easily. On subsequent sets, increase the poundage. The last few reps of each set-whether the set has high or low repetitions-should feel diffi- cult.

Exercise slowly through a full range of motion. Try to maintain continuous tension on each rep of every movement. This style will help stimulate more muscle fibers, leading to better results. Except where noted, work out three days a week, on non-consecutive days. Give your muscles a 48- to 72-hour recovery period before you work them again.

ROUTINES FOR EVERY BODY

Bodytype A. Your body is on the endomorphic side-with wider hips in relation to narrow shoulders. You may carry some extra bodyfat on your lower body, so incorporate a prudent lowfat, low-calorie diet and regular aerobics into your fitness plan.

Your weight-training routine has two aims: to add shape to your upper body and to tighten the thigh and hip muscles of your lower body. This will help improve your overall symmetry.

By developing your shoulders, back, and chest more fully, you can offset your wider hips, creating more balanced proportions. Your best exercise bets for the upper body are free-weight exercises using heavy poundage and low reps.

At the same time, you want to firm up your hips and thighs to make them appear slimmer. Do this with light-weight/ high-repetition exercises.

Here’s a routine for A-frames: Upper-Body Specialization Workout Barbell shoulder press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Dumbbell side lateral raise

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Lat pulldowns

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Dumbbell shrugs

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Barbell bench press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Dumbbell flyes

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Machine curls

10-12 reps 1-2 sets Triceps pressdown

10-1 2 reps 1-2 sets Lower-Body-Toning Workout Leg press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Leg curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Seated calf raises

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Bodytype H. You possess a figure that’s close to the classic mesomorph- muscular and athletic. The H-frame has a square shape with a wide midsection, and upper and lower bodies of relatively equal proportion.

A weight-training workout that emphasizes light weights and high repetitions and includes extra exercises for the waist will help you achieve a trimmer, more symmetrical look. Aerobic exercise combined with a healthy lowfat diet will aid fat loss.

Here’s a routine that includes some excellent waist-shapers for the midsection. Midsection Specialization Workout Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1 set Knee raises

12-15 reps 1 set Twisting situps

12-15 reps 1 set

(with knees bent) Body-Toning Workout Lunges

12-15 reps 1

(with body weight or light dumbbells held to the side) Leg curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Toe press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

(using a leg press machine) Machine bench press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Lat pull downs

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Dumbbell shoulder press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Machine curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Triceps press down

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Bodytype I. Many women consider you fortunate! You have a lithe, lean ectomorphic figure. Most likely, you can eat pizza, cheesecake, and other goodies without ever gaining an ounce. With a few more curves on your figure, you can look even shapelier.

Your best approach is to work out in a weight-training routine featuring heavy poundage and low reps. This scheme will develop and tone lean body mass, resulting in improved contours. Plenty of barbell exercises are included to maximize shape. Here’s a good routine for 1- frames:

Overall-Body-Development Workout Squats

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Leg curls

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Standing calf raises

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Barbell bench press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Barbell shoulder press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Barbell bent-over rowing

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Weighted crunches

8-10 reps 2 sets

Barbell curls

8-10 reps 2 sets

Triceps extension

8-10 reps 2 sets

Bodytype O. Your figure combines endomorphic and mesomorphic qualities: fuller hips, thighs, and midsection, with a higher ratio of bodyfat to muscle.

Women with O-frames often need to reduce bodyfat. The key to slimming is calorie balance. You must decrease your caloric intake while increasing your caloric expenditure. Again, a lowfat diet combined with regular aerobics is a must.

Another way to expend more calories is to add a fourth weight-training session to your schedule. Yours, therefore, is a split routine, which divides the body into halves. Each half is worked twice a week for a total of four workouts.

For 0-frames, the goals of weight training should be overall body toning and contouring. Light weights and high repetitions fill the bill.

The following routine is designed to be used four times a week:

Body-Toning Workout

Monday – Thursday (Lower Body) Leg press or lunge

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Leg extensions

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Leg curls

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Seated calf raises

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Twisting situps

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Tuesday/Friday (Upper Body)

Machine bench press

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Dumbbell shoulder press

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Dumbbell row

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Alternating dumbbell curls

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Triceps extension on a machine

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Bodytype T. The rationale behind your routine is simple: tighten upper-body trouble spots while adding shape to your lower body. The reason is that T-frames tend to be top-heavy in proportion to the rest of their bodies.

To bring your upper body more in line with your lower body, perform light weight/high-repetition work for your shoulders, back, and chest. For greater development of your hips and thighs, choose heavy weights and low repetitions.

Here’s a sample workout for T-frames: Upper-Body-Toning Workout Dumbbell bench press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Dumbbell shoulder press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Lat pulldowns

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Machine curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Triceps machine

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Lower-Body-Development Workout Squats

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Leg curls

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Standing calf raise

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Bodytype X. Lucky you! Your figure approaches the classic hourglass shape. Your upper body and lower body are in equal proportion. What’s more, you have a small waistline. A routine that concentrates on overall toning (light weights/high reps) will help you keep that shape in excellent condition.

Body-Toning Workout For X-Frames Lunges

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Leg extensions

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Leg curls

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Seated calf raises

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Abdominal machine

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Machine bench press

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Shoulder-press machine

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Pullover machine

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Dumbbell curls

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Triceps pressdown

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Body types aside, we all come in a pleasing variety of sizes and shapes. Rather than try to fashion yourself after someone else, make the best of what you’re born with. Then be happy and comfort able with your own wonderfully fit body. That, in a nutshell, is the real reward of training for symmetry.

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