Be Well Workout of the Week: Feel the Burn with Bigger Weights

Let’s do some heavy lifting this week, shall we? We’ll keep the reps low (about four to eight at a time for each exercise), so grab weights that are a bit heavier than you would normally use. For this workout, you’ll have three circuits of exercises, and you’ll go through each circuit three times doing eight reps for the first round, six for the second round, and four for the third round. Increase your weights as you go and make sure that last rep is tough to get through. And pay close attention to your form: You really want to engage your core and power through these exercises.

Okay, let’s do this!

Be Well Workout of the Week: Feel the Burn with Big Weights

Circuit 1: 8-6-4 reps
Squats holding weights
Chest presses on physioball
Sit-ups on physioball holding weights
Chest flies on physioball
Lateral lunges with upright row

Circuit 2: 8-6-4 reps
Dead lifts
Lunge rows
Pullover sit-ups
Plie squats with overhead presses

Circuit 3: 8-6-4 reps
Lunge jumps holding weights
Bicep curls
Ab twists holding weight
Tricep extensions
Single-leg squats (If this is the first time trying these, don’t use a weight.  If you are a one-legged squat pro, hold a weight while you do them)

Explanation of exercises:
Click the links for how-to videos.

Squat: Stand with your feet just a bit wider than shoulder widt and your toes slightly turned outward. Keeping your weight in your heels, bending at the knees and lower until your quads are parallel to the floor. Keep your back as upright as possible. Straighten legs and come back to the starting position.

Chest press on physioball: Lie with your head and neck on the ball and feet on the floor, lifting your hip and squeezing your glutes. With weights in hands, bend your elbows 90 degrees, so your arms make L shapes straight out from the shoulders. Push the weights up to the ceiling until your arms straighten. Return to starting position and repeat.

Sit-up on physioball: Lie with your back on the physioball and your feet on the floor. Holding weights at chest height, lift your shoulders off the ball and come to a full sit-up position. Lie back down slowly.

Chest fly on physioball: Lie on your back on the physioball with your head and neck on the ball. Keep your hips up and squeeze your glutes. Holding free weights, extend the arms up. Keeping elbows loosely locked, drop the arms out to the sides until the hand is in line with the shoulder, then raise them back up.

Lateral lunge with upright row: Holding two dumbbells, do a lateral lunch. As you step back to the center, lift the dumbbells straight up toward your chest until your forearms are parallel to the ground. Lower the dumbbells. Repeat.

Dead lifts with dumbbells: Hold dumbbells with arms extended down so they’re resting on your thighs, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping shoulders back and abs tight (and without locking your knees), bend at the hips and let the weights lower towards the floor, going as far as you can without bending your knees too much. Drive your heels in to the floor and stand to return to the starting position.

Lunge row: Standing with your left leg forward in a lunge and left forearm on thigh, row a weight with your right arm like you’re starting lawn mower. Switch to opposite side lunge for left arm.

Pullover sit-ups: Lie on the physioball on your back so your head and neck are supported. Holding a single weight in both hands, reach the weight over your head, keeping your arms slightly bent.  Drive the weight back up towards the ceiling, pulling up into a sit-up. Be sure to squeeze your glutes the entire time. Return to starting position and repeat.

Pull-ups: Suspend yourself on the pull-up bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up, keeping your body as straight as possible, until your chest reaches the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. (If you’re struggling with pull-ups, try these alternatives instead.)

Plié squat with overhead press: Hold the weights at your shoulders and standing with your feet a little further than hip width apart. Turn your feet out and do a squat. As you stand back up, press the weights over your head. Return them to your shoulders as you squat back down.

Lunge jumps: Start standing with feet together and step forward with the left leg into a lunge, bending knee to about 90 degrees. Jump as you stand back up and switch legs before you land, so your right leg is forward. Lunge again, then jump, putting your left leg forward, and so forth. Left and right counts as one.

Bicep curls: Hold dumbbells at your side with palms facing forward. Pretend your elbows are glued to your midsection and curl the weight toward your shoulders, keeping your upper arm still. Slowly return your weight to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Ab twists: Sit on the floor with knees bent, heels pressing into the ground. Holding a weight straight ahead of you at shoulder height, lean back slightly and use your abs to twist side to side.

Tricep extensions: Holding a dumbbell with both hands, behind your head. Raise the dumbbell directly above your head, toward the ceiling. Return the dumbbell to the starting position. Repeat.

Single-leg squat: Stand in front of a bench with feet hip width. Raise your arms in front of you (think Frankenstein) for balance. Raise the left foot off the ground. Squat with the right leg, keeping the left foot off the ground. Tap the bench with your butt, then stand back up. Do all reps on one leg, then switch legs.

» You can find more Be Well Philly workouts here.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly — here’s how: