Be Well Workout of the Week: Conquer Your Fear of Heavy Weights

Don't worry: the reps for this workout are low.

During this week’s workout, you’ll challenge your strength by doing a low number of reps with heavier weights. You will start with 10 reps and decrease your reps by two each round until your final round is just two reps. (It won’t be as easy as it sounds — promise.)

So each round, grab a pair of weights that will challenge you (as in, you’ll just barely make it through the final rep with good form), and adjust weight based on the exercise. And no slacking: Increase your weights as you decrease your reps each round, so you continue to challenge yourself with each rep.

Be Well Workout of the Week: Conquer Your Fear of Heavy Weights

Reps: 10-8-6-4-2
Squat with overhead press
Reverse fly
Chest press on physioball with elbows wide
Chest press on physioball, squeezing elbows to your sides
Single leg dead lift
Bicep curls
Decline sit-ups.
Lunge pulse

Explanations of exercises:
Click links for how-to videos.

Squat with overhead press: Hold free weights at your shoulders, 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.

Reverse fly: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge forward at the waist. Holding a weight in each hand (palms facing towards each other), keep your arms slightly bent and using your back, squeeze your shoulder blades together, lifting your hands to the side.

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.

Single-leg dead lift: Holding dumbbells or a kettlebell, hinge forward at the hips, keeping a very straight spine and a slight bend in your right knee. Lift your straight left leg behind you and hinge until your upper body and left leg are parallel to the floor. Rise back up to standing and repeat.

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.

Decline sit-ups: Holding a weight at your chest at the top of a sit-up position, decline toward the ground as slowly as you can while keeping the weight at your chest. Sit back up and repeat.

Lunge pulse: Holding weights, do a forward lunge. Pause when you reach the lunge position and pulse down toward the flower, never standing all the way back up.


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.

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