Beginner Level 2
Protocol (how to train each muscle group)
Warm up set (set 1)
For your first set or the warm-up set, you will choose a light weight to complete 25 repetitions. A repetition is moving the weight from the top of the movement to the bottom in a slow and controlled way. The goal for the warm-up set is to get the blood moving to that muscle group and to get the joint/tendons warmed up. You never want to push a muscle/joint before it is properly warmed up. What we are looking for is a slight burn in the muscle by the 25th repetition. Again, in the beginning, it will take some trial and error to figure out where your thresholds are and what weights to use. Be patient it will come!
The warm-up set is only done on the 1st set of the muscle you are working. For example, on biceps day you will be doing 3 machines/exercises. On the first exercise for biceps you do the warm up set of 25 repetitions until you feel a slight burn, but not too much, and can easily get to the 25th rep. You would then complete Set 2 and Set 3 with the proper rest and stretching in between of course. Now you have completed the 1st exercise for biceps.
You can now move to the 2nd exercise for the same muscle group, the biceps. The bicep is already warmed up as you have now already done 3 sets, so there is no need to do another warm-up set for the 2nd exercise. So instead of the warm-up, you now choose a weight that you would be struggling to get to the 25th rep. After that you would continue as normal to Set 2 and Set 3. Again, the first week is figuring out where your thresholds are and how much weight to do on each exercise/machine. You will get it…be patient! By the end of week 4 your will be an expert!
**You should always stretch after your warm-up set for each body part. This stretch should be about 30-seconds. You only stretch after the warm- up set during the 1st exercise for each body part. You will not stretch again until you have completed that body part. Then you will do a little longer more focused stretching for that muscle**
Rest Period in between each set
Your rest period during beginning level 1 should be about 1-2 minutes. Some muscle groups, like legs and back, may require a little longer rest between sets, so you can catch your breath. Legs are a much larger and challenging muscle group, so you appreciate the rest. The goal of a rest period at this level is to catch your breath and have the energy for the next set.
Now choose a weight slightly heavier than you used in set-one. Maybe 10% more weight and perform another 20 repetitions. This concept is called pyramiding, adding weight to each set performed. On your 2nd set you want the muscle to be burning pretty good by the time you get to the 20th repetition. You should be choosing a weight that you can get to the 20th rep without failing. Failing, is when you have pushed the muscle so hard, either by how much weight you are lifting or by how many reps you have done, that the muscle simply cannot lift without assistance. On the beginning level 1 this is not the goal. The goal is to give the muscle a good burn but not to failure.
Again, pyramid up and add another 10% weight (now you have increased from your warm-up set by 20%). Perform another 15 reps. On this 3rd and final set you may be getting closer to the failure point, but still we want you to be able to get your 15 reps done and still have a little bit left by completion and not at failure point.
In summary, for each machine/exercise you do a warm-up set for 25 reps just to get the muscle/joint warmed-up and blood to the muscle group. Set 2 you increase the weight by 10-15% and do 20 reps, so you feel a good burn by the 20th rep. Set 3 pyramid-up and add another 10-15% and do 15 reps. In this set you should start to feel the muscle fatigue a little bit and really burn! Remember that the 1st set of each muscle group is the only time you have to do the warm-up set using a weight that you can easily lift for 25 reps. When you get to the 2nd machine/exercise for each muscle the warm-up set is not necessary, as it is already warm from the prior 3 sets. You now choose a slightly higher weight that will have the muscle burning by the 25th rep, but not to failure.