What To Do Before Working Out
The Starter Weight-Trainer
Before you begin your weight-training regime, it's helpful to know "where you are," as regards your current strength and endurance. This will not only help you set up an appropriate exercise routine to start with, but as you track your progress through the months and years ahead, you'll be able to look back on your progress with satisfaction.
Start your exercise journal, by recording the following information:
- Heart rate at rest
- Blood pressure at rest
- Cholesterol levels
- Blood Glucose levels
Go to your doctor to have these measurements taken, and explain that you're about to start a weight training regime, and get your doctor's clearance that you're healthy enough to lift weights.
Body measurements: If you're not going to be a body builder, the measurements of your biceps, thighs and so on probably don't matter to you. (The size of your waistline is probably another story!)
However, it is quite simply fun to track your progress by checking the measurements of the various body parts that you are busy sculpting.
So, take a measuring tape and measure your:
Note these measurements down in your journal, which you will begin keeping immediately. Every 30 days or so, re-measure (ensuring that you always measure from the same spot, so your findings will be accurate), and note down the new measurements.
Don't be afraid, w hen measuring your biceps, that you are going to achieve the hypermuscles of an Arnold Schwarzenegger. This will not happen unless you really get into the body building lifestyle, working out three or four hours a day, and taking various supplements.
On the other hand, your biceps will become firm, as will your triceps, which will get rid of those flabby underarms that afflict women, particularly in old age.
Now, let's find out what your overall strength is.
How many pushups can you do? Doing either "modified" or men's pushups will give you an idea of your current upper body strength.
Tests have been done on this, and the number of modified pushups the average woman can do is 17 - 33. That's for a woman in her 20s. For a woman in her 30s, 12 - 24 is average. In her 40s, 8-19. In her 50s, 6 - 14, and in her 60s, 3 - 4.
What's your abdominal strength?
How many crunches can you do? (Rather than sit-ups, crunches are easier on your back). The average woman under 35 can do 25 crunches, women from 36-45 can do 25, and over 45, 15 crunches.
(Notice that as one ages, the amount of pushups and crunches goes down. That's a bit of a deceiving number. With a weight training regime, there's no reason why your strength and abilities should decline until you're well into your 70s, everything else being equal.)
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