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Exercise Program

The exercise program you choose depends entirely on your fitness goals. The exercises you will be doing and the approach you take in performing these exercises will depend on whether you wish to gain muscle and strength, tone and lose weight or just stay in shape and be healthy. I will briefly describe a sample exercise program that can be adapted for all people regardless of their age or fitness objectives.

If you are looking to build muscle or strength via a bodybuilding routine, stick to 4-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions. Focus on the positive and negative of each movement of each repetition. Gradually increase the weight as you work out to force your muscles to work. Otherwise your muscles will become programmed, accustomed to the same weight and you will no longer experience any gains. There are many approaches and techniques that can be used in bodybuilding. Experiment and use the best one that fits you. An excellent book about weight training and bodybuilding that discusses many different techniques to working out is The Weider System of Bodybuilding.

If you are looking to tone or just stay in shape and be healthy, an exercise program combining weight training and a cardiovascular workout is appropriate for you. When you are exercising with weights, 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions at a reasonable weight would be appropriate. Combine this with cardio exercise 1-2 times a week such as riding an exercise bike or elliptical machine or by joining classes at your gym. It is difficult to discuss in great detail in this article exactly what you should be doing. For custom exercise programs I highly recommend Global, Health and Fitness

Here is a sample exercise program that can be modified to fit any person's fitness goals. Remember that you can change the order and incorporate different exercises for each body part on weekly basis. I encourage this to prevent boredom and your body getting used to the same routine.

Before beginning your workout, you should warm up for 5 - 10 minutes on an exercise bike or treadmill. This will prevent you from pulling muscles or injuring yourself. For a cool-down, you can perform stretching exercises.

Day 1

Back Exercises:
Behind the neck lateral pulldown 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Seated pulley rowing 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Lateral pulldown with a narrow grip 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
One arm dumbbell bent rowing 3-4 sets 10 - 12 repetitions

Triceps:
Pulley pushdown with handle 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Behind the head rope triceps extension 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Reverse-grip pulley pushdown 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions

Abdominals and lower back floor exercises:
Crunches 3 sets of 24 repetitions
Oblique crunches 3 sets of 16 repetitions
Lower back extensions 2 sets of 12 repetitions

Day 2

Chest:
Seated iso wide chest bench press 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Incline dumbbell press 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Cable crossovers 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Flyes 3-4 sets 10 - 15 repetitions

Biceps:
Seated bicep curl
Incline bicep dumbbell curl
Hammer bicep curl

Cardiovascular Exercise

Day 3

Shoulders:
Seated behind the neck shoulder press 3-4 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Upright cable rowing 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Dumbbell side lateral 3-5 sets 10 - 15 repetitions
Arnold press 3-4 sets 10 - 15 repetitions

Forearms:
Forearm curl 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions

Abdominals and lower back floor exercises:
Crunches 3 sets of 24 repetitions
Oblique crunches 3 sets of 16 repetitions
Lower back extensions 2 sets of 12 repetitions

Day 4

Legs:
Leg extensions 4 sets, 12-15 repetitions
Leg press 4 sets, 12-15 repetitions
Calf raises 5 sets, 15 repetitions
Hamstring curl 4 sets, 12-15 repetitions

Abdominals and lower back floor exercises:
Crunches 3 sets of 24 repetitions
Oblique crunches 3 sets of 16 repetitions

Cardiovascular Exercise

These are just general workout guidelines. You really need to consider what ideally suits you best. If you need more help or for customized exercise programs visit popularfitness.com

About the author:
Peter Kudlacz is the owner of http://www.popularfitness.com where you can find online fitness and golf programs, exercise instruction guides, articles, resources and tips.

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