The most efficient and thorough strength workout is on Nautilus type exercise machines. "Nautilus" has become a generic term for any brand of exercise machine that isolates individual muscle groups. These machines are usually grouped so that moving from one machine to the next is a progression, or circuit of working related muscle groups.
These circuit machines have become very popular and you will surely find them if you belong to a YMCA, or most any modern health or fitness club. At first the machines may seem a little complicated or torturous looking, but be assured after a short while you will get the hang of bouncing from machine to machine for a some good strength training.
A Typical CircuitGenerically speaking, a circuit may typically be set up to work muscles in the following sequence.
- Leg muscles - A leg press for upper quads, a leg extension for lower quads, a leg curl for hamstrings, a calf press and hopefully a machine that works the inside and outside thigh muscles.
- Upper body muscles - A rowing or pulling motion for upper back, a chest muscle press and/or pulldown.
- Arm muscles - Curls for biceps, reverse curls for triceps and a flying motion for pecs and rear deltoids.
- Core muscles - an abdominal resistance and lower back resistance.
Strength Training = Weight ControlIt may not sound logical, but it is a fact that a strength training routine will help maintain your desired weight and pants size. Using the circuit machines to keep strong somehow kicks in a faster metabolism that can burn calories for a long time after a workout. So, when you are pumping iron (in moderation) and it's 90 degrees outside, think snow.
Strength Training Tips
- Ask for a demonstration. Every facility has a trained staff so be sure to ask for a Certified Trainer to demonstrate each machine in the circuit and watch you do a few repetitions to be sure you are doing the exercise correctly and getting the most out of each machine.
- Don't overdo it.] You certainly don't need to bench press or leg press 5 times your weight for better skiing. Don't push yourself to the point of risking an injury.
- Warm up first. Do some gentle stretching to start, then maybe add 10 minutes or so of a cardio exercise to raise the heart rate and break a little sweat. Elliptical or stair machines can be an alternative to treadmills and saves the knees.
- Keep a record. Many facilities provide a file with sheets listing all the machines that you can use as a log. Again don't overdue it but if you progress comfortably with weight increases you can see it is all worthwhile.