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Exercising Muscles


Muscles can be improved so that they are able to do either or both of the following:


1. Move against greater weights or forces. If a muscle can move a greater force it is said to have greater strength.


2. Move for a longer period of time before tiring. If a muscle can work for longer it is said to have greater endurance, which is the same as greater muscle tone.


This type of exercise involves carrying repetitions of the same exercise in a sequence. Each exercise aims to work a particular muscle or group of muscles in a way that is safe (ie. does not strain or tear the muscle), but which provides a resistance that challenges that muscle.


There are 3 variables in this type of exercise:

a/ The muscle or combination of muscles being worked

b/ The amount of force being pitched against the muscle

c/ The number of repetitions


A typical sequence will involve exercising the following groups of muscles one after the other:

  • Legs
  • Shoulders
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Abdominals
  • Buttocks & Hips


  • Ideally try to isolate the muscles you wish to develop...use those muscles as much as possible and other muscles as little as possible.
  • Have a definite start and finish to each repetition....repetitions should not flow into each other; and there should not be a break between them either.
  • Bouncing or rapid movements will reduce the muscle toning effect.
  • Never do toning exercises unless the body is first warmed up.


The number of exercises included in this section will depend upon what you are trying to achieve. If the aim is to achieve a general all round conditioning of main muscle groups, you may choose to incorporate around 6 different exercises, each dealing with different muscles. If the aim is more targeted (eg. For a sports person wishing to develop specific muscles used in their sport), the number of exercises will be determined by the specific muscles which are being targeted. A set of 4 -5 exercises per muscle group may be performed. Exercises may include push ups, back arches and abdominal work. The following program will assist in providing a 5 - 10 minute muscle conditioning stage for your class.

Progression/Progressive Resistance
This means that the individual must exercise at intensity greater than his or her existing capacity if they wish to improve. It involves gradually increasing the number of repetitions (reps) done in an exercise from a "lower guide number" to the "upper guide number". When the upper guide number is reached, more weight is added to the system, reps are reduced to the lower guide number, and the process is repeated. You are achieving overload by increasing resistance.
Example of progressive resistance:
You are required to do one set of 8-12 reps of a movement starting with 20kgs (or a safe weight for you - appropriate for your level of fitness). For example Bicep curls with a barbell.
Session days would be:
Day 1 20kg Barbell X 8 bicep curls
Day 3 20kgs X 9
Day 5 20kgs X 10
Day 7 20kgs X 10
Day 9 20kgs X 12
Once 12 repetitions are achieved, the weight can be increased to make the biceps work harder.
Day 11 25kgs X 8 (only 8 reps can be performed because the weight is now heavier)
Day 13 25kgs X 10
Day 15 25kgs X 12
This continues making sure the muscle group being worked can achieve a least 11 - 12 repetitions and then the resistance is increased.
Note: Weight training the same muscle group two days in a row will not allow that particular muscle group to rest. By not resting enough the muscles will not repair or adapt to the training performed (i.e.: grow in strength/size), overuse can also cause injuries.
It is suggested to allow at least 3 - 4 days for a group of muscles to rest. If workout sessions were to be performed every second day biceps could be trained every second session. (i.e.: Day 1, Day 5 and Day 9).
  • Avoid maximum lifts at beginning of program, focus on skill and safety.
  • Strength improvement occurs within 60 - 80% of a muscles' force generating capacity.
  • Recommended range of repetitions for beginners is 12 - 15 for 2 sets only
  • Resistance should only increase is 12 reps are performed with ease and safety
  • Allow 2 - 3 sessions for client to select appropriate training resistance
  • Strength training should only begin when instructor is satisfied client is lifting correctly and can recognise limitations
Weight training
This term generally refers to training with resistance equipment. These can be either free weights or exercise machines, which provide the muscles with a resistance. The aim is usually to gain muscle definition, size, and strength and to tone the body.
Body building
As the term implies it refers to increasing or altering the mass of the body by exercise. But there is more to it then just this. Sound nutritional practices, adequate sleep and muscle rest are also essential. Body building is regarded as a competitive sport, at various levels from amateur to professional. The exercise program is usually more intense than a weight training program in regards to the number of exercises performed per body part, the weight (resistance) lifted and workout time (duration).
Power lifting
A form of competitive weight lifting featuring three lifts: the squat, bench press and dead lift. (See video for demonstration and description). The goal is to lift the most weight for three combined. Like weight lifting maximal strength training is the goal during training.
Weight lifting
Is a competitive form of weight training in which participants do The Snatch & Clean and Jerk. Total weight for two combined lifts is the winner. Maximal strength during training is the goal.
Tubing is elastic resistance that can be used to create simple, effective and readily available exercise resistance training programs that you can perform virtually anywhere. This mode of resistance training enables you to work all major muscle groups. These are, in essence, large, very durable elastic bands with handles on each end. Upon set-up of a given exercise, tubing follows the way your body moves. Unlike weight machines where your body has to adapt to the path of motion provided by the given machine, tubing provides you with made to order exercises that adapt to the way your body is structured.


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