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Minimal Weight Lifting Routine?

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    Minimal Weight Lifting Routine?

    It seems like a lot of you like to spend time in the gym, so I'm hoping to tap into your knowledge.

    First off, let me clarify that this is not a "how can I get shredded in ten minutes a day" question. I used to spend my fair share of time in the weight room, and I know that significant results require significant time and effort.

    These days, I run. And while I do enjoy gym time, I'd always rather be out running on a trail than lifting in a gym. But I know that in the long run, my overall health will benefit from some strength training, so I've started doing a couple of (very) short weight workouts each week. Basically, I run like you gym guys lift, and lift like you gym guys run.

    My routine is simple-three sets of each of the following: deadlift, bench press, pull-ups, and crunches. I see no need to squat because I work the same muscles by running up mountains or riding a bike.

    What do you think--is this good for a minimal full-body routine? Should I replace any of these exercises with something else?

    Pretty good compound routine. I'd add some sort of vertical push to it, either seated military or dumbbell overhead press. I'd also throw in some type of rows, bent-over barbell or db rows. Just my two cents. Id dont really do crunches. I activate my core doing most other lifts, especially pull-ups.


      The basic Stronglifts program is simple, fast, and comprehensive. Day 1 is squats, bench press, and barbell row. Day 2 is squats, overhead press, and deadlifts. They say a workout should take 45 minutes but this assumes you are adding weights at a rate that requires increasingly longer rest times as you progress through the program. If you are going for maintenance or slow gains, the basic Stronglifts routines can be done in 20-25 minutes.

      My personal fitness strategy is all about efficiency. I am under no illusion that I would ever have the time or dedication (let alone the genes and dietary discipline) to look like a fitness model. I exercise almost every day but only for 20-30 minutes at a time, and I alternate days between running, lifting, and HIIT circuits. On my lifting days I do a variation on the Stronglifts routine and my sessions take maybe 30 minutes, including a warm-up and stretching.

      Looking at your current routine, the main thing missing (besides squats) seems to be some sort of shoulder exercise. You really can't go wrong with a basic overhead press.

      Personally I wouldn't skip squats just because you do legs-based cardio. Lower body strength is frankly more important for "functional" fitness than upper body. Plus strength training your legs improves your core strength, balance, bone density, and joint resilience, and can actually improve your running/biking performance and decrease your risk of injury. (As a runner, I always had intermittent IT band and peroneal tendon issues until I started lifting regularly and strengthened the muscles that support those connective tissues.)


        I agree with what the others have said: I would add an overhead press, a barbell row, and of course... squats.

        Here's a quick article about why runner's should squat. Of course, the article uses a lot of bodyweight squats as examples, and while beneficial, a weighted squat is better in my opinion. I know that from personal experience, I perform better at all sports because I squat. I run better than I used to, I play basketball better than I used to, etc.


          Pretty much what [MENTION=2341]LesserBlackDog[/MENTION] said from top to bottom. Weight lifting (and since you run/bike, squats in particular) will keep you from getting injured in doing the running/biking (not to mention help your performance).


            I agree with LBD in everything, but instead of 5x5, I'd recommend doing 3x5. It'll take longer to stall, it'll be easier to break plateaus, and workouts won't take as long. There's a big difference between 9 work sets and 15 work sets when you count in the the time for warm up sets. Also, I'm pretty sure you already do this, but serious cardio after lifting, or on off days. Never before lifting unless it's a 5 minute walk to warm up. Don't want to tire yourself out before you do the real work.


              Personally, I like to follow a routine week to week. Keeps me motivated and easier to track. I have been doing this one for a while.


              Technically it is 4 days per week but I've been doing 2 days per week with some GPP/soccer on the side and have been loving it. So I squat/overhead press one week then deadlift and bench the next, rinse and repeat.


                Thanks, guys. Those routines are exactly the type of thing I was looking for.


                  Some good advice above. As a runner/climber who lifts basically to supplement those two things I'll throw in my 2 cents:

                  I've found lower body resistance training is great to keep your body balanced and help avoid repetitive use injuries from running. I like complex stuff that incorporates an element of balance like pistols or kettlebells, and some sort of hip exercise is KEY. Just know that a typical leg lifting program is going to be counterproductive to the kind of muscle tissue you want to develop for running, so keep the reps low and weight up - which will do more to train your nervous system than it will break down your slow twitch muscle. It also happens to take less time which is nice. I trail run and want to maintain some strength in the quads for downhills so I do some really high rep/low weight quad extensions as well. For upper body research would seem to show you can basically do what you want without negatively affecting your aerobic capacity - for me that means a lot of back and hanging/grip stuff for climbing and some presses and ab stuff to balance that out.

                  Cardio post-lifting: Unless it's something like light stationary bike work, I much prefer my cardio beforehand simply because if my arms or back are tight from lifting my running form sucks and it can be pretty uncomfortable. But I'm sure you already have your routine figured.