Woman lifting weights

2-Day Full Body Strength Training Program

Strength/resistance training is crucial to build and maintain muscle mass. Muscle supports a healthy metabolism and helps you burn fat. Maintaining muscle is important for overall health, physical function and quality of life, especially as we age. Research also suggests exercise is linked to improvements in sleep quantity and quality, cognition, energy, and mood. This means exercise may help you feel better from the inside out and not only live a longer life, but a better life!

Incorporate a minimum of two strength training sessions per week, targeting all the major muscle groups of the body. This can be done with body weight exercises, weights, bands, or exercise machines. Whatever you choose, ensure you are challenging your muscles.

Why Should I Strength Train?

How Can I Optimize My Workouts?

  • Listen to your body! If an exercise gives you pain or discomfort that feels different than the muscle working, stop and try something else (check out our Exercise Swap guidance article for ideas)

  • Ensure you allow for adequate recovery time between workouts and quality sleep. An average recovery time of 48-72 hours is recommended between muscle groups, but this number can vary on an individual basis. So, listen to your body!

  • Make sure you are hydrated and fueled before, during and after exercise

    • 125-130 oz/day of fluid (~16 cups) for men

    • 91-95 oz/day of fluid (~12 cups) for women

  • Try to time your workout 1-3 hours after eating. If you exercise first thing in the morning, experiment with eating something simple beforehand to help fuel your workout, within your daily caloric recommendations.

  • Try to eat at least 30 grams of high quality protein, within your daily protein recommendations, two hours post exercise to promote muscle building

  • There are so many different ways to strength train. Find different modes that you enjoy, or grab a friend and exercise together!

How Can I Make Sure I’m Progressing?

  • If you are new or returning to strength training, it is better to start with no weight or a light weight for each exercise. You can always increase.

  • Without sacrificing form, choose a weight in which the last 2-3 reps are a challenge.

  • Slow and control the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement. Slowing the movement allows you to focus on your form, reduce your risk for injury, and increase muscle size and strength.

  • Throughout each set, make sure you are checking in and maintaining good form–especially as you begin to get tired!
  • Make sure to keep a neutral spine and engage your core with all exercises.

  • Stick with the same exercises for a period of 5-8 weeks (unless you have a pain point) but increase one variable (weight, reps, or sets) in order to challenge yourself each week.

    • Pick one variable to increase each week. If you increase your weight, you may need to decrease your reps. If you increase your reps or sets, staying at a similar weight is appropriate.

    • Example:

      • Week 1: perform three sets of 12 reps of bodyweight squats

      • Week 2: perform three sets of 15 reps of bodyweight squats (reps increased)

      • Week 3: perform three sets of 15 reps of squats holding a 10 lb dumbbell (weight increased)

What If I Prefer to Take Exercise Classes?

If heading to the free weight section is not for you, there are plenty of other ways you can incorporate strength training! Group classes like CrossFit, Orangetheory®, and F45 all incorporate a combination of weight training and cardio in a group setting under the guidance of an instructor. Some other group and class based options that are offered at many gyms include Barre, assorted Les Mills™ Classes, Pilates, and TRX. Look for key phrases like “strength” and “build muscle” to know if a class incorporates strength training.

2-Day Full Body Strength Training Program

Need a modification?

No equipment? Difficulty or inability to perform exercise listed?

Find an exercise swap here.

Warm-Up

Navigate to your Neuromotor/mobility program (click on the My Plan tab and scroll to the Activity section) to complete your warm-up prior to strength training.

Work-Out Day 1

Exercises in Blue: Approximately 30-minute* session

Whole Program: Approximately 60-minute* session  

*Time can vary based on individual rest times

Key

Reps Sets

One rep is one complete exercise movement

A collection of reps

  • A/B exercises: Two exercises with the same number labeled “A” and “B” indicates a superset. Complete supersets back to back (A then B), with minimal rest in between and repeat until you have completed all sets. Supersets are a great way to incorporate more work in less time.

  • Rest times: Start each set feeling mostly recovered by resting 1-2 minutes in between sets. Listen to your body and adjust as needed. If you don’t need the full 1-2 minutes of rest, challenge yourself with a heavier weight on the next set.

1. Goblet Squat

  • Use a dumbbell or your bodyweight
  • Scaled modification: bodyweight box squat
Sets Reps

3

12 - 15

Click here for additional modifications.

2a. Alternating Dumbbell Floor Press

Sets Reps

3

8-15 each arm

Click here for additional modifications.

2b. Three Point Dumbbell Row

Sets Reps

3

8-12 each arm

Click here for additional modifications.

3. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

  • Scaled Modification: Use light dumbbells or a PVC pipe/stick to practice the movement pattern
Sets Reps

3

10-15

Click here for additional modifications.

4a. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Sets Reps

3

8- 15

Click here for additional modifications.

4b. Dumbbell Step Ups

  • Ideally use a box that puts your thigh parallel with the ground
  • If this is too difficult, use a lower box
  • Use your body weight or dumbbells
Sets Reps

3

8-12 each leg

Click here for additional modifications.

5. Single Leg Glute Bridge

  • Beginner Modification: Scaled Modification: double leg glute bridge
  • Advanced Modification:  add a dumbell on top of your hips to increase weight
Sets Reps

3

8-15 each leg

Click here for additional modifications.

6. Single Arm Farmers Carry

  • Scaled Modification: decrease time/weight
Sets Reps

3

30 seconds each side

Work-Out Day 2

Exercises in Blue: Approximately 30-minute* session

Whole Program: Approximately 60-minute* session  

*Time can vary based on individual rest times

Key

Reps Sets

One rep is one complete exercise movement

A collection of reps

  • A/B exercises: Two exercises with the same number labeled “A” and “B” indicates a superset. Complete supersets back to back (A then B), with minimal rest in between and repeat until you have completed all sets. Supersets are a great way to incorporate more work in less time.

  • Rest times: Start each set feeling mostly recovered by resting 1-2 minutes in between sets. Listen to your body and adjust as needed. If you don’t need the full 1-2 minutes of rest, challenge yourself with a heavier weight on the next set.

1. Dumbbell Deadlift

  • Scaled Modification: Elevate the floor by putting the dumbbell on a small box to decrease the distance between it and you
Sets Reps

3

8 - 12

Click here for additional modifications.

2. Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

Sets Reps

3

10 - 15

Click here for additional modifications.

3. Split Squat

  • Scaled Modification: Hold on to something sturdy for support and balance
Sets Reps

3

6 - 10 each leg

Click here for additional modifications.

4a. Incline Push-Ups

  • Scaled Modification: start by using a wall
  • The lower the incline, the more challenging
Sets Reps

3

6 - 12

Click here for additional modifications.

4b. Machine Chest Supported Row

Sets Reps

3

10 - 15

Click here for additional modifications.

5. Seated Leg Curl

Sets Reps

3

12 - 15

Click here for additional modifications.

6a. Dumbbell Calf Raise Off Step

  • Scaled Modification: start by using your body weight
Sets Reps

3

12 - 15

6b. Modified Side Plank

  • Scaled Modification: decrease time
  • Can do reps of position if you are unable to hold
Sets Reps

3

10 - 30 sec each side

The JuvYou Mobile App does not provide medical advice and is not meant to treat or prevent disease or replace a visit to your healthcare provider. You should not rely on it solely to make important medical decisions.