The sample workout that I have described here is for a vibrant, young 56 year-old woman we’ll call Crystal. She has noticed a gradual increase in her bodyweight over the last few years, which she is concerned about. She has seen her doctor and is cleared to start an exercise program. (As always please get medical clearance before starting any physical fitness program.)

The following program will be excellent for Crystal for the following reasons:

  1.  It is going to focus on resistance training because that what she needs to develop her declining strength and declining basal metabolic rate.
  2.  It will start out in low volume and intensity to help her increase her tendon and ligament strength.
  3.  Once she has become accustomed to the resistance training it will follow a protocol of training at 80 percent of her max to ensure strength gains.
  4. Aerobic training exercises for increasing cardiovascular endurance.
  5. It will include warm-up exercises for enhancing range of motion.
  6. Cool-down stretches for promoting flexibility.
  7. A nutritional strategy including complex carbohydrates, lean protein sources and ‘healthy fats’ such as olive oil.

 Strength training: Weeks 1-2

Seated Leg Extension

Standing Leg Curls

DB Bench Press

DB Row

Standing Calf Raises

DB Lateral Raise


DB Curls

Cable pushdowns

These first two weeks each exercise will be performed for one set only for eight repetitions, concentrating on proper form and technique. Having her execute both the eccentric and concentric movements slowly. I will remind her to breathe normally, one inhalation and exhalation per repetition. Crystal will have a training log recording down all her exercises, sets, reps and poundage. Once I know that she is comfortable with the execution I want her to work up to fifteen repetitions with each exercise. Workouts to be performed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday.

 Weeks 3-4

During these two weeks I will have Crystal performing the same routine but for two sets per exercise and only working her way up to twelve repetitions. Once she reaches twelve repetitions, we increase the weight and go back to eight repetitions. I know during these weeks Crystal will be feeling a little sore from her exercise program, I’ll encourage her and tell her that it is normal that she is using muscles that she hasn’t for a long time. She will be setting short-term goals that should be reached on both a daily and weekly basis to help keep her motivated.

Weeks 5-8,


Barbell Bench Press

Lat Pulldowns

Incline DB Bench Press

Rowing Machine

Back Extensions





Seated Leg Curls

Cable Abductor Swings

Cable Adductor Swings

Seated Calf Raises


DB Presses

Rear Deltoids on machine

Barbell Curls

Seated DB Tricep Extension

During the next four weeks I will let Crystal know that we will be changing her workout, to help her keep from getting bored and to focus more on strengthening each bodypart. At the beginning of week five I will be reevaluating her assessments and I’m sure that she will be thrilled with her progress. The set and rep scheme will be 2 sets of 8 reps for each exercise. Once she properly executes the exercise for 2 sets of 8 we will increase the weight for her next workout.

 Weeks 9-12


Hammer Strength Bench Press

Incline DB Flys

Hammer Curls

Back Extensions



DB Rows

Lat Pulldowns

Lateral Raises

Rear Deltoid Machine

Lying Bilateral DB Tricep Extension


Leg Presses

Lying Leg Curls

Leg back swing for gluteals on machine (2 sets only)

Leg Abductors on Machine (2 sets only)

Leg Adductors on Machine (2 sets only)

Standing Calf Raise (2 sets only)

Seated Calf Raise (2 sets only)

During these four weeks we will be changing her program again. This time the set and rep scheme will be 3 sets of 8. Like last cycle once she can execute 3 sets of 8 reps properly we will increase the weight. The rest time between sets will be anywhere from 2-4 minutes. Also at the beginning of week nine I will be reevaluating her assessments and going over her progress with her and highlighting all the positives and point out to her on how far she has come already.


From reading Crystal exercise history questionnaire I found out that she really enjoyed playing tennis when she was younger. I asked her if she would like to pick that up again and she said that she would love too. I’d advised her to start s-l-o-w-l-y. Begin by playing only 20 minutes I told her to make sure that she looked at her watch before she started playing and to time herself. I feel that if she is doing an activity she loves to do that she would adhere to it better. I’d have her do this on 2 of her off days making sure that she did not play before her back workout because tennis really involves the lat muscles. I’d have her increase her playing time 5 minutes a week, until she reached 45 minutes. I’d remind her to do her warm-up exercises and cool-down stretches.

This is just a sample routine, if you would like a personalized program please contact us at 407-529-4512 or by email at

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