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Ask the Trainer: Full Body Strength Training

By Billy Locke
Published: Friday, February 20, 2009, at 01:01PM
Bally's Total Fitness Billy Locke

Bally's Total Fitness, at Macy's Plaza.

Hey everybody, raise your hands, honk your horns or email me at if you have jumped on board the wellness train by performing cardio three days a week for 30 to 60 minutes, full body resistance training two days and stretching daily as I suggested last week.

These are the minimum weekly requirements for maintaining your body. Remember, happiness is the product of good health. No amount of money or worldly possessions can ever trump your own good health. Health first and everything else will naturally follow.

With this week’s sermon out of the way, let’s move on to filling in the blanks by diagramming a good example of a full body strength training routine.

As with anything, there is more than one way to get there. Setting up a well-rounded workout routine is no different. The key is to include exercises that will incorporate the largest percentage of muscles in your body. Neglecting to do so creates imbalances in the way your muscles exert force upon the bones, which could eventually lead to chronic pain or a potentially debilitating situation.

Remember to always warm-up for at least 10 minutes with some form of light, continuous activity, like walking on the treadmill (before lifting weights). This will help to insure your muscles and joints are sufficiently warm and ready to handle the workload.

The Workout

  1. Leg Extensions
  2. Leg Curl
  3. Leg Press
  4. Inner Thigh
  5. Outer Thigh
  6. Seated Calf Raise
  7. Lat Pull down
  8. Dumbbell Flat Bench Press
  9. Dumbbell Overhead Press (Military Press)
  10. Dumbbell Curl
  11. Tricep Pushdown

For each of these, do 1 to 3 sets of 15 - 20 reps.

This routine should take you (excluding warm-up) 30 minutes to complete if you are doing one set of each exercise, 45 to 60 minutes for two sets and 75 to 90 minutes to complete 3 sets.

Strength Training Workout Tips

Rest only one-minute between each set.

First Time Exercisers, perform 1 set of each exercise for the first 2 months and then increase to 2 sets of each.

Intermediate Exercisers, perform 2 sets of each exercise for the first month then progress to 3 sets of each.

Advanced Exercisers, perform 3 sets for the first month then jump to 4 sets of each.

As a time saver for intermediate and advanced exercisers, perform your exercises in a superset fashion. For example, do one set of Leg Extensions for 15 to 20 reps, then immediately follow with a set of Leg Curls for 15 to 20 reps. Supersets allow you to do more work faster by enabling you to work the same or different parts of the body back to back with little or no rest between exercises.

Downtown Exercise Spots

For those just starting to look for a spot to practice your new strength training exercise moves, you might start with Bally’s Total Fitness or Gold’s Gym. These are just two of the many Downtown exercise spots where you can go to discover your exercise bliss.

Bally's Total Fitness / Macy's Plaza / 700 S. Flower / 213-624-3933

Gold’s Gym / 7+Fig Plaza / 735 S. Figueroa #2 / 213-688-1441

As promised last week, I will review all that Downtown has to offer exercise wise. My review will be more of a shout out to where you can go to get your exercise boogie on in our hood. This is also a good opportunity for anyone that owns a yoga, Pilates, martial arts studio, etc to give me a shout so I can include them in the line up.

Check back next week for mention of more Downtown workout spots and we’ll answer another email from

Til next time—Exercise More, Play Hard, Work Smart.

Billy Locke

Extreme Natural Fitness Trainer


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