This is the most conservative strength training program. It uses Thera-band (R) as the form of resistance. Thera-band (R) is very inexpensive and comes in a variety of strengths.
Because Theraband is small and lightweight, it is the perfect workout for anyone who travels frequently or who prefers to work out in their home.
Those who train consistently with the Home/Travel program will improve their strength, endurance, and muscle tone. This program is most appropriate for those with little or no weightlifting experience who want a simple, convenient way to improve their health.
Risk of injury with this program is very low; it does not require a “spotter” to assure safety. However, if you are interested in making big improvements in muscle strength and size, you will want to move up to the Bodybuilding or Strength and Power programs.
Do this program 2-3 times a week with at least one day of rest between workouts for muscle recovery. The Home/Travel program consists of two exercises for each large muscle group, with one exercise for smaller muscle groups such as the trapezius and calves.
Unlike the other strength training programs, the Home/Travel program trains all of the muscle groups each workout–that is, we don’t split the muscle groups into two different workouts.
Although we list two exercises per muscle group, we recommend doing only one exercise per muscle group per workout, at first. For example, when training shoulders, choose either the Lateral Raise or the Front Shoulder Raise, not both. If you choose the Lateral Raise as your shoulder exercise on Monday, do the Front Shoulder Raise the next time you work out. Always alternate the exercises you do for each muscle group; this keeps your muscles “guessing” and can prevent boredom and frustrating plateaus.
With a few exceptions, we recommend doing 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions (reps) for each exercise that you do. For example, do the Tricep Pushdown with your right arm twelve times (reps) and then switch to the left arm and do a set of 12 reps–this completes one set of 12 reps. Rest briefly and then do your second set of 12 reps for each arm.
You can vary the resistance (increase or decrease the intensity) by adjusting your hand position on the Theraband. For example, you can make the Concentration Curl more difficult by simply grasping the Theraband closer to your foot, or use a different resistive strength of Thera-band (R).
On each set of exercises, you want to do as many reps as you can (this is called “going to fatigue”) while still using good form. If on your first set of Bent Over Rows, you can do 18 reps before your back muscles become fatigued, on the next set increase the resistance so that you reach fatigue somewhere between 8-15 reps. Remember to always adjust the resistance so that it challenges you for the desired number of reps, which should be between 8-15.
Adjusting the resistance so that you can do sets of 8-12 reps promotes gains in muscle strength and tone. Reps of 12-15 promotes improvement in muscle endurance and tone. We recommend varying the number of reps you do for each set so that you achieve all three: muscle strength, endurance and tone. For example, on your first set of the Overhead Tricep Extensions do 15 reps. On your second set, increase the resistance slightly and do 12 reps, the third set 10 reps, etc.
Rest between each set for 30-60 seconds–just enough time so that your muscles feel recuperated but not “cold”. When resting between sets, you should get a drink of water, and/or stretch the muscle group you are in the process of training.
Once you become comfortable with the Home/Travel strength training program and you feel ready for a more intense/advanced workout, begin Phase 1 of either the General Fitness, Bodybuilding, or Strength and Power program. Note: you will need the use of a health club or home weightlifting equipment. Good luck and enjoy yourself and the results you will soon receive!