Basics of Training

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Spring is slowly, so slowly coming up on us. I am excited about warmer weather and am already loving the longer days! It is nice to finish my day at the gym and still have sunlight to run my puppy.

Some of you may be thinking about heading to the shore, going on vacation, and coming up most quickly, Blue Ball 2007. The theme for Blue Ball this year is Basic Training; so a few folks have asked me to provide some Basic Training tips.

I encourage all of you to challenge yourself for the next month and put yourself through your own personal boot camp. Take some time with your workout partner or Personal Trainer and make a plan to kick it up a notch for the next 30 days.


A Basic Training program for people looking to improve general fitness level, lose weight, and improve tone should combine cardio, weight training, flexibility and proper diet.

DAY 1: Five-eight minute warm up, Upper Body Weight Training, Stretching

DAY 2: Cardio: 20-40 minutes of intense interval cardio. Peaking your intensity levels every 5 minutes.

DAY 3: Five-eight minute warm up, Lower Body Weight Training, Stretching

Weight training and cardio should be done most effectively on alternating days. A good weight training workout can be completed within an hour including warm up and stretching after.

Warm Up

Always warm up your muscled before beginning any heavy lifting. You increase the chances of injury by just hitting heavy weights. Hop on the treadmill, elliptical, bike, or even the rowing machine for several minutes increasing your pace for about 5-8 minutes, you may even break a sweat.

Weight Training

Begin with the largest muscle groups and work to the smaller. The smaller muscles are doing a lot of assistance for the larger groups and if you wear them out early the larger groups will not get the best workout. For upper body, follow this sequence: chest, back, shoulders, biceps then triceps. Do some research or find a good trainer to put together a specific program for yourself. Keep track of your progress and write down the weights and repetitions so that you can plan your next workout based upon what you did in the past and push yourself to the next level.


The basic machines are fine, but find ways to make it fun and enjoyable. Take a class, ride your bike, go for a run along Kelly Drive, learn to roller blade. The key is to increase the intensity level to really get your heart pumping hard and break a nice sweat. Build the intensity level up about every 5 minutes to close to maximum capacity, then bring it down and repeat the build up for 5-8 cycles. If you really do it with intensity beginners should have a hard time keeping it up for 20 minutes. Work your way up to 35-45 minutes over time.


Change up your routine. Take some different classes, if you have never taken yoga, do it now! Most gyms offer over 30 different classes. Over time challenge yourself to hit them all! If you are not a member of a gym, join one or get out and join a sports team, learn to roller blade, take a hike. Find something new, different, and challenging. You deserve it!

A strong and effective workout plan does not require excessive amounts of time and “kicking it up a notch” does not mean spending more and more time in the gym; but working out with MORE INTENSITY. Plan your workout and workout smarter. I encouraged you to keep track of your weights, push yourself to the next level and increase the weight. When you do this make sure your trainer or partner are spotting you and force out each repetition, even with a little help, complete the set! For some reason it takes 21 seconds to develop a bad habit but it usually takes about 21 days to make a good habit, so for the next 30 days challenge yourself to identify some areas you need to improve upon and build a few good habits.

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