I have researched and studied the right way to use weights in training for almost a year but have been lifting for a lot longer. I don't want to be arrogant but the following is based on many, many hours of study and research. It is not some program I have lifted from this guy or that person. It's based on serious study.
As in diet and running, most of the so-called "experts" make weight training something that is basically simple, complicated.
You can do the following 2 or 3 times a week--if you do 2--that's good--as I'm sure you know, you should give your body at least one full day of rest between workouts.The following are full body workouts.
Interestingly--Cerutty in many ways had a lot of the right exercises you are supposed to do. Perhaps this was because he was friends with George Hackenschmidt, a famous strength man from way back when.
Proper form in lifting is important, if I am in doubt about form I go to Youtube and pick a SHORT video that shows me how.
The key is that you pick the exercises that involve your FULL body--sure they may seem to highlight the biceps or something else but as you do them you will see that they actually work more than just that.
To begin--warm up gently--to me this includes old school things like a short jog( a minute or 2) or jumping jacks with some slight bent knee alternate toe touches--stretching my arms and shoulders in a circular motion, etc.
I strongly recommend training with barbells and dumbells if at all possible! It is the tried and true way. There are numerous reasons for this.I train in my garage or out in my back yard.
As far as how heavy should I make the weights? I always do at least one or two sets of real light weights before doing EACH exercise listed below.These warm-up sets are very important to do!!! I am very paranoid about getting injured or developing 'sore' spots. So below I will list 2 sets for most of the exercises, this DOESN'T include the warm-up sets. If you feel you can do more than 10 reps easily on your first set than you need to add a few pounds on the bar.I try to make it where I can do 10 reps on the first set but it is not all that easy. On my second set I will add lbs so making 10 is definitely difficult, sometimes I can only do 8. After a few weeks or 3 you can add a set and gradually increase poundage for the below lifts. Patience is the key.
Ideally, you should have eaten 2 hours or longer before your weight session.You want to have the fuel available for the workout.Have water available to drink as you go.
Remember to DO the warm-up sets before each exercise!!!!
1.Do some bent knee sit-ups--I do 2 sets of 10 reps--do more if you choose.
2.I will do two sets of 10 reps of clean and jerks at a really light weight, this exercise involves the whole body, because it is light it is a type of warm-up for what is to come.
3. Bench Press---2 sets of 10--you will add poundage after you do the 1st set of 10, how much is up to you. I know that I don't make it to 10 reps on the second set, usually 7 to 10.
You can do this exercise and with most of the others below with either dumb bells or a barbell--whatever is your preference.
4.Military Press--2 sets of 10--as with the other exercises you add weight after the 1st set.
5.Bent Over Rows with a Barbell--this is a phenomenal exercise---2 sets of 10--add weight after the 1st set---you will be surprised at how much weight you can lift.
6. Barbell curls---2 sets of 10 reps--you can use dumbells if you choose--I have read that the Barbell is the way to go. Add weight after the first official set.
7.Squats--this is THE best exercise for building strength!! If you were still seriously running for races I might advise you to take Cerutty's advice and forgo this one but you need it! Check out the proper form on Youtube-- it is not a 'knee killer' as some of the uninformed say--the key when doing it is that you keep your back straight, your head up and looking forward and you squat only to where your legs are parallel with the floor. Since I don't at present have a squat rack and am lifting heavier I use two dumbbells instead of loading a barbell. 2 sets of at least 10 and definitely add weight on the second set.
8. Last but not least--the Straight arm Dumb bell pullover--this is done while lying on a weight bench---this exercise traditionally follows the squat and opens up the pectorals and ribcage,
2 sets of 10--the weight does not have to be all that heavy--the motion is what they say gets the job done.
That is it!!! No exotic program, no split routines-no BS lifting, a routine without pretensions!
After you are done--your body MUST be nourished! You want to feed those muscles so they will strengthen and grow. The best way is to replenish and feed is to have a quality Whey protein drink--I mix mine with Grass Fed whole or 2% Milk--Grass Fed is the key.
To me, and the following is my opinion based on personal experience and research, soy raises your estrogen levels(it did mine) and Almond milk is not especially packed with nutrients, better to use water if you are against milk.I recognize that in many circles today drinking any kind of milk(grass fed, whatever) is akin to ingesting arsenic but....to each his own.