Am I doing it right??

  • So, I've been following the book 100%. I have all of the equipment I need. Here's what I have: 10lb. dumbbells (2) Yoga ball Good tennis shoes Thats about it, for it doesn't call for anything else Here's what I do for my upper body workouts.

    For example:

    Arm curls: I lift 10lbs. The first set, I lift anywhere from 12 to 15 to 20 times. For the second set I lift 10 to 12 times. For the third set I lift usually 8 times. I continue this routine for all my upper body workouts. Is this what you do? Also, I don't change the weight, I use the same 10lb dumbbells for each set as it is hard enough already, and I don't want to bulk up. I just want to know if this is the right way.

    I do the same for my legs. For example:

    If I'm doing lunges, I hold a 10lb dumbbell in each hand and perform them. I usually do anywhere from 15-20 reps for my first set, than 12-15 for the second set, and around 8-10 for the third set.

    I perform 10 minutes of cardio before each weight lifting day just to warm up. Than I stretch and perform my weight lifting workouts. Than walk for a few minutes than stretch.

    I perform at least 30 mins of cardio on the days I don't weight lift.


  • The idea is to challenge your push them to there limits.  You should be performing 12 reps, then 12, 10, 8, 6, 12 and then 12 reps of a different exercise for the same muscle.   So for example if you are doing quads you would do lunges in reps of 12, 10,8, 6, 12 then do squats for 12 reps.  By the second set of 12 your should be giving it your all and unable to do one more rep.  You want to bring your muscles to failure.   I'm not thinking 10 lbs is going to be enough to do that....especially on your legs.  If it is now it won't be for long.

  • bigreddee

    by reading your post above, I see a few things that don't seem right. Maybe you just didn't put in some info.

    1. I see  you said you have 10lb wts. you really need a range of wts. the way to do the excersie correctly is my inceasing your weight with each set while  you go down with  you reps, for example

    what I do with Biceps;  12 reps at 8lbs, 10 reps 10lbs, 8 reps 12lb, 6 reps 15lb( by hear I am dying), then the 12reps again at usually 15lbs, I am barely making it, then yuo jump to a totally different exercise like I just did 30lb curl bar 12time. then you are done with biceps and you do all that agian with all of the other body parts.

    2. legs you do the same thing, lunges again yo increase wt wthile you decrease reps

    3. as far as cardio, if you are doign the 20min solution correctly, you wouldn't be able to make it to 30mins. you want to hit the cardio hard, as sucking as it is I personally hate cradio, i dread it everytime but i am so glad it is only 20mins. example what ido(i change it of every workout) but my last treadmill cardio went as follow:

    the first 2 mins jogged at 5.0 incline 3 (thoughtout the 20min)m then mins3-18,4 cycles of 5.5, 6.0, 6.5 7.0 then min 19 at 8.0. i am dying at this time infact my leags would be burning so bad i may have to grab on the treadmill for a few second so i won't fall. a few times I felt like I might puke, the min 20 drop back down to 5.0 for sometimes 4.5. by this time I am sooo done. i hoe this helps you. good luck on your journey

  • I also increase the weight each set.   For biceps I'll do bicept curls - 12 reps at 12lbs, 10 reps at 15lbs, 8 reps at 17lbs & 6 reps at 20lb.  Then I back down to 15lbs for the first 12 reps and back to 17lbs for the last 12 reps of maybe hammer curls.  I may not make it all 12 reps.  I might only make it 8 reps but the point is to work that muscle to failure.

    Hope that helps.

  • wow! I already thought my workout routine was long enough. It usually takes me no less than 2 hrs, sometimes I'm working out for longer. How long does it take you guys to complete your upperbody workouts and lower body workouts?

    Thanks for the advice!

  • It should only be taking you max 55 minutes if you are going by the book. In my opinion you won't bulk up, just get lean and mean!

    Reps should be as stated already, 12, 10, 8, 6, 12, 12 at different wts for each muscle group and the cardio needs to be the HIIT for 20 minutes.

    Are you using the original Bill Phillip's BFL book??

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • BigRedDee:

    Like DebbieMO says - try to keep it like the book and around the 50 min mark. If you are taking too much time in between sets, or reps, your body is getting more time to recover and therefore not being challenged.

    Example - I can do a chin-up first thing in the morning.

                   - I cannot do a chin-up immediately following a set of bicep curls

                   - 5 minutes later I can do a chin-up

    Keep them just to the point of saying "whew! glad that @&^! is over", then pump out another set.

    I do have to agree though that when I started, it took me just over an hour, but by writing down what works, what doesnt and what I wanted to try for next workout - it saved time and thinking.

  • It takes me right around an hour.  I work out at home and not at a gym so I have to switch out my own weights....not sure it that's taking me longer or not.

  • BIg Red Dee,

    There are forms you can print out from this website that lay a lot of this out for you.  Go to the LIBRARY tab, click on TOOLS, click on PROGRESS REPORTS, then PDF Progress Reports.  There are five pages you will find useful.  For the weight workouts, page 3 is UBWO and page 5 is LBWO.  Page 4 is the HIIT cardio workout.  

    Remember to use your own body and how difficult you feel something is for the "Level".  It is explained in the book, and on the site too.  This "high point technique" is critical to make sure you are getting enough out of your workout.  Bill Phillips says "it's about quality, not quantity."  The high point technique and the 20 minute aerobics solution are explained on pages 58 through 69 in the book.

    Keep asking questions!  We are here to help!  

    Good luck.  Julie

  • BigRedDee,

       I am new the BFL this time around, I did the program about 6-7 years ago. Don't give your self too much time to rest. You will see that the weight days will produce a cardio workout as well.


  • Thanks for the advice everyone! I don't think my problem with how long my workout timing is me resting too long, I think it's because I do my workouts slow. I flex for a count of four and release for a count of for, while trying to remember to breathe. Also, when I do workout, I workout one group to where I can't lift anymore. I really feel that it's working either way because even after I drink my protein shakes afterwards, I'm still sore the next day. I can't imagine how sore I'd be without those shakes/drinks.

    Also, the book I have is the Body for Life for Women. It didn't say in there to change the weight after each set which is why I asked when everyone started talking about it. From what I hear though, the exercises are pretty much the same. What is the difference between the two??


  • I'm going to play the devils advocate here.  If it's taking two hours, then odds are there is a lack of understanding or you haven't read the book.

    Each week you have 3 weight sessions and 3 cardio sessions.  All six workouts are done on seperate days.  

    Cardio sessions last 20 minutes on actual exercise, then whatever it takes you to cool down and they are done on the days in between weight training days.  

    UBWO AND LBWO are done on a rotating schedule, one week it will be two uppers and one lower, then next week it will be two lowers and one upper.

    All sets and reps are in the pyrimid form and the last twe sets are superset.

    In example...


    Exercise Chest Press

    12 reps x 15#

    rest 1 minute

    10 reps x 20#

    rest 1 minute

    8  reps x 25#

    rest 1 minute

    6  reps x 30#

    rest 1 minute

    12 reps x 25#

    no rest

    Chest Flyes

    12 reps 25#

    Same for Shoulders, back, tri's and then bi's.

    The program is written as such to exhaust the larger muscles first and by the time you get to the Tri's and bi's they are already fatigued.

    BFL is very effective and efficient, affording you the biggest bang for your buck.  

    The weights listed above are just an example and I really hope this helps.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Nikki-Wasn't it you that said you had the original on order?? I can't remember, I've "talked" to so many people in the last couple of days. The BFL for Women is NOT like the original book...I think that is where things are getting a bit confusing.

    I would recommend the original book...Julie had a good suggestion about looking in this site's that and I think you will find the differences.

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • Champster: Well, honestly, I'm not really sure. I feel like I'm doing everything right (as for as the correct form and what not). I was always told by my trainer to flex the weight for a count of four and count to four as you lower, instead of jerking the weight up and down. However, what you stated has helped a lot, thank you !

    Debbie: No that wasn't me, unfortunately. I should look into ordering the original book though. I looked in the library tabs and saw the workouts, and most of them are quite different, and it even seems like there are more workouts. I don't go to a gym anymore since im a full time college student and not much money. Some of the workouts require those gym sets, which I don't have anymore. Do you have any advice on that part? Or is it kinda just a tough luck thing haha.

  • Nikki-You don't need the fancy gym set...I do all my workouts at home, I have dumbbells from 5#-20#, and a wt. bench. If cost is a factor, look on Craigslist or find garage sales, you can always get cheap wts. there if you know where to look.

    On the book, go to or a used bookstore, I saw a BFL book in Hastings the other day for 5.99!

    Workouts: UBWO works chest, shoulders, back, triceps, and biceps; LBWO works quads, hamstrings, calves and abs; these are done 3x per wk (one or the other) then you do the HIIT cardio the other 3 days. You can go to or for ideas for exercises...they don't have to be the exact same as the book has...

    Hope this helps! :)

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...