Be Strong Live Long

Shape Up-date & Workout

December 2nd, 2012


I’ve just completed 4 of my 12-week shape-up and, probably like many of you, sometimes my schedule is so busy that I haven’t been able to complete my full workout. I am already down over 6 lbs but trying to hold my weight. I can’t afford to lose much more. I really need to put on muscle—which is hard if I can’t get in the training time. The diet is going really well though.

For those who are asking what my workout has been like, here is what I’ve been doing (though this week has been a bit scattered).

In general, I try to superset exercises (meaning to back and forth between two exercises without rest (or with minimal rest), except for the intervals which are timed and sequential. For all exercises, I do 10-20 repetitions, with the last set always going to failure. If I can get at least 10-12 reps in the final set, I increase the weight.

Legs (Sunday/Thursday)

Squats (deep, heel press) 4 sets

Squats (half, on balls of feet) 4 sets

Weighted walking lunges 3 sets

Straight-leg deadlift 4 sets

Hamstring curls 4 sets

Calf raises 6 sets

Intervals (30 seconds each, 3 rounds)

Squat jumps

Side lunges

High knee jog

Lateral jumps

Chest/Shoulders (Monday/Friday)

Bench press or pushups 4-6 sets

Incline press 3-4 sets

Pullovers 3 sets

Overhead dumbbell press 4 sets

Upright rows 4 sets

Side laterals 4 sets

(Others might want to do triceps but I don’t because mine are too big already.)

Intervals (30 seconds each, 3 rounds)

Burpee pushups

Weighted supermans

Cable woodchop (low to high)



Pullups (vary wide palms out and in) 3 sets

Pulldowns 3 sets

Alternating single arm rows 4 sets

Deadlifts 4-6 sets

Intervals (30 seconds each, 3 rounds)

Mountain climbers

Power cleans

Cable woodchop (high to low)


Cardio (Wednesday/Sunday)

I will sometimes change up the interval exercises just to keep it interesting. And I am adjusting my workout as needed depending on my schedule, recovery, strengths and weaknesses.


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4 Responses to “Shape Up-date & Workout”

  1. Bob:

    Thanks for the weight training schedule. I'm learning plenty from your example. You emphasize compound exercises over isolation exercises and you do a fairly high-volume routine of usually 4 sets and up to 20 reps. I think this would work better for me than the lower-volume 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps routine I have been using. I've seen some recent research that shows as we age we may need higher volume to increase muscle mass. Some sports doctors like Gabe Mirkin have also suggested that as we grow older we need more fermented foods, such as natto, kefir, and yogurt to help utilize dietary protein.

    To get some idea of the intensity of your training could you mention how much weight you are pushing or pulling in, for example, the bench press, the single arm row, and the dumbbell shoulder press?

    You must have great genetic potential in the arms if you don't need to do any triceps isolation. In the 1980s, did you develop those super baseball biceps just with compound exercises? You didn't need to practice any isolation moves like rotation curls and hammer curls with dumbbells?

    Please keep up what you are doing; you are a great fitness inspiration to us all!


  2. Lori Okami:

    Hey Bob!
    It might have some to do with age. I noticed it takes me longer to get the muscles ready for heavier weight and I am more prone to injury if I increase weight and do low repetitions like I used to do in my youth. Yes, I guess I have a genetic advantage with my arms but I also trained it hard back in the day. I actually did a lot of isolation work on those biceps--preacher curls being my favorite.

    I do pulldowns with about 80 lbs., about 100 pushups (only because I don't have a bench right now), 30-35 single arm rows, and overhead press with 20 lbs.

    Thank you very much for the kind words. It really does mean a lot because sometimes I do wonder...Aloha, Lori

  3. betterlatethannever:

    No need wonder... you do inspire!

  4. Lori Okami:

    Thanks betterlatethannever!

    Sorry Bob. Ooops! I forgot Abs. My favorite (NOT!)
    I usually do hanging knee-ups, V-ups and decline twists (truly my favorite).