Basic Program with Minimum Equipment


I have to give a weight-training workshop for Kansas Extension Agents (mostly middle-aged women). This is supposed to be (1) a practical demonstration of lifting techniques and also (2) covering the benefits of resistance training (for muscular development and strength) - about 60 minutes.

I'd like to give them a simple weight-training program that is:

  1. "minimal" but following ACSM guidelines
  2. something that they can adapt for home use and
  3. uses either free weights or just their body weight.

I don't think most of them have access to a gym since most are from western Kansas. I'll feature your website if we can get internet hook-up, but would like to do demonstrate the minimal program above. Do you have any suggestions?


Thanks for consulting me and including my site as a reference. Certainly they should see their doctor before increasing their activity, particularly if they have health issues or orthopedic concerns. Obviously certain exercises my not be recommended if they have orthopedic problems or experience joint pain during a particular exercise. Although full range of motion is suggested for healthy individuals, ACSM suggests elderly trainees should perform the exercises with the maximum range of motion that does not elicit pain or discomfort. For example, the depth of a squat will be dependant upon the health of the knees. If they are just too weak to squat their body weight, they can assist by pulling themselves up with their upper body.

Once they have proven to themselves they can adhere to a weight program, I would suggest they invest in at least an assortment of progressive dumbbells and a bench. Some may find too many distractions at home and my need to seek out gym facilities or develop a program themselves in a community building or local hospital. Some suggestions for exercise adherence.

Pick one exercise per muscle group(s). Consider changing exercises in a month or two. Most exercise my be initially be performed without weight, with light dumbbells, or exercise bands.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm glad I could help. Sounds fun, good luck!


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