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The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness Day 9

Let's hit the weights! No more wandering around the weight room picking out the machine that looks simplest. Perform a balanced machine-based workout that stimulates all the body's major muscle groups!

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Welcome to day nine of the 30-Day Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Fitness. Today you're back in the gym to sculpt some muscle. But you're not just going to be training; you're also going to be using this workout to practice a "balanced" workout program and learn why it's important.

You probably want a body that is not only toned and lean, but symmetrical and proportionate. When you give each muscle the right amount of attention, you have stronger joints, better posture, and an improved appearance. This synergy occurs when the entire body is worked properly, as Steve explains.

Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Day 9
Watch The Video - 02:40

Day 9 Challenge

  • Complete a machine-based superset workout.

Generally your workloads should be equal: For every pushing motion you do, like a push-up or bench press, you should perform a pulling motion, like a row. For every exercise known as a "flexion" movement, where a joint angle gets smaller—think the lifting portion of a biceps curl—there should be an "extension," where the angle gets bigger. This keeps the body balanced in development.

In today's workout, you will perform supersets that are grouped in what are called "antagonistic pairs." Your muscles around a joint work in groups opposite one another to produce and control your motion. When you flex your elbow—meaning bend it, not "flex" like to increase tension—the muscles of your triceps and biceps work together for this motion to occur.

The prime mover, or "agonist," is the muscle that is primarily responsible for the force produced in an exercise, in this case the biceps. The muscle that is opposing the prime mover of a joint is its "antagonist," in this case the triceps.

Machine Bench Press

Key Terms

  • Straight set: This refers to typical loading parameter, which you have been doing up until this point. A "straight set" means that you will perform all of the sets of the exercise you are doing before moving on to the next exercise.

  • Superset: This is when two exercises are paired back-to-back with no rest in between them. If you were performing a chest press and a row, you would do your first set of the chest press and then immediately do the first set of the row without resting. After completing a set of each exercise in the pairing, you can take a break before going to the second superset. If you feel like you really need to rest in the middle of a superset, do it, but try to keep it as brief as you can.

  • Agonist: The muscle that is causing the movement, often called the "prime mover."

  • Antagonist: The muscle opposite your prime mover, which can help control a motion or slow it down.

Machine Superset Workout
General warm-up

Elliptical Trainer

5 min (Alternate Options: Bike or Treadmill)
Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Trainer


Machine Bench Press

2 sets 15 reps
Machine Bench Press Machine Bench Press

Leverage Iso Row

2 sets 15 reps
Leverage Iso Row Leverage Iso Row

Machine Shoulder (Military) Press Machine Shoulder (Military) Press

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Machine Preacher Curls Machine Preacher Curls

Triceps Pushdown

2 sets 15 reps
Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown

Machine Preacher Curls Machine Preacher Curls

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown


Leg Extensions

2 sets 15 reps
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

Seated Leg Curl

2 sets 15 reps
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl


Thigh Adductor

2 sets 15 reps
Thigh Adductor Thigh Adductor

Thigh Abductor

2 sets 15 reps
Thigh Abductor Thigh Abductor



5 min Speed walk
Walking, Treadmill Walking, Treadmill

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