Milo, who lived in southern Italy around 500 B.C., is recognized for inventing progressive resistance exercise. People before him may have exercised by lifting heavy objects, but historians credit Milo as "The Man."
What he did one day was shoulder a small calf and carry it the length of the stadium at Olympia. The story goes that he continued carrying the animal regularly until it was full-grown. And Milo grew very strong in the process.
Once you understand the story of Milo, you understand the basics of resistance training. You begin by lifting something that is very manageable and add to it over time, gradually.
This brings me back to my sandbag swings (see “Sandbag Workout” posts on Jan. 2. and Jan. 6). Simply imagine pouring a small amount of sand into a gunnysack and hoisting it daily in a few of the basic lifts: the swing, clean and press, and squats.
Everyday, you add a small amount of sand to the bag. A set of weights may be more convenient and easier to deal with. On the other hand, sand and burlap sacks are cheap and easy to find. For the motivated trainee, it would work.