No diet works without a little exercise. It’s that simple. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, but you do have to do some basic easy exercises for men. You’ve got to do cardo exercises and you’ve got to pick up a dumbbell and do a little weight training.
I don’t know a lot of guys, myself included, that really want to work out. If you really enjoy running a hundred miles or lifting weights for 20 hours a week, good for you. What’s the average guy to do? Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to work out.
Tough it up and just do it. Here’s why. The harder you work in the gym (or other forms of exercise), the more you can enjoy eating and having a few beers. It’s a trade off that’s worth it. Weight training, done right, is a great way to burn fat. Of course, the effort it takes to lift those weights is buring fat, but larger muscles require more energy, so if you bulk up a bit, your body burns off more fat to keep itself going. Score!
Now, I don’t think you’ve got to spend half your life in the gym. I lift weights and do cardio three nights per week, an hour per session. I also try to add a fourth cardio day in the mix somewhere, time permitting. The total time I spend working out each week is about five hours. That’s not much time at all to devote to working on my body and keeping healthy. Those five hours a week are all it takes for me to lean down and tone up.
WHAT I DO IN THE GYM
My routine normally consists of working different sets of muscles during each workout. Basically, simple, easy exercises for men. Chest/Biceps, Shoulders/Triceps/Back, Legs are common days. I do these sets using proper form and never work out the same muscle group more than once per week. I follow each workout with 20 minutes of cardio (stair climber, tread mill, and elliptical trainer). I also try to vary the types of exercises I do with each muscle — keeping the muscles confused keeps them growing. If you do the same exercises over and over, the muscles fall into a rut (and so do you) and don’t grow as well.
When you’re starting out in the gym, spend a few weeks with a personal trainer. I cannot stress this enough! A qualified trainer will show you the right way to work out with proper form to help get results and avoid injury. A trainer will also show you exercises you didn’t even know you could do. My trainer, Tom Murphy (who has his own fitness website at StayPhit.com) whips my ass at Colony Square Athletic Club in Atlanta a few times every week. In the few months I’ve been working out with him, I’ve seen better results than I ever did working out on my own.
A trainer may be a bit expensive, but I’ve found that cutting back on eating out as I’ve done compensates for the cash I’m throwing Tom’s way. If you can’t afford a trainer, there are plenty of places online where you can go and learn some routines and get proper form. I’ve got an iPhone app called All-In Fitness that works well. I also like iFitness. Men’s Health Magazine and BodyRock.TV are also good sources.
If there’s not a gym near you or you can’t afford one, you can accomplish a lot with Set of Dumbbells, 5-Position Adjustable Weight Bench, and a Jump Rope. Hell, I’ve had friends accomplish amazing things with nothing more than a set of P90X DVDs.
Finally, in addition to working out, I also try to make little substitutions such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator and parking farther out in a parking lot to add some extra steps. Walking instead of driving is also a healthier option. Think about your daily routine and what could be done to add some extra activity. A healthy diet also helps!
It’s taken me 43 years to realize that living well is about balance. You can’t enjoy the food and beers all the time without balancing it with something that’s good for you.
WARNING: CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY EXERCISE OR DIET PROGRAM