I have to admit to being a slug lately. With all that has been going on here in the city – hurricane, nor’easter, power outage, slight cold – my workouts suffered and I definitely dropped off my routine. I feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I’m starting to resemble him. After looking in the mirror this morning I decided to drag my pudgy ass to the gym and get back to my workouts.
It’s always tough to get back into the groove. After a short layoff normally it comes back quickly within a week or two – “muscle memory”. I’ll admit, I felt sluggish at the start and a bit weaker but performed pretty good overall. Had the ipod cranked with my favorite metal tunes. Slammed a cup of coffee right before to get the juices flowing. Drank a lot of water throughout. After all these years I still love the feel of the steel. I also still enjoy a good run on the treadmill and working up a sweat. I have been at this for many years including a stint as a personal trainer, so it comes naturally to me. Which also makes me feel even more guilty when I slide into an abyss of fatty foods and alcohol while skipping exercise.
One thing I notice all the time at gyms are guys doing crazy workouts. It’s as if they just read every muscle magazine on the stands and think that if they do the steroid freak bodybuilder routines it will garner results. Dozens of sets and hundreds of reps. Dudes, get real. Even to this day I stick with mostly heavy compound movements mixed in with some machines and shaping exercises. Especially coming back from a layoff I go with the compound movements for building mass and power. Usually three sets each with 6-10 reps per movement.
Example of my training after time off working two body parts a day. As I’m not a young kid anymore and have been fighting a few injuries I try to keep it simple. It works for me and gets the results I want.
Chest – Incline press on smith machine, flat dumb bell press, pec deck or cable crossovers, dips.
Back – Front cable pull downs, seated cable rows, t-bar rows, bent over dumbbell rows.
Shoulders – Behind neck shoulder press, dumbbell side laterals, cable upright rows.
Legs – Leg press, leg extensions, lying leg curl, seated calf raises.
Triceps – Cable press downs, skull crushers, rope extensions.
Biceps – Barbell curl, seated or standing dumbbell curls, preacher curl machine.
Abdominals – done every other workout day with a mix of crunches and leg lifts.
Cardio – treadmill 3-5x a week for 30 minutes a clip.
That’s it. I use the old adage “KISS” – keep it simple stupid. Along with cutting back on the calories and booze a bit I usually slim down and tighten up after doing this kind of routine for a few weeks. After a while I mix it up and add on a few exercises, train with higher reps, increase cardio time, go heavier, switch up sets and reps, etc.
As everyone’s body is different you have to go with what works for you. Many factors come into play – training schedule, diet, body type, work schedule, age, injuries, etc. Do what works best for you. The results will come if you keep up with it. As for those guys doing the steroid routines featured in the magazines they are wasting their time as I have hardy ever seen anyone’s physiques really change much because of it. Unless they go on the juice themselves. That’s their dumb choice, not mine.
As for me, I need to keep getting my marshmallow butt into the gym and stop eating cupcakes and ho-ho’s. Damn NYC, why you have so much good food here?