I used to be a gym nut. Well not super crazy. I never did Cross Fit or P90X but I did have a personal trainer for a while so I learned some good ins and outs. I used to go 3-4 times a week. Lately, it’s been once a week. (Or less.) Now it’s time to get back on track.
My routine is as follows;
- I usually switch between running, stairs, elliptical, row machine, and bike
- 20-25 minutes (more than 40 minutes is wasted)
- Music — Eminem, Happy Hardcore techno, or Coheed and Cambria
-something about those 3 that puts me into a different head space
- Away from a mirror. Cause I will just look at myself the whole damn time
- Occasionally I’ll run in Central Park, but I really need the number of a treadmill to keep a pace
- Targets: Chest, Shoulders, Upper Back, Triceps, and Legs (usually one Target per day)
- Things I never get to: Biceps, Lower Back (I really should hit that one,) Forearms
- Warm up set. (I fucked up my shoulders because I never used to warm up) Just do 10 reps really light weight of the exercise. Get that blood flowing to that part of the body.
- Muscle confusion*: Switch grips, switch weights, switch sets, (more on this with the asterisk)
- Target muscle group gets three exercises. I.e. for Chest – Bench, decline bench, butterfly curls.
- Try to add a small exercise between sets. (Push ups between bench press sets.)
- I really try to switch this up. (see muscle confusion)
- I usually pick three ab work outs and do them three times each.
- Sit ups, crunches, bicycle crunches, leg lifts, alternating leg lifts, pull up crunches…and a whole bunch of exercises I don’t know the name for.
- Though I don’t do the paleo diet, I try to keep to some of the ideas of it.
- High protein, low carbs, vegetable etc.
- I try not to eat after 8pm. You’re body doesn’t need food that late, it’s not going to use it.
- Conversely, if I’m going to eat crap, do it in the morning when I body will use it.
*Muscle confusion. Essentially, your body learns how to do what it does efficiently. So when you start exercising, your body doesn’t know what’s going on and has to work hard to accomplish the task. Once it’s done that task enough times it figures how to most easily accomplish it.
So when I first started working in restaurants, running around, on my feet the whole 6-8 hours, I lost weight. Then after about a month, the weight came back. My body learned how to do all those tasks efficiently.
When working out, if you make little changes, it switches up the body. Kinda throws it for a loop. Some of my favorite ways to switch it up are below;
Decreasing weight. Start doing you exercise (probably on a machine) at the highest weight you’re comfortable. Maybe do 6-8 reps (that exhaust you.) When you can barely get out that last rep, drop the weight down 10-20 pounds. Then do 5-8 more reps (till you’re struggling again.) Then drop it down 10-20 more pounds and continue till you’re practically only reping 10 pounds. (Or you’re super tired.)
Increase weight. Same thing but in reverse. Start relatively low (not at 5-10 pounds) but something you could probably to 12-15 reps of. Then steadily increase the weight.
Switch grips. Do free weight bench with your hands parallel with your body. Or rotate as you come up. Slight changes like that work slightly different muscle groups.
Use that Bouncy Ball. You know those big rubber balls no one uses? You can use those for almost all exercises, especially upper body. Take free weight bench with dumbbells. Sit on the ball and walk your feet out so your parallel to the ground. The ball should sit just at or above your shoulder blades. Keep your knees together and use pretty light weight. Now your body has to balance and do the exercise. It will force you into perfect form.
Now you know the ins and outs of all my secrets. Use them for good and not for evil.
—Big Mack Attack