Monday, April 18, 2011

You Must Lift Weights For Firm And Sexy Muscles

Using the diagonal sled-type leg press machine.Image via WikipediaI get asked my age a lot, and when I tell people that I'm 52, the next question is always, how do you stay so fit and toned?  My answer is, by weight lifting 4 times each week.  By weight lifting, I mean lifting at a resistance and intensity that I can barely complete my last repetition on each exercise.  Exercising at that intensity is really the key to getting firm and staying that way, especially as you get older.

I see far too many people wear themselves out by doing hours of cardio each week, and very little weight lifting.  And, when they do lift weights, they exercise with a resistance that's too small to produce results.  You've seen them, they are doing their weight lifting routine while carrying on a conversation with their friends (and they wonder why they see very little results).

When you lift weights, you must have enough resistance to overload your muscles to the point of exhaustion, that place where you find it difficult to do one more repetition.  When you exercise like that, your muscles are worn to the point where they must be repaired  by your body and consequently, they are made stronger.  Then your body starts to firm-up and look sexy, no matter what age.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

In the Beginning, Hire A Personal Trainer

Personal trainer monitoring a client's movemen...Image via WikipediaI recently read an article that offered inexpensive alternatives to hiring a personal trainer.  The article mentioned places where you can get "how to" fitness information online.  While, you can find a lot good fitness information and excellent exercise routines on the web, you will also find some information that's not worth following.  Therefore, you need to have enough knowledge about health and fitness to distinguish the good information from the bad.  So, if you are new to exercise and thinking of beginning a fitness program, I suggest you hire a good nationally certified personal trainer.  A personal trainer can assess your physical characteristics and lifestyle and custom design a program just for you.

I also think you should at least have a trainer custom design a program for you even if are going to workout on your own.  They can teach you the proper form and technique to use for each exercise, so when you are working out you can be confident you are doing the routine properly.  I can't count the number of times I've seen people following some exercise routine they've downloaded and doing most of the exercises incorrectly and  consequently injure themselves.

In addition, a personal trainer can also educate you about health and fitness, so when you do search for new exercise routines on the web you can distinguish the good ones from the not so good.  This alone is a good reason to invest in hiring a personal trainer.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

My Three Staple Exercises

Marines pull-up for America's birthdayImage by United States Marine Corps Official Page via FlickrRecently,  a client asked me if I could only do three exercises, what would they be?  After some consideration, I said I would do pullups, pushup, and barbell squats.  I told the client that he could target all the major muscle groups with these three exercises.

Let's look at these three exercises and see if they would be a complete whole body workout.

Pullups target the major muscles of the upper back, the biceps,  and the forearms.  The core muscles are also worked as long as pullups are done in a smooth and controlled manor.

Pushups target the major muscles of the chest, the shoulders, and the triceps.  The core muscles are also strongly used when pushups are done with strict form.

Barbell Squats target the quads, hamstrings, and the glutes.  Squats are also one of the best exercises there is for developing core strength when done properly.

There you have it.  These are the three exercises I would do if I was limited to doing only three.  What three exercises would you do?

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