In college, it was easy to maintain a fitness regiment; free time was not exactly sparing. Now however, as I am getting a taste of “the real world,” a stunning realization occurred to me: it is difficult to stay fit for two very different reasons. Firstly, it is very possible for the everyday person to be too busy to successfully continue a fitness routine. After all, it is likely that the 9 to 5 or 8 to 6 grind eliminates any desire to lift heavy weights. Secondly, the average American may be mired in a momentary, or hourly, bout of laziness or lethargy that precludes any possible of “hitting the gym.” My personal fitness routine, in my belief, is easier to follow, and less arduous to pursue.
I have tried several workouts over the past five or so years, ranging from muscle shock regiments, strength training, endurance training, or a combination of each. These programs, in my experiences, were rigorous and often difficult to keep up with after a short hiatus in action. Thus, this past year, I decided to alter my fitness routine in a manner that would not sacrifice results, and would also make it easier to follow.
Firstly, I decided to incorporate either one or two different muscle groups over a span of five days, allocating two days of rest per day. The muscle groups, according to my regiment, are: chest and biceps, legs and abs, back and triceps, shoulders and abs. My workout, for each respective muscle group, I would do three sets of six to ten reps. If I want to do more of a strength routine, I lift heavier weights at lower reps (6-7). On the contrary, if I felt the need to do a more endurance oriented routine, I would lift slightly less weight, more times (8-10).
On the chest and biceps day I begin first with chest exercises that included flat bench press (barbell or dumbbell), incline bench press (barbell or dumbbell), flat bench dumbbell flies, incline dumbbell flies, push-ups (30-50), and dips (30). As for biceps, I do standing dumbbell curls, hammer curls, preacher curls, over head cable curls, bar curls, and reverse bar curls.
For legs and abs, I begin first with legs, completing: squats, dumbbell lunges, Romanian dead lifts, leg curls, single leg squats, and calf raises. For abs, I do not have a specifically defined list of exercises; I do random exercises like sit-ups, crunches, planks etc.
For back and triceps, I begin first with back completing the exercises: lat pull-downs, dumbbell rows, seated rows, bent over barbell row, and pull-ups. For triceps: EZ bar triceps extensions, standing dumbbell extensions, close-grip bench press, dumbbell kickbacks, cable pushdowns.
Lastly, my shoulder routine includes: dumbbell Arnold press, Smith machine press, lateral raises, front raises, reverse flies, barbell raises, and dumbbell shrugs.
The days of rest do not signify complete rest. These two days of “rest” are the days that I try to jog, or do other forms of cardio. This fitness routine has helped me stay trim and essentially eat whatever I want (within moderation of course). If there are any questions regarding the abovementioned workouts, a great source of information for muscle building, nutrition and exercise form is bodybuilding.com. Enjoy and get off the couch!