I’ve had several people ask me what I do for fitness and how I stay in shape. So I will lay out what I do and also what my diet looks like but keep in mind I am not a certified fitness trainer. I took some health and exercise classes in college and have learned a few things from friends who were trainers but that’s about it. The rest is just what I’ve learned from trial and error and the internet. So if you decide to use this information, do so at your own discretion.
First thing’s first. When starting a new workout regime, it’s important to take it slow, remain patient, and give your body time to rest and recuperate. It will take time for your muscles to build up and not be sore after exercising. What you eat is just as important but I will go into that in a bit.
Here is what a typical week looks like for me at the gym:
Monday: Weight Lifting – chest and abs. Total time 1hour-1.15mins.
Tuesday: Weight Lifting – biceps and triceps. Total time 1hour
Wednesday: Cardio – Treadmill run (amount of miles vary but try to do at least 3). Also some other type of cardio (bicycle, kickboxing, etc). Total time 45mins-1hour
Thursday: Weight Lifting – Legs and Abs. Total time 45mins-1 hour
Saturday: Same cardio as Wednesday’s
Sunday: start routine over again with Monday’s workout
Ok so that is generally what I try to stick to. Sometimes it varies: I need time in between workouts or I need less time so I start the routine over earlier. For each muscle I always do 3-4 sets and reps between 8-12. If you’re wanting to build muscle, do less reps with more weight. If you’re looking to get more tone, then do more reps with less weight. However for either type it’s important to do at least 3 sets because that’s how much it takes for the muscle to grow. If you have questions as to what exercises I do for each muscle, leave a comment below. Final tip, it takes a muscle about two weeks to adapt to a certain exercise move. So be sure to change the exercises you’re doing and the amount of weight every two weeks or so.
Now the second part that is just as important is diet. After every workout I have a post-workout recovery drink. You can buy these either at your local gym or a nutrient store like GNC. Serious bodybuilders also take pre-workout shakes and sometimes even during the workout but unless you’re entering the World’s Strongest Man contest, that isn’t really necessary. However the post-workout drink helps your muscles recover quicker and also gives it the nutrients your body needs. Second thing is, if you’re trying to lose weight, you must eat OFTEN. Crazy right? Eating 4-6 small meals a day (healthy meals at it) helps keep your metabolism up, which burns fat. When one skips breakfast or doesn’t eat till dinner time, their metabolism slows down and stores the fat. By doing this you won’t lose weight as fast and it’s not as healthy. So have 3 meals a day and then add in a healthy snack or shake in between meals. Now for meals, there are thousands of recipes and food one can eat. I recommend buying a health cookbook or get recipes online. But I generally stick to these foods: grilled chicken, baked chicken, tons and tons of fruits and vegetables (strawberries, grapes, apple, tomatoes, spinach), turkey, oatmeal, eggs, wheat bread, V8 juice, orange juice, green tea, lots of water, low fat milk, cereal, granola bars, and yogurt. Those are the foods I eat almost daily and most of my lunch and dinner meals contain some type of chicken for the protein.
Now for the foods that I don’t eat on a regular basis that aren’t necessarily good for me (but I do indulge a couple of times a week) include baked chips, crackers (Cheez-Its being my weakness), Monster Energy drinks, soup, ground beef, fried chicken, and M&Ms. There might be more but I can’t think of any right now.
For the foods I rarely eat and generally only do when I dine out or go to the movies (meaning I usually don’t keep them in the house) are sodas, popcorn, chicken wings, pizza, french fries, alcohol, and sweets (I actually don’t really care for sweets and only eat them several times a year). I also don’t eat frozen foods.
I know a lot of people love junk food, sodas, and etc but if you try hard you can quit eating food like that and eventually your body will adapt to the healthy foods you eat and won’t even crave the junk food. And last thing is, being in America we love to eat out. So try to limit your dining out and fast food to just a couple of times a week. And when you do go out, try to opt for the healthier entrée and sides: grilled instead of fried, fresh salads, yogurt, fruit cups, water or tea, etc.
So that is my (long, very long) post about my fitness and diet routines. For the record, I am nowhere near perfect in either category. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t work out or I opt for some hot and spicy wings over a grilled chicken salad. And there is nothing wrong with indulging in the “bad foods” once or twice a week (or even better, every other week) but unfortunately we have made it a daily consumption here in America. But if you can change your ways and really make it a lifestyle of being healthy, you’ll come to enjoy it and won’t even miss your old ways.
P.S. I have watched several movies on health food and highly recommend them: “Super Size Me” and “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead.” Most people have seen SSM but FSND is also very informative and inspiring. If you have Netflix, FSND is on Instant, SSM is disc only.