Goals of Exercise
So many friends and acquaintances has asked me to help them
design a successful exercise program over the years that I documented what I had
learned and decided to put it on the web to make it more accessible to others.
What are the keys to success?
Consistency and frequency: workout with weights 3
to 5 times a
week, never work a muscle more often than every other day (many get better
results with 2 or 3 days in between) - but rarely less than twice a week. It's ok to
skip once in a while, or to workout on a Wed rather than Tuesday, etc., but
consistency is important. Do you often skip brushing your teeth?
Of course not, and your muscles need the same devotion. A great schedule is
Tuesday - Thursday - Sunday - those are the least crowded alternate days at
most gyms. Another popular workout is 4 days a week.
Technique: Focus on forms of exercise that
directly affect the muscles. Compound exercises (those which work
groups of muscles) are a great start and the mainstay. Learn what to do and
how to do it correctly.
Intensity: The balance has to be right. Too
heavy and you will injury yourself; everyone knows that; but too light and
you'll never make any progress, too!
Measuring Physical Activity Intensity (National Center for Chronic
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, HHS)
Diet: Avoid eating a lot of empty calories,
sugars, junk foods, lots of fat, salt, etc. Don't go to extremes:
There's little doubt that a vegetarian diet will help you lose weight and is
generally considered to be healthier, but you can also remain an omnivore, enjoy buffalo wings from time to time;
in huge quantity nor frequently. Start by dropping the empty calories like
sodas, candies, sweets and cakes.
Lifestyle: Don't be a couch potato, enjoy
active not passive events. Things like gardening, rollerblading,
hiking, traveling, biking. Movies and concerts are great, but try not
to sit and watch tv; and even when you are on the phone, walk around picking
things up, straightening up, etc. In general; sit than lie down, stand
rather than sit, walk rather than stand, and be involved in an activity than
Can you change? Can you become fitter, leaner, firmer,
have more energy, strength and endurance; look and feel better?
Absolutely! Is it hard? NO! Not really; but it DOES take
those 4 steps above!
Want to learn how to do it and what it takes? Click