As I mentioned last time, I developed an “express” workout for building and maintaining my own muscle. It takes about 30 minutes to run through, and you can do it either in a gym or at home. Read on for the details.
First 2 or 3 minutes: Stretching. You’ll need to stretch both your arms and legs before getting started, if you want to maximize the benefit your muscles will get from this workout. Hold each stretch for about 10 seconds before relaxing. There are dozens of pre-workout stretches you can try: the link shows you some examples. Just pick a couple of your favorites.
Next 5 to 10 minutes: Cardio. This can be on a treadmill, a stationary bike, or even just running in place. Get your heart rate into the “workout” range, not the “weight loss” range, but don’t go full bore. This is not a full cardio workout. Instead, it will just raise your body temperature by 1 or 2 degrees. That’s the optimum level for building muscle.
Now that you’re properly tuned up, it’s time for the fun stuff.
Push-ups. You will do 2 or 3 sets, with each set having from 10 to 15 reps (repetitions). This is the classic push-up: your palms will be on the floor, spaced apart by about the same distance as the width from one of your shoulders to the other. Keep your back and legs absolutely straight – don’t let your butt sag – but don’t over-tense your muscles. Besides your palms, only your toes and the balls of your feet should touch the floor. It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing shoes.
Go at a smooth pace: take at least 2 seconds to lower yourself and the same amount of time to come back up. Remember to rest for about 30 seconds between each set.
Bicep curls. Once again, 2 or 3 sets from 10 to 15 reps each. You can use a dumbbell in each hand, or you can use a fixed machine (such as a Nautilus or Bow-Flex) that supports this motion. Pick a weight that offers you a noticeable resistance, but not a ridiculous one that makes you strain without breathing. If you’re working out at home, consider investing in a set of dumbbells with adjustable weights, so that you can increase the weight as you improve.
Begin each curl by relaxing both arms at your side, and bring them up evenly until they’re level with your upper chest. Go at a smooth pace: take at least 2 seconds to raise the weights and the same amount of time to lower them back down. (Don’t just drop your arms!) Remember to rest for about 30 seconds between each set.
Sit-ups. Again, 2 or 3 sets from 10 to 15 reps each. You can do sit-ups unassisted, but you need to be careful to prevent injuries to your back. For more safety, you can use an ab roller or a seat with a flexible back, pictured below. In guys, the abdominal muscles tend to get very weak, especially as they get older, making them look fatter than they really are. So you should always make sure that a good ab workout is part of your routine.
And finally… Your muscles need time to recover between workouts. Therefore, don’t do this routine every day; stick with every other day. On “off” days, you can optionally do a longer cardio routine and leave it at that.
That’s it, bros. Stick to this routine, and in a few short weeks, you and your friends and family will start to notice a big difference. Have fun and enjoy the change!
-The Blog Dude