Commentary by John Karesh
If you’re interested in improving your physical appearance, strength and conditioning, you really need to do only three things to attain success. Don’t make things difficult on yourself. Consider:
- Start a resistance-training program. You can join your local gym, hire a personal trainer, try Pilates, CrossFit or simply use a set of dumbbells and a bench at home. If you commit to at least two full-body training days per week, your physique will reap ample benefits. The key in resistance training will be doing a routine that includes legs, the major muscles in your upper body (chest; latissimus dorsi muscles, known as the lats, are the large V-shaped muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column; shoulders, triceps and biceps) and core. The core routine would be exercises that train lower abdominals, side obliques, upper abdominals and the low back.
- Start a cardiovascular program. When starting a cardiovascular program, the main objective is training the heart muscle, and to do so you need at least 15 minutes of elevated heart rate continually. The heart works hand in hand with your resistance training. The stronger your heart is, the more you will be able to push yourself on your weights or resistance. I recommend getting a heart rate monitor and training at about 55 percent to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Remember, you can do almost anything that will elevate heart rate to make this count. Simple things would be to go walking or biking, or use of a treadmill, a rower or an elliptical, among other options.
- Improve your diet. Diet can make or break a fitness program. Your diet doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with drinking water. You want to drink roughly 50 percent of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. The water alone can lead to weight loss. Cut out the sugars, lower carbohydrate intake, lower fat intake and eat plenty of vegetables. Most women will require between 1,200 and 1,600 calories per day, and men generally will require up to 2,000 calories per day.
John Karesh is the owner of Paradise Personal Training. For more, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.