Work Out Routines
By Anthony R. Kolb

     With all the information on the internet, health magazines and television, it is no wonder a lot of people don’t work out.  Where do you start?  Who do you believe? Which program is right for me?  Do I need a gym membership and/or trainer?  As a Command Fitness Leader for the Navy and a former Drill Sergeant in the Army combining over 27 years of service between both branches, I feel I am qualified to shed some light on the subject.

    I am confident that everyone can work out, at least on some level.  There is no question that everyone can benefit from a daily work out.  I do not think anyone necessarily needs to buy a gym membership or hire a personal trainer to get into shape.   I am an advocate of working out at least once per day, six days a week, whenever possible.  A good work out routine needs to include aerobic and anaerobic exercises.  As a general rule you can custom fit your routine to fit your specific needs or desires.

    I typically work out daily, doing an hour of cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning.   I alternate daily between running, swimming and cycling.  This hour of cardio is vital since weight loss/maintenance is simple math.  One must burn more calories than they consume in order to loose any weight.  I have found no better exercises than running and swimming for calorie burning.  The hour is necessary because I will burn lots of calories, and it helps me maintain a normal blood pressure.

    I also try to lift weights about six times a week too.  I usually hit the local gym around lunch for about 30-40 minutes.  I have my weight lifting divided up into a Monday/Thursday; Tuesday/Friday; Wednesday/Saturday schedule.  I work out the same muscle groups on these days.  I hit chest and shoulders; biceps, triceps and lower back; and lastly legs.  I further break this down into a six week cycle, which works like this.  Weeks one and two, I do lighter weight and do three sets of fifteen repetitions of each exercise.  In weeks three and four, I increase the weight and decrease the repetitions to ten for each exercise.  In weeks five and six, I increase the weight again, and decrease the repetitions to eight.  When I start back on weeks one and two, my weight for each set goes back to what ever it was in weeks three and four of the cycle.  This gives you sustained strength increase without overtaxing muscles.  You can also alternate various exercises for the specific muscle groups you have to work on.  That way you won’t get bored.

    There are a few rules I try to remember, it is sometimes hard to always get two work outs, or even one work out in some days.  I say a poor work out, or a short work out is much better than no work at all.  Since I am older now, I try not to skip cardio, if I have to miss I miss a lifting session over cardio, and I try very hard not to skip two days in a row.  Counting calories, both in and out is also hugely important.  I use sparkpeople.com, there are a lot of other applications and sites out there.  Check them out and see which ones you prefer.  Enjoy your workout!

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