Getting Started and Staying Active

Its good to come into this year with an idea of what you want to accomplish. Many will say, “This year is going to be different, I am going to get in shape.” The new year often stirs us up enough to bring these good intentions to the surface but that usually is not enough to carry us through the rest of the year.

I am a big believer in keeping things simple. If we keep things simple it is much easier to follow through and get results. So lets look at an approach that anyone can do to keep physical activity in their lives. Keep in mind this is a very basic approach, and definitely can be expanded on. If you are interested in more complex workout and nutrition strategies, contact me through ShockBody Fitness, and you can set up some online consultation sessions with me to customize a routine specific to your individual needs and goals.

We will be focusing on 3 components of fitness:

1. Lifestyle Activity
2. Cardio
3. Weight Training

Lets look at each more closely.

Lifestyle Activity:
This should be something you enjoy doing. I recommend finding a rec league, or a club that encourages activity. Maybe you are an animal lover and your area has a dog walking club, or you enjoyed volleyball when you were younger and your old high school has open gym once a week for people to get together and play, or you could even make a night out of playing the Wii with family and friends (There are a lot of games that will get you to work up a sweat).

The point of this aspect is to get you moving. When you participate in something such as this, you will be firing up your metabolism, yet it wont feel like a dreaded exercise regimen because you are having fun while doing it.

My stand on cardio is High Intensity. Your workouts should be around 10 – 15 minutes. (Yes! Thats all you need when training high intensity!) Start your day with a quick high intensity workout 4 times per week. A good approach to this would be to add the cardio days when you are on an off day for your weight training.

Example High Intensity Cardio Workout:
Running up a flight of stairs, jogging down- repeat 9 more times to give you a total of 10 reps. Do this for 5 sets. (Rest just under 1 minute after each set)

Weight Training:
Basic Guidelines to follow when starting out-
- Chose one exercise per body part
- Perform a different exercise for each muscle group each workout
- Do 3 sets of each in the range of 8 to 10 repetitions (exception seated calves and abs)
- SuperSet your exercises to help you get through this workout between 45 -60 minutes
- Change the exercise for the selected body part each workout.

Here is a sample workout routine you can do at your gym:
Dumbbell Chest Press: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Pull Ups (Can be performed on a pull-up station with assist or a traditional pull-up bar): Perform as many pull-ups as you can for 3 sets.
Standing Military (Barbell or Dumbbell) Shoulder Press: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Barbell Squat: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Seated Calf Raise: 15 Reps for 3 Sets
Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Tricep Bench Dips: Perform as many dips as you can for 3 sets.
Swiss/Stability Ball Crunches: 15 Reps for 3 sets

Dips: Perform as many reps as possible for 3 sets
Cable Rows: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Lateral Raises: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Barbell or Dumbbell Deadlifts: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Standing Calf Raises: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Overhead Seated Dumbbell Tricep Press: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Reverse Crunches 15 Reps for 3 sets

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Presses: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Lying Leg Press: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Seated Calf Press (Performed on Leg Press Machine): 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Reverse Curls (Palms down): 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Lying Tricep Dumbbell Extensions: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Russian Twist: 16 Reps for 3 sets.

(If you don’t have access to a gym, watch for future posts on body weight exercise routines)


I know I didn’t expand a whole lot here (For example, I left out periodization principles) but just wanted to get you started on the right foot. Hopefully you can take what you need and start implementing this into your life for 2010. Go now, take action… and be consistent and you will be healthier for it this year.

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