"Work it out" by Shannon Paula
Now, now boys, there is no need to hit the gym so hard that your left not only excruciating yet, simply wondering, “Why aren’t I bigger and better yet?” If you’re seeking immediate compliments from your friends, colleagues, and that “one” you’ve just met and are hoping to get to know a little better then start with body parts most noticeable; arms, chest, and abdominals. Just for the record, I’m not suggesting that you overwork these muscles more than your legs and butt, or focus so much attention on them that you’re unable to straighten your elbows overstretching your t-shirts, that’s Jersey Shore territory, so we leave that there. The quickest way to first-rate results begins with your diet and a 3-5 day per week workout routine. Eat less meat and dairy and more vegetables. Sorry boys, I know the way you all love broccoli and cauliflower although, unless you were born with a six-pack and still living in the first quarter century of your life, then let’s make some real “big boy” commitments and stick to them. The good news is that if you haven’t been ripped since diapers, you still have a shot although with commitment comes sacrifice. Please don’t shoot the messenger; it’s purely part of the process. Even more good news is that healthier food is readily available; such as “design you’re own salad” bars, and much tastier vegetarian options. Wiser choices are easier to make given our access to the latest nutritional research. Fried food, bye-bye. If you’re doing fries more than once a week, it’s no wonder the pants “run small” in size. You will indisputably find that the more daring you are in choosing something healthier and refraining from the usual meat/cheese/bread thingy you’re used to, the sooner you’ll uncover new healthier food that will actually enjoy whilst chiseling the chest and carving down the waistline.
When hitting the gym, or the living room floor, stay focused on what’s going on inside of your body while exercising. Doing biceps? Engage your abdominals by bringing your navel to your spine as you exhale and exert the weight (this would be the most use of force, or the “lift”, “push”, or “pull”). Never hold your breath, always be breathing in or exhaling out coordinate it by tightening, or engaging your abs while you exhale. This packs more ab-time into your workout and continual practice trains your body to continue to work your abs throughout your daily life. Mindfulness is key. Also, follow the technical aspect below and you’re on your way to some serious “Do you workout?” questions:
1) Take yourself onto the Roman Chair, face the ceiling, legs extended, knees unlocked, arms crossed over chest, shoulders back and down away from your ears. Make like you’re sitting up at the dinner table, tall spine, then hinge back from your legs, not the waist, your spine should be moving back in one, long motion, always keeping the hips at least slightly bent so you don’t over extend your spine. Exhaling, bring your navel to spine and begin moving back up to seated (starting) position all the while exhaling, shrinking and tightening the abs. Keep the bottom front ribs closed!! Inhaling back down, keeping your face inline with your spine, without crunching your neck, exhale back up, repeat 20 times, rest for one minute. Do as many sets as you can. Within two weeks you should do sets of 50.
2) Curls: 20 pound dumb bells in each hand, engage the abs while you exhale and curl the weight in toward you. Extend the arms down and out (starting position) as you inhale. 3 sets of 15 with 2 minute rest in between each.
3)Push-ups: keeping the spine long, gaze facing the ground, head lined up with your tailbone, arms extended long, move elbows bending to 90 degrees as you inhale down. Exhaling up pressing your navel further toward your spine, extending arms straight to starting position. Abs must stay engaged and lower back (sacrum, spine) relaxed throughout exercise. At first, do as many as you can until you can’t possibly do any more. I mean all of them, completely done. The next time you do them, do one more, and one more, and one more?follow program until it seems unchallenging to you then move on to the one below.
Can’t wait two entire months for those compliments? This progression will get you there quicker:
Exercise #1, Roman Chair Sit-ups: do 1 set of 25-50, take the 20 pound dumb bell, holding it in front of chest and do 25-50 more.
Instead of resting, take the other dumb bell and do your curls in the Roman Chair.
Go right back into one or two dumb bells for another set of exercise #1, roman Chair Sit-ups.
Hop off the chair and onto the floor next to it and move right through your push-ups. For your second set, vary them by trying one foot off the ground at a time, a few on each side. And/or, touch your right hand to your right foot with arms and legs fully extended, abs engaged, then left side, or, switch right to left with every repetition. This will work get into your obliques as well. Without resting get back on chair and repeat entire cycle until, you absolutely cannot do anymore.
Remember to drink plenty of water and stretch your chest and arms gently immediately afterward. Breath it in then go out there in the world feeling accomplished, fit and DRIVEN.
Is it your hair? Good hair day? Bad hair days? Is it your shoes? Is it the shoes we?ve just met, driving us to ponder, caress, and even stroke before possibly taking them home and making them yours with a quick swipe of a card? Is it the gym? The run, the freedom of running? Work related projects, completing a project? Beginning a new one? Being driven means being moved, moving, the direction however, is another story. Have you ever felt as if you were moving? Maybe toward the new dress on the mannequin and you seemed so sure it would drive you exactly where you wanted to go? You asked for your size, tried it on, you did your little dance in front of the mirror once you saw how great it looked on you and you were super sure that you were moving when the other girl shopping spotted you and gave you the, ?That dress was made for you,? look. Yes, men, you?re so driven to ask the beautiful girl at the party for her number, she moves you.
We seem so driven when carving ourselves enroute to the office, the gym, Pilates class, dinner dates, meeting friends for cocktails, charity events, it?s a sense of drive that tells the world, ?I?m moving.? ?I?m being moved by a great cause.? Or, at least to me it?s great. For some, it may be the confidence we gain from the mani-pedi, new shoes, Armani sports jacket, gorgeous hair day, we swagger, and the masses simply, part the way. Which direction are you driving? What exactly is moving us? Sometimes when we don?t think to ask ourselves, what exactly is driving us we may send the wrong the message to the world, to the Universe, to the powers that BE, powers being, us. You, me, all of us are driving somewhere, yet some of us drive in circles all day, without the clarity of what truly moves us. If it actually is the good hair day, then so be it, although, if your sights are set greater then it?s best to keep your eyes on the road. What was the thing that you dreamed when you were a child? And what was your dream when you were fifteen? Eighteen? Twenty-one? Does the dream still move you? If yes, then turn around and move in that direction.
Choose new things that move you according to what is necessary in order for you to achieve your dreams. There is an excellent daily morning Yoga, Pilates pose to help clear some distraction from your mind and strengthen the body in order to create the space to make your dreams reality. The plank pose dates back thousands of years and has been known to enhance mind-body practice in a short amount of time. In Sanskrit, Chaturanga Danda Asana actually translates to the four-footed stick pose.
1. Face down, hands and knees on the floor. Modification: You may use your elbows and forearms on the floor if you experience any type of wrist pain and, or weakness, and especially Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
2. Come up to a plank position ensuring that your head, shoulder blades and tailbone are all lined up (which puts the ?plank? in the pose).
3. Keep your hands and extended arms under your chest and shoulders as opposed to your ears. (If your hips are too high, lengthen the crown of your head further forward so you move your head and chest in passed the placement of your hands.
4. Keep your navel drawn to your spine so your lumbar spine doesn?t sag and with every exhale, engage your abdominals even further. (You?re probably experiencing quite the earthquake at this point) simply continue to breathe and focus on your spine, lengthening the head from the tail and widening your ribs with every breath.
5. Hold the pose for at least one minute, come down to your knees and stand up slowly.
6. Quickly begin focusing on your dreams, yes, remember those?
7. Ask yourself what they where, gain clarity, and make whatever it takes to achieve them to move you.
8. Be DRIVEN, enjoy the journey, and create your destination.