There are a variety of things that you can do to improve your health and working out is one of them. Exercise can improve your health markers (cholesterol and blood pressure to name a few), lower your weight, increase your muscle mass and ward off future health problems (heart disease and diabetes). Men tend to focus on weights most, but a variety of fitness options is best for well-rounded health. Hopefully these workouts give you ideas and challenge you in ways that you haven’t been in a while.
100 rep challenge
Choose any movement: squats, burpees, pushups, pull ups, etc. (anything will work). Grab your favorite equipment for that movement and a timer and go to town. It can be anything but as long as you’re on that timer then you will be pushed knowing you’re giving your best effort. Try the same challenge in a week or so and see if you can beat it. This will jack up your heart rate and get that muscular endurance going.
Something that many males avoid is stretching. It’s not glamorous and we think that no one notices if we’re immobile. Stretching is not just for flexibility of the muscles but for improving joint health and giving your body a chance to recover (especially if you’ve tried these workouts). Take a yoga class or look up the numerous online references (Romwod, or youtube yoga channels). Many of these websites have trials for up to a week to see if you enjoy it or not and you can do it in the comfort of your own home.
Run or bike
The distance does not matter for running or biking but the actual act of getting outside into nature will just help your mental wellbeing. Join a race or just hit a trail with some music and you’ll benefit from using your cardiovascular system. Start slow and slowly build up to larger distances!
This will test your mental fortitude and your ability to push through the burn to hit your goal. Warm up your back squat to 50-60% of your 1 rep max lift. Back squat this percentage for 20 reps unbroken trying to take minimal breaks at the top of the movement. If 20 reps went up and down easily then increase the weight. You have hit the sweet spot when you get to 14 reps and you don’t want to do anymore because it burns too much. After you’ve done one set at a challenging weight try again next week at a heavier weight and you’ll realize why this is called the widow maker. This will work on your muscular endurance which will give you more gas during strength sessions.
Linda is a CrossFit workout and before you roll your eyes, you’ll be happy to hear that there is no running or burpees. It’s just 3 different bars with 3 different weights and a whole lot of reps. The rep scheme is: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of deadlifts, bench press, and cleans. The deadlifts are weighted at 1.5x bodyweight; bench press at 1x bodyweight; the cleans are 0.75x bodyweight. The flow: 10 deadlifts, 10 bench press, 10 cleans, 9 deadlifts, 9 bench press, 9 cleans… etc. If you’re unfamiliar with a certain movement or the weight is too heavy then feel free to modify or substitute something else. These heavy movements will help shed fat and get you breathing as hard as a long run will.
As mentioned before there is no secret recipe for improving your health. You just need to find something you enjoy or something that will keep you accountable (friends, online forums, personal trainers) and keep up with it. Keep it exciting by trying new things. The best time to start is now!
By Adam Cowan – BKin BCAK CF-L1
CrossFit – Level 1 Trainer
This website is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing any exercise program, including the programs on this website. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition, or that of your clients, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content on this website. Any exercise program may result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed on this website, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.