I try not to read the exercise regimes outlined in the fitness magazines that lie around my house (hey, Iím not the one who subscribes to them!). Invariably they set up some routine thatís either too complex, or else demands that you constantly increase intensity over time in order to build muscle, lose fat, grow hair, solve world peace, or whatever.
Most of the time when I peruse those articles, I end up feeling inadequate Ė like the 95 pound weaking of yore. (By the way, could any healthy grown man weigh just 95 pounds?). These days they even have models in their (gasp!) 30ís with the occasional grey hair, who purportedly do these tortuous exercises every day in order to stay fit, buff and trim.
As for me, Iím still using a variation on the routine that I came up with my trainer about 5 years ago (back when I was a cash-flow-rich dot commie). It hits the various muscle groups, and the type and quantity of the exercises are enough to cause me to sweat, but not enough to injure me. As far as Iím concerned, thatís pretty darned good.
If pressed, I would have to concede that switching things around a bit every now and again is probably a better way to achieve results. Boredom with eating or exercise is always a bad sign. Endless repetition is seldom cited as a factor in successful health management.
Still, Iím okay with where Iím at right now. My body looks and feels just fine, my workouts are strenuous, and my fitness level is good. I actually donít aspire to look like the guys in the magazines, nor do I want to emulate the really big guys I see at the gym.
Donít get me wrong. I think they look great. Its just that, for those people, muscle maintenance is every bit a moment-by-moment part of their lives as weight maintenance is for me. The choices that they make about the time, energy and money to be spent on muscle-building, are understandable, given the results they are trying to achieve. I have a lot of respect for that.
As for me, however, Iím just going to keep tootling along with my current routine. I get a lot of cardio every day, I lift weights about four times a week, and exercise my abs all the time. Iíll keep reading all of those great articles about how to scale new heights, pack on new muscles, and achieve ever greater levels of fitness, but Iíll do it while lying on the couch.
Who knows, there may be a trainer in my future (I might win the lottery) and I might discover in myself a desire to push myself past old limits. But I’m hoping that all of those same old, comfortable (and therefore supposedly useless) exercises that Iíve been doing in the meantimewill keep me healthy until then.