What’s your motivation for exercising? Generally, popular responses include:
- Trying to lose a couple pounds
- Avoid injuries
- Play with the grandkids
- Getting ready for a big event – wedding, reunion, etc.
- Want to build confidence… and look good at the beach
- Just want to stay healthy and be “fit”
Whatever inspires you and drives you to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle is great. It’s smart to have goals and to check in on those goals periodically to ensure you are on the right path.
In addition to your personal goal(s), you might want to consider these healthy reminders, or “secrets”. Follow these 5 secrets and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Five Fitness Secrets That Men Need To Keep In Mind:
1. Check your ego at the door
Who cares what the guy next to you is benching!? His strength does not impact your health one bit. At the end of the day, it’s you and only you. Focus on improving yourself and not comparing yourself to others.
2. Consistency is key
You’ve got to show up! You could have the best training program ever created, but if you don’t actually get up and move, it’s not going to do you any good. This one is so very simple, but so very challenging for many. You must make your health a priority and make it a point to put in the work.
If you take your amazing training program and follow it up with a Big Mac and large fries, you’re fighting an uphill battle. You can’t out-train a poor diet.
4. Keep the “Big Picture” goal in mind
This may not be the case for everyone who exercises, but it’s safe to say that the majority of us work out to feel good, look good, and stay injury-free. Of course it’s always nice to hit a PR (personal record) and try new exercises; just make sure everything is done safely and you’re always keeping the “big picture” in mind when it comes to your training.
5. Train the entire body
This is certainly a big one for men. Most males will admit that they focus much of their fitness to the “mirror muscles”. These are the muscles that you can see when you look in the mirror; chest, shoulders, arms, and abs. Unfortunately, focusing your training solely on the front-side of the body could lead to injuries, muscle imbalances, and a physique that does not look proportionate.
6. Enter, The “Movement Pillars”
One great way to attack the above point is to use the “Movement Pillars” when designing your workout routines. These pillars refer to the movement patterns we do in our daily lives… we push, pull, squat, hinge, and rotate. Yes, we do other things (like walk for example) but we’ll focus on these five common patterns for now. Utilizing these five movements provides us with a great template to use to create an effective and efficient functional full-body routine. Let’s take a look at a routine with these movement pillars.
1. Squat (lower) – 1-leg squat – 8 reps per leg
2. Push (upper) – pushup and pike – 8 reps
3. Hinge (lower) – glute bridge – 15 reps
4. Pull (upper) – pullups – 8 reps
5. Rotate (torso) – rotations – 15 reps per side
This is a circuit workout, so complete the first movement, then move on to the second movement, then the third, etc. Once you complete all five exercises, go back and complete the first movement to begin set #2. Depending on your fitness level, you could start with 2-3 sets and then work up to 5-6. Time yourself every time you complete the circuit so you can challenge yourself and track your progress.
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a trainer, coach, presenter, and the founder of DB Strength. He is the co-owner of a fitness facility outside of Boston called, “Iron Village Strength & Conditioning”. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance Training Center where he worked with many top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.DBStrength.com or www.IronVillageSC.com for more information.