Body Building: beyond aesthetics

I’ve been lost with my workouts lately.  I haven’t had a clear-cut goal, instead basing my workouts on  general health, some notion of (obsolete) athletic needs, and boredom.  Without some competitive outlet, I find my workouts to be aimless and somewhat pointless.  General health and fitness is so uninspiring to me.  None of these has kept me training at the level of consistency and intensity I ought to be maintaining for both optimal physical fitness and professional reasons.

Since I really don’t pursue any specific athletic avocations at this point in my life, training athletically is not only pointless, but also counter productive considering the physical impairments I keep exacerbating: sciatica, arthritic pain in my ankle and left hand digits, shoulder pain from years of over-use and abuse, to name a few.

The level of exercise I need to accomplish to maintain general health is likewise so easy for me to achieve I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything.

And boredom leads to demotivation and general lack of interest in my own personal fitness.

To remedy this I’m going to begin a good, old school, body building routine.  Nothing fancy.

Nothing overly athletic or complex.  Just basic body building and strength training, done with gradually increasing intensity over a period of weeks.  I’ll target different parts of my body on different days, using a three-day split routine.  The same exercises every week till I reach a strength and development plateau, and then I’ll redesign the routine to reach a new plateau, and so on.  The goal is simple: get specifically strong in certain exercises, and to generally strengthen every skeletal muscle as much as possible.  In addition to my other posts, I will log these workouts here, and post them, so that all my readers can see what I’ll be doing, and the challenges that I either overcome or succumb to, just like everyone else in the exercise community.

My split will be as follows:

  1. Chest & Back Monday and Thursday (DB bench press, Incline DB press, cable fly’s, Pull-ups, cable rows/long pull, cable high row)
  2. Lower Extremities Tuesday and Friday (squats, dead lifts, jump step ups, leg extension, prone leg curl)
  3. Shoulder, Arms, cardio Saturday (standing military press, db lateral raise, Standing e-z bar biceps curl, db incline biceps curl, dips, cable triceps pulldown, spin 30-45 minutes)

Light to moderate cardio will also be done on chest and back days, depending on energy levels, and on any other day energy, motivation, and time permit.  Abdominal and core work will be done at the end of every workout, depending on soreness.

Hopefully, you will find this log of my own workouts to be motivating, and heartening to see that we all face similar challenges, regardless of which direction we come from in this exercise community of ours.

Results Oriented (Purposeful) Training

Over the years I’ve been asked to train people for almost every conceivable reason, but in general, most seem to fall into the following categories.  I plan on spending the next few weeks writing a post/week about each of the following topics with sample routines, that can be followed by those of you without access to me.  In the near future, I hope to be able to offer enhanced services, including personal, customized training routines for a nominal fee to individuals who are geographically, or otherwise incapable, of meeting with me in person.  Until then, the sample routines that will be posted in the next few weeks can be used and adapted as you all see fit.  Keep in mind, that you need to make sure you know how to perform each exercise movement properly.  The site ExRx is an excellent resource and has free to view video of most common exercises being performed properly.

The general main categories, and sub categories, as I see it:

1) General health and fitness for the sedentary  person: novice

  1. Youth

  2. Young adult

  3. Middle age

  4. Senior

2) Total Body Conditioning: intermediate to advanced

  1. Cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness

3) Body shaping: beginner to the advanced

  1. Weight loss

  2. Toning and Body Sculpting

  3. Body building

4) Power and strength training: advanced

5) Athletic performance: advanced, sports specific and functional training

  1. endurance

  2. Strength

  3. Speed

  4. Agility

Feel free to comment on the categories, and let me know if you feel I’ve left any out, or why you might not fit into any of the above.  If I agree, I’ll update my categories, or explain why I disagree.  Keep reading!