The Average Guys Guide to Being Healthy, Not Fat, Strong Enough to do Manly Things, and Not Going Crazy in the Process
Most of the fitness books out there for men stink if you're over 40 . They all assume we are 20 something's who want bulging biceps and six pack abs to impress the girls so we can get dates with some shallow bimbo and boff her brains out. To make matters worse they all have these work out plans that assume we have nothing better to do then spend all our free time in the gym. Not to mention we have access to a gym or have all this great equipment at our disposal. On the other hand most guys I know, have wives, kids, houses, errands to run, yard work, and other stuff to do that constitutes real life. I've talked with many of these guys, and am one myself. The general consensus is that our wives would be far more impressed by us volunteering to do the dishes then if we achieved a 300lb bench press or developed 18" biceps. While boinking some young chic might cross our minds from time to time, the real woman we want to make happy is our wife. I talked to my wife, and several other women who are wives or SO's, and their responses were refreshingly simple. They wanted their men to be healthy, not too fat, but not cover models either, and strong enough to do husbandly things around the house with out hurting themselves or being sore for days. Basically what they really wanted was for us to take care of ourselves so we would be there for the long haul. I was also surprised to learn that their idea of "not too fat" was incredibly forgiving. So I talked to a few of the guys I know, and they all said that those were reasonable goals. Several of them had bought this book or that book, but all the books were about building "big guns" and six pack abs, had unreasonable time commitments, diets that were either to complex, or too restrictive, and generally geared to a younger crowd. Mostly they had just plain given up trying to find a livable solution.
At this point I need to make the following disclaimer, I am not a doctor, so none of what I am about to write in this or subsequent installment should be taken or used as medical advice. If you are under the care of a doctor, always clear any eating or exercise plan with them first.
So, lets get started.
Step One, if you smoke, stop. No further explanation should be required. Get help if you need it, but just make up your mind and quit.
Two; stop eating junk food. You're not a teenager so stop eating like one. Lets face it, Twinkies, ho-ho's, oreos, soda's and french fries have no redeeming value. Instead of going to a fast food joint, go to a deli and get a real sandwich and some fruit or a salad. If you like blue cheese or mayo that's fine. Just skip the fake, fat free stuff. I'm going to recommend you buy one book. Jonny Bowden's 150-Healthiest-Foods . If 80 pct of your diet come from the foods in this book, you're ahead of the game.
Three; push ups, sit ups, and deep knee bends. Cardio? Bah! skip it. Twice a week, like say Tuesday and Saturday, do as many push ups, sit ups and deep knee bends as you can for one set each. Do them slowly and smoothly. Take only enough time in between exercises to catch your breath. In the beginning it might take 2 minutes, but after a few weeks you should be down to a minute or less. That's it. That's all the exercises you need, and if you are just starting out this will be sufficient for several weeks. If you can't do at least 10 regular push ups, then do as many as you can then do them on your knees. Until you can do 30 reps of each, don't worry about adding any exercises. Eventually you will need a set of adjustable dumbbells, or a barbell set, but no need for any thing else. For right now however, bodyweight will be enough. I'll be adding in a few exercises as we go, but this is where it starts.
Four; go to sleep. Get at least seven hours a night. If that means you miss Letterman, too bad, now say good night.
That'll wrap up the first installment of this project. They say you get 80 percent of your return on the first 20 percent of your efforts. The above is the first 10 percent.