Thursday, July 31, 2008

My workout routine - part 2

In my previous post, I described the cardio portion of my gym workout routine. Before I get into the remaining details of my workout, I want to talk a little about gym etiquette. The rules that I observe as most frequently violated are:

1. Bring a clean towel and wipe up after yourself.
No one likes to use a machine that's drenched in someone else's sweat. I use a towel not only to wipe up my sweat, but to also act as a barrier between my skin and potentially germ laden equipment. In addition, it's probably a good idea wash your hands (or use hand sanitizers) before and after your workout.

2. Don't hog equipment. Be courteous of other gym members; their time is as important as yours. That means not dawdling at a machine chit chatting or texting, especially if the gym is busy. If you're doing multiple sets on a machine, allow people who are waiting to hop on if you take long rest breaks between your sets.

3. Rerack weights after you're done with them. Don't assume the gym staff will pick up after you. Return your weights to the rack after you're finished using them, so that other members don't have to go hunting for them.

Those are my personal biggest pet peeves. has some other good tips on the subject.

While there's some uncertainty regarding the timing and benefits of stretching, I perform stretching exercises to improve my flexibility, and because it feels good. I use a stretch trainer which makes it easy, but here's some information and slide show from the Mayo Clinic for doing it manually. I stretch for about 5 minutes after cardio, and before weights.

For my strength training, I utilize a circuit training program using primarily weight machines. As stated in my previous post, my goal is to stay lean and toned, not to get big and bulky like professional bodybuilders, so this method works well for me. I try target all the major muscle groups, and the machines at the gym make it easy to perform the exercises safely. I perform one set of 15 reps per machine, and set the weights to reach exhaustion on the last rep. To eliminate rest periods and shorten my workout, I alternate between upper and lower body exercises. Here's what my circuit routine looks like:

  • seated row (trapezius/upper back)
  • seated leg curl (hamstrings)
  • biceps curl (biceps)
  • leg extension (quadriceps)
  • chest press (pectoralis)
  • ab crunch (abdominals)
  • shoulder press (deltoids)
  • back extension (lower back)
  • tricep extension (triceps)
  • leg press (gluteals)
  • lat pulldown (latisimus dorsi)
  • ab curl(abdominals)
  • seated fly (pectoralis)
  • calf extension (calfs)
Since I've been working out at the gym for a long time now, I have been adding additional, more advanced exercises at the end of my workout to further define certain body areas (abs, arms, chest). These include:
  • hanging leg raises (I do them slowly for maximum effect)
  • unassisted pull ups
  • push ups
I'm pretty happy with the results, and I feel that 3 hours a week at the gym is not a huge time drain at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very nice ab!