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Fitting Exercise into Your Life Marc Lebert marc@lebertfitness.com
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You’ve heard it a hundred times. That old excuse, “I don’t have time to exercise”. The fact is you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to lose weight, gain muscle and achieve many of the health benefits afforded by regular exercise. With the right training, your daily exercise routine need not last more than 10 minutes!

In every gym you will find guys who spend countless hours pumping iron and others doing endless cardiovascular training and often not getting the results they are after. Unless these people are in the gym for other reasons (which is often the case), there are many of them that are wasting their time. Why? Because the body adapts quickly to any physical demands placed on it and that is the basis of the S.A.I.D. Principle (specific adaptations to imposed demands).


Even after your first workout, the body starts to adapt to the training. Let’s look at walking for example; those first few workouts may be a little demanding but soon you would be able to walk much further and faster than before. After all, walking is something we humans have adapted to do very efficiently. Sure walking is great for someone starting out but not for months on end! Even jogging becomes routine with the body adapting a comfortable gate to get the job done as efficiently as possible. 


So what you will need to do is pick the best exercises, what intensity to perform them at (proper form and intensity is key and may require a trainer to help you determine what that is) and just as important, you will need to vary your workouts often. The best way to do this is doing bodyweight circuit training.


The right exercises involve compound movements. Compound exercises involve multi-joint and multiple muscles all working together like in the case of the squat (see picture). This exercise is called the “King” of all exercises and works the entire lower body, involving the ankle, knee and hip joints and working the quadriceps, glutes, hips and more. Done right, this exercise can effectively raise your metabolism all by itself! Another basic that many ladies say they can’t do (which they can with proper instruction and progression) is the push-up (see picture and exercise description- I have a great variation that most everyone can do). The push-up involves the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints and most of the upper body muscles and with just this one move, most of your upper body muscles can be strengthened and toned.


This type of training is not easy but everybody can do it. It requires no equipment and you will get tangible results quickly- so let’s get started! Note: Always get a doctor’s clearance before starting this or any exercise routine.


The Routine

We will be performing a circuit training routine which means moving from one exercise to another right away. Perform each exercise slowly and after 30 seconds move to the next. Stop if you are unsure about how to perform an exercise and stop if you feel faint or dizzy.


1.         Jumping jacks- a classic and so simple in design. A great warm-up for the joints and works the inner and outer thighs. Variation- jogging on the spot.

2.         Squats- remember to keep your head up, tilt your hips back and bring your hands out in front of you. Start to lower your body slowly like there is a chair behind you. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and bring your hands down to your sides as you move back up. Do not push your knees forward. (See Photo)

3.         Push-ups- get into push-up position with your hands and feet on floor. Hands should be right under shoulders and abdominals tight. Slowly lower yourself to the floor and touch your nose, then come back up. Variation- Now I know a lot of you cannot come back up so what I recommend and do all the time with clients is “flops”. Do the first part and slowly lower to the floor and just flop your entire body down. Now get back up using the knees and go back into regular push-up position to start the next repetition. (See photo).

4.         Stride jumps. Get up and get moving again with stride jumps. Great for the butt! (See photo)

5.         Reverse Lunges- with feet together step back about 2 feet and touch knee to floor. It will be helpful for beginners to hold onto something like a chair or a set of Equalizers. Keep knees at 90 degree bends. (See photo).

6.         Push-ups once again.

7.         Repeat the circuit one more time.

8.         DONE!


When you work these compound exercises into a circuit the heart rate really goes up and you get a great cardiovascular workout. You also increase your metabolism with the strength training and unlike low intensity cardiovascular training, you will burn calories long after this workout is done!


Do this routine every day (a little muscle soreness is normal so you may want to do it every second day) because it is important to build in some consistency and form a habit. It’s like doing the dishes (not like I would know, my wife would say) - they add up at the end of the week - but do them each day and it’s much easier. And the dishes, like this routine take only 10 minutes. It does not get better than that!