The Spoiled Weighlifter

Ok, in response to Shaky’s questions about fitness and working out, I’ll post more answers – in a new post as they revolve more around the workout rather than the diet aspect.

What time do you work out? Are you able to go at the same time each day?

I’m not much of a morning person, therefore I pretty much workout in the late afternoon/early evening. There are many benefits to working out in the morning but I simply don’t have any desire (or energy) at 5am. The author of Body for Life, Bill Philips, actually says that he works out at that time. I start work at 7:15am so I feel your pain – on the other hand, if I’m overly ambitious I’ll get up and run for 20 min at 5:45am. Believe me, this doesn’t happen often!

I need to get into a routine, but I just cannot guarantee I can go at the same time each day, unless it’s before work. I start work at 8am, so that means getting up at about 6am each day. I did it for most of November, but then it got into December and party season.

I know that if I had to get up and try to make it to the gym before work – it wouldn’t happen. I’d miss many workouts. I find that it’s so much easier to stay in routine once your into it – for me that’s gotta be later in the day. It’s also just as easy to stop once you get off track. I’ve taken months off at a time that way, but once I’m back in it simply becomes part of my day.

It sounds really odd but I actually look forward to getting in the gym – once you’re at that point I think it’s much easier. And party season doesn’t mean you can’t workout – it just means that you’re not as likely to get the optimum benefits out of the workout. Maybe you can just learn to drink a bit less – or make sure you get enough water in during the nights out – anything to ward off a gym-crushing hangover. Trust me, I still like to go out with my buddies – I just have to strive for moderation in all aspects. Notice I use the word ‘strive’ – I’ll let you know when I learn what ‘moderation’ means. 😉

What do you do at the gym? Weight work?

Absolutely. I revolve my entire workout around lifting weights. I warm up with 10 minutes of running and then lift for about 2 hours. If you’ve read any of the New York Bestseller books, you’ll see that they say anything longer than an hour is too long. Well, that’s fine and dandy for those who can fit it in an hour, but truly I cannot get a decent workout in less than an hour and a half. I know 2 hours sounds daunting, but I can’t seem to get the time down to less than that.

Here’s a typical workout week:

Monday: Chest/biceps/abs/cardio
Tuesday: Shoulders/back/triceps/abs/cardio
Wed: Legs/abs/
Thursday: repeat monday
Friday: repeat tuesday

* 3 different exercises for each body part, 3 sets / 8 repetitions

My cardio routine generally is 20 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical machine. I do HIIT training – High Intensity Interval Training – meaning that you warm up for a couple of minutes, get to about 60% of your max heart rate, and then increase intensity dramatically for 1 minute – around 90% max, and then back down to 60%. I do these “spikes” about 5 times within the 20 minute period. This has been proven to greatly enhance fat-burning and continue to elevate metabolism hours after working out. In my opinion it’s much more effective than simply doing 20 minutes at a steady pace.

NO coffee?

Coffee is fine – it just tends to spike blood sugar. I actually drink a cup every morning, but have switched to green tea once I leave the house – which has many proven benefits. And I don’t add sugar or cream to the coffee – just a bit of milk.

Also, do you take your food to work? Or are you able to get lunch like that?

Well – in this aspect I’m a bit spoiled. I have a full time / live-in maid that cooks every meal for me. Whatever I need, she’ll cook. I know this sounds terrible, but she actually cooks the lunch in the morning and brings it to me at noon. This was her choice by the way – not mine. I’m completely willing to bring it with me in the morning – even if it were cooked the night before. I think she just likes to get out of the house. I bring two protein shakes to work as well.

This approach to working out completely depends upon your fitness goals. It’s not for everyone. This is geared towards building muscle and maintaining/losing body fat. I’m a definite mesomorph by nature – I need to be careful not to put excess weight on. Someone simply trying to be ‘fit’ definitely wouldn’t need this much weight work. I lift with very high intensity – that’s just the way I learned to train back in high school/university. There are many varying opinions on how much/how often/set/reps/etc. This is just what works for me. I’d be happy to recommend some books for you if you’d like additional reading.