My Weight Routine That Works
By Lonnie L. Henderson
Keeping It Hard
I never go into the gym with the frame of mind, “I am working out to look good.” Health and fitness are so much more than what you look like on the exterior. The exterior only reflects what’s happening internally. From a man’s skin to his natural scent; a man’s body relies solely on what’s put into it, what’s fueling it. A man’s physique needs attention in many different ways and must be approached from different angles. In this short article I will share with my brothers what has worked for me. This is an introduction to “My Secrets” for maintaining great health and superb fitness. You can naturally improve your energy, stamina, and maintain rock hard muscle at any age.
First, I believe healthy solid muscle starts from inside the body. Therefore, we must begin with proper nutrition and diet. Personally, I do not consume much alcohol because beer, wine, and liquor are all added calories. A lot of my buddies love to drink beer while watching the game or have a cocktail while hanging out at the local bar. I like to eat my calories rather than drink them. This also includes highly sugared energy drinks and fruit juices which need to be kept at minimum. Reducing one’s alcohol, high calorie sport drinks and fruit juices decrease the amount of glucose the body receives. Keep in mind that sugar will keep your muscle soft and will turn into fat if you don’t burn the calories by participating in some sort of physical activity. Your body loves fresh fruits and vegetables because the fiber from roughage will keep your waste passing on a regular schedule, reducing your chances of colon cancer.
The vitamins and minerals from these foods aid in restoration of energy and strengthening of one’s immune system. That’s why it’s so important to eat “real foods,” not processed fake manufactured foods. My definition of “real foods” is foods with cells from once living animals or plants. Beware of anything with the word “hydrogenate” on the label and you must read the label on everything you eat. B Vitamins are very important for men because they are responsible for energy production which aid in proper blood flow to all your important manly parts. This is why I consume lots of fresh blueberries. When your body is properly nourished you tend not to crave wasteful calorie foods like cakes , chips and cookies. Most importantly a well balance diet should include protein at least 1 gram to 1.5 grams per pound body weight each day to help repair muscle tissue and build size. Split the total amount of daily protein. Lean protein like poultry and fish are what I eat most and I must say, these meats offer the least amount of fat so you can develop lean muscle mass which is imperative for the burning fat.
A little red meat like a lean piece of steak has excellent hormones for combating erectile dysfunction and should be consumed once in a while but not too often as red meat is very high in fat compared to the other choices mentioned. I try to have a serving of lean steak once every two weeks to add variety to my diet. Everyone should take a complete multi- vitamin and mineral along with Omega -3 fatty acids ( Omega 3, 6, and 9) each day to help promote a stronger, healthier heart, energy metabolism and maintain proper triglyceride levels.
In addition, the foods we eat are often de-mineralized after cooking and are only as good as the soil they’re grown in. Therefore, supplements like Kirkland’s Premium Performance and Nature Made’s Triple Omega from Costco really helps me decrease my lean muscle to body fat ratio. Remember, you must also cleanse the liver and flush the impurities and toxins from your body by drinking lots of water to maintain hydration. Your body burns fat more efficiently when hydrated so I try to consume approximately one gallon of water throughout the course of each day. This is easy to do if you carry a small to medium sized water bottle everywhere you go, drinking a little throughout the day and refilling it. These are just some simple practical things men can do to stay strong, vital, and healthy.
The workout regimen is another area that must be solid and consistent. Regular exercise lowers bad cholesterol and improves blood flow to the heart and other vital organs like our manly parts. Creating and participating in an exercise regime which includes a cardiovascular routine lasting at least 25 to 30 minutes, three to four times a week will give you optimum and fast results when trying to trim body fat, harden and strengthen your muscles. Some people enjoy stationary machines, a run in the park, a brisk walk around the block or a challenging hike to elevate their heart rate. My cardio exercise of choice is dancing, because in order for me to be consistent with anything, I must first enjoy it.
MaDonna Grimes’ hip-hop class twice a week is pure fun and burns loads of calories. There’s great music, a safe environment, fun moves and other energetic people to meet and workout with while in class. I am not saying you need to learn to dance to obtain strong muscles, but I am telling you, one must enjoy whatever the exercise is in order to be consistent. Find an enjoyable exercise that increases your heart rate allowing you to control your breathing while maintaining that pace for 25 or 30 minutes and you will see a significant change in your muscle tone, stamina, and natural energy (without the aid of caffeine or steroidal supplementation). Cardio alone is not the only answer to rock hard abs or super meaty pecs. Yes, you must do it like the sexy 80’s girl group Salt-N-Pepper says, “Push it good, push it real good.” I’m referring to pushing weights and stretching. Three times a week with moderate resistance performing 8 to 12 repetitions per set and completing 3 to 4 sets for each muscle group can offer maximum benefit in building strong hard muscles.
Now, do not try to do all five major muscle groups in one day, it’s not necessary, unless done in a “circuit” where you are doing interval training combined with cardio to burn fat while strengthening and toning your muscles all at the same time. I usually spend only an hour in the gym; working out two opposing muscle groups and I always incorporate my ten minute abdominal routine at the end or beginning of my workout. This way I do not over-train, I give each part of my body the isolated attention required and my entire day isn’t spent in the gym. You don’t want to become mentally fatigued and bored by the same daily routine, so mix it up by doing one or two (opposing) muscle groups per visit. If you can, try to create three different exercises that work the same muscle from different angles; you will strengthen and promote flexibility in that muscle and its connective joints. Now, here is the one important area I see a lot of brothers forget when working out and that’s “stretching.” You must prepare your body for movement and some fitness professionals call this your “warm-up.” You should ease into your your workout just like you ease into a romantic evening with your mate. When you incorporate ten minutes of stretching at the beginning and end of your workouts you’ll be amazed by how your range of motion will improve, the development of lengthen muscle mass (instead of bulky muscle) is encouraged, and the fewer injuries you’ll experience. Stretching also decreases post workout soreness, increases blood flow and decreases lactic acid build up in muscle tissue.
Finally, let’s talk about the mental capacity, education and dedication needed to make these simple times a part of your lifestyle because like the Pyramids in Africa, strong muscles aren’t built in a day. Ask yourself, what centers me and keeps my mind at peace? For some, meditation and/ or prayer is a calm and settling practice. Stress is the number one cause of illness, depression, failed diets and unachieved exercise goals. The way you handle the chaos and drama in your life is critical on many levels. I have friends that employ a yoga class or go to church to keep them balanced. Personally, I’m big on prayer and journaling. Writing out my thoughts and problems help me to clear my head of confusion and stay mentally balanced. Having an exercise journal helps me to stay on track with what I did during my last gym visit and acts as a visual reminder of my physical and mental goals. You must continue to read any and everything on Health and Fitness because with the advancement of technology the Internet offers a world of information; find what works for you. Your mind, body and spirit must work hand in hand to achieve a healthy, balanced and muscular physique. My little secrets are just that, my tried and true experiences coupled with my opinions. I think you will find big results if you take similar action. Keep it hard guys until next time when I let you in on my tips for multiple ejaculations and the benefits of cold vanilla ice cream.
U.S. National Aerobics Champion
Male Individual Gold Medalist
Lonnie L. Henderson
Personal Trainer/ Group Fitness Instructor
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