Posts Tagged ‘Running’

Lean, Mean, Muscle Machine

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Some people don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or like Arnold Schwarzenegger (pre extra marital affair days), but they want to have good cardio and some definition of muscle tone without the bulk. (Think spin coach and aerobic instructor). There are some who want to look lean, but still have muscle mass, “being cut” by definition. (Think tri-athlete).

So, I am hopefully going to be able to address both body goals.  If you want to be a lean “look I have muscles and no underarm flab” machine, then find something you will enjoy doing again and again. Swimming (not wading in the pool), biking riding at a moderate pace to include hills on a road bike for about 15-20 miles, hiking at a moderate pace at a minimal to steady climb for about 1-2 hours, running at a moderate pace at about 4.5 miles/hour for 3 miles. Work your way up slowly in being able to do the activity for longer intervals and push yourself, not to the point of exhaustion, but to accomplishing the goal you set for yourself that day. Never doubt how well your body can do when you push yourself and know you can do it. If you like a lot of variation then try joining an aerobics class, spin class, kick boxing and my current favorite craze the Insanity program and P90X. With the proper diet and nutrition, your energy level, cardio and lean muscle definition will develop. Also, do the workouts consistently for at least 4-5 days a week. Hey, maybe even 6 days and rest on the 7th day because even Jesus needed a break.

Remember 3 things: Strength training, cardio exercise and eating well (often and have proteins).

For those who want to look lean, yet have those ripped abs and chiseled muscles, I would still recommend doing Insanity and P90X. If working out in your home is not for you, then hit the road running or biking, whichever you prefer. Then it is time to hit the weights. You want to be “cut”, well then don’t do less weight and more reps (like the ones who just want lean muscle). You have to raise the weight and do a minimum of 12-15 reps and 3 sets. If you are striving for the “no neck, barrel chest, tree trunk legs” then go for max weight with minimal reps (probably 4-5 reps) and 3-4 sets.

Once you lean yourself down, you will want to “define” yourself with weight training, but also realize that you will need to make it up in calories if you plan on lifting a lot. It will depend on your weight, but for a guy, a 2,500-3,500 calorie consumption might help in the “bulking” and “cutting” process of muscle building. Still keep in mind to do the cardio portion of your exercise regime.
What you put into your body will result in the effort you put out. Eating like a slug makes you feel like a slug. So remember no matter what healthy body you choose to have, keep it healthy, simple, active and always push it to do better for you.

The Best Part of Waking Up…

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

The best part of waking up is #1: actually being able to get up (especially at our age more things seem to be cracking and creaking) and #2: getting outside in the early morning hours of the weekend before anyone else does.


The advantage of #1 of course is that it still shows we are alive and able. There are a number of advantages for #2. Those being that I was able to get up and out to run before anyone was able to disrupt my quiet morning with the hustle and bustle of their day. The coolness of the morning definitely helped wake me up  and I was able to have “me time”, which I think everyone should be able to have. It’s better than a therapist and you don’t have to take the little white pill (or whichever medication your doctor has prescribed for you during your depression stage).


Today was the first day I went running since I started the Insanity program (so for about 2 months). Not to brag or anything, but I will so heads up, the five miles was effortless. I couldn’t figure out if all of the cardio through Insanity helped me or just that I had not run for so long, but I felt like Forrest Gump out there (without the leg braces of course).


Speedy, our 11 year old black Labrador Retriever who has the the gray muzzle of an 11 year old and the body of a 4 year old, stuck with me throughout the morning jog and never complained once. What a trooper! Fresh air does wonders for you and it can improve your mental well being and revitalize you. Adding to that, a majority of studies say that exercising outdoors not only increases energy and revitalizes you, but gives to “positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. ”


So, if the best part of waking up is only having that cup of coffee in the morning, consider heading outdoors for a walk, run, bike ride or hike. *Mind, Body and Spirit*


Michelle