A couple years ago, I was thinking about putting together a fitness program for myself. My goals were endurance, strength, less low-back aching, flexibility, longevity, and being able to get on my horse bareback without a mounting block or other cheat.
I spent quite a bit of time at Doug Robb’s HeathHabits site. He has a post called The “I don’t have time to workout” Workout. I ran across some paper notes I made during my time there. Doug recommended some basic moves to incorporate: air squat, Hindu pushup, dragon flag, shuffle of scissor lunge, Spiderman lung, hip thrust/bridge, swing snatch, dumbbell press, Siff lunge, jumping Bulgarian squat, band wood chops, stiff leg deadlift. Click the link to see videos of most of these exercises. The rest you can find on YouTube.
Another post is called “Do you wanna get big and strong? -Phase 1”. The basic program is lifting weights thrice weekly. Monday, work the chest and back. Tuesday, legs and abs/core. Friday, arms and shoulders.
- Chest exercises: presses (barbell or dumbell, incline, decline, flat, even pushups with additional resistance – your choice
- Back: chins or rows
- Legs: squats or deadlifts
- Arms and shoulders: dips, presses, curls
Doug is a personal trainer with a huge amount of experience. He’s a good writer, too, and gives away a wealth of information at his website.
Around this same time of searching a couple years ago, I ran across Mark Verstegen’s Core Performance, Mark Lauren’s book “You Are Your Own Gym,” and Mark Sisson’s free fitness ebook that also features bodyweight exercises. Lauren is or was a Navy Seal trainer. His plan involves 30 minutes of work on four days a week and uses minimal equipment. Lots of good reviews at Amazon.com.
I did the Verstegen program for 15 weeks and saw major improvements in my fitness and low-back aching. It’s a good program. The only drawback is that it required six hours a week of my time.
Newbies to vigorous exercise should seriously consider using a personal trainer.
If you’ve had any experience with these regimens, please share. Or is there another you like?
Steve Parker, M.D.