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17July/2015

HAS YOUR JOB BECOME AN EXCUSE?

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WORDS Jason Aaron Baca | IMAGES Portia Shao

IT’S 5 O’CLOCK - TIME TO LEAVE WORK! IT IS DECISION TIME FOR YOU. WHAT’LL IT BE? Head to the gym and crank out an hour of exercise or head on home and throw a fattening frozen combo pizza in the oven for a quick fix? I used to do the latter all too often!

When we leave work, we feel a sense of relief from the stresses our job creates. We may imagine going home, reclining on a comfortable chair and closing our eyes. Instead, what we should be imagining is what muscles we plan to work out when we arrive at the gym.

The stress built up from a hard day’s work can actually cause tension within our bodies. One of the best possible activities for relieving this is a nice solid workout followed by a balanced low-fat dinner. And for dessert, instead of throwing down a tub of fattening ice cream, reach for a high quality protein shake. One that will have all the essential amino acids your body needs to replenish itself. Not only that, it provides you with the extra protein your body needs to lift heavy weights.

Here are four things you can do during your next workout to ensure you get the most out of your session – even if you’re feeling unmotivated from a big day at work.

START SLOW
When you do make it to the gym, start off slowly. The worst thing anyone could do is try to rush in and start lifting heavy to “get it out of the way.” This is not good. You have to create a hunger in your mind that is craving to pick up those weights and make muscles. To do this, I recommend 10-15 minutes of the stair climber or treadmill at a brisk pace. This will build up your heart rate and get the blood pumping.

STRETCH IT OUT
Besides the cardio, I recommend stretching your entire body from head to toe. Don’t leave anything out. I recommend 5-8 minutes of nice stretching after your mini cardio session. Once you have completed your stretching, you are ready to go.

PLUG IN YOUR HEADPHONES
Put on some high-energy music on your iPod and get in a bubble. It’s much easier to train while listening to upbeat music than it is to sad songs! Once you’re in the zone, don’t let yourself become distracted. Note the time you begin, and don’t walk out of that gym until you’ve completed the workout you have set for yourself.

REFLECT
Ten minutes before your hour is up, take an inventory of the muscles you worked. Do they feel exercised and worked? It’s not a great feeling to walk out of the gym unsatisfied from your workout. If you’re feeling good and you’ve got more in the tank, try ending with some drop sets or pushing yourself to failure. This will ensure you walk out of the gym feeling like you accomplished something.

Some days you just don’t have it, and that is OK. You can have the desire but can’t seem to will your muscles to achieve anything that day. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling unmotivated, but don’t let your job or a ‘bad day’ become an excuse. You can’t always rely on motivation to get you to the gym – building a better body takes practice and determination. Remember, if getting in shape was simple, everyone would do it!

 

TRY THIS SPLIT TO MIX UP YOUR ROUTINE

DAY ONE - CHEST & TRICEPS: Do your triceps with your chest since you already work them in your bench workout.

DAY TWO – BACK & BICEPS: Blending in your biceps with the back works well because you already use a lot of that muscle from the various back exercises.

DAY THREE – LEGS: I always do legs on their own and give them just as much attention as the upper body - if not more.

DAY FOUR – SHOULDERS: They are a major body part and need to be trained all the way around: front, side and back deltoids.

CARDIO should be performed 5-6 days a week with a minimum of 20 minutes. Ten minutes of stomach crunches is something that should be performed daily without exception.

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