An important part of the MAP is getting physically fit. For the past few months, I’ve been using the Stronglifts 5x5 program. It’s a great program, and it’s worked well for me.
Last weekend I was at a Barnes and Noble store with some time to kill. I remembered another blogger recommended the book “Starting Strength,” so I headed to the Health and Fitness section to look for it. They didn’t have it in the store, but they did have The New Rules of Lifting. It looked interesting, so I bought it.
Yesterday I did the first workout from the beginners section of The New Rules. On paper, this should have been much easier than the 5x5 workout I did the week before. It wasn’t. At the end of the workout my arms and legs felt like they were made of jelly. Today my abs are sore, especially at the top near my ribcage, an area that’s never felt sore before. This “easier” workout is using different muscles, and the same muscles in a different way, than my previous workout.
Here are a couple of basic rules for working out:
Do Something. Any workout is better than doing nothing. Buy a book, find a website, look at some YouTube videos. Pick a workout and get started.
Then Do Something Else. Don’t keep doing the same five or six exercises forever. Switch it up now and then. This not only has the physical benefit of stressing different muscles in different ways, it also has psychological benefits. The variety can keep you from getting bored, and that can motivate you to keep working out.
In addition to the workout plans mentioned above, here are a couple of others to consider:
Simplefit.org This website has complete exercise plans based on bodyweight exercises. No gym memberships or expensive equipment is required.
Scooby’s Workshop Home workout plans using minimal equipment, mostly dumbbells. Good videos showing proper form for the exercises.