Tag Archives: fitness

Some Post-Thanksgiving Workout Tips (And Tweaks To My Current Routine)

I had an awesome Thanksgiving last week. I really did enjoy spending time with my family, enjoying a hardy feast, and watching plenty of football, both NFL and NCAA.

Unfortunately, those good times do come at a price. I consumed more calories in the span of three days than I usually do over the course of a week. To be fair, that’s common for a lot of people, even those who are very health conscious. For the sake of the Thanksgiving spirit and family, we set aside our diets and just let ourselves gorge for a few days.

Personally, I think I overdid it. Anyone who was with me on Thanksgiving can attest that I ate more than my share of the turkey and deserts. It was a festive environment and we all savored every bite. For that, I have no regrets.

But that does mean the last few days have been particularly arduous when it comes to my exercise routine. I’ve noted before that I go to the gym quite frequently. I actually go more frequently now than I did before the COVID-19 pandemic. I rarely skip workouts, even around holidays. But even when I don’t skip a trip to the gym, I definitely feel it when I eat a lot of calories.

I suspect I’m not the only one dealing with that. I also suspect more than a few people are trying to get back into a healthy routine after all the family, feasts, and desserts. If you are, then I hope you find this helpful because I’d like to share a few tips on post-Thanksgiving workouts. I’m sharing it because there is a right and wrong way to do it. I know because the day after Thanksgiving, I’m pretty sure I did it the wrong way and was very sore for a while because of it.

You don’t need to go through that pain, nor should you.

Also, I always feel inclined to note that I am not a personal trainer. I would never claim to be an expert at exercise, health, or getting into shape. I’m just sharing my experience and strategies in hopes that others will find it useful. I’m not even charging anyone for it. This is completely free advice.

The first tip I’d like to give is that, if you had a regular routine before Thanksgiving, do not try and go straight back to it the day after you’ve consumed so many calories. Your body just went through an abnormal experience that is holiday festivities. You can’t expect it to quickly re-adjust as though it never happened.

You will hurt yourself. I know because I badly strained my quad, chest, and abdominal muscles. It hurt more than I care to admit.

The second tip I’d like to offer is that, when it comes to consume lots of calories, cardio should be a greater priority over weight training. Even if you’re primarily focused on building muscle mass, it’s necessary to do extra cardio after consuming excess calories. That means a bit more time running outdoors, running on a treadmill, or using an exercise bike or elliptical. I’ve done a little of everything in that regard. And even just doing an extra 10 to 15 minutes of cardio makes a huge difference.

It’s primarily a matter of physics. You eat a lot of calories. You need to burn them off. Cardio, in addition to helping with blood flow and heart health, burns more calories than lifting weights. Eating all that turkey just means having to burn extra.

The third and final tip I’d like to offer has to do with how you go about weight training. Depending on your goals, you either try to do a few reps with heavy weights, usually 5 rep sets of 5, or lots of reps with lighter weights. For the most part, I’ve favored doing fewer reps with heavy weights. That’s fairly common for men looking to add muscle mass, whereas the higher reps with lower weights are common for women looking to slim down.

I had to change that recently to ensure I don’t strain my body more than I should. So, in the interest of burning off my holiday calories, I’ve started doing more reps per set with fewer sets. This way, I can emphasize good form and work to strain the muscles more concisely rather than using brute strength with lower reps. I’ve already found this to be quite effective in that I get a good burn going, but with less painful strain.

To illustrate, this is the current workout I’m using for most of my gym trips:

Start off with 35 minutes of cardio, either on an elliptical or running outside.

Do 100 weighted ab crunches (basically a crunch with a free weight on your chest).

Then, I do a the following weight training routine.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps of a butterfly curls (machine or free weights).

Do 3 sets of 20 reps of reverse butterfly curls.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps of bicep curls.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps for tricep extensions.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps of shoulder press.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps of lat pull downs.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps for leg press.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps for leg extensions.

Do 2 sets of 20 reps of pull-ups.

In general, this routine takes me about an hour and 15 minutes. I’ve been doing it for a few days now and I’m already feeling much better in terms of energy, mood, and fitness. I still do my other routine of doing 5 sets of 5 reps with more weight. But I’m thinking of maybe alternating the days when I do that in order to get the most benefits out of my workout.

One general rule of exercise is that if your body gets too used to one particular thing, it ceases to be as effective. That’s why it’s important to mix things up. It keeps the workout interesting and it helps get you better results in the long run.

Chances are I’ll probably tweak this workout as time goes on. If I uncover other useful tips, I’ll be sure to share them and they’ll continue to be free.

We all need to take time to enjoy the holidays with our families and get off our diet for a while. And if the price for doing so is more time at the gym to stay strong, healthy, and sexy, I say that’s a price worth paying.

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My Post-Pandemic Workout Routine (And How It Came About)

The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of things for a lot of people. I think that qualifies as a gross understatement. I know I’ve talked about it, lamented on it, and repeatedly insulted those who refuse to get vaccinated (which I refuse to apologize for).

Believe me, I’m sick of talking about it, too.

There are so many terrible aspects to this pandemic and it will have plenty of terrible side-effects that’ll last long after it becomes a distant memory and/or an inconvenience nuisance. It has certainly changed major aspects of my life. It has also affected so many of my friends and family, both directly and indirectly.

But rather than dwell on the drama and hardship of those stories, I’d like to share one positive effect that has persisted since the pandemic began. It has to do with how I work out and stay in shape. I’ve noted before that getting into shape was quite a journey for me, personally. I also can’t overstate how poor my health habits were for my teen years and most of my 20s. I say that because if a guy like me can get into shape, then I’m confident anyone can do the same.

For years now, I’ve been working out on a regular basis. The structure and regiment of that workout has varied over that time. It used to be that I only went to the gym once a week, but I did a half-hour run every at least three times a week.

Then, once I got better at that, I started running six days a week while going to the gym at least twice.

Then, as I continued to improve, I started going to the gym three times a week while running a half-hour to 45 minutes six times a week.

Up until the pandemic hit, that was my main regiment. And I think it worked well for me. I probably would’ve continue that routine had nothing really disrupted anything.

Then, the pandemic came along and everything got disrupted, including my workout. But because this disease was so scary and everyone became so paranoid about their health, I suddenly had even more incentive to stay in shape. Moreover, I felt motivated to push myself even more.

That ended up being a real challenge because in March 2020, the gym I always went to closed. Even the secondary gym I frequented closed. For a while, I didn’t have anywhere to work out. All I could do was go running around my neighborhood, do body weight exercises in my living room, and use some old free weights I still had lying around.

It was better than nothing, but it wasn’t ideal. I also didn’t get the same feeling I usually got when I finished my workout at the gym. That told me it just wasn’t enough.

Finally, when the gym did open on a limited basis, I was determined to catch up. So, I decided to overcompensate by going even more often than I went before the pandemic. I committed to going to the gym at least six times a week for at least an hour at each visit. I thought if I could do that for a month or so, I would be back on track.

But after that month passed, I just kept doing it. Once I got into a rhythm, I didn’t feel inclined at all to stop. Going six days a week with one rest day in the middle of the week felt great. I even felt better results. It showed in how some of my shirts started feeling tighter and how some relatives began commenting on my appearance.

It’s a good feeling. I feel stronger, healthier, and more energetic than I have at any point in my adult life. I also credit this workout routine with helping me navigate COVID-19. A great many friends and relatives have tested positive and have gotten sick. I’ve even been in close proximity to them while they were positive.

But despite that, I always tested negative. I’ve never shown any symptoms. I’m nearly certain I’ve been exposed multiple times. But I’ve never gotten sick. I think my workout regiment is as much to thank as the vaccine I took.

So, in addition to sharing my experience, I’d also like to share my routine with everyone. Please note I’m not a personal trainer or fitness guru. This is just what I do and it works for me. If you can do the same or better, then more power to you.

Pre-Workout: Stretch my arms and do lunges to stretch my quads and calves. Then, drink a cup of black coffee or an 8 ounce bottle of water.

Workout Phase 1: Do 30 minutes of cardio by either going 30 minutes on an elliptical or by running at least 30 minutes outdoors.

Workout Phase 2: Do another 30 minutes of circuit training that include the following

  • Five sets of bicep curls (5 to 8 reps a set)
  • Five sets of tricep extensions (5 to 8 reps a set)
  • Five sets of butterfly chest press (8-12 reps a set)
  • Five sets of reverse butterfly chest press (8-12 reps a set)
  • Five sets of shoulder press (8-12 reps a set)
  • Five sets of lat pulldowns (8-12 reps a set)
  • Two sets of 10 to 20 pull-ups
  • Two sets of 10 to 20 dips
  • Walk around the block (about a half-mile) to cool down

Post-workout: Drink one protein shake and another 8 ounces of water

This is my current routine. There’s a chance it might change and evolve as my health continues to evolve. I don’t deny it’s a little intense. More than one person has commented that it’s quite strenuous. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s something I had to work towards. It took me years to get to this level where I feel comfortable and not totally drained after exercising. But again, if I can do it, then anyone can do it.

The health benefits are remarkable. In wake of a global pandemic, we all have more reasons than ever to take our health seriously. Just taking the right medicine is only part of the process. Working on your body, your mind, and everything in between is a much bigger part of that process. And I encourage everyone to begin that process if you haven’t already.

You’ll feel better.

You’ll feel stronger.

You’ll even feel sexier, but that’s just a nice bonus.

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My (Unprofessional) Opinion On The Peloton

I’ve said it before. I was not in good shape for a good chunk of my life. It’s still worth belaboring. It’s hard to overstate how poor my exercise habits were for most of my early adult life. If I hadn’t gotten serious about my health, I might have done some real damage.

That’s why I encourage everyone to make the same effort. Try to get in shape. Try to fit a good workout into your daily or weekly routine. Try to tweak your diet so that it’s healthier. It doesn’t pay off immediately, but you certainly appreciate the results in the long run.

When I say that, I also usually encourage people to avoid fitness and diet fads. A good rule of thumb is that, if you saw it on an infomercial, chances are it’s a gimmick or a scam. There’s just no way around it. At some point, you have to exercise and eat better. It’s just basic physics with respect to body mass, calories, and exertion.

However, there are some fitness trends that can help. When I started working out, everyone was calling Crossfit the greatest revolution in all of fitness. I admit I was tempted to try it. Then, like many others, I saw that it shared a few too many traits with a cult and backed off.

This brings me to the latest fitness craze, the Peloton. Chances are if you know someone who has one, they’ve talked about it. They may even treat it like one of their most prized possessions. It’s not quite on the same level as Crossfit, but its popularity is still worth noting.

Now, before I give my opinion on this latest fitness trend, I need to reiterate that I’m not a personal trainer. I’m not a professional in any way. There are people way more qualitied to give you a more informed opinion about the Peloton and any other fitness routine. This is just me, a guy who stumbled his way to better fitness, offering my perspective.

At its core, the Peloton is an exercise bike with a screen. I know its ardent fans will passionately argue otherwise, but logistically speaking, that’s what it is. It’s an exercise bike. You can find them at almost any gym. I’ve used them before. I still use ellipticals regularly because they’re better for my joints.

What sets Peloton apart is the social aspect of it. When you use it, you don’t just use an exercise bike. You link into a social network, of sorts, that offers a professional level spin class to its users. That social component isn’t just a supplemental feature, either. It’s actually one of the most important components of Peloton.

That screen it includes isn’t just a fancy tablet. It links you to other users and attempts to recreate the experience of being in an actual spin class. That experience does add to the cost, considerably. However, it’s also here where I think Peloton shows its value.

For some people, they don’t need much motivation to work out. They’re able to push themselves to do it. For a while, I certainly needed that motivation to get me out of the house and into a gym. Eventually, it got to a point where I was self-motivated. I don’t need people yelling at me to encourage me to keep pushing myself.

That’s just me, though. Some people are just wired differently. They need that yelling. They need that added bit of competitive drive. That pushes them to push themselves more than they would have on their own. That’s what Peloton can offer without having to hire a personal trainer.

It offers the added incentive of peer pressure, solidarity, and social support. Being the very social species we are, that’s powerful. We may think we’ve done enough exercise for the day, but hearing someone yell at us to do a little more can keep us going. Sometimes, that’s the difference between falling short of your fitness goals and raising the bar.

In that respect, I think Peloton is better than most fitness fads. It takes a familiar exercise machine that people have used for years and adds a social component. It offers something other than just another fancy device. It gets people involved in a community without them having to leave their homes.

Given the situation with the pandemic, I think that component is even more valuable. I still think Peloton, as a whole, is grossly overpriced. However, if you’re someone who struggles to stay motivated to get into shape, it might be worth the investment. Your health is one of the few investments in which you’ll feel the benefits in ways that go beyond your body. It’s not easy and, as Peloton’s price shows, it’s rarely cheap. However, it’s still worth doing and if Peloton helps you, then I say go for it.

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Going Back To The Gym: Relief And Realizations

I missed going to the gym.

Those are words my teenage self never thought I’d say, write, or think. That makes them all the more satisfying to say in the past tense.

This global pandemic has ruined a lot of things and disrupted a lot of lives. It’s also not done. It’s definitely going to get worse before it gets better. Many of us are already feeling nostalgic for a time when we didn’t have to wear masks, could go to a movie theater, and went out to eat on a whim. That was only four months ago. Let that sink in.

Coincidentally, that was also the last time I went to the gym before this week. Back in early March, I was told by the gym manager, who knows me very well after going twice a week for nearly a decade, that the gym was closing indefinitely. I thought it was only temporary. I’d hoped to be back in a few weeks. Weeks turned to months. We all know what happened during that time.

I was starting to lose hope. I still made an effort to stay in shape. If anything, I became more motivated. Being healthy during a pandemic is an objectively good idea. However, that wasn’t easy without the gym.

I don’t have a lot of exercise equipment of my own. My exercise routine was restricted to doing push-ups, sit-ups, and squats before running along the local trails. That definitely helped, but it wasn’t the same. Plus, I was at the mercy of the weather. If it was cold or rainy out, then I couldn’t do much.

It wasn’t the same and I felt it. I lost some muscle mass and gained some weight. It was frustrating, but that was the situation I had to deal with.

Finally, that changed this past week. I finally got word that my gym was re-opening, albeit to a limited extent. We can only go for hour-long chunks at a time and the capacity is severely restricted, but I can work within those constraints. After these past four months, I’m willing to jump through some extra hoops.

When I made it back, it wasn’t just a relief. It was cathartic. I almost forgot how satisfying it was to make it through a nice, rigorous workout. I also forgot how nice it was to have the luxury of doing something other than running in the blazing summer heat for cardio. I’ll never take that for granted again.

I also realized that I am definitely behind the curve. I still remember where I was, in terms of how many reps and sets I could do at a certain weight. When I tried to go back to where I was four months ago, my body did not cooperate. I had to turn the weight down to get through my sets. It was humbling. It also revealed that my efforts to duplicate the results of a gym were only partially successful, at best.

I know it sounds like I’m making a big deal about this, being able to go to a gym again. Believe me, if my younger self was reading this, he would’ve believed an impostor wrote this. However, the act of regaining part of my old routine, as trivial as it might be in the grand scheme of things, was nothing short of therapeutic.

The world is still in an awful, chaotic state. We’re nowhere close to being back to “normal,” as though that’s possible anymore. However, the fact that I can go back to the gym gives me hope that the effort, struggle, and persistence will pay off in the long run. We can’t regain the lives we lost, but we can push forward.

That will inspire me with future workouts. I hope it inspires others, especially those still living in a state of lock-down. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is worth enduring. Just hang in there. Like a good workout, this kind of strain will only make you stronger in the long run.

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Body Weight Exercises For Those Wanting To Stay In Shape During A Crisis

At this point, almost everyone’s life has been disrupted in some form or another by the ongoing Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Unless you live on a deserted island, a cave, or shack in the mountains, you’ve been effected by this crisis. Whether it’s living in an area that’s on total lockdown or just had your favorite sporting events cancelled, you’re feel the pinch of this crisis.

I certainly have. Recently, the crisis hit home in another profound way. Every gym in my area, including the one I go to on a regular basis, closed for the foreseeable future. A few may not open again until mid-May. That’s a long time to not have access to a gym. If ever you wanted an excuse to avoid working out, this is it.

However, I actually enjoy working out. That’s something my 21-year-old self might laugh at, but it’s true. Working out is one of the most cathartic parts of my week. The prospect of not having a gym to go to is genuinely jarring for me.

As difficult as it is, that doesn’t mean I’m just going to let myself go. I still intend to stay in shape and I strongly encourage everyone else to do the same. If you have free weights, an exercise bike, a treadmill, or some other piece of gym equipment in your house, I say use it. I don’t because I always had access to a gym. I didn’t imagine everything could be shut down to this extent.

Luckily, there are ways to stay in shape without the aid of equipment. I know because I’ve used them whenever I’ve had to travel or be away from home for an extended period. They mostly consist of bodyweight exercises, which is exactly what it sounds like. You work out, but you don’t use weights or a machine. You just use your body, physics, and a clear space.

They’re not quite as effective or satisfying, in my opinion, as using weights. They still get the job done for the most part. Combined with regular running and jogging, which I highly recommend as well, you can maintain your health and your physique. At a time when a novel disease is ravaging civilization, good health has never been more important.

To that effect, here are some handy charts I’ve found that depict both the types of bodyweight exercises you can do and ways to go about doing them. If I find a routine that works, I’ll gladly share it. If you have a routine, please share it in the comments.

Image result for bodyweight exercise

Image result for bodyweight workout

See the source image

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay awesome everyone.

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A Bit Of (Obvious) Advice To Those Trying To Get In Shape In 2020

I know it’s just a few days into 2020. I also know that this is the time most people try to uphold their New Years Resolution to get in shape and get healthier. I completely respect that resolution. In fact, I encourage and applaud it. I’ve made a concerted effort to get into shape. I can personally attest that it’s worth it.

However, I noticed something when I went to the gym yesterday that’s worth noting.

As always, it was crowded a few days after New Years. I expected that. I try to plan around it. While I still applaud people for making the effort, I question their approach.

To illustrate, here’s what happened. I saw someone sitting at a weight bench doing butterfly curls, but stopping for a few minutes after every set to check their phone. I don’t know if they were discussing something urgent. For all I know, this person was a doctor trying to communicate life-saving medical advice.

Even if that were the case, it’s not the kind of thing that’ll help you get into shape. If your workout is easy enough for you to text in between sets, then it’s too easy. You’re not pushing yourself. You’re not burning calories. You’re not building muscle. You’re barely getting your heart rate up.

I also saw other people just sitting on the weight machines, doing a set every several minutes or so, but still focused more on the TV that was hanging from the wall than actually pushing themselves. Again, if you’re able to focus on a TV show in between sets, then your workout is too easy.

I know you shouldn’t push yourself too hard, especially if you’re new to working out. I made that mistake more than once when I started working out. I injured my foot and my back the first week I went to the gym. I also learned quickly that if your workout isn’t intense enough, then you’re not going to get much benefit from it.

Like it or not, you’re going to have to strain yourself. You’re going to have to grunt, groan, and sweat to actually make a difference, both for your health and for your appearance. You can’t do that and stay engaged with your phone or the TV.

I feel like in the age of the internet where a simple Google search will show you everything you need to know about getting a good workout, nobody has excuses. If it helps, just check out this video for simple workout tips and let that be your guide.

If your focus is on losing weight and shedding fat, check out this video. It offers a nice tutorial on how to make a trip to the gym successful.

Again, and this is probably the simplest advice I can give, if your workout isn’t intense enough to keep you from texting someone, then it’s not intense enough.

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Getting (Back) Into Shape After Thanksgiving

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By now, with the Thanksgiving festivities over and the family gatherings complete, it’s finally sinking in. You realize just how much you ate and how much you’ve probably set back that New Years Resolution you made 11 months ago. If your Thanksgiving was as successful as mine, then it’s likely you feel as anxious as I do about what we just put our bodies through.

That’s not to say it was a bad thing. Thanksgiving is a holiday. You’re supposed to overeat, over-indulge, and forget every sound nutrition advice you ever got from your doctor. That’s part of what makes it special. At some point, however, you have to let go of the holiday spirit and get back to more responsible health habits.

It can be frustrating, tedious, and strenuous on so many levels. It’s still worth doing. Take it from someone who eats like a pig on the holidays and was out of shape for the first half of his life. You do feel a difference when you make an effort to get back into shape after Thanksgiving.

To that end, I’d like to share a few tips, along with some personal insights. Over the past few years, I’ve developed and refined my own method for getting back into healthier habits after a successful Thanksgiving. I’ve even developed my own unique workout routine.

Now, I’m not going to claim that this is one of those gimmicky fitness regiments that you see in infomercials and fitness magazines full of Photoshopped fitness models. What works for one person isn’t going to work for everyone. Everybody’s body is different. Everybody reacts to holiday gorging and exercise differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting into shape, at least for now.

That said, there are many health benefits to exercise and staying in shape, especially after the holidays. It goes beyond just looking better naked and looking sexier at the beach in the summer. In some ways, the exercise you do after the holidays is even more rewarding and not just because you have more calories to burn.

You work hard on yourself to ensure you can indulge during the holidays. Like anything worth achieving, putting in the effort makes the end result more satisfying. I’ve certainly come to appreciate that effort and in the interest of helping those still digesting that extra slice of cheesecake, here is my personal process for getting into shape after Thanksgiving.


Step 1: Refocused Diet (That Makes Me Less Hungry)

Make no mistake. Diet is the hardest part of staying in shape.

There’s a popular saying that six-pack abs are made in the kitchen. That’s not just an adage. It’s true. How you eat is a major factor in how you look, feel, and conduct yourself in any effort related to your health. I know Thanksgiving tends to throw a wrench in any diet you might have maintained all year. I say that as someone who ate no fewer than three slices of cheesecake on Thanksgiving.

In a sense, Thanksgiving is the ultimate cheat day and one you should take advantage of. When that day is over, though, the key is less about eating less and more about eating right. What I mean by that is you should focus not on just eating fewer calories. The goal should be to feel less hungry.

That can be done without sheer will-power. It’s a fact that certain foods make you less hungry. Those foods are often high in fiber and protein, including things like eggs, nuts, and whole wheat bread. You don’t have to eat much of those to feel full. Most of my post-Thanksgiving meals consist of chicken, mixed vegetables, and eggs. Much of it comes from frozen meals which aren’t that expensive.

On top of that, I ditch soda and drink mainly water or black coffee. That helps keep sugar intake to a minimum. While it’s difficult to cut sugar out completely, especially after enjoying so many holiday desserts, it is important to limit it. Whether it’s your coffee or your snacks, it’s the sugar that’ll make you feel hungry and keep you from feeling energized.

I usually dedicate the first two weeks after Thanksgiving to sticking to my diet. I make sure most of my meals involve chicken, eggs, and vegetables. I do keep a cheat day for which I will indulge a little, but I try to usually make those first two weeks the most important. Get through that and you’ll be back into less festive eating habits, at least until Christmas.


Step 2: My Workout Routine

This part is somewhat easier for me because I love working out. I know that’s not a feeling everyone has, especially if they’ve never been big on going to the gym. I understand that. I too used to resent going to the gym. When I started taking my health more seriously, it became part of my routine. Now, I get upset when I can’t go.

My routine isn’t on par with an Olympic athlete or body builder. I also wouldn’t call it easy, either. You will get winded and sore from my workout, but only to a point. It will get the job done, though. I know this because it has helped keep my weight stable, even after holidays. I can also see my abs, biceps, and leg muscles too, which is a nice touch.

My workout isn’t all about going to the gym, either. In fact, I usually go to a gym at least twice a week. That’s as much as I can squeeze in. On days I don’t go, I still work out. It’s just usually involves something different. For that reason, I’ll separate my workout from my gym days from my non-gym days. With that in mind, here’s my routine.

On my gym day, I start by running at least 3.5 miles on a treadmill or outside, if the weather permits it.

I then do a series of weight training with either machines or free weights that include 4 sets of 12 reps of the following:

  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep curls
  • Butterfly chest
  • Shoulder pull-downs/extensions
  • Ab crunches
  • Leg lifts
  • Leg press

In general, this whole routine takes a little over an hour. I’ll also mix it up at times, either by doing the weight training first and then doing cardio at the end. I’ll also sometimes exchange the treadmill for an elliptical, which is easier on my feet and gives a better workout for my legs. If you have knee or foot problems, I highly recommend using an elliptical.

For days when I don’t go to the gym or can’t make it, I try to go running. Most of the time, it’s around the block. I try to run for at least 30 minutes, sometimes longer. In addition, I’ll also do 100 sit-ups, followed by 100 squats in my bedroom. This keeps those muscles strong and gets my heart rate going to burn extra calories.

I also reserve one day of the week for rest. Usually, it’s Wednesday. That’s not just a cheat day, either. It’s critical that you rest your body, even if you’re doing a modest workout routine. I’ve tried going 7 days a week a few times. I often end up hurting myself or making myself too sore to work out for extended periods. Don’t learn that lesson the hard way. Leave one day for rest. Your body will thank you.


Step 3: Staying Focused (Until Christmas)

I know it’s easy to encourage diet and exercise as a means to get back into shape, especially after a holiday like Thanksgiving. Most people can even make the effort for the first couple days after Thanksgiving, just like they do in the first few days after New Year’s when they promise themselves they’ll get into shape.

In the same way people tend to break their New Year’s Resolution, they’ll often break their post-Thanksgiving resolution and it doesn’t help that there’s another major holiday right afterwards. Christmas, with all its sugar cookies and candy canes, adds plenty of temptation to the mix and it’s not easy to resist. I don’t deny that for a second.

That’s why the most critical aspect of getting into shape after Thanksgiving involves focus. By that, I don’t just mean keeping a schedule. One reason why it’s so easy to slip back into unhealthy habits is because the holidays can be overwhelming. You find yourself wanting to just stop, take it easy, and let everything slow down.

However, the holidays don’t slow down, especially as Christmas gets closer. If anything, it makes things even more stressful. When you’re stressed out, you’re less inclined to exercise. You’re also more inclined to reach for those sugary holiday treats. It can quickly become a self-reinforcing cycle that’ll leave you even less healthy than you were after Thanksgiving.

The best way to combat this is to maintain focus. One of the benefits of having other holidays after Thanksgiving is that it offers plenty of distractions. When you’re distracted, you’re less likely to eat and slack off. Use that to your advantage.

Sometimes, it means going shopping or just hanging out with friends more often. It also can involve things like preparing holiday decorations and preparing gift lists. It may not always be productive, but if it keeps you from slipping into that ugly self-reinforcing cycle, then it has merit.


I hope these tips help with everyone still digesting their Thanksgiving treats. There’s a time and a place for indulgence and the holidays are definitely one of them. However, it’s for that reason that we make the time in between as productive and healthy as possible. As a result, it helps make the holidays feel more special in the end.

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Daily Sexy Musing: Hot Tub Sexy Time

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I don’t care who you, where you come from, or what you believe about human nature. A dip in a hot tub feels fantastic. You could be having an awful day or even a string of awful days. If you get a chance to submerge yourself in the sweet bubbly warmth of a hot tub, then your day isn’t going to feel so bad.

I can personally attest to the therapeutic effects of hot tubs. I can also attest to the inherent sexiness they offer. That’s not just because hot tubs have inspired both pornos and time travel movies. By design, they help relax us. Naturally, we’re less uptight when we’re relaxed. We’re more open to all things intimate and sexy. That’s the power of a good hot tub.

It also helps that being in a hot tub usually requires that people not be fully clothed. That certainly helps. While getting frisky in a hot tub is prone to certain complications, there’s no denying its ability to inspire sexy feelings in us all. I’ve witnessed it in others. While I never got a chance to enjoy a hot tub privately with my ex-girlfriends, it’s still a sexy effort worth striving for.

Not everyone has access to a hot tub. Even fewer have access to one they can enjoy in private with a special someone. However, I feel that only adds to its appeal. Whether you’re a romance fan or not, you can find something sexy about a good dip in a hot tub. If not, I hope this Daily Sexy Musing helps convince you. Enjoy!

The jets turn on.

The motor starts humming.

The bubbles start forming.

The steam starts rising.

It feels like the perfect reward for an arduous journey, an act of mercy granted to us for all our efforts. We work hard and struggle harder, building a life for each other and a love worthy of such strife. Finally, we taste the fruits of our labor. However, this particular fruit can only be enjoyed together.

We ditch our clothes.

We forget our swimsuits.

We jump in together.

We soak in this sweet, succulent reward.

Immediately, our naked bodies are surrounded by the bubbling water. It’s like being embraced by utter contentment in liquid form. Its magic heals and soothes away the strains and rigors that dampened our spirits. A wave of wonderous relaxation comes over us. Through it, our bodies and spirits are born anew.

In this therapeutic domain, we still find each other. Through the bubbling water, my flesh seeks yours. Unburdened and unencumbered, we answer the call. We find one another, daring to pursue even greater bliss. Our wet skin is so smooth, invigorated and energized by this feeling. We let it guide our passion and the fruit only gets sweeter.

We share a hot kiss.

We exchange a hot gesture.

We caress our hot flesh.

Everything is so hot and lively. In this steamy domain, our passions are ignited while our souls are soothed. What could be more relaxing?

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Daily Sexy Musings: Intimate Feats Of Strength

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In the vast spectrum that constitutes one’s sex appeal, strength is one of the most basic manifestations of that appeal. By strength, I don’t just mean an ability to bench press a refrigerator. Strength can take many forms, from lifting heavy boxes to giving birth to new life. At its core, it reflects an ability to forge something new into a chaotic world that doesn’t change easily.

As someone who used to be out of shape and under-motivated, I can attest to the benefits that basic strength can lend to our sex appeal. I noticed it shortly after I began working out. When I pushed myself and achieved a feat of strength, whether it was running five miles on a treadmill or bench pressing 150 pounds, I felt inherently sexier.

I can also attest that seeing women perform feats of strength makes them sexier. That’s not just my love of female superheroes talking, either. When we see someone pull off an amazing act of strength, we can’t help but feel attracted to it. Even if we’re intimidated on some levels, it gets our attention for all the right reasons.

For that reason, feeling strong and feeling sexy often go together. When we exercise or apply our strength, we demonstrate just how much we’re willing to push ourselves to achieve what we desire. It’s as sexual as it is practical. In that spirit, I hope this Daily Sexy Musing functions as both an acknowledgement and a celebration of that strength. Enjoy!

I push and pull.

I left and lug.

I grunt and grit.

Through it all, I endure the strain and you take notice.

By now, the dirt and grime has accumulated on my flesh. Sweat pours down my brow as my muscles ache from extended use. The air around me is thick with hot musk and it only gets thicker with every strenuous act. Through it all, I can feel your eyes upon me. I can also sense your intrigue growing.

My body is just a mechanism. Through it, I exact my will as best I can. To get what I want, I need strength. To get that strength, I exercise and toil. You’ve watched me every step of the way, encouraging and motivating my spirit at every turn. At first, it’s to help me. In time, however, it affects you in the most intimate ways.

The sweat provides spectacle.

The musk provides ambience.

The grit provides inspiration.

The results evoke intrigue.

I can see it in your face, thoughts and fantasies dancing across your mind. You want to see my strength applied in a more sensual context. With it, a simple touch is not so simple. Every kiss, embrace, and caress gains more power and meaning. You don’t just seek it. You crave it.

My strength is your spark.

My strength is your fuel.

My strength is a powerful signal.

I can handle the rigors of your love. You believe your desire is enough to endure my strength. Neither one of us is certain, but we’re both so eager to find out.

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Why Obesity Will Never Be Attractive

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There are a lot of complexities, oddities, and eccentricities that go into what makes someone attractive. Betty White might not have the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, but she has a wide range of talents and quirks that make her attractive in her own unique way. Being physically beautiful is nice, but that will only get someone so far in terms of being attractive.

Certain people find weird things beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with that. Human beings have diverse and eclectic tastes in many things, especially when it comes to beauty standards. That said, there are some attributes to being attractive that are difficult to circumvent. That’s not to say one particular feature is always unattractive. There are simply some logistical issues that go beyond taste.

One feature that tends to become an issue every summer is that of fat acceptance. In recent years, ads using beautiful female models to promote beach body readiness have become controversial for reasons that are only half-legitimate. The complaints are fairly standard. Using beautiful models promotes unhealthy body images. While the veracity of those concerns may have some merit, that’s rarely where the complaining stops.

The outrage.

It’s not enough to protest products that use beautiful people in their advertising or movies that only ever cast attractive, relatively fit actors. For some, the entire concept of finding someone fit and thin as beautiful is detrimental. It doesn’t just foster unrealistic beauty standards. It perverts the entire concept of beauty. It sends the message that fat cannot be attractive.

At a time when obesity rates all over the world are increasing, it seems like a problem that’s bound to get worse, especially if the media insists on using thin, fit models. It has given those in the fat acceptance movements, as well as those on extreme ends of the political spectrum, ample material with which to voice their outrage.

Now, in the spirit of sifting through the firestorm that is outrage culture, I want to make clear that there are certain traits that don’t warrant shame and stigma. Someone’s race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender aren’t things they can control. Attacking someone or judging their attractiveness by those standards isn’t just unreasonable. It’s just a dick move.

When it comes to fat, however, the line gets somewhat obscure. It’s true that some people are genetically predisposed to being obese. There’s nothing they can do to change that. Losing weight or staying thin is just much harder for them than most people. I know this because I have relatives who are thin as a rail, but eat like pigs and never gain an ounce.

To that extent, I don’t support shaming or stigmatizing individuals who just got dealt a bad genetic hand. Having the body of a Victoria’s Secret model isn’t something that anyone can gain with sufficient exercise and diet. That kind of beauty is akin to winning a genetic lottery.

The sexiest lotto winners.

Where the fat acceptance movement loses credibility, though, is when it attempts to place fat as something that warrants a level of attractiveness on par with those who are thin. Some frame it as healthy at any size or basic body positivity, but the intended results are the same. The idea is to make those not blessed with supermodel genes feel and be accepted as attractive.

While I can understand and even appreciate the intentions, idealistic they might be, I can’t overlook one glaring problem with that effort. It’s not so much a matter of attitudes as it is an issue of logistics. Simply put, fat will never be as attractive as thin or otherwise toned bodies. It’s not because of culture, the media, or some nefarious conspiracy by the patriarchy, either. It’s just simple logistics.

To understand, you need only look at what it takes to be fat and compare it to what it takes to be thin. Being fat is relatively easy. You eat lots of sugary, unhealthy food and you don’t get enough exercise to burn off the calories. While genetics will add numerous variations, this process is part of basic human biology.

To be thin and fit like the models in the beach body ads, you need to put in real, strenuous effort. As someone who has made that effort, I can attest to how difficult it is. You have to exercise discipline in changing your eating habits. You have to push yourself to exercise regularly and that exercise is rarely pleasant. At times, it’ll feel downright uncomfortable. However, in time, you will see results.

Those intractable difference also sends other, less obvious messages that influence how attractive someone is. When people see someone who is thin and fit, they don’t just see their body. They see someone who is willing to put in the work to look they way they do. They also see someone who will endure physical and mental strain in order to achieve a goal. Those are all things we want in a potential partner.

Conversely, seeing someone who is fat or unfit sends the message that someone doesn’t care about their health. They either don’t want to put in the effort to look better or don’t care to look better. Then, they expect other people to find them attractive without them doing anything to earn it. Beyond the physical attributes of fat, it’s an attitude that’s hard to make attractive in any context.

On top of that, obesity does lead to a host of legitimate medical issues that go beyond beauty standards. Unlike other physical traits, it is possible to lose weight and body fat. There is a biological process for it and there’s no need for fad diets, either. There are plenty of success stories about people who put in the work and lost considerable weight.

Again, such efforts are very difficult for certain people due to genetic factors that they cannot control. I know people who work out regularly, but can only seem to lose so much weight. It’s frustrating, but the fact they put in the effort still shows in other ways. They’re healthier, they have more energy, and they feel better about themselves. That makes them more attractive than anyone protesting beach body ads.

To some extent, there needs to be some stigma against activities that are objectively unhealthy. It’s how many societies have managed to reduce smoking rates. Like it or not, being too fat is unhealthy. No matter how many ads someone protests or how many plus-sized models get hired for underwear ads, that’s not going to change.

Beauty standards are subject to all sorts of trends and quirks. They always have been and fat has been part of that for much of human history. No matter how much or how little fat is considered attractive, unhealthy traits that denote unhealthy characteristics will never reflect ideals of beauty.

In the same way being attractive takes effort, being healthy, fit, and desirable to others requires hard work and a measure of discipline. Someone’s ability to achieve that often says more about who they are, as a person, than what they look like in a bikini.

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