Get Gym-Fit Fast!
Hate working out? Here’s the least painful way to get the ball rolling.
Such a cruel paradox: You desperately want to get in shape, but you’re too far gone to feel comfortable at a gym. To ready your flabby cadaver for an actual gym routine, we enlisted Alex Laws, the personal trainer who whipped skate punk Danny Way into shape for his superhuman jump over the Great Wall of China, and Alyse Levine, M.S., R.D., an official nutritionist for Discovery Health’s National Body Challenge. Peel off those tear-away pants and bring on the emasculation!
Kick-Start Your Heart
If prescribed walking makes you feel like a senior mall patron, try a jog instead of a stroll. Running on the street or sidewalk can pulverize legs in disuse, so start on grass or gravel. When you begin wheezing, take a cab home and cry yourself to sleep.
Too freezing to motivate for outdoor activity? Make like Rocky and jog up the stairs of your office building or apartment for 20 minutes at a stretch. Going down can be tough on knees and shins, so walk (or even better, hop on the damn elevator).
Delicate ankles? Brush the cobwebs off your Huffy and cruise on flat, even terrain at a pace you can sustain for 30 minutes. “Riding a bike will get your blood flowing without the impact of jogging or walking,” says Laws.
Dust Off Your Muscles
1. Prone Bridge
You’re only as strong as the humping muscles in your abs and lower back. “Get on your elbows and toes, hold yourself prone for 10 seconds a shot, then lower it back down,” says Laws.
2. Modified Push-up
A steady diet of modified push-ups will prep your feminine self for the dreaded bench press. Lower for two counts, raise for two counts, and repeat (best do this one in private, Dorothy).
3. Alternating Superman
To prep yourself for classic burners like deadlifts, lie facedown on your stomach, raise your right arm and left leg, hold for several seconds, lower, and repeat on the other side. It’s a bird!
1. Stick to H20
Hardcore endurance athletes need a ton of salt and sugar to stay energized, but it’s not like you’re making a late-stage push in the Tour de France. “Unless you’re working out for more than an hour, you don’t need anything but water to stay hydrated,” says Levine.
2. Fuel Your Body Wisely
There’s a reason marathon runners carbo-load. “Consuming carbohydrates during exercise is the best way to replenish your stores of glycogen, the body’s main fuel source,” says Levine. For sustained energy, try a piece of fruit 20 minutes before you work out.
3. Don’t Fall Into Old Patterns
“Exercise isn’t a free pass to eat whatever you want,” says Levine. “Remember, jogging for three miles will only burn off about one slice of pizza.” Instead, stock up on wheat bagels and low-fat peanut butter and limit yourself to eating pizza three times a week.
Know Your Meatheads
1. Speed Freak
Mind if I work in and bang out a quick set, bro?
Don’t be insulted when this guy asks to “work in” on your machine—he’s just rushing through his routine for a better workout. If he’s considerate, he’ll replace your weights and wipe it off.
2. Calculated Jock
Can I get a spot? Just give me a lift off, please.
Asking for a spot and asking for help are two different things. Less is more, so keep your hands to yourself until he asks for a “lift off” or starts to struggle. Then assist him as little as possible.
3. Angry Lifter
Two more plates…crap yeah…Arrrrgh!
No gym experience is complete without that obnoxious asshat who punctuates every movement with a grunt, hiss, fart, or growl. Just know that “plates” almost always mean 45-pounders.