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Resistance training should be a part of every man's workout regimen.
Exercise supports nearly every aspect of men's health. It helps lower the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer, reduces stress and fatigue, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels and does much more. Exercising once or twice a week, though, may not cut it. A five-day workout plan ensures you get all the cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening benefits of consistent exercise. The most effective plan is to alternate days of aerobic exercise with resistance training. This will give you the cardio benefits of aerobic exercise along with the muscle- and bone-strengthening benefits of resistance training.
The Design of the Workout
The duration of each workout is 30 to 45 minutes. As you become more physically fit, you can increase the duration to 60 minutes on cardio days. On resistance-training days, you'll be exercising two or three major muscles groups per workout with the goal of hitting each major muscle group by the end of the five days. A key part of making this workout routine a success is using variety. Don't use the same exact exercises week after week. Instead, experiment with different exercises to challenge your muscles in a different way. It's really the key to long-term fitness success.
Choose a cardio exercise for your first workout of the week. Some effective choices, in order of least to most calories burned, includes: walking briskly, bicycling, jogging, playing basketball and running stairs. A 30-year-old, 200-pound man burns about 157 calories walking briskly for 30 minutes and burns about 621 calories running stairs for the same duration. The more intense the workout, the more calories you'll burn.
Your second workout of the week is a resistance-training workout. You'll exercise your chest, abdominals and calves. Start with a set of pushups; do as many as can in one set. Rest for 60 seconds. Do another set of pushups to failure. Rest and repeat pushups until you've completed four sets. You could also do bench presses and choose a weight that allows you to do no more than 15 reps. Do a set of 12 to 15 crunches, rest for 30 seconds and then do a set of 12 to 15 single-leg calf raises. Do 12 to 15 reps for each leg. Repeat this crunch-and-calf-raise cycle until you've completed four sets of each.
Now it's back to cardio. Choose a different a exercise than you did on Monday. If you did a low-intensity exercise on Monday, switch to a high-intensity aerobic exercise. For instance, if you did 30 minutes of walking on Monday, try 30 minutes of cycling or jogging.
Your final resistance-training day will target the rest of your major muscle groups. Start with barbell deadlifts to exercise your rear deltoids and your back, arm and upper-leg muscles. Do four sets of 10 to 12 reps using a weight that makes it difficult to complete the final rep. Do four sets of dumbbell shoulder presses at 10 to 12 reps per set. Round out the workout with four sets of squats, with or without added resistance. With weight, do 10 to 12 reps per set; without weight, do 15 reps per set.
You may feel a little sore by Friday; if so, go low to moderate intensity with this cardio workout. If you are not sore, go all-out with a more high-intensity cardio workout, such as running stairs or doing 45 to 60 minutes of elliptical training. Allow your body to recover over the weekend and get right back at it on Monday, making sure to change up the exercises you used the week before.
Always warm up and cool down for about five minutes before and after your workouts. This includes doing some dynamic stretching, light cardio to get the blood flowing and static stretching. Drink plenty of water before, during and after each workout. Finally, focus on using pristine technique in the weight room rather than letting your вЂњmanlinessвЂќ get the best of you by trying to show everyone how much you can bench press and throwing good technique out the window. Good form will lead to better results and fewer injuries.