"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." - Benjamin Franklin.
Every winter I create a weightlifting exercise program for me to do indoors during the winter months. This year I have decided to start early. What is nice is that even though I started on Wednesday, I am already seeing results by Monday.
I make this exercise program for me to do every Winter because I know I won't be outside as much exercising during the Winter. Thus I have to compensate for my lack of outdoor exercise by doing more indoor exercises.
When choosing which exercises to do weightlifting makes good logical sense because it requires less space to do properly when compared to jogging, running, swimming, tennis, golf, archery, boxing, etc. In some cases even less equipment, because I don't have an indoor pool handy. :p
#1. Chinups using a chinup bar installed in a doorway near the washroom. This guarantees I am building biceps in a hurry.
#2. Dumbbell exercises designed to target the shoulders, triceps, and pectorals.
#3. Old School Exercises like Sit-Ups and Push-Ups. The sit-ups target the abdominal muscles and the push-ups target pectorals, various back muscles, triceps and shoulders.
#4. Jumping Jacks - I love jumping jacks while listening to music. This is a quick indoor cardio that burns a lot of calories in a relatively short time. The more you do the more you burn. It also builds strong calves and ankles.
#5. Squats with Light Weights - This is for targeting my thighs and calves. Stronger leg muscles builds better balance and makes you faster when you need to run in a hurry.
The other thing I want to get back to is the concept that there are benefits to be reaped NOW by getting into exercising right away instead of postponing it for later. As a personal trainer Winter is the slow time of the year for me, which means I would normally be exercising less. But because I like to maintain my physique and improve upon it I complement my workout in the Winter with the weightlifting and old school exercises. Last year I didn't start my weightlifting routine until December - when there was already snow on the ground. Partially because I moved in November last year and was still sorting through boxes.
But this year I am all settled in and I felt a sense of urgency to get back into it early this year so I started my new weightlifting regimen on Wednesday October 1st. I didn't set out to pick that day, it just happened to be that day. So I did weightlifting on Wednesday, Thursday, took a break on Friday and Saturday to let my muscles relax, then again on Sunday, and now it is Monday... and I am seeing some fast results.
I am not just talking extra muscles either although I am definitely feeling more buff. I am sleeping better too. I am going to bed earlier, getting up at 6:15 before my alarm goes off at 7 AM, I feel well rested and alert, my appetite is up, and I am feeling super positive about myself.
And according to my bathroom scale I have put on 4 lbs very recently - which will be mostly muscle and increased bone density. (For record keeping I have gone from 190 to 194.)
I should point out that normally people don't put on a lot of muscle in a hurry unless they have the right combination of metabolic rate, exercise, protein/nutrient intake, etc. If you are interested in this topic of how fast muscles can grow I suggest reading the following two articles:
How Fast can you Grow Muscle
Two Alternative Models for Predicting Muscle Growth
If you read the 2nd article I have posted my own model for predicting muscle growth which takes in factors like Height, Shoulder Width, Metabolic Rate, Dietary Sufficiency, Gender, Exercise Rate, and Training Category - which makes it the most comprehensive method of predicting muscle growth.
There is also the Muscle Memory factor - which is difficult to calculate. Basically what that is is when a weightlifter gets sick for a long period of time they lose a bunch of muscle mass, but when they get back into weightlifting again - even after years - they are faster at putting on the muscle because the old muscles retain the memory. This is likely the biggest factor for me right now, allowing me to build up muscle a lot faster than I normally would.
My goal this Winter is to put on at least 20 lbs of muscle and weigh 210 lbs by mid-March.
And if sleeping better and feeling healthier is a side benefit, so be it. Those are benefits I like having.
Note - This Winter I also going to be doing Archery Biathlon (combo of cross country skiing and archery) once there is snow on the ground, which combines a high intensity cardio exercise with a resistance training exercise.
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