Take Your Dumbbells!
No, I do not mean your crazy neighbors or your brother-in-law. But yes I do mean dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells that is. Why should you go on vacation and miss your exercise program? You shouldn’t unless of course you want to put it off until you get back in two weeks, thereby losing much of the momentum you have gained.
You don’t have a pair of dumbbells? Why not? They are the most mobile exercise equipment on the market today. So you have been wasting time at the gym, driving back and forth, and wasting gas also. Buying a pair of adjustable dumbbells will give you many benefits of the gym at a far less cost then you are paying now. And, they are completely mobile. They take up as much room as a small shoe rack, and they will fit quite conveniently in that storage area under your RV. They now come in small packages, most not exceeding 15.5 inches to 17.5 inches. The weights are all on the rack, none lying around to get in the way. Just dial up your weight or use a pin to slide to the correct pounds. Then lift, and the weights are ready to go.
So buy a pair of these and start exercising and quit the gym and save money. So on your next vacation you can really spend some money.
How to Keep From Being Discouraged
Many times people who exercise fail to see the results that are happening. We assume if our bodies do not change immediately that this is not helping. We want instant gratification, because our muscles are aching, and we are probably feeling miserable. A feeling that this is for other people and not for me is the excuse we use and we wonder why we spent this money on something useless.
We all get discouraged at one time or another and sadly we think one routine is the only way to go. A good regimen is a mixture of several types of exercises over a week. Using the dumbbells all the time is not allowing your muscles to relax and repair.
But, never compare your progress with anyone else, because we are all built differently. Set different goals for yourself. Try dumbbells three times a week, then alternate with other resistance training. Buy a resistance band and use it one day. Then intersperse with walking, running or cycling for a good cardio workout. Spend a day doing routines such as basic pushups, squats, jumping jacks, lunges and pull ups.
Get yourself a calendar and mark what you will do each day. One thing for sure, you won’t have time to be discouraged.
Reasons Not To Use a Gym
There are many people who like going to the gym. Many are die hard weight lifting enthusiasts who use all the heavy machinery to bulk up every conceivable muscle. Then there are the social butterflies who would rather talk, gossip, or ogle both men and women. They take up machine time, more or less to pass the time away as if they had nothing better to do. Then we have the after work crowd who all come in at the same time and expect to have a machine available.
My reasons are varied but valid.
- I pay good money to go to the gym, and I expect to have machines available
- Machines should be clean and wiped down periodically
- If you are there to socialize, do it in the lobby
- After 5pm, there should be only serious exercisers on a machine. If you want to rest and talk, use the lobby
- More of the popular machines should be available
- There should be time limits on the treadmills, steppers, and bikes, no marathons
- Gym personnel should be out monitoring the floor not socializing
- Clean bathrooms and showers periodically.
These might be petty beefs but when you get to the gym, and it is crowded, more concern by all personnel and all exercisers should be the norm and not the exception.
Lifting Dumbbells Using a Bench
Using a bench with dumbbells not only supplements the training you have already done, but it also addresses new muscles that are left untapped in the other exercises. A typical work out bench can either be a full or a reticulated bench. The reticulated bench will have a side that will either side to go up or down based upon the type of exercise that you will be doing.
A few cautions should be mentioned when using a bench. There is a proper way to position your body not only in picking up weights but also when reclining flat with them in hand. Place weights at the end of the bench on the floor. Bend forward and pick them up and place them on your knees. Then in one motion, rock forward and then roll backwards to a flat position with knees bent and in the air.
Once on your back, extend your legs to the floor in a flat position. Your arms should have the dumbbells fully extended above your head. Start your exercise by lowering weights and extending them for each rep. when finished pull the knees up and place the bars on your kneecap and rotate downwards. Place them on the floor. Heavier pounds can be done this way but you may not be able to rock back up.
This means that you might have to let them roll unto the floor. This could possibly result in arm or wrist damage. When using heavier pounds it might be advantageous to have a spotter around. Also when using heavier pounds, you might want to have them on a rack where you can pick them up, straddle the bench, then rock up with them on your knees.
Some good exercises you can do are:
- Dumbbell bench press
- Triceps kickback
- Kneeling one arm row
- Lying fly
Should women bulk up?
There is a predominant myth perpetuated throughout the population that women who bulk up are unsightly or are just not feminine. But before we get into this, just what is bulking up. To many it is the exaggerated muscles of the elite bodybuilders. Those people who are in competition or those people at the gym who strut around like the Hulk, we have all made the distinction. But, bulking up is an over- used term for taking toning to a higher level, thus accentuating the female muscles, which high lights the female body.
Women should tone their muscles and keep them toned. By making certain muscles like abs or glutes or arms more toned, or as the public perceives as bulk, it defines their shapes in a more feminine way. Over doing it, where the muscles become massive is the extreme and not the norm. Healthy weight lifting using dumbbells makes both men and woman healthier, toned, and flexible. Producing muscle mass that impedes flexibility is not good nor does it look good.
Many trainers try to fight this stereotype. They are aware of the health benefits of highly toned muscles. Bulking up is a phrase that should be taken out of any discussions on weight lifting as it defines a few select people, but does not represent the large population that loves to exercise.
Prevention – A Great Fitness Magazine
Prevention is my favorite fitness, health and nutrition magazine. It is a small publication put out monthly. But it is not usually at your favorite magazine counter. Instead, it is found on probably every grocery aisle in America, right above the tabloids screaming their false trivia.
I first started buying this magazine several years ago, and it is chock full of ideas on fitness, health and nutrition. It has many recipes and it is geared to the woman shopper, naturally since it is on the grocery store counter, or maybe that is sexist.
But even though the articles are targeting women, much can be gleaned by men from these pages. I have read countless articles on walking, losing weight, and other heath tidbits that I have started and most of them I still do to this day. I can guarantee that not a month will go buy that you can’t find something of interest. There are, however, no weight training articles that I have found yet, but there may have been some in the past. You just have to keep on looking. This magazine is all just good homespun knowledge that most people would ignore.
In comparison to all the fitness magazines out there, I would choose this as one of my top three magazines.