Power Workout from Beginning to Advanced! How to Get Started Exercising and Running
…and become your own awesome athlete!
Before I get started here I realize I have to preface this article series with a few background points from my own life story. I was the typical 129 pound Charles Atlas weakling. I grew up in a neighborhood with two gangs on my side of the street and had to look left and right every time I went out. I had to outrun or outfight someone every day and feared for my life. The kids in living in the house next door were fed by parents who threw scraps over a divider into the living room where the boys waited to be fed. And when I caught them alone I beat the bejeezus out of them, one at a time – or ran from them faster than my legs could carry me, when they chased me 10 or 20 at a time with sticks and rocks. By the time I was 7 years old I could run faster backwards than other kids 9 or 10 years old could run forwards.
This ‘Running’ page is going to turn into an entire fitness section to help the couchies out there get into great shape, maybe the greatest shape of their lives, quickly, painlessly, pleasurably, and innovatively – without getting hurt!
The key here is “getting started”, so it’s about moving from the couch or the desk to the field even if you haven’t ever worked out, or haven’t worked out in years. Let me say first that this article is the first in a series and it’s about philosophy as much as it is about fitness. It’s also about bio-feedback. It’s also about my personal experience. When I was in the military I came in first out of 5,000 men in brigade competition at Fort Benning Georgia. I’ll leave out the part about “almost” breaking the fort record (by two rungs) because I’d have easily broken it if it required that I do MORE than the requirements to break it by making it about 30% harder than it was supposed to be because that’s what I did. I also broke the four minute mile before I turned 21. Those things in and of themselves might not make me a super-athlete but those two events came immediately to mind and are measurable by popularly accepted or official sports standards.
The idea of becoming a top notch, non-competitive, kick ass athlete isn’t something that immediately make sense. That’s because most people use charts and trainers and play sports and enter races to artificially measure their own progress and achievements as well as measure themselves against others.
That’s wrong. Don’t measure. If you want to be a bodybuilder buy Muscle and Fitness Magazine and apply the diet and exercises precisely to sculpt your mass into a particular shape. If you want to become a super performer in any sport then train for those sports according to the best laid out schedules, eating the most complete and healthy diets, and taking the nutritional supplements and vitamins recommended. That’s all great, I would do exactly that – plus apply my philosophy.
When you’re young and want to see how far you can go it’s imperative that you NEVER miss a workout. And then don’t. If you miss a workout and you’re in bed falling off into sleep get out of bed, get dressed, and go work out.
Q: Wait a minute! Never miss a workout? How is this not putting pressure on my workout? A: It depends on your age and your personal goals – these change during one’s lifetime.
RUN! RUN! RUN! – Running AND cycling are better than running alone, but if you can only do one – run. Cycling is a great sport but you’re going to be putting in 40 miles fast to do the same thing 10 or 15 miles of running will accomplish, plus with those many miles you’re going to develop a lot of flats and the cost gets pretty high maintaining a bike – if you have the $$ then go for it, if not, then do the running gig and all you’ll need to do is replace a few pair of running shoes every few months.
So – if you’re totally out of shape, been eating, drinking and smoking too much, and even if you have bad knees you can work your way into better shape, and at each stage of fitness work your way into the next higher stage of fitness until you attain your own level of super fitness that will have you blowing the “athletes” in and even below your age category away! I say this with confidence because of my secrets to working out that make your success foolproof!
And just what are those secrets?
1) Bio Feedback!
Listen to your body as if it were an unforgiving dictator, because it is. Pulls, strains, cuts, tears and blisters are UNFORGIVABLE. Part of my philosophy of winning is never missing a workout. If you don’t listen to your body you’ll push it into injury and lose time and grow weaker not stronger.
2) Competition Causes People to Purposely Injure Themselves
They purposely push themselves beyond their limits in order to “win”, causing lengthy periods of down time so they can’t become stronger. The trophy they may have won is a meaningless piece of plastic coated with a shiny metallic finish.
That said I’ve blown away many top competitors who obviously had no idea who I was simply because my continuous injury free training led me to develop beyond their own OVER TIME.
Quality Time not Quantity Time Workouts
Focusing on a certain number of repetitions with weights with a specific amount of poundage is fine for basic strength workouts. To the bone-crushers out there with massive strength – I’m also talking to you. Physiology and psychology all play a role, as does genetics, nutrition, body type (endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph) and muscle type (fast twitch vs slow twitch). It doesn’t make a bit of difference which type you are. Quality workouts will bring you greater faster results using bio-feedback because you’ll not only avoid injury (thus allowing yourself to grow stronger and increase your endurance) but also because you’ll avoid over-training.
Avoid Relying on Vehicles, Gyms and Places to Work Out
Friends always perplex me when they say they’re going to drive to the gym. Why drive? It’s 7 miles away – let’s RUN to the gym, work out, and run back!
Can’t do that yet? Drive half-way, park, and run the rest of the way… no? 3/4 of the way then – but stop relying on cars to get TO gyms TO work out …. and the same with biking. Ride your bike to the bike path. Figure out how to work out AT HOME with portable equipment you can easily take with you to Europe or anywhere else you may be traveling.
Hand Stand Pushups
Here’s an example of what I mean by portable exercise equipment. You don’t need anything but a few chairs to make hand stand pushups work 100%.
Hand stand pushups are known as “The Granddaddy of all Pushups” and usually they’re done simply by going into a full handstand up against a wall (for ease of balance) and then doing pushups. After becoming pretty proficient in doing these (say 3 sets of 10 pushups dipping down as far as possible and touching your chin to the floor) you can make them harder by setting up a few chairs near a wall and doing the handstand pushups between the chairs and touching your shoulders to the edges of the chairs and pushing back up again. That’s very hard to do though. I did that for years but was never able to go above a certain number of repetitions. – but it’s a great example of what I mean by having a great portable workout you can bring with you anywhere, and it’s not the type of thing just any athlete can do. I can almost guarantee you that you pick the strongest looking guy out of any crowd and ask him to match it and he won’t be able to do it.
That said – this is the first in my workout series, and I’ll be taking you step by step from couch potato (or any other level since this works at all levels) to learning the philosophy of following your body’s lead letting you enjoy the beauty of a world most people never experience. The world of the athlete.
Next Article: Get Rid of the EGO!