Holiday Fitness Plans

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It’s December, and you’ve piled on all the Thanksgiving weight you possibly can. You’re trying to find any excuse possible not to stick to a weekly routine. I just happened to start my routine in the middle of November, so I’m in good shape, but I can’t say I was two months ago.

I decided to start lifting again as a result of being too skinny. Too skinny with a belly full of beer. I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is to be thin and have a stomach. Six pack? Yeah, 4 or 5 years ago. It will come back, but only after tons of running and exercise. I’m finding myself grateful to start my routine in the middle of November, because I no longer need an excuse for the New Year.

I stick with the basic workout that has worked for me for years: chest and triceps on Mon and Thur, back and biceps on Tue and Thur, and legs and shoulders on Wed. I’ve done this for years with GREAT success, so I plan on sticking with that routine at least until I get my size back. If it’s one thing I’ve learned is get it done early. I can tell you in the first few weeks I started, I looked for any reason to put it off, and then when the time came I was doing something else. Now I just knock it out early, so I can’t find a way to miss.

Chest and Triceps:

For chest and triceps, I always start out with presses. A basic flat bench is great. I use dumb bells to start with, 3 sets of 10. For incline I use a bar, 3 sets of 10. For decline I use dumb bells, 3 sets of 10. I like sticking to 3 sets of 10 for the first month, then 4 sets of 10 the following month.

For triceps I’ll typically grab a high pulley for extensions. This has to be the greatest way to focus on your form while doing tricep exercises. Same thing, 3 sets of 10. To follow that I will do dumb bell raises behind my head. Follow that with dips and you have a strong workout for chest and triceps.

Back and Biceps:

I treat my back just as I would my chest, trying to hit it at all different angles. Lat pull-downs, seated rows and bent-over rows. I’ll do 3 sets of 10 for each angle, then increase to 4 after 4 weeks. I’ve always found my back to be the hardest to work out, but the best when it comes to reaping the benefits. A well-defined back will make your shirts fit snug the way they should.

Biceps are much easier – you want to keep it simple. Slow, controlled movements will build solid, big biceps. I do preacher curls to start with, followed by standing bar raises, concluded with seated dumb bell curls.

Legs and Shoulders:

I used to think squats were the way to go when it came to legs, but I’m finding that seated presses give me the gains I need. I tend to do seated presses to start with, lunges to follow, then calf raises. For shoulders I do military presses with dumb bells, lateral raises with dumb bells, then shoulder shrugs. You hammer your shoulders with a lot of your back and chest exercises, anyway.

I like to incorporate 6 sets every day until I get comfortable, then I add exercises and sets as needed to fit my goals. Whether you’re fat or skinny, proper diet and a great exercise plan will always overcome. Your mindset will ultimately dictate how much you will gain from the fruits of your labor. Stay strong, my friends.