Question: I enjoy reading your advice on training. I am a 57 year old male who has worked out all my life. Over the past 5 years I have gained about 20 pounds and am trying to get it off. I am now doing a workout of alternating exercise bike then weights and treadmill. I bike for 6-10 minutes then do an exercise (maybe curls or pullups) then treadmill for 6-10 minutes and another weight exercise. I usually do this for 45 minutes or so. Am I on the right track? How many times per week should each body part be worked? What is best set x rep?
Thanks for your help.
Answer: Hey Randall, any more questions you want answered. I’m probably going to have to start putting disclaimers on my columns: Limit: One question per customer can not be combined with any other offer. Or something like that. If you read about this workout in a magazine please cancel your subscription, if you read it in a book bring it back to the bookstore. If you made it up than STOP IT! Although you have an interval training mindset you are going about it the wrong way. The warm-up is good but everything after that sucks.
Never and I mean never should you perform an auxiliary movement before you do a large muscle group movement. For example, performing curls (exercises the biceps) before you work your back would be counter productive because your arms are used in almost all back exercises. Your arms would exhaust long before your larger back muscles would and the back would never get the workout it needs. If you want to lose body fat, and I think that was the reason for this question than I would warm-up for 6 minutes, create a workout that works your larger muscle groups starting with your legs, then Back, Chest, Shoulders, and last but not least your arms and midsection (including lower back). When you have completed your strength workout then perform an interval aerobic workout. It is better to wear a heart rate monitor when exercising aerobically so with that in mind, let’s ride the bike for 2 minutes at heart rate of 120 bpm (yours may differ, this is just an illustration)and then ride for 2 minutes raising your heart rate to 160 bpm, again for 2 minutes at 120 and so on for 15 to 20 minutes. The fat will fall off by accident. (no muscles have been harmed in the writing of this column)