I was on a plane from New York to Seattle, and I picked up an Esquire magazine for a quick read. At the back of each magazine they had a section called the “Esquire Collection”. They cover the essentials that men should have in their wardrobe.
It got me thinking, what are some other things, and other categories that are essentials in a man’s life?
So I started writing and thinking of new categories; here’s what I came up with.
I’d love some input so feel free to add whatever you want!
7 exercises every man should have perfected.
Here are 7 exercises you should perfect. Whether you’re after fat loss or gaining lean muscle, these should be in your repertoire of things you can do effectively in the gym.
Compound exercises should be first on your list of exercises for both fat loss and gaining lean muscle, and cleans might be the most effective for both. They’re a very effective full body exercise, something that you won’t find too often, and it’s an exercise that you can really progress with.
Gaining lean muscle – start with a light weight if you’re a beginner and low reps. Get the form down first, but push yourself with the weight. Add weight every week and you’ll see how this exercise has an immediate effect on your body.
Fat loss – still keep your reps relatively low, at about 6-8, but add in other exercises along with this. Do a circuit of 3 exercises, cleans, burpees, mountain-climbers and watch the fat start to disappear!
Remember that cleans are a power exercise, so don’t go slow, explode the weight off the ground and get under it!
Build your abdominal muscles by continuing to increase the weight on this exercise.
Get on the decline bench, holding a plate (start with 25lbs) directly in front of you with your arms straight, and do a sit-up.
Keep on adding weight! I’m at 2 plates right now, 90lbs and my abs are continually getting more defined.
Yes deadlifts will help with fat loss. When I was training for a boxing and I needed to cut 9 pounds, I was doing deadlifts at both low reps of 3-6 and high reps of 25-30. You burn a lot of calories doing this exercise, but like I said with cleans, add a couple more exercises with this and make a circuit out of it.
For gaining lean muscle this lift is a necessity. Mix up the reps and try an extremely wide grip to broaden your shoulders.
4. Box jumps
I worked hard to add 30lbs of lean muscle on to my skinny frame and I don’t want to lose it. So when I do cardio it’s very intense, short bursts of exercise followed by short rest periods. Box jumps are great for power and explosiveness, and for targeting fat.
Push yourself but don’t get injured. Start with a bench then keep on adding height to what you’re jumping. Add a couple other exercises like burpees or jump-rope to make a great and quick cardio workout.
5. Jump –rope
Starting out is frustrating, you get caught up in the rope and it kills your calves. But when you get the hang of it and you begin to add some speed and tricks, it’s one of the best cardio exercises around.
Remember intensity is the key with anything, and jumping rope is no different. I’ll get a video of me up soon doing some of this as a part of my cardio routine over the next 3 weeks. I’m losing fat, but gaining muscle and this exercise, along with the others has allowed me to do so.
6. Abdominal roll-outs
These ones are tough to master. I do them with a couple guys I’m training right now who have fights coming up and they haven’t even got them down yet.
In any exercise you should be activating your core muscle or flexing your abs, but especially with this exercise to basically keep your back from collapsing.
Too often you see guys focusing on muscles they only see in the mirror, but your back muscles are some of the biggest in your body and shouldn’t be neglected.
Forget about the pull-down machine for a bit and do some chin-ups. It’ll give you a realistic idea of what you can lift – start with bodyweight, then add weight as you see fit.
If you have a belt with a chain at your gym then use it and add some more resistance to this exercise. I don’t have one at mine so I just put a dumbbell between my legs and start the pull-up.
Other topics I’ll cover in the future:
- The finer things: alcohol, cigars etc…
- Bookmarked web sites
Did I forget anything?