Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

The Simplest Workout

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fresh from our “Keep It Simple” mindset, is this recommendation as to the most simple way to get in shape, lose weight, increase energy, etc. There are only four steps (like I said, SIMPLE). Are you ready? Let’s go:

  1. Stop Using Machines – Workout machines are great for isolating an individual muscle group if you have a specific goal in mind. For example, if your only goal is to build a great big bicep, then use the curl machine which will isolate the bicep and brachialis muscle… also know as the “Curl Machine.” However, doing curls with free weights, dumbbells, curl bars, etc. makes you use many other muscles to stabilize and balance. This means you fire more muscles, burn more calories, strengthen more small stabilization fibers… ultimately, you get a ton more out of your workout than if you isolate with machines. How about another quick, simple tip? Fill an old gallon milk jug with water and you’ve got the perfect homemade dumbbell complete with handle that weighs just over 8 pounds.
  2. Water, Water, Water – Being dehydrated MAKES YOU FAT. Muscle glycogen (sugar energy created from carbohydrates you eat) is stored along with water. For every gram of glycogen in the muscle, there should be three of water. Dehydration forces glucose to remain in the bloodstream instead of muscle until it reaches the liver for overflow storage. When the liver is full, the glycogen (sugar) has no place to go but your fat cells. Think about it… this goes for ALL of the toxins we put in our body. The liver can only work so fast. Once it is at capacity, the only option is to store things that need processing until they can be dealt with. Water facilitates this process. Picture trying to flush a full toilet with no water in it… that’s what you’re doing if you’re not hydrating properly.
  3. Set a specific goal, and stick with it – Don’t be so vague. “I want to lose weight… I want to get stronger… I want to be healthy.” Yeah, yeah… platitudes. Be specific. “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next two months.” … or, “I want to bench press 100 pounds in three months.” … or, “I want to run a 5K in six months.” Usually, small achievable steps are more motivating and successful than big lofty goals set too far out in the future. Always keep the big goals in mind, but focus on the step in front of you.
  4. Work the Core – Not just sit-ups and crunches. Work the whole thing. Get a swiss ball, play tennis, do some planks,… whatever. Just make sure you integrate the whole core in your routine. Nobody wants a six-pack ab… that looks like it’s surrounded by a giant hot dog bun. Not only will it look silly, but it’s incredibly unstable.

Look… we’ve had this discussion on this blog time and time again. Doing the right thing doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to involve expensive diet plans, weird foods, personal trainers, boot camps, videos, etc. Do these things help? Sure! If they are what motivates you. However, in the end, they all have a common core of tenets. Eat good food, burn more calories than you take in, drink water, and be active. BOOM!

Dr. Gray

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