THE CITY DWELLER WORKOUT

WORKOUT IDEAS


Do you feel wiped out when you get home and just collapse on the sofa? Urban living certainly has its challenges. Hiking around the cityscape day to day requires endurance and stamina. Wether it’s that mad dash for the bus or the hike up the stairs with groceries because the elevator is stuck again, urban life can seem pressured and non stop.


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But we love it, that’s why we live here.

Below is not so much a full workout, but ideas to incorporate into your existing routines. Ways to up the ante a little. ✔

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Plyometrics


Also known as “jump training”, incorporating plyometric exercises is almost garanteed to help build the strength and speed needed to navigate the urban jungle. (Or a weekend hike).

Get ready to jump


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First, start by warming up with a few sets of body squats. 2 sets of 10

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Keeping your core tight push off and land squarely on both feet. 3 sets of 10.

Explosive power is what your building.


Get a Grip

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Often times getting creative with workouts simply involves changing the grip your using while performing an exercise. Some basic grips most oftenly used are:

  • Overhand
  • Underhand
  • Close grip
  • Wide grip

Baby got back

If you want an impressive set of “wings” switch your grips in the same workout to target the whole back.

Here are two (2) exercises to help strength the back and build the lean muscle needed to help propel you through this world.

  • The Lat Pull 
  • The V-Bar Pull

The Lat Pull is a standard, all-around, go-to exercise for building upper body strength. Above is the short grip. Position your arms shoulder width apart. 3 sets of 12 – 15

Muscle Group – Latissimus Dorsi

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A wide grip (above) works the inner lats, while a short grip helps to build the outer lats.

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⬆The V – Bar Pull is a mass building staple. Working the inner muscles of the back called the Rhomboids, as well as the lats, this move is also working your biceps.


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It isn’t a jungle in here. This is your sanctuary. This space is where you come to escape the grind.

Utilize it. Think outside the box.

While you have the V – Bar in hand, stand with feet shoulder width apart and switch to working your abdominals.


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The truth about abs is this: Everyone has them. It’s the layer of fat on top that keeps them hidden. Endlessly doing crunches is not the key. Watching what you eat and performing 3 sets of 15 repetitions 

slow and controlled is.

The science of grips applies to your #bicepblowout too. Using your Lat bar, alternate between a short grip and a wide grip:

Muscle Group – Biceps Inner/Outer

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Why? Stimulating the muscles from different angles helps promote hypertrophy, or muscle growth. 

Tip Using an overhand grip here (not shown) will target the forearms. Think Popeye the Sailor Man.

SUPER SET 


The concept of a superset is simple. Maximize your time and your efforts. Working opposing muscle groups,  (“push/pull”) is an effective method for building size as well. Utilizing a Machine Chest Press is a an excellent opportunity to build the back and the chest simultaneously. Rest periods should be little to none during a superset combo.

Muscle Groups – Pectorals/Rhomboids/Deltoids

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When using the Chest Press for the back adjusting it allows for either a full range of motion or partial. The debate about machines continues. Perhaps the critics haven’t learned to get creative. When it comes to sets and reps choose from any number:

  • 12, 10, 10, 8
  • 10, 10, 10
  • 10, 8, 8
  • 5 sets of 5
  • 10, 8, 8, 6

You get the picture? Switch things up. Muscle confusion, man!

Add 3 sets on the Chest Press next while your at it.

Variations on a theme

Dips are a mass building exercise that can be done just about anywhere. Home, gym, office.

Muscle Group – Triceps/Deltoids

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If you can’t fit on the railings, or don’t feel like moving the bench, or simple can’t get downstairs….

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…push two chairs together in the comfort of your home.

If you chose the railings, stay there and add stair step climbs to your routine. Start with 1 step intervals then graduate to two. Eventually, your quads and glutes will thank you for it.

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Muscle Group – Quadriceps/Gluteus Maximus ⬆

Time to stretch. Static stretches, or stretches held for an extended period of time are good at this point.

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Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Repeat 2 – 3 times while your iPod is stuck on replay-ay-ay.

Tip Focus on holding your core tight and on your breathing. Your stretching the Quads, Hamstrings, and Back here.


And of course don’t forget your core. But how do you take a basic plank and change it up?

 

Muscle Groups – Abdominals/Obliques

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Keep your core tight, twist each knee to the right and left, hold each pose for a 5 count. Perform as many as you can.

Again, these are variations to add into your existing routines. By simply changing the grip and the rep counts, you’ll continue to think outside the box and above all else…

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Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com 

IT’S A JUNGLE IN THERE

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Completely radical for his time, Jack Lalanne opened one of the nations first gymnasiums in 1936. He is credited with creating the prototype for both the Smith Machine & Leg Extension. The debate rages on however.

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Are machines effective and should you use them?

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Simply put, not all machines are created equal. Since Mr. Lalannes first drawings, gym machines have become increasingly sophisticated. Seats and seat backs on newer ones are styled to form fit more naturally. Modern machines no longer force one into unnatural positions and grips are better. However advanced exercise machines become, not all gyms are equipped with the state of the art, so finding what works for you is key.

Ask any gym rat or bodybuilder, Jack’s Leg Extension is still widely used as it effectively targets the quadriceps. (See if who you ask can tell you who he was.) The Hamstring curl is also a must for many due to the fact that muscle group is typically hard to work in general. The Chest Press tends to be staple as is the Preacher Curl Machine.

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A solid point with machines is that stabilizer muscles are not fully engaged. In the Overhead Shoulder Press your primary muscles activated are the deltoids. The stabilizers kick in with the triceps. With a Smith Machine less of your stabilizers are used however there are safety latches if you are going heavy.

A good workout should be varied including free weights, body weight exercises and even a machine or two. A sensible approach would be to keep lighter weight/higher rep sets for machines. If your workout partner flaked or you don’t have a spotter a machine can be a good alternative. Too much of anything isn’t good and machines shouldn’t be used as substitutes but rather as supplements, additions to your program.

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