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Additional Exercises


The exercises described in the different categories can be performed relatively discreetly in an office setting. However, rather than exercising throughout the day in the workplace as I do, you may choose to do a workout in one setting, in which case you may want to add exercises to your routine.




Pushups


Pushups - Pushups is a powerful exercise that will build a tremendous chest, shoulders, and triceps. You can do pushups directly on a floor, against a desk, between a pair of matching chairs, or utilizing a pair of dipping handles. Dipping handles is the best way to do pushups as they allow you to get that real dip in there that will fully stretch and develop deep, powerful pectoral muscles. They also provide a comfortable grip for your hands and allow you to place your hands in any position that suits you. I like mine at about a 45 degree angle and slightly further apart than shoulder width. There are a number of dipping handles available which can be found in sporting goods stores or in a search on Google.

It's also easy enough to make your own. You could take a couple of 6" lengths of 2 x 6's, drill a 1" hole through the center of each, cut the 2 x 6's in half, and screw 9" x 1" dowels into the 2 x 6's. You could also assemble some piping and attach them to a couple of sheets of plywood or 1 x 4's. And then you could wrap a couple layers of cusioned baseball bat wrap around the handles.

For the dipping bar shown above, 3/4" PVC and connectors, and pipe insulation for the handles all cost under ten dollars, and this pushup exerciser can be built in a half an hour. You don't even need glue - just tap the parts together with a hammer. The handles can be rotated for preferred positions and are set at a desired distance apart. The PVC is cut to the following lengths; (6)extensions: 3", (4)posts: 2", (2)handles: 6"-7" as preferred, (1)connector: 18"-24" as preferred.

Diamond Pushups - This variation is performed with your hands close together underneath your chest, the thumbs and forefingers of each hand touching each other. You lower yourself until your chest touches your hands and then push yourself back up. Diamond pushups places more stress on your triceps and will really help to fill them out. A folded towel will provide cusioning for your hands.

When doing pushups, it is important that you do them correctly - all the way down and all the way up, taking in a deep breath as you go down and exhaling as you push yourself back up. If all you can do is a half dozen pushups, then do a half dozen pushups. Doing a half dozen pushups correctly will be a lot more effective than trying to do a dozen without going through the full range of motion. And then you start adding a pushup or two each week or every other week.

PUSHUPS can be performed in an office - against a desk (as I do), between the arms of an armchair, between the railings of a stairway.


Dips


Dips are an extremely powerful exercise that will really blast your triceps and develop the under portion of your pectorals. They can be performed between the the backs of two matching chairs, a couple of dresser drawers of the same height, or a couple of filing cabinets of the same height. If you are using chairs, you can drape a couple of folded towels over the backs to cusion your hands. Lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the foor while breathing in, and exhale as you push yourself all the way up.

Dips are extremely stressful and if you are new to exercise or particularly overweight, you might want to consider not doing dips until you feel you are ready to do them. And then, you can begin by doing one or two dips and gradually increase the repetitions from there.


Chinups

Chinups are the Yang to Pushups' Yin. They are opposites and compliment each other. Pushups target the upper body pushing muscles - the chest, shoulders, and triceps, and chinups target the upper body pulling muscles - the back and biceps. Together, they build the basis of upper body development, and then the other exercises fill out the areas these two exercises don't hit. For example, pushups will build the pushing portions of your triceps, but they won't fill out the backs of your triceps as triceps curls and extensions will, for those really big, fully developed arms.

Close Grip Chins - Perform these with the palms of your hands facing you and shoulder width apart. Keeping your body steady, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Again, doing as many repetitions as you can correctly will be of far greater benefit to you than flailing your legs around and not pulling your self up all the way just to try and add more reps than you're capable of doing

Wide Grip Chins - This is the harder of the two and targets the lats right under the arms. This exercise will build some wide lats. Perform these with the palms of your hands facing away from you and your hands spread apart. Pull yourself up until the back of your neck touches the bar. If you are not accustom to chinups, don't do these until you can do at least 10 of the close grip chinups.

The most versatile chinup bar with the best value for your money is the Door Gym. It requires no attaching to anything. It just slips into a doorway and comes right back down when you're finished. It also enables you to do chinups from 3 different positions. I once made a chinup bar by bolting a couple of 18" 2 x 6's to ceiling joists in my basement with a 4' x 1" pipe running between the two held in place by holes drilled in the wood.


Here's a doorway pullup bar you can easily make yourself. No attaching to anything. Just get the proper lengths of 3/4" pipes and connectors, and assemble it. Go Here for plans.

You can also lay a broom handle across the backs of two matching chairs, their backs facing each other with about 40" of space in between. Lay on your back, reach up and grab hold of the broom handle with both hands. Keeping your body straight, pull yourself up until your chest touches the broom handle. Do as many reps as you can and see how your back and arms feel!

CHINUPS could conceivably be performed in an office, as well - a mechanical room, a tree limb outside. Look around.


Squats


Squats can be performed in lieu of or in addition to Leg Exercise TH-2. It's essentially the same exercise, but targets the muscles of your thighs a bit differently. I like to put my heels up on a 1 x 4 when I do squats as this helps me to maintain my balance. Begin by squating all the way down. Stay in that position for 15 seconds or so hugging your legs. This will acclimate your knees and stretch your back. Then begin your repetitions - up and down. Try to develop a steady cadence and do as many as you possibly can. Make those thighs burn! During all those years that I lifted weights, I never did squats with weights, electing instead, to keep increasing the reps. The thighs are big muscles and grow quickly with consistent exercise.

One-legged squats are the ultimate in thigh blasting. Don't count on being able to do any of these until you have developed some real strength in your legs. You can start out by holding onto something to steady yourself, and, initially, you might not be able to go down all the way. If you plan to include one-legged squats in your routine, be prepared to build up to them gradually and to start off with just a couple of reps. Personally, I never did one-legged squats. I can do them, but I prefer to just pound out as many regular squats as I can.


Crunches


If you're exercising at home, you can add crunches to your abdominal exercises. Simply lie down on the floor (some carpeting or an exercise mat will be much more comfortable). Draw your knees up and spread them out with your feet tucked up near your butt. Place your hands on your abdomen. Now roll your shoulders forward, raising them off the floor, and at the same time, lift your legs about 8" off the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles for a second and then lower your legs and shoulders, and then come up for the next rep. As you raise your shoulders, try to point your right shoulder toward your left side for one rep, and then point your left shoulder toward your right side for your next rep. When you have completed as many reps as you can, straighten your legs out, keeping them about 6" off the floor along with your shoulders raised off the floor, and hold this position for 10 seconds.


Forearms


The Blanket Roll - This exercise could conceivably be performed in an office if you wanted to keep a small blanket or a thick towel tucked in a drawer. Take the edge of a blanket between your thumbs and finger tips, and begin gathering the blanket into your hands, using your fingertips and tensing your fingers as you go. Once you have your hands full of blanket, squeeze the blanket as hard as possible for 10 seconds. Rotate your hands outward and squeeze for 10 seconds, and then inward and squeeze for 10 seconds.

Please note: Of all the muscle groups in your body, those of the forearms are the most complex and the most stubborn. For the inspired, here is a choice of Forearm Accoutrements to keep in your desk drawer.


Stairs

If you work in a high rise office building, get off the elevator a few flights before your floor and walk briskly up the stairs the rest of the way. If you have to traverse between floors throughout the day, use the stairs. Stairs are an excellent thigh and calf builder as well as an outstanding cardiovascular exercise. Donít over do it. Designate a certain amount of stair climbing per day Ė something you can handle without over-taxing yourself, and then add to it over periods of time.


Walking

Even the simple act of walking can contribute to your physique. If you amble along with your shoulders hunched and your head down, stop it. Walk briskly with your head up, shoulders back, and chest out - just like in the military. Widen your stride and pick up your pace. This will increase your heart rate, improve your posture, and force more air into your lungs, expanding your chest. Walk proudly and purposefully. It does wonders for your ego.



Routines


When setting up a routine, it is important that you exercise related muscle groups in succession. In other words, you wouldn't do pushups, and then do leg exercises, and then come back and work on your triceps after they've already started cooling down. You want to exercise those related groups of muscles while the blood's still flowing in them. Once your muscles have started cooling down and all the blood that's going to rush into your muscle cells has done so, that means that your muscles have begun the process of healing and rebuilding themselves, bigger and stronger, and it's time to allow your muscles the rest needed for the process to work. Following pushups or/and dips, the related muscle groups are chest, shoulders, and triceps. Chinups would be a lead into biceps and back exercises.

SETS - You can do sets if you choose to. In otherwords do an exercise once and then repeat it. This applies to the isotonic exercises only. You could select a few choice exercises and do a second set of each one. For example, if upper arm development is of primary interest to you, you might want to do a second set of TR-6 and BI-2 (in the Arms category). If you do this, then perform the related isometrics only at the end the second set. Performing isometrics more than once or holding them for longer than 10 seconds has no further effect.

Before beginning any exercise session, you should first warm up a bit . Do a few jumping jacks, shake your arms and legs around. Do a little stretching - touch your toes, twist your torso from one side to the other while flinging your arms. Loosen up. Limber up. Get some air going in your lungs and some blood pumping through your body. And then do the deep breathing exercise.

Now, assuming you've got all that you need and you're going to go full bore on this, here is:

The Power House Routine

Monday-Wednesday-Friday:

1. Dips - 1 set

2. Pushups - 1 set

3. Diamond Pushups - 1 set

(If you want to choose one out of the three from above, do the pushups)

4. Chest exercises

5. Shoulder Exercises

6. Triceps Exercises

Take a short breather before beginning the pulling exercises. Just a few minutes in order to catch your breath and get your energy level back up.

7. Wide Grip Chinups

8. Close Grip Chinups

9. Biceps Exercises

10. Back Exercises

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday:

1. Leg Exercises

2. Forearm Exercises

3. Abdominal Exercises

4. Neck Exercises.




Now, if you want to leave your weekends free, you can do the Monday-Wednesday-Friday exercises, and the Tuesday-Thursday exercises on one week, and then the following week, switch the exercises around so that what you did for three days the previous week, you are now doing for two days this week, and visa-versa. Twelve years or so down the road, it'll all even out.


With the exception of stretching and deep breathing,

DO NOT

attempt to do all of the exercises everyday! Your muscles NEED the proper time to recuperate, or you'll wear yourself out and your muscles won't grow.



For those who have the time, energy, and inclination, here is:

The In a Perfect World Routine

Monday-Wednesday-Friday:

All Upper Body Exercises

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday:

All Leg Exercises




For those who have entered unto another realm, here is:

The Approaching Godhead Routine

Monday-Wednesday-Friday:

All Exercises




For those who are looking at the long term, here is:

The Cruiser Routine

Follow any one of the above routines but leave out the additional exercises (pushups, chinups, dips, crunches). You can always add one, two, or all of these exercises at a later date. You can add them to your routine and then take them out again as you see fit. Don't feel that in order to benefit from this progaram you must do everything, as all of the exercises are designed to build muscle!




For those who have particular needs, goals, time schedules, etc., here is:

The Custom Routine

You can tailor your own routine to suit your own specific preferences. If you have very definite time constraints or want to start off doing 25, 20, or even 15 minutes of exercise per day, you can select exercises from each of the categories and incorporate them into a custom routine. As time goes by you can alter your routine - select different exercises, add more exercises, experiment with what works best for you. Just adhere to the golden rule that thou shalt not do the same exercises two days in a row. Switch from day to day - upper body one day, legs the next is the ideal setup.




Remember - however you structure your routine, the important thing is to consistently exercise. Three weeks will go by in a flash. Three months will be a walk in the park. In the blink of an eye a year will have passed and you will be standing tall and proud!





And finally, here is:

My Personal Routine




Me at age 46

My wife and me at the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Me at age 48

I've trimmed out the person I have my arm around as I don't believe he'd like his picture all over the Internet.


Before leaving the house in the mornings, I step out onto my back deck and do exercise CH-1 - the deep breathing.

I do all of the upper body exercises on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

As soon as I get to work and turn on my computer I do a set of pushups against my desk and then I go through all of the chest exercises while the system loads. Then I get things set up for my projects and then I do the shoulder exercises.

After I get going on some work, I'll pause and do the back exercises followed soon afterward by the abdominal exercises.

Sometime between then and lunch, I get through the upper arm exercises. I even work on my computer in between sets.

At sometime in the afternoon I do the forearm and neck exercises. As well as the forearm exercises as described on the Forearms Page, I also utilize foam grips, an Ivanko, and an Advantage as shown on Recommended Accessories

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I do the leg exercises.

In my building there are two stairwells spaced 200 yards apart with two flights of stairs each. At mid-morning I walk briskly between the two stairwells and jog up one and down the other. I do this three times. It takes about eight minutes. This is above and beyond my normal, everyday travels up and down the stairs. And then I head up to a stairway that leads to the roof and on which no one ever goes. There I do the thigh and calf exercises. Back at my desk I do the seated leg extension exercise. On Saturdays I go through the leg exercises at home.

All of this easily blends into my workday and I am just as productive as if I weren't doing these exercises at all. Each set takes only minutes to get through and I can easily fit them all into my day without skipping a beat.




My Log



Date

Age: 20 Years

1998
The year I set the weights aside

March 2002 Stats after a 4 year lay-off

Aug. 2002
after 6 months of the weights

Dec. 1, 2002
after 2 months of SR exercise

Jan. 1, 2003

Height

5' 9"

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

Weight

130 lbs.

192 lbs.

210 lbs.

195 lbs.

200 lbs.

198 lbs.

Neck

13 1/2"

16 1/2"

17"

17"

17"

17"

Chest (normal)

36"

47"

45"

47 1/2"

48"

48"

Waist

28"

34"

46"

39"

37 1/2"

37 1/2"

Arms

13"

17 3/4"

15 1/2"

17 5/8"

17 1/2"

17 5/8"

Forearms

10 1/2"

13 3/4"

12 1/4"

13 1/2"

13 1/2"

13 5/8"

Thighs

18"

23"

22 1/4"

23"

23"

23"

Calves

12"

16"

15 1/4"

16"

16"

16 1/8"



Date

These are my stats as of May 1, 2003. Unless there are any significant changes, there's no reason to continue adding to this log, as I am now pretty much at the top of my game. I would like to drop a few more inches from around my waist, though. I'll work on it.

Height

5' 9"

Weight

194 lbs.

Neck

17"

Chest (normal)

48"

Waist

36"

Arms

17 3/4"

Forearms

13 3/4"

Thighs

23"

Calves

16 1/8"




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