I'm 38 years old right now, and I've started exercising at 34. As a full-time engineer (and father) I do not have the time to be 3 to 4 hours at the gym. So, those routines that includes cardio and weight lifting are out of my possibilities. That does not mean I can not train and improve my overall physics and health.
I'm writing here some tips for those who would like to workout. For those who think that there is not enough time to work properly and achieve results.
This is not a real guide to be followed step-by-step. It is more a simple guide, so you know you can, and how can you start working out.
The most important part about body building is nutrition, it does not matter if you are just trying to stay healthy or you want to be ready for Mr. Olympia. You need to take care of what you eat.
I'm not going to recommend any specific diet here, but you need to eat healthy, try to avoid bad fats (animal fat), and cholesterol, try to avoid refined sugars, and try to balance your diet to get enough healthy fats, good carbs and a lots of protein.
The only diet I have tried myself seriously is Atkins. I have to say that is not that difficult to follow, and the results are great, but it is not for everyone.
One important thing to have in mind is: Find something you can follow, something that will not modify too much your life. I mean, If you do not eat at home, or do not have access to a big variety of restaurants, or some are out of your budget, find something that fits your possibilities and stick to it.
Google is your friend in this case. You can search for some good options, but really, really, eat healthy, otherwise all the effort is in vain.
Your job, your family and all other kind of obligations, even your social life, will let you with very few time to go jogging everyday, be able to lift weights and have your job done on time.
I've been jogging one hour every saturday and sunday, is not the best, but it is better than doing nothing. You hearth will thank you that. If you can include your family, maybe you can get the bikes and spent two hours with your children.
The best routing for the busy person is full-body routing, any split-routine will need you to stick more strictly to a plan in order to train all muscle sets.
With full-body routines, you only need to hit the iron three times a week, and the schedule is not that strict. Try to visit the gym at the very least twice a week in your busiest weeks, and three times per week every time you can.
There are a lot of full-body routines in the internet, but this is the one I follow and really works for me:
- Legs (Squats)
- Pecs (Bench presses)
- Back (Nothing better than chin ups)
- Shoulders (Military presses)
When I have time, I also include something for triceps, lower back, biceps and abs, and I try to change the exercises from time to time, i.e. instead of squats, leg press, instead of chin ups, I also try barbell bend over row. Just try to pick compound exercises.
I've started with the most used routine: Chest/triceps, back/biceps, shoulders/legs. Six days per week, but it is hard to stick to that plan, so I switched to full body routines. I must say I have seen a lot of improvements.
I've gained both weight and my back, chest and arms are now a lot bigger than when I started four years ago.
It is very important for your overall health that you stay strong. Strong core and back will lower the possibilities of back pain when you get older. Strong abs will limit the possibilities of hernias. Strong arms and legs are always useful. Cardio is great keeping cholesterol at safe levels, as well as keeping your hearth strong and healthy.
Eating healthy (even if you are not a slave of your diet) will improve your overall health a lot, and together with exercise will improve your look and self esteem a lot, thus improving your changes to succeed in your profession.
So, if you are 8 or more hours a day in front of a computer, try to do yourself a favor and spend 5 to 6 hours in the gym every week. This will improve your health and all your life.
Hope this may help someone, I usually write about Linux or Mac, or anything "tech", just to return a little to the community about what I've learned. This time I wanted to do the same to the diet and fitness community out there, from whom I've learned a lot too. Actually I hope this may also reach the "geek" community.