SCULPTING THROUGH SUMMER
Instead of protein shakes and too-heavy weights, experts show how men can achieve their best body with a well-rounded workout, proper technique and a healthy diet.
Sebastien Lagree, creator of the celebrity-loved, Pilates-cardio-strength-building hybrid workout machine, the Megaformer, as well as founder of Lagree Fitness in Los Angeles and the Valley’s The Body Lab, says that men and women should focus on the same key elements of exercise: cardiovascular workout, endurance, core-strengthening, flexibility and maintaining a mind-body connection. He says men can plateau and not reach their natural potential by ignoring these vital rudiments. Men must also practice correct form, says Jeremy Scott, CEO of Scottsdale-based Jeremy Scott Fitness, as well as check their ego at the door. “Nobody cares how much weight you can lift,” says Scott, who suggests focusing on doing each exercise properly rather than lifting unrealistic amounts of weight. Exercising your entire body correctly will strengthen joints and muscles together. “Your body is like the Golden Gate Bridge,” Lagree says. “Everyone notices the giant red structure and overlooks all of the cables that support it. Men try to build the bridge without adding those cables, and the bridge eventually collapses.”
Before exercising, fuel your body with carbohydrates, which will provide strong bursts of energy throughout your workout. To get the most out of an exercise regime, keep track of the duration of the exercise rather than counting repetitions. By planning a workout and setting goals, you can see faster results with less work. Working out at a balanced intensity and length of time is better for your body, especially with strengthened core muscles. Maximize your efforts at the gym by combining resistance and weight training with interval training and cardio, says Scott and David Dreas, personal trainer and managing member at Jeremy Scott Fitness. Though it is women who generally focus more on aerobic exercise, it is an important component for anyone who wants to lose fat and get in shape.
Many men believe that high-calorie post-workout shakes build muscle, but a light, protein-packed snack will do. According to Lagree, a simple water-and-protein powder mix after exercising will help you recuperate and allow your body to release the testosterone it needs to build muscle.
Dreas says that nutrition is equally as important to a fitness routine and stresses the importance of consuming organic and less-processed diets. Drinking water throughout the day will also keep you full and focused as it is also one of the most efficient fat-burners in itself. By eating healthier, men are less likely to overindulge, despite the common misconception that eating more leads to building more muscle mass. It’s imperative, especially for aging men, to monitor alcohol consumption and evening eating habits. Those extra calories are not often burned during workouts and may stunt progress.