02 January 2006

The No Sweat Workout

Get The Body You Want

How do most guys start the new year? With a handful of aspirin and a pair of resolutions: “I’ll never mix Cuervo and gin again” and “This year, I’ll get back in shape.” The result of number two, of course, is the annual six-week health kick.

Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that you’re going to take that resolution seriously this year. Let’s say you’re going to train hard, trim your fat, boost your energy, and add a few hours to your life. Nothing wrong with lofty goals, but let’s be real here: You’re not going to spend 12 hours a week in a skanky gym to achieve them. You’ve got more important things to do, places to go, beer to drink, sleep to sleep.

Which is why I've developed the "Get A Beer Workout", a routine that will give you the body that you want. The "Get A Beer Workout" will do the job because I've chosen exercises that work your muscles efficiently.

The stereo fly: 2 sets (3, 3 reps)
Stand in front of your stereo cabinet, with your feet flat on the floor, eyes straight ahead. Stretch both arms in front of you but be careful not to lock them out. Your arms should be parallel to the floor, palms facing each other. Open the doors wide, so your arms form a 120-degree angle. With left and right hands, adjust treble and bass. Then, with a smooth, controlled motion, close the doors. Take a long, deep breath; try not to overexert yourself. (A pulled pectoral muscle could have you listening to the same CD for six weeks.) Repeat exercise every 45 minutes, or when the CD is done.

12-ounce curl: 6 to 8 sets (15, 10)
Most men don’t store muscle obscuring fat on their arms, which is why the biceps respond well to weight training. The perfect exercise, of course, is the 12-ounce curl (TOC). For one thing, it’s extremely versatile: It can be done standing or sitting, at home or away, bottle or can, domestic or imported. With your arm at a right angle, slowly lift the weight toward your lips. Your arm should be contracted; this will ensure that the target muscle is fully loaded. Maintain that pose for a count of three glugs. Note to beginners: Do not attempt a 16 ounce curl or a pint glass until you’re confident in your form.

Back extender: 1 set (1)
One long, low rep set of back extenders, done religiously every weekend, should get your back in fighting shape. With the TV remote grasped firmly in your dominant hand, lie flat and fully extended on the couch. Your feet may dangle over the arm; you may also slide a pillow under your head. Take a deep breath, and stay there. Shift your position slightly every 20 minutes. Occasionally, you can shout “More Cheetos!” into the other room.

Point shrug superset: 2 sets (14, 14)
The point-shrug superset not only works the entire range of muscle fiber in the shoulder, but efficiently targets the deltoid as well. Sit in front of the TV set, watching your favorite team. When the ref makes a shitty call, lift your arm and point vigorously at the screen. Look straight at the ref, raise your voice slightly, and say, “Are you fuckin’ blind?” and then shrug your shoulders.

The clicker put-down: 4 sets (20, 20, 20, 20)
The key to building defined, lean muscle on your triceps is low-weight, high-rep exercise. Sit in front of the TV, with a pretty good show on. Use the remote control to change the channel to ESPN. With your elbow tucked against your side, put the clicker down on the coffee table. This should be a smooth motion; don’t rely on momentum. When ESPN breaks for a commercial, pick up the clicker, feel the resistance in your arm, and search for Simpsons reruns. Again, put the clicker back down on the table. Repeat every 15 seconds.

The big-snack lunge: 2 sets ( 3, 3)
The quads, hams, and glutes are among the body’s largest muscles. They need serious, undivided attention. The big-snack lunge works all three simultaneously and gives you a cardio pump as well. Stand in front of an open refrigerator. Squat down. Reach in, and with palms facing inward, pull out ingredients to make the biggest sandwich of your life: jars of mustard and mayo, a loaf of bread, roast beef, an onion, tomato, pickles, two kinds of cheese, oil, and vinegar. Cradling all of it in one arm, reach for a knife and plate with the other. Stand up. When the jar of mayo falls toward the floor, lunge quickly—right leg out in front, right arm extended over it and attempt a save.

CouchMaster: 3 sets (10, 8, 6)
Cardio cross-training is all the rage these days. And with good reason: Switching off between exercises keeps your heart pumping, boosts VO2 Max, and prevents the dreaded boredom from setting in. To do the CouchMaster properly, you’ll need equipment: a couch and an EZ chair. To start, sit down on the couch, with your back perfectly slouched, and begin thumbing through the sports pages. Hold the pose for 15 minutes. Without taking a break, move to the chair and pick up the comics page. Read them at a moderate pace, letting your pulse rate return to normal. Repeat the routine. Remember: It’s crucial to cool down and stretch when you’re done with any rigorous exercise. And the CouchMaster is no exception.


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