OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It's “Men's Health Month,” and today we're talking about fitness.
As we get a little older it can be pretty hard finding time to get into the gym. WMAR-2 News' Skyler Henry went out to Owings Mills with his trainer to learn a few tips even beginners can use to get back into shape.
Just about every day, Courtney Lee can be found running, jumping, and lifting his clients to reach their greatest fitness potential.
“I want to introduce everybody to fitness. So when I meet someone that tells me their body goals, the first thing I tell them is I want to motivate you first,” Lee said. “I want to make you fall in love with the gym and make you fall in love with fitness.”
Lee is behind the growing popular brand Gett Right Fitness — his tutorials, workouts, and classes have changed bodies for years — including Henry's.
“I started from not knowing how to do a pull up, to now I can do 40 pull ups,” Lee said. “It's a process. It took some time to get here.”
For some people getting into the gym isn't always the easiest, that's why Lee says you can get “right” in your own home with simple workouts using affordable equipment.
Lee and Henry utilized a few basic tools for their introductory workouts: a mat and a couple of dumbbells. They went through a routine of exercises meant for men who may not have hit the gym in a while.
Before they pick up the weights, though, they get in some ‘old-school’ cardio – jumping jacks.
“It's one of my favorite workouts because it gets the heart rate up high,” Lee said. “It gets the body moving. It's like a full body workout. So we're going to start with regular jumping jacks, and we're going to break it down into 25 reps.”
Lee stresses the importance of cardio for heart health – after all, the full term is “cardiovascular.”
“It’s great to get everything going,” Lee said. “I always tell people it's like warming up a car. If we're doing this for people that's between 30 and 65 years old, we've got to warm our car up, and we've got to warm our bodies up. It's important even if you do 15 minutes before your workout.”
From there, it’s on to more strenuous cardio that adds a little strength and endurance - burpees.
“This is one of my favorite workouts that I put together,” Lee said. “It's a modified version of a burpee. Not everybody has the ability to jump up and hit the floor real hard, so today Skyler is going to demonstrate a great way to do a burpee. Especially if you're a person who's just getting in to it, you're just coming the gym. It builds your strength; it builds your confidence up to be able to do a regular burpee.”
With a focus on warming up and getting going, Lee stresses not to overlook the importance of what you put into your body in determining what you get out of it. Nutrition is key.
“I always tell individuals when you come in the gym, the workout part is the fun, but the diet is 80 percent of everything, and the training is 20 percent,” Lee said. “To see results, you have to diet. Whether you're a pescatarian or a vegetarian, you have to have a great diet plan, a great meal plan to stick to. Consistency wins with the diet.”
Lee has particular food recommendations that will provide fuel for a workout. He focuses on clean proteins like grilled chicken, egg whites, and salmon. Vegetables like asparagus are favorites. Don’t be scared of fat, but make sure it’s healthy fat. Be wary of seasoning and watch how much sodium you consume, which holds body fat high, Lee said.
On to workout number three, called an inchworm.
“Now I'll have you step back,” Lee said of the new exercise. “You're going to open your legs up to about shoulder length. You're going to bend over and touch the floor. Now I want you to walk out with your hands as far as you can go. Stop right there, and if you can give me one slight push up, the best push up you can, and come back up with your hands. Now if you can't do the pushup, don't worry about the pushup, just start with a regular walk out with your hands.”
Next, perform a standing crunch. Place one elbow behind your head and gently touch it. Take the opposite foot and try your best to touch that knee with that elbow.
“I go by sets according to how you feel after your first set,” Lee said of his approach to gauging the number of repetitions for each exercise. “Now if you feel like you can do three sets of these, then go for it, three sets of ten. Sets are important — taking small breaks between 20 and 30 seconds between each set and just staying with it.”
Lastly, perform a chest press. These can be done on a bench or on the floor.
“What we're going to do here is called chest presses. We have the mat; we have a set of weighted dumbbells, about 25 pounds, and what we're going to do is target the chest because fellas, who doesn't want to look good in those shirts?”
And if you really want to push yourself at the end, “burn out,” with push ups. Lee utilized a particularly challenging form to push Henry at the end of his workout.
“What we're going to do is do some unbalanced pushups,” Lee said. “Now this is great to once again build that chest and arm workout.”
At the end of the session, Henry was gassed but felt a complete workout was achieved.
If you want more on men's health month visit our website WMAR-2News.com.