Tag Archives: progression

How To Look Awesome Naked – Part 2 (The Beginner Version)

One of my readers wrote the following in the comments section of my previous post – How To Look Awesome Naked – A Step-By-Step Guide.

Thanks Raj for a great post. I have a question. I am a male, 54, of Indian origin, and have followed the Primal Blueprint eating method for 7 months and have lost 15 kgs. (now 82 kgs at 5′ 10″). However, I have never exercised in my entire life, and I cannot finish one push-up or one pull-up. What do you advice for such people. Can you write a little about that. I think people like me need more detailed guidance than those who can do several pushup’s or pullup’s as you describe as the ‘basic strength” requirements.

It was a legit point that he raised and it is only fair that it gets the attention it deserves. So let’s say you want to look awesome but…

  • you have never exercised in your entire life. You can’t do even a single push-up – Or –
  • you are overweight or unfit. Sprints and snatches just seem impossible right now ‘cos you can’t seem to even run a few hundred meters or do any body weight moves – Or –
  • you’re a senior citizen. You also want to get stronger, live disease free and look better.

What happens to you? Can you never look awesome? Should you just sit on the sidelines and watch? Heck no! Believe it or not, I have been everything I just described, except for being a senior citizen of course, and having been there and done that I can promise you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

While my job is to show you how to make a positive change and motivate you, your job is to…

  • ‘want to’ improve the quality of your life because it all comes down to how badly you want something. Nothing is impossible.
  • stay motivated for as long as it takes because it might be 3 months for some and 3 years for some others. Realize that you have put your body through torture for too many years and it will take its time to heal.
  • not go in search of quick fixes and fall for scams because if something seems like it is too good to be legit, it probably isn’t legit.
  • take dietary and training advice from legit folks because not everyone with a good body is a good trainer. Find a trainer/nutritionist who genuinely cares.

That said, let’s move on to the meat of the post i.e. How To Look Awesome Naked – The Beginner Version

Requirements:

  • You need to be willing to spend a week or two learning the exercises.
  • You need to know what carbs, proteins and fats are. You need to know what foods contain what macronutrients. If you don’t know this then read up. It is basic knowledge.
  • You need to be willing to make some sacrifices (Eg. dropping carbs, giving up getting smashed, giving up soda etc.).
  • You need to be willing to put in some hard work for a reasonable amount of time. Quick fixes don’t work.
  • You need to read and implement the ‘Self-Assessment’, ‘Goal Setting’ and ‘Monitoring Progress’ sections from my previous post (How To Look Awesome Naked – A Step-By-Step Guide)

Before we get into any exercises, sets, reps etc. I would nee you to understand the following.

  • In order to look awesome, you need to add muscle mass to your frame and gaining muscle mass without gaining strength is stupid. So our goal here is to get stronger, build muscle and lose fat.
  • Building muscle without strength/resistance training is impossible. You can do hours and hours of cardio but that will only catabolize existing muscle making you flabby and weak. So a major portion of this program will be resistance training and the harder you work, the better your results.
  • If any exercise for whatever reason makes you hurt, stop immediately and find an alternate exercise. No exercise is worth the risk of injury.
  • You’ve got to lose enough fat to make your muscles visible and that is dictated by what goes into your pie hole. Your fat loss results depend largely on your adherence to the diet.

Step 1: Get your diet in place.

If you’re diet is a wreck, so are you. Do NOT email me about results or progression or plateaus till you get your diet straightened out.

Step 2: Learn the basic moves.

Realize that strength is a skill and the more you often you do a move, the better you get at it. Here are some beginner friendly videos which have exercise progressions. See where you fit and start there. I have clients who have gone from 0 to 10 push-ups in 3-4 weeks. If they can do it, you can do it.

  • Push-up Progression – Video One ; Video Two
  • Pull-up Progression – Video One; Video Two
  • Squat Progression – Video One, Video Two
  • Inverted Row Progression – Video [Thread a rope through your pull-up bar instead of the handles]
  • Videos for other prescribed exercises are linked to the exercises below.

Step 3: Do the program

Note:

– There is no text book method for special populations in general. Why? Because these are “special” populations. So realize that your impediment (be it age or injury or health condition) might stop you from following any particular template and you might have to either do a lot of experimentation and find what works for you, or work with a trainer who knows his/her shit.

– I’ve designed this program with simple exercises to ensure that you get the most benefit while minimizing risk of injury. But remember that it is completely your responsibility to learn each exercise properly and execute it in a way that it benefits you and doesn’t hurt you.

– This is not the only workout program there is and

– While I always recommend doing every move with maximum intensity (unless explicitly mentioned), ‘maximum’ is very relative and varies greatly from person to person. So make it a point to give every rep your best effort and you will be a happy bunny.

– Though I denote exercises using their generic names (chin-up, bench dip, push-up etc.) you need to do the variation you are capable of doing at the recommended rep range (chair assisted chin-up, bent knee bench dip, knee push-up etc.).

– Please be sure to warm-up appropriately before each workout and stretch after each workout.

Monday:

  • Walk or slow bike 60 sec.
  • Run or bike as fast as you can for 15 sec.
  • Repeat this for a total of 10 rounds [Workout time: 13 min]

Tuesday:

  • Do 1 set of max pushups. Note down your number.
  • Rest 1 min.
  • Do 1 set of max chin-ups/pull-ups. Note down your number.
  • Rest 1 min.
  • Bear walk for 30 meters
  • Rest 1 min.
  • Continuous jumping jacks for 1 min.
  • Rest 1 min.
  • Repeat for a total of 3 rounds [Workout time: ~ 20 min]

Note: Once you are able to do 12 reps of an exercise using your current variation move to the next variation and work towards getting 12 reps in that variation and so on. Once you are able to do more than 10 chin-ups you can move on to the workouts listed in How To Look Awesome Naked – A Step-By-Step Guide

Wednesday:

  • Rest. Spend time with family/friends. Eat clean. Eat less. Chill out.

Thursday:

Do the following at moderate intensity i.e. you should be able to talk a clear sentence at point during the workout. The goal here is to not finish it quickly, but to do each rep properly with full range of motion.

Friday:

  • As many push-ups as you can in 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • As many squats as you can in 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • As many inverted rows as you can in 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Repeat for a total of 5 rounds [workout time: 15 min]

Saturday:

  • Do some form of yoga that you are comfortable with. Join a class or just do 20-30 sun salutations.

Or

  • Cover 5k by foot – If you can run it great, if not walk it or walk some and run some. Just complete it.
  • Spend 10-15 min doing some mobility work. Eg. 10 min full body mobility sequence.

Sunday:

  • Rest. Stay active. Go for a little hike. Do some chores around the house. Eat less. Chill out.

Following weeks…

  • Repeat the workouts until you master each variation of each exercise, especially the push-up, pull-up and squat.
  • Feel free to substitute exercises and learn more skills as you progress.
  • Find an activity or sport that excites you and do it once or twice a week for a couple of months. This could be yoga or hiking or squash or swimming or whatever else that interests you.

If you need to make a change towards the good and aren’t sure when, where and how to start your journey, here you have it – A simple and enjoyable way for any beginner, young or old, to go from fat, unfit, old and/or weak to strong, lean, healthy and just plain awesome!

And if you are too fit for such basic stuff, I’m sure you have an overweight friend or an old parent who you’d like to have around for longer. Please share via Facebook, Twitter, E-mail or the million other communication channels that exist.

Intro to pull-ups (Video)

A handful of folks had emailed asking for help with pull-ups and one of my friend suggested I post a quick video talking about the different steps to get to a proper pull-up. Pretty good idea I thought and so here it is.

Couple of things.

  • I use the words chin-up and pull-up interchangeably. Just so we’re clear, chin-ups are done using an underhand grip while pull-ups are done using an overhand grip.
  • This is just an intro. I will post a couple more videos talking which get into detail about rep schemes, loading, different types of pull-ups, progression techniques etc.
  • The quality of the video might not be IMAX 3D but you’re not paying for this. So deal with it.

Peace out.

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