Do you need a workout plan?

I got interested in working out in college, I admit my reasoning was to help get the ladies =P  At the time I went with my buddies, one of whom was HUGE.  I did the same workout as my huge friend (of course with less weight) and it felt great that day!  But not so much the next…

I realized that I might have overdid it a bit, following the workout of someone who had been working out for years… I made this brilliant deduction after I couldn’t move for 3 days post workout =/ (Can you say DOMS?)

So I looked for something more beginner DOMSlevel.  I couldn’t find anything so my buddy just had me concentrate on a few exercises every time I went.  I got pretty good results and became the thinnest I had ever been in my life!  I got down to 170lb (I’m 5’9) and was quite happy with how I looked.

Fast forward 15 years.

Unfortunately I did not keep up with going to the gym.  In college it was free!  and right there on campus.  After college it cost money and I wasted a lot of time getting to and from the gym, so I ended up not going.

blah_blah_blahI gained over 30 pounds and felt, not horrible, just blah most days.  Once the jeans started not to fit quite right anymore I decided enough was enough, I had to get back into shape.  So the first step was to build a home gym.

Then looking back to my college days, I realized I was really haphazard about exercise.  I attribute my gains at the time to be 60% due to youth and 40% to exercise.  I decided to research into having a better plan than just “I think it’ll be arms today”…

So what did I decide to do?

First I set some goals, after some reflection, I decided my goals would be to

  1. Look good
  2. Don’t get hurt

Those would be my top two priorities.  One because I still want to look good for the ladies!  Well, lady in my case now (the wife).  Two because I’m not as young as I used to be and I find that I don’t bounce back like I remember…

So how do I look good?

davidI didn’t want to go the surgery route, so that left building my body back up!  Looking at things like classical Greek and Roman sculpture as well as the Hollywood actors the ladies drool over, I came to the conclusion that there definitely is a proportion that people find attractive.  So I looked into the studies done about this.

There have been numerous studies about body proportion and how it affects perceived attractiveness for both men and women.  For men the studies indicate that the breast, waist and hip ratios have the most impact on attractiveness across cultures.  Scientists believe this is because that ratio is a sign of fertility.

I wasn’t interested in the studies about what men found attractive, as a guy I could guess.  I was only interested in what women found attractive about male bodies.

What were the my final findings?

The studies found that there is a ratio that almost all woman found attractive in guys.  This ratio is usually called the golden ratio and has been noted for centuries.  This ratio is 1.6 and would be measured in how wide your shoulders are, compared to how wide your waist is.

This means if your shoulders are just over 1/2 as wide as your waist, this would be what the chris_hemsworthmajority of women found attractive.  Too wide or too narrow would be as bad!

This was great!  This meant I have a goal to shoot for!  But how was I going to get there?  Just work out my shoulders and diet to get thinner?

While that is a viable strategy, I uncovered some other workout plans that revolve around getting you to this ratio as quickly as possible.  The most useful ones I’ve found are

Currently Adonis Golden Ratio is my main workout plan which I stay on for 6 months every year.  The other 6 months rotate between Old School New Body and Visual Impact.

Other useful information

Other online resources that I like to use are

Mike Chang – He has a great workout program called six pack shortcuts.  It’s a combination of quick workouts along with diet to get rid of fat fast.  Muscle building to come later, the main focus is to lose the gut then concentrate more on building.

Greg O’Gallagher – His site has lots of great information and he advocates another approach to working out.  Keep in mind he is in his early 20s, so if you are younger or are more advanced, his workouts may work very well for you.