Saturday, September 22, 2012
Muscularity, strength feed off regularity

By tony Wagner Citizen Columnist

Dear Mr. Fitness:

I'm a 36-year-old male who likes to lift weights. I've been lifting now for at least 10 years. I travel a great deal in my job as an area director. This involves a five-state area. I work out hard for two to three weeks in a row and then have to be out of town for one or two weeks.

Most of the time when I'm out of town I don't exercise, but when I'm home I go at it -- I believe very hard. I do chest and shoulders together, then back and biceps, then legs by themselves. It seems to work all right but I feel I'm not making any more progress. By that I mean I'm not becoming any stronger or more defined.

Should I change my routine or try a supplement or try to intensify what I'm already doing or what?

-- Losing it

Dear Losing it:

This is what I would do. Don't try any newfangled supplement. Don't change your weightlifting routine. Well, perhaps add triceps to the mix; currently, you don't appear to be working them out. And finally, forget the intensity angle, at least for now.

My advice is to try and become very regular with your weightlifting routine. I would implore you to not miss any workouts. That's right, Mr. Area Director, blow off your job and just stick with the weights, baby! Who needs money, power and fame? The weights will always be there for you. (OK, only kidding!)

You do need to remain committed to a regular exercise schedule, though, to maximize the benefits of exercise. This is especially true for those wanting to become stronger or more muscular. Muscularity and strength feed off regularity. What happens when we become too busy with life is we drop our exercise programs post haste.

Some people I know figure that if they don't have the full hour-and-a-half to exercise, then it won't be worth it to train at all. Perhaps you are guilty of this, too?

What you ought to do when time becomes a problem is to go ahead with an abbreviated version of your routine. Many times I have a 15- to 20-minute window of time between clients and stick a quick workout in.

Try to always do your routine in the correct order. In other words, if Tuesday is always your back and biceps day but it is now Thursday, normally a leg day, forget doing legs and finish off the back and biceps. Got that?

Say you're cruising along with your normal routine. You did chest and shoulders on Monday. Now it's Tuesday, a scheduled back-and-biceps day, but the clowns at the office have called you in to work on Tuesday and Wednesday. You can work out again on Thursday, a day that you reserve for legs. Forget the legs and stay with your routine and do the back and biceps. Even if it means you can only work out for 15 minutes on back and biceps. Stay regular. Up the weight and shorten the time.

Do not miss a workout. Even if you can't devote a full-bore, hammering type of workout because of time constraints, you will get more out of it by remaining consistent.

That's the word. Consistency. That's the name of the game.

Month after month, year after year, keep at it. I have personally witnessed more people derive benefit from training consistently, even though you might not call those training sessions exemplary. They were always able to do at least something. Sure, they could have done the exercises better, but being able to consistently do something will bear more fruit for you in the long run.

So go forth and bear some fruit!

-- Mr. Fitness

Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and former professional bodybuilder, he opened the first personal training studio way back in 1985. Contact him at:, or Facebook us, and stop by Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-292-2930.