How fit are you? If you want to live like baby boomers live nowadays, the question’s important … or, more to the point, the answer. That’s why we’re publishing this piece from Philadelphia-area boomer Tim Caso, who has represented the United States in International Olympic Lifting Competition and knows a thing or two about fitness. His advice? Quit “nibbling around the edges.”
A skinny guy doing curls. Another guy wrestling with the cables. Another one grunting on the leg extension machine.
What do all these workouts have in common? They, like most of the things people do in the gym, are a waste of time and energy.
Yes, working small muscles with small weights — or, as I like to call it, Nibbling Around the Edges — will only serve to frustrate you and will never build a strong, fit body.
“Just hold on a second!” you might be thinking, “I just read in Muscle-Head Magazine that Mr. Olympia does all that stuff!” Indeed he may, but he also does the exercises that I will tell you about below. So, unless you have a Mr. America contest coming up, you can throw all those exercises out and get to the real work!
So, just how do you get big and strong … or at least, how to you get in better shape than you are now? Luckily the answer is pretty much the same and like many things in life, it’s easy to understand but hard to do.
You‘re probably thinking, “C’mon, Tim, do you know it or don’t you?“ Of course, I do. The right exercises are those that work multiple, large muscle groups at the same time. These are also known as “compound exercises.” You’ve heard of them all: bench press, squat, leg press, pull ups, dead lift, the military press. All of these exercises work several muscle groups at the same time. That way, they help build symmetry and balance.
Add volume to your workouts, which basically means lots of sets of the right exercises combined with lots of weight, and you can say goodbye to those skinny arms and legs! Pretty straightforward. So, you can put away the preacher-bench curls, tricep extensions, single arm curls, leg extensions, and anything to do with cables.
In addition, once you incorporate the proper exercises and volume into your routine, a magical thing happens: you spend less time in the gym and get better results!