Certified personal trainers have the education and experience to develop workout plans but, as the American Council on Exercise (1) says they could charge $40, $100, even $200 per hour, hiring one may not be in the budget. Alternatively, the Internet and the library are useful resources for men to find free workouts. Whether you need to focus on a problem area or want to train like a superhero, free access to the workouts is more than affordable.
ACE Your Workout
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) website (3) has an entire workout library that anyone with an Internet connection can access. It offers a variety of programs from quick workouts to at-home exercise plans. Most of the workouts can be done by men or women but, because of the muscle groups targeted, some tend to be developed for men such as the Chest and Back Workout. (4) Incorporating dumbbell, body weight, and resistance bands exercises with some warm-up and cool-down moves, the workout itself consists of:
• Push-ups • Lat pulldowns • Dumbbell incline presses • Seated rows • Lying dumbbell flys • Hip hinges
ACE recommends doing two to three sets of six to 12 reps of each exercise.
Get In Superhero Shape
When actors play muscular superheroes, they typically hire personal trainers to help them get into superhero shape. Stack's (5) free advice is to use a superset workout to build a Superman physique. In supersets, four or five sets of two or three exercises each are done back to back with no rest in between sets. Using one of the examples Stack gives, you would perform 20 skater jumps then immediately do eight chest dips. Do four sets of those two exercises four times before moving on to alternating 10 deadlifts with 10 seated rows four times. The other two sets consist of 24 walking lunges with 12 dumbbell shrugs, and 15 ab roll-outs, 30 landmine rotations and 100 mountain climbers. Remember to run through each superset four times before moving to the next one.
Sometimes one part of your body persistently holds onto excess fat or stubbornly resists your muscle sculpting efforts. Noting that the midsection tends to be a problem area for men, Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Former Navy SEAL Stew Smith devised a workout for Military.com (6) to help men whittle down their cores. Smith points out that 20 to 45 minutes of aerobic activity four to five times a week plus core-specific exercises will help burn off fat. The exercises he recommends for sculpting your core are done in sets of 10 to 20 reps each and include pushups, crunches and reverse crunches, hanging knee-ups, lunges and hip rollers. Split the exercises up if you want to work your abs on consecutive days. Alternatively, if you want to do them all on the same day, allow 48 hours for your abs to recover before you do another core workout.
Power Up Your Strength
Power training is a technique that improves speed as well as strength, according to Harvard Health. (6) Strength and conditioning coach Robert dos Remedios found power training to be so effective he wrote an entire book on it. "Men's Health Power Training" (2) can be checked out of most libraries, but is also accessible on the Internet. It outlines a variety of workouts including two, three, and four-day routines that men can build for themselves from a comprehensive menu of exercises. An example full-body workout for a two-day routine could include:
• Squat jumps • Front squats • Single leg good mornings • Bench presses • Bent over alternating dumbbell rows • Shoulder presses • Side-to-side pull ups • Cable rotating crunches
Do three to five sets of eight to 15 reps of each exercise. Take minimal rest between sets to promote fatigue, but be sure that you recover enough between sets to maintain proper form.