Last month we introduced our readers to Dr. Greuner, a cardiovascular surgeon who has a passion for fitness. The response was so great, we thought that he should have a column to share various elements of fitness to get to where we want to be. This month we're focused on
kickstarting our workouts and are taking our lead from Dr. G!
ATHLEISURE MAG: With the notion of summer bodies being made in the winter, what should a work out week look like for men vs women to get great arms, legs, abs and butts?
DR.GREUNER: I’ve always stressed that there are two separate components to the look most of us want to achieve, and they should be targeted in two different ways. For toning and shaping, strength exercises are crucial. To put that hard earned, toned, and shapely muscle front and center for the summer's revealing ensembles, diet is absolutely crucial to lose any fat that might overshadow what lies beneath. To lose the weight, simple arithmetic is all it takes. You must eat less calories than you burn. A simple BMR calculator, or devices such as a FitBit are crucial to estimating what you burn daily, and I use these routinely. The mistake we see sabotaging diets most often, however, is an underestimation of the caloric count of foods. Things like sauces, dressings, and alcohol can foil an otherwise valiant effort at weight loss, and that is why I recommend on diet days, that you prep your own meals, so you have a firm grip on it.
When it comes to shaping, compound movements are not just the most efficacious in building muscle, but also in terms of improving function. For arms, dumbbell or barbell bicep curls are one of my favorites. Simple to perform, and work very well. I typically do 6 sets of 10, or to failure with strict form. For triceps, my faithful move is the French press, 6 sets of 10. It’s an easy exercise to do well, and form fails minimally with fatiguing muscles.
For legs, NOTHING beats the old-fashioned squat. 4 sets of 10. I typically follow that with 4 sets of weighted lunges 10 reps, each side. Trust me, simple but effective. This works well for your butt, as It is a direct extension functionally of your legs.
For abs, I work this muscle group 2-3 times a week, as opposed to most others once weekly. This is because your abs have a higher percentage of fast twitch, or endurance fibers, and recover quickly, but typically don’t require as much training as the other muscle groups at each
session. They are constantly under tension stabilizing your body. For advanced athletes, I recommend 6 sets of hanging leg raises, 10 reps, but this is a very difficult move to do correctly. For those of you that are newer to this, I typically recommend 4 sets of incline leg raises, followed by 4 sets of crunches, each for 10 reps. Simple and strict is the key to isolating these muscle groups.
Remember, If it isn’t uncomfortable, you aren’t stimulating the muscle to change. Get out of your comfort zone, you will thank me for it later.
AM: For those that may have slipped into not working out during the holiday season, how can they get back into putting this into their routine?
DR G: The easiest solution is to grab a partner. That is a quick way to ensure that you have an obligation to meet your schedule, or hear about it later. Other incentives include signing up for
work incentives, or competing with fellow employees if your job has a plan. In my company, we use Fitness Amigo, and award rewards to those that “win” their fitness goals.
Lastly, make a mental, or physical picture of what you want to obtain, and make sure you see it constantly to drive you. Other options include, entering a competition that mandates you get in
shape, or a self-awarded reward once you hit your goal.
My workouts change from mostly outdoor in the summer to mostly indoor in the winter. I take part in activities such as martial arts and group classes. I'll present some of my favorites in a future article, but some classes that provide a competitive environment, such as Flywheel that allows you to compete with you classmates, is always an impetus for me to push harder.
AM: For those who like working out outdoors who don't enjoy doing it in the cold, what would you suggest for workouts?
DR. G: Winter is the time I pick to explore new classes, and activities, and even pick up a new sport. I'll go into detail about these in a later story, including my pros and cons about each, but briefly some of my choices this year included:
1. Boxing and martial arts, including classes such as Rumble, Work Train Fight, Dogpound, and others, as well as true sparring one on one with some of the most talented coaches in NYC. Be
careful, it’s addictive!
2. I’m an avid cyclist in the summer months, so spinning classes are a mandatory part of my arsenal. In general, I prefer Flywheel given the objective power data they provide and the ability to compete with classmates.
3. Circuit training with weights, which is a constant part of my regimen.
4. Boot Camps such as Barry’s Bootcamp, one of my favorites.
5. Flexibility work such as Pilates, yoga, and capoeira.
6. Climbing walls are a great way to simulate the outdoors.
7. Other typically outdoor sports such as parkour are now omnipresent in NYC.
AM: How beneficial is a couple or buddy workout and how do you stay on track with this as it can also have distracting effects?
DR. G: Its crucial for me that my partner is as fitness inclined as I am, or its unlikely to work. Sports occupy so many categories of benefit in my life, from psychological, to meditative, to performance, that it’s absolutely mandatory for my overall well-being, and having a partner that is so inclined can be one of your best motivators to staying healthy. Everything is easier when your best friend is there beside you! At the same time, distraction can be an issue if one of you is self-conscious or less motivated. You can see this two ways…a chance to coach each other to be better, or as a roadblock. Decide early, and act accordingly.
AM: How long do you feel it should take to start seeing results and how do you think you should go about tracking these areas for proper motivation?
DR G: Although it may sound terrible, often the heavier you are, the longer it takes to see visible results as the layer of fat on top of muscle is thicker. Talk about an incentive to stay lean! Although you won’t see the results immediately, you will lose weight and increase function quickly, typically within a month if you put a significant effort in. The leaner you are able to stay, the less time it takes to see distinct results as the layer of fat covering your muscle is much thinner and disappears with less effort. The take home message? Keep lean, allow some discrepancies here and there, but make your hard work last with lifestyle changes that make the task less and less daunting with each coming year. It’s absolutely possible to enjoy your life, and still look great. Moderation is the key. I look forward to giving more guidance about doing just that in future articles!
We're excited for upcoming articles that Dr. Greuner will share with our readers at Athleisure Mag, and are looking forward to his future contributions! Make sure to follow him on IG @Doctor.DavidGreuner to see what he's up to and where he's working out.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Dr. Greuner