EXERCISE PROGRAMS

Workout Routines for Men

By Katharine Paljug @kpaljug
 | 
August 02, 2017

Workout routines for men can help you lose weight, build muscle, and protect against heart disease. Here’s a quick breakdown of workout routines for men.

How you structure your workout routine will depend on your goals. Depending on the type of exercise you do, you can promote weight loss, build muscle, and keep your heart healthy.

 

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Weight-loss workout routines for men

If you want to lose weight, you will need to create a workout routine that involves aerobic exercise. This type of exercise helps you use up calories, including both the ones you eat as food and the ones your body has stored as fat. A study published in the journal Obesity found that, for 141 overweight and obese patients, regular aerobic exercise five days a week contributed to weight loss over the course of 10 months.

Aerobic exercise, which raises your heart rate and breathing rate, includes swimming, jogging, playing sports, cycling, and vigorous walking. In creating your exercise routine, you could either pick one type of activity that you do throughout the week, or alternate two or three types of exercise, such as swimming twice a week and riding a bike three days a week.

It’s important to remember that while a workout routine can contribute to weight loss, it is far more effective when coupled with healthy eating and portion control. If you are trying to lose weight, talk to your doctor about how to do so safely.

Muscle-building workout routines for men

To build muscle, you will need to create a workout routine that include resistance, or strength, training. Studies have found that this type of exercise builds muscle and burns fat through repeated contractions. Resistance training can include free weights and exercise machines. You can also do resistance training against your own body weight with exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, rock climbing, squats, lunges, and tricep dips.

If you are new to resistance training, it is important to protect your muscles and your health by starting with fewer repetitions and a smaller amount of weight. You will also need to give yourself recovery days after working out, since exercise creates small tears in your muscles that need time to heal. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that after high-intensity strength training, it can take up to six days for muscles to recover.

While most workouts won’t be intense enough to need this much recovery time, it is still important to give your muscles a break. Try creating a routine where you work different muscles groups on different days, such as exercising your upper body one day, your abdominal muscles a day later, and your lower body two days after that.

Once you have adjusted your body to resistance training, you can change the intensity and number of repetitions of each exercise, depending on the type of muscle you want to build. To build lean muscle, do more repetitions at a lower weight or intensity. Studies have found that high-intensity exercises done for fewer repetitions will help you build bulkier muscle.

Heart-healthy workout routines for men

Keeping your heart healthy is an important reason for men to exercise. In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men, contributing to one out of every four male deaths per year.

Luckily, men who develop a workout routine can keep their hearts healthy and lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, one study found that men who were physically active lowered their risk of death due to heart disease by nearly 50 percent.

Any form of exercise is better than none, but some forms of exercise will help improve your heart health more directly than others. Aerobic exercise improves your lung and heart function and is the best choice for men looking to develop a heart-healthy workout routine.

A study published in Sports Medicine found that, to reduce your risk of coronary artery disease, you should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four to five times per week. To do this, you could choose a single activity that you do multiple times a week, such as walking or cycling, or alternate different activities on different days of the week.

A particular form of aerobic exercise that could help your heart is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This type of exercise involves alternating stretches of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, during which you sweat but could still hold a conversation, with short bursts of high-intensity exercise.

HIIT workout routines could include swimming two laps at a gentle pace followed by swimming a length as fast as possible, or three minutes of walking alternating with one minute of sprinting. A separate study published in Sports Medicine found that this type of exercise improves blood flow and heart function, making you less likely to develop heart disease.

 

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Updated:  

August 02, 2017

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN