Modern Macho: The Modern Macho Fitness Challenge

Feature photo by Gabriel Porras

It’s human nature to slow down a bit during these cold winter months and become generally less active. It’s just easier to barricade yourself under blankets, eat comfort food, and do nothing until the coldness goes away. It’s the caveman within us. I said before that the most fashionable thing a man can have is his own personal health. This means keeping fit, even during the bitter embrace of father winter.

Keeping health is utterly important, even if you don’t consider yourself a “fitness freak” or a “gym rat,” especially considering the rates of heart disease and diabetes which seem to be on the rise among Hispanics.  It is an epidemic which is related to a number of factors including eating too much delicious food, sitting around being a couch potato, or even just being Mexican.  According to a 2009 CDC study, 73% of Mexican American Women are obese, Hispanics are generally 1.4 times more likely to be overweight, . Now pair that with general winter sluggishness and you have the perfect formula for an unhappy fat person in the spring time.  The more you gain, the harder it becomes to lose.  Don’t let fad diets trick you, there are only two sure fire ways to lose weight and only one that is the healthy approach. The first is starve yourself which, Modern Macho, and Claudio Alberto Cortes DO NOT CONDONE OR ADVOCATE.  The second is just  Good old fashioned Exercise and not eating like shit.

All of that being said, I am challenging all of you to the Modern Macho winter fitness challenge. It’s relatively simple and if done right, it will stick. Results vary and will not be instant, as there are no quick fixes to anything in life. Anyone promising that is obviously full of shit and probably trying to sell you something.  The following Modern Macho Work Out / Fitness Plan is solely based on my personal results. I am in no way claiming to be an expert.

What you will need:

  1. Access to workout equipment including cardio
  2. A Camera
  3. An Hour of your time 3 times a week

Step 1. Take your shirt off, relax and take a picture of what you see.  Save this image and put it somewhere that you can see on a daily basis like your bathroom mirror. Facebook is also an interesting place to post this image as it will motivate you by calling yourself out publicly. Visibility is key. You can post your initial images on the Gozamos facebook wall if you would like.

Step 2.  Go to your workout equipment, see what you have available to yourself and set up a plan.

Step 3. Stop eating like shit and begin your workout. Eating like shit includes, over eating, not eating three balanced meals a day, including too many sugars in your diet. Cutting soda out from your regular consumption does a world of difference as does replacing snack food with fruits or veggies. The key to the food element here is not to over do it on any given meal. Eat until you feel good, not until you are uncomfortable or stuffed.

The Following is my routine. Feel free to use it or adjust it to your individual goals:*note my routine is Ab and arm intense as I would like a nice William Levy figure.

  1. 15 minutes of intense cardio on a stationary bike set to the highest setting. I do this because it serves as decent cardio and works out the legs. On average I keep it to 115 RPMs, which at the end of the workout turns out to be about 5 miles
  2. Grab a bench and free weights that you find comfortable. I use 45 lbs. Lay belly up on the bench, pick up your weights and proceed to lift them from your shoulder to the ceiling, extending your arms. This works out your chest . Do three sets of ten. This is interchangeable with a chest press machine.
  3. Find a comfortable place like a yoga mat or gym mat. We now move on to what we used to refer to in gymnastics as Lemon Squeezes. Lay perfectly flat on your back, balance yourself on your posterior and bring your knees to your chest. When this movement is completed, bring your legs and back down. Don’t let your legs touch the ground. 3 sets of 20 with a breather in between sets
  4. Grab your free weights, and or curling bar. Adjust to whichever weight you find comfortable. I personally use 70lbs. Proceed to do a simple, slow curl from your hips to your collar bone 10 times. After the first two sets, get a smaller weight for the third set (50lbs) and an even smaller weight for the final set (20lbs).
  5. Find your pull-up bar and grip it so that your hands are parallel to your shoulders, Lift your legs so that your body is in a wide V shape. An L will suffice if you can’t lift your legs any higher. 3 sets of 10
  6. Grab your free weights and or curling bar. Adjust the weight to whatever you are comfortable with. Lift the weight above your head and bring it down behind your head.  Be very careful with this so that you don’t bonk yourself on the head. 3 sets of 10
  7. Tired yet?
  8. Back workout: I personally use a back press machine where you sit down and push backwards against a weighted bar. This works the lower back and glutes (3 sets of 10)
  9. Go to your weighted sit up machine and do three sets of twenty. If you don’t have one or access to one grab a weight and do sit-ups with it as you hold it to your chest. (3 sets of 20)
  10. Grab your free weights and or curling bar again and adjust it to a comfortable weight for yourself put it on the floor in front of you Pick it/them up as if you were pulling something. Use only your arms, as if you were pulling a bag towards the top of your collar bones (3 sets of 10).
  11. Hit the showers
  12. Repeat two more times in that week, but the very next day you need to let your body rest.