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This Weekend: Walk, Don’t Run


Want to stick to a routine? Our expert says pacing is everything.

So, summer is on the horizon and you still haven't acted on your workout resolution. Or perhaps you're immobilized by an even bigger challenge to starting a new routine: what to focus on. The truth is, it doesn't matter what you do, just do something. If you don't like it, switch. Here, the top excuses--and how to surmount them.

1. "I Get Bored Easily."
Try ClassPass (, which lets you Bikram after breakfast or Soul Cycle for your supper. With flexible membership to various classes in many cities, you can experiment to your heart's content: yoga, pilates, spin, group fitness -- the choice is yours.

2. "I Lack Motivation."

If you're only relying on yourself for the drive, exercise can be hard. Try hiring a personal trainer for six sessions. You don't have to meet
the trainer three times a week. As you get comfortable with the routine, you can reduce training frequency to every other week, or every month.

3. "I Have Discipline, but lack Direction."

Try a class. It's a simple, cost effective way to get into the gym and not have to think so much about what to do.

4. "I'm A Go-It-Alone Kind of Guy."

Fine, but you'll still need a map of what to do. Focus on one or two exercises at first, before progressively adding more. A very simple template to start with: one cardio machine for 15 minutes, followed by two resistance (strength) training movements of three sets of 10 reps (3x10 reps).

For each workout try a different movement. When you feel comfort-able (after three to five weeks), increase the cardio time by five minutes and the weight load for the resistance portion every two weeks. For example:

Weeks 1 & 2

Day 1: Treadmill (cardio) 15 min. + lat pulldown (resistance) 3x10 reps + push-ups (resistance) 3x10 reps

Day 2: Stairmaster (cardio) 15 min. + step-ups (resistance) 3x10 reps + planks (resistance) 3x30 seconds

Day3: Elliptical (cardio) 15 min. + bench press 3x10 reps (resistance) + rows (resistance) 3x10 reps

Weeks 3 & 4

Day1: Treadmill (cardio) 20 min. + lat pulldowns (resistance) 3x10 + push-ups (resistance) 3x10 + lunges (resistance) 3x10

Day2: Stairmaster (cardio) 20 min. increased speed + bike (cardio) + step-ups (resistance) 3x10 + planks (resistance) 3x40 seconds

Day3: Elliptical (cardio) 20 min + bench press (resistance) 3x12 + rows (resistance) 3x12 + squats (resistance) 3x12

Chris Matsui is a New York City-based performance trainer.

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