If you want to get into semi-decent shape in time for summer, you’ll need to get off the couch now. Yes, right now. Winter is the time to build your best beach body. And that means moving your ass, cleaning up your diet and getting ripped. We get it, taking those first steps towards a healthier lifestyle can be the hardest. And staying consistent is key. But you can start by coming out of hibernation and coming up with a manageable fitness plan. We asked Marc Arnberg, Owner of F45 Training in Dix Hills, New York to set us up. Marc says, “Don't look at a traditional scale as your only guide to health and fitness. Everyone likes to step on the scale and see the number shrink. However, the more important change to notice is how you look and feel. A truly efficient training program includes losses and gains. You will lose fat, and you will gain muscle.” Let’s make gains!
Do you have any advice for someone just getting back to the gym?
The first step is the hardest. Choose something that looks interesting and just jump! Ease your way into the workout...don't try to be awesome on day 1, just be. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Commit to the change in lifestyle. The first step is hard, but it's the second and third that are even more difficult. You WILL be sore; you WILL want to stop or take extra time to recover. DON'T! If you need to recover or feel too sore, just go easy but still go!
Which muscle groups should you work on to see quick results?
The pace of your results will come based on your body's needs. If you want to know what muscle group to work on first, it's your mouth! Address your eating habits, meet with a professional and make the change. In addition to your eating habits, make sure you have a balance between strength and cardio workouts. You want to cut fat and gain muscle it's not all about the losses.
About how many times a week and for how long should you be hitting the gym to change your body?
3-5 times per week is great, 45 minutes is optimal. In addition to the work, you must allow for recovery.
Is there a standard number of calories guys should eat if they’re trying to build muscle and get bigger?
There is no standard, but if you want to build muscle, you need to have a caloric and protein surplus. Every body is different and so are it's needs. I would definitely advise meeting with a professional to discuss. I am happy to refer anyone to my top choices.
What is the best way for a guy to eat and exercise if he's hoping to get leaner?
Balanced strength and cardio workouts are necessary for this. When lifting, choose a weight that is challenging, but you can do for the duration of your interval or reps. Then increase the weight. Getting lean also requires a caloric and lean protein surplus. However, I would always advise meeting with a nutritionist for a more comprehensive plan.
What is the number one thing you see guys doing wrong while working out?
Form is the biggest issue. Guys want to lift heavy weights, and that's great. However, NEVER compromise your form to go heavier. The weights will increase as you get stronger, just put in the time to get there.
What is your favorite exercise and why?
Sorry, but I have two. Burpees and Pull-ups. Burpees are an incredible full-body cardio exercise. You hit your entire body with this one move. Pull-ups are one of the complete full body weight exercises for strength (and the most challenging). I insist on strict pull-ups (no swinging or kipping), you are hitting your back, lats, biceps, and forearms. These are both extremely functional exercises, and your body will be happy in the long run (maybe not so happy in the moment)