Armand Tecco’s Evaluation and Plan for Leigh. Part 2

Cardiovascular Exercise
In light of your joint problems, I am recommending that you stick to a treadmill-walking program for your cardiovascular activity. Although you say you can realistically devote only three days per week to exercise, I would like to see you increase that to four or five days if possible.
Amount and intensity — Each exercise session should last 30 minutes at an intensity level that elevates your heart rate to between 120 and 150 beats per minute. Your goal will be to increase the duration to 45 minutes.

Strengthening and Toning
An important part of your program is the strengthening and toning section. By performing resistance exercises on a regular basis, you will see significant adaptations such as toning and firming of your muscles, a stronger body, and a revved up metabolism. You mentioned wanting to reduce the size of your upper arms. Women tend to store excess fat in this area. As you lose body fat through exercise and better eating, you should see a size reduction in your arms. Resistance exercises will help firm and tone the area.

Perform the following routine three times per week on nonconsecutive days. Do the prescribed exercises after your cardiovascular session, since you will already be warmed up.

Perform one set of 10 to 15 repetitions for each of the two exercises. Increase the resistance when you are able to do 15 reps easily. Be sure to maintain strict form, controlling the weight both in the lifting and lowering phase. Be sure to ask an instructor at your gym how to use the machines properly. I will add more exercises as you progress.

Lat pull-down — (Targets the lats and biceps.) At the lat pull-down machine, choose a weight that makes it a challenge to perform 15 reps. Grasp the bar with your palms facing you. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart. Sit on the seat provided, securing the thigh pads against your legs for stability. Keep your back straight and your arms extended. Keeping your wrists straight and, without jerking the bar, pull the bar down to your chest. Pause momentarily. Slowly return the bar to the start position.

Chest press — (Targets the chest, triceps and shoulders.) At the chest press machine, choose a weight that makes it a challenge to perform 15 reps. Sit so that the center of the handlebars lines up with your chest. Push the handles forward, making sure not to lock your elbows. Slowly bend your arms until your hands are almost to your chest. Keep your body stable and your head back throughout the movement.

Flexibility Exercises
People tend to ignore the benefits of flexibility, yet it is important to overall fitness. Being supple allows us to move freely and easily. It reduces the risk of injury. Flexibility exercises also promote relaxation and increase body awareness.

Perform the 10 Basic Stretches at the end of every exercise session. Hold the stretches for 30 to 45 seconds and perform them three times.

Don’t bounce when you stretch. The muscles should be stretched so that the pull is felt in the center of the muscle, not at the joints. Take it slow, relaxing and exhaling as you go into a stretch, then breathing normally.

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