As I was rushing through my morning routine one day last week I caught a glimpse of myself in the large mirror in my bathroom, I didn’t like what I saw.
I’ve never been one of those guys with rock-hard abs, sculpted pects, and maximized gluts, but I do tend to be on the leaner side. What I saw in the mirror that morning would not support that argument. I’ve become doughy. My clothes still fit, but I’ve noticed that there’s less slack in the waist of my pants.
I’ve gotten softer too. My legs are ok I suppose, but my upper body could use a bit lot of toning.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of exercising, at first because of some injuries, but later because of laziness. I sit in an office all day and that just does not do anything to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Over the course of the last few days I’ve noticed that many of my friends and acquaintances have packed on a few pounds as well. Even the guys I know who pride themselves on looking like walking health club ads don’t look quite so chiseled.
So, it’s time to do something about it.
I have a handful of exercise routines that I use to do an hour before bed and immediately upon waking. I need to revisit them, get them back in my schedule. And I also need to find some new exercises that will target problem areas. Right now the biggest problem area (literally) is my stomach.
Again, I’m not looking for washboard abs, I just want to reduce the tire size around my waist and tone the underlying muscle. That shouldn’t be too hard, right? Especially since there are bound to be a gazillion free iOS apps out there dedicated to helping me achieve my goal.
Well… not so much on both counts.
Shedding waist tonnage is tough. It requires more than just a few sit-ups everyday because there are all sorts of different muscles that need to be focused on, else you may actually do yourself some harm by over-stressing muscles. That could lead to lots of pain, and that could lead to less exercise and more midriff dough.
The few free apps that I found that address ab fitness are weighed down with ads for protein powders, energy bars, and enhanced water. Sad.
One such app is called Lose The Belly. It’s a collection of videos that focus on ab exercises. I will admit that many of the videos are informative, but the app is choked with ads.
I guess nothing is truly free anymore. Lose The Belly proves it, but, again, you may find benefit in some of the videos so take a look.
A somewhat better freebie is Men’s Fitness: Complete Sports Training Guide. This app is sponsored by PowerAde, but that doesn’t make it bad. There are a lot of good articles, videos, and more contained within.
You’ll find tips on tone-up tools, like resistance bands, that you can use at home or while traveling, examples of training routines you might try to target areas that need it, even suggestions on finding a good gym.
The videos are often short and always end with a plug for PowerAde, but the info is there and useful.
For a freebie, Men’s Fitness: Complete Sports Training Guide is pretty good and worth a look.
Losing the tonnage and toning is one way to improve your physical image. Another way is to be more versed in the manly ways. I’m not talking about stuff like how to scratch ones personal parts discretely in public (though that is a topic that should be covered), I’m referring more to things your dad or older brother should have told you, but didn’t.
How do you tie a Full Windsor or a bow tie? How and when is it appropriate to whistle? How do you throw a knife?
These questions and more can be answered by downloading Manliness.
Actually, The Art of Manliness is a website, and this iPhone only app lets you take the info with you for offline reading or viewing.
I’m new to the site, but I’m liking what I’ve found so far. The articles are laced with humor, the info provided is real and useful, and the ads are not obnoxious. I only wish there was an iPad version.
This is one that you’ll likely wind up keeping as the content changes over time. Check it out.
That’s a wrap for this week. More free fitness apps below with direct links.