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Best Workouts For Men

Updated on May 17, 2014

Workout Routines For Lifetime Fitness

I think that keeping fit is essential to the well being of all individuals and that sticking with a workout routine will keep you healthy and balanced. I like to mix up my routines with a variety of cardio and muscle building techniques to keep focused and keep going back to the gym. Stay strong and live long is my motto.

Image by George Gardner

Weight Lifting
Weight Lifting

Beginner's Workouts

How To Get Started

More people are starting to focus on their health and working out is becoming a fundamental part of a mans' day-to-day program. Most men who are interested in their health and fitness want to know just what are the most effective workouts. The response to that concern may not be as basic as you believe. When selecting an exercise, you have to consider your wellness, your existing health and current fitness quotient and the quantity of time you have daily to commit to exercising.

Courtesy of Morgue Files

The very best workouts for males should include both cardiovascular workout and resistance training as the combination of these two types of workout will quickly improve your muscle strength and circulation. A proper weight training program will help you develop and tone muscle and can help to remove those added pounds also.

For men that have actually not exercised much or worked out for a long period of time, it is best to begin your routines with slow and deliberate movements that are structured to your particular strength level. The best exercises are those that begin with basic repetitions that allow you to develop your strength gradually as you gain more staying power. Beginning workouts usually work best with moderate levels of exertion that gradually build your muscle strength and stamina.

Once you have begun a regular routine that includes a combination of cardio, strength training and abdominal exercises then you should be able to gradually work into more difficult and taxing training sessions. Every man's body is different and there are many types of machines and weight lifting techniques to choose from. It's best to stick with the ones you like at first to keep your interest and produce some noticeable results. You can move on to the heavier lifting if you find that it's something that works for you, but you should always exercise your body carefully as it is easy to injure your muscles by overworking them. Once you get into a regular routine you can design your own set of exercises that fit your lifestyle and goals.

Workout Plan
Workout Plan

Tips For Beginning Workouts

Here are some good tips for those who would like to begin a workout routine.

Before you start exercising, give yourself a five minute session of stretching and mild calisthenics to heat up your muscular tissues slowly and include a 10 min cool down period at the end of each workout session. You should also rest for a short period, perhaps up to two minutes between sets of repetitions. There is a controversy over the question of when it is most beneficial to include a cardio workout in your routines. Some say it's best after a weight training session. I like to begin my workout with a good cardio warm up of running, walking, or cycling to get my body warmed up and ready for a good workout. It's really what works for you so try either one and see what you like.

To avoid getting bogged down with a tedious routine, try turning around the order in which you execute your workout plan every couple of weeks. You can do ellipticals instead of the treadmill or try cycling first and then do some abs. You should change things up to keep from ending up being overly bored. In addition keep in mind to give your muscles some rest by providing them a day to recover in between exercise sessions. During these off days attempt doing some light yet fun physical exercise oriented activities such as opting for a bike ride, or playing a game of basketball or volleyball.

Ideal exercises for guys, are those exercises that you are going to stick with and actually do. Pick the regular exercise that works for you and brings enough difficulty level to hold your interest as well as raising your health and fitness.

Photo by George Gardner

Marathon Runners
Marathon Runners

Top 10 Cardio Exercises

Cardio Workouts

All fitness plans should incorporate a cardio program in order to maintain good health. We should accelerate our heart rates for at least 10 to 20 minutes at a time with a brisk walk, good jog, bike ride, or any other good heart pumping exercise. There are a variety of ways to get in the "Aerobic" state which is a term used for an elevated metabolism. A cardio program will generally bring your body into the aerobic state which is beneficial to many body functions and is essential to maintaining good overall health.Cardio brings in more air flow to the lungs and improves blood circulation. It helps to lower blood pressure and brings more red cells into your bloodstream.

Image courtesy of Morgue Files

1. Running

Running is perhaps the easiest and most efficient way to get your body into the aerobic state. This exercise works all of your muscles and brings your heart level up quickly. Jogging is one type of running that is easier on your joints and easier to sustain for an extended period of time. You can run or jog in many areas including parks, school tracks, at the gym on a running track or on a treadmill. Always be careful of cars and other obstructions if you decide to run or jog on the street.

2. Cycling

Riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise and bring your body into the aerobic state. This exercise uses mainly your lower body muscle groups but pumps your blood and uses your lungs. You can ride in a variety of areas or at the gym on a cycling machine. It's a good idea to always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle to keep from being severely injured in an accident.

3. Swimming

Swimming is a great way to exercise the muscles in your body and get your heart rate going. Like running it uses all muscle groups and requires a lot of air flow in the lungs.

4. Jump Rope

This is one of the old school exercises that children used to do a lot. You see boxers jumping rope for training because of it's high exertion level. This is a great way to bring your body into the aerobic state but it requires a lot of drive and stamina. You start slowly with a few minutes of exertion and then gradually build up your ability to jump for longer periods of time. Your heart rate will jump up fast and your breathing will increase exponentially.

5. Climb Stairs

This is also an old school exercise. We used to climb the bleachers in high school as part of our training. You can climb steps virtually anywhere for some good exercise and most gyms have stair climbers as part of their equipment. This works primarily the legs but gets your heart pumping and you will breath hard.

6. Elliptical Trainer

This is basically a cross-country ski trainer. This version is a low impact way to really get your body in the aerobic state by using both the elliptical movement of the leg portion and the upper body movement with the arm attachments. This is a very popular machine in all the gyms and is highly effective at achieving a good cardio workout.

7. Step Aerobics

The step class became very popular in the 90s and is still a great way to get good aerobic exercise. Modern versions like Zumba are a twist on the basic idea of using music and structured movements to get the body into an aerobic state. Unlike some of the other methods this one has the advantage of social connections. This is a great motivator and is helpful when at times you might not want to push yourself to get started. Your friends are there so you decide to go anyway!

8. Kickboxing

This is basically an aerobics class that uses martial arts in the structured movements with music. It is usually a high intensity class that will work your body into an aerobic state quickly. You will have to work into this class slowly, taking time to understand the moves and learn the techniques that a martial art will require. Your heart will pump and you will breath heavily!

9. Rowing

This is an overlooked exercise that is a great way to stay in shape. Most gyms have a rowing machine that few people use. It uses both the upper and lower body and will bring you into the aerobic state quickly. This machine should be used with care as it can tax your lower back and bring you pain if you don't work the machine with caution.


Many people don't thing of walking as an aerobic exercise and we don't really walk enough anymore since we're always busy and quickly get in our cars to get us where we're going. Walking is great exercise for the body and it's lower impact on the joints makes it a favorite for the older crowd. You can still achieve and aerobic state with steady fast walking even though it may take a little longer.

Exercise Machines
Exercise Machines

Strength Training

Workout Routines

There are many types of workout routines and people have different favorites that they like to use. When you go to a gym or exercise facility you will find a variety of ways build muscle. Many people like to use the various machines that target specific muscle groups. Others prefer using free weights or barbells and dumbells. I like to use a combination of machines and free weights to vary my workouts and keep it interesting. Once you become comfortable in a workout environment you can design a set of exercises that you find works best for you. Most routines target specific areas of the body and generally you will divide your target workouts to exercise three specific areas. You will workout your upper body, lower body or abdominal sections depending on how you structure you routine. Image courtesy of Morgue Files

Your lower body workout would include:

Quadraceps, or the front portion of your upper legs

Hamstrings, or the back portion of your upper legs

Calves, or the back portion of your lower legs

Your upper body would include:

Biceps, or the front muscles in your arms

Triceps, or the back muscles in your arms

Forearms, or wrist muscles




An Abs workout would include your abdominals and oblique or side muscles.

Great Workout Products

Shaun T's Rockin Body workout DVD is awesome. Take a look at these other products that will give you some great options for your workout routines!

Shaun T's Rockin' Body DVD Workout
Shaun T's Rockin' Body DVD Workout

You've seen it, now try it!

Hip Hop Abs DVD Workout
Hip Hop Abs DVD Workout

Want some great Abs! Check this out!


You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Workout Videos

Here are some great videos by dedicated workout gurus to help you get motivated and keep working out!

Gym vs. Home Workouts

Gym Workout
Gym Workout

Which do you prefer, working out in a gym or at home?

See results
Bicep Curls
Bicep Curls

Upper Body Workouts

Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders, Chest and Back

When it comes to upper body muscle building, you will need your workout plan to include the best method that is suitable for you to develop these muscles. Since there are many different techniques for upper body workouts, you will need to check them out and find the best sets that will help you with your particular muscle group. For example, you may find that using dumbbells works the best for one set of muscles but a machine that isolates a specific muscle group helps with another, then your workout plan should include both these techniques when it comes to your workout routine.

Most men concentrate on the upper body to get a sculpted, lean and muscled look that speaks of male strength. When thinking of working your upper body there are areas to concentrate on. Most men will work their biceps and triceps with a series of routines designed for arm strength. You can use barbells and dumbells to get a good workout in these areas. The bench press is a good all around exercise that works the chest and arms and produces quick results. Curls work well for pumping up your biceps and you can do those with a machine or simply standing with dumbells and alternating pumping your arms. Lat pull downs work your shoulders and upper chest, and you can do a push down on a machine to develop some great triceps. Look around the gym and watch other lifters for some ideas about how to work certain areas of your body.

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Lower Body Workout
Lower Body Workout

Lower Body Workouts

Thighs, Calves, Hamstrings and Glutes

It's important to balance your workout with a good lower body exercise. Strong thighs and calf muscles will give your body proportion and overall strength. Areas of the lower body that you would typically workout are the thighs, calves, glutes and hamstrings. There are various ways to workout these muscles and many people have their own preferences. For instance a good bike ride will exercise virtually of these muscles and give some of your upper body a good workout also. Walking and running pumps the lower body in great efficiency so these types of common exercises are always a good way to get your lower body toned and muscled. Machines in the gym are designed to isolate the specific groups of your lower body muscles and you can focus on certain areas of your lower body that may need more work than others. If your calves are thin you can use a calf raise to pump those specific muscles. If you want to focus on your thighs there are machines for that also.

Courtesy of Morgue Files

Squats with weights are a great way to pump all of your lower body, just be careful not to use too much weight as you can injure yourself and cause a setback in your routine.

A common lower body workout would include:

1. Three sets of leg presses with an increasing amount of weight for each set.

2. Three sets of leg extensions with an increasing amount of weight for each set.

3. Three sets of calf raises doing the exercise until you reach a stopping point.

4. Three sets of leg lifts with an increasing amount of weight for each set.

Six Pack Abs
Six Pack Abs

Abdominal Exercises

Abs and obliques

Six pack abs look hot but are extremely hard to develop. It is possible to keep your abs looking good with moderate exercise and especially with good nutrition. Maybe you’ve tried exercise programs and some fad diets but just can't work up that rock hard and lean waistline you've seen in all the ads. There is really no one plan that will work for everyone so you need to look through the different information and get an idea of what might work best for you. As far as diet goes, there are foods to eat that accelerate the fat burning process. This would help you to start taking off the excess layer of fat around your abdomen and get your body in a fat loss mode. The traditional method of flattening your stomach would consist of steady cardio workouts, doing ab crunches, and sit ups. These are still the basic core methods that you would use to begin a workout plan to get some good looking abdominals. You can also try some of the many programs that advertise ways to get that lean, sexy look that women love.

Photo By George Gardner

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