A couple of letters from eager muscle heads, direct from today's mail bag:
I change my underwear once a day, my hair colour once a month, and my boyfriends once a week. How often should I change my workout routine?
P.F., Faithful reader
I've got good news for you. You can change your routine as often as you change your mind. If you try a new routine every single time you work out, good for you. Be inventive. As long as you put your mind into it and stay focused on your goals, it doesn't matter. Some guys change their routines once a month, and others once every few months. The important thing is that you have to keep your muscles a little off-kilter, a little unprepared for what you are about to do to them. Muscle tissue can get tired of the same routine week after week, so shake it up. If you do something differently every time, that's just fine. It's the intensity you put into your workout that counts.
You don't have to do a bench press on every chest workout, or dumbbell arm curls every time you do arms: explore and experiment. Read my training manual (www.muscleownersmanual.com) for more ideas on how to shake things up. The worst thing is to get into a rut, where you simply repeat the same old thing. Replace dumbbells with barbells, use cables instead of dumbbells, do 15 reps instead of 10. Just remember: if it burns, you're doing it right.
PS: Are you sure you change your boyfriends once a week, or do they change you? If your calves were big enough, they might have called back.
I do six hours of cardio a day. Is that enough?
T.M., Do me
Cardio is a tricky subject. Some people (i.e. most) never do it, while some people (you) do way too much. You will never get a 6-pack doing cardio. It just isn't efficient enough for that. Think of cardio as an aid to weight lifting.
If muscle development is your primary goal, cardio can be problematic. You want to fight fat, but not harm your muscle. If you are not especially fat, you don't need much cardio beyond an amount to keep your heart and lungs fit (30-45 minutes, 1-2 times a week, brisk walking pace). Do abs or calfs on non-cardio days. Regular, hard weight training and dieting will fight fat better than lots of cardio. Too much cardio saps your muscles, undoing the benefits of weight lifting. Weights and cardio aren't incompatible, but they can come into conflict.
If you really want to (have to) burn fat do (45-60 minutes, 2-3 times a week, brisk walking pace). Even then all you want is to raise your metabolism so your body can burn fat. Work up a sweat, but don't be frantic. Fat burning happens after cardio, not during. I would recommend alternate days of cardio and weights, but that's up to you. Use the supply of energy in your body carefully. Don't deplete yourself thinking more is better. Sometimes moderation is what your body really needs.
PS: Are you the guy who leaves puddles all over the place?