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Maintaining Your Physique Through The Holidays!

It is holiday time again! The time most Americans gain 15-30 extra lbs of unneeded weight. Learn how to keep off the weight by exercising and keeping the junk food to the very minimum!

It's time for holiday maintenance! Despite the busy holiday season, you don't have to totally give up training during the holidays.

Cake This week we are going to present some quickie workouts that you can do in 15 minutes, 2-3 times a week during the holidays to maintain some of those great gains you made before the holidays started.

In fact, if you only do a quick workout once a week, it will do wonders in lessening the impact of resuming your normal rigorous routine. But, a minimum of 2-3 times will do wonders in maintaining your physique.

[ Richard ] I used to hate holidays and dread flying home to St. Louis to visit my family because holidays interfered with my training and diet.

Relatives and friends would get their feelings get hurt when I refused offers of cake, pies, candy, and other assorted goodies they prepared specially for the holidays. People really do get upset if someone doesn't participate in all the eating rituals involved in the holiday celebration.

    Diane: See, he really doesn't ever eat desserts! Even when some of the readers are writing in with suggestions for me to tempt that Baldwin character, he still sticks to his diet. But, on a serious note, Babyboomers: What's all this fuss about and why so much social pressure to eat?

    When we make a decision to create a legendary physique, we create an image that makes us stand out from the crowd. That awesome physique makes us extraordinary. And nothing brings out the insecurities of people faster than showing your strength, your will and your desire when you do achieve that legendary physique.

    So, rather than continue with the insecure feelings, these folks try to make themselves feel better by trying to make you feel uncomfortable with your decision to be extraordinary. Don't fall for this silly tactic.

    Reader Bill B. showed me his desire to be extraordinary and stand up to those that push food on him by sending me his commitment via email:

    "I'm on fire and will be ready to go in January. Anyway great column, you two, right on the mark and no B.S. about the secrets to great abs! Oh yes, I will be extraordinary this holiday season!"
    - Bill B., New Jersey

    Bill promises to share his legendary physique photos shortly. Can't wait to see your transformation photos, Bill!

[ Richard ] What I really found amusing was the wonder my corpulent friends experienced that I never seemed to get fat.

Yes, after the eating frenzy that goes on from Thanksgiving to New Years is over, people would complain that I must have a fast metabolism since I never seemed to gain 30 pounds during the season of all these celebratory feasts.

    Diane: desserts and no cardio! I'll say that's a fast metabolism.

[ Richard ] Now, Diane, that sounds like those whiners who don't have the discipline to skip those desserts! Why would someone need cardio to work off the fat if they didn't get fat in the first place!

    Diane: Yes! Sometimes, I just want to... Hey, Baldwin! Did you buy me that piece of cardio equipment for Christmas?

[ Richard ] Well, to continue: on top of the food issues, there was the time issue. Gyms often closed down or had reduced hours and even if they were open, I would have to impose on someone to transport me to train at a strange gym.

Family members wanted to monopolize the little time they had with me and did not understand that it wasn't that I didn't want to be with them.

They just didn't understand that skipping workouts for a week would not only mean I lost time to improve my physique, but it would take weeks to return to the condition I had reached when the holidays began!

Time lost away from the gym and time it would take to get back to the condition before a holiday layoff doubled the time lost in my quest for physical perfection. Who needs that?

If you have been inspired by our humble column here on to begin your journey to physical perfection and don't want to lose those precious gains, don't totally give up exercising and don't totally give in to the holiday pig out. (See last week's column for holiday eating tips.)

This doesn't mean you can't enjoy the holidays. In fact, if you just follow the ancient Greek wisdom of "moderation," you can have fun and preserve most of your gains at the same time. Here are some of our suggestions:

  1. I used to over train a little before going to St. Louis so that I would actually need a few days rest and could spend the time with the family!

  2. When I felt the training urge coming on I WORKED OUT! You don't have to take your usual hour to an hour and a half, though. Just a 15-20 minute circuit will do wonders in preserving your hard gains.

    Below we have some sample holiday workouts to get you in and out of the gym with as little time away from family and fun as possible.

  3. Don't forget to continue to eat well to maintain that physique too. Refer to last week's column for our tips on eating during the holidays.

Remember, you are not attempting to break any lifting records or even gain an inch on your arms or chest. You're just trying to keep from losing that hard-gained lean muscle. Here're a couple of routines to do on vacation.

Holiday Vacation Routines

Routine One

Routine Two

    Then get out the bands and do biceps curls, kickbacks, laterals, and rows. Use high rep ranges with sets of twenty-five and no rest between sets.

    You'll be done in just a few minutes and yet achieved a quick and efficient holiday maintenance workout.

Routine Three


Do these with no rest between sets. Choose weights slightly below the weight you would normally use for 8-10 reps. Warm-up with a few pushups, lunges, and stretching before running through these quick workouts.

The goal here is to pump some blood in those muscles and avoid injuries until you can get back to hard-core training. Try to relax and make your quick workouts as fun as possible. Instead of just doing these circuits in sequence, mix them up or just do one of the routines three times.

Santa, lounging The point is to do them fast enough and with enough weight to get a great workout that only takes 15-20 minutes. Time yourself!

Diane, Richard, and Santa send you holiday greetings from Florida!

Train hard, train smart and make it a legendary week!
Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC.
Richard Baldwin, Member. Legendary Physique, LLC.

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Copyright © 2004. Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC. All rights reserved.

The advice given in this column should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical services. Before undertaking any exercise or nutrition program, Legendary Fitness, LLC advises all to undergo a thorough medical examination and get permission from their personal physician.