Excerted from "Total Fitness in 30 Minutes a Week" Copyright (2) 1975 by Laurence E. Morehouse ph D. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster.
During the first eight weeks of your shape-up program your 10-minute of exercise session will be divided into three parts:
A. One minute of limbering.
B. Four minutes of muscle-building.
C. Five minutes of any continuous activity that raises your heart rate to the desired level.
The object of the following four limbering exercises is to increase your range of motion so that you can move more easily.
1. Reach up as far as you can toward the ceiling with one arm. Your hand should be directly over your head. It's a prolonged reach we're after. Feel the stretch all the way to your ankle, all the way along you side. When you feel all streteched out, drop your arms and repeat the exercise with your other arm. Be a cat; stretch to your outer limit.
2. Arms extended sideward, twist your trunk in either direction as far as you can turn. Then twist in the opposite direction.
3. Lean over, grasp yourself behind the knees with your hands and pull your shoulders gently toward your knees. Don't use force, just an easy stretch:
4. Turn your head to the side, with your chin over the top of your left shoulder. Place your left hand against your chin, on the right side of your face. Place your right hand on your head from behind. Left and right hands now turn the head just a little farther than it can turn on its own. Gently - don't try to jerk your head, or snap it. Now reverse the process.
Now you are ready to develop muscle tissue.
You'll do two exercises, alternating them for a full four minutes.
Stand a little beyond arm's reach from a wall for the first exercise. Put your hands against the wall at the height of your shoulders. Lean forward until your chest comes near the wall. Then push away until you're back in the starting position. If that's too hard, step in closer. Do the exercise about 15 or 20 times, or until the exertion begins to feel heavy. This is one set.
When you can do a set of 20 or more with ease, move to a position with the feet farther away from the wall.
Some people will find at the ouset that the pushaway from the wall is too easy. In that event, try a kitchen counter or a bathroom sink or a chest of drawers - anything that lowers the height of your shoulders. If you can do only 15 push-aways before the exertion becomes heavy, you've found your starting place.
From the counter or sink or chest of drawers, move next to a table, and repeat the same routine.
From the table, move to a chair or a bench.
From the chair or bench, move to the floor. Put your knees on the floor. When you're able to do a set of 20 pushaways, try them with your knees off the floor. Pushaways in this floor position are commonly called "pushups."
For the person who is in fairly good shape to begin with 20 pushaways in the above position may soon become too easy. He can increase the resistance by reversing the process that made it simplier. Instead of having his hands higher than his feet, he moves his feet higher than his hands. They are placed first on a low bench, then on a chair, then on a table, until the extreme case, when the feet are over the head.
The following exercise will restore the muscles of your abdominal wall.
Sit on the floor with your feet hooked under a piece of furniture. Bend your knees. Work your chest up against your knees, or as close as it will come.
Once you're in position, move back away from your knees until you feel your abdominal musculature coming into play to a moderate degree. To find this moderate degree, it's necessary to explore. Start out by going back just a few inches, then return.
Start with a degree of effort that enables you to hold the position for 15 or 20 seconds. The last few seconds the belly muscles will begin to quiver. Work up to a full 20-second sitback before quivering commences, then try a deeper sitback. When your back is brushing the floor, and you can hold the sitback for 20 seconds or more, you can proceed to "load up" the exercise by moving your arms. You've been holding them in front of you, with your hands on your stomach. Now fold them on your chest to increase the resistance. That little change will take you back to 15 seconds per set.
The next position is arms folded and resting on your chest. When that has been mastered, move your hands behind your head. Finally, move your arms over your head. Caution: Don't swing head.
Important: After one set each of the muscle buildup exercises, check your pulse to be sure it isn't over your limit, 60 per cent of your maximum level (as explained earlier in this series). If it is, rest. After a few weeks your pulse rate will be coming down because the other work you're doing will be strengthening your circulo-respiratory system.
Now repeat the sets of music buildup exercises in the same order and again monitor your pulse. You may not be able to hold the sitback position for as long the second time around. That's par for the course.
The double sets usually take about four minutes. The remaining five minutes of your 10-minute program are devoted to your heart-rated circulo-respiratory conditioning.
You can choose any steady, easy activity you want that will raise your heart rate to your proper level for five minutes during this phase.
The most obvious steady, easy endurance exercise is running in place. It's also the most boring.
A reminder: Your proper beat is calculated by subracting your age from 220 then multiplying the remainder by 60 per cent. Example: 220 minues 40 is 180; 180 x 60 is 108. Call it 110. That's your Training Pulse Rate. Your count is 11 beats in six seconds.
Don't forget: Move around when you take your pulse. Never come to a complete standstill. The same applies to the end of your work out.
That's your program for this phase.
For the following seven weeks, your only requirement is to keep intensifying your activity.