Get Your Man To Move: Fitness Workouts for Men!

Key Points

  • For the best results, a fitness workout for men includes cardio and strength training elements.

  • Men need to lift weights to maintain muscle mass and lose fat.

  • Cardio and strength training workouts are possible at home and in the gym, making a great fitness workout for men.

Everyone wants to stay in shape, but your workout must suit your body well. If you're a woman wanting to encourage your husband, partner, or son to take on a fitness workout for men, there are several routines to consider.

Start by eating right and find exercises your man enjoys that meet their fitness goals. Then delve into these tips for a great fitness workout for men.

What Are the Five Most Popular Fitness Activities for Men?

Every man is unique; one enjoys specific exercises while another likes something else. There are many options, but here are five of the most popular fitness activities for men.

1. Running

It's hard for anyone, man or woman, to go wrong with running. Running keeps the heart in good shape while burning calories and fat. It also gets endorphins flowing and makes you feel good when completing your route.

Running is easy, popular, and effective whether you run long distances or enjoy a few sprints.

2. Weightlifting

While most men enjoy some cardio activity, many workouts only address one area of the body. Running, for example, is leg-intensive. What about the arms?

Men use weightlifting to build muscle in certain areas of their body while they burn fat. Weightlifting is an excellent fitness activity that continues to burn fat even after they complete the exercises.

Men's Health UK fitness writer Kate Neudecker says, "Building muscle may be even easier to fit into your schedule, with only two days a week necessary for optimal results. But even one day a week is infinitely better than none."

3. Hiking

Many workouts take place in a gym or designated area of your home. Hiking is the perfect way to get fresh air, commune with nature, and enjoy exercise at the same time.

Men appreciate hiking as they take high-intensity trails, explore new regions, and break a sweat. Some trails are flat and are more like brisk walks. Others are uphill or more challenging and engage the core and calf muscles.

4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

One problem with choosing a particular workout is that your body gets bored. Anyone who does HIIT workouts doesn't have to worry about that.

High-intensity interval training gives you different exercises to do at specific intervals. After finishing one activity, you rest briefly before going to the next activity. The workouts vary and exercise the whole body from head to toe.

5. Kickboxing

It doesn't matter if you have a temper or are more of a gentle giant: Kickboxing is an ideal way to work out stress and get exercise. A few minutes on the bag and some jumping jacks and push-ups do wonders.

Kickboxing ensures you break a sweat, burn calories, gain muscle and endurance, and feel good about your accomplishments by the end of the workout.

Avoid Fitness Mistakes

Award-winning health and fitness writer/health coach Andrew Heffernan says, "Try as we might to eat well and move more, the world around us seems rigged to keep us overstuffed and sedentary. If you’re not careful, a quick trip to Starbucks can net you a half day’s worth of calories, and a simple email check can morph into two hours of mindless scrolling."

Everyone makes mistakes, but making the same mistakes about your fitness leads to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Men, avoid these fitness mistakes:

Too Much Cardio

You might think upgrading your cardio routine is the path to losing weight, gaining muscle, and staying lean. However, there is such a thing as too much cardio.

There's nothing wrong with running daily, but when you run in the morning, kickbox at night, swim at lunch, and hike in between, your body breaks down instead of builds up.

Not Lifting Weights

Having cardio as a part of any exercise plan is always a good idea, but lifting weights is just as important — maybe more so — for a man. Men need strength to support their bodies and to lose weight. Weight training keeps men's bone mass healthy as they age.

Not Getting Enough Protein

Protein is the most critical nutrient for a man's body. Men need protein to feel full, support muscles, and maintain energy.

Many think the less you eat, the more weight you lose. That's not the case. Men need protein to lose fat and support their muscle mass.

Not Sleeping Enough

Sleep is the magical cure for most things, including workout recovery. Anyone who wants to be in good shape needs their sleep.

Experts recommend eight hours of sleep a night, but some people need nine or more to feel rested. Men who don't sleep enough may not be able to work out as hard.

Lack of sleep also leads to psychological issues like depression, moodiness, and food cravings.

Recommended 6-Day Gym Workout Schedule

Your body needs rest to replenish itself. That's why a six-day workout schedule is a good idea for anyone trying to get fit.

Here is a recommended workout schedule:

Day 1: Cardio Day

After resting on your day off, start the week by working hard on cardio activity. Take a kickboxing class at the gym or hop on the treadmill.

If you want to work in a small amount of weightlifting, that's okay, but save your muscles for their whole days to make the most of those exercises.

Day 2: Leg Day

Your legs are in for it today! Check out the weightlifting machines and plan to use any leg-related options. Line up a variety of exercises with strength-training bands.

Do a lot of squats, lunges, leg lifts, and other leg-related exercises. It may feel hard to walk once leg day is complete, but your muscles thank you for it long-term.

Day 3: Cardio Day, Part Two

You never want your body to get bored, so mixing up your cardio routine is always a good idea. Perhaps enjoy a HIIT class mid-week to get a full-body workout to heighten the intensity.

If it's a nice day, ride your bike around your neighborhood fast enough to get a good sweat going.

Day 4: Arm Day

Like leg day, this day focuses on one area: your arms. Use any arm-related machines in the gym and focus on all muscle groups.

Work on biceps, triceps, shoulders, and chest muscles with various lifting activities. If your arms feel like rubber when you leave the gym, you did something right.

Challenge yourself, but don't push yourself too far. If you do more than your body can handle, it certainly lets you know — and can result in injuries.

Day 5: Cardio Day-Part Three

Back to cardio to get the old ticker pumping. Choose a different activity than earlier in the week, or participate in something constantly changing.

Kickboxing and HIIT classes are never the same two times in a row.

If you run on the first cardio day, hike on the third. For a full-body cardio workout, try swimming.

Day 6: Combination Day

Day six is the last day of your week's workout routine. On this day, do a small quantity of everything.

Do some strength training for your arms and legs. Participate in cardio exercises. Wear yourself out and earn the rest you get the next day.

The seventh day is a day of rest to allow your body to recover and be ready for the fun to begin again on the first day.

That doesn't mean avoiding a slow hike with your family or riding bikes with your kids, but take it easy and enjoy the "3 Rs" of fitness: "relax, rest, and recover."

At-Home Workout Options

Not everyone has a gym membership or even wants one. Many strength training and cardio options exist for working out at home, with or without equipment.

Cardio at Home

A treadmill, an elliptical machine, or a stationary bike are good home cardio workout equipment. Remember, variety is not just the spice of life but also fitness. When your body gets bored, it stops changing.

Use other avenues to get your workout each day, such as running up and down the stairs to get your heart pumping.

On leg day, climb the stairs slowly, skipping one step and then two. Burpees are always an excellent way to wear yourself out and work up a sweat.

Jumping jacks, running in place, fast feet, lunges, and workout videos help you to vary your cardio and get the right exercises into your routine.

Strength Training at Home

Those who own weights or strength-training bands have several activity options available. Watch your form and build up to higher levels and larger sets.

Even without weight equipment, there are things around your home to use to build strength. Save the empty milk jug and fill it with water to act as a weight for various exercises. Move heavy furniture, do push-ups, plank for your core, and engage in sit-ups.

Getting creative with strength training takes effort, but figuring out different exercises to achieve your fitness goals is worth that time, effort, and thought.

Find workout videos that provide tips on household items to use in your routine, or create some of your own.

Start Slow and Work Up

A workout plan is not a 100-yard dash but rather a marathon. If you don't run on a regular basis, you're not likely to sign up for a marathon. Likewise, if you don't lift weights regularly, don't expect — or try — to lift the heaviest weights at the gym.

Know yourself.

Your fitness plan needs goals that you work towards slowly. Setting big goals you cannot achieve quickly leads to frustration and quitting.

Remember the adage attributed to Albert Einstein: "You never fail until you stop trying." More about that later.

Set short and long-term goals that are easy to achieve. If you make small steps in the right direction, you are heading down the right path.

Use Free Work Out Plans for Men

It's hard to know where to start if you aren't an avid exerciser or want a new workout plan.

Do you need a treadmill? Is it a good idea to get a weight bench?

Before investing in equipment or a gym membership, find free workout plans online and test things first.

YouTube contains much information, including free home workouts to test and try. Numerous blogs and websites describe strength training moves to accomplish those parts of your workouts.

Workout apps take you from beginner to expert through customized plans and options.

There's No Failure in Trying

If you try one workout plan and fail, at least you tried. Not every fitness plan suits your body type, lifestyle, or goals.

The only failure is not trying or ending your journey short of reaching your destination.

Perhaps you tried a kickboxing class and didn't feel like you were keeping up with the others. Was it due to your lack of coordination or because it's new and you don't know all the moves and lingo?

If you genuinely hate it, just stop, drop, and roll on to another activity you enjoy. Remember the primary element of your routine: find exercises you enjoy doing. Otherwise, know that practice, while it may not lead to perfection, indeed yields improvement.

Fitness is a lifelong journey that can be a struggle — more for some than others. You aren't alone if you feel out of shape and need change. That's why the fitness industry makes billions of dollars a year!

Looking for more tips on staying fit and working out? Subscribe to Fit&Fab for more running, working out, and thriving articles.

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