I really hope that a sense of realism comes out of this recession. If the Joe and Sally’s didn’t get sucked into buying that huge house that appeared so attractive, maybe we would be faring better now.

Getting attached to maintaining appearances is sure-fire recipe for failure. How good does that big house look now that you can’t afford it?

We do the same things with our bodies. Do you really want to go down the “I’m attracted to appearance more than substance” route and try to mold your unique body into the culturally ideal body?

Sure, you could do a lot of little “sculpting” exercises for your body like so many people do, fervently hoping for the ideal level of muscle tone.

But, doing so will guarantee you extra time in the gym, extra time in front of the mirror worrying about the long head on your tricep, and all the while still being as weak as a kitten.

And you’ll probably stop making payments—exercising—because you’re not getting results and the training is boring. Worrying about appearance is a short-term approach.

Tricep kickbacks, concentration curls, leg curls, leg extensions, shoulder raises fall in to the category of namby-pamby exercises. In fact, any time you’re worried about one specific muscle on your body when you’re doing an exercise, you are running the risk of elevating your estrogen levels.

Here are some of Qualler’s A-list exercises:

  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups

Man, you can do these exercises virtually anywhere. These exercises work every muscle in your upper body. And unlike with some of the estrogen-producing exercises I mentioned earlier–these exercises will also give you a firm handshake. Pull-ups are great for the grip.

  • Squats — Most men avoid the squat because it is hard. I saw a flyer the other day at the Fitness Cafe that said, “Ironically, what you need is more weight on your shoulders.” They must be referring to the squat. The squat builds your whole body and prevents you from developing a “bar body”—a pitifully atrophied lower body with 18 inch biceps, typified by young males who want to impress ladies at the bar.
  • Deadlifts — I think the deadlift is one of the best exercises. It develops the entire backside of your body. Most people complain of bad backs. Deadlifters laugh at the notion of the human spine becoming weak. Ironically, what you need is to pick up heavy stuff for your back.

Notice these exercises work pushing and pulling, legs, and grip. Throw in something for your stomach like planks, medicine ball twists, or that fancy apparatus I saw on TV that shocks you and makes you flex your abs. (Just kidding.)

Sure, there are a few exercises you can add. Hanging leg raises are great. So are military presses. But these four basic exercises train the entire body and get you concentrating on you feel, as opposed to how you look.

P.S. These exercises require proper form. I’ll talk a bit more about that tomorrow.