Gentlemen, winter is coming. Find out how to shake up your workout

September 25, 2017 Providence Health Team

Men's health services are coming to Providence Saint John's Health Medical Office Playa Vista.

Summer is reaching its end and the holiday season is rapidly approaching. Now is the perfect time to start a new workout regimen or kick it up. We all fall victim to putting off getting healthy until it’s more convenient. This year, don’t wait until the holiday season is over and then decide that losing holiday weight will be your New Year’s Resolution. Work toward keeping it off all winter long because parties, dinners, and drinks shouldn’t stop you from reaching your fitness goals.

Want to take your workout to the next level, but not sure where to start? Well changing up your workout doesn't have to require a massive overhaul, start with setting goals, choosing a plan and sticking with it. That is why we asked athlete and fitness expert Giavanni Ruffin to show us his exercise routine that can be modified to get that extra burn.

Step-By-Step Guide

Full Body

A1. Reverse Lunge W/ Single Dumbbell Press:

  • Load one dumbbell on the side of the leg going into reverse. Press at the top of the movement. Complete all reps on one side first.
  • **Weight for total reps___
  • Reps: 20/Leg
  • Sets: 4

A2. Deep Dips into Knee Raises:

  • On the parallel bars complete 10 dips followed right away by 20 knee raises, using your abs to bring your knees to your chest.
  • Reps: 10/20
  • Sets: 4

A3. Pushup Into Mountain Climbers:

  • For every pushup rep, complete a mountain climber on each side.
  • Reps: 15/15
  • Sets: 4

A4. Walking Lunge Plate Press:

  • Complete a walking lunge stride, at the bottom of each stride push the plate away from your chest into a straight arm position and back to your chest.
  • **Weight for total reps____
  • Reps: 20/Leg
  • Sets: 4

A5. Dumbbell Loaded Jump Squat:

  • Holding onto dumbbells by each side, explode from a squat position into a jump squat.
  • **Weight for total rep ____
  • Reps: 20
  • Sets 4

Natural Rest.

Full Body/Core

A1. Dumbbell Loaded Walking Lunges:

  • Hold dumbbell by your sides, engaging shoulders, keep strides long and continuous. Weight for total reps _____.
  • ** Same weight for entire set.
  • Reps: 15
  • Sets: 4

A2. Renegade Rows:

  • Get into pushup position on the dumbbells. Complete one pushup for every row. Alternating back and forth.
  • Reps:15
  • Sets:4

A3. Dumbbell Burpees:

  • Moving directly from the renegade row position, hop both feet up to the dumbbells, stand up with the dumbbells and move all the way into a shoulder press. This counts as one rep.
  • Reps:15
  • Sets: 4

A4. Wall Sit Dumbbell Narrow Presses:

  • Move directly into this movement from the burpees. Hold a 90 degree wall sit and using the same dumbbells hold them together in a neutral position and press.
  • Reps: 15
  • Sets: 4

Set Rest 60 Seconds.

B1. Deep Dips:

  • Parallel bars, focus on a tilt forward to hit chest, squeeze elbows behind you.
  • Reps: 15
  • Sets: 4

B2. Hanging Leg Raises:

  • Hold with a wide grip, Move knees to chest.
  • Reps: 15
  • Sets: 4

B3. Up/Down Planks:

  • In a wide foot position, Move from an elbow plank into a straight arm plank.
  • Reps: 15
  • Sets: 4

B4. Russian Twist With A Plate:

  • Hold the plate away from your chest and keep the rotation only from your hips up.
  • Reps: 5
  • Sets: 4

Set rest 30 seconds.

Next, we chatted with Dr. Mehran Movassaghi, medical director at Providence Saint John’s Men’s Health Program. We asked him what men should know about starting or changing a workout regime to stay safe and why they should look after their health more diligently.

When should you check with a doctor before starting a workout regime?

If it's been awhile since you've exercised and you have health issues or concerns, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Are there particular health concerns someone who wants to start a new exercise routine should consult their doctor about?

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you see your doctor before engaging in vigorous exercise if two or more of the following apply:

  • You're older than 35 years.
  • You have a family history of heart disease before age 60.
  • You smoke or you quit smoking in the past six months.
  • You don't normally exercise for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week.
  • You're significantly overweight.
  • You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • You have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or you have impaired glucose tolerance (also called pre-diabetes).

Is it safe to start exercise routine after one has experienced an injury such as a stroke or head injury?

You need to see a doctor for clearance.

What are your thoughts on supplements? Pre- and Post-workout supplements.

Supplements are a HUGE topic. The safest thing to do is to talk to your physician about your exercise goals and determine if any supplements can help achieve your goals.

Pre-workouts usually are high in stimulants and post work-outs are high in creatine, which can potentially lead to kidney damage. Always consult your doctor.

Is one better than the other?


What are the benefits of adding weights into your exercise routine? Should people with certain types of health conditions avoid weightlifting?

Weights can help strengthen muscles and help decrease bone loss, promote testosterone normalization and help with functional problems such as back pain. Nonetheless patients with hernias, joint pain or any pain should consult a physician or trainer on proper technique and types of exercise to do before starting.

Are there particular types of food men who work out intensely should eat afterward or before?

Again depends on exercise and goals. Runners especially long distance need to carb-load. Those who want to build more muscle should eat more protein, especially after a workout. This doesn’t mean they should avoid carbs all together. And with any exercise, hydration important.

We know after working out we can sometimes become sore. What would you recommend for Pre – and - Post workout recovery?

Soreness is a good thing, it means your muscles did enough work to develop lactic acid which results in soreness. Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the exercise regimen can help prevent soreness and if feasible so can a massage periodically.

Can you explain the reason for Delayed muscle soreness and how to combat it?

The underlying cause is microscopic muscle tears: To help prevent this:

  • Stretch. Stretching is your first line of defense after a good workout
  • Use a Foam roll
  • Massage your sore spots
  • Eat for rapid recovery
  • Get heated
  • Favor fatty acids
  • Keep moving
  • Ice it

What health issues are men more at risk for than women?

At every milestone in life, men face different health challenges. That is why a healthy lifestyle, screenings, education and early treatment are the most effective means for longevity and optimal quality of life.

Why is it important for men to be more forthcoming with their doctor during examination and ask important questions about their health?

Our body is the most complex piece of machinery ever made and each system is dependent on the other for optimal performance. Men like to think their indivisible. Most brush health symptoms off as nothing, but these are warning signs that when caught early on could be lifesaving.

Top questions to ask:

  • What is BMI and what is mine?
  • What preventive tests or screenings do I need?
  • Are any vaccines or shots needed?
  • Is there anything in my family history that is worrisome? Are there any genetic tests available to determine my risk?
  • Can I make any changes in my lifestyle to help my health? If yes what?

What are the reasons more men don’t go to the doctors on a regular basis?

Fright, they are worried if there is something wrong they could jeopardize their own livelihood and also their families.

Providence St. Joseph would like to thank Giavanni Ruffin for being a paid partner with us on this important topic.

Providence is pleased to share the stories of great people who have overcome health conditions. As part of our population health program, we want to share insights and stories that help bring awareness to common health conditions. Not all the people featured in our stories are Providence patients.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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