During my years in the fitness business, I have learned a few concrete, infallible things. One is  that there are no "shoulds," "betters," "bests" or "have tos" in fitness. Those words have no place in an objective, rational discussion regarding the hows and whys regarding your mind and body.

During my years in the fitness business, I have learned a few concrete, infallible things. One is  that there are no "shoulds," "betters," "bests" or "have tos" in fitness. Those words have no place in an objective, rational discussion regarding the hows and whys regarding your mind and body. Like any relationship, we must be flexible in order to keep from breaking.


What I would like to examine today are some of my favorite exercises and routines that I have picked up over the years and while not telling you they're "the best" exercise or that you "should" do them, I will let you be the judge.


Torch your legs, back and push (chest/shoulders/triceps) muscles all in one little area with a pullup tower with dip attachment and a milk crate. Whether you're performing chins (palms facing up) or pull-ups (palms down), cranking out 50 squats to the milk crate (butt touching) followed by pulls and dips to failure over and over for 10 minutes straight with as little rest as possible will make anyone say uncle, trust me. If you're ever pressed for time, this is all you'll need to feel great leaving the gym in "only 10 minutes."


One bar, two hands and a mirror to watch your face contort will do just fine. Grab a fixed barbell (say, 25 pounds for ladies and 65 pounds for men); start with upright rows followed by barbell curls and finish with overhead presses all to failure, twice through; once you notice which lifts you're stronger at and which ones you need work on, stand near the rack and grab what you need when you need it.


Finish off your core with sets of 50 to 100 bicycles and then flip over for a set of 25 Supermen three times through. Both exercises are great for working your abdominal and lower back muscles respectively, so put the finishing touches on your body and call it a day.


Have fun, drop your head and charge at it - have a great week, gang!


Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at www.TrainerX.com.