‘Cause life’s just a series of strenuous physical routines when you think about it, man

You have glasses, whether you need them or not. You wear a scarf and toque, both outside and indoors. You have paint on your jeans, whether you paid for it that way or it arrived through natural means. You are an art student, not a jock.
Jocks are big, and let's face it, physically superior to you. Summer is around the corner, and with it come the opportunities to get a body that isn’t so “I-smoke-cigarettes-more-than-I-eat.” Working out and getting some regulated exercise could help fill this gap between scrawny and lanky Art-Student and the massive and Godly Jock-Race, but chances are you’re lazy (although you’ll say you’re busy) and working out is hard. But never fear, there are ways that you, too, can be marginally buff if you're short on time. These won’t exactly give you 28 inch arms or cheese-grater abs, but they'll hopefully stop that crippling burn in your leg muscles every time you run up the escalator.   

1. Eat More
Thing is, if you don’t eat a sufficient amount of food throughout the day, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism will slow down to the point where it holds on to all the fat. This is Nutrition 101, but then again chances are you have stick legs and skin-tight jeans, so eating more is a big step to take. Lean proteins such as chicken and fish are good to start off with. Beans are good for vegetarians and people who don’t care how they smell. Water consumption is also key - minimum of 64 oz a day - as hydration is too big of a deal to not mention.
The trick is to keep it consistent throughout the day – it's best not to skip meals. This will regulate your metabolism and your body’s natural energy so that your actual workouts are less of a struggle to get through.

2. Rest
One of the key components to building muscle mass is resting. Seriously. Pace out short work-out periods throughout the week, say 3-4 days a week (like, every other day). Working-out too much can stress muscle growth while rest gives them enough time to rebuild. It’s recommended to keep a basic diet going with maybe a few extra serving of protein and carbs — so, like, just have extra beans with your veggie wrap on your days off. When determining your diet, always take into account your own metabolism
One issue involving this will easily be the hardest for you since you’re more than likely battling insomnia on some level - sleep. Always remember: not sleeping leads to shit bodies.

3. Drink Coffee
There is a reason why there are so many caffeinated energy drinks. Downing coffee and toast between back-to-back workouts can keep you humming. The Journal of Applied Physiology reports individuals who drank a caffeinated carbohydrate beverage after cycling had 66% more glycogen (energy reserve) in their muscles than those who were caffeine-free.
Ever since I discovered this, I changed my own morning routine from five minutes of coughing followed by at least three cigarettes to an ultra-quick snack of toast and pouring back two shots of espresso (substituted with a cup of black coffee when I feel extra lethargic) a solid 15 minutes before a short (10-20 minutes) cardio session and a jog.

4. Focus Routines
When pacing work-out periods, make sure to simply switch focus on the general area you’re working out. For example, working with a 4-day work-out week could start off with chest and shoulders one day, followed by back and mid section the next day, followed by biceps and triceps the next, and then legs on the last day. It’d be best to look into exercises about isolating muscle groups to properly configure routines for each day.  

5. Research Routines
This was a big thing for me when I was first starting out – there is no great gain or progress in just lifting heavy things, doing a lot of push ups and a hundred crunches. There is no shame in looking (downloading) workout videos as they can serve anyone well enough. Muscle confusion is an actual thing and so is working-out too much. Diversity in exercises, I find, is a great thing for your routine.  

I recommend anything by Biggest Loser star Jillian Michaels, as her routines tend to be some of the best among the commercial trainers – plus, she seems to have mastered this fierce face that serves enough aggressive sexual tension to get you through the 20-minute routines. Really, whatever gets you through it on a regular basis is worth it.

//Sam MacDonald
opinions editor

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