Alexander William's work requires him to be in peak shape; after all, he is a fitness model.
( He has been in Exercise for Men, among many other publications. ) He said that one goal is to have a regimen that's "as maintainable as possible. You see guys using all of these supplements in their diets, and it's just unrealistic. I want to be fit when I'm 35, 45, 55," said William, 26. "I don't want to do something that I can't maintain down the road."
William said that he tries to do weight activity two or three times a week, and he "sneaks in cardio, and I hate cardioso I try to mask it. I box, I play socceranything to fool myself into enjoying some cardio activity."
So William, a Chicagoan, talked about what exercises work for himbody part by body part:
Shoulders: "I've got bad shoulders," Williams admitted, "so I tend to take it easy on them. I've got small dumbbell weights, and there are shoulder-building exercises that are good for rotator cuffs. You see people using cable machines, and do the axe chop? Things like that will help keep your ligaments in line. Small weight lifts are [ enough ] ; some guys try to do too much."
Chest: "This is one I definitely like, and if you do it right it'll fill out our frame pretty nicely and you'll fill out clothes well," William said. "A dumbbell bench press is probably the best exercise for the chest. There are a lot of stabilizer muscles that'll kick in [ along ] with what you normally get from a bench press."
Arms: "If you're looking for big arms, spend more time on the triceps," he said. "I like a lot of cable pulldowns, extensions with barbellsand you can load up the weights because there isn't a large range of motion. With biceps, curls are great; I like the preacher curls a lot."
Back: "I like back exercises as well," William said. "A lot of pulldown [ exercises ] work. Lat pulldowns are good for the back and side; you can end up with angel wings [ the muscles that jut out from beneath the arms ] and look bigger. Shrugs are good, tooas long as they don't grab too much; some people take 100-pound dumbbells."
With the lower back, "you see people do this reverse sit-up motion." [ Note: William later expounded in an e-mail, calling the movement a "back extension [ it's ] done on an extension bench or back extension/roman chair bench. For simplicity's sake, it can also be done using a Swiss Ball." He emphasized that one of the keys for him is stretching.
Abs: "I don't go crazy on abs," said William, who sports a six-pack. "I have a few exercises that I do, but I usually only do one of them at a time when I go to the gym. While he said that standard crunches and sit-ups are fine, "I like other exercises, like rope crunches. It's my all-time favorite." However, he added that some people may never achieve six-packs: "There can be a bottom factor [ regarding ] muscle definition. You can run all night, eat whatver and work out night and day, and you just might not get it."
And what about those ab machines touted on infomercials? "If they worked, they'd be everywhere," William said. "However, I do like the Ab-Roller; it simplifies the crunching motion. But if it's too good to be true, it usually is."
Rear end: If you want that rounded posterior, William ( who added that this is the body part that challenges him the most ) recommended lunges. "My favorite one is a walking lunge with dumbbells25 steps that way and 25 back," he said.
Upper legs: "If you can work in cardio, that's the best," William said. "Sometimes people get really bulky legs, but cardio can really tone legs. If you want a combination, you can try a jumping lunge; a ton of studies say that [ that type of exercise ] can help you run faster and build enduranceplus it tones your legs.
Lower legs: William said, "I've been playing soccer since I was little so I really haven't had a problem with calves. However, a lot of people like doing leg presses; at the end of each set, you can just switch to toe pushesthey're like calf raises."
Alexander William's Web site is alexander-william.com; he blogs at awfitness.blogspot.com .