Russ Ruggles (pictured) uses what is known as the push/pull training plan. Here is how it works:
•The method requires a person to work for one day solely on “pushing” muscles — chest, shoulders, triceps — and, on a different day, just on “pulling” muscles — back and biceps.
•In push/pull training, the upper body muscles get a strenuous workout on days one and two, and then legs and core are targeted on day three. Each set of muscles gets 48 hours recovery.
•For example, on day one, common pull exercises could include pull-ups, barbell curls and cable row. On day two, push exercises would be bench presses and shoulder presses. Day three could include legs and abs exercises.
So what does your workout routine look like in a typical week?
One day, I do core. I do a big cardio day, and then I do a day where I just pick up kind of loose ends, anything I’ve missed during the week. That last day is for if I get (to the gym) late or have to leave early for something. That’s what I pick up, whatever I missed. And if I don’t miss anything, it’s a day I can do little extras of whatever I want. I’m here generally here (Hancock Wellness Center) for an hour to an hour and a half every day.
What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine?
I was getting older, and I wanted to feel better. I didn’t want to keep getting worse and worse and worse the older I got. And I do (feel better). I’ve been (working out regularly) for about 10 years, and I feel way better now than I did 20 years ago.
How do you make time to work out?
I stop in on my way home every day after work.
Have you lost weight or gained muscle mass through working out? How much?
I have gained muscle mass, but I have not lost much weight (laughs). But I haven’t gained weight, so that’s a good thing.
What’s your favorite exercise?
Dead lifts. It takes a strong body to do a strong dead lift. I usually do around 30 reps. My max is 520 (pounds). I only do that once. And I only do that once every four to six weeks.
Any exercises you dread but do anyway?
Squats. They hurt my knees and my hips, because I’m a little older now. And that’s where it bothers me the most. It’s tough to make myself do those. But they’re helpful. And those are my Friday workouts, and they’re the last thing I do. So I have to do them, or I’m not done.
Do you listen to music during your workout? If so, what’s on your playlist?
Not really. Just what they’re playing over the speakers. I use this time to try to really clear my mind. More get away from work and prepare myself for going home. It’s kind of a transition.
Do you follow any special diet or eating plan? Do you cheat much?
I’m not like a vegetarian or anything special. I eat healthier, stay away from junk food and processed food. You have to reward yourself every once in awhile. Frozen yogurt. Or maybe frozen custard or a piece of cake.
Do you have a favorite fitness moment, such as when you reached a certain goal or overcame a plateau?
The 520 on the dead lift. That was pretty good.
What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out?
I have to come in and work out. I mean, I’m addicted now. So I come in, and once I get started, then it’s like OK, that’s one down, and I’m on my way. Every set that I do means I’m closer to getting down and getting out.
What advice would you give someone who wants to begin working out?
Just be prepared, because you never when you can go. And once you get to a point, four months, six months, somewhere in there, for me, I was hooked. I had to go.
Name: Russ Ruggles
Where you work out: Hancock Wellness Center in Greenfield
Hours per week: 5-8