ASK BRANDY: Keith Elias helps with fitness goals

Thursday, August 27, 2009
By Brandy Dolce

keith_eliasQ: I’m a guy of average build (not too thin, not too fat) but I’d like to get in shape. I’m not hoping to look anything like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I’m tired of looking like Andy Dick. Any ideas on where I should start?

Mike, 27, Point Pleasant

A: No matter what your body type, you need to come up with a set list of fitness goals (e.g. I want to be the next Mr. Olympia, or I want to be able to run around the block without collapsing) and stick to them.
But who better to ask about snapping a body into shape than former New York Giants runningback Keith Elias, who is now a consultant for Trinity Financial in Millstone Township. The Lacey native said his weekly workout routine is designed less for bulk and more for that shredded look.
“Ask any woman and it seems their ideal body desire for a man is Brad Pitt in ‘Fight Club,’ and not Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he said. (Touchdown, Elias!) “After an informal poll, I decided that women like guys to have a V-shape. That means broad shoulders, decent arms and, above all, great abs.”
Elias said he alternates his weight-training days with cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, biking). Newbies should start out light and do several repetitions of an exercise, he said. Three sets of 10 or 15 is fine.
“Hit all of the major muscle groups,” he said. “Bench presses for chest, shoulder presses or dumbbell lateral raises for shoulders. Shrugs for traps (trapezius), pull-downs or seated-rows for back, pushdowns and bicep curls for arms and do not neglect legs.”
He said squats or leg presses are the core of leg training. Other lower-body exercises for calves, hamstrings and quadriceps can be done on various machines that are staples of most gyms. Don’t be afraid to ask one of the gym’s trainers for guidance. That’s what they’re there for.
Most importantly, Elias stressed eating a healthy diet.
“No matter how many sit-ups you do, you will never have cut abs if you eat poorly,” he said. “Drink plenty of water and cut out soft drinks. Eat balanced meals and don’t follow any strange diet plans. Once a week, take one meal and eat whatever you want — wings, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen — whatever.”
And you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to reach your goals. Elias’ workouts take him only 30 to 40 minutes.
“Getting in shape is not as intimidating or as time consuming as people might think, and it can be a lot of fun, and a great way to meet new people,” he said.

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