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Kouros of AnavysosIn a hurry?  You only so much time at lunch or between classes to get in a workout?  You remember that if you don't exercise you won't get the results you desire. What to do? 

Try my "Greek-god 25 minute workout" and use this workout routine 3 or 4 times a week.   Be sure to have a rest day in-between training days.  It's important that you give your body a chance to recover.  That's how you allow your muscles to grow. 

I use this workout when I'm rushed for time, but I still want to exercise.  (Click here for other workouts I use.)

(Click here for information about the sculpture pictured.)  

This 25 minute workout is designed to be performed quickly; one exercise right after another until completed.  You can split the workout up - say upper body one day and then lower body the next. 

I work out for symmetry and proportion. 

  • Keep in mind that your waist should be about 12 inches smaller than your chest.  
  • Neck, biceps and calf measurements should each be about half your waist.
  • Your thighs should be about 1.5 times the size of your calves.

The Greek-god 25 Minute Workout

Chest:   Using barbells, dumbbells or machine, perform chest presses.  Start with 60% of the maximum amount of weight you can press and increase the weight with each set.   Remember to flex at the top of the movement and slowly lower the weight, always keeping in control.  Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps. Chest
Back:  Pull downs - cable machine, or if unavailable, do pull ups.  If performing pull-ups with the cable machine Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Neck:   Barbell or dumbbell shrugs.  Stand upright holding on to the weight.  Let the weight hang in front of you then shrug your shoulders.  Try and isolate the trapezius.  Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Thighs:  Squats with barbell, dumbbells or machine.  Start with a warm up set using 75% of the weight you normally squat.  (Per workout, vary your stance - feet shoulder width apart for one workout and feet together for another workout.)  Add the rest of the weigh with each additional set.  Do three sets of 6 to 10 reps. Quadriceps
Hamstrings:  Stiff legged-dead lifts.  Start with a light weight get a good stretch and gradually increase your weight with each rep.  Keep focused!  You can blow-out your lower back with this one.  Do three sets of 6 to 10 reps. Hamstrings
Buttocks:  Walking lunges using dumbbells or barbells.  Perform the exercise so that you can get about 20 steps using a short stride and then 10 - 15 steps using a long stride.  Increase the weight with each rep.  Do three sets.  Careful with this one; if you're not used to it you will be sore the next day. Buttocks
Calf:  Standing calf raises with dumbbells or barbells.  Stand on a step on the balls of your feet and flex upward with your toes.  Come down with your heals going below the level of the step.   Do three sets of 15 to 25 reps each. Calves
Biceps:  Incline dumbbell curls.  Sit on an incline bench.  Holding the weights, let your arms hang to the side and then curl up.  Do 10 to 15 reps each arm. Biceps
Triceps:  Behind the neck extensions.  Hold the dumbbell behind the neck and then lift straight up.  Flex the triceps.  Do 10 to 15 reps each arm. Ttriceps
Stomach:  Crunches and leg raises.  Perform 3 sets of each.  Do 10 to 15 reps for each exercise. Abdominals
This is a marble sculpture of Kouros (standing male figure) of Anavysos, 530 B.C.  Kouros stands in the National Archeological Museum, Athens Greece.

Kouros of AnavysosWe know the identity of the Kouros because of the inscription at its base which reads, "Stand and mourn for Kroisos, first in line of battle and whom Ares [god of war] killed." Clearly the function of the statue is one of memorial. This one came from a cemetery outside of Athens. Not all Kouros figures are grave markers, though, some serve as memorials only, such as at temple sites. Kroisos stands with one foot forward (like Egyptian statues but for a different reason), in order to dedicate himself or present himself to the god. He appears rather rigid, frontal, and there is a stylized or formulaic approach to the anatomy (fairly crisp divisions). Although Kroisos is an individual this is not a portrait likeness, rather it is him at the peak of his physical and intellectual development -- a hero-athlete. The Greeks emphasized the importance of educating the mind as well as training the body. Remember Protagoras' dictum will be, "man is the measure of all things."

The Greeks depicted man in what they believed was the image of the gods and so would come to celebrate the body by striving for verisimilitude or true-likeness (realism and naturalism!). They were, at first, the only culture in the ancient world to employ the nude.

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