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    Photo Credit: Paul E. Pratt

Exercises men dread

By Paul E. Pratt

Have you ever found yourself working all the way around a particular machine at the gym? Maybe it'’s crunches you hate. Perhaps the leg extensions? If you find yourself avoiding certain exercises, you're not alone.

Let's face it. Not every exercise is as fun, gives the immediate results or effortless to do. Even the most fitness-oriented RealJock can find himself struggling to regularly include certain parts of the workout routine. At the same time, those same workouts that take the extra boost of dedication often provide a huge payoff.

Here three very real guys fess up about the parts of their routines they struggle with doing. In addition to telling exactly why they hate doing the exercise, they also explain why they always feel better once they do.

Christopher, 38
I don't really like doing cardio. I have to wait 20 minutes before I know it's doing anything good for my heart. Doing one thing, that one exercise, for that length of time can be a little boring. Sweat gets in my ears, preventing me from even doing the whole iPod thing. With no music, just listening to all the "Uhh! Uhh!" of guys working out, it can be really, really boring. So when I'm on the machines, I watch hot guys working out. That and I meditate a lot. Otherwise, I just wind up staring at the minute timer on the machine.

I like the elliptical machines, because (at my gym) you have a view of the whole gym so you can see everyone working out. The benefit I get from doing cardio is healthier veins and heart and gives you better bloodflow to my whole body. No matter what I’m doing, I have more instantaneous blood flow and more stamina.

Gary, 41
I hate doing leg squats. They hurt. The truth is, I do them less than any other body part, which is not a good thing. Honestly, I'll put off doing my legs. I skip them a couple times while I do other body parts until I feel guilty enough to do them. It's the only body part I work on that hurts. My knees are pretty banged up. Nothing else really hurts. Even when I do squats, I don't do that much in terms of weight. That's why I still have small legs. To be honest, I don't think about my legs much. I don't see them that much. No one really comments. It's not worth it to me to mess up my knees. I prefer doing biceps. I see the affect in those more than in other body parts. I notice if I dont work out and I notice if I do workout my arms more than other body parts.

Fuad, 40
I don't hate any exercises. The problem is people, from the lack of experience doing exercises, can put a lot pressure on their bones. I usually avoid doing exercises which put pressure on my joints. For example, squats put pressure on my spine. Sometimes people wind up doing more weight than they can do and can hurt themselves by doing that. People don't have to do squats, but they can pick exercises they prefer to do. You can do leg presses, since they're easier on your back and you really can’t go wrong with the movement. You can do lunges and starting resistance can be your own body weight. Once you've mastered the form, you can add weight to it. You also need to do exercises for the quadriceps and hamstrings. Legs are the biggest muscle group in your body, and they're very hard to do. They require a lot of blood to be pumped into this one area. For the heart to pump all that blood into one part of your body—and it's half of your body—you always feel great when you’re done.