On the following pages, you’ll find a complete health and fitness regimen designed specifically for young lawyers and law students. Think we’re messin’? We are not. We had real lawyers and lawyers-to-be share their workout, diet, and stress-management habits with an authority in each field. Then we had the pros rip the budding legal eagles a new … um, educate them.
The experts’ advice is designed, in fact, to help any young lawyer or law student. It is simple. It is doable. It works. As of this moment, you have no more excuses. Have a nice day.
Ah, the lament of the thickening associate: I’d love to get some exercise, if only I could get to the gym. Take Ben Schlansky, a 31-year-old Fordham Law grad and a former corporate lawyer (and college tennis star) who’s officially joined the ranks of the out-of-shape. Schlansky’s excuse is a little lame, though, since he works at … a gym. Okay, he works for a company that owns several fitness centers on Long Island. But let the record show that nine perfectly good hard courts lurk not 20 feet from the office of this ex-number two singles player at Vassar. “It’s just ugly,” Schlansky concedes. “Law school was the start of my demise,” he says, reflecting wistfully on his buff days of giving serve-and-volley lessons. Then three years at Fordham, followed by a one-year stint at New York’s Seward & Kissel, killed any remnants of a fitness routine. Now, Schlansky wants to lose weight, gain strength, and be able to play a few sets without supplemental oxygen. “Basically, I want to be in good all-around shape,” he says.
“Typical,” sniffs Adam Cronin, the man who trains the trainers at New York’s upscale Equinox Fitness Clubs. “Health is put on the back burner.” Luckily, the patient can be saved. Below, a Cronin-designed fitness program that accounts for a lawyer’s busy life: It takes just one hour a day, three days a week, and it still gets results. To avoid injury and fatigue—and excruciating pain—Cronin recommends exercising at three-quarters speed for the first two weeks. It wouldn’t hurt to check with your doctor before suddenly getting off your duff, either. Here, then, Cronin’s plan to get Schlansky—and anyone else—plenty darn fit. Begin immediately. Repeat until next swimsuit season.
Start each session on an elliptical cross-trainer or a bike (they’re easy on the joints), or if you prefer, a stair machine or a treadmill. The idea is to lubricate your muscles and joints. Get your heart pumping at about 65 percent of its maximum rate (to determine your maximum, subtract your age from 220, then multiply that number by 0.65).
Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Lifting weights not only makes you bigger and stronger, it also boosts your metabolism so you burn calories more efficiently. And you’ll get that nice, tight butt! For a general strength program, Cronin recommends working the major muscle areas (arms, legs, chest, and back) every time you enter the gym. His workout is divided into three sessions. Monday and Friday emphasize power while Wednesday is about endurance.
Time: 40 to 45 minutes
At the end of each session, stretch all the major muscle areas (again, ask a trainer for instructions). How far should you push it? “Go to the point of mild discomfort but before the shakes,” says Cronin. Hold each stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, and repeat. Should you bounce? If you want the stretch to be useless, yes. Otherwise, no. Time 5 to 10 minutes
Hit the elliptical trainer, bike, stair machine, or treadmill again. This time, work at 55 percent of your maximum heart rate. You’ll squeeze in a bit more aerobic work, and you’ll flush away lactic acids that cause muscle soreness.
Time 5 to 10 minutes
If you have the time, Cronin suggests, add more aerobic work. Run or bike two or three times a week for 20 minutes, varying the speed and intensity. If you get bored doing the same strength exercises, ask a trainer for new routines that work the same muscle groups.
(Note: Click on the underlined exercises to view QuickTime videos of each. To install QuickTime, visit apple.com/quicktime/download.)
Do three sets of strength exercises, ten repetitions each. Working the largest muscles first, do leg presses, lat pull-downs, split squats, horizontal seat rows, seated chest presses, barbell curls, seated shoulder presses, seated calf raises, triceps push-downs, alternate leg lowering, and alternating Supermans. (Don’t know these exercises? Ask a trainer.) To determine how much to lift, pick a weight that you can heft exactly 10 times (but not 11). Maintain a consistent tempo: three seconds to lower the weight, two seconds to raise it. Rest for 30 seconds or so between sets.
Do the same exercises you did on Monday, but this time do three sets of fifteen reps each using slightly lighter weights. Take one second to raise the weight and two seconds to lower it. Rest for one minute between sets.
Repeat Monday’s strength workout.