I've been on the hack diet for nine months, and have lost lots of weight (65 down, have another 15 or so to go). I also started doing the exercise program recommended in the diet, though I've substituted different exercises for some of the oddball (and not very back-healthy) ones laid out in the diet.
I'm 42, if it matters. This program is my first experience exercising, other than walking around. While I still look mushy, there is progress being made. I literally could not do a single push-up (never have been able to) before starting on this, so I'm OK with how much I've accomplished so far.
Right now, I've built up to doing four sets (I decided on four sets kind of randomly, based on doing four different exercises) of the following:
Push-ups (7 reps)
Toe touches, double touch (20 reps)
Crunches, lower abdominals (15 reps)
Crunches, upper abdominals (15 reps)
Squats (15 reps)
After those four sets, I then do 8 sets of:
75 steps (counting right foot only) jogging in place
10 jumping jacks
I add reps as I make progress. I do this workout between four and six times per week.
My current workout is close to my limit by the fourth set of push-ups and crunches for my arms, chest and abdominals. When I feel I can do "one more" in the fourth set, I add a rep to all sets after my next day off. I also add a few steps each week to the jogging in place, when I reach 75 I add another set of jumping jacks. My heart and lungs get going but I never feel like I'm close to their limits.
My goal is to be fit and reasonably strong. I don't expect to make the cover of Men's Fitness with this sort of routine (there isn't that much wax in the world, anyway!). This question is for future reference, I've gots lots of work left to do before I need to worry about out-growing what I currently do.
As I increase my strength and fitness, would I be better to keep to four sets and simply increase the number of reps per set even if they get quite large, or build up to a certain number and then add a complete new set, or should I look to add a more challenging exercise in place of one I currently do, keeping the number of reps limited?
Would it be "better" to do
(a) 10 push-ups / 25 touches / (20/20)crunches / 20 squats x 6 sets
(b) 15 push-ups / 30 touches / (25/25) crunches / 30 squats x 4 sets
or even do three smaller (a) sets and then a fourth set doing each exercise to failure?