Chef cooks up exercise plan

Fitness Profile

September 06, 1998|By Rasmi Simhan | Rasmi Simhan,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

People stare at Kurt Taylor. At his arms. At his chest. Little do they know that the 33-year-old Baltimore chef used to be "kinda skinny."

Taylor made a workout plan, started out slowly and stuck with it, and now enjoys both the physical bulk and mental benefits.

He starts each day with a secret ingredient: oatmeal. Oatmeal is a nutritious meal that the body burns quickly, Taylor says, adding, commercial-like, that it doesn't have to taste bland. He sweetens it with honey, brown sugar, bananas and raisins - he is a chef, after all.

His workout, from 8 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., wraps around his work schedule at Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville. On Mondays, he focuses on his chest; Tuesdays, triceps and biceps; Wednesdays, legs; Thursdays, stomach and back; and Fridays, shoulders.

For variety, he travels the smooth roads of Druid Hill Park on in-line skates.

How does he stay with such an intense schedule? When he's tempted to slack off, Taylor "blocks everything out and goes directly" to the gym. He alternates heavy workouts with lighter exercise at home with a pull-up bar, exercise machine and dumbbells. He also exchanges exercise and injury tips with the other regulars at the gym.

For Taylor's tennis elbow and occasional lower-back or shoulder pain, his doctor recommended that he use a can of soup as a weight - to stretch, but not to strain, his muscles. In one of the exercises, Taylor holds the can in his hand, raises his arm to shoulder height and lowers it.

Taylor fuels his workouts with a diet high in protein and carbohydrates, specifically vegetables, chicken and pasta. Sometimes he craves something cheesy, a cheeseburger or a cheese steak, and he indulges: "I feel that I deserve it."

Taylor continues to improve his program with tips from magazines such as Men's Fitness. Meanwhile, he enjoys the benefits of regular exercise: the boost in energy, motivation and brain power.

"With the body being exposed to pollution and different food products," he said, "it's good for the mind and body."

Pub Date: 9/06/98

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