Minimalism in workouts

Not a topic I've talked about much on here but I do work out (sometimes) to make sure my body stays functional.

And that's all I do workouts for, I used to be a big fan of having abs and heavy interval training and maintaining a diet and all that but then I was also someone who liked to enjoy all the delicacies that the world had to provide.

Overall, I did end up giving up the whole train always life for food and let it get out of hand and had a weight scale that was stuck at 100kg for quite a while.

Turn time to 2 years ahead and the scale is now stuck at around 80-85kg, I don't go lower than that and surprisingly, never go over 85kg.

It has to do a lot with my natural metabolism but then there's also the factor of the added metabolism, which is basically how much movement you've added to your life which in turn increases the energy consumption and that has an impact on your overall weight loss.

So, what do I do to add that additional metabolism? It's a few things and involves me pushing my minimalism principles (or just laziness principles) into it.

Minimalism and Calisthenics

I use calisthenics as my choice for the exercises.

Calisthenics, to be put simply is using your body as resistance instead of weights ( barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, etc), and there are different theories and beliefs out there on its effectiveness so I'm not going to go deep into it, because I'm not that smart, to begin with.

Either way, the choice to do calisthenics was because it was easy to pick up for me as compared to working with dumbells which need you to focus on what you are doing and can cause serious injuries if you aren't careful. This is true for any workout method actually but I just thought calisthenics was easier when I started, so it stuck with me. The method described below can be adapted to weight training as well.

Getting to the actual part which is working out.

The workout pattern laid below is just a tinier version of the multi-exercise pattern used by athletes for endurance training

The Method

We'll be using compound movements, so you are limited to working with exercises that work on more than one area of your body. Exercises like these are common in calisthenics but you have quite a few such exercises in barbell training as well. (google is your friend)

The method is as follows

  1. Pick one of the Push, Pull, Core, and Legs for your workout day. We want to spread them throughout the week. (Push on Monday, Pull on Wednesday, Legs on Friday, etc). You might want to include Core training every day, but if you lack the time you can do that after the Leg day, without rest
  2. Find an exercise for whatever you picked, example: Push day could be Pushups, Dips, Benchpresses etc
  3. The idea is to do 4 sets,
    • 1st set we do the hardest. and then the remaining 3 sets we do a more adaptable version of the exercise.
    • Each week we add in more reps/weight to all the sets till you can do about 20 reps of both the harder and the easier exercises
  4. And that's it.

No, this won't help you get a super physique. Nope, It's not the best way to gain strength either.

It's a simplistic approach to having a really simple workout plan that keeps you moving and having a maintenance workout. That's about it. That's also why calisthenics works well for this since it can be done almost anywhere and even the variations just change in the lever/position of the body

Here's what I'd do for someone who's just starting and can do only let's say 1 pushup.

Let's say Monday is your Push Day.

  1. Set 1: Push Ups 1 rep.
  2. Set 2: Kneeling Push Ups - 2 reps minus the max reps you can do
  3. Repeat Set 2 for 2 more sets
  4. Try to add 1 rep every week, and when I said try, try to just push yourself even if you can only do a quarter of the full movement with that weight/exercise. It still counts as an attempt.

If your body adapts quickly you should be up 4 pushups by the end of the month or just 1, it doesn't matter, you now have a tiny workout, that hardly takes 10-15 mins a day.

That's an embarrassingly small goal!

Yep, it is and in my life and experience, that's how you create habits. You achieve something that's simple and at the same time easy for you to achieve that you keep doing it, and when it's about handling health and working out, being able to stick to working out almost every other day is a lot more important than doing it for like 6 months and then leaving it cause you went back to your old habits.

Anyway, it's not for people who wish to achieve impressive physiques or strength, it's for people who'd like to add a little more movement into their life.

also, I'm like 177-178cm tall, so 82kg based on BMI is considered overweight but I just have to lose 3 kgs to get to BMI's standard of Normal weight, which isn't hard if I stop eating the stuff I enjoy eating. So give up 3kg for the tasty stuff I like to eat. You could say I'm fine with it.

I guess that's about it, though before you pick this up if you are someone who's medically obese, your first step should still be consulting a doctor and getting your diet in check instead of working out.