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I’m back to working out again.  My four year old asked me first thing this morning if I was going to do sit ups.  By noon I had already done 20 push ups and 10 squats.  I had yet to do any sit ups but after my kids were done watching Shrek 1 & 2 on my Xbox I spent a little time with Your Shape Fitness Evolved for Kinect.

It felt pretty good working out again.  I am encouraged by so many great readers comments and have gotten quite a few good suggestions on little things I can do throughout the day to add more work outs to my routine.  Humans are social creatures and we are at our best when we support each other.  I would love to connect with more people who are trying to get in shape.  On the right I have links to where you can follow me on Twitter and Google+.  Feel free to hit me up on either.  I use the hash tag #MinimizeWorkout on twitter.

Michelle commented and suggested crunches and calf raises during commercial breaks and Melissa told me that there are various forms of squats and push ups that benefit different parts of the body.  I plan to evolve my workout routine to make it more challenging and more beneficial and these tips will help me immensely.

On a side note, I had some guacamole for lunch.  I never knew I loved avocado so much until about a year ago when I was reading up on natural cures for things.  It seems avocado is a natural cure for just about everything.  Any day I get guacamole or avocado is a good day.

Push Ups: 50
Sit Ups:30
Squats: 30
Planks: 1:10
Fitness Evolved: 5:00

No working out today.  Today was a rest day.  The funny thing is all I can think about is working out.  I am really enjoying it.  I’ll admit my muscles are a little tired after 50 push ups yesterday but I drank enough water that they weren’t sore.

Tim’s Tip #3 – If your muscles are sore, you didn’t drink enough water period.

Many people have told me that they did, in fact, drink a lot of water but their muscles are still sore.  I’m not buying it.  I’ve heard from professional trainers that you must drink a ton of water to flush out the toxins that your muscles release when you work out or else you will be sore.  I’ve experimented and found this to be completely true.  I have done P90X for 45 minutes (and I’m out of shape), drank a ton of water and not been sore the next day.  I have also done lesser workouts and not drank enough water and been extremely sore the following day.

Wednesdays are very busy for me so I decided that they would be my rest day each week.  I thought to myself a few times, “I could do a workout set right now” but decided not to.  I need the rest in my legs and arms so I took a day off.  Tomorrow I’ll get back to working out and do 2-3 days in a row before I take another rest day.

My minimalist workout is a work in progress. So far I’m doing push ups, sit ups, squats and planks.  I’ve also started adding calf raises.  My goal is to add strength and tone by minimizing the effort of my workouts.

According to my plan I do squats every time I go in my bathroom.  This morning I woke up and went in my bathroom and promptly did 5 squats.  My quadriceps promptly started screaming “No more squats!”  I guess it is possible that I need more protein or perhaps my legs just aren’t strong enough to do squats every day.  I’m going to give my leg muscles a rest and cut back to squats every other day.   I also enjoyed another can of baked beans for lunch.  A little capsaicin on the quadriceps and I should be ok.

My biggest obstacle today is that it has been raining for three days.  When I don’t get enough sunlight my mood drops.  When my mood drops it is hard to stay motivated.  Minimizing my workout times has been a real help today.

I did 20 push ups within the first couple of hours of waking up.  This was mostly because the kitchen is my push ups trigger and my kids were very needy today!  My arm muscles feel good, however, indicating I could probably up my push ups per day.  This leads me to believe my legs are what really need work.  I ended up doing XX push ups hoping to push myself a little further.

My ultimate goal is to be able to do one leg squats as seen in the video by Pavel Tsatsouline below –

Push Ups: 50
Sit Ups: 0
Squats: 5
Plank: 0
Calf Raises: 5

I’m originally from the Detroit, MI area but I moved to Orlando, FL (aka best city on earth) in 2002.  Ever since Hurricane Charley hit in 2004 I’ve been afraid of hurricanes.  Tropical storms, however, bring a lot of rain, some wind and thunder.  Today is a tropical storm day.  Its also Memorial Day.  Instead of going to the park and BBQing I spent the day mostly in bed (I don’t get home from work until 3am) and playing with the kids.  We went to Publix and bought a fried chicken dinner complete with baked beans and hung out and enjoyed.

I’m not really on a good diet right now.  I was doing Tim Ferriss’ “Slow Carb Diet” and lost a good amount of weight.  In the process of moving I got off my diet for about a month.  By the time I got back on my diet I was addicted to carbs again.

Tim’s Tip #2 – The reason you fail at your diet is you are addicted to sugar and carbs!

The carb addiction was too much for me and after 2 weeks of dizziness I succumbed to the addiction and ate some bread.  I justify the baked beans because they’re full of protein and will be good for my muscles as I work out.  I realize I’m not a hard core muscle builder but baked beans with bacon in them are delicious.  Don’t follow my diet!

The bad thing about a tropical storm is that I wont be able to ride my motorcycle to work today.  I ride my motorcycle to work year round, nearly every single day.  I love it.

With all this activity today I honestly feel like my workout didn’t slow me down at all.  In fact, the hardest part of my workout was my 4 year old jumping on my back while I was doing a plank!  Today was a good day.

Push Ups: 25
Sit Ups: 15
Squats: 35
Plank: 1
Calf Raises: 15

Today is a day of rest for me.  I had three good days of hard minimalist workouts so I decided to rest my muscles.  It is good to give your muscles a rest from time to time to allow them to heal.  I don’t feel it necessary to rest every other day so I will just listen to my body and let it tell me when enough is enough.  During these days I’ll share some of my thoughts about my program so far and probably point out my progress.

I thought I should point out that I’m not a trainer.  I’m just a regular guy with a day job like anyone else.  I am 6ft 1in, about 215 lbs, 35 years old.  I intend to use this blog as a diary of my progress as I work to gain strength.  Ultimately I’d like to lose weight and become tone.

I have been thinking of a lot of ideas for this blog.  I’d like to add running eventually and am not sure how I want to implement it, although I have a couple ideas.  The key to my workout is to minimalize the effort, limiting my sets to 5 reps each.  In the future this may become too easy and I might have to increase the amount of reps per set.  I do each workout at different times throughout the day so it is always convenient.  Also, I use no weights or equipment except on occasion so I can do the workouts anywhere.  To me this is a true minimalist workout.

My inspirations for this workout are Leo Babauta from ZenHabits.org, Tim Ferriss of 4 Hour Body fame and Pavel Tsatsouline.

Today being Saturday it is a busy day.  I’m not sure how many exercises I’ll be able to get in since I’ll be out and about.  I started with taking my step daughter and her surprisingly polite and funny boyfriend to the movies.  Later, my wife and I are meeting our friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the UFC fights.  I have a fitness game for Xbox Kinect called Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012.  It is fantastic because the Kinect tracks your movement so you have a trainer and it watches you as you work out to make sure you do the exercises correctly.  It’s really accurate.

So with limited time and my Xbox I spent 7 minutes doing my abs.  The game has tons of exercises for the whole body but I picked abs only for two reasons: 1) my abs are the only part of my body that does not feel tired and 2) I feel that the exercises I did worked out my arms and legs as well as my core.

I will still get in a few reps of my normal exercises but not as many as I hope.  Seven minutes is easy.  If I’m to inspire anyone that they can be out of shape like me and put in minimum effort to build strength then I have to find the best workouts that take the least amount of time.  This is only day 3 and I’m on the right track.

I probably should be taking measurements to track progress…

I’d love to hear from anyone who knows of quick and effective exercises that can be done throughout the day.  Just leave a comment below.

Your Shape:  7 minutes
Squats:  5
Push ups:  5

Today I was doing my first set of sit ups and my 4 year old sat down and started doing sit ups too.  She was struggling a bit with her feet lifting up in the air which had me cracking up.  I told her to stop for a minute and held her feet down.  Then I had her do her sit ups and she did they really well.  She kept her back straight, put her hands behind her back and busted out 5 push ups.  It was the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.  After that her mom decided she wanted to video tape.  My wife is a perfectionist so she kept having Callie do them over and over again.  By then Callie was getting tired and ended up doing 20 sit ups.  I finally told my wife she wasn’t going to get a perfect video of her doing sit ups and we stopped.

The fun part about working out in the living room is having my kids join in.  It makes it more like a game than exercise.

Tim’s Tip #1 – Work out with your kids.  It makes it more of a game.  If you don’t have kids then grab a relative or neighbor’s kid (with permission of course).

Push ups 15

Squats 25

Sit ups 20

I am an average guy living in the Orlando, FL area.  My goal is to build strength and lose weight with a minimum amount of effort.  I’m calling my plan the Minimalist Workout.  My plan is to do only 5 reps per set of any workout but multiple times per day.

Today is my first day.  I woke up this morning and did one set of 5 sit ups.  I did these in the bathroom so I’m assigning sit ups to the bathroom for now.  I also did 5 squats in the bathroom so, for now, I’ll do my squats in the bathroom.  In the living room I did a 1 minute plank.  This was killer but I made it the full minute.  When I got to work I didn’t want to lay down and do sit ups in the bathroom so I will have to come up with a place at work to do sit ups.

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