The Intersection of Fitness and Minimalism: Part I
Part I: In The Gym
This is Part I of a 2 part series. Read Part II here.
I’ve been hiding a bit of myself from you. Though less mischievous and exciting are my secrets than you might be hoping for. My interests in minimalism and fitness.
Odd topics to bring up together, wouldn’t you agree?
Firstly, I really haven’t been hiding those parts of myself. I just haven’t gotten around to discussing them too much and how they are a part of my life. You can read about how I got into fitness and living healthy.
The unfamiliar can read an introduction to minimalism, here.
So how do these two intersect? Glad you asked!
The tale of two..
I’ve already discussed how to embrace minimalism in the kitchen, see here.
There are two other areas I wish to delve into, where minimalism and fitness intersect. First, in how you work out. Your exercises, programs and time spent in the gym (Part I). Second, in how you enhance your results with supplements (Part II).
Applying minimalism both in the gym and in the nutrition store will have you spending less time and money to achieve more optimal results.
Working smarter, not harder is the idea.
I will discuss how you can run into problems when following conventional wisdom with regards to fitness and how the supplementation industry is a gigantic machine that’s pursuit of profit can get in the way of your best interests.
I will also provide some suggestions on workout routines and a few foundational supplements. You shouldn’t need more than what I will recommend to get where you want to go, and farther.
Yes, some of the following links are are affiliate links. Yes I receive a commission if you decide you want to try what I’m using. No, it doesn’t affect the price for you. Yes, I am grateful if you choose to heed my advice.
Here we go!
Do you even lift, bro?..
If you’re even remotely interested in lifting weights, getting buff, increasing strength, or whatever, chances are you’ve looked up some exercises and programs.
Good. Following a consistent program is the first step to gains realization. If you’re already tracking and reviewing your workouts, I’d wager you’re consistently building muscle.
But, there is a problem with many of the programs online. They’re built for guys that are juicing.
The ‘5-6 times a week, separate muscle group a day’ routine ring a bell?
I did that for years. Sure, I saw some gains. But they were so slow and I was always in the gym and I was usually sore if I was following the prescribed plans correctly.
I didn’t mind it for the longest time. The gym was life. The soreness a badge of honor.
But then I got an adult job. The commitments in my life began piling up. It wasn’t feasible to spend so much time in the gym. Living everyday sore and tired wasn’t practical.
Obviously I’m not on gear. Not that I have anything against muscle enhancements. Everything in moderation. I can certainly see the benefit and draw. It’s just not something I’ve indulged up to this point.
Recently I got sick and tired of being tired and spinning my wheels. Enter the 5×5.
The premise is simple. You repeat a simple mix of the following 5 full body lifts:
- Overhead press
- Bench press
- Bent over row
You perform 3 of these exercises each day, 3 times a week, 5 sets of 5 reps per lift per session (excluding warm up lifts).
All the while increasing the weight of each lift, incrementally each session.
Don’t beat yourself into an over-trained mess which ultimately impedes your gains, you increase strength consistently overtime. Use the prescribed program found HERE.
An added bonus: each movement uses a multitude of muscle groups you can avoid the heavy top/chicken leg syndrome that plagues gym rooms across the nation. Your muscles are worked in a correct format that allows for symmetrical development of the whole body.
3 lifting sessions of roughly an hour each reduces the amount of time spent at the gym, allowing you to pursue other aspects of life.
Since I’ve begun running this program I’ve really focused on my form, knowing I only have a few lifts each day at the gym. I’m not always experiencing a pump at the gym, but I feel much more pumped and less sore throughout the week. I can also feel and see my legs progressing from the increased amount of lower body focus.
Less time in the gym, and better results. Need I say more?
Again, check out StrongLifts for a full overview of the program and benefits.
Read Part II where I will discuss the insidiousness of the supplement industry and the only supplements you should really ever need.
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