Simplify Your Resistance Training
We all know that resistance training is beneficial for the body. It boosts metabolism. It tones our muscles and helps us to feel less of the wiggly and jiggly bits slap around. It improves our strength and stamina. It prevents osteoporosis and assists in the bone remineralization. Science demonstrates that resistance training even helps to reverse insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. The health benefits are plentiful, yet here is what some folks seem to be missing: the health benefits do not increase the heavier the weight you use or the longer your workouts. In fact, research supports a whoppin’ two sessions per week of 15-20 minutes.
As I am a whole-hearted supporter of simplification and minimalism, I want to use this post as a method of helping you to maximize your desired results by minimizing your efforts. With some tweaking of your current plan you can create a body-shaping routine that will provide all the necessary benefit and create the extra time you need to pursue the things in life that spark joy. However, if going to the gym 2 hours per day (as I used to do out of desperation) truly sparks joy for you, then more power (muscle power, that is) to you. But if becoming a gym rat is not your bag, then I have good news: you can train every muscle in your body in under an hour PER WEEK. In this post, I’ll provide you the basic training (with or without weights, with a gym membership or at home) that nearly anyone can perform and modify to meet individual goals and requirements.
I have borrowed a few exercises from Tim Ferriss’ book: The Four Hour Body. I have adjusted the routine to get the most of an overall body workout and added some exercises that I have found to be extraordinarily beneficial. The overall routine should take no longer than 30 minutes, ideally around 15-20 minutes per session, with scheduled session occurring twice per week. Each session will include 4-5 exercises performed consecutively without rest, then repeated. You can repeat all of the exercises three or four times, if you want; but, twice is plenty.
Below, I provide you with 10 total exercises, of which you will choose 4-5 each day, then whichever you do not do on the first day you can do your second day of the week or just repeat your favorites. Choose either “A” or “B” of each exercise, if the option is provided. If not, do this exercise both days.
Before you start, make sure to warm up for 5 minutes, first. You can do yoga, jumping jacks, jump on your mini trampoline, jump rope, etc. Just get your muscles warmed up and your heart rate up a bit.
EXERCISE #1: LOWER BACK AND BACKSIDE (CHOOSE A OR B)
A. HIP BRIDGE
Perform 15 repetitions.
B. BIRD DOG
Perform 15 repetitions per side. If you find that over time you need more resistance, add ankle weights.
EXERCISE #2: LEGS AND BACKSIDE
SQUATS WITH DUMBBELLS (DO BOTH DAYS)
Choose a comfortable weight that you can achieve 10-12 repetitions but you fatigue at 13-15. If you are a beginner, then start with light weights and work up to your proper resistance level. Complete a set of 12 repetitions.
EXERCISE #3: CORE (CHOOSE A OR B)
A. PLANK RAISES AND PLANK ROTATIONS (SIDE, FRONT)
Complete as many plank raises as you can in a 90 second period. If that is only one plank raise, that is alright. You can work up to more. Do as many front plank raises as possible then do as many plank rotations per side as you can in a 90 second period. Switch sides. Essentially you are completing front plank raises, right side and left side plank rotations in under 5 minutes.
B. MYOTATIC CRUNCH
Start with 10 repetitions. Once you master the positioning and are comfortable with 10 reps, then add hand weights; but, no more than 10 pounds. If you can use more weight, chances are your form is not correct. These are NOT easy. If you do not have a stability ball, you can use a bosu ball or a stack of large cushions that keep your bottom up off of the floor.
EXERCISE #4: WHOLE BODY (DO BOTH DAYS)
Women should start with lighter weights around 15-20 pounds and work up to 30-40 pounds. Start very light until you know your form is perfect. Men can start with 20-30 pounds and work up to 40 pounds or more. However, DON’T be a hero. Start out light and again, make sure your form is perfect and that you are not hurting yourself. Watch these videos to perfect your form. Perform 25-50 repetitions.
***IF YOU DON’T HAVE A KETTLEBELL–
You can do kettlebell swings using dumbbells. I recommend using weight lifting gloves as the grip will be much easier.
KETTLEBELL SWING USING A DUMBBELL:
EXERCISE #5:ARMS AND UPPER BACK (CHOOSE ONE)
A. PUSH UPS
Perform as many pushups as you can. Start where you need to, whether that is against a wall, on your knees or using your entire body weight. The maximum you can do is your repetition number. Work toward increasing this number each time. If you are beginner, please watch the videos below.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS:
B. PULL-UPS OR ASSISTED DESCENDING PULL-UPS.
Perform as many pull-ups as you are able. This will be your repetition number. If you cannot do a pull-up, you can simply hold your chin at the top of the bar as long as you can and then slowly (over 4-5 seconds) release yourself down. Use a chair beneath your feet if you need more help. Of course, you can use the gym pull up assistance if needed. If you have shoulder pain or any shoulder injuries you may need to avoid this exercise for now.
- USING A PULL-UP BAR:
2. ASSISTED PULL-UP AT THE GYM:
3. IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PULL-UP BAR OR GYM:
COOL DOWN: Stretch for 5 minutes as part of your cool down.
And that’s it. Five total exercises you can do twice a week to keep your entire body strong and toned. Choose either all “A”s one day and all “B’s” another day or feel free to mix it up.
Let me know if you found this post useful and please leave your comments below. If you have tried this workout or if you have favorite multi-tasking exercises, I want to hear from you! Also, let me know if you’d like to see more of my favorite workout routines and/or exercises to maximize your results (and time).
All the best to you my friend,
A special “thank you” for all the YouTube folks who have shared their wisdom and made their videos available to be shared with others!
If you are interested in further simplifying your workout routine, your diet and getting in your best shape with less effort, you can check out my book, The Forever Fat Burner.
Check out Tim Ferriss’ book,The Four Hour Body.
Here are some more links to get you started with your resistance training, if you need some additional equipment:
Here is the pull-up bar that I bought on Amazon: Pull-up bar for door frame
Adjustable hand weights (to use as a kettlebell): Adjustable 40 lb dumbbells
Weight lifting gloves (for men and women): weight training gloves for men or women
Stability Ball: Stability ball 55 inch
Adjustable ankle weights: Adjustable ankle weights 1-5 lbs
FOR FURTHER READING:
Metabolic Benefits of Resistance Training and Fast Glycolytic Skeletal Muscle
Potential Health-Related Benefits of Resistance Training: