The Minimalist approach to efficient workouts
We’ve all been there. There’s so much going on inside your head that you cannot choose the right course of action, so instead you freeze and do nothing. Feeling overwhelmed typically comes from having too much choice or not having a clear enough goal in mind.
Clarity on the outcome. What is it that you are trying to achieve? Longevity, a marathon, increased mobility?
Create a simple workout plan. If at first you are too challenged or the workout varies so much that it becomes daunting to begin, you simply wont begin.
#2 Just start
Sitting at a clean document and perpetually planning your new workout regiment down to infinite detail wont make you any fitter. In the eternal words of Elvis Presley – ‘a little less conversation, a little more action please’.
Just get out there and do something right now. Small steps will build momentum and momentum is what you need right now, This time allocated to doing will also build you a new routine.
#3: Ditch Perfection
You aren’t perfect, nobody is. An excessive focus on perfection leads to one or all of these 3 things:You will cherry-pick activities and exercises that you are good at, avoiding those that will challenge you because you’re scared of failure.
When you do fail, you will fail, you’ll quit because you can’t handle the prospect of not achieving.
You’ll never allow yourself the feeling of achievement that comes from success, always thinking that you have to do better.
Perfectionists are not, as most people tend to think, the most successful people among us. Typically, I find that the happiest and most successful people, success is used in the broadest sense here, are those that accept failure and use the experience to make progress.
Ironically, this can lead perfectionists to lead increasingly insular lives and never achieve their full potential.
What’s the solution?
Focus on progress rather than perfection. Progress often comes from making errors along the way and learning from your experiences. Aim to leave each so called failure with a point of learning.
You can also force yourself to focus on progress rather than perfection by trying lots of new training methods, including:
Odd object strength workouts with implements like kegs, logs, stones and sandbags.
Bodyweight mastery and agility workouts with Parkour, Gymnastics and Ju-Jitsu
Playing new sports and enter events, especially events that you have never considered entering before!
#4: Be Time-Smart
No matter what your goals may be, there is a way that you can structure your workout program to make better use of your time.
If you’re not currently exercising then we need to get you to a place where you can fit exercise into your life because, without exercise and activity your long term well being will suffer.
What’s the solution?
You could take a “no extra time” approach to exercise and multi-task. People who read while on the treadmill do this. Personally, I think the benefits of spending time focusing on the present far outweigh the small amount of time you might save with this type of approach.
If you don’t have time to exercise then sleep less. Do whatever you need to do to free up some time.
Instead, I suggest you take a more time efficient approach to the workout session itself. In fact, many people find that that a time-limit on their training session makes them work much, much harder. Try these:
300 Kettlebell Swings – complete as fast as possible.
5 Pull Ups, 10 Push Ups, 15 Squats – as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes.
50 Ground-to-Overhead lifts with a Sandbag – complete as fast as possible.
Putting It All Together
You’ll notice that this article has been light on specific exercises and programs for you to follow, and purposefully so.
Taking a minimalist approach to your workouts means means that you strip away all of the useless components relevant to you and not simply following somebody else’s program.
Done right, this can be a tremendously rewarding experience that gives you the tools you’ll need to continue making progress long into the future.