I love working out on the cheap, particularly minimalist fat loss style training that is highly metabolically demanding using short, intense, SAFE workouts.
I can warm up, workout and cool-down in a matter of 30-40 minutes on most days.
Sure, some days are shorter or longer in duration, but in general, it’s about a 30 minute time frame that I need to finish a high quality training session.
Over the years, my views on training have changed quite a bit. I think it’s been a healthy shift in methods and ideas for me. There will always be the staple principles of fitness that I may never let go of, but to remain stubborn to the idea of change is career and physical development suicide. You’ll get what you always got if you do what you always did. Change can be brutally painful, but sometimes it is necessary.
I’d like to take a few minutes to chat about minimalist fat loss training means to me.
There are two perceptions that people tend to have about working out:
1) You need a gym membership and expensive equipment (maybe a trainer)
2) You don’t need any equipment and can get it done at home with no equipment.
Flat out, #1 is false. I actually despise the gym these days. Why? Because I hate waiting for equipment and it hinders my workouts because of it. I also can’t handle the amount of questions I get when working through a set of Turkish Get Ups.
You can take the most cleverly designed fat loss program on the planet, and if you cannot execute it according to how the author originally designed it, you’ve already effected the results that you’ll receive from any amount of effort that you put in.
Programs are written the way they are for a reason. If the rest periods say 30 sec between movements, then it needs to be 30 seconds between movements. What happens when you finish your round of chin-ups, rest for 30 seconds, then you need that ever popular pair of 50lb dumbbells that some guy -who spends more time talking than working out- hogs for 20 minutes while he discusses last Sunday’s NFL results.
If you have ever been in a gym in your life, you have inevitably run into this. It’s a major headache.
In a nutshell, that was reason enough for me to start training at home (among other things).
AT HOME, I NEVER WAIT FOR EQUIPMENT WHICH HAS ALLOWED ME TO EXECUTE MY WORKOUTS EXACTLY AS THEY ARE DESIGNED. PRICELESS.
As for #2, I think this is an extreme view-point also. The minimalist footwear running craze swept the nation a while back, people traded cushioned full support shoes for un-cushioned minimal support footwear, or even barefoot in some instances. Some people benefited, some found themselves crippled over time from the adjustment. Attempting to pound the pavement for the same mileage while going cold turkey on footwear caused an extreme overload for the feet.
I share this story because I feel that the minimalist running craze has a relationship to the idea that you need ZERO equipment to burn fat. While I agree that there are great bodyweight fat loss programs available on the market today, I will also caution you that bodyweight training is JUST A TOOL. You could train bodyweight style for the rest of your life, but honestly, what fun is that?
On the performance and progression side of things, how much fun could it possibly be to perform 200 push ups and 200 squats and 200 lunges and 200 burpees 4 days a week just to get some kind of training effect? Good for you for putting up those kinds of numbers, but man o man is that boring! Lack of variety will hurt your desire to WANT to exercises over time. No one looks forward to something that is boring. You’ll start avoiding the daily training session like the plague because you know that it will be boring.
Also, keep in mind that the body adapts quickly and you have got to add load at some point. Angles and variations are great, but you have got to add load. If bodyweight training is your end game, your last stop, you may find yourself disappointed in your results sooner than later.
Minimalist fat loss training means maximizing workout/program design with the equipment that you have available to you. Give me one kettlebell and I can bury myself in a brutal training session. Give me a suspension trainer or rings, I can do the same with that. I encourage the purchase of simple equipment. I highly encourage building a simple gym. It’s inexpensive and can provide years and years of high quality training in the comfort of your own home.
So, after that long scenario… Let’s ask a simple question…
What equipment should a newbie to home training have on hand???
1) Suspension Trainer ($100)
2) Kettlebell of a challenging weight ($65-$100)
3) Interval Timer (Free-$20)
I am going to beat this equipment concept into the ground on this blog, so strap in for that. It will come up time and time again until I feel I no longer have nothing more to say about building a quality home gym.
If you own a treadmill, elliptical or universal home gym, sell that crap on Craigslist and purchase the equipment I listed above, 1 through 3, with money you receive from your sale. I am serious here.
If you own a gym membership, consider canceling it. Money, time and travel are great reasons to cancel it. On the low end, your membership will probably cost you around $300-$400 a year, which will buy you a bunch of home training equipment that will accelerate the fat loss beyond what you ever get out of being a member to a commercial big box gym.
Suspension trainers are such a dynamic piece of fitness equipment, it is hard not to encourage the purchase of one. A suspension trainer should be strung up from the ceiling in every single home in America. Well, at least the homes of those who have aspirations of getting fit. The suspension trainer is a logical step up from simple ground based bodyweight training, with endless variations of movements and the angles of those movements, they really are a revolutionary training device. It’s amazing the amount of uses you’ll find for a suspension trainer once you have a suspension trainer as a resource.
Kettlebells weight, resistance, external load. I don’t care what you choose to refer to a kettlebell as. A kettlebell in the arsenal means the opportunity to build strength and power. Strength and power are the new modern day language for “skinny”. Strength doesn’t mean bodybuilder-like bulk, it means strength. Don’t confuse the two. Kettlebells provide the opportunity for free-flowing 3-dimensional movement. Functional strength is desirable strength. Also, who could pass up the opportunity to integrate high-powered moves like kettlebell swings, snatches, presses and the almighty Turkish Get-Up in one’s program.
Assuming you properly educate yourself on how to execute these movements, you’ll feel great and look great. I love kettlebells not because they are kettlebells and they are a trendy piece of fitness equipment right now, but because of the number of doors that open once you adopt them into your training regimen. Very unique piece of fitness equipment.
Interval Timer. An interval timer should be called an “honest timer”. Just as people grossly under-estimate the amount and quality of food that they consume daily/weekly, so do they grossly air ball on the amount of time spent resting between exercises. The first time that you work through an entire training session paying strict attention to your rest periods, you’ll realize that you have been slacking on that front. The “honest timer” keeps you focused on your training. There are multiple FREE online interval timers… just type free online interval timer into Google and you’re golden. If you want a portable timer, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the Gym Boss. Simplicity and effectiveness of monitoring your work sets and rest periods for what should be a one time fee of $20.
Like I said, I am going to ignite a home training movement. People are already promoting it and have been for years, but I am going to perfect it. The benefits outweigh any possible negatives.
Soon, I will be posting a “Day Old Workout” series and I want you all to follow along. I practice what I preach and I would never ask you to do something that I haven’t already done. Period. End of story.
2013 is the year of connecting with people for me, so let’s do this.
Cheers from “Party Central USA” Eau Claire, WI,