Minimal Fitness

The point of minimalism is to lead a life worth living through experiences and less clutter; at least that’s what it seems like to me. We go through life accumulating stuff… and sometimes many of the same things. A new iPhone, computer, tablet, bread pan, bunt cake pan, cookie sheet, pillows, novelty t-shirts… the list goes on and on.

Soon we realize that our lives are full of clutter, we lose time looking for things we’ve misplaced, we lose time shopping for things we don’t need, we lose time cleaning and organizing, we lose time doing things, that in the end, don’t matter. We lose time doing all these things… we lose time with our families and friends.

So you’ve gone minimal…

You have less so you can live more, you spend more time with your family and friends. We’ve done it! Woo hoo! It’s worth celebrating. You give yourself a pat on your back but now your muscles are sore and that old sports injury from high school is flaring up. This brings me to my main point: take care of yourself through diet and fitness.

Working on yourself is not a waste of time and the minimal effort you put in throughout the weeks ahead of your uncluttered life is an effort that’ll pay off in spades. With a world filled with obesity, cancer, and other diseases the next best way to get back some time is to take care of yourself so you can spend time with and take care of others. You don’t even need equipment (yay minimalism!).

Work Out!

Walk, Jog, or Run – 30-45 minutes 3 times a week is all you need! You’re out of shape? Okay, then walk for 5 minutes a day, then 10, then 20. It’s about progress… the current state of your health wasn’t established overnight and the future state of your health won’t be either. Personally I prefer to use cardio as a warm-up to weight training but not everyone is capable or in-tune with lifting heavy things.

My current regime is simple and only requires a single set of adjustable dumbbells. The link is for the ones I have, yes they’re expensive but they are also amazingly versatile. There are cheaper ones out there and I got these on a special discount sale so I didn’t feel bad about it (this was also before my minimalism chord struck).

My Workout

My workout is minimal currently but fitness will be a large focus soon. I do all of the following exercises with 3 sets of 10 reps (10 reps per leg on lunges).

  • Lunges
  • Rows
  • Bench Press (or Floor Press)
  • Overhead Press
  • Alternating Curls
  • Tricep Extensions

I find the above workout keeps me from getting fat, might make me curvier in a good way, and doesn’t leave me incredibly sore the next day. This may change as weights increase but when I started I used a low weight I was comfortable with to complete all reps of all sets. When I finished my workout I’d rate how ‘gassed’ I felt for that particular exercise. If I felt good, I go up 5lbs on each dumbbell… if I didn’t I kept the weight the same.

You might look at the lunges and say… if I used 25lbs then I’m only lunging 50lbs per leg. Well not exactly, you’re also lunging with your entire body minus the small offset of weight from your lower legs. A single leg is doing the brunt of the labor so you’re lifting a lot more weight than you think.

My personal short term goal is to get back into a shape where I can incorporate pull-ups/chin-ups back into my workout – the stretch goal of doing 10 strict pull-ups/chin-ups without rest.

It’s minimal but the benefits are already showing themselves, I’m less tired at 38 (as a father of 4 kids — I’ve felt tired for a very long time) and I feel better about myself and know that the work I put in now will pay off in the future.

Sidenote: I will continually edit this page for updates to my personal workouts as well as my personal findings on minimalist fitness on the whole.

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