• Jay Logan

Minimalism in the gym: Keep it simple

I imagine, like most people, you're pretty busy, working a lot and juggling the demands of life. Certainly, fitness is an aspect of life worth juggling well.

But where to begin? What program to do? Which core exercises? What chakra-balancing compression pants would work best?

Okay, I’m being a little cheeky. Perhaps you sensed my underlying sarcasm already. Things are not as complicated as many fitness magazines or personal trainers would have you believe. Most people don’t need to train every day, need fancy equipment or hit “the core” from eight different angles to build an impressive physique.

In fact, I would go so far as to say you can build a very impressive level of strength and fitness with as little as two gym sessions per week. And all you need is a barbell, some weight and some know-how.

One thing that really annoys me is the way media has over complicated strength and fitness training. This is mostly done to get clicks and sell products or magazines. Really, when we boil it all down, we just need to stress the body a little more, recover, then repeat.

Rather than whine on about why you should do this, let me show you how.

Here is what you should be doing, and I'll expand on the individual tips in future posts.

  1. Lift weights 2-3 times per week Using either barbells, body weight or a combination of both as resistance. Track your progress and try to get stronger in the basic compound movements. Just 4-8 sets divided by 2-4 exercises per session is enough for most people.

  2. Some flexibility and mobility work Weighted stretching, active stretching and trigger-point work are my personal favourites. Yoga can be nice too. We need to make sure you can move properly and remain pain free.

  3. Sweat daily with a little accidental cardio. Walking or cycling for transport; your favourite sport. Something you enjoy or that's part of your commute to work is ideal. Treadmills suck; make it fun.

That's it. You really only need to hit the gym or equivalent for around 1.5 hours per week along with daily stretching and accidental cardio, both of which should be enjoyable.

For those of you who may want a little more description, let me share with you a simple program I have modified and used over many years both with myself and clients.

Day 1

  • Barbell squats x 3

  • Overhead press x 3

  • Calf raises x 2

  • 10mins of mobility

  • Take a walk

Day 2

  • Some yoga at home

Day 3

  • Bench press x 3

  • Weighted dips x 2

  • Tricep extensions x 2

Day 4

  • Mobility

  • Take a walk

Day 5

  • Deadlifts x 2 sets

  • Weighted chin ups x 3 sets

  • Barbell rows x 2 sets

  • Barbell curls x 2 sets

Day 6

  • Rest

Day 7

  • Rest

Yes, it's very simple. That's why it works so well.


Any questions or comments, post below. Need some help with your health or fitness training? Contact me!

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