“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.” --Frederic Chopin
In one week, I hope to show you that you can do much with a little. Every workout here is stripped down to its basic elements. No frills.
Because of this, these workouts can easily be modified to suit your needs. They can also be embedded within your other training plans and routines.
There is both effectiveness and beauty with minimizing any practice to its core essentials, and fitness is not an exception. I hope you enjoy the straightforwardness of these workouts, and that they allow you have a more mindful training session because of all the extra mental bandwidth you've freed up by keeping things simple.
Also, we don't always have access to a gym. Many of us find ourselves training during an opportune 20 minutes that opened up in our day. We're lucky if we can get a pair of shorts or sneakers on.
Sometimes time is all we have, and not much of it. These workouts are here to help in these situations.
Still, the truth is that most of us have a long way to walk with elementary steps, even if we have the most elaborate means available to us to use. We get obsessed with complications instead of walking the straightforward path before us.
No gear this week. Just your heart and your lungs, your legs and your arms.
No sandbag needed, no weights needed. Just gravity.
For a pull-up bar, feel free to find some monkey bars in a nearby park, or even use a sturdy tree branch. Get creative.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -- Albert Einstein
Burpees, Pull-ups, and Running
You need to push, you need to pull, and you need to move. That's the boiled down equation to finishing a Spartan Race event.
Today, master the following workout:
60 burpees 30 pull-ups Run 2 miles
Do these above exercises and reps in any order. You can focus on each exercise one at a time, or go back and forth between them. You can do them leisurely throughout the entire day, or you can do it all as fast as you can.
Look at the ratios within the rep counts of 60:30:2. Feel free to make this workout 120:60:4 or 20:15:1.
When in doubt, this is how to balance out how much to each exercise relative to each other in any given workout.
At the end of the week, see how many miles you've run and how many burpees and pull-ups you've done. Ultimately, your entire fitness plan can be as simple as trying to accumulate progressively higher rep and mile counts from week to week.
"Simplify, simplify..." --Henry David Thoreau
Variation in speed is essential in developing your physical conditioning, as well as your running skills.
It can also allow you to make a boring old run into a dynamic and interesting period of exercise.
After a 10 minute warm-up, start alternating between 1 minute of intense running followed by an equal interval of easy jogging.
Run 1 minute (intense) Jog 1 minute (easy)
Repeat for 6-20 minutes.
Learning to recover while moving is an important skill set. During a Spartan Race you will have intense moments at obstacles that you will need to recover from while you run to the next one.
Too often we obsess with reps. We are too busy counting to really just focus on the movement.
And trying to elevate our numbers we jeopardize our form.
By using time as your anchor instead of rep counts, you will root yourself in a different mindset when executing an exercise. It changes the dynamic of your entire workout.
It's so simple, yet can change everything.
Set a timer to beep every 30 seconds and alternate between activity and recovery. Don't worry about rep counts. Work on doing controlled and graceful movement or hold. Imagine that your are simply practicing a movement during that interval, trying to make it as perfect as possible.
For 10-20 minutes:
30 seconds mountain climbers 30 seconds recovery 30 seconds burpees 30 seconds recovery 30 seconds plank 30 seconds recovery 30 seconds lunges 30 seconds recovery
Laps and Burpees
If you can find a nearby track, do this workout there. Otherwise, simply find a stretch of road or a block in your neighborhood that is approximately 1/4 mile long.
Run 400 yards 10-30 burpees Recover 2 minutes 10-30 burpees Run 400 yards Recover 2 minutes
Endurance Run/Hike for Time
Don't worry about how far you run, focus on how long you run. By obsessing over mileage instead of duration in our runs, we oven complicate the process.
Go out your door intending to train for a set amount of time. 20 minutes. 1 hour. Whatever.
The goal is to log some time moving from point A to point B. Walking is fine. Running is fine. Hiking is fine. Do your thing. Just get an elevated pulse.
Live Spartan. Download the Spartan Way of Life E-book