The Lazy Person's Workout Guide
Contributor - Strength and Conditioning
This discussion should be avoided like the swine flu by those hardcore, go-for-the-throat-mentality trainees who actually need restraint in their training. This is intended for those who want results, but are either too lazy or busy to do it. I can't believe I am writing on this, but I know those of that ilk are out there.
You Can Find Time to Train
Admit it. No matter your situation you have time to train. Unless you work sixteen hours per day and seven days per week, you can find some time. Yes, I know, you have family, work, and other commitments each day, but beyond those I know you can find at least twenty-minutes, three times per week to devote to training.
It's all about time management. Finding only twenty minutes three times per week is better than doing nothing. Now, imagine working as hard as possible in those three twenty-minute sessions. Believe it or not, you can glean benefits from even that minimal amount of time.
There are 168 hours per week. This computes to 10,080 minutes. Training hard using three twenty-minute sessions over a seven-day period accounts for only 1.68% of the entire week. You’re telling me you can't find less than 2% of a week to devote to training? If so, you are one lazy person and should stop reading this right now.
Look at your schedule. Find the time to schedule three sessions over a week. If you can't, you don't truly care about making physical changes to your current physique. If you do want to make changes, then heed the following advice.
Bare Minimum Workout Guidelines for the Lazy Person
- Take the stairs. Eschew the elevator.
- Park your vehicle further away from your work or the store entrance.
- Eliminate one "cheat" food from your diet.
- Walk one mile three days per-week.
- Drink plain water in place of your normal soda.
- Black coffee only. Not the foo-foo caffeinated beverages.
- Sitting at a computer most of your working hours? Get up every hour to do something. Walk the stairs, do bodyweight squats, get on the floor for some abs, or walk during your lunch break. Move in some capacity.
- Not a breakfast person? Become one. Consume a protein and low glycemic carbohydrate option each day upon waking.
- Avoid vending machine chips or other crappy snacks and bring your own healthy snacks to work: veggies, fruit, or nuts.
Bottom line: start moving and eating better. These are all pretty reasonable recommendations you most likely have seen elsewhere. Now, if you want to go further, then step it up more.
Level Two Workout Guidelines for the Lazy Person
- In addition to the above, hit the gym for some resistance training. Perform various exercises that address all major muscle groups. Learn proper exercise technique, machine settings, find proper resistances that are challenging, and learn how to push yourself. It is muscle that gives you shape, so start the process of building it now. If you can do this only twice per week, it's a start.
- Change your steady-state walking into a more intense activity. Add faster walking or jogging to your routine.
Level Three Workout Guidelines for the Lazy Person
- Turn up the burner even more. Do your resistance training in a more structured manner. Take minimal rest between maximal efforts on each exercise. This will stimulate metabolically active muscle mass, augment optimal calorie-burning via the high-demand placed on your muscles, and challenge your cardiovascular conditioning. Heck, it's the total package. Do that three days per week for that newly-found twenty-minute time period and you've moved from lazy to becoming a dedicated workout person.
- Still walking or jogging? Step it up. Walk or jog faster and longer.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You're active and have made changes in your diet. Results will be forthcoming. You can now school those who yet fall into the category you were once in. Want to step it up even further?
Level Four Workout Guidelines for the Lazy Person
You finally get it, enjoy it, and are now focused. Believe it or not you can hone and refine things for even better results.
- Train four days per week.
- Add intense interval training: 30 hard effort followed by: 20 easy effort for 20 to 30 repeats. 1:00 hard followed by: 30 easy for 10 to 20 repeats. The options are endless.
- Eliminate refined carbohydrates, increase fresh vegetable and fruit intake, up your water intake, and consume healthy protein sources. If it comes out of a vending machine or it a box, it's probably not the best option.
- Compete. All of this newfound training dedication can pay off in other ways. Run a 5K, enter an obstacle course run, challenge yourself with a military fitness test, or enter some other safe competition.
- Continue circuit strength training even with more effort. Push yourself to complete muscular fatigue (safely) and take even less time between exercise bouts. Yes, doing it will create even more discomfort (only temporary), but it will pay nice dividends in the long haul.
- Perform a retro-workout. Want to feel better? Take the results from a workout you performed in your initial "lazy" days and repeat it. Attempt to go beyond what you accomplished then. You'll be amazed at how much more you are now capable of as compared to the beginning. Often times you can more than double your efforts in terms of repetitions performed and total workout time. Think about this. If you did two minutes or twelve repetitions in previous workouts and now you can do four minutes or 24 repetitions, then you obviously have progressed very well.
Here's the message. If you're lazy, get off your butt and start moving. Doing something is better than doing nothing, all other factors considered. However, doing something eventually leads to doing more because you're becoming more dedicated. A greater commitment means you’ll naturally attempt to do more over time.
Follow my recommendations and get going. And remember the old saying: “Inch by inch it’s a cinch, but yard by yard it’s hard.”
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.