Exercise. The one word a lot of people dread. Exercise for many people is no difference than a second job. You actively have to set aside time to do repetitive tasks. Let’s face it, there are hundreds of other things you can be doing that are miles more fun, even if it’s good for you.
I, myself, struggled with exercise for a long time in the past. I would have periods of high motivation to get my chubby self to the gym and then periods of excessive excuses to stay home, losing all progress in the process. Too cold, too far, and no gas in the car were some of the excuses I made for myself.
After an event in my life, I decided to make changes and stop the excuses. The first change was a “no excuse” policy. Basically, there is no reason why I can’t not workout that day or any other day. Second change was the workout location from the gym to my home, or wherever I’m staying, which synergies with the first change. This change can be a bit challenging when you’re traveling or away from home. The third, and last, change was minimizing equipment needed and relying more than bodyweight exercises, or calisthenics.
I went from weighing 180 lbs to 155 lbs in 2 years. This is not a quick weight loss plan but a gradual change in lifestyle. The idea is to ingrain exercise into your daily routine with manageable workouts so you do not get burn out. This plan can be a bit hardcore for some as there’s no vacation days. You workout EVERYDAY but can be done in 20-35 minutes if you need be.
Basic equipment like dumbbells, barbells, resistant bands, or loaded suitcase can be used. An exercise ball would be a useful piece of equipment to have. The only equipment you might not have readily available to you is a bar for pull-ups and chin-ups. There’s a few in the market that you can buy. You can even use a nearby park or playground.
Yes, I do keep my membership to a gym, which is 24 Hour Fitness – accessible nationwide. The gym is there for situations where going to the gym is more convenient or with friends. I have used the gym while on vacation or when I know I would not be home all day – plan ahead with a change of clothes for the shower afterwards.
As for workout, I do weight exercises on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 6 exercises of 3 sets that covers all the major body parts, aiming for a total body workout. For the rest of the week – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays – I jog for 2 miles around my neighborhood or 20 minutes on the stairs, like a friend’s apartment, if a route is not viable. For those starting to exercise, do 1 mile if you just started and 1 mile walking back. I started with 1 mile jogs as well.
The cardio days are seen as off days, or break days, as they will only take 20 minutes or so to complete.
Here’s what I do for weight training days – picking one move per group:
Three set of as much as you can do. If you can’t do one, do negative pull-ups/chin-ups. Negative pull-up/chin-up is where you start at the top and slowing lower yourself down slowly. The slower the better.
I feel this is one of the best moves to perform. I focus on this exercise mainly because of my high school experience of never being able to perform do one.
Push-ups (inclined or declined)
Exercise ball dumbbell presses
Squats (with or without weights) – if using weights, place them on our shoulders
Planks (leveled, inclined, or declined)
Exercise ball pikes
Concentration curls (chair, bench, or exercise ball)
Dumbbell Clean Presses
This is just a few of the moves I do. You’re free to add your own or change the format depending on your equipment. Remember, the goal create a workout plan that YOU can do easily for years. You can always go intense for bulk but it’s nice to have a manageable workout plan when things gets busier.