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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Amazing New Exercise Plan Fitness Experts Don't Want You To Know About!

by Dustin (bio)

Photo by telmo32.

I'm on this new workout plan and it is the greatest thing I've ever done. I've tried P90X and it's predecessor, Body for Life. I've lifted weights for years, completed triathlons and run half-marathons. In all my time, I've never done an easier or more effective workout than this. It's time-friendly and inexpensive. And simple to a fault. I just had to share.

To preface, I haven't truly consistently worked out in more than a year. With my calling in the seminary program and my work and family, time for working out has diminished to zero. This has resulted in all kinds of nastiness. Pecs are soft and malleable, arms are skinny like broomsticks, shoulders are bony, and I've got more love than I can handle padding my kidneys. Short story: I feel gross and look worse.

Enter the new regimen. I discovered it after reading the bio of a buddy from high school with a similar trajectory. After graduating he put on more than 30 pounds of the wrong kind of weight. He felt awful and decided he needed to do something to turn it around. So this is what he did, and what I've tried for the past week with noticeable success. After doing it, he went from running one mile with pain to running five, then eight, then a half marathon. He transitioned to triathlons and recently began full Ironmans. He now trains triathletes for a living, all in a little less than six years.

So here's the plan. Get your pen and paper ready: Do Something.

There it is. Simple as that. ("What?! That's it?! Man. I hate this guy.) Do something each day and you will be healthier. Our bodies are similar to our spirits, and as the Apostles have taught us, you are always going one direction or the other. There is no neutral. Now, before you click away from the blog, writing this off as another cliche, hear me out. As with most of my self-help silliness, there is science to back me up. You see, a group of researchers set out to answer this question: Why do some individuals accomplish more than others of equal intelligence? Through multiple tests and experiments, they narrowed down the solution to one simple concept: some people have developed this thing called "grit," which is perseverance and passion for long-term goals, working strenuously toward challenges, and maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. If one can develop grit, they are more likely to persist toward the ultimate goal, whatever that may be. The easiest way to develop it is to set a long-term goal and then push toward it, incrementally, allowing nothing to deter you.

For me, the goal is a healthier, better-looking body. So the way to get there is to simply do something each day that gets me closer rather than farther from that goal. The key is to persist, even without positive reinforcement or immediate results. For me, this past week looked something like this:

Monday: Run 2.1 miles (22 minutes)
Tuesday: Two sets of 15 pull-ups x four different hand grips (15 minutes)
Wednesday: Three sets of 15 push-ups and a set of dips for good measure (9 minutes)
Thursday: Run 3.5 miles (35 minutes)
Friday: Three sets of 15 pull-ups (7 minutes)
Saturday: Bench press at gym, flys, military presses, 15 pull-ups for good measure (40 minutes)
Sunday: One set of 15 pull-ups (60 seconds)

TOTAL Time: 129 minutes
Net Increase in Exercise Compared to Previous Week: 129 minutes
Improvement: A Bazillion Percent

And you know what? I feel great. I've even seen some physical changes in just over a week. My keys to success are a set of push-up bars ($15), a door-frame pull-up bar ($25), running shoes, and some grit. Forget the complex workout plans and budgeting 45 minutes a day. I'm a busy, working dad with four kids and a seminary calling. And the NBA Playoffs don't watch themselves. I'll take it where I can get it. Good health starts with doing something -- acting, instead of being acted upon by those late night Cocoa Puffs. So get started you lazy butts! (And Go Mavericks! ... I know, I know.)

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