We’ve all been there. Most of the time I’m there. I spend my days taking other people through workouts, and whatever energy I have left goes into chasing my kids around. To solve this time/energy problem, I have been selecting a few intense exercises and doing them in short bursts.
Before Anne and I had children, we did 10 mile runs every Saturday and I’d spend 6 to 9 hours per week doing some sort of martial arts training. That’s just not realistic anymore. Plus, I hate running.
I am always trying to maintain balance in my body. I spent a lot of years getting injured due to the fact that I would hyperfocus on one thing at a time. That worked for a while in my 20s, but eventually the repetitive stress can start to add up. Distance runners and powerlifters usually have some sort of chronic pain issue. It’s a trade-off. To win, you have to focus. Elite athletes know what they’re getting into.
I can’t afford to be injured anymore. My little boys expect me to carry them when they’re too tired to walk, and I won’t be able to demonstrate proper pushups if I have a torn rotator cuff. I also don’t have as much tolerance for discomfort as I once did.
If you are also the type of person who feels obligated to train every system, but can’t seem to find enough opportunity, give this a try for a few months:
*It goes without saying that if you are new to exercise, get checked by a doctor, have someone show you proper technique, and WARM UP!!
1X PER WEEK — DEADLIFTS. Ramping up to a heavy set of 5 reps. (Around 30 minutes)
2X PER WEEK — BURPEES (with pushups and jumps). You’ll know when you’re done. In sets or all at once. (10 or so minutes)
2X PER WEEK — MONKEY BAR HANG. Until your hands won’t close anymore. Do pull-ups if you’re strong enough. (10 or so minutes)
2X PER WEEK — STRETCH AND FOAM ROLL THE LEAST MOBILE PART OF YOUR BODY. I mean dedicated stretching. Focus on that one area. (15 to 20 minutes)
There are always going to be naysayers. “You’ll never finish an ultramarathon with that workout.” “Yeah, but what can you bench brah?” “That’s not enough volume to separate all 36 deltoid heads…brah.”
Let me just get out in front of that in this closing. This is not a bodybulding, powerlifting, or endurance sport routine. If you’re worried about your delt head separation, then you probably also get 8 hours of sleep, go to things like Happy Hour, and aren’t concerned about running out of diapers.
Deadlifts build maximal strength throughout the entire body. Every muscle. I used to think that the chest is neglected here, but anytime I go heavy, one of my pecs will usually spasm.
Burpees will improve endurance, power, speed, and agility, along with working every muscle. (Tell me which ones aren’t burning after a hard round of burpees)
Monkey bar hangs will improve grip and upper body strength, along with shoulder and back mobility. Working in pullups will only improve upon that.
Dedicated mobility work in a troublesome spot is pretty self-explanatory.
If you decide to give this a go, I’d love to hear about your results.