My Exercise Program – April 2010 Edition

Last month I shared my current diet program in the post What I Eat and What I Don’t Eat – March 2010 Edition. Now it is time to discuss the exercise part of the equation. Note that I don’t consider exercise to be an equal part to diet. The effects of exercise are far smaller than diet on health.

My current opinion is that body composition is 90% diet and 10% exercise. This means that if the exercise you chose to do increases your appetite to the point your diet starts to suffer then you are exercising too much or tooinefficiently. You are far better off spending extra time preparing healthy meals in the kitchen than jogging.

My Current Weekly Exercise Program

  • One 30 minute session of low-rep, higher intensity weight training.
  • A few walks around my city. Average walk this year is 4 miles, which is much lower than before.

My Top Gym Exercises

  • Pull-ups / Chin-ups (weighted)
  • Incline bench press
  • Dips (weighted)
  • Shoulder Press (standing)
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Push up
  • Low weight Squats/Dead Lifts (I’m injury prone, so no more heavy lifts)

That is it. I never break a sweat or get winded. I do absolutely no cardio. It is simply not necessary. I’m leaner now than I was as a freshman in high school.

There are lots of exercises that I like, that I just don’t do. They are ones primarily with varied tempos, like tennis or basketball. I also like activities that promote a wide variety of movement such as yoga, not so much for the physical aspect, but for the psychological benefits.


Add yours

  1. I like it. Once a week weight lifting should be plenty if you’re satisfied with your strength level and are into maintenance/minimalism.

  2. I love lifting weights and would prefer to do it 3x a week, but what I’ve learned and discovered is that after 16 years of lifting most of my gains are probably behind me. I’d love to get in a time machine and go back and start lifting at age 16 instead of 24.

    Additional weekly workouts increase my risk of injury. I’ve already been sidelined twice this year. Both happened on the 2nd workout for that week and each caused me to take a full week off. That is a mystery I still haven’t figured out.

  3. Managing your workouts to minimize injury is very prudent and shows your experience. Trial and error has shown me that squats don’t really work for me (or I’m doing something terribly wrong). Every time I do them my knees get very sore. Going minimal is probably better than going harder and spending weeks/months at a time on the sidelines with injuries.

  4. thomas bondurant

    Apr 6, 2010 — 10:35 am

    I think you are right about your workout frequency.

    I read years ago that Arnold Schwarznegger said that he is in chronic pain (behind closed doors) and attributed it to years of bodybuilding. This type of logic is often confirmed by NFL players whom feel the repercussions of playing years after quitting (more accurately being cut).

    Earlier, I mentioned that people expect weight-loss from “sweat-equity” they have built up because of the effort involved. They discount diet because you don’t have to “work” for it. However, most educated people now recognize that diet is more important. I would go with the proverbial 20/80 rule.

    I think it is best to think how your actions will allow you to age gracefully like Sandra Bullock or George Clooney. whatever works (a good movie btw).

  5. One thing I probably should have stressed in this post is that I am much more confident in my knowledge of nutrition than I am in fitness. What works for me in fitness may not work for others and what works for me today may not work tomorrow. Whereas a slice of Wonder Bread and a can of Mt. Dew is poison regardless of background.

    @Thomas – I did not know that about Arnold. I do know elite athletes put themselves through greater physical and psychological stress. Seeing your body fall prey to old age and injury has got to be doubly painful for them.

  6. I’m going to take a shot here and suggest that it would be wise to be much less confident in your knowledge of nutrition. The more I learn the more humbled I become. We all subscribed to the idiotic lipid hypothesis for decades and look how wrong we were. Most of the population still follows that ‘conventional wisdom’.

    Here’s what I know and I think you’ll agree to.
    1. Processed foods bad.
    2. Sugar BAD, including cane sugar, HFCS, etc.
    3. White flour, other highly refined carbs, bad.

    4. Now MAYBE we know the difference between good fats and bad fats now. I think I do. But how can we be certain?

    Beyond that who the hell knows? I am certainly not confident in how many fruits and vegetables should be in my diet. What are ‘appropriate’ omega-6:omega-3 ratios and does it even matter? I’m sure as hell not confident.

  7. Dhammy – Great comment. I think “nutritional confidence” deserves its own post. Too much for a comment.

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