My Sunday Workout, Posted Mostly To Consistently Post Something

At a certain point in the day on Sundays, especially, I realize if I haven’t gotten a morning run in there is a chance I won’t do anything. So today I groaned heavily, wrote a workout plan and did the following (in sets, not all at once):

  • 100 burpees
  • 50 push-ups
  • 50 squats
  • 50 leg raises
  • 50 curls (with 25-lb dumbbells)

I did the simple, non-push-up burpee, which still incorporates what amounts to a jumping squat, so that was a shitload of squats.

Which is an unpleasant set of words to pack in one phrase, I guess.

Verdict: good calisthenic workout, would use in a hotel room (sans curls) or in jail, I guess.*

Still have all sorts of anger issues and a need to prove myself, but at least I’m too tired to worry about those right now.

*Prison workouts is a whole Thing among home workout/raw/primitive fitness type folks–which honestly makes a lot of sense. Guys come out of lockup racked all to hell and not all facilities have weights anymore. You can, it turns out, get a whole hell of a lot done fitness-wise in a very small space. When you live in one of the most wintry cities in the US like I do, getting out and running every day just isn’t always the best option.

Keeping it brief–a dumb post about working out

Image from 12 Minute Athlete
Image from 12 Minute Athlete

When I started exercising regularly again at 43, I quickly learned whatever I thought I knew about fitness in my teens and twenties–and I thought I knew a great deal–was either hilariously limited or just plain wrong.

That is, I had some hardened ideas that were actually working against me. One was the idea that it wasn’t a workout unless you were busting ass for at least 30 minutes. No wonder I’d think about getting back in shape in my late twenties and throughout my thirties, consider how much work I might have to do, and usually decide I had other stuff that might need my attention.

Once exercise did become a habit again, I had to learn that just for purely practical reasons sometimes a workout needed to be short, but hopefully intense. Especially if I wanted to work out frequently. Otherwise, at some point my body would just stall and say NOPE, WE’RE DONE. (It’s done that to me, so I speak from experience.)

Once I learned to love the fast-paced, brief workout, I discovered there are a ton of good resources for them online. Many are CrossFit-related, but there’s also the excellent 12-Minute Athlete, a frequently updated blog that plainly lays out well-balanced 12-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts with simple, pleasing graphics and videos.

All of this is preamble to note the 12-minute workout I did tonight. Even though I’m making it a point to give a shout-out to 12-Minute Athlete, I actually found this on a CrossFit site. Here it is as posted there:

Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 mins of:
8 Burpees
10 Kettlebell Swings, 24/16 kg
12 Air Squats

I used a 70-lb kettlebell but otherwise did the workout as directed and completed 5 rounds, adding up to 40 burpees, 50 swings and 60 squats. And when I was done, I did all the sweating, for a while. It felt like an excellent workout both for the range of muscles hit and for the level of tiredness I felt when done.

I think my point is to recommend to anyone who might read this that if you’re stuck in the old “I MUST DO THIS FOR AN ETERNITY OF SUFFERING” mindset as I once was, well, there are definitely excellent alternatives.