I said to someone on Facebook yesterday that there is value to be had in all ways of working out. The minimalist, I assured them, does not become overly attached to any one approach, is not dogmatic over anything other than getting results. So there.
But this is where people often get a little mixed up. They think minimalism is either about using no equipment or doing only very little. That might be minimalism to some, but is not minimalism to me. Minimalism to me is charting a course and not making it any longer than it has to be. It’s taking I-95 instead of the back roads.
Minimalism is mixed modality. Because there is no way you are going to get the best results (generally speaking) using only one approach. Some tools are more versatile than others, such as the kettlebell or barbell, so we may spend more time with those than something with only one minor or very specific function–say, an ab roller. But if something comes up and we know there is a better way of getting the job done, we switch. And we don’t feel bad about it. The minimalist bears no guilt and swears allegiance to nothing.
Dan John has a term for this. (Dan John has a term for everything). He calls it a “killer app.” Meaning what is the most useful, primary function of a thing. What is it best at?
The kettlebell is best at conditioning. The barbell best at lower body strength. Bodyweight and the rings best for upper body strength and mobility. Those are my killer apps.
This is not to say the kettlebell can’t build strength, or there is no mobility to be gotten out of working with a barbell. Obviously such statements are easily very wrong and saying asserting otherwise would only cause a person to appear inexperienced. I’m only suggesting what each of these are BEST for, so that you may decide where and how to include them into your routine.
The Workout Program of the Future, then, is a hybrid. It blends the best of all worlds. Bodyweight for strength, kettlebells for conditioning. The barbell makes an appearance as well. But the WPOTF is also a flexible thing. It doesn’t FORCE you to use the barbell for lower body strength, but only recommends it. You could still use kettlebells, if you want.
But all of this is ambiguous without actually giving you some kind of example. So here is what such a routine could (possibly) look like, this one of upper body focus.
Workout of The Future
A1: Muscle Up Flow x 20 – 30 minute accumulation set.
B1: Dips @ 3 sets x 5 reps @ 7rm
B2: Chin Ups @ 3 sets x 5 reps @7rm
C1: One Arm Push Up @ 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 (each arm)
C2: One Arm Row @ 5 reps each arm x 5 sets
D1: The Cycle, Kettlebell Complex
E1: Hollow Hold @ 60 seconds x 3 sets.
E2: Superman @ 60 seconds x 3 sets.
F1: Walking Handstand Kick Ups (Take a step, kick one leg up into a hand stand, trying to balance for a second or two. Land. Take a another step, kick the OTHER leg up into a handstand, again trying to balance for a second or two.) @ 60 seconds x 3 sets.
F2: Facing the Wall Handstand Hold (Scoot up against a wall with your belly against it, forcing body alignment. Hold) @ 60 seconds x 3 sets.
As you can see, this is no short workout. But again, minimalism is not about doing next to nothing. It’s about doing the least you need in order to reach a goal. Sometimes that may well mean spending more than 10-15 minutes at a time.
The Workout Program of the Future is devised to accomplish for whoever uses it a supreme sense of general physical preparedness, good and hard amounts of strength and muscle, and the leanness of something between a twig and a gazelle. The program is set up to make you into an expert-generalist. Great at many things, maybe not the best at anyone.
And while the sessions (duration) may be extended, the frequency is not all that ridiculously high. Only about 3x/week, would you be training like this. The rest is walking, mobility, and doing fun and random things.
Anyway, only wanted to run this by you. And to also let you know I’m about done with writing this whole thing out–The Workout Program of the Future, that is.
Get on my email list, if you aren’t already. Because as of now, it seems I’ll be doing a small online coaching group around this. So if you’re interested, hop on. Or even if you’re not, hop on. We do a lot of fun things over there.