The Minimalist Guide to Exercising

Minamalist Exercising

Do you want to simplify your workouts?

There are a number of people who promote things like “lose fat in only 10 minutes” or “six pack abs in three minutes per day”.

Those usually don’t work, but can you simplify your workouts or reduce the amount of time they take AND get great results? I know you can.

Short Effective Workouts

I like to workout my body three days per week. With my schedule, I choose Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays for exercising my muscles and Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for either a cardio interval workout or a long walk or bike ride.

For my muscle workouts, I like to do 5-7 exercises in a full-body circuit and do that circuit three to five times. I will vary how long I do each exercise. I will do 8-12 reps or keep doing the exercise for 30-60 seconds. I won’t rest between exercises but I will rest for 60 seconds after a circuit. For example, if I do five circuits of six exercises for 30 seconds each and rest one minute between circuits, that total workout will take me 19 minutes ((6 x 30 seconds x 5) + (rest 1 min x 4)).

The key is to choose the right exercises, with the right technique and the right intensity. Do it correctly and you will be dripping sweat and left exhaustive.

Here is an example workout I would do:

Pullups – 20 reps
Decline Pushups – 30 reps
Bodyweight Squats – 25 reps
Handstand Pushups – 10 reps
Burpees – 15 reps
Hanging Leg Raises – 10 reps

On the interval training days I will either use my stationary bike (has a built in computer) or go to the park to run hills. I will do 6 – 8 intervals where I go at about 85-90% intensity (I tend to build up the intensity going from about 60% on the first interval to 90% on the last one) for 20-50 seconds and then rest. I use 20:10, 45:15 and 50:10 for the interval durations (45 seconds of running followed by 15 seconds of rest).

Using the 20:10 for eight intervals, this would take only 4 minutes to do. When you combine this with high intensity, you will have done an effective cardio workout that will have benefits beyond that day.

On the long walk/bike days, I will go at a leisurely pace for about 20-30 minutes. I will only do this one or two times per week. Normally I would do a rest day but this keeps me moving and also provides the benefit of time to myself for thinking, or good for the mind and body.


I hate to diet. I like to keep it simple here too. Diet contributes about 80% of your success in weight loss. Here is what I do and I’ve been able to stay around 150 pounds at 5’10” for most of my 53 years.

  • Cut out sugar and grains (I do have a pizza or ice cream once in a while but I’m good 90% of the time)
  • Cheat meal once every week (cheat MEAL and not a cheat DAY)
  • Fast 16 hours after a day with cheating (stop eating after dinner and don’t eat again until lunch the next day)

That’s it. Be good 90% of the time and make up for it quickly, if I do cheat. No counting calories, keeping food logs, chopping vegetables…just protein, frozen veggies, salad, good fats (nuts, almond butter, avocados…). Simple and I splurge when needed, as long as I immediately get back on track.


The minimalist guide to exercising features short effective workouts that last 20-30 minutes (totaling a few hours per week) combined with eating smart 90% of the time works. This is a bare bones, simple system to keeping your weight under control, looking good and feeling good.

I will start to post one of my workouts each week. Look for these on Mondays.

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