On the basis of many of my colleagues (frequently) asking me about this, I’ve decided to write it down.
A fitness framework needs to exist for working professionals.
Because so much of the guidance out there doesn’t end up working for someone with a busy and demanding life. Any entrepreneur or executive is pretty logical, so when the fitness program just doesn’t work, or ends up taking away from their business, they stop doing it – for logical reasons.
The rest of this article is about what I believe and what I do.
In short, I’ve maintained a fitness program since 2017 that I follow almost everyday (meaning, I do this everyday, and once in a while, I take a day off). I do it from home. It costs $0 in equipment or magic power shakes.
The two main reasons why the dominant fitness programs are ultimately abandoned
- All the “really good programs” are designed for people competing or actively pursuing a strength goal.
- I don’t get paid to run faster or lift more. The more “scientifically proven to be optimal” your fitness program the more time and resources you have to devote to it. Therefore, you will abandon this program, because it will harm your professional work.
- So many workout fads (the things that get millions of advertising dollars) require you to spend money on something, and will usually have some form of extreme performance (like cross-fit, where people throw up or can’t walk the next day), or will merely simulate the feeling of being fit (something you see in an infomercial).
- I have more important things to spend money on, and I work for a living, so I can’t be dead after a workout. The reason why I note all this is because these fads (advertising dollars) are thrown in our face constantly, trying to convince us that we are wrong. You are either compelled to convert to an extreme religion (Zumba) or provide your credit card details, or both. It’s an effective business model, but not an effective model for your health and wellbeing. Therefore, you will abandon these fads, because they won’t actually give you a fitness result and will only rob you of your hard-earned money.
Here is the framework to my fitness Constitution
The right workout for the working professional who is trying to achieve general fitness but very good appearance needs to be something that:
- Costs $0 (if it costs money, you will eventually find a reason to not do it, because you’d rather spend your money elsewhere…)
- Works with your schedule
- Can be done in a way where you can simultaneously do another thing as well (like listen to something important, or watch TV; because if it MUST take all your attention you will eventually find a reason to not do it, because you’re busy).
- I emphasize this point heavily. I entire put on a lecture or audiobook, or take this time for entertainment.
- Should be about 20-30 mins. Not too short, not too long.
- Can be done at home / should be done at home.
- Gyms cost money, add time, require you to invest in specific clothing and gadgets. This violates the principles of six sigma. If you think you need to invest in all this equipment at the gym, you’re buying the idea of being fit, only the idea. Moreover, you will begin to think that the gym is fitness, when it is just your mind and discipline that is or is not fit.
- Is simple.
- Is full body. “Leg day” and then “shoulder day” is a myth invented by people selling workout programs.
- And… almost never changes, and when it does, changes only in the smallest degree. 1 routine, stick to it, don’t fundamentally change it. Or rather, your workout should change in a way that corresponds to President Jefferson’s views on the Constitution changing (this quote is shown on the Southeast Portico on the Jefferson Memorial).
What’s the goal then?
Here is my objective: https://legionathletics.com/ideal-male-body/
Science and the golden ratio have something to say about ideal male body measurements. Essentially, this is the statue of David.
This standard is more challenging for women. “Ideal female body measurements” is a more difficult idea to search for. The Google results suggest the concept is discriminatory. I find this disappointing. For men looking to achieve a form of idealism in their physique, information is readily available. For women, the world seems more interested in clarifying that there are no ideal women, only “real” women, apparently.
Regardless, executives set high goals in general. This should be no different. Set some objective body measurements for yourself, a target that is worthy of working towards for years, and work towards them.
The key element here is measurement. You don’t need to lift 300 lbs. But you do want a certain type of physical look. That’s all in body measurement (if you’re working out everyday your muscle tone will be there, don’t worry).
The other good thing about measurement – “what gets measured gets done” is the operations management principle de jure.
How often should you measure? I do it quarterly. In sync with my finances.
This is the workout I’ve done (almost) every day for over 3 years
I saw almost because I occasionally take a day off. Meaning, this is my routine 7 days a week, but sometimes it’s 6 days a week. I’m adding this clarification to say, no, I don’t say every day and really mean 3 days a week. If you’re working out 3 days a week and not seeing results you’re proud of, it isn’t a mystery why. Try doing your job as a business owner 3 days a week and see what happens.
- Bent over Rows (with a kettlebell, but this started out with a big jug of water. Principle here, find the cheapest thing you can grab on to that is “heavy for you.”)
- V-ups / Flutter kicks
- Repeat 3 – 4 times
My rep count has slightly changed overtime. When I started, it was very low… But after a few weeks it got to this level and has essentially never changed:
- Pushups x35
- Squats x25
- Planks x90 seconds
- Bent over Rows x10
- V-ups / Flutter kicks x50
- Squats x25
- Pushups x35
I modify reps or slightly alter one workout from time to time. This is all based on measurement, of course. If I see one area moving towards the ideal standard at a good rate and another moving too slow, I increase reps or make slight modifications in the slow area. This is the same thing you would do in your business while conducting operations, financial, and performance analysis.
I do this from home.
I’ve never spent money on this.
I only need a space the size of my height and arm span.
I don’t spend money on workout clothes because I don’t need them.
When I travel and don’t have a kettlebell for my rows, I use a jug of water, or a chair, or my suitcase, or I just skip it because a 90% workout is better than a 0% workout.
The majority of my MBA program lectures were viewed while working out.
I’ve finished hundreds of YouTube lectures, ebooks, book summaries, Coursera lessons, and so on, while doing this. Maybe even a few conference calls.