When men say that they don’t have time to lift, they are lying to two people – the people they spout that bullshit to and themselves.
But life does get legitimately busy. Last night I was at the office until 8:45. By the time I got to my yuppie scum gym, it was 9:25. The gym closes at 10. What to do?
I do my Break Even Workout. It’s a workout I enjoy so much that I’ve been trying to persuade my boss let me put one of these in the office. I’d omit the cardio portion of the workout to avoid breaking a sweat. But it’d be pretty dope to do sets of chins and dips during the day.
If you perform this workout when you don’t have much time to train, you’ll maintain the gains you earned when you had time for a proper training session. You don’t progress but you won’t regress. In other words, you’ll stay where you are – or break even.
You can actually have a fantastic workout with only 30 minutes if you keep these principles in mind:
- Train your major, i.e., large muscle groups;
- Never stop moving;
- Be intense.
Here’s what I do:
- Stationary bike;
5 minutes on the stationary bike to warm up my muscles and get blood circulating. The goal is not to feel out of breath after a warm up, but to start breathing deeply and sweating. Squeeze those metal handles on the bike to get your heart rate.
Once you’ve worked your way up to a HR at 150, maintain that pace.
After the five minute warm-up, the workout starts.
Find the nearest pull-up bar. If you can’t do pull-ups, use the assisted pull-up machine.
Start with a wide grip. This is super important. You’re going to be dog-ass tired on your last set. With chin-ups, start with wide grip (where you’re going to be weakest, because the biceps are not engaged) and work your way in to chin-ups.
Shoot for 8-10 reps each set, but really, don’t trip. If you can do more than 10, do more than 10. If you can only do 5, whatever. Just get some reps in.
Move right to the dip machine. If the handles of the dip station flip out to allow for a wider grip, start wide. As with pull-ups, start wide and work you way into a narrow grip.
Do your reps. Again, don’t trip. That doesn’t mean you should be a pussy. The set should be hard. But don’t get hung up on numbers.
Just get some reps in. We’re not trying to break world records. We’re just trying to Get It Done.
Go right to the exercise bike. Pedal at a level until each pedal hurts. That’s your pace. Keep pedaling. Depending on your level of fitness, your pulse should be in the 150-170 range.
Pedal for five minutes.
Get off the exercise bike. Get back on the pull-up bar. Use a narrow grip this time.
Do more dips.
Repeat the above series given your time restraints. You should be able to get 4 or 5 sets in if you’re really hustling.
The Break Even Workout also works well on those days when you don’t feel like going to the gym. Maybe you’re too tired for a full workout. Maybe you’re hung over. Maybe your dog died.
Just show up. Do something. Do the Break Even Workout.
Many times I’ve gone into the gym do to the Break Even Workout. After doing some cardio, dips, and chins, suddenly my spirit was lifted and my energy returned. I then did a longer, more intense session.
Guys, as with many things in life, success is often about showing up. We all have shitty days. We all want to kill ourselves sometimes.
You can’t avoid having down days. Happiness is transient and fickle.
But you will not allow one down day ruin the next day.
Show up today and you’ll eventually feel better tomorrow.