Recently, I’ve been contacted by a friend’s friend with whom I work on a body transformation program.
The program I am incorporating with my friend is very minimalistic. Neurotyping assessment program, a Keto+ diet, and minimalist fitness workouts.
Back to my friend’s friend. His first words were:
I need some change, but there is so much info on the internet that I have no idea who to trust and where to start.
I believe that we’ve reached the point where the process of complication is the new way of leaving. Excess consumption and complicated workouts literally got us trapped in analysis paralysis.
We procrastinate taking further steps to improve our health and fitness, simply because we don’t know who to trust and which program to choose.
Minimalist fitness makes the decision process very simple.
How minimalist fitness eases our decision-making and what minimalist fitness represents is a topic I am about to explain the way I’ve experienced it during the past 3 years.
Enjoy it, Friends.
What is Minimalist Fitness
I don’t think that there is one definition of what is minimalist fitness. People definite it as they experience this change.
However, let’s see the best definitions I’ve read, and I think are the closest to the way I feel towards minimalist fitness:
Kellen Milad, from movementparallelslife.com, says:
Minimalist fitness is about demystifying the gym and getting creative outside the gym. The modern gym is packed wall to wall with specialty equipment and tools. This massive array of options leads to many distractions and unnecessary choices.
A phenomenon that I call “gym ADD” occurs where people wander around dabbling in everything but not mastering anything.
Your workout shouldn’t confuse you. Minimalist fitness is about making movement straight forward and personally relevant.
A fitness minimalist focuses on the workouts that offer the highest return on investment. This is going to be different for everyone, but here are two questions to explore that may help you find these highest value practices:
- What are the physical demands of your life?
- What physical activities do you love or have always been interested in trying?
Minimalist fitness is about training for both the life you have and the life you want to build. Minimalist fitness focuses on building a foundation of skills that will serve you across the different environments and situations you will likely find yourself in.
And I genuinely support Kellen’s arguments on what precisely a minimalist workout is: a strategic, high-intensity workout that intentionally utilizes a variety of muscles in a short time span, offering the highest return on investment.
What I love the most about minimalist fitness is that finally, I have the time to practice other sports such as biking and climbing, in addition to weight training.
And all this without stressing out that my weight training sessions will suffer because of the additional sports activities.
Minimalist Fitness Equipment
Some people need only “walls and a floor,” others a pair of kettlebells. What you will choose to train with depends on the type of workouts and exercises you enjoy the most.
Build your minimalist fitness equipment around the exercises you enjoy the most. Don’t buy fitness equipment for exercises just because they are trendy.
My minimalist fitness equipment is downsized to:
- a pair of 16 kg kettlebells;
- a pair of 12 kg kettlebells;
- a pullup bar;
- two resistance bands - 35 kg and 45 kg;
- a foam roller.
I don’t plan on buying anything else, except for heavier kettlebells, once I progress with the pair of 16 kg.
And that’s it. I’ve adapted my minimalist fitness gear to serve me well in each workout.
When I travel, I can take a pair of kettlebells and my resistance bands and do my workout wherever I am without stressing out that I’ll lose my progress.
This is freedom. Your mind could focus on the place you are, rather than looking for a gym. Minimalism aims to simplify your fitness. The upside of simplicity is less decision making and more overall effectiveness.
Minimalist Fitness Routines
Lots of people have limited time, but that’s no excuse. I believe that we all can find 15-20 minutes for a workout. For example, just turn off your Instagram notifications for a day, and you’ll quickly see that you are already bored because suddenly, you have too much free time.
Well, we just found the time for your quick and pleasant 15-minute workout. The key is making sure that you’re making the most of every one of those 15 minutes, working as hard as possible, so you don’t waste time.
What’s My Minimalist Fitness Program?
It’s minimalistic (surprised?) and simple (also surprised?). I figured out this approach almost three years ago when I took a time-consuming job for a startup as a growth marketer. I was left with 30 free minutes in the morning.
It was fundamental for me to be consistent with workouts while working 10+ hours per day to stay sane in my life.
I cannot stress out how important it is for anyone with a busy schedule to first take care of its physical and mental health. This should be your priority.
So, the only way for me to make it happen was to make the best of these free 30 minutes.
After tweaking my workouts for the past two years, currently, my minimalist fitness workout plan is:
- 5 minutes warm-up;
- 3 x 5 minutes weightlifting in micro-cycles;
- 5 minutes finisher/stretch/foam rolling.
If I have the time, I’ll do two circles of these 3 x 5 minutes micro-cycles. Each 5-minute cycle focuses on one muscle group.
Here is an example, first published in my article "My Workout Philosophy."
Right now, my friend (the one I mentioned above) is doing this protocol, and I know he hates me for this (kidding, he loves it!).
Now, in addition to my weightlifting sessions, I have the time to bike, hike, climb, walk, and explore the city I live in. These activities were something that mentally, I couldn’t allow myself doing, as I wanted to have enough time to recover for the big weightlifting sessions.
The minimalistic approach to fitness made my life more meaningful. And I cannot stress out enough the joy it brings in my life.
How Many Times per Week Should Work out a Fitness Minimalist?
This is a very individual approach. It’s not uncommon to find yourself working out more often than before.
This is what happened to me. I used to have three to four 60-minute sessions a week, and these days I workout almost every day.
When you enjoy the exercises and the movements you do, working out is no longer a matter of procrastination.
To Conclude: Why Minimalist Fitness?
Coming from a tech background, I can see the need for founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, and employees to take care of their health.
In my opinion, the tech industry is a very unhealthy place to be because you work long hours, eat fast, don’t have time for sports, and the end result is mentally and physically drained people.
We need to eat and train for the brain to recover. With time, I understood that minimalism isn’t about depriving yourself of anything. It’s about filling your life with the work, sports, people, possessions, and practices that foster an individual’s happiness and satisfaction.
And applied to fitness, minimalism promotes simple & effective workouts, training with a purpose that puts your fitness to use in your daily life.
Minimalist fitness gives me the time to explore sports and experiences that I have never imagined to find the time for.
Minimalist fitness preserved my physical well-being and my psyche during one of the most challenging professional and personal time in my life.
Minimalist fitness taught me that the need for overconsumption is fabricated by big corporations, hungry for more and more wealth.
And most importantly, minimalist fitness showed me that less is more, as long as you are consistent with hard work.
You define what minimalist fitness is going to be in your life.