The Life Experimenter : Change Your Life, One Month at a Time

Life Experiment #5: Exercise Everyday For 30 Days

By Allen Rinehart

Exercise is one of those habits that we all can benefit from regardless of our age or gender.  And in order to make it a habit we need to do it everyday, so for the next 30 days I’ll be pumpin’ some iron, sweatin’ to the beat, and feeling the burn everyday.

The benefits of exercise are pretty obvious to most of us including improved appearance, more energy, reduced risk of heart attack, increased physical strength, more endurance and more confidence. Interested in any of these?

Hypothesis:I predict that I’ll lose at least 5 pounds of body fat and increase my muscle mass by 3 pounds over the course of this trial.  I’m not as concerned with weight as much as I am with establishing a habit of working out every single day.  I’ll consider this trial a success if I can exercise daily, because I know that will lead to bigger and better things.Here’s how I intend to do it…
My philosophy on exercise is it should be mostly functional and practical.  I’m interested exercise that requires a limited amount of equipment and time.  I want to be able to workout whenever and where ever I am in the world, so having a routine that’s no dependent on equipment is important to me.  There are three main areas I’m going to focusing on during the trial and I’ve incorporated a lot different routines to test and find out what works and what doesn’t.

Strength Training

  1. The One Hundred Push-up Challenge – There’s a site actually called HundredPushups.com that encourages other people to take the challenge of doing at least 100 push-ups in one session.  I’ll be training to do 100 Hindu Push-up in one session which is a bit harder than the traditional push-up.  In addition to push-ups I’ll also be doing Hindu Squads and the Backbridge.  Each of these exercises is mentioned as a core exercise in Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning book, which I highly recommend to anyone serious about fitness.
    Here are examples of the three exercises:

  2. Isometric Exercises – This was one of the coolest exercises that I found when researching for this trial.  If you don’t know, isometric exercises are using your own weight or pushing against an immovable object to work the muscle.  What’s great about them is you can do them virtually anywhere with no equipment.  Whether you’re in your car, watching TV, standing in an evaluator, or at work you can always be conditioning your muscles.Here are some great resources on Isometrics:
  3. Weight Training. My rule of thumb with weight training is to lift more weight less often (no more than 1-2 times per week).  I’ll be doing weight training once a week and only doing 3 exercises: Bench Press, Deadlift, & Squads.  This is based on a recommendation from Tim Ferris’s blog.  Another good resource for weight training is a book called Static Contractions which challenges a lot of the myths in the weight lifting community.

Cardio

  1. Jogging 1-2 Times Per Week. I’m used to jogging alone, but I decided to make this one more fun and joined a Beginners Running Group on Meetup.com.  This particular group runs 3 times a week together and is planning on running a 5k at the end of January.  Since I’m new to Houston, this is also a great opportunity to make new friends.
  2. Kickboxing 1-2 Times Per Week. I’m currently practicing Muay Thai kickboxing, but I’ve been slacking over the last couple of months and not going, so during this trial I’m dedicating at least one day a week to go to class and workout.
  3. Biking 1-2 week. Over Christmas break, I put my little brother’s bike back together and replaced the break pads so I now I have a new bike to ride.  I want to eventually start biking to work versus driving, but for now, I’ll be using biking to ride to locations that were a little to far to walk.
  4. TV Workouts. I noticed that my Comcast On Demand service has a variety of exercise programs that you can download and watch.  One of the stations also have workout videos you can watch online.  This is great way to substitute other workouts when I don’t have time or if the weather’s bad.  It’s also an interesting way to mix things up and add some variety to the program.  One day you could be doing yoga or hip hop dancing or whatever feel like.
  5. Soccer Once A Week. I love playing soccer and I also found another meet-up group that does pick-up soccer games on the weekend near my house . That way I can work them into my schedule when I have time available.  Plus sports are one of the best ways to exercise because you’re out there having fun and not worried about how many reps you’re doing or how long you’ve ran for.  You play and have fun.
  6. Do Stuff Faster. Whether it’s washing truck, cleaning my apartment or doing laundry, I’ll be trying to do it faster and with more intensity.  These are everything things, but these small changes in habit are going to go a long way in making a difference in my physical condition.  I also made a rule for myself that I have to walk five flights of stairs whenever I go to work or go home to my apartment.  I live and work on the 23rd and 25th floor of two different buildings, so I’m starting 5 flights, but have the option to do more when needed.

Flexibility

  1. Daily Stretching. I’ll be using many of the exercises mentioned in another of Matt Furey’s book Combat Stretching. I like stretching first thing in the morning, because it really wakes up all my muscles and gets me ready to go for the day.
  2. Stretching Before & After Workouts. This is something that I  haven’t always been consistent with, but during this trial I’ll be making a conscious effort to do it pre and post workout.

Getting Leverage On Myself

One of the problems I’ve been encountering with past trials is trying to trying to stick with it everyday, so begging with this experiment I plan on using a site called PledgeHammer.com.  I’m pledging that I will donate $100 to the National Action Against Obesisty if I fail to do this habit everyday.  I even put a $100 bill next to my bed to remind myself of what it’s going to cost me to not meet my goal.

Recording My Progress

Each day of the trial, I’ll be recording my weight and body fat percentage to study my results.  Then, when I’m done, I’ll post the results along with the workouts I performed.  Should be interesting where this trial takes me.

What preventing from starting your own fitness program this year?
Why haven’t you made a commitment to yourself to exercise everyday?

You have no excuse not to.  A lot of the exercises I mentioned above
require small amounts of time and very little equipment so you really
have no excuse for not working out.

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You also might want to dicuss this post in our fourms.



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