Start Your Day Off Right: The 15-Minute Bodyweight Workout

by A Manly Guest Contributor on February 28, 2013 · 77 comments

in Fitness, Health & Sports

pushup

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Chad Howse.

Have you ever intended to work out in the afternoon or evening but didn’t get a chance to and were bummed that exercising that day was a wash?

Or maybe you have a tough time getting started in the morning and feel sluggish throughout your day.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to experience the benefits of working out. And you don’t need any machines or weights either — you can get a great workout in your house or apartment.

I highly recommend that all men find time for a short bout of exercise first thing every morning. By starting your day with the 15-minute (or less) workout below, your body will release endorphins that promote brain function, and improve focus and creativity. You’re going to have a boost in energy, and also a boost in metabolism, helping you burn more fat throughout the rest of your work day. Making a short bodyweight workout part of your morning routine will have you heading into your day feeling at the top of your game.

Plus, by starting your day off with at least some physical activity, if you have to miss your gym session later on, at least you’ll have this workout under your belt. It’s a good feeling and guarantees that you’ve done something active and healthy each day.

15-Minute Morning Bodyweight Workout

Be sure to watch the video above to have the workout explained.

The Workout

A1. Single-Leg Squat

A2. Split Squat

2 sets of 12 of each

30-60 seconds rest

B1. Push-ups

B2. Skull Crushers

2 sets of 15+ of each

Rest: Plank 30-60 seconds

Tips

1. Perform the following workout upon rising, before you have anything to eat. Without an energy source (food) your body will be forced to look to your stored fats – body fat – for energy, helping you burn more of that unhealthy, testosterone-lowering fat in the process.

2. If you already do your main workout in the morning, sub this one in on days when you don’t have time to go to the gym or do your full regular workout. And maybe add it in after work to boost your fitness, and get you energized for going out at night. It also works as a great hotel workout when you’re on the road.

3. If you have a chin-up bar, or even dumbbells, use them. Ideally you want to be pulling more than you push, so by replacing your push-ups with chin-ups or a bent over row every other day, you’re going to have a good balance.

4. If you need to make the workout more difficult, try slowing the tempo of the eccentric contraction (the way down on the push-up, squat). You can also add different planes of tension (check out this video for an explanation).

5. After your morning workout, try this healthy breakfast:

  • 2-4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup assorted berries
  • 4 slices bacon (or turkey bacon)

Breakfast Benefits:

  • Having meat in your first meal will slow the rise of blood sugar, helping your energy levels slowly increase steadily throughout the day.
  • The good fats found in eggs help raise testosterone levels, and also promote healthy brain function.
  • Dark berries – like raspberries – are low on the glycemic index, they’re also high in healthy fiber. Raspberries have also been shown to lower cortisol levels (a stress hormone).

________________________

Chad Howse, author of the PowerHowse Challenge and founder of Chad Howse Fitness, is a former skinny guy and amateur boxer. Chad created his company to help men become their own hero. Check out Chad’s site: Be Legendary: Unconventional Tactics for Life, Fitness, & Work.

 

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Russell Brouwer February 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Ron Swanson approved. Minus the berries of course.

2 Bryan Shroyer February 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm

No, he did not approve. Ron Swanson would only approve if the order was “all your bacon and eggs.”

3 JayThibs February 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Just what I needed until my university slows down again. Thanks!

4 Tommy February 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Great video, until the Gandalf dying music at the end. Why’d you have to go and make me sad like that?

5 Diedrick February 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm

For all who dont know, this is Chad Howse in the video, check out his website it’s great. Been a fan for a while and he’s got some quality info. From one fellow to you all, good hunting!

6 G monk February 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I’ll be doing the workout but the breakfast will only add body fat.

Real longterm health requires a vegan diet.

7 Remy February 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Nice article you’ve written! (I also do now know what skull crushers are!)
In the end I would only add to do perhaps some sit-ups and bycycle crunches to also have a little focus on your core, ending/starting the exercises with some basic stretches can’t hurt either!

8 Scott February 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Can most people really do those one leg squats?

9 Cody February 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm

G Monk, what you’re saying isn’t necessarily true. Real long term health requires doing some personal research and educating yourself. Vegan diets lack some very quality protein sources but they tend to have the right idea when it comes to skipping the crappy processed foods that comprise the bulk of western diets.

Scott, no, most people can’t do one legged squats. They are incredibly difficult. Also known as ‘pistol squats’, the best way of learning how to do them is to first master a regular squat and then move on to start working on the downward (eccentric) portion of the movement, stabilizing yourself against a solid structure preferably. Check out some instructional vids on the net for more info.

Great workout for the uninitiated, those on the go and those pressed for time. There are a lot of bodyweight exercises that can be done that people don’t know about.

Love the site, love the posts, Chad Howse is a beast. Lookin forward to more in the future!

10 Pete February 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Nice one. G Monk, I don’t know where you get your information from, but they two of the worst assertions I have heard for a while.

11 Mikal February 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm

vegan diet. lol. I didn’t get to the top of the food chain to eat carrots.

12 Viktor March 1, 2013 at 12:17 am

Along with the breakfast add freshly juiced veggies. There are great tasting recipes online which makes getting extremely important veggies into your diet easy.

13 joker March 1, 2013 at 5:20 am

well , yeah it’s cool
it’s better than doing nothing :)

14 Tom Hunt March 1, 2013 at 6:15 am

Nice 15 min workout video– Gonna try those 1 legged squats like you mentioned. May have to work up to those til I can do them like you, but thats a great workout when I dont have time to go to the gym and feel guilty for not doing so.

Looking forward to more tips.

–Thanks– Tom

15 Bob P March 1, 2013 at 6:42 am

I’ll be on vacation in April and July, so these will help out a lot for my missed workouts. I’m doing the Stronglifts 5×5 program 3x/week.

Also on the intermittent fasting program by Martin Berkhan. Do this workout or any others in the morning before your first meal. Ideally, you have 16 hours from the last to the first meal, concentrating all your food intake in the 8 hour window. I’ve lost close to 8 lbs in two weeks.

Cody: thanks for pointing out how difficult those one-legged squats are! I do sets of barbell squats, ass to the grass, with 235 lbs, yet couldn’t do one of those pistol squats. I think I’ll substitute them with body-weight squats or Hindu squats.

16 Joost March 1, 2013 at 7:22 am

The main issue with bodyweight workouts is that it offers no progressive overload. Such programs are much, much less effective than weight training, as the body adapts to it and it is hard to increase the load in small steps.
The morning tip is quite good, but it works much better with some low/medium-intensity cardio for effective fat burning, especially when combined with a carb cutoff after dinner.

17 rd March 1, 2013 at 7:33 am

15 comments so far, and no one has mentioned – THIS GUY HAS A TIGER SKIN RUG!

18 Tom March 1, 2013 at 8:31 am

More bodies, please :)

19 Matt March 1, 2013 at 8:52 am

“Without an energy source (food) your body will be forced to look to your stored fats – body fat – for energy, helping you burn more of that unhealthy, testosterone-lowering fat in the process.”

This is false. Your primary energy source when exercising at higher intensities is not food; it is glycogen stored in the muscles. Even after fasting for 8-12 hrs, you’ll have plenty of glycogen stored in your muscles.

20 Chad March 1, 2013 at 8:57 am

Thanks for the comments fellas. I’ll answer a few questions posed:

1. Use this as a part of another weight training program. This is a great workout to start the day, increase energy, and raise metabolism. I do this to start my day, but also train in the evenings at the end of my work day.

2. 1 leg squat – try step-ups as an alternative. With your right leg on a chair, step up. Repeat for 15 reps with that one leg, then move on to the other.

3. Breakfast will add body fat – no, this is false, it will actually help lower body fat. Fats don’t make you fat, high glycemic carbs and trans fats do (man made fats). Actually, fats from natural sources like eggs, meats, fruits and veggies help us maintain muscle while burning fat, while also helping us naturally raise good hormones like T. They’re also great sources of metabolism-boosting protein. I’m not a fan of vegan diets, they’re unbalanced, lack proteins and amino acids, but to each their own.

This could start a long, long discussion – but for now just know that the breakfast above will not raise body fat, it’ll have the opposite effect.
….

Lot’s of great comments here, thanks guys!

21 Mike Anderson March 1, 2013 at 10:02 am

Good Lord I’m glad someone besides me can’t do those one-legged thingees! Although being rather Mature (ok, 65, I’m old) I thought I had pretty good leg strength — those things whipped me!

22 Greg March 1, 2013 at 10:19 am

Got to agree with the majority on the breakfast–eggs and bacon are the way to go. Lots of protein and you won’t feel starved two hours later.

@G Monk, it’s definitely possible to get proper nutrition on a vegan diet, but the contrivances I’ve seen for the sake of making a complete protein out of vegan foods makes me think that it’s not a long-term solution. You end up consuming a bunch of carbs for every gram of usable protein you take in when you try to get protein from plants, and that’s a bad ratio. Maybe others will chime in, but three of my good friends switched from vegetarian diets to low-carb diets and dropped a combined 80 lbs in three months, and one confirmed improvements in his blood work as well.

23 Manny March 1, 2013 at 10:55 am

Great stuff Chad. I already have a routine, but now its going to include the single leg squats (if I can) and skullcrushers.

My take on the vegan diet: I’ve read alot about it and have changed my eating habits because of what I’ve learned. However I still have found nothing to convince me we should not eat meat. Cut down? Oh yeah. Eliminate? No. Meat was an important part of our natural history and its part of a biblical diet as well.

I believe the vegans are right on about diary though. Any good stuff you get from dairy can be obtained thru veggies without the negatives.

24 Meesum S. March 1, 2013 at 11:59 am

I would also do handstands, proper gymnastic ones, it brings good medial deltoid strength and growth and it’s fun and it’s cool.

25 Adam March 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Do you do the full workout every morning? I generally lift 4 days a week (Mon-Thurs) alternating chest/shoulders/tris and back/legs/bis. Would doing this every morning cut into recovery time (going by the 48 hours between the same muscles) or is it not significant enough to matter? Could always coincide the parts of this workout with whatever I was working out after work.

26 Paul March 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I’ve been trying to do one legged squats for several weeks and still can’t; I always fall over to my side.

As far as diet…I can’t fathom true vegan diets. They’re not natural or healthy. You can make them work with a *lot* of extra effort, I grant, but it isn’t worth it. A little dairy, and decent quantities of lean meat FTW.

27 Sam March 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I invite you gentlemen to watch a video called Forks Over Knives, available on Netflix or Amazon. It will shed a little light on the vegan lifestyle, and why you might not want to laugh at it after all. I am personally not a vegan, but the the lifestyle changes from the mainstream Western diet to the vegan diet contain many worthwhile benefits. Anyone who advocates a steady diet of bacon and eggs is clearly not seeing the long term harm of a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol. That short term gain in testosterone is pale in comparison to the erectile dysfunction, clogged arteries, prostate cancer, and coronary artery disease that diet brings with it. I love bacon, but it is consumed in moderation, just like anything else should be. Come on guys, if you really want to to make an informed decision about your health, inform yourselves. Living well into your 90′s, surrounded by your great grandchildren is better than dying in your early 70′s or late 60′s of some completely preventable disease.

28 Ryan March 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I think the misinformation in one part of this is alarming. When you body is pushed, such as physical exercise, without any immediate fuel from food, it begins to digest your muscle, not body fat. I would recommend you read into that, from reputable nutritionists, before thinking it is beneficial to workout without beforehand eating.

29 Johnny Manziel March 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

How do people come to a site with manliness in the title and expect to not read about bacon?

30 John March 1, 2013 at 4:14 pm

@GMonk: What a bunch of vegan propaganda. Brainwashed I tell ya. Brainwashed. What’s next, the only viable snack, which snack companies keep a secret because they don’t want others finding out, is tree bark. Yum!

31 Pat JM March 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Just gave this one a shot for my early Friday mornings! Holy cow, what a killer! Will work perfect into my end of the week schedule! Thanks Chad and AOM!

32 Jesse March 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Good video, however I think it is important to stress the importance of a proper warm up beforehand. Upon waking your muscles are more vulnerable than at any other point throughout the day.

33 rod March 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Isn’t making bacon every morning really time consuming? Is there a quick method? Or maybe some easy cold alternatives like salami or cold-cuts?

34 Chad March 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

@Ryan – hence the post workout breakfast…

@Sam – forks and knives is good, ‘the Perfect Human Diet’ is better. Scientists dissect bones of our ancestors more than 10,000 years old, found we’re more carnivorous than wolves. We need meat, as well as an assortment of berries and vegetables. Saturated fats don’t necessarily raise cholesterol, like I said, trans fats and sugars do (anything man made). The cholesterol in eggs is good cholesterol (lowers the bad kind in our bodies), having great long-term effects on heart health – the myths about the yolks of eggs are endless.

Not to mention our body produces testosterone by converting cholesterol, so we need some of it (the good kind we get from eggs to be exact).

We NEED vegetables and fruits, but humans are also carnivorous. The myths that have risen over the past few decades about animal fats are terrible. The Perfect Human Diet – watch it, good movie.

All in all, balance is the key, as is having an assortment of proteins, fruits and veggies – variety is something missing from our diets today in a big way.


I use this to start my day off right. I look at this as a warm-up. But if you need to warm up a bit better before jumping right into this, by all means do so. I’d suggest jumping jacks or skipping for 5 minutes.

35 Chad March 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

To rephrase the comment earlier about veganism vs consuming meat (I sounded a tad harsh there). The main point is that at no point in the history of mankind have we ever been vegetarians. We’re not wired or built to live purely off of vegetables. We need the protein, amino acids, maybe most importantly the omega-3′s and animal fats (even saturated) to be at our peak – to be at our best.

36 Sergey March 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm

If you’re having trouble with the one-legged squats, I would recommend the following progression. Most people can do the uneven split squat (note on my terminology: a “split squat” has both feet on the floor while an “uneven split squat” has one foot elevated) and then finish up with a less challenging lunge. If the one-legged squats are still tough, you can perform partial one-legged squats. A good way to do this is to stack a few books and squat until the knee touches the books. Once that becomes easy, increase the depth.

If the skull-crushers are too difficult for you, then you should build up your tricep strength with triangle pushups. Simply place your hands together so that your thumb and index fingers are touching and do a pushup. This exercise also primarily works the triceps but is a little easier because your chest and shoulder muscles help. The exercises Chad picked are pretty tough for the every day guy, but with the progressions I have given, anyone can work up to the prescribed exercises in no time. Get to it!

The modified workout in sum:

1a) Uneven split squat (as shown)
2a) Lunge

1b) Push-up (as shown)
2b) Triangle push-ups

*If you are just starting, don’t feel bad if even this modified workout is a little tough. Adjust the exercises to make them easier by doing partials or negatives and set yourself the goal of being on par with Chad.

37 jsallison March 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

There are a number of ‘fully-cooked’ bacon alternatives that only require warming. Quick enough for ya?

38 Travis W March 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm

G monk:
Thank you, sir. I needed a laugh today.

39 Sam March 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Chad-
The Perfect Human Diet is ok, but also consider the motivations for making such a video. Again, I am NOT a vegan, and I can’t go for long without meat, but it is a drastic difference what I today versus 10 years ago. You are correct that eggs are very healthy foods especially considering vitamin content and protein percentage. However, the Mayo Clinic advises that the consumption of more than 4 egg yolks per week can negatively affect blood cholesterol levels. A healthy person, according to them, should consume no more than 300 mg of cholesterol daily. Personally, I try to steer away from having a high percentage of my fats come from animal sources, and have switched to organic peanut butter (regular brands contain hydrogenated oils, read ‘trans fats’) and other sources of monounsaturated fats. The reason humans began to eat meat is simple trial and error, when you go from consuming all of your calories from foraging vegetable and fruit sources, it takes all day and you must eat constantly; the caloric density is low. As humans began to eat meat, this allowed them to eat less frequently and store more calories in the body inducing evolutionary development and growth. To say it is the preferred diet for the body I believe is a stretch. Our brains prefer the diet because we are programmed to consume the higher caloric density foods, just on an evolutionary standpoint (bang for the buck), but it has resulted in adverse consequences over the centuries. Our diet has changed more in the past 100 year than the last 10,000. The meat you eat today is far from the meat your ancestors ate, and we eat it WAY too frequently. Yes, eating a diet that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol will cause heart disease, argue that with any cardiologist. Genetics do play a part, but why tempt fate? The workout program is a great start, just trying to have a dialogue about diet, keep up the good posts.

40 Nathan March 1, 2013 at 9:07 pm

For those further interested in body-weight exercises, including how to get started or how to add progressively increased resistance, I highly suggest a book called “Convict Conditioning” by Paul Wade. It really changed my whole approach to strength training for the better. (Don’t let yourself be put off by the title or theme either, if it happens to bother you).

41 JK March 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm

@rod: It’s much more time/effort/energy efficient to cook, say, a week’s worth of bacon at once and then keep it in the fridge. You can reheat it in the microwave, oven, or a pan on the stove. It can also be eaten cold (a few cold, hard-boiled eggs and some cold bacon is nice on a hot summer morning).

For me, the easiest method for cooking large amounts of bacon is to lay it out in a baking dish (metal lasagna pans work great for this; don’t use a cookie sheet, since the grease will overrun the sides and will burn/smoke/catch fire in the oven) and bake it for a while. You can turn it once if you’d like. Otherwise, just let it cook until it’s as done as you like it.

This way, you spend 15 minutes once a week + 30 to 60 seconds each morning on your bacon supply, vs. 15 minutes each morning.

42 Bill V March 2, 2013 at 12:22 am

If the tiger skin rug is real then I disapprove. But other than that, very nice video!

43 Native Son March 2, 2013 at 8:46 am

Nice, limited workout. Back in the 1970′s, there was a bodywieght workout involving crunches, “trunk twisters”, deep knee bends and pushups. It featured a progression that worked from absoute couch potato and worked up to a fairly fit standard, working the abs (including obliques), shoulders & arms, and legs. It also took about 15 minutes. The sets for someone in their 20s were 20 crunches, 16 “trunk twisters”, 24 burpies, and 16 “eight-count” pushups (standing start, drop, do two pushups, return to standing position). Warm up was 10-20 jumping jacks, cool down 2 minutes running in place, followed by two minuts slowwalking, taking long strides. The program recommended doing this 6 days a week. If you wanted a bit of cardio, the program added a two mile jog, which took the total time to 30 minutes. Wouldn’t exactly buff you up and get you ripped, but did get you some daily exercise and required pretty much zero special gear.

44 Mrs. P March 2, 2013 at 9:09 am

My husband is tall and extremely thin and is not interested in burning fat but gaining muscle and also some fat. I assume this program will also help him, even though it is geared to those who want to lose weight. Would you change anything, either in the exercises or the breakfast? Also, he thinks the knee bends would be hard on the knees.

45 Shefali March 2, 2013 at 10:06 am

I know this is a men’s site, so I hope people don’t mind me contributing… I’m a lady and I used to be vegetarian because I hate the way the factory farm system treats animals.( I’m not a hard-core environmentalist or anything, I just think torturing other living things is wrong. I don’t have a problem with hunters or fishermen.)

However, in terms of diet, it’s very hard to get complete protein without animal proteins.

A few years ago I got a type IV cancer -the doctors thought I would live 6 months, but that was 8 years ago. Instead of just doing what the doctors told me to do, I did a ton of research, and my husband and I totally changed our eating habits.

How this is relevant to the discussion – we now buy all of our dairy, eggs and most of our meat from a local organic farm where the animals are treated humanely. The animals are pastured. The milk we drink is raw milk produced in a hygienic facility. The red meat we buy is from weaned calves that spent the summer in pastures with their grass-fed Mums. The eggs and chickens are from hens that eat bugs, etc., from a yard. We also eat wild-caught fish, wild pork and venison and plenty of raw and fermented veggies, plus organic fruits and moderate amounts of some whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, oats, etc.

The downside to all of this is that I spend a LOT of time cooking. The upside is that we are a lot healthier and have more energy, plus, of course, I’m cancer free. (YEAH!) Plus instead of supporting the agri-business complex, we support a local farmer who treats his animals humanely.

One other thing I did while fighting cancer was a lot of fresh juices – my husband used to make me 3-5 12 ounce glasses of juice every day. This is a great way to get concentrated nutrients, but it’s really bad as part of a weight-loss program. I do still juice whenever I feel a cold coming on, or feel a little run down, and I never get sick any more. One way to keep the juices from being too calorie dense is to make them mostly green juice – I typically juice one apple and 2-3 carrots along with a huge handful of greens – kale, spinach, parsley, etc., some fresh ginger, celery and maybe a cucumber. It’s a great pick-me up but, again, not something to do for weight-loss.

46 Mark Eichenlaub March 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Good stuff! Great way to start the day off and be nice and relaxed the rest of the day. I’d strongly encourage this be done BEFORE checking email, Facebook, etc.

47 XDAYS March 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Good stuff.

Over the winter I substituted drinking coffee with doing 100 push-ups and 100 squats. It made me feel far more alert and I saved money.

48 G March 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Seriously, even just a 15 minute work out in the morning can set the right tone for the rest of the day and help you focus. I usually like 20 minutes of yoga, but this can work too!

49 Eric Dekker March 2, 2013 at 10:08 pm

“Perform the following workout upon rising, before you have anything to eat. Without an energy source (food) your body will be forced to look to your stored fats – body fat – for energy, helping you burn more of that unhealthy, testosterone-lowering fat in the process.”

This is false, and actually counter-productive. Your body will *not* burn fat first with this method, it will actually eat away at your muscle mass. After fasting over night you need to break fast to get some sugar and energy in your body. It takes energy to liberate energy, and in situations like that it’s easier to liberate energy from protein than stored fat. You need to eat something, even a glass of juice, to give your body enough time and energy to burn fat. It wants to burn fat, but you need to give it the chance.

50 Drew Spriggs March 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Delicious, delicious recycled broscience in these comments.
I don’t understand why people are still relating cholesterol levels with being unhealthy – the majority of research over the years actually shows that cholesterol levels have VERY little effect on heart health.

51 Sam Chapman March 3, 2013 at 2:01 am
52 Chris March 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm

What is a turkey bacon?

53 Emily March 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

It’s always good to be reminded that you don’t need a gym or a lot of equipment to get/stay in shape. What you do need, though, is motivation so thanks for making this short(ish)! And please, someone tell me why working out in the morning is ten times harder than in the afternoon?

54 Claude March 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Follow up.

I’ve added one legged squats to my morning routine. I didn’t have any trouble with them and they will be a permanent addition. But the f###ing skull crushers are impossible! Ill try to work up to those.

Thanks again for a great post.

55 ChrisS March 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Nothing brings pseudoscience whackjobs out of the wood work faster than a recommendation on what to eat.

Maybe taxes, but sweet lord.

56 GL March 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

And new morning routine. I wonder if I could get this as a set routine on my fitness pal…

57 Eric at a LEGO a Day March 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

Great workout! Love the skull crushers. They seem difficult, but also seem like a great tricep workout.

My problem with squats is they make my knees hurt. Any advice for that?

Some seem to think this 20 minute workout won’t do much for you. Alone, it probably won’t, but it is so much better for you than not doing 20 minutes of workout.

Off to check out Chad’s website…

58 Alan March 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

You’re body doesn’t start burning fat reserves until your glycogen reserves are burned off first. This workout is not enough to burn off the glycogen.

59 Charlie March 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Damn. Skullcrushers are hard as hell. I can only do them with the easy method, and I’m pretty physically fit. Time to start training.

60 BW March 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I am 41, 8 % bodyfat and generally consider myself in elite level shape. The staple of my Breakfast for the last 4 years were- 4 whole eggs and 4 pieces of Turkey bacon, toast, coffee. I stayed lean and felt great BUT I recently had to have my Gallbladder removed as I had developed stones and sludge in it. Whether it was due to the eggs or not- idk but thought I should note it.

61 TSF March 6, 2013 at 4:52 am

Joost. Most people think that bodyweight workouts cannot be progressive, which is completely FALSE. Check out “Convict conditioning 1 and 2.” Both of these books can be seen and bought on Dragondoor.com

62 bummertime March 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

there’s a lot of black and white thinking about nutrition in these comments, as someone who has maybe been around a bit longer than some of you, i’ve seen many of these fad diets come and go and seen scientists and doctors turn their thinking around several times. it was only 20 years ago that doctors and nutritionists introduced a a ‘food pyramid’ that suggested 6-12 servings of grain and starch a day as the foundation of a healthy diet.

first of all, if you think a few studies linking heart disease with inflammation means that binging on eggs and bacon is healthy and going to make you fit, you are kidding yourself. even if animal fats and cholesterol are not as bad as doctors once thought, you need to moderate. one slice of bacon has around 17g of fat and 200mg of sodium. it’ll be hard to do those squats when you’ve got a bad case of gout and gallstones.

our ancestors ate meat, but they didn’t gorge themselves on meat to satiation three times a day, every day. they ate meat when it was available; it was a luxury. They certainly didn’t eat fatted up, corn-fed hogs that were bred for food. our ancestors also fasted quite often when food was not available.

i love eggs and bacon but i’ll continue having it once or twice a week and in moderation.

want to get trim and put on lean muscle? learn what hunger feels like. instead of four eggs eat one. replace several of your big meat meals with a handful of nuts and berries. skip dinner once in a while. moderate.

63 Kyle March 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm

If you are having trouble with the one legged squats are difficult at first then use a chair for aid in the stability department. I have been doing body weight exercises since basic and they provide the strength and more importantly to stay competetive on the rugby field.

64 Ben March 7, 2013 at 12:01 am

For those of you who can’t do a pistol/ one legged squat I would recommend checking out the book “Convict Conditioning” by Paul “Coach” Wade. It has a lot of bodyweight exercise and is how I went from a wobbly negative pistol and falling on my ass to being able to do 5 strict pistols in only about a months time. You will learn to master advanced calisthenics that truly impresses and produce triumphant results.
Also I would recommend “The Primal Blueprint” diet if you are of the gluten free community.

65 Sergey March 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm

@Eric

First, I would have to ask if you’re coming off any recent knee injuries. If not, then I would recommend focusing on technique. Proper squat technique for maximum benefit and knee safety includes

1) Heels on the floor
2) Knee pointing in the direction of your toes throughout exercise execution
3) As you descend, stay over your feet and do not buckle in or move in front of your toes.

These guidelines should be followed in almost every squatting exercise, including the uneven split squat. For split squat specifically, I would focus on keeping your shin vertical and ensuring that the knee doesn’t bow in as you descend.

Finally, it is always a good idea to build up to harder strength exercises with easier high volume work. The reasoning for this approach lies in the fact that your tendons and ligaments adapt significantly slower than your muscles (ACSM’s Foundations of Strength and Conditioning pg. 81). I recommend working with lunges and step ups for awhile before attempting the uneven split squat.

As always, If pain persists, see a doctor.

Hope this helps.

66 Eric at a LEGO a Day March 8, 2013 at 9:09 am

@ Sergey

Thanks for the reply. No no knee injuries ever. Part of the problem is I”m carrying a bit of extra winter weight. Even going up and down the stairs gives a twinge of pain from time to time.

Thanks for the technique tips. These should help as you said with the more basic standard squats. Once I am more comfortable with those, I’ll try the one legged squats again.

67 Patrick March 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Thanks for great video, I need some body work befor work. 15 minuts is perfect.

68 Starr March 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

Did everything this morning except for the skull crushers. Those are pretty hard on the arms and back. Looking for a substitute, but all in all, very good.

69 Branden March 19, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Great plan, I will add this in to my existing stronglifts weight lifting plan

It is winter here and I usually like to start my day with a run, since I haven’t been doing that I have been feeling sluggish lately which has made my mornings much slower going. Excited to try this alternative tomorrow.

Wouldn’t this be considered a workout that would need a day of rest after?

70 James March 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm

@bummertime – totally agree. A friend of mine and I were discussing hunger 2 days ago and how people are scared to death of it. Nothing wrong with being hungry…just takes a little while to get used to it.

71 Rob April 3, 2013 at 8:57 am

Great article. I hate the gym. I work out only with my own body weight. I love chin-ups because it is a simple but hard exercise. At the policeman selection testing I saw men not able to pull their own weight at least one time. Most guys were finished off by three times or slightly more. There was only one guy making far more than ten.

I started, before the workout training, with a maxium of 10 chin-ups. After just a couple of weeks I’m now at 25. It is fun to see how strong you can get. But you won’t become more bulky like bodybuilders. You stay almost in the same shape, got a little bit more mass but there is no big change like after a year of weightlifting with a lot of protein shakes. But you become hell of a strong manly person. People won’t see it immediately but if you help with carrying, pulling oder pushing things they’ll notice.

And you’ll notice! Like me, where 10 chin-ups were my absolute maximum months ago and now it is just a joke.

People should do more work outs with their own weights instead of heading to a gym, paying 30 Euro (average in my country) and quit after 6 months because they lost motivation.

72 isaac April 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Good idea on the breakfast info. The food we eat is just as important, if not more important, than the workouts we do.

73 George April 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

55 years old. The one-legged squat is do-able if I hold on to something. But the left leg (old groin injury) starts to scream at about 8 reps. But I can see it improving in a few weeks. Great way to wake up! Thanks for the video.

74 Arnav Kalra May 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm

How do I improve my balance and stamina so that I’m good enough for this workout?

75 Josh May 10, 2013 at 9:42 am

Only problem I seen was there was no back work in there. You should at least try doing pullups or Australian pullups to even out the pushing.

76 Erik May 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm

The picture at the top of the page is a still from a morning workout film made by the swedish gymnastics enthusiast Bertil Uggla in 1934.
The film can be viewed here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEnwNKh1Zmg

77 Adam March 1, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I’d stay away from turkey bacon. All the extra sodium added to make it not taste like the sad, pathetic excuse for bacon it is counteracts any potential health benefits.

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