A Basic Training Program to Boost Your Energy. The most important thing to start with is a simple training program that you just stick at. This is where all these self-help article and online training programs have gotten things a bit twisted. It is very misguided when you see the people who walk around the gym with elaborate training programs and queuing for machines even before they’ve developed a basic level of fitness.
It’s even more misguided when people tell themselves that they haven’t started working out yet because they need to ‘find the right training program’. Want to lose weight? Then you might have taken a quick look online to find advice. Some people will be telling you to cut your carbs, others will be telling you to count calories and not worry about carbs. Others will tell you to eat more carbs and cut the fat!
Meanwhile, do you do steady state cardio (jogging) or do you try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)? It’s all a lot to pick from! At this point though, it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you are doing something. If you aren’t already training, then get training right now on a regular basis – don’t wait until you’ve finished this article!
Don’t focus on improving your health or getting abs (though we’ll touch on that down the bottom) – just focus on getting good at training and actually sticking to a routine. Anything is better than nothing and you don’t need to worry about training ‘wrong’ – your body is incredibly adaptable.
So here’s a very simple training routine you can use to just ‘start’ getting into shape:
The QUICK Program
1. Press Ups to Failure (keep going until you can’t do anymore, remember the number and beat it next time)
2. Pull Ups to Failure
3. Kettlebell Swings to Failure (use a weight that allows you to do about 30 to begin with)
There is no pause in between each exercise and you should treat this like a circuit. Ideally you should aim to do 3-5 rounds with one minute rest after the swings, but if you only have time to do one that’s okay.
Remember: it’s better to do something than nothing. If you have just 5 minutes at the end of the day, then just doing the press ups is fine. Perform the press ups fast and keep your body rigid as you do. Make sure you go all the way down and back up for each rep.
Look for the ‘Iron Gym’ for a pull up bar that fits into a door frame without needing screws. This will set you back about $10. If you don’t have a kettle bell you can buy them online for about $50. If that’s still off the cards, then you can replace the swings with jack-in-the-box reps.
Here you squat down, then explode up and splay your arms and legs apart. With all these you are starting by going to failure and then aiming to increase or maintain that number each time you come to do the workout. So if you can do 30 press ups right now, you’ll be aiming to increase that to 31 tomorrow.
In a year you’ll be maybe doing 70 or 100. Try to do this at least four times a week to see the real results.
Why the QUICK Routine is Effective
This routine is the ‘only necessary exercise’ because it offers some cardio benefit when practiced with intensity and because it offers resistance training for all the major muscle groups. The press ups train the pecs, shoulders, triceps and core, the pull ups train the lats, biceps and core and the swings train the hamstrings, quads and lower back (erector spinae).
Overall, this is about as close to a ‘full body’ routine as you’re going to get in just three moves. But what really makes this routine effective is the simplicity. You can use it anywhere, you don’t need much equipment and it’s completely flexible and adaptable. If you can only do one round then that’s fine – and there’s never really an excuse not to be able to do 5 minutes of exercise.
The great thing is though, once you’ve done one round you’ll probably find you have the energy and determination to complete two more. This is pretty much the workout I used when I took up ‘bodybuilding’ aged 13. I didn’t know what I was doing but I had just watched the film Exit Wounds and decided I was going to work out regularly from then on. And I have been doing so for 15 years.
Had I started researching complicated training regimes I probably would have gotten disheartened but by just doing a workout that I enjoyed and that was simple, I was able to have a six pack and biceps while I was at secondary school. Very often, simple is best! All that said though, the QUICK routine is designed very much for beginners and is not intended for those who want to build big muscle or crushing strength.