Paleo Plan

How to Realize Your Exercise Resolution

This post was kindly written by Max Shippee, our PaleoFit Coach and knower of all things fitness.

“I’m really going to do it this year!”

“What’s that?”

“Work out and lose this weight!”

“Have you tried this before?”

“Yeah, but this time it’s different!”

“What’s the plan?”

“Head to the gym at 6am everyday, and prepare my food ahead of time.”

“Is that the same plan you had in years past?”

“Um….yeah.”

“So how’s this different?”

“Well…it’s…um…”

We all have lofty goals. Heck, I thought I’d know how to speak Chinese at this point already, but you know what…it ain’t happened yet(我的中文不夠). It’s not the end of the world, mind you, but it doesn’t feel great to have a big goal and then not acheive it.Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you set goals and knock them down like Wii bowling pins. Not me. It takes me forEVER to make changes in my life. And the most successful ones have come a little at a time, over a long time. Sometimes, without me ever realizing I was making them happen.

So with that in mind, I’ve got an idea or two about how you actually make this year different as far as your physical goals go. And since I’m the fitness/movement guy here at Paleo Plan, I’m going to give you the easiest possible way to start making change in your life .My cousin.

Some of you may remember the success story of my cousin, Ben & his wife. Now Ben literally sits at a desk all day and watches code. As in, he couldn’t have a worse job as far as getting moving is concerned. He has the ultimate desk job. The only person who sits more than he does all day is Homer Simpson. Add to that four kids and a love of beer, and he found himself in a heavy place a couple years ago.

Fast forward through two years of hard work, and he’s made awesome progress. He’s almost back down to his high school wrestling weight, and he’s more productive at work and in life.

He and I got to talking, and he came up with what I think is just a smashing idea. And in honor of him, we’re gonna give it a cool name:

“Ben’s Ten”

Ben's 10 (1)So Ben, even though he has the ultimate desk job, has a gym at work. And here’s what he started doing. Every hour or so, when there’s a break in his work flow, he heads down to the work gym, does 10 burpees, and then immediately goes back to his desk. Depending on the day, he’s done 80-100 burpees by the time he clocks out. He just wanted to get out of his chair a few times a day. He also was surprised to find that he had more energy, was more productive, more alert, and didn’t feel like nap time after lunch. Basically, his work wasn’t the drudgery that it usually felt like.

The thing is, it’s only 10 burpees! At this point, for Ben, it takes him maybe 30 seconds. He doesn’t even break a sweat, but he is seeing and experiencing results. Win…win.

Working towards Ben’s 10

So here’s my idea for you, for this new year. Your ultimate goal is to be doing 10 burpees an hour for a good part of your day. Some days that’s going to be only a few sets. Other days you may end up doing 100. The important thing is that you do at LEAST 1 BURPEE every day.

The cool thing here is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be burpees. If you don’t have a little fitness room at work, and feel like a tool doing burpees next to your desk, you can do this with squats, push-ups, lunges, or tuck jumps instead. The idea is to get your body moving in a way that requires more umph than going to the vending machine for a snack.

If ten burpees is a lot for you, and you want to scale it back even more, no worries. Here’s an example of how you could break this down.

  • Week 1 – 1 burpee every hour
  • Week 2 – 2 burpees every hour
  • Week 3 – 3 burpees every hour…
  • …and so on until…
  • Week 10 – 10 burpees every hour.

That’s less than three months! And it’s a habit you can develop and keep over time. You’ll be more productive, more alert, and get a workout in without really even trying. It’s magical!

Let’s stop for a second, though. If you don’t know what a burpee is, here’s a little video I made to show you. We use this video in our PaleoFit workouts.

Burpees progression from CrossFit 1440 on Vimeo.

This is VERY much about, “What’s the minimum amount I have to do?” It is built on the idea that “SOMEthing is better than nothing.”

Also, as a hypothesis (I haven’t got any research handy to make this statement, it’s just a conjecture), I suspect that by giving your metabolism this little bit of “revving” every hour or so, you could very well be raising your baseline metabolism. That would mean that you’re actively burning more calories throughout the day. That, in general, is seen as a good thing for weight loss.

So there you go. Ben’s Ten. Are you gonna give it a try? Let us know!!

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