wiggle your big toe

The best diet or best training plan in the world is useless if we are not able to do it, if it is not tailored to us. and if we don't show up to the gym.

That's why asking Google for what Chris Hemsworth' training plan is, or what the cast of 300 did doesn't help. Because that plan is NOT FOR YOU.

But before we even identify a training plan or what to do and all that, we need to nail showing up. Because if you don't show up, then how can you put in any effort towards your health or fitness habit? You cannot.

So, first things first. Wiggle your big toe.

Meaning, let's figure out the way to making fitness a part of your day. By making time for it.

Photo Courtesy: Kill Bill and the glorious internet

coz life will get in the way

Impatience is an issue when we start. We want the best plan that will give us those muscles we want. We want that diet that will magically shed all the kilos we gained over the past decade. We want this in the next 3 months. Or 1 month!

And for that initial period, we attack it with all the brute force we have. But life inevitably gets in the way. Motivation drops. Results slow down. Our body adapts.

We end up stopping the effort. Or we end up hurting ourselves.

process over results

I am a big believer in process and effort, over results. To be clear, it is something I struggle with constantly. But I try to listen to my own advice on this and keep repeating it and just plodding along.

What you need to do is to ensure that time is not a factor i.e. you've figured out a way to spend dedicated time towards your health and fitness. Once you've sorted that out, it is simply a matter of finding a tool that works for you.

The purpose of this post is to walk you through finding that effort, into carving that time in your day.

what does "effort" mean?

I have 8 steps below and depending on where you are, start at the appropriate step. To do this, you start by looking at how many minutes you spent dedicated to your fitness routine over the last month.

Some guidelines:

  • Don't skip a step.
  • Spend 2 weeks per step. Longer is fine.
  • You move on to the next step when you are able to hit 80% compliance or better.
The dawn is coming
Photo by Snowscat / Unsplash

Alright, here's the effort progression I'd like you to do.

  1. 15 minutes/day, 3 days of the week. That's 45 minutes per week.
  2. 15 minutes/day, 7 days of the week. That's 105 minutes per week.
  3. 30 minutes/day for 3 days of the week AND 15 minutes/day for the other 4 days of the week. 150 minutes per week.
  4. 30 minutes/day, 7 days of the week. 210 minutes.
  5. 45 minutes/day for 3 days of the week AND 30 minutes/day for the other 4 days of the week. 255 minutes.
  6. 60 minutes/day for 3 days of the week AND 30 minutes/day for the other 4 days of the week. 300 minutes.
  7. 60 minutes/day for 3 days of the week AND 45 minutes/day for the other 4 days of the week. 360 minutes.
  8. 60 minutes/day for 7 days of the week. 420 minutes.

Some further clarifications on how to use this:

  • There are a lot of in-between steps i.e. you can go from step 1 to step 2 by adding 1 day of activity per week and thus taking an entire month to get there. Which is absolutely fine and in fact, might be a better way of going about it.
  • You can stop at whatever step you'd like. The point is not to go to step 8 but to figure out which is the right step for you.
  • You can always take a step back when you need to. When there's more time available in your schedule, you can be at step 6 and then when things get hectic you can step back to #4.
  • There are hundreds of permutations and combinations as well. For example, 3 days of 60 minutes and 4 days of 15 minutes. You go to the gym and lift weights 3 days of the week and you spend 15 minutes on the other days doing stretching and foam rolling and all the fun recovery work. This is what I tend to do for the most part.

No step #0

The biggest takeaway I'd like you to walk away with is that there's no step zero. Get out of that step.

Whenever you need to, dial back a few steps. Steps #1 and #2 are absolutely doable. You know it.

Even when things are batshit insane at work or in your personal life, these 15 minutes can be an oasis of calm. 15 minutes of walking and shutting out the world might be enough to recharge you.

The point is not to get to step 8. The point is to not go to step zero ever again.

Start at the start. Wiggle your big toe. You will get to killing Bill.