The New Workout Plan

Welcome to Freedom Twenty-Five’s Get Right For The Summer Workout Tape.

The goal of the New Workout Plan is to achieve maximum health – defined as energy, athleticism, and hawtness – with as little investment possible. Without further ado, I present:

Freedom Twenty-Five’s Get Right For The Summer Workout Tape.

Diet: Primal/Paleolithic all the way:

– Fresh meat, nuts, berries and vegetables

– Lots of whole egg

– Some beans and potatoes

– Butter in everything, some cream and high-fat milk.

– Dark chocolate, occasional rye bread

Exercise: Short, heavy resistance workouts, and lots of play

Workout #1: Pull-ups, Bench Press, Shoulder Press. 5X superset.

Workout #2: Deadlifts, jump squats, lunges. 5X superset.

One per week of: Hockey, Volleyball, Ultimate frisbee. 1-3 long hikes in my Vibrams.

Miscellaneous

– One 24-hour fast per week

– 2-5 quick yoga practices per week and foam rolling (to increase flexibility and prevent/heal injuries)

– Transitioning into a standing workstation

– Increased Fish oil supplementation from 2 to 10 capsules per day

* * *

Recently, I had a conversation with a good friend, a professional strength coach. I told him about my diet and exercise routine (surprisingly, he and his coaching team are 100% down with the paleo/primal lifestyle. Hope for the world! But when I asked him what percentage of his peers are similarly enlightened, he guessed 1-5%. ) I asked him what changes I would need to make to make the final step – i.e. go from 15% t0 10% body fat, go from being “pretty big” to “ripped to shreds,” start putting up serious weight in my lifts – basically to get where he is.

After a conversation about my lifestyle and habits, here was his advice:

– Alcohol, and especially beer are the main cause of my plateau. Cut them out, or at least drastically cut back.

– Increase fish oil supplementation to ridiculous amounts. 10+ capsules per day, especially if I’ve eaten non-organic meat

– Increase my gym time to incorporate more rest between sets. Take the above two-day split, stop super-setting, and add a minute of rest between each set.

– Maintain a more regular sleep schedule. Try to get to bed early, even on weekends.

– Eliminate cheat meals

This, he assures me, will push me from a guy who looks and feels pretty good, into a superhuman. And I believe him. I pointed out that as he was giving me this advice, we were hammering back keg beer. He replied, “Yeah, but this is literally the only time I’ve partied like this in the past three months. Sometimes you gotta make sacrifices. ”

Thinking about our conversation the next day, I thought that I wanted to make those sacrifices. I decided to give up drinking for a month. I decided to eliminate cheat meals, and work out in the evenings so I didn’t have to hurry back to work.

But over the next few days , I had to confront the practical implications of my unchecked ambition:

– I have two bachelor parties coming up in June. Am I really going to not drink at them?

– Lounging in a post-coital embrace, about to watch Blue Valentine with my sort-of girlfriend, she asked me if I wanted her to go make a bowl of berries, almonds, dark chocolate, and ice cream to snack on. Was it really worth saying no, so that my six-pack becomes an eight?

– Working out slowly and methodically is boring as shit. Am I really going to spend beautiful summer nights in the sweaty, clanking, fluorescent-lit dungeons that are modern urban fitness centers?

Last Saturday night – sitting on a deck watching the sun rise with two of my best friends, finishing off the cigars and bottle of gin that we’d been working on since getting back from the bar at 3am – I realized the answer was no.

A man’s mid-twenties are his years to drink, smoke, eat, fuck and grind as much as he wants. If you incorporate healthy habits in most of your life, youth and hunger will give you the energy to power through the rest. Probably one day, I’ll get tired of cigar and gin nights that stretch into mid-morning. But until that day, the Freedom Twenty-Five Workout Plan will be based on identifying the 20% of sacrifices that generate 80% of the positive outcomes. The rest, I’ll happily leave on the table.