Simplify to the Core
A theme of the Warrior Scholar lifestyle is simplicity. Simplifying your life. Focusing on the things in your life that are important, and letting go of the things that are not. Stop wasting time on trivial things or activities that are draining of energy with little reward or benefit for you.
Back to the Basics
This can be applied to physical fitness training. Simplify and focus your workouts. When creating a workout plan, always focus on your core functional lifts/activities. Everyday you exercise; you should be selecting at least one core functional lift and one core functional cardio activity. These should be the building blocks of all workouts.
If you spent your time just doing these complex functional lifts, you would see massive improvements and gains in your strength, real world activities, and overall health. We need to get away from the auxiliary isolation lifts and focus on the lifts that provide us with the most benefit. Below the Core lifts are laid out with instructional videos.
Core (Functional) Lifts
Deadlift: Romanian Deadlift, Regular Deadlift, Stiff-Leg deadlift, Sumo Deadlift
Video on Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfYez7-h55c
Squat: Back squat, front squat, hack squat, Smith machine squat
Video on Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoZWgTrZLd8
Bench Press: incline bench, decline bench, flat bench
Video on Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JtP6ju0IMw
Overhead Shoulder Press: Military press, push press, standing press
Video on Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJFjYyA40ss
Pull-up: Chin-up, weighted pull-up, wide grip, close grip, kipping
Video on Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ig8DQXLeD0
Dip: weighted, wide grip, close grip
Video on Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrevqAaaFr0
Walking on incline: I would recommend any incline above 10
Swimming (I’m not a huge fan, but this is a great cardio activity)
My challenge to the reader is to simplify your workout. Take one or two Core Lifts and one Core Cardio, and do them everyday. When in doubt about what to do in the gym, start with the basics, not the pecdec machine. Quit wasting your time. Do 150 pull-ups not 150 arm curls. Make it easy on yourself. Focus on the important core lifts and shuck the rest.
I personally love doing the core lifts first then moving into HIIT training or doing the core lifts in conjunction with my cardio to focus on high intensity work. For example: 10 back squats with 250 meters of rowing. One minute rest between sets. 10 rounds.
Here is a full week plan. (All I did was pick one, sometimes two core lifts and one core cardio for everyday)
Just the Basics Workout Plan
Monday: Back squat 4×10, Front squat 4×10, Free Squat 4×10, 30 minutes of incline walking
Tuesday: Overhead Shoulder Press 4×10, Shrugs 4×10, Military dumbbell press 4×10, 30 minutes of biking
Thursday: Bench Press 4×10, Incline Press 4×10, Dips 4×10, 15 one minute sprints
Friday: Deadlift 4×10, Stiff-Leg Deadlift 4×10, Sumo 4×10, Pull-ups 4×10, 20 minute row
Sunday: Jump Rope for 30 minutes
Most Simple Workout Plan
Monday: Back Squat 12×10, Incline Walk for 30
Tuesday: Overhead Shoulder Press 12×10, 30 minutes Biking
Thursday: Bench Press 12×10, Sprinting 15 minutes
Friday: Deadlift 12×10, Rowing 20 minutes
Sunday: Pull-ups and dips 12×10, 15 minute jump rope
Before attempting any sort of weight with the lifts, make sure to work and rework your technique with light or no weight. Watch videos online. Practice with free form. Have a friend who is knowledgeable help you train. You can’t train if you get hurt, so make sure to use the appropriate form, and keep yourself in the game.
Bring a level of simplicity into your workout. Focus on the most important aspects of training. Keep your workouts basic. Train your core lifts and core cardio.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask. Also, don’t forget to sign up for emails under the subscribe button on the left.
Photo Above From: http://getthisstrength.com