Open Question: What is a reasonable program for people to follow to develop a good level of fitness?
I’ve been thinking a bit about the 2018 Experiment: HIIT Burpee and Running Program. The challenge of that program was to met a minimal standard for health, which I define using the American Heart Association standards:
- 25 minutes of aerobic activity, 3 times a week
- moderate intensity muscle-building, 2 times a week
I prefer running for cardiovascular fitness. I have always wanted to run a sub-20 minute 5K. So, I was thinking that a speed program at the desired speed, 9.0 on a treadmill or 6:40/mile pace on Monday and Fridays, incrementing as the current level becomes easy.
- 0.25 miles with 0.25 mile recovery walks, moving up one from 4 to 12 reps
- 0.5 miles with 0.25 mile recovery walks, moving up one from 2 to 6 reps
- 0.75 miles with 0.25 mile recovery walks, moving up one from 2 to 4 reps
- 1 mile with 0.25 mile recovery walks, moving up one from 1 to 3 reps
- 1.5 miles with 0.25 mile recovery walks, moving up one from 1 to 3 reps
- 2 miles with 0.25 mile recovery walks, moving up one from 1 to 2 reps
- 2.5 miles with 0.25 mile recovery walks, moving up one from 1 to 2 reps
- 3 miles at one rep.
On Tuesday & Thursdays, it’s an easy 4 miles. On Wednesday, it’s either a easy 6-10 miles, an easy 4 miler or a rest day, depending on how I’m feeling. I’m not sure how long this kind of program will take, but I think taking two years seems like an achievable time frame.
Moderate Intensity Muscle-Building
But, the burpee program I came up with was positively brutal. I wanted to avoid making the same mistake this time, and keeping this easy.
This year, I spent some time revisiting The Hacker’s Diet, and I think his idea of having a low-intensity, low-time commitment exercise regime that can be done daily and anywhere is a good one. I took his program, and modified it to include a stepped program that increases 7% from 10 up to ~200 of bends (hands over head, legs spread, touch toes and return), sit-ups (hands across chest), skydivers (one rep, 4-count, hands to head and legs), push-ups, scissors (one rep, 4-count), jump squats, planks (front, back, each side for X seconds and 20 second rest period in between each), and jumping jacks (one rep, 4-count).
Each exercise is done for one set. The first rung takes less than 15 minutes. It’s easy to start, but it has the potential to become seriously challenging as you progress.
Modified Hacker’s Diet Exercise Program
So, I’m going to give this a try next year, and I’ll report back on how it worked out.