This year I decided for my resolution, I will read or listen to 1 book every week for 52 weeks! That being said, I got a little jump start on the year and finished a book titled Lean Made Simple by Slade Jones a few days ago.
The title of this book is right in my wheelhouse. Anytime the words "made simple" follow something I am all ears! The reason for this is not that I don't want to work hard towards something, I just want to do the least amount of work possible to reach the desired goal. By focusing on this approach, it frees up time for me to explore the other things that I want to do in life. I don't want to spend hours in the gym when I can be outside, hanging out with my family, reading, building "horsie barns" with my daughter or doing whatever else interests me in the moment.
Before we get started with the details, you have to understand one thing: SIMPLE DOES NOT MEAN EASY. The program outlined by Slade Jones is specific. You must follow the rules for 28 days. There is no deviation. If you do deviate then that means you are no longer on the program. This is one month of disciplined action. Are you up for it? Just as your boss at work requires you to show up and do the work they ask of you, so too does this program. There are six components to this program. Each of which are outlined below...
RULE ONE: You must lift weights. Over the course of 28 days, this program wants you to strength train 12 times. I don't mean to show off here with my impressive math skills but that comes out to strength training three times per week for four weeks. Progressive resistance is the key here. The 12 workouts are the same four exercises every time: Hip Thrust, Single Arm Press, Pullup, Ab Wheel. You start by performing three sets of everything. If completed, use same weights and do four sets. If completed, use the same weights and do five sets. If completed, add weight or reps and start the process over at three sets.
RULE TWO: You must walk daily. The rules for walking are quite simple: Set a timer for 10 minutes, walk as far as you can in 10 minutes, then turn around and walk home. Each day you walk you will try to go a little further. 10-15 days in you will be struggling to add distance. No jogging or running allowed! This concept comes from legendary track coach Barry Ross and he uses it with his athletes to develop a baseline for conditioning.
RULE THREE: You must perform Intervals. On days you do not strength train, you will perform intervals. Pick a training modality (options are bike, rower, running, swimming, jumping rope, etc.) and perform two minutes of hard work. Rest for 2 minutes and repeat for 20-30 minutes. If you reach 30 minutes and are not tired then you are not working hard enough during the interval.
RULE FOUR: You must get adequate recovery. Sleep is our focus here and you will aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep. You will do this by setting a consistent sleep schedule. Try to get to bed and wake around the same time each day. Remove all clocks and devices from your room and try to avoid napping longer than 30 minutes.
RULE FIVE: You must follow the diet principles recommended. For 28 days Slade Jones wants you to count your calories. Your daily calorie total should be your bodyweight multipled by 12 (A 190 pound male x 12 = 2, 280 calories). You then multiply that number by 7 and get your weekly total (same male would eat 15, 960 calories). The weekly total is the big one to hit. The recommendation is to eat as healthy as possible but you know how that goes sometimes. He wants you to fast for the first five hours upon waking and eat two meals per day. Strategically plan these meals and follow the plan!
RULE SIX: You must test/assess your progress weekly. Every Monday morning you should check your weight and measure your waist in centimeters at the belly button. If you do not lose weight or centimeters, deduct an additional 200 calories from the diet. After four weeks of closely monitoring calories, taking daily walks, performing intervals, building strength, and sleeping well, I will assume you all lost some weight and/or centimeters on the belly.
Once this is complete, we now have the "Now What?" question. The now what is what you will do for the rest of your life. The rules listed above provide a nice framework to build a good healthy life. You don't have to count calories every day beyond this month but we hope you are mindful of what you are consuming. It is recommended by the author to continue to eat two meals a day, enjoy them with friends and/or family, and try to eat as many vegetables as possible. Continue to build strength, sleep well, walk and try to be as active as possible. As you noticed, there are no fancy adjectives to describe the way to get results and be happy. It is doing the simple things really well that will lead to sustainable improvements over the course of your life.
Simple, not easy. A mantra for life I can really get behind!