Fit to FI: My Little Workout Program

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My Little Leg Day

How many times have you said to yourself, “self, it is time to start a workout program.”

How many times have you actually followed that statement by actually finding or creating a workout program and then actually sticking to it?

How many times can I say “actually” in one sentence?

I have worked my way through a number of programs, most made by me but a couple purchased from professionals, that have given me incredible success. I have also started a lot of programs without seeing them through to completion. The old motivation vs dedication deal.

Time For Something New (Sort of)

I recently came up with a new idea, one that makes getting in some good muscle-aching heart-thumping gains not seem so daunting. You know, that feeling of looking at the workout ahead of you and thinking, “there’s no friggin way I am going to survive this workout. I’d be better off just ripping my heart out of my chest like that guy in Indiana Jones.”

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This new idea probably won’t fly with the professional bodybuilding set, but that’s ok with me, since I’m not a professional bodybuilder. I’m guessing, since you’re reading a semi-financially based DIY blog, that you aren’t either.

My idea is the Little Workout Program.

Ok, it’s not really my idea, there have definitely been people doing this before me. But I’m taking credit for this particular way, darn it!

Here It Is

What I have decided to do in my Little Workout Program is bundle a group of exercises together and perform a little over half of my maximum repetitions of each one with no breaks.

For example:

I’ll do 8 pull-ups, 12 push-ups, 20 squats (I added a little bit of weight just to spice it up) and 20 of some type of core exercise. This usually ends up being 10 V sit-ups and 10 Russian Twists put together.

That’s it. I do all of those with no rest, then I move on with my day.

Here’s the trick: I will do this little routine at least three more times throughout the day.

What that means is by the end of the day, if I’ve done that four times, I will have done 32 pull-ups, 48 push-ups, 80 squats, and a bunch of core work.

Also, because I’m always feeling fairly fresh when I do it, I am able to keep strict and perfect form throughout, thereby increasing the safety and effectiveness of the exercises.

Greasing the Groove

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This technique, the idea of performing about half of your max reps a bunch of times spread out throughout the day, is known as “Greasing the Groove”. This is normally done with a focus on one particular movement, such as the pull-up, in order to increase the maximum number of reps.

I’m not recommending this be your only exercise program for the rest of your life, but I’m sure you’ll see some benefit if you do it for a month, while raising the number of reps just a little every week.

Getting Started

At first, depending on where you are at physically, you will probably feel some soreness and tiredness. You might find yourself going a little too far on the first day, and then not really feeling like you can do it at all on the second.

Don’t worry, I have a ramp-up solution!

My plan is to do this every other day for the first week to kind of get my body used to doing this. Then, the second week, I’ll do every weekday and take the weekend off. After that, every day. No excuses!

The beautiful thing about this method is the amount of time spent exercising is minimal, because the breaks are maximal. It takes me around three minutes to bang out a clump, and then I’m off to the races again. During the course of the day I’ll spend 12 minutes exercising. 12 minutes! 

So that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it! As you may have read in my recent post about motivation vs dedication, it will take some work to move past the initial buzz of the first couple of day, but you can do it! You are strong of heart!

Mean face!

Let me know in the comments below how this one works out for you, and if you started hating me halfway through. But just think how much character you’ll build!

4 thoughts on “Fit to FI: My Little Workout Program

  1. I like it. Sounds like a real easy way to build a solid baseline of fitness. Plus, the big benefit of using solid form on a greasing the groove approach is that it’ll become second nature to perform these exercises correctly, even if you up the weight or difficulty in the future.

    One thing I think could help in trying to sustain this over the long term is to build it into a habit loop. For example, if you wanted to do it 3 times per day, that could mean tying it to something you do 3 times a day, like eating meals. Then the trigger becomes- I’m about to sit down for a meal, which reminds you to knock out a set of the exercises before eating. Eventually, you’re not relying on willpower and remembering to do it, it becomes automatic.

    Tying it to some sort of regular trigger like that will help so that you don’t fall off the wagon as soon as you accidentally miss a day or two.


    1. That’s a great tip, Andy! I’ve been noticing during the couple of weeks I’ve been doing this that it does seem to get harder to convince myself to do the 3 minutes of work. Tying it in to a habit would make it so much harder to justify skipping it.


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