The New Workout Plan

by Frost on June 2, 2011

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.


– 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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

D June 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm

You should think about making a home “gym” if you have the room. If like me you can’t afford to buy a bunch of weights there’s still plenty you can throw together; bags of sand, PVC, tires, ropes, big rocks, etc. range from dirt cheap to free for the taking. I won’t write a book on it here but plenty of info is out there on the web. I’m not saying cancel your gym membership to lift sandbags and punch tires in your yard, but that sort of thing makes for great supplementery work to weight training.

“one day, I’ll get tired of cigar and gin nights that stretch into mid-morning”

That’s when you’ll buy a rocking chair and sit around on the porch all afternoon with cigars and gin.

Ezra Moon June 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I’m digging that standing work station idea, if I gather up enough courage I might just try it out, 8 hours a day is 8 hours too long.

amb June 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Hey Frost:
Can you tell us a little more about your standing workstation?

Frost June 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

Keyboard, mouse, monitor on cardboard boxes. Head poking above cubicle inviting questions from curious but risk-averse co-workers. Bureaucratic HR department won’t spring for a “real” one without a proven medical condition despite mucho evidence that sitting is bad for you, ie:

I will likely do a post on it in the near future.

Rob June 3, 2011 at 3:40 am

I just started taking fish oil and vitamin D on the advice of Marks Daily Apple. I’ll be interested to see if I notice changes. I’ve been 90 percent Paleo for three weeks, and I’ve noticed increases in vascular definition. What changes have you noticed from taking the fish oil? Do you take vitamin D and have you noticed anything from that?

MarcTheEngineer June 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I’d suggest checking out the following article.

Actually read the guys whole philosophy… makes gaining lean muscle while cutting fat a breeze (especially because it seriously reduces the amount of time required for eating)

b-nasty June 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I workout and eat healthy (most of the time), so that I can enjoy myself occasionally. Unless you are paid to compete in pro sports or be a fitness model with 5% BF, why spend the level of effort/sacrifice required for those goals. Achieve a healthy BMI, pack on some muscle and definition, eat smart, and relax.

Now that it’s Summer, I agree with your dim-gym comment. Try to mix up the w/o to be outside. Maybe some HIIT hill runs, pushups on the patio, pullups at the playground, etc.

jules June 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Thanks for the fish oil tip, I can’t get my proteins from meat (unless I sneak it in) so I’m reduced to beans and lentils.

Frost June 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

Sneak it in? Please tell me you aren’t dating a woman who forbids you to eat meat.

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