Working out 3-5 days per week like ACSM recommends can be time consuming and costly. Gym memberships are great for so many reasons, the biggest being the equipment that they provide. I am an outdoor runner, so I don’t need the gym for my cardio workouts. But my strength training is limited if I don’t go to the gym. Currently I have two 25-lb dumbbells for lifting weights. That’s it. To put together a good set will cost me a couple hundred dollars.
But what if I didn’t need to go to the gym for strength training? What if we broke down our strength training to the most basic component, a minimalist approach?
Along this line of thought I put together what I call the Faithful Four. I do these exercises every week with my Sports Conditioning class I teach Wednesday mornings. These are four exercises that will always be faithful to you. They’ll never leave you and they’ll always give back what you put in.
I usually do push-ups and lunges together for three sets, and then do sit-ups and squats together for three sets. This is strength training at its most basic level. But it’s a great routine in that it works the whole body and provides a foundation for you to build more strength training when you’re ready for the next level.
Time commitment? Three sets will take about six minutes! What I love about the Faithful Four is that over time I developed a sense of ownership with this routine. No equipment is required. It’s just me and my body weight. Hershel Walker was an NFL great whose main strength training consisted of push-ups and sit-ups. Of course he worked up to 500 of each per day (yes, per day). Still, it goes to show you the potential of this basic strength training routine.
The Faithful Four is a great starting point to daily strength training. Start out wherever you feel comfortable. Give yourself two weeks to move to where you feel challenged.