We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If you do, you are statistically almost certain to fail in an exercise program. If serious about it, you will begin today. Of course, January is when gyms make all their money and when they are busiest. By March, they have collected all those fees and are right back to their usual daily volume of people.
As they say, "Someday" is not one of the seven days of the week.
I want to say a few words about exercise goals because it only makes sense to define, or re-define, exercise goals. I don't mean specific goals, like being able to bench press 300 lbs, or to run 10 miles at a 7.5 mph pace. I mean general goals. Your goals will determine your program.
- Specific goals, like the two I mentioned above, require very specific training approaches designed by experts.
- Weight loss: Forget exercise. Eat right and body fat will melt away. Some cardio might help prime the pump, but not necessary.
- Psychological goals. Any form of daily exertion (not walking) is excellent for mental attitude.
- Body-building. This requires a specific sort of program to look buff. Focus a lot on isolated muscles. It's not functional so much as an aesthetic. I think it's silly, but to each his or her own.
- Strength training. This entails 4 days/week of heavy weights, powerlifts, with some accessory weight exercises.
- General conditioning for out of shape people. This is the bread and butter of professional trainers, and in some ways the most rewarding for them because these people, if dedicated, can make the most dramatic progress because they have so far to go. I have seen schlubby people make remarkable changes in one or two years. Including grandmas.
- "Functional fitness". This is the goal for most people aged 30-80, and why Crossfit is so popular. This is about building or even just maintaining strength, agility, balance, power, appearance, endurance, speed, athleticism, etc. for a vigorous life. All that is a lot to ask for, which is why we feel it takes 6-7 hours/week. It won't make you a marathoner or an impressive lifter, but should make you ready for anything life offers - especially sports and recreation.
The Maggie's Fitness For Life (where is that TM thing?) is for Functional Fitness. We sometimes have good ideas for conditioning, but once basic conditioning is achieved (ie fat control, ability to participate in exercise classes, ability to jog a mile, basic hand weights and cables) is where our ideas come into play. Calisthenics, Heavy weights, HIIT and Endurance Cardio.
I've been jumping rope for a couple of months. Well, more tripping over the rope and taking multiple rests. At my age I need to be careful not to push myself to the point that the body breaks down so I have been slowly increasing the duration. As to "real boxer" - totally beyond my abilities! But it is fun to pretend . . .
And yes, I also lift using 5-3-1. I've been fairly consistent, hence my effort to focus more on cardio.
You gain strength on recovery days, not on training days.
Too many people try to "prioritize" too many fitness qualities simultaneously. By definition, prioritize means you don't train multiple qualities at the same time.
Once again, I gotta agree completely with the two Mikes. (Strictly speaking though, there are four day split routines that are effective, but I'm sure that's not what Dr. Bliss is talking about here.)
I would find it interesting if our friend Bird Dog would buy and read "The Barbell Prescription" and then dedicate one of his four-month programs to putting on a few pounds and building up his strength (with some conditioning work in there as well, of course) following the guidelines in the book. Then go and do that boulder hike in the 'Gunks and report back on how different it felt. Not that he should, of course, because obviously what he's doing works very well for him, but it would be an interesting experiment.