A Simple Workout Protocol for Days You Have No Idea What to Do
Ever find yourself motivated to work out, but have absolutely no clue what to do?
I’m sure it happens quite a bit. And while it’s good to have your full workout routine laid out (on paper) before slipping on your Nikes, things don’t always happen like they’re supposed to.
Sometimes motivation shows up when we least expect it. It comes in random bursts at times that are difficult to predict. What is important is that we are always ready to harness it.
For these situations, it is good to have a workout protocol or template to fall back on – a simple and flexible workout “blueprint” of sorts that we can easily modify on the spot without much thought using what we can from our surroundings.
In today’s post, I want to show you a simple workout protocol that you can fall back on whenever you find yourself dressed up and ready to go, but completely unsure of what to do.
Keep Things Simple, Stupid
Simplicity is the absolute key.
We want to be able to put things together in less than 60 seconds. Any more time than that and motivation starts to dwindle.
The simpler something is, the more likely we are going to a) remember it, b) be able to modify it on the fly, and c) stay consistent with it.
That is why the workout template I am about to show you couldn’t be any simpler.
Just by following three simple steps and being aware of your surroundings, you will be able to put together an incredibly challenging workout in anywhere seconds.
The Power of AMRAP
AMRAP stands for As Many Repetitions as Possible.
While the name pretty much gives it away, let me show you just how easy it is to put together. We are going to use a simple three step process to make this work.
Step 1: Pick One Exercise.
This is the first and most important step.
We don’t want to pick just any exercise. The goal is to pick a full-body, compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups. An exercise that is both intense and metabolically challenging. We want an exercise that makes the body work as a unit.
Let your surroundings determine what it is you are going to do. If you find yourself at home in the living room with two resistance bands, use them. An exercise like a squat to push-press would work great. If you accidentally stumbled into a gym, take advantage of a barbell and/or a nice set of dumbbells and pick an exercise that utilizes those. Squats or deadlifts would be ideal. If you’re in the park and you suddenly get the urge, use the bars at the playground to do some pull-ups or use the big open field to do some burpees.
It is very important to learn to work with what you have.
To further minimize your thinking time, I suggest you prepare a list of go-to exercises you can always fall back on. Pick two or three exercises for each possible method of training and have them with you. This list of exercises will change as you go, but the idea is to be able to make the exercise selection process fast and efficient.
Once you have an exercise selected, you want to…
Step 2: Set a Time Period.
The goal is to keep things short and intense. We want to pack in as much quality work as we can in the time that we have.
10 to 15 minutes is typically ideal, but even 5 minutes can get the job done if the right exercise is selected.
This means that all your “I don’t have time” excuses can go out the window. Everybody has five minutes to spare.
Once your time is set, all you have to do is…
Step 3: Start the Clock.
You’ll need a timer to make this work. Use a stopwatch or an application on your smartphone (Gym Boss is a good one) and press that big shiny GO button to start the timer.
Your objective with this workout protocol is simple: complete as many quality repetitions of your chosen exercise in the time period you have set. When the timer goes off, you’re done.
You can take breaks as often as you wish or need throughout the set, but the clock does not stop until the time is up.
Important note: whenever we try to squeeze in as many repetitions as possible in a short amount of time, there is risk of sacrificing proper form to get a few extra reps in. This can be dangerous, particularly as you start to fatigue near the end of your set. Never sacrifice form for time. Make sure that every repetition you do, from start to finish, is executed with faultless technique.
Let’s take a look at an example to see how this would look.
Let’s say you just got off work and you’re feeling good. You have half an hour to spare before you need to be home for dinner. You stop by at the gym, warm up a little bit to get the blood flowing, and do some mobility exercises to get the joints loosened up. Now what?
On the rack along the wall, you spot a nice rustic kettlebell looking very lonely. You approach it, introduce yourself, and decide that you’re going to do some kettlebell swings. You grab your timer, set it to 12 minutes, and start swinging your heart out. You want to hit as many quality swings as you can in those 12 minutes.
While that clock is running, you are focused. You’re in a zone. No other thoughts cross your mind. The next 12 minutes are all about you and your swings.
Nothing else matters.
You bust your balls for 12 minutes, jot down how many repetitions you managed to get, stretch, go home, and enjoy that delicious dinner.
That’s a job well done, my friend.
See how simple that was? Now it’s your turn. Here’s what I want to know…
How are you going to make use of this workout protocol this week? What exercise are you going to choose? Share your answers in the comment section below!