Paleo Food and Fitness on a Budget PART 3 is finally here! Are you ready to change your boring workout routines and improve your life this year? I highly recommend clicking the link above to download this article as a PDF so you can have it printed out. Also, be sure and read part 1 and part 2 of this series first.
Physical well being is a crucial component of the quality of your life. If you’re eating garbage and sitting around all day, that’s going to affect every other area of your life. I notice that when I’m incorporating a healthy eating plan and exercising, my productivity and enjoyment in every other area skyrockets.
It is incredibly important to be physically active over the winter months when depression, the letdown after Christmas and SADD can so easily take hold. If you live in a warm sunny climate, I envy you and you might not need to be quite so intentional about this as I do up here in Pittsburgh, PA (one of the least sunny cities in the country)!
This is ONE reason why I DON’T belong to a gym (driving on icy roads to get there), nor do I believe you should! Plus, when you work from home or while traveling, it’s a lot easier to not depend on machines to get the job done.
Here are some other good reasons for NOT joining a gym:
- It saves money. Why pay for the monthly fee, workout clothes, and gas to get you there?
- It saves time. If you add up the time it takes you to get dressed, pack a bag with a water bottle and post workout meal, driving time to and from, waiting time for a machine to open up…. well….. what’s the point? You’ve probably got at LEAST an extra 30 mins of your day tied up. I workout in my pajamas. No extra clothing costs, no extra time wasted to put on decent workout clothes. I grab my water and I’m set and I make my post-workout meal in my own kitchen.
- No one to judge you.
- Other people’s germs. I’d rather not be inhaling other people’s sweat particles or catching MRSA from a weight bench.
I could go on, but you get the point. With the myriad of “workout at home” options such P90X, you really don’t have the excuse of not exercising.
My go-to workout program is super simple and only requires a few pieces of small and inexpensive equipment you probably already have or could pick up on craigslist.
Paired with the nutritional advice in part 2 of this series, this program really works.
I’m not going to post the specifics on amounts, because I’m a very small person and most women would not be consuming nearly enough calories for healthy fat loss. I don’t want anyone to feel deprived and binge and wonder what went wrong.
I had no cravings and was eating a TON of great quality food for MY body. This is KEY. We all have very different body types and somatotypes that respond to calories in various ways.
Achieving and maintaining a great body consists of 80% diet (I hate using that word, but we all are on a diet – it’s what we eat), 10% exercise (although when it comes to mood and attitude I’d put exercise at 50%) and 10% genetics. I have a very small upper body and a very muscular lower body. I can make the best of those features and I’ve come to love them, but I’m never going to have an ample chest and long skinny legs. No amount of exercise is going to make you any taller or shorter either, so embrace your genetics and make them ROCK!
Calories are important – you probably need more than you think, especially when you’re eating whole foods and on an exercise program. I don’t want to give any advice on tracking calories because I think that leads to obsession and misplaced food choices.
Please don’t starve yourself. If you do you’ll lose muscle (the muscle that’s required to have a healthy metabolism and burn fat) and put on a ton of fat in its place as soon as you eat normally again.
Anyway, if you take the basics I lay out in PART 2 for your food choices and make sure you are eating enough for slow sustained fat loss, you can implement this workout program to give your metabolism an extra boost and replace that fat with lean muscle mass.
Ok, enough of the disclaimers!
Here is the workout program I use now when I want to get in shape quickly with minimal time and effort. Each day I spend no more than 30 mins from warmup to finish.
You will need these pieces of equipment:
Doorway Chin-up Bar Pull up Bar – or use a sturdy closet bar if you are certain it will hold you and you can push the clothes over to one side!
Resistance Band Set – any kind or brand will do.
50 Lbs Adjustable Dumbbells Cast Iron (1 Pair) (Total Weight: 50 Lbs) – You NEED TO GET ADJUSTABLE and have the lowest possible weight at 10-15 lbs for EACH DUMBBELL.
That’s it, so here we go!
Please familiarize yourself with each of the workouts before you start. Don’t worry, after a week or two, it will become second nature and you won’t have to watch what to do.
Eat your first meal an hour before your workout. Right before I start my workout, I eat a half grapefruit and then I complete these warm-ups.
- Mobility Warm-up Upper Body 10 reps of each.
- Mobility Warm-up Lower Body 10 reps of each.
- Second Mobility Warm-up Lower Body 10 reps of each.
Day #1 – I selected Monday as my first day.
A. ABS & TRICEPS
Do 4 sets of each above and rest for 60 seconds between sets. Add 1 REP each week.
Shoulder girdle blast circuits consisting of:
- Bent over straight arm raises – 5 reps
- Dumbbell side low throws – 5 reps
- Dumbbell front swings – 5 reps
- Dumbbell clean & press – 5 reps
Do 3 sets of each above and rest for 120 seconds between sets. Add 1 REP on week 2, Add 1 SET in week 3 and 4.
Day #2 – Tuesday
Do each consecutively without resting between exercises.
Do 6 sets of each above, resting 90 seconds between sets. Add 1 set per week.
Day# 3 – Wednesday
Do each consecutively without resting between exercises.
- Single leg dumbbell deadlifts 8 reps
- Single leg hip thrusts 12 reps
- Walking barbell lunges holding 2 dumbbells as heavy as you can manage to do 30 reps (I just walk lunge around my house in a circle)
Do 3 sets of above, resting 120 seconds between each set. Add an extra set each week, week 4 add weight to dumbbells.
Day# 4 – Thursday
50-yard sprints (so about half a football field, I do it on the street), 10 times.
Rest time is the time it takes you to walk back to your starting point. Add 2 sprints each week.
When sprints are complete, do 3 sets of 20 split squats resting 60 seconds between sets for a total of 60.
Day# 5 – Friday
1. ABS & CORE WORK
Do not rest between crunches and push-ups –
- Buso Ball Crunch (I use couch cushions instead of a buso ball which is why I didn’t list it as a neccessary piece of equipment) 10 reps
- Push-Ups 16 reps (If you can’t do this many push-ups, PLEASE don’t do knee pushups, they negate the benefits. Instead, hold a plank position for 30 seconds and work up to 2 minutes (by that time you should do push-ups). Or Reverse band push-ups will suffice.
3 sets of each above, resting 60 seconds between sets. Add 1 set weeks 2&4, add 1 rep week 3.
2. CHEST & BACK
- Pull-ups. 6 reps, 5 sets, resting 75 seconds between sets. If you can’t do pull-ups (palms facing away from you) then throw a resistance band over the bar and hook your foot into the handles so it acts like a “spring” assisting you with your body weight. Reduce assistance as you get stronger.
3. BACK, CHEST, SHOULDERS
- Over/Under single leg body weight rows – I put a few storage bins stacked up to rest my feet on and use my door frame pull up bar. 10 reps 3 sets, (switch legs and hand group for each set) resting 60 seconds between each set. Add 1 set per week
4. BACK, CHEST, SHOULDERS
- T-Y-I Using DUMBBELLS. I don’t have a weight bench so I put a few cushions on my coffee table as an incline OR I stand up and pretend I’m pulling something with the weights, like THIS. 5 reps each way for a total of 15 reps. 3 sets, rest for 60 seconds between sets.
Day #6 – Saturday
Do these consecutively and powerfully, rest after both are done back to back.
- Plate pushes across floor (if you have a long open room you can do indoors, if not, try your driveway). Use your heaviest weights in a milk crate or box. I like to push 50 lbs.
- Toadies back across floor. These are AWESOME. You’ll look like you got a full butt lift after a month of these!
5 sets, resting 60 seconds between sets. Add 1 set per week.
Day #7 – Rest
Don’t do any extra exercises, your body needs rest. Don’t skip meals, and if you are training for something extra, (like I am for a 5K in March), eat an extra meal.
This will take you through a full month of workouts and then you should change it up a bit. Try something new, lift heavier weights. Your body adapts!
There are SO many ways to work out at home at a minimal cost. With this efficient, time and money saving plan, you’ll totally be making it pay to stay!