Chances are if you like what we do at GMB, you don’t want to spend hours each day working out. Like us, you want to focus on the essentials in order to help you better enjoy the things you love to to do like practicing your martial arts and being active with your families.
In this episode, we were happy to be able to chat with Philip Chubb, otherwise known as the Mindful Mover, in which we discuss how to minimize the time you spend training while maximizing the range of gains you make.
This is not just the cliché of “less is more,” but practical things everyone can apply to their training to get a life beyond the gym.
- Topic: Do Less, Work Smarter, Have a Life
- Rant Factor: 😰🤨🤔🤸
- Fitness-ness: ⏰🧠💪👪
- Topic: Do Less, Work Smarter, Have a Life
- Rant Factor: 😰🤨🤔🤸
- Fitness-ness: ⏰🧠💪👪
What It’s About
How to do less reps of fewer exercises once a week and still get everything you want (including a life)
👇 Scroll down for the full show notes, links, and rants 👇
Key Points: Do Less, Work Smarter, Have a Life
- Do Fewer Exercises: We are mortal and have limited time, do exercises that have carry over to other ones
- Do Less Reps Less Often: Learn how to use Accommodating Resistance to maximize every movement
- Stop Over-training: Training injuries aren’t worth it, find the minimum effective dose
- Cardio: Sprint drop sets are miserable but you only have to do them once a week
- Get a Life: Training is fun but it shouldn’t be everything
- Resources: Links to everything mentioned in the podcast
- The Future: Help us decide which episodes to record next
“I do that one movement. I get stronger. I get more mobile. I’m in, I’m out of the gym, I have time for everything.”
~ Philip Chubb
Do Fewer Exercises
- Certain exercises have carry over to other exercises. And that’s important to know because unfortunately there’s two issues with being human. One: we don’t have unlimited time. And two: we can’t be in both places at one time.
- We test to see what exercises have carry over. We found five exercises tend to have carry over to everything else.
- If you do these five, you’re basically gaining on things that you are doing, those five exercises, but also things that you aren’t doing.
- So you can’t be immortal. We can’t fix that for you. And we can’t make you able to be able to be in more places at one time, but we can give you the next best thing, which is those five exercises where if you work on those five, you’re going to be gaining other things at the same time.
Philip’s 5 Big Moves
- Squat (full range of motion)
- Planche Push-up
- Handstand Push-up
- One Arm Chin-up
- Front Lever Rows
Do Less Reps Less Often
- On the time side, this is where we apply what’s called Accommodating Resistance (AR).
- Imagine you’re about to do a chin up, and someone is holding onto your waist. And as you start pulling, they pull down on you. So you’re pulling against them the whole time. And they’re always making sure that you’re able to do just barely that rep. When you get to the top, you hold at the top. And then they grab on your waist. They pull even harder and they pull you off that bar. Like you’re a kid doesn’t want to leave the playground.
- If you do a repetition like that, you will see immediately: Wow. I do not need to do many of these to get stronger. And I do not need to do many workouts a week to get stronger. I can do one time a week and get stronger. In fact, if I do multiple times a week, it probably would end up as a trip aboard the the pain train.
- There’s also progressions for this. If someone has absolutely zero chin-up strength, they’ll basically get into a kneeling position. Kneeling on their legs and reach up the arms straight and grab the rings, pull as hard as possible with their arms. Whatever their arms can’t do, their legs will make up for by extending just enough to help you up.
- Everyone thinks at first, is once a week going to be enough that helped me gain and get stronger? And then you see it happen on everyone’s first accommodating resistance rep. The question is no longer, “Will once a week work?” It’s, “Will I survive?”
- Each of those workouts is worth multiple workouts. It’s basically the same thing. You’re not working out almost any less. You’re just taking it all and squeezing it into a really maximal intensity one session a week.
- With flexibility, if I can get it from my strength work, I will get it from my strength work. So for example, at the bottom of your chin up work, you can just go into a full hanging, and get your shoulders mobile, great. Then that keeps you from having to do more work on that mobility.
“When you work towards something in the first place, you’re going to end up getting pretty good. You might never get the full planche, who cares?”
- One of the problems is people tend to look for what is optimal in the training. There’s really no way to know what’s optimal. But I do know what is suboptimal. What is suboptimal is you’re trying to train this optimal program and get broken up and then you’re not able to train for the next couple months.
- Keep the training dosage at the minimal effective dose, the amount that you need to gain. When you try to add that extra work in, you don’t even know if it’s going to give extra gains.
- Training injuries typically come from two to three things. One of them is how much work you do. Like over-training in terms of under recovery. You can manage that by reducing your training down, doing that minimum effective dose.
- The other one is high impact training. Let’s say that you are doing a death jump. So you start off on a tall box and some people even load weight onto it. And you drop off that box and land on the ground and that’s like a movement to help you work on your reactive strength. That’s a movement where you can go from too little volume to too much volume instantaneously.
- A good rep range is going to be pretty low with accommodating resistance. Let’s say you’re doing a barbell back squat. When you do an accommodating resistance rep, the entire repetition is going to be maximum loaded the entire time. And as you lower down and go back up, it’s also going to take you a lot longer to do that repetition.
- Use movements that are appropriate to your level, but the intensity should be there.
- If you can get 10 reps out of it, you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough.
- We do what’s called a sprint drop set, which is also going to be one of the most miserable things you’ll ever do in your life.
- You sprint as fast as possible. And then as you fatigue, your sprint will drop to a run, then it’ll drop to the jog, drop to a walk and then you’ll drop to the floor. And then once you hit that point, you’re good to go.
- Maybe you’re not even using sprinting. Maybe you’re doing it on a bike. Maybe you’re doing it with swimming. Who cares?
- It’s basically just as fast as possible, as long as possible until your heart basically almost explodes. And when you fall to the ground, you’ve got to go. Then you go home and you rest, and then you come back and do it again next week.
Getting a Life (or at least a Non-Fitness Hobby)
- Training is very fun, I enjoy my trainings. Don’t get me wrong. I love my training, but training should not be everything. I think a lot of people use it as not just something for gains, but something for the sake of entertainment.
- Training is entertaining, but it is probably one of the worst forms of entertainment.
- You got to have a real non-fitness hobby. It can be whatever you want but it should be something that you can do with unlimited time and it doesn’t have to be something that makes you better.
- You don’t have to look accomplished or achieve something.
- People can use fitness as a way of thinking it’s their identity. And when it’s not there because of injury, because of COVID, because of something else, that depression comes in. And so what are you going to have beyond that?
Like links? Here’s a few things to click:
We mentioned books and other resources, here they are:
- 3 Steps to Autoregulation Training – How to not burn out
- How Many Reps, Sets, Exercises, and Workouts You Should Be Doing – Our episode on how much is enough
- Our Articles on Injury Prevention – Our best posts on recovery, prevention, and building resilience
We will assume that most of you out there have lives and hobbies. If you don’t, or if you just want to have more time for your life aside from training, try out some of Philip’s tactics. Of course, use your awareness to adjust them to your needs as the point is develop autonomy more than anything else.
👉 Now go enjoy your life.
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show: