100 Days of Fitness
- 100 Days of Fitness: An Introduction
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 2 - Nutrition
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 3 - Exercise
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 4 - Building a Home Gym
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 5 - Supplements
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 6 - Expectations
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 7 - Footwear
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 8 - Food Lies
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 9 - Meet the Kettlebell
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 10 - Sample Circuits
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 11 - Days vs Weeks
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 12 – The Geography of Weight Loss
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 13 - Travel Training
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 14 – Meals, Snacks, & The Pocket Workout
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 15 - What It's All About
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 16 - Endless Push-Ups & Learning the Pull-Up
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 17 – Adjustable Kettlebells + A Circuit
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 18 – Intermittent Fasting & Strength Test
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 19 – 15 Minute Workouts & A Cool Workout iPhone App + Contest
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 20 - Switching It Up
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 21 – Reflections
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 22 – A Week Without a Workout
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 23 – Why We Work Out & The 30 lbs Lost Marker
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 24 - 5 Common Home Gym Mistakes
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 25 – Work Ethic
- 100 Days of Fitness Special: Men's Health in Movember
- 100 Days of Fitness: The Muscle Aesthetic
- 100 Days of Fitness: The Cure for Holiday Pounds
I've talked about intensity before. Many months ago I talked about “putting the work back in your workout.” I said it wasn't called “fun time” or “joy hour.” During the 100 Days program I've said that you've got to put the effort in. But what that does that mean? Breaking a sweat? Lifting heavy? Grunting and straining until you fart?
Well, yeah sometimes that comes along with intensity and your work ethic. But if you've ever been to a gym you know that guys fart no matter how hard they're working and some dudes grunt just walking up the steps. So let's not get any sort of idiotic notion of what “intensity” is.
Having a good work ethic is essential to losing weight or gaining muscle. This is applied in how well you stay on your diet and whether or not you're getting enough out of your workouts. A good work ethic means you don't phone it in. I've seen dozens of guys hit the gym everyday and never make any progress. They're in there wasting time, lifting little weights, and lazily pedaling stationary bicycles.
We all get a little tired and lazy sometimes. There are days I don't want to go to the gym or I don't feel like doing something that's going to be hard. But because, thanks to the repetition of the program, I've developed a good enough work ethic that I can still turn in a good workout even on bad days.
Back when I had a poor work ethic, on a bad day I might go to the gym, do three sets of bench press, maybe use a couple machines and do some rows. A fairly weak work out would stretch on for the same amount of time as an intense one, if not longer. Ninety minutes of putzing around the gym does not equal ninety minutes of good work. It doesn't even equal 45 minutes of good work.
While on the program, a bad day still turns out a pretty good workout. I might skip the kettlebells or the heavy squats, but I'm still putting some intense effort into my “easy workouts.” A recent example of what I consider a light day and an easy workout? Sure.
- 12 Foam Roller Crunch Push-Ups
- 15 Foam Roller Ab-Thrusters
- 15 Lebert Equalizer Push-Ups / or Chair Push-Ups
- 8 Pull-ups
- 10 Elastic Band Tricep Extensions
- 10 Elastic Band Bicep Curls
And repeat three times.
Now, I did put easy in quotes up there, implying that it's not that easy. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back or say that it's super difficult, but for a day when I'm not motivated or on the verge of wanting to skip a workout, that's not bad. And it's not just moseying around the gym, lifting little weights, or doing a few things around the house. The point of that work-out, and this article, is that even when you're not feeling up to a big day, you've got to do something and you've got to tackle it with gusto.
Don't just half-ass it. Be smart about it. If you're not feeling up to running three miles or hitting the bench press hard or whipping a sandbag around, you can craft an intense work out around slightly less intense and fast moving exercises. Get the heart rate up and the metabolism going.
So how's your work ethic?
A somewhat disappointing week for me as I'm still at 221lbs. What can I say, I'm a big fan of the Halloween season and went out a few times with friends. But the important thing is that I'm still at 221lbs rather than going up in weight – which is part of the basis of the 100 Days Program. It's meant to let you still live your life, have fun, go out, and still make or maintain your progress. Though I'm thinking it's time to switch gears back into “make progress” mode and power through the last pounds.