Basics Pt. 2

Paralysis by analysis. That is what happens when you are so bombarded by information that you have trouble choosing what information you need or even what to pay attention to. This is what happens when you are looking into cell phone plans or new computers and, boy, does this ever happen when trying to research an exercise program. You read and see so many different methods and each promise the best results whether it’s gaining the most muscle, losing the most fat, looking like the guy in the Bowflex ad in 10 minutes a week. It’s all very confusing, especially if you’re just trying to get started and aren’t really sure of the best way to go about it. Here’s the thing, though: It’s really not that hard.
Today’s topic: Do Something!!

(With apologies to Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove for giving me the title of today’s topic from their excellent book “The New Rules of Lifting”). To be sure, certain programs are better than others. Some programs have more thought and research behind them than others, but doing a crappy program is always better than doing no program. Doing something and giving a good honest effort at it will always get results at first. Don’t worry about six months from now (yet). Just worry about working exercise into your daily life. That is the most important thing. Remember, you are changing the habits of your life and you need to get started! Once you have gotten into the habit of exercising you can then go from doing something to doing something better. (By the way, there’s ALWAYS something better, whether you’ve been working out for 2 days or 25 years).
I’ve seen a video where Herschel Walker talks about how when he was young he didn’t know what to do for exercise so he would just do push-ups and crunches on every commercial break while watching TV. If you don’t think this laid a foundation for him you’ve never seen Herschel Walker. Even as a pro football player he would do 100 crunches every hour on the hour. Dude was, and is, a phenomenal specimen.

Is Herschel in shape?

If you are still wondering how to get started, here’s a very simple program you can do at home in your living room with only your bodyweight:

1 set of squats for 10 reps

Keep your head up, eyes straight and squat between your heels.

1 set of lunges for 10 reps.
Keep your head up and your eyes forward. Get a good stride.

1 set of pushups for 8 reps.

Keep your back straight. Do these from your knees if you need to.

Hold a plank position for 30 seconds.


Keep your back as flat as possible. (It’s hard for me to do with my big butt.)

Do these sets back-to-back with no rest in between. This is one complex set. As you get better, add complex sets with a 90-120 second rest period in between. As you get better from there add a few reps and do shorter rest periods eventually going down to a 45 second rest period. Do this three times a week.

There you go! You have just gone from doing nothing to doing a program that works your legs, hips, chest, shoulders and arms. One round should only take a couple of minutes. Perfect for those long commercial breaks when you’re anxious to find out who got voted off of “American Idol”.

Hopefully you’ll find that doing this makes you feel and look better and makes you want to do some more advanced stuff. Most of all I hope that this makes you realize that it’s not hard to get started and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t felt better once they did.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions.
Thanks for reading!

Mitch Rothbardt
(coming soon)

P.S. Don’t forget to vote in the very scientific Rush poll. There’s only two days left!

P.P.S. Thanks for to the lovely and talented Mrs. Kristi Rothbardt for the photos!