28 Day Minimalist Training Plan

Welcome to the 28 Day Minimalist Program.

What inspired this program was my attempt at helping my wife regain strength and fitness after a grueling pregnancy and long recovery post delivery. Having once been a self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast, now deconditioned and fatigued, her motivation for training was almost non-existent.

I employed my go to movements and workout philosophy that guides me every day in my personal training regime in an attempt to support her getting back on track. It occurred to me that this simple yet very effective way of training is not well known to people yet could effect immense benefit.

This program is based on EDT philosophy (Escalating Density Training), a method of training developed by Strength Coach Charles Staley back in the 90’s. EDT requires super setting only two movements repeatedly (as many as you can) in the allotted time frame.

In my program, I’m suggesting a 10 minute block for each day. Simply put you will do as many high quality sets as possible in 10 minutes and then you are done. Write down how many sets and reps you did and the next time you repeat the workout try and beat your previous number by at least one rep. This is NOT a speed workout. Keep the movements controlled and the form crisp. As your fitness capacity increases, so will your set count.

Below you will find three training programs that you do twice a week for 10 minutes at a time. I highly stress the importance of performing quality movements than attempting to beat your number. Take as much rest as you need to ensure better form.

Why a minimalist program:

  • Designed to only require a 10-minute commitment using full body movements.
  • Movements are global and systemic allowing more benefit in a shorter amount of time
  • Multi-joint exercises result in a positive hormonal response that lends itself to building muscle and losing body fat in a short amount of time. (Multi-joint exercises are movements that engage as many of your joints and muscles to work as possible, simultaneously).
  • The 10-minute routines are short enough to help you stay consistent and build momentum.
  • The 10 minutes you actually do is better than the hour long routine you will not do.

Why these movements:

Turkish Getup:

This ancient wrestling exercise involves getting off the floor with a kettlebell overhead. Done properly it improves rotational power, shoulder and hip stability, balance and core stability. People often ask me “what muscle does that work”, to which I respond “all of them.”

  • Strengthens shoulders, hips and core.
  • Mobilizes shoulder and thoracic spine supporting overall body function and performance.
  • Restores the natural rotational patterns of the body.

Goblet Squat:

This Squat variation with a kettlebell allows you to develop hip strength and mobility at the same time. Easy to learn, this movement builds a resilient and strong core while improving posture and leg power.

  • Builds leg strength and power.
  • Strengthens glutes, quads, hamstrings and spinal extensors.
  • Improves ankle, hip and thoracic spine mobility.

Single Leg Deadlift:

This exercise improves your ability to safely move from the hip joint. Effective “hinging” from the hips increases glute and hamstring activation, while simultaneously improving core stability and posture. Performing the movement on one leg also improves ankle and hip stability as well as balance. Strengthens the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, lumbar erectors).

  • Strengthen foot and ankle.
  • Improves hip mobility and trunk stability simultaneously.

Renegade Row:

The Renegade Row is done in a prone position and heavily taxes the core and hips. This drill also helps you learn how to resist rotation while you pull a weight off the ground. The rowing action strengthens the shoulders and lats. This movement is as full body as it gets.

  • Teaches you to resist trunk and pelvis rotation while under load.
  • Strengthens abdominal and hip muscles.
  • Improves upper body strength.

Reverse Lunge:

These days more than ever people need strong glutes. Sitting puts the glutes to sleep and that can be a precursor to people getting lower back pain. The reverse lunge involves you stepping backwards, which strengthens the glutes more than other lunging variations. This movement builds powerful legs and a strong spine.

  • Build leg strength and power.
  • Focuses on building the Glutes and Hamstrings.

Kneeling Press:

This kneeling press variation encourages a more active core/ trunk area. By removing the support of the legs good posture and full engagement of the glutes and abs is heightened. This is an excellent drill to reinforce proper pressing mechanics by setting up a strong structural foundation.

  • Improves ability to stabilize trunk while using arms.
  • Strengthens entire shoulder region.
  • Helps gain awareness on how posture affects function.

The  Weekly Breakdown: 

Monday and Thursday

Getup  1 Left / 1 Right
Goblet Squat  5 Reps

x 10 minutes

Tuesday and Friday

Single Leg Deadlift 5/5

Renegade Row 5/5  

x 10 minutes.

Wednesday and Saturday

Reverse Lunge 5/5

Kneeling Press 5/5

x 10 minutes.

Walk 1 Hour on Sunday.

So there you have it.

Three short yet highly effective training plans to get you into the habit of training almost every day. Ten minutes is repeatable and sustainable. All the movements are multi joint exercises that stimulate great amounts of muscular activation.

Commit to this training plan for 28 days and you will notice a positive increase in energy, strength and stamina. 

As always your feedback and questions are always welcome.

Stay busy, train smart!


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