Maintaining Your Corporeal Form [exercise thread]

So, the mobilty and strength comes while doing it, that’s why you should start with just a bar and progress slowly :slight_smile: Sorness is the worst after few first sessions, and if you consistently keep going then it gets to a very low (but always there, at least for me) level.

I also don’t like the “gym culture”, but I just go there and do my thing, no one seems to care :slight_smile: The gym I go to is pretty empty in the mornings anyways. Headphones help as well.

What I wanted to say is: I though that I wouldn’t enjoy it / “it’s not for me” as well, and it’s three years later now and I still go :wink:


Desk job lifer here as well, I developed type ii diabetes about 15 years ago mostly as a result of the sedentary office lifestyle plus stress and overworking. I now manage it through diet and exercise of which cycling has been the only type I’ve been able to stick with, and I’ve actually been a year-round bike commuter for most of the past 10 years. I completely agree with the prozac definition above, notice my stress levels decrease and basic abilities to handle things increase the more I ride. Seasonal depression is also very real up here in Maine, and riding is the only thing I’ve found that helps with that transitional time.

I’ve done casual rides with friends and have attempted mountain biking, but realize what I love about road biking is getting into a zone of moving quickly and tuning out, very meditative. I’m sure there are parallels with long distance runners and other endurance activities.

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Full time desk life for me. I couldn’t really imagine the kind of toll it has taken on my body over the last number of years. At first it was an intense struggle. I exercised regularly when I was younger, but I worked part time then and it was easier to keep on top of it. I used to skateboard everywhere, which on top of practical was very satisfying.

Things slipped until this year when I got a dog. I cannot stress how life changing and rewarding this has been for me. There are so many positive aspects, but as far as exercise goes you are locked into a routine. Before my dog, it was ehh I’ll catch up later but now there’s no way to get out of it.


@Rodrigo and I are right there with you on this.
In Madrid a few years back we wanted to do something all consuming like join a cult and thought we’d join a crossfit gym. But instead I walked past a really big and beautiful gym (Altafit in Quatro Caminos) and it really started our love affair with the gym and specifically weight training.

Since we live so remotely in Porto now, the best thing to do was get a full on home gym (which is a yoke, that we use as a squat rack, benchpress area (not pictured: kettle bells of every size and the bench, which is just on the other side of the room since I have this set up for squats at the moment). This is by a brand called BoxPT, which is the exact same equipment as Rogue (same distributor) and they have a warehouse here in Porto, so it was a no brainer. The only way to get a Rogue power rack here was to get it shipped from Belgium at an additional €1100.

ps today is upper body day


You are absolutely correct. Yoga is much more about finding what they call your edge–that point of resistance where you reach your limit for the pose. The whole idea is to breathe into that resistance and allow it to relax. Where that edge is is different for each person. Flexibility is a goal but not a prerequisite.

What this means is that yoga is a lot more democratic and inclusive. You don’t have to be good at it in order to do it. In the book there are lots of variations and props. Accordingly, each pose has versions of the “Good,” the “Not-So-Bad,” and the “Ugly.” They’re all good, though, because it’s yoga and its being translated to a portion of the population that’s been traditionally resistant to the benefits of the ancient practice.


Totally agree.

The ‘progress slowly’ part is the hard part for me :laughing:

Awesome! Yoke as a half rack is great idea, haven’t though of that. If all goes well I’ll be moving to a new place with a spare cellar, and planning on doing a homegym as well.

ps today is upper body day

Every training day is a fullbody day here :wink:

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20 character of oomph!

Just discovered this thread, surprisingly. I think music and cycling are both really high priorities for me, generally, especially mountain biking. Like @alanza mentioned way above, I consider cycling as much (or more!) a means for some sort of mental therapy as it is a source of physical therapy. I mean, the latter feels like a positive side-effect than the primary motivator. I think that’s generally important when “shopping around” for a style of physical activity that’s right for you. It might sound obvious: but find something you actually enjoy, and that isn’t just a chore you have to do. I get a lot of the same “flow state” goodness from mountain biking as I do from music. It really helps quiet my mind. Plus experiencing a progression of not just fitness, but also skill, is a great motivating force.

That said, I wouldn’t consider cycling, and specifically mountain biking, the best option if you’re time crunched. I think the amount of exercise you get from a 30 minute job feels more like a 2 hour ride to me, but maybe that’s because I’m a lousy runner! :slight_smile: That isn’t as true, of course, you can replace your car/bus commute with cycling, which is what I try and do a little during the work week. My office is 15+ miles from my house, and I don’t do it every day, but I try and ride 2-3 one-way commutes a week (1 of those might be replaced with an evening MTB session per week, especially during the lighter months), and then take the bus otherwise (which has a bike rack). For me, taking the bus takes about an hour door-to-door, and about 1:10 door-to-door cycling, so it’s easy to incorporate without it taking up “extra time”. But, I don’t like to do it every day mostly so I’m not totally wiped when the weekend rolls around and I want to go mountain biking. :slight_smile:

I’ve also enjoyed rock climbing at a gym in my neighborhood, but usually when something requires me to go someplace to do it, I find it harder to work it into my routine, personally. But I know other people (who I suspect are car-commuters) really like the routine of going someplace before/after work.

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Here’s what I do, because I don’t have much free time.

Don’t drink beer all the time. Number one rule. Don’t eat a big dinner either. Don’t starve yourself below 1500-1800 calories a day - when dieting, that is.

Pull ups, two sets. Hands facing forward, but not the wide armed kind, I think those can be hard on your shoulders. Make sure you lower yourself slowly on the way down. Just do as many as you can without breaking form.

Two sets of squats or squat thrusts (burpees is what crossfit people call them).
Two sets of push ups.
Two sets of ab wheel (keep back straight and abs tense). Or planks if just starting out.

Only rest a couple minutes max between sets. You’ll be done in like 20 minutes.

If I have more energy, I’ll do three sets, but honestly I don’t think it makes much difference.
I also used to do three times a week, but I think twice is enough if you don’t rest much between sets to maintain gains.

I hate running in cities and I hate gyms. The above workout can easily be adjusted for more sets or intensity or additional workouts added, like kettle ball, tricep extensions with reasonable weight, or rows.

I lost 12 lbs in about four months doing this.


I found myself thinking, where can I find a pull-up bar? But I did a web search which brought me here:

Useful web site!


This is a topic of no small significance for me.

I’ve always had some level physical activity in my life: I was a runner for most of my youth and always maintained some level of calisthenics on top of that. I had only marginal exposure to weight training late in my youth but generally always held more esteem for calisthenics (and a fairly unstructured approach, at that), and this was further reinforced by my time in the Corps.

It was only well after coming back to civilian life that I began to take seriously structured and purposeful progression in my approach to calisthenics, and I began to progress into some low level of gymnastics (beginning with DIY parallettes and public parks and then progressing to stillrings). It was also around this time that I got into bicycles and very soon dropped running altogether.

It was in my research into calisthenic strength training that I finally discovered the value of weight-training and the barbell, specifically, in terms of its unparalleled necessity for any development of the largest and most essential muscle groups and the integrity of their respective structural components.

Having little to no history of proper instruction in the use of a barbell, Starting Strength and its associated resources very quickly became indispensable, though it took me a little while to commit at all to the program as such (even now, I still grant the stillrings their season, but the allowance of that little bit of diversity is perhaps more appropriate now at my level than it once was). I did eventually tire of shoddy equipment and the sometimes shoddier personalities at the one adequate selection from the small handful of gyms available to me and finally sprung for a decent rack, bar, and plates, so I suppose I’m well committed, at this point.

These days, I still bike, though not so much as I should, given that the bulk of my creative work keeps me at home (on top of other household duties), and I’ve got a mind to take up jiu-jitsu in earnest here eventually, but the way I see it, there’s always something to gain (quantifiably, even) and, frankly, the most to gain from the little bit of time one might reasonably spend under a bar.


for me recently:

paleo diet (with some fairly consistent cheating i.e. coffee) daily pushps/squats/planking and burpees spread throught the day (i have an office job) + as much hiking as possible. hiking is the only exercise i can say i actually enjoy. I want to start to section hike too, but that takes a much freer schedule than i have at the moment.

Glad this thread exists :slight_smile:

A side note: I have started doing all this pretty recently and have done a lot of research on different fitness/weight loss subjects. as a result my IG feed is now FILLED with ads featuring shirtless buff dudes.


does pacing qualify as exercise? if so, i exercise on the regular.


Yes, but only if you sweat and mutter while doing it.


Oh I also forgot mountain biking! I love going out on the trails here and trying not to get wrecked! it reminds me a lot of skiing (which I can’t wait for), just trying to pick a line and send it! I loved biking around town when lived at the beach, but I love the adrenaline rush of hitting the trails.

Edit: also if anyone lives out west and wants to go skiing let me know, I’ll likely be financially stable enough to afford a trip (finally, after a lifetime in school/grad school).


How do you guys establish and maintain a healthy routine? My biggest struggle is finding a rhythm that I can stick to.


@mattlowery I find that the first couple weeks you just have to force yourself until you get some momentum built up and you can start to feel the progress. After that point I generally feel pretty well-motivated until I plateau, where my body is acclimated. Then it’s important to introduce diversity into your regimen to keep your body challenged. More than anything though, you need to find something that you enjoy doing or you’ll struggle to find the motivation.


i try to get to a baseline of no less than every other day for chosen activity. i cannot always keep this pace but tis what i strive for. if motivation gets in way, schedule it and don’t allow option in reasonable sense to sidetrack. a couple weeks and that will be the habit. allow the habit to form.

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The most compelling thing for me has been to have a reasonably programmed progression where you have a quantified goal scheduled for each session. This way, it never feels like you’re killing yourself so much as just narrowing your focus on achieving that goal (such as, just managing form and such while your body does the rest).

The next thing is just making sure that you’re adequately recovered between sessions, in terms of eating and sleeping enough. Failing this will derail a progression and sap motivation pretty quickly.

Lastly, it requires a good deal of faith in what you’re doing so that even if “results” do not seem so forthcoming or immediate as hoped, you stick it out. This can require a fair bit of research to develop reasonable confidence (and interest) in your chosen activity.

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