Minimal Fitness

Here are a few tips I’ve collected lately:

-Doing one set is just as effective is doing three sets. One set of 12-15 reps to failure, twice per week, for each major muscle group is all you need to build muscle and increase strength. There’s evidence that just once per week is enough, even for older people. This is consistent with the term “minimum effect dose,” popularized by Tim Ferriss.

-You don’t need barbells. It doesn’t matter what type of strength training you do. Body-weight exercises, resistance tubes, free weights, cable machines—they all work. Brock Lesnar is a beast and he recently stated that he stopped using barbells 10-12 years ago (which means even in his UFC days). Allegedly, Karl Gotch did nothing but body-weight exercises. Herschel Walker too.

-If you’ve been strength training regularly for 5-8 years, don’t expect to make many new gains, if any.

-For safety, reps should be done slowly. “Time under tension” is what matters most anyway, not “explosiveness.” A five to ten minute warmup, such as a brisk walk, is also a good idea before strength training. Mayo Clinic recommends that anyone with health problems, and anyone over age 40 who hasn’t been active in awhile, should talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program.

-Daily protein intake of more than 0.33 grams per pound of body weight is not likely to significantly increase muscle growth. After age 65 or 70, protein should be increased by 10% to 20%, gradually (as long as the amount wasn’t too high to begin with). Beyond this, protein can be detrimental to your health.

-Consuming 30 grams of protein in a single low-carb meal optimizes muscle synthesis. For best results, the 30 grams of proteins should be consumed 1 to 2 hours after resistance training. Ideal muscle synthesis occurs when the weight being lifted or pushed is 60% to 75% of the individual’s maximum capacity.

-Running for only 5-minutes per day (and likely cardio in general) has been shown to significantly reduce severe disease and extend life. Benefits don’t increase much beyond 5-10 mins per day and tend not to increase at all beyond 4.5 hours per week.


Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier (Mayo Clinic)

Comparison of once‐weekly and twice‐weekly strength training in older adults – PMC (

The Longevity Diet: Notes From The Book

Brock Lesnar’s Shocking Workout Routine Busts a Major Bodybuilding Myth

Dear Over-45 Trainee

Run for your (long) life