The Minimalist Workout

Before reading this post, please note I am not a health professional. I am blogging about my own experience and what I enjoy. For concerns about your own health and diet, consult your physician or dietician for specific advice.

You want to know one of my all time favorite workouts?

The Minimalist Workout.

It’s a full-body workout designed by Alwyn Cosgrove C.S.C.S. that can be accomplished in 90 minutes (per week!) with serious results. Incorporating the laws of functional anatomy and working every muscle in your body with just five exercises.

Sign me up for simple.

Years ago my brother and I used to train together every day, and when he would go on Tour, he gave me simple work out routines so I could continue training without him. Awesome big bro, right? =)

Have you ever noticed there are usually two–maybe three types of people at the gym?

1) People who lift weights &/or do circuit training
2) The Cardio Fiends, and
3) Class Junkies

Very rarely do they mix up their routines, and I would bet money most of those cardio fiends haven’t touched a weight in their life. I believe most people jump on available machines (Treadmill, Bike, Elliptical etc.) or join a class simply because they don’t know what else to do or maybe they are intimidated by the weights.

If you are either 2 or 3, please write down or print out this simple full-body work out routine because it will change your life! Your muscles need to rest, so schedule it every other day; for example:

Workout        |     Sets     |     Reps     |     Rest

Monday                 4                  5                 90s
Wednesday            2                 15                30s
Friday                    3                 10                60s

*For each exercise remember to take 3-seconds to lower the weight, pause for 1-second, then take 1-second to lift.

1. Wide-Grip Deadlift (Legs)
Set a barbell on the floor and stand facing it. Squat down and grab it with an overhand grip that is twice shoulder width. With your back flat and head up, stand up with the barbell, pulling your shoulder blades back, then slowly lower the bar to the starting position:



2. Dumbell Incline Press (Chest)
Lie on your back on a bench that is set to a low incline and hold a pair of dumbbells at the side sides of your chest. Press the dumbbells up and together, pause, then lower the weights back to the starting position:

3. Cable Row (Back)
Attach a straight bar to the cable and position yourself in a cable-row machine. Grab the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip and without moving your torso, pull the bar to your abdomen. Remember to pause, then slowly return to the starting position:

4. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown (Back)
Grab the bar with an overhand grip that is about twice shoulder width and sit up straight. Without moving your torso, pull bar down to your chest, pause, then slowly return to the starting position:

5. Swiss-Ball Pike (Abs/Core)
Get into a pushup position, but instead of placing your feet on the floor, rest your shins on a Swiss ball. Raise your hips as high as you can as you roll the ball toward your body. Pause, then return to the start by lowering your hips and rolling the ball backward:

Always remember form is more important than weight, so start light and work your way up in weight. I recommend taking notes each week, too, so you can not only see your awesome results in the mirror, but also on paper.

If you haven’t entered The Athletarian’s fan-flippin’-tastic Fashletic’s giveaway, you should right now — maybe you will win and can sport a new outfit to go with your new workout routine;)  



Are you a Cardio Fiend, or Class Junkie?
What is your “go-to” workout?
I need giveaway ideas, STAT! Suggestions?
PS: GO check out 90 Percent Blonde’s AMAZING giveaway that ends TODAY — Thanks Jamie!

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7 thoughts on “The Minimalist Workout

  1. Have you checked out rockbody.tv? I love the super quick workouts with so little equipment. I don't belong to a gym so interval training with a medicine ball is awesome and user friendly.

  2. Wym, its Bodyrock.tv!

    Yay! Thanks for posting my giveaway! I used to be a pure cardio junkie but I also had some mental problems at the time. I would two 2 hours of cardio a day, every day and nothing else. Then I switched to a cardio machine + class junkie and took spin classes like it was my job. I finally realized the importance of weight training and try to do it 3-4 times a week! It is really essential in changing body composition. Massive amounts of cardio just made me a skinnier version of myself…whereas lifting creates more of a lean and sculpted physique. Way more attractive in my opinion! I still have ways to go though!

    Just give away mac nuts in different flavours on a weekly basis 🙂

  3. I love the swiss-ball pike – never seen that….although I also envision one or two embarrassing falls before I master the balance on that one 🙂

    I try to mix it up (key word being try) and sometimes do better than other times. For me, I have to make myself do weights, but if I do, I enjoy it and I enjoy the results.

  4. I'm definitely gonna have you write up my work out plan once baby is here!

    When I first got serious about weight loss, I did a ton of research (duh) and was pretty committed to the Abs Diet (still use some of the recipes till this day!).

    I learned the importance of strength training and balancing it with cardio. I was successful and lost about 30 pounds!

    When I started running, the “harmony” was reversed and I was doing more cardio than strength training. But learned from many other bloggers out there that strength training is very important to fitness in general- which was the whole point of me starting a running plan.

  5. Very good post! I was shocked to see that I actually do several of those things already but not the pike-that terrifies me. I would most certainly fall on my face in front of everyone at the gym!

  6. Great round up of strength training exercises! I used to include strength training 3-4 times a week, but that has slipped BIG TIME and now I'm happy if I get in my push-ups and sit-ups each week. After I run this marathon in a month I think I want to refocus a little bit!

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