Dude’s Workout

Happy belated Memorial Day. Hope you had a great unofficial start to the summer.

Memorial Day is one of the best holidays – other than the whole memorializing dead people thing – because of the all the promise the upcoming summer holds. It will go quick, it always does, but it’s a given that the next few months will be filled with all sorts of greatness.

To help kickoff the summer, The Dudes welcomed The Lady in the Shoe and her family – all 27 kids. Luckily, her husband – the Dude’s brother-in-law – tagged along as well. And he helped me accomplish a major task, cutting down a couple big trees.

So, to start this post, I want give a huge thank you to the bro-in-law for all the help. And this big task is part of a bigger discussion we had over the extended weekend, workouts.

I could stretch this workout discussion in all sorts of directions, but I’m going to keep it simple – with the thought in mind that I will circle back with some more workout/health related ideas later.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Dude has been dabbling in health and fitness for a long time. Many moons ago I was even a certified personal trainer, but my main interest over the years has been to develop an efficient training and health regimen for myself. And I’m closer now than I’ve ever been.

I’m always looking for ideas to improve my systems, methods, exercises, etc., but my current regimen is very streamlined and effective.

I get into workout discussions from time to time, and I’ve shared my ideas on a number of occasions; so after a workout discussion with the bro-in-law this weekend, I figure it’s worth a blog post to toss out my thoughts.

This is already dragging on longer than I hoped, so let’s get to it. Below is a down and dirty on the Dude’s Workout. Keep in mind that my goal is to get results, be healthy, and do it as quickly, as effectively, and as fun as possible.

Oh, and no gym membership, done at home.

Before I dive into it, I need to point out that general health and desired results depend heavily on diet. I estimate as much as 80%, in fact…maybe more. Yes, diet is that important. My diet discussion will most likely spiral in all sorts of directions, so I’m not going to hit it YET, but if you want to do a little research on your own, check out Mark’s Daily Apple. I can’t suggest that site highly enough. I dig Mark’s ideas big time. Snoop around, you’ll be amazed, and much of my thoughts incorporate Mark’s ideas.

Here we go….the Dude’s workout for a week:

  • 2 days of heavy lifting
  • 4 days of movement
  • 1 day of sprints

Heavy Lifting – I use a dive belt with 28 pounds for weight:

  • Weighted push-ups
    • 16 reps –  failure
    • Exhale up and down, hold for a full inhale at the bottom.
  • Weighted pull-ups
    • 16 reps – failure
  • Squats or lunges
    • 20 reps
  • Shoulder press
    • 10 reps
    • Kneel on a bench or chair (I use a piano bench), bend over and put your hands on the ground, push. You’ll be amazed.
  • Planks
    • 35 seconds. Front, and each side.
    • If you don’t know planks, do a quick search, and you’ll get all you need to know. Basically, get in a push-up position, but on your elbows, and hold it.

A Few Notes:

  • Only go to about 80-90% range of motion for each exercise. In other words, keep tension on the active muscles at all times; don’t fully extend and give your muscles a chance to relax in between reps.
  • I’d love to do lower reps, but it’s tough to have enough weight at home.
    • Lower reps – 6-8 – are best for building muscle.
  • It is amazing how great the workout can be at home. It’s just a matter of the right exercises – and the right diet.
  • I have a couple other routines I’m working towards, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll share when I do.

4 Days of Movement:

  • This can be anything; just get out and move. Walking is great, ride a bike, kayak, jump rope, play on a playground – anything you can do to move.
  • I do yoga a couple days a week, and I also incorporate deep tissue massage with a lacrosse ball, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post – this massage will blow your mind.
  • I also work in walking, riding a bike, kayaking, gardening, surfing, chasing the kiddos, yada, yada, yada. Basically, get outside, move, and have fun.


  • This is a key ingredient. Drop the long runs. They are not healthy or good for you. Again, read Mark’s Daily Apple.
  • However, I must admit, I’m a bit slack here. I was very consistent for a couple months, but I’ve been stretched in other directions recently.
  • My routine is 6, 120 yard sprints – a full football field including end-zones. Sprint – as in as fast as you can – one way and walk back to catch your breath. Repeat 6 times.
  • There are a wide variety of options thought – swim, jump rope, kayak, ride a bike – anything that you can sprint with.

There it is the down and dirty Dude workout. Be flexible, but be consistent. Have fun, save money, and get in shape. The summer is full of promise; so now’s a great time to start.

Before I roll, how about a couple great pictures of the tree cutting. Which brings me full circle, and gives me a chance to make a final note. Life is full of exercise, we just need to find it. Cutting down trees and hauling wood all day is a great example of a day full of heavy lifting. Sure, it’s not a specific routine, but damn straight that counts as one of the two heavy lifting days for the week.

Thanks for the workout and the lack of trees bro-in-law.

Best Exercises to Keep a Dude Healthy



A few posts ago I opened the door to a new line of discussion here on DKB; health. That post discussed mobility – the often ignored ideas of stretching, massage and range of motion. The mobility blog I shared in that post is spot on, and the mobility dude is the shiz. I highly recommend.

I’m eager to continue down this line of healthy thought. Mainly because these are ideas that I’m exploring, and it’s fun to share ideas. Hopefully there is some use for you too.

“Health” has always been a significant focus for the Dude. I’ve always been active, played sports, and experimented with bodybuilding techniques. But the definition of “health” is difficult to pin down; it’s in a constant state of flux based on who you ask, and more importantly, based on your stage of life. My focus on health has shifted significantly over the years.

I’ve gone from lifting as much heavy weight as possible, eating as much as I could, and spending hours in the gym to a very streamlined approach to my activity and my diet. And I’m happy to say that I believe I’m in much better shape – and health – based on the evolution of my understanding of “health.”

Recently, my quest has led me to a wealth of information that has refined my views even further. I’m convinced that the majority of us are eating the wrong diets, wasting time in the gym, and being disappointed by the lack of results and performance.

We reside ourselves to the fact that “we’re getting old,” and accept declining health, mobility, and fitness as a fact of nature. Maybe we are just practicing the wrong techniques and taking direction from the wrong sources – ah hem, The Man. Perhaps there are simple changes that can bring significant improvements.

I’ll continue with this line of thinking as DKB progresses, and today I want to begin with a focus on some important exercises that we should consider adding to the core of our workout routines – yes, everyone should have a workout routine.

As I mentioned, I was an avid gym rat for years. But as life progressed over the last few years, my daily schedule became a bit tighter, and I gave up the gym. I’ve been working out at home for a couple years, and over time, I’ve been refining my routine(s).

I no longer believe in a monthly payment to a gym. With the right direction and a little ingenuity, health and fitness can be accomplished at home. No question. Saving time, saving money, and in the Dude’s opinion, better results.

I’m a believer that my routine(s) will continually evolve, and the below discussion of core exercises will help with this evolution. This is from a new blog I just found; Whole9Life.com. I’m still exploring it, but at first glance, I’m digging their thoughts.

I’ll let the blog offer the full details, but I’ll share a quick synopsis and a some great highlights. Here’s the premise of this post:

Whole 9 Life “brought together 12 fitness experts from a broad range of backgrounds–with bodies of experience ranging from weightlifting to track and field to mixed martial arts, and over two centuries of collective coaching experience–to ask them all the same question:

If you could only perform five exercise movements for the rest of your life, which five would you do? (Assuming your goals are general health, fitness and longevity.)”

Great idea, right? Experts sharing what we all need to know. How do we stay in shape, maintain our health – or improve it – and increase our longevity. The secrets that we all need to know.

So, forget what the Dr. said, ignore your cousin who is a personal trainer, and start to think along “unconventional” lines. This is the highlight of a three part blog series from Whole9Life.com. The first two parts offer more specifics about the exercises and the experts, but the overview in part three ties it all together.

Highlights & takeaways…use these ideas to build your routine. Drop the gym, save time, save money, and take care of yourself – you’re the only one who can.

  • All of the exercises selected are multi-joint (compound) exercises. As in 100%. No single-joint exercise belongs on a list like this.
  • The vast majority of the exercises are ground-based, either with feet flat on the ground, or with some sort of transition between body-on-the-ground and standing positions. The real world happens with objects in unrestricted planes of motion, and so should your training. The only “resistance” you need is your body and something heavy to pick up or carry.
  • There is a significant emphasis on movements that are “big, strong” movements. For long-term health, building and maintaining strength must be a central feature of your program.
  • Locomotion was a common response. We are bipedal creatures, and training the reciprocal patterns of walking, running, lunging, stepping, and crawling, strongly echoes the three-dimensional ways that we move in the “real world”. Stabilizing our trunk while shifting and supporting weight is not only beneficial, it’s fundamentally human. We learn it as infants, but far too many of us lose that ability in adulthood. Get it back.
  • Squatting is not the end-all-be-all. Sure, we have to squat to be able to stand from a chair, but little else occurs where our feet are symmetrical and neatly spaced outside of hip width. Gardening, all field and court sports, moving furniture, and wrestling all share the staggered stance position where stabilizing the body’s mass on top of a narrow or unilateral base of support is critical.
  • We found it fascinating that an Olympic weightlifting coach (Greg Everett) did not include a single explosive movement in his list. If that doesn’t illustrate the priority of building full-body strength with basic movements, we don’t know what does.
  • Almost everyone included putting weight overhead: press, clean & jerk, overhead squat, etc.If you aren’t putting heavy things overhead on a regular basis, your program should change.
  • Almost everyone included a pulling movement (a pull-up or row variation), and no one mentioned kipping.
  • Note that one of our experts selected both swimming and walking. We believe the training and therapeutic value of both of those movements is under-rated. They might not sound very bad-ass, but [p]erpetually chasing performance is not the same as creating excellent health. Don’t be afraid to slow down.

Dude’s News: Life is Pretty Cool Edition

Once again, the awesomeness has accumulated, and I haven’t found the time to share any of it in individual doses; so I’m going with grand buffet style post once again. Dude’s News.

For the second edition, I’m going to focus on some items that display the undeniable righteousness of life.

Local News
The Dude and the Mrs. have embarked on a journey to explore the “primal” eating and exercise habits. It seems to contain a lot of common sense, so we figured we’d give it a whirl.

One day per week is designated as a “sprint” day. It could be sprints, jump rope, bike, etc. at a fast pace. This week I chose to actually sprint. I haven’t done that in a quite a while. It felt great to get out there again.

Until…about ten minutes into it, while sprinting, a thought popped into my head recalling when I pulled my hamstring sprinting on the beach. At almost the same instant I pulled my hamstring. Awesome.

One day of sprints and one pulled muscle. Sweet. I’m sticking with it though. But the experience made me wonder how tightly mind and body are tied.

So, don’t think “pulled muscle” next time you sprint.

Life is Pretty Cool

  • From one of the Dude’s favorites, TheKidShouldSeeThis: How COOL is this?! Watch Picasso paint.  Enough said.


  • A great cartoon video explaining the meaning life…


  • The world is a crazy place. Wars, protests, riots, economies crumbling. Seem hopeless? Not so fast. Turns out we are living in the most peaceful time in history. At least according to the statistics reviewed in this article, and three recent books. Stats are malleable, but optimism is very cool.
  • Are you aware that Google has some pretty sweet tricks hidden within in their massive tentacles that encircle the interwebs?
  • The Dude is a big fan of surfing. So combine great riding with “Matrix-esque bullet time” and it is instant radness. Thanks Kottke.


  • Have you seen what the Xbox is doing these days? Seems like the future is here…


  • Last, but certainly not least, the octopus.  Octopuses are amazing. I never realized how amazing. They always seemed pretty cool in a deep down beneath the sea kind of the way, but WOW super cool. My guess is you’ll be happy you read this article.