The most common reason people give for not exercising more than they do is that they just don’t have the time. I would add to that the big motivational hurdle of just getting started, especially when you are already tired and convinced that you just don’t have the time.
I think it is unfortunate that the following described method is most generally referred to as “death-by,” as in death by pushups, or burbees, or squats. In application it does not have to be really all that hard core or dire sounding. So, let’s call in SAT, for Slow Accumulation (or Acceleration) Technique.
Let’s assume that you just got home, turned on the TV and are about to collapse into the easy-chair. Or, maybe it’s break time at work and you’re struck with the notion of being a little eccentric; you know, leading others to frolic outside the box. Assuming that you can do at least a few pushups (if too hard, do them from your knees), start a timer. Perform one pushup inside of the first minute. If you are tired, and stiff, and creaky (and you likely will be), take your time and just slowly feel things rattle into place. Then, after one minute is gone, but before the second minute is up, perform two pushups. And so it goes until you can’t finish the prescribed amount in that minute. If, for instance, you managed seven repetitions inside of the seventh minute; but you got only five before the end of the eighth minute, your final tally would be 7 + 5 (or 7 + 5/8).
Aside from the fact that beginning anything cannot get any easier than starting with just one, I like the fact that SAT allows for a simple and logical progression all the way up to infinitely hard where you can no longer get the prescribed number in the allotted time. If you are just getting started with the program, you can quit a session before you are working very hard at all….easy on the brain and you won’t get sore. Do a session every two or three days, trying to add a minute each time. After a few weeks of ramping things up, when you are feeling strong and a little competitive, go for it and learn to appreciate where the original “death-by” comes from. Believe me, when you have just barely finished fifteen repetitions of any challenging movement within the fifteen minute window, you will struggle with every one you can squeeze out of the sixteenth and final minute.
Give SAT a try and let me know what you think. I know a number of folks who now use the technique when they are too tired and rushed for time at home; also when they are traveling on vacation or for work. You can use it for quick warm up just to get the blood moving, or you can string two or more SAT sessions together to make for a serious strength and conditioning workout.