We all know that strength building exercises are a key aspect of longevity. They are important to preserve our natural movement, muscle mass, and balance
At the same time, most of us are typically not super jazzed about spending countless hours in the gym (especially not these days). So, we like to explore easy alternatives that you can do anywhere and are accessible to everyone regardless of their current fitness level.
One approach that has caught our attention is the body-weight strength training technique taught by Jerry Teixera. He calls this approach “minimalist fitness.” It is based on the observation that, when it comes to exercise in general, and strength training in particular, we tend to overcomplicate things.
In his words:
“People pay too much attention to things that don’t necessarily have the biggest impact. Instead, we should focus on the levers that really make a difference in the long term.”
You Don’t Need Equipment to Build Strength
Jerry used to spend a lot of time at the gym, until it got boring causing him to lose motivation. His personal life also got busy with a new baby at home, adding incentive to find an alternative to weight training that he could do quickly, anywhere. That’s how he came to focus on bodyweight strength training.
He realized that for every strength exercise he would do in the gym he could come up with a bodyweight version. He developed a routine for himself based on 8 compound movements and soon people started asking him to share it. That inspired him to start his YouTube channel.
8 Basic Movements
True to his minimalist approach, he makes all the videos in his backyard and (most) involve zero equipment. The 8 movements that make up his basic program are designed to give you the most bang for your time and maximize your functional strength. For each movement Jerry has a progression of difficulty from easy to hard, so you can do the sequence regardless of your current physical shape. As you master one level, you can move the next.
From Jerry’s POV, resistance training is critical for longevity:
“When it comes to exercise, the strongest correlation with longevity is strength, not endurance. Maintaining muscle mass is critical to maintain your ability to efficiently dispose of glucose, to increase the density of cell mitochondria, to prevent falls, and to recover more quickly from illness or injury. There is also an intangible psychological benefit of feeling stronger.”
Given that loss of strength and muscle mass come hand in hand with age, Jerry recommends to get ahead of this process.
What you can do
Try Jerry’s 8 movement full body workout. It takes only 20 minutes and you can choose the right level of difficulty for you to start.
There is also a 2 movement, 5 minute intro workout if you want to ease into it.