Recently I came across a post on r/minimalism that was asking about “Minimalist Workout”. The poster was asking about a fitness routine that they could follow for the rest of their lives, without a gym membership (which would require them to “drive, dodge crowds, and pay pricey fees”) or any (“heavy, cumbersome pieces of”) workout equipment, and they didn’t “want to put time and thought into creating and tracking complex workout programming”. They wanted a workout that would serve them for the rest of their life, without “these costly, cumbersome obligations”.
I spent I while thinking about this. My initial response was that a minimalist workout is an intentional one. This means that each aspect of it is thought out and serves a purpose. The number of reps, sets, the amount of rest, and the number or workouts each week is all intentional and has a goal in mind. Whether that goal is to lose weight, look good, feel good, or be functionally fit, the program is constructed with a goal in place.
But something about the question kept itching my brain. I get not wanting to buy equipment, and for some people going to a gym is not ideal. However, a gym membership is access, not an object. Maybe owning a gym membership that you never use makes you feel bad whenever you remember that it exists, but you want to know the best thing about memberships? You can cancel them and they don’t take any more space up in your life.
But that wasn’t it, there was something more about that question that kept bugging my brain. Then I realized it. They wanted to do a single workout for the rest of their lives. There is no workout that does that. The secret to fitness and health is variety.
Additionally, if you are dedicated enough to your body and fitness enough to work out every day or multiple days a week, you should be dedicated to doing some research about which program you follow or construct your own program. Don’t want to commit that time to creating your own program? Join a class, where someone else decides what you do and what the program is. Minimalism is about intentionally committing energy and time. If having a personal fitness program is not something important, but fitness is, then I would highly recommend joining a class.
P.S. As a separate note, I’d personally say that the best kind of intentional fitness goal is functional. Weight goals won’t make you happy, sometimes a physical goal (looking a certain way) will make you happy, but only if you are doing it for yourself and not for the reactions of other people, but functional fitness will make you happy for other reasons. It will let you enjoy nature, play with your kids (or grandkids), play with your mates in the park or help a friend move house. Essentially, it stops your body from being an obstacle that can stand between you and an active life. It allows you to make room in your life for doing fun things with the people that matter.