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My current practice is to pick a single exercise or 2-3 related exercises and keep doing them throughout the day in a pyramid kinda structure.

For example, early this morning I did kettleball swings - 1 set of 5 reps, maybe an hour later I did 1 set of 10 reps. Just now (another 1.5 hours later) I did 2 sets of 8 reps.

Similarly I might a bunch of pull ups and chin ups throughout the day and a few bicep curls in the evening. Or plank variants all day, or various push ups all day, etc.

By nightfall, I am usually at failure and struggling to do even 2-3 reps of whatever.

Except bicep curls and kettlebell swings, I only do bodyweight exercises (occasionally weighted with a backpack). I also run anything between 8-15 km 1 or 2 times a week. Sometimes I swim once a week. I don't do other exercises on run/swim days, maybe some stretches. I rest at least 1 day a week, often 2.

The main reasons for doing things things way is 1) simplicity and 2) blending physical activity with the work (from home) schedules. My goals are strength and endurance, mainly for outdoor activities (trad climbing, mountaineering, etc.). I do a couple of sport specific exercises and stretches, but they are not much.

I want to know from you experienced and educated people:

  1. Are there any obvious drawbacks to doing things this way?
  2. Is there any way I could improve upon this?
  3. What will I achieve by doing things this way - strength, power, endurance? I don't care for size/bulk.
  4. How can I modify this routine to achieve the rest (of strength, power, endurance)?

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I've only seen this type of structure typically with getting in shape and being more active and athletic in general, and to adapt your body to a new movement. for example, if you cant do pullups or can only do a couple, one trick is to multiple times a day do them the way you are to adapt. The pro's of this are you gain general athleticism and stay in shape. It might also adapt your energy systems the body uses, especially with your added cardio and backpack runs.

  1. Are there any drawbacks? Well if you were to do air squats and just once every hour maybe do 20-30 that's one thing for example. The reason is doing air squats doesn't require strength, power, or endurance(to a degree) and its more like cardio. If you were to do 50 and you're barely able to make it to 50 each time, this might work endurance, but you'll notice each time, you'll do less and less. What I am getting at is that endurance and strength pull their energy from muscles as well. your muscles can tire out and need a lot of recovery unfortunately. 48 hours is a standard in bodybuilding. So performing low reps say 5-8 reps of kettlebell swings and pullups are great as a one time exercise in the day, but itll be impossible to improve this. You could try to start the day with as many reps as possible and taper off near the end of the day. You're essentially training athleticism and cardio, and some slight endurance if you do higher reps, but for strength it is a no-go. Your muscles will tire out, preventing you past your first workout to really push yourself as far as you did the first time, unless you're not relying on your muscles, in the case you're doing more cardio with light enough weights. think 30+ reps.

Power can be achieved multiple times a day but is very intense on the body and can cause overtraining or too much stress if you're trying to lift maximal loads multiple times a day. I have seen powerlifters powerlift everyday but its once a day, and they cycle the intensity back and forth so they aren't pushing their 1RM everyday.

There's no drawbacks, but it's not very efficient other than athleticism and cardio, and even that's with more reps.

  1. I'd suggest higher reps 30+ and dont worry about pushing your numbers. include other exercises such as air squats, planks, push ups, etc..

  2. answered in #1

  3. You'll have to really just dedicate a 1 hour session maybe 3 times a week at minimum. a full body workout 3 times a week, cycling reps from 6-8 and from 12-20 or looking at a strength-endurance workout which focuses on using heavy weights with little rest, and not stopping. sometimes strength and endurance fight each other, you can be well rounded but excelling in one will reduce your ability in the other unless you train smart and train them both. I'd recommend asking a fitness trainer for a well designed workout. It sounds like you're just interested in general athleticism which I think can be achieved.

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  • Thanks for taking the time for the detailed answer! When doing something throughout the day, if instead of doing the max possible each time, I do it in a pyramid kinda structure - so, start with a couple reps of whatever, then increase it each subsequent time I do it, and eventually taper it down. Say 3 pull ups the first time, 5 next, 7 after that, then 10, then go down - 7, 5, 3, 1. Does that make a difference? In this case my max pullups is 10, so I work up to it.
    – ahron
    Jul 16, 2022 at 5:12
  • Yes you are right, I tried working for 30 minutes and got quite tired... Thanks for pointing this out. Need to do this more.
    – ahron
    Jul 18, 2022 at 15:19
  • You could maybe for pullups do a 7,5,3,1 type pyramid or just do it every couple hours, but that's more to get your body adapted and in general athletic shape which isnt bad. But for other exercises that dont require that, I would suggest doing a 30-60min workout like kettlebellswings and such. I wish we could write out workout programs on here, but I do wish you luck. If it helps to get into the process, start slow and dont jump into a heavy workout
    – user32213
    Jul 22, 2022 at 21:06

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