Minimizing to Maximize Efficiency


I fancy myself a minimalist in most aspects of my life already.  Understand first that I’m not married, don’t have kids, I live alone and drive a basic automobile.  Recently I was listening to my new favorite podcast which is the StrongCast with Zach Even-Esh and he inspired me to look at my life, or others really, from a minimalist perspective and many different angles.

It always depends on your goals but training doesn’t need to be complicated.  A minimalist approach can accomplish a lot of things whether it ensures that you are doing something everyday, choosing to use only a few movements on a regular basis or even just sticking to one program for a certain amount of time before moving on.  There are a million movements that you could do in the gym, but choosing only a few that are “best”, can pay large dividends without wasting extra time or energy.  Personally, I like to stick to a plan for a number of weeks knowing that it makes my life easier when I know more or less what I’m going to do each day in the gym.  Shameless plug time:  Max will soon be releasing a new book called “4 Moves to Ultimate Athleticism”.  Yup, that’s it.  Just four.

I try and do my grocery shopping every Sunday.  I’m always amazed on Sunday evening how much food is packed into my fridge.  By Saturday morning though I’m usually staring at a mostly empty fridge and I guess that’s because I only buy what I need for the week. I’m not really interested in leftovers or cooking anything extravagant.  Then I repeat.  If you are cooking most of your food and then eat some fruits and veggies along the way, chances are that your diet is pretty solid and you’ve cut out a lot of the garbage.

The concept of minimalist footwear certainly has gained a lot of popularity in the last several years.  I heard coach Martin Rooney talk about training barefoot for the first time back in ’06.  I then started taking my shoes off more regularly and bought my first pair of Nike Free sneakers, never looking back.  I prefer to have thin, flexible shoes at all times or no shoes at all.  This has not however kept me from acquiring an extensive collection of shoes.  That is certainly one area that I go the opposite route.  I am a shoe maximalist in terms of quantity.

Take a look at your life.  Where can you minimize things?  There are likely things that you could cut out or consolidate to maximize your time and effort across the board.  Are you better off multitasking or crushing one thing at a time?  I know what the answer is for me.

– Mike Baltren