January is such an optimistic time. Resolutions are set, diets are committed to, and the treadmills at the gym are practically smoking because they’re getting so much mileage.
But then there’s the inevitable fall-off. For some it happens after a few weeks, for others it takes a little longer. Usually there’s not one specific reason; it’s more like a perfect storm of disillusionment: The diet was too restrictive, the treadmill was too boring boring, the results weren’t coming, or it all just took too much time.
According to endurance athleteBrendan Brazier, you don’t have to settle with feeling “just okay.” And contrary to what you might think an ultramarathoner would recommend, Brazier believes that working out more efficiently—rather than for hours and hours at a time—is the best way to achieve your best health and fitness.
His newest book, Thrive Fitness, is the ultimate guide to improving fitness and longevity for life, whether you’re an elite athlete like Venus Williams (who follows a vegan diet like Brazier and wrote the foreword) or just a regular person who just wants to be healthier and happier.
“Eating and exercise are everything,” says Brazier. “Figure that out, and how it works best for your body, and suddenly it becomes much easier to reach other goals you set for yourself.” The marathon, Ironman, and ultramarathon participant has the food part figured out—after adopting a plant-based diet at age 15 and noticing that it seriously improved his training, he hasn’t looked back. (In fact, Brazier developed Vega, a line of plant-based, vegan protein powders loaded with balanced nutrition that also taste really good.)
But after spending 10 hours a day training for his competitive races only to see minimal improvement, Brazier decided to try and rework his training schedule so that it took less time and improved his fitness level. The result? He cut the amount of time he spends training by 70 percent and saw increases in speed and muscle development—the two things he wanted most.
The eating plan and workout schedule outlined in the book—based on Brazier’s own fitness routines and findings—are surprisingly manageable and scalable. Everyone from beginners to experts can dive in and see improvement and results. Thrive Fitness doesn’t suggest doing the same lengthy workout seven days a week. Instead, the program calls for at least one rest day (and often two or three), plus constantly varying exercises and modalities, so participants don’t get bored.
And best of all, the workouts are short. Brazier lays out his various 25- to 30-minute workouts succinctly and with clarity, and the entire program can be completed without any equipment—which means you don’t have any reason not to try it!
Photo credit: Brendan Brazier