Arnold Schwarzenegger
Creative Commons License photo credit: d_vdm
Would you like to be nice and toned and a lot stronger? Would you like to spend just 10 minutes a day five days a week to achieve that? The workout I’m about to trial as part of the Balanced Existence Challenge (BEC) is an ultra-minimalist workout that leaves you feeling more energized afterwards then when you started. And stronger. A lot stronger.

And that’s how it should be. Balanced Existence is all about feeling good and finding ways to fit the things that help us feel good in with the daily demands of modern life. The workout I will be trialling for at least the next three months comes directly from Pavel’s book Power to the People! (PTTP). The two exercises I will be doing five days a week for two sets of five reps each day is the deadlift and the bent press.

Why the deadlift?
A long time ago Bob Peoples deadlifted 725lbs for a world record. He weighed just 178lbs. The deadlift is a massive compound movement that engages most of the muscles in the body, one way or another. This is a very efficient way to workout. The deadlift is a very natural lift, unlike the squat where the weight sits across the shoulders. It also requires the minimum of equipment.

Best of all you can lift a hell of a lot of weight when it comes to the deadlift. Which fits the criteria necessary for the achievement of the goals of the Balanced Existence Challenge. I want to fulfill at least some of my massive human potential by becoming truly strong. The deadlift is also user friendly. You can always just drop the weight if you run into trouble.

Why the bent press?
As good as it is the deadlift does leave a hole in overall strength – namely the ability to press weight overhead. So the Power to the People! program includes the old style lift, the bent press, to fill this gap. Again all you need is an Olympic bar and some weight. For most people probably starting with the 20kg (44lbs) Olympic bar will be heavy enough.

Check out the video of a bent press that I’ve embedded below. You can see that the bent press is far more then just a shoulder exercise. Like the deadlift the bent press requires activation of the core and is a lift that can be done with heavy weight. Which is perfect for what we want to produce – a hard and functionally strong body.

The Final Pieces of the Workout Puzzle
In addition to the core workout of deadlift and bent press I plan to include 2 – 3 abdominal/core workouts and one very slow swimming session per week. I have never worked my abs much. I’ve always just done core work with a kettlebell such as windmills or Turkish Get-ups.

However now I plan to work my abs for the next three months just out of interest to see what results I can get. My abdominal workout will consist of reverse crunches, crunches on an exercise ball and ab wheel of death.

These two extras are subject to change and circumstance. However the core workout of 2 sets of 5 reps of deadlift and bent press is something I expect I will be able to do even on my busiest days and when the stress is on with university assignments, exams and writing commitments.

Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already, as there will be stacks more information regarding how to get super strong without being bulky and how to perform the lifts mentioned here correctly. There is lots more to come on the diet side of things including my daily eating journal which I’ll be posting once I get started next week with the Balanced Existence Challenge. Best of all, by subscribing you’ll be able to watch the progressive results produced by the program I’m following.

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