T Nation

Theory on Upping Your Base-Level


I want to get your opinions on a theory I'm putting to the test right now. Basically, I've read on here that exercise=doing the same thing every time, but not improving. For instance, doing the same 225 bench press for 3x12 reps for years on end and calling that good. Working out, on the other hand, is making improvements on a regular basis, so over the course of a year, upping your deadlift by 50lbs.

This website seems to encourage the second kind of activity and do nothing with the first. After working out for several years consistently and then, recently, not as consistently, I'm wondering if it would be smart to take advantage of the first type of activity.

What do I mean by that? Basically, have a set of exercises that you do every day, like brushing your teeth. You'd do them everyday, 365 days a year. The intensity and amount would not change. Basically, you'd be upping your maintenance fitness. Your body would adjust to this and would not longer require extra nutrients and recovery to manage it on a daily basis. Once a new base-level is established, you could go back to working out 3-4x a week as intensely as you had before, while still doing your daily exercises, and all that your body would be recovering from would be the 3-4x/week workouts.

My goal is to work up to 100 body weight squats, lunges (per leg), pushups, and pullups; all at once, once per day, like brushing my teeth. While I'm working up to this, I'm going to drastically cut back my gym work. However, once I'm able to do it, I'll give it a month of doing the same thing every day, and then start working out like normal in the gym, in addition to my new base-level.

What do you think? Can my body adjust to this new level over time and then keep it without needing additional recovery while I do my normal workouts?


I also hypothesize that the advantages of doing this would be

  1. Easily maintained health benefits, no matter what type of training I'm doing. Basically, I'll never have to worry about cardio again.

  2. Increased over all bloodflow, which should actually INCREASE my ability to recover from hard weight workouts after this new base level is established

  3. Improved base-level joint lubrication

  4. Increased mental discipline, as working out will become basic hygiene. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, I call pull off these exercises.

I'm pretty convinced this should work. Is anyone else interested in trying it?


Waterbury has his plp program which is basically what you're describing, but you do it along with your normal workouts at differing times of day. You should look into it.


That's similar to what I'm thinking. However, I'm not going to stop once I reach my goal amount of reps and I'm also not going to break up the reps to perform a total amount in one day. Instead, I'm starting at a VERY low number of everything. I'm adding one rep of everything per day. When I stop being able to do the prescribed reps, I'm just going to hang out there until my body compensates (failing on the last rep), which from studies should happen in about two weeks. Then, all of a sudden, I'll be able to do a few more reps. I'll continue like that with each exercise until I reach 100 reps of each, one exercise after the other, without a break. At that point, I'm going to just stay there.

I've convinced several friends to try this with me and am always interested in more. I'm also interested in counter-arguments.


So far I've noticed that my body feels more loose and relaxed all of the time. Also, my knees have stopped hurting.


That is all good and logical, but it should be questioned if an activity X is something that a person can realistically implement like this. No-one can do 10,000 push ups and not feel the fatigue. Anyone can do 10 push ups and not feel the fatigue. Everything in between is up to debate and to be discovered by the individual.

This is my anecdote. I used to ride a bike to school, a total of 10 miles every school day. It never got easier. Nope. Was always moderately hard. Infact, I do many things even today every day that I don't find easy at all.


a sunday off never hurts, and weights can help you reach that faster. When you can squat 315 for 10, 100 bodyweight squats is much easier.


I agree with you. For instance, I think 500 reps of each exercise in a row would be something my body would never be able to stop recovering from and eventually consider a base level.

However, I recently was discussing this idea with a friend of mine who was an elite gymnast a couple years ago (she of course suffered debilitated injuries in while undergoing training aimed at trying out for the olympics...such a common story) and she said that 100 pushups + 100 knee-overs was standard warm up before practice, which happened 6 days a week for years on end. This was for 12-18 year old girls! After not working out for about a year and a half, she can still crank out 50 pushups and 25 pullups without being winded . Based on this, I'm pretty confident that 100 reps of everything is perfectly realistic for a male, and maybe the same for a female, with the exception of the pullups, which could probably be sliced down to 25-50.


I agree with this as well, but I'm worried about the mental discipline aspect of a day off. For me at least, one day easily turns into two.


So today I noticed that my stomach is much tighter (as in it's very difficult to pinch skin between two fingers) than normal. Yesterday I ate an egg and cheese sandwich, chicken nachos, and chicken+popcorn for dinner so I'm pretty sure it wasn't my diet. :frowning: <-----regarding the diet.


Maybe but if you don't have the mental discipline to take a day off, I doubt you will have it to do what you outlined. But it won't hurt to try good luck.


That's the interesting (to me) thing. When I was in high school, I worked out every night before bed doing a much smaller version of this and it was my most consistent, long-lasting exercise. This was while competing in track and martial arts. I was never as consistent about any of the other activities- there's just something mentally easier about working out in your own home doing something that you know you can easily do than making a trip to a gym and trying to break all of your old records.

Plus there's the comfort of being as nude as you want and picking the music. I realize this sounds lazy. It is. But I'm going to make that work for me :slight_smile: