Lean, Healthy And Confident. All For Less Than 13 Minutes A Day.

Hey folks. I’m gonna be honest with you. When you hear these stories about getting ripped in just 5 minutes a day, I personally don’t believe a word of it. I’ve tried every hack and quick fix going, even in my own pursuit of how to get a brief but effective strength training workout, WITHOUT having to put the time in. Now I know that sounds lazy, but honestly, I just can’t be arsed to spend countless minutes, even hours of my day exhausting myself on tedious strength workouts that don’t actually make me any bigger than I actually need OR more importantly want to be.

Although the 13 minutes might grab your attention, the most important words are actually every day. This type of consistency adds up to a whopping 91 minutes of strength work per week. Thats the duration of a football match.

The fact is I’m a distance runner, so I don’t want a massive chest or lats like a manta ray. I want to be toned and strong with functional strength for life. As I’ve said in my website, “whats the least I can do to at least maintain strength and fitness”? And if a by product of that small amount of time means I actually look pretty good in a t-shirt, then thats good enough for me.

I’m a Shropshire Lad, and with so many local gems to explore, I’d rather be off hiking or running the trails than throwing weights around in a gym with fat dudes.



I no longer strive to look good with my top off, and let’s be realistic, when are you actually going to go out bare chested, unless of course, you really want to look like a complete meat head who’s more concerned about his greased up pecs than actually being functionally strong for life tasks in general. I myself, like many people in their late teens and early twenties always sought external validation, and this relentless ego of mine drove me through countless tedious gym sessions in order to maintain that type of body shape! Today, though and 20 plus years later, looking good with my top off has tumbled way down my list of priorities.

Interestingly though, my determination to stay in good shape is stronger than ever.

The reason is simple. I really respect my body and aim to keep being lean and toned for as long as I can. I do just the right amount of push and pull moves with a peppering of stretch and strain movements. This keeps me strong and in the right frame of mind, and I aim to keep doing that for many decades to come. I’m also curious to learn how much a relatively healthy lifestyle can delay the ageing process. After all, regular strength training is being touted as a great anti-ageing medicine. However, burning lots of time and money by repeatedly lifting oddly shaped chunks of metal in a big room full of sweaty people was never my idea of fun. Neither was carrying around (and feeding) more muscle mass than I need to enjoy life.

“It’s more about how good you look in a t-shirt and not how you look with your top off. Forget trying to get the greek adonis look for external validation and instead, strive to look good every time you go out”

What Is Health And Fitness To Me

Two Men Running Race To the Top of the Mountain. Competition, Rivals,  Challenge Stock Illustration - Illustration of opponent, competitor:  69569016

Health and fitness to me is knowing I can hike a mountain or steep hill if I want to. Run for a bus without being out of breath. Being physically stronger to avoid injuries – especially later in life. To build a strong immune system so as not to get sick so often. Being able to jump on a bike and ride somewhere without aching all over, and yes, I still like to look good in a t-shirt. BUT, health to me is NOT some ripped, airbrushed, instagram model performing a totally unsustainable training regime, whilst sacrificing all the precious time they have to look good in a photo shoot which then fades over time. That photo is only a moment in time, a nanosecond snapshot which reflects no reality soon after.

Health is Longevity , Sustainability and Enjoyment. 

I Had To Find A Better And Easier Way

⏰ GOOGLE TIMER - 13 minute countdown Timer with Alarm ⏰ - YouTube

Here it is in four simple steps.

1. Consistency


As mentioned in the title of this article, I only do about 10 to 13 minutes of strength training every day. Although the 13 minutes might grab your attention, the most important words are actually every day. You have to be consistent and the results will come. This small amount every day adds up to a whopping 91 minutes of pure strength work. My workout mat is always ready for action and this removes all resistance to getting started. These routines are now such an automatic part of life that I don’t need to think about them anymore.

Daily strength training simply happens. No willpower required.

2. A Little Effort And Strain Needed

Jack Canfield Quote: “If we are not a little bit uncomfortable every day,  we're not

If you want decent muscle tone from less than 13 minutes a day, you’ll need to be willing to strain a little. Just swinging around some light weights without any effort isn’t going to help much. That’s why I focus on really slow but minimal reps and only doing 1 set per exercise or body part. Now I know that fitness guru’s and certain PT’s will tell you that in order to create and gain maximum muscle and strength you need to perform anywhere in the region of 8 to 10 reps per body part and 3 to 5 sets to make them count. That’s bo***cks! I’ll tell you honestly that my reps are anywhere between 2 and 7 and its just one set. Like I said though, to make these count I need to make them just the right degree of uncomfortable. I need to engage my core and keep my whole body in a state of tension on every move – think Isometrics. Hey, I don’t like discomfort any more than anyone else, but I can certainly handle 20 seconds of it in exchange for a trim physique.

I like to call this my 20 seconds of “plain” (pleasurable pain). It’s really satisfying to remind myself in that moment, these few seconds are giving me all the muscle mass and strength I’ll ever need.

3. Reasonably Active Lifestyle


Yes, I’m a runner BUT as with many people, the majority of my working day happens in front of a laptop screen. Luckily, I have a whole array of hills locally to keep me in shape. Just enough low, moderate and high daily aerobic exercise is enough to keep me lean and mobile with a fairly good fitness level as a result.

4. Fairly Clean Diet

Lastly, my diet is mainly (not always, as I love beer) free from sugar and highly processed foods. Although I do enjoy treats. In fact I always have a desert after my main meal of some kind. By doing this it signals to my body that the eating window is over and the sweetness of the desert tells my brain that the meal is complete so I don’t feel the need to snack later. This way of eating works for me and plays a big part in my training, especially where maintaining a healthy fat-to-muscle ratio is involved. And I definitely dont do any kind of calorie counting. Just be sensible with your portion sizes and you can pretty much eat what you want without any willpower-draining calorie restriction.

The Takeaway

7 Of The Best Fish And Chips In Manchester - Secret Manchester

So, that’s how I maintain decent muscle tone in only 13 minutes or less a day. You’re not going to get ripped with so little weight or body weight training but, to be honest, there’s little reason other than ego to really bulk up in today’s world. If your aim is only to maintain excellent body functionality, 10 to 13 mildly uncomfortable minutes a day are all you need.

So, build an environment that automatically maintains these four essential habits and see what happens. I think you’ll like the result. After all, life is a lot more fun when experienced through a fit and fully functional body!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *