A Programmer’s Mini Guide to Fitness

There is a common misconception that if you are a programmer, then you cannot have a good physique. This might seem true for the most part since most programmers usually spend most of their time sitting in front of a computer 10 to 12 hours a day.

For about 5 years since I started programming, I used to do the same too. And believe it or not, I used to have a fat ass.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Nerds too can have bulging biceps and six-pack abs. All you have to do is have a plan, and be motivated to stick to it.

In this post, I’ll be giving you an overview of starting of how to get fit as a programmer. This guide is in no way exhaustive, but will for sure be a good starter for a noob.

And so for the number one step…

Posture

This is probably the most common problem that exists among programmers. Having a really bad posture.

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This is an effect of the increased amount of time that we spend sitting in a chair. Our fat ass gets lazy and starts to accumulate fat. But more than that it gives birth to what is known as the Anterior Pelvic Tilt.

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Notice the protruding butt. This is not just because of fat, but also because of the way we sit. According to a TEDx talk, sitting down actually kills you. Like most other programmers I used to have this too. In order to fix it, I had to understand what was that that actually caused this problem.

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APT is a by-product of weak abdominals and weak glutes. Abdominals are nothing but your belly, and glutes are nothing but your butt. The way to fix this is to exercise your abs and glutes and at the same time loosen your spine and hip flexors.

Some anti-APT exercises: hip thrusters, reverse crunches, bridge, lunges, squats

IMPORTANT: Remember to do some cardio to remove the fat in that area, or you might just end up making it look worse.

Posture is the foundation of your body and therefore you must give it the absolute priority. If you don’t have a good posture you should fix that before you work on the rest of what I am about to talk about. Without a solid foundation, a building will fall. One day, if not today.

Size

Secondly, you might want to check on your fat. Since most of us eat a lot of junk, we might have a lot of fat that might make us look big, but actually not attribute to strength. Before we go ahead and build that bulging biceps and six-pack abs, we have to first start shredding.

My workout of choice for losing fat is running.

I didn’t start running because it was my childhood passion to run. Neither was I motivated by famous athletes like Usain Bolt, who has a shredded physique. I just happened to start running because it took me very little effort to start. I had my running shoes, some time to run, and a place to run.

And no, don’t look for a secluded place to run so that no one would see you.

One of the main things that you need to understand while improving yourself, is that you should never worry about what others might think.

For starters, run for an hour every day. If not every day, try every 3 days. The point is to maintain consistency. Success is not measured by what you do in one day, but what you do every day.

You could, of course, take breaks while running. You could walk for a little bit or slow jog until you feel you can start running again.

Once you’re comfortable running for an hour, you can start to record your runs so that you can log your performance. I use an app called Nike+ Run Club for this purpose. It is one of my most favorite apps ever on my phone.

If you end up installing the app, you can send me a request at joelkingsley.r@gmail.com

Strength

Finally after laying the foundation and preparing to build the perfect body, let’s just dive in and build the perfect body.

I will not be covering much of this aspect of fitness, because when you reach this point you would have numerous sources to learn and gain motivation.

In my opinion, before getting a gym membership, I would recommend you to work out at home for 4-6 months so that gym training doesn’t hit you by surprise.

Body weight exercises like push ups, pull ups, planks, lunges are sufficient during the initial stages. Having a dumbbell does help in performing weighted compound exercises, and of course bicep curls 😉

Checkout youtube channels like Athlean-X for expert advice.

And Finally…

Becoming fit is not all that hard. It just takes commitment and focus just like how you work on any other programming project. Be sure to reach out to me for any other post requests. Until then, Adios!!

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