Well, it’s official: today is the last day of 2015.
It’s been quite the year. I hope you’ve all taken a little time to do some reflection of the past year so that you are able to take those lessons learned and absolutely CRUSH 2016.
It’s been a pretty big year here at 12 Minute Athlete, and since you might have missed a few, I wanted to take this chance to share my very favorite articles from 2015.
Here you go, the best of 12 Minute Athlete from 2015, divided into three easy-to-skim categories (nutrition, working out, and getting inspired/being a badass), plus some of my favorite workouts from the past year:
Unless you have been living under a rock, you must have noticed how the carbs-are-bad-for-you mentality seems to be all over the fitness world. I’ll fully admit that at first, I fell into this no carb/low carb trap too, despite knowing that carbs are an essential part of a well-balanced diet (luckily, I learned my lesson quickly).
Because if you train like an athlete, you have to eat like one, and that means eating a good amount of carbs every day.
I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry… if I don’t get food right now, I get hangry… Do you know what I’m talking about?
I was like this, too, until I decided to try eating larger portions and more satisfying foods instead of constantly snacking. This new approach has definitely improved my athletic performance and I’m also not constantly thinking of food anymore (well, maybe a little).
I don’t talk about it much publicly, but a few months ago I shared my story about binge eating. Bingeing is not fun, and if you are struggling with it right now, I know what you’re going through. However, there is a way out if you get your mindset right.
Even though I can now do a bunch of fun stuff like handstands, pistols, and splits, mastering them has taken a lot of practice. It took me several years before I was finally able to do a proper handstand. In this post, I share my whole journey from getting over the fear of being upside down to finally doing a decent handstand.
As you already know, there is absolutely no need to go to a gym to get strong. You can become an ultimate badass by just working out with you own bodyweight. However, there are five pieces of exercise equipment that I love to use to spice up my bodyweight workouts. All of them take minimal space and fit into even the tiniest closet. Another bonus—you can get all five for the cost equal to a couple of months gym membership.
But, if you don’t have equipment in hand, no worries—a little bit of creativity goes a long way. Can’t do tricep dips because you don’t have a dip bar? Use two sturdy chairs. Can’t do squat thrusts because you don’t have a medicine ball? Use heavy books instead. Read this article for even more awesome workout equipment substitutions.
Ever since I got into calisthenics, it was always my dream to have my own outside fitness park. Last year, I finally made this dream come true. Having my own fitness park right in my back yard saves me a ton of time, since I don’t need to travel anywhere and look for a park, because the truth is, there aren’t too many of them out there. In this post, I share all the details on how I built my own fitness park.
Get Inspired and Be a Badass
One of my toughest and most interesting experiences in 2015 was my day training with the Army Reserve. The experience was full of physical and mental challenges, and I’ll admit, I was super nervous at times. People in the U.S Army Reserve are some of the fittest people on Earth, so training with them was a great honor and a huge accomplishment that I will always remember.
I love to travel. In the past, I used to skip workouts when I was traveling because I made excuses. Not anymore! You can get a lot done with no equipment and no gym at all. Here are the minimal things that I bring with me whenever I travel.
The Best Workouts of 2015
We did a lot of workouts in 2015, and picking favorites was definitely not easy. Here are some that I really loved:
This Get Ready for Summer workout is absolutely equipment free, which means that it’s also excuse-free.
One piece of workout equipment that I really love are medicine balls. Try this Medicine Ball Hero workout if you haven’t had a chance yet.
For this 400 Rep Mean Machine Challenge workout you’ll need a medicine ball and pull up bar. Burpees and pull ups together are an awesome (and brutal!) combination.
If you need a serious cardio boost, check out this Jump Till You Drop workout. It’s also perfect for traveling, because it requires only a jump rope.
Many of you may be somewhere where it’s snowing now, but let’s not make excuses for skipping a workout just because of the weather. Here is an apartment-friendly kettlebell workout, if an outdoor workout isn’t an option.
My New Year’s Resolutions for 2016
And finally, I wanted to share my fitness New Year’s resolutions for 2016 so you can help keep me on track. I’ve written extensively on creating New Year’s resolutions that you’ll actually keep in the past, and the key is to keep them limited and measurable. After all, trying to focus on too many goals at once almost always leads to actually accomplishing nothing—so if you’re making resolutions this year, try and keep it simple.
Here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2016:
- To do a full range freestanding handstand push up (I’m finally up to mini ones!)
- To do a partial human flag (I’d take a full flag too, just trying to be realistic here)
- To finally do unassisted front and back handsprings
- To finally be able to do a handstand press
- To get a straddle back lever
As always, I’ll keep you updated on my progress throughout the year. Wish me luck 🙂
Happy New Year, athletes!