The Netflix Workout (The First Twenty Pounds)

Having dug myself into a hefty forty-pound hole, I had to find a way to climb out. I had long loathed running and other forms of standalone conditioning, so I had to find a way to make exercising a little more fun (I would later come to embrace exercise for its own sake, but that took a long friggin' time). Enter what I call "The Netflix Workout". It's simple:

  1. Get an account at Netflix.
  2. Pick a TV series you've been meaning to catch, and load it into your queue.
  3. Hop on your favorite aerobic exercise machine of choice, and watch an episode. Your workout ends when the episode ends.

I'd workout at a moderate-to-hard pace (for reference, shoot for breaking a sweat about five minutes in and finished pretty soaked). I started with The Simpsons (~22 minutes per episode), then jumped to 24 (~42 minutes per episode). I'd probably do this around four days a week, and I also stopped having seconds at lunch and dinner (effectively eliminating 1.5 bonus meals from my day; I'm such a hobbit).

Less food and more exercise bought me a 20-pound drop over about four months. I started playing better, and was able to keep my shin splints in check (I'll save those details for another post). I kept at this for two seasons, but in hindsight I plateaued after the first few months. Even making the jump to The Sopranos (~55 minutes/episode) didn't bring much of an improvement. All it did was make my workouts longer (and the onscreen language more colorful). Then I went and pulled a hamstring on day two of Regionals, so decided the relatively mild aerobic stuff wasn't enough. It was time to ramp things up, and throw some strength and flexibility into the mix...