The People's Chemist

Workout At Home: How To Workout For 18-Minutes And Look Like It Took 1-Hour

Working out at home isn’t for everyone. It takes discipline to ignore the distractions. But, if you can summon 18-minutes of determination, a workout at home is all you need. The only thing required is “hormesis.” I’ll explain that in a minute. First, you need to know that most exercise is a waste of time. It’s proven.

In 2012, British scientists studying the effects of running on the cardiovascular system found that it killed the heart. Their conclusion, published in Heart, read, “There is accumulating evidence that, over the long term, endurance sports like distance running might actually hurt the heart.”

If you’re not suffocating yourself with “cardio,” you might be eating yourself into The Fat Gain Hall of Fame with obsessive weight training. Does P90X and Crossfit ring a bell? Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health discovered that hardcore fitness participants end up eating their calories back, and then some. The end result was continued weight gain, despite the strenuous effort.

Get More For Less with Hormesis

As a collegiate wrestler, lifetime athlete, chemist and lover of shortcuts, I’ve been studying the biological effects of working out for over twenty years. My motivation has always been the same: get more for less.

Therefore, I’ve never made it my mission to kick ass at exercise. I’ve only sought it out for kicking ass, keeping my wife’s eyeballs happy and of course, living longer so I can fly my plane more. Therefore, exercise has been a means to an end. Since working out at home or anywhere else is so f#$%ing boring, I researched ways to cheat it.

That’s when I stumbled upon hormesis.

Sifting through old science journals as a graduate student in chemistry, I discovered that our body makes one-of-a-kind, lifesaving hormones in response to certain actions and our environment. These hormones are our best medicine.

The word “hormesis” is derived from a Greek word, which means to stimulate or to set into motion. It’s an evolutionary adaptive response, whereby a beneficial result is achieved from low-dose exposure to an agent that is toxic or even lethal at higher doses.

Your body’s response to sun exposure is an example of hormesis. If you were to spend too much time in the sun or get a severe sunburn, it can be very damaging and painful, and in extreme cases, life threatening. But moderate and consistent sun exposure is one of the most powerful and beneficial ways to boost your health.

Stress caused by physical exertion is another example.

When you over-exert your body or engage in chronic endurance exercise, it can wear down your immune system, lead to extreme fatigue, and cause oxidative and inflammatory damage to your body. It also creates a hormonal state where your body chooses to store fat and tear down muscle. Not exactly the results you were hoping for from your exercise routine!

But when you exercise in small doses, at very high intensity, you activate hormesis. The effects are just the opposite of what you’d get from “crushing the gym” day in and day out. You’ll improve your immune system and promote an anti-inflammatory state. You will also create a hormonal environment in your body that leads to:

  • Expanded lung volume
  • greater oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood
  • A stronger heart
  • More muscle
  • Less fat

Thus, hormesis gives you more for less.

Therefore, your goal with a simple workout at home is to harness the biological phenomenon of hormesis. This will force your body to produce positive adaptive changes, hormonally. Anything else is just a waste of time, or worse, a waste of health.

Don’t let an injury, lack of fitness or laziness be an excuse not to workout at home. Hell, even my out-of-shape, fat dad activated hormesis with my workout at home. To his surprise, he lost tons of weight while continuing to eat like shit – if it’s white, he eats it. White, fake, butter. White bread. Egg whites. Potato chips. Homogenized milk…Yet, despite his Standard American Diet (SAD), hormesis worked, which is a reflection of its potency…Imagine if he actually followed all 6 of the habits set forth in my book, The Stop Eating So F#$%ing Much Diet!

The Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism underscored the potency of hormesis among the elderly in a recent edition. They wrote that, “The mild oxidative stress possibly elicited by regular exercise appears to manifest a hormesis-like effect in non muscular tissues, constituting beneficial mechanisms of exercise by adaptively upregulation of various antioxidant mechanisms, including antioxidative and repair-degradation enzymes for damaged molecules. Importantly, the adaptation induced by regular exercise was effective even if initiated late in life.”

How to be Blessed by Hormone Gods with a Workout at Home

Clearly, hormesis is a survival mechanism that’s hardwired into our genetics. It doesn’t matter if you’re an MMA fighter, soccer mom or fat dad. Hormesis works!

To unlock its’ dormant power while working out at home, you have to challenge your peak capacity. You have to push the [email protected]#$ing envelope on your own pain threshold. You have to workout at home like your life depends on it. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that you only have to do it for a short time and not very often.

When you push yourself near your maximum capacity, your body doesn’t know if it’s working out at home or wrestling a hungry tiger in the jungle to steal his food. Either way, it adapts for the better. As soon as the period of severe physical stress has ended, your body rewards you with a pharmacy of life-enhancing hormones. (It works just the same for natural childbirth too…Without it, moms who give birth unnaturally, are not as blessed with anti-obesity, mood enhancing and healing hormones post-pregnancy!

Hormesis is the hormone God’s reward for physical effort. This isn’t surprising…After all, only the strong survive. There’s a reason for it!

Whether it’s killing a tiger to defend an attack or giving birth naturally, hormone Gods prefer people who kick ass and take names. Therefore, after respectable physical exertion, they bless you with hormesis…That way, you’re better equipped to survive and pass on your bad ass genes to the next batch of bad asses.

Those who don’t give it their all are ignored and die young…

…True story, don’t shoot the messenger.

Just get off your ass and start working out at home as outlined below.

How Often Should You Workout At Home With This Routine?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to workout at home, often, when you’re benefiting from hormesis. The hormonal response lasts for days after a workout at home. That means you can continue to derive benefits tomorrow and the day after you workout at home – as long as your intensity is high. That also means you don’t have to workout at home every single day!

In fact, without proper rest from a good workout from home, you deplete your body of vital nutrients and glycogen. In time, this will cause your hormones to fight back and manifest as accelerated aging. So don’t even think about working at home every day. It’s like smoking too many cigars…One every now and then is great. Every day is just disgusting.

The Workout At Home That Triggers Hormesis

So let’s get started.

Follow the workout at home below and you can can see tremendous benefits from doing it just 3–5 times per week. It doesn’t matter whether you work out at home two days in a row and then take a day off or if you simply work out every other day.

The main idea is to focus on the intensity of your exercise, rather than the duration. And as you become accustomed to the activity you’re doing, gradually increase the intensity or change the workout at home. Below are three workouts at home for you to choose from. Each workout at home has three different phases depending on your current level of conditioning:

  1. Starter
  2. Maintenance
  3. Extreme

Each one can be used for a workout at home, or anywhere else that has minimal equipment. Aim to do your workout at home every other day, spending one to three weeks on each phase then, moving to the next level.

1. Starter Workout at Home

Starter Phase - Workout at Home

2. Maintenance Workout at Home

Maintenance Phase - Workout at Home

3. Extreme Workout at Home

Extreme Phase - Workout at Home

About the Author

My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.


The People’s Chemist provides these articles for information only. They are not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and do not replace professional medical advice from a medical doctor. I am not a doctor and would only “play doctor” if I was with my wife. In fact, I have not even read Grey’s Anatomy.

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