A noobish clarification

Forums Fitness training A noobish clarification

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    the workout plans say…

    max rounds in 20 min

    5 rounds for time

    for time

    What does that even mean? Can I have a little clarification?

    Does it mean I should be able to acheive all of day 1 in 20 mins, 5 reps of the stuff listed in day 2 and all the stuff in day 3 as written in order i.e. 10 pullups in a row followed by 21 pushups followed by 26 squats? for level 1?


    On day one you’re working on endurance, so you workout for 20 minutes. Try to do as many rounds as you can of 1 pull followed by 2 push ups and then 3 squats. For a lot of people just starting, one pull up is more than they can manage so then you go to the substitutions page and find a substitution that you can do except that you do three substitutions for one pull up. If you can’t do a single push up then there are substitutions for those as well (against a wall or from your knees instead of feet). Twenty minutes may be a lot of work if you haven’t done any exercise for a long time so you may need to pace yourself and rest between rounds but make sure you complete the 20 minutes.

    On day two you are working on strength, so you do the five rounds with a rest of about three minutes between rounds. The rounds are harder than day one and you are more likely to need to do substitutions.

    On day three you are testing your ability at the level you are working on. If you can do the 10 pull ups followed by 21 push ups and then 21 squats in less than 5 minutes then you are ready to move up a level otherwise you stay at that level next week.

    To track your improvement keep a record of how many rounds you do on day one, how long it takes to do each round on day 2 (don’t count the rest time) and the total time for day three.

    It’s up to you but most people here recommend staying on level 1 until you can do all three exercises on day three without substitutions.


    Hi Vim. welcome to SF!!!!

    it works like this:

    Day 1 – max round in 20 min’s. (endurance)

    you do 1 pull-up, followed immediately by 2 push-ups, followed immediately by 3 squats. that is one round. you have to repeat this round as many times as possible in 20 minutes. and let me give you a tip: don’t start round two immediately after round one. i did that and after eleven minutes i couldn’t continue anymore. rather take a breather between rounds. it’s more important to complete the 20 min’s, than doing the rounds back to back.

    day 2 – 5 rounds for time (form / strenght)

    here you do two pull-ups, followed immediately by six push-ups, followed immediately by 10 squats. that is one round. unlike day one, you have to stop the stop watch after each round. (on day one you only stop the watch after 20 minutes)

    the focus on day two is not so much how fast you can do the rounds (although there is an element of time involved), but rather to concentrate on doing the exercise correctly and to build strenght. you will notice that some of the experienced members will report on day two as “untimed”. the idea of time in round two is just to measure your progress. if you for instance do each round in 1 minute flat, your total time will be 5 mins for teh workout. compare next weeks total time to today’s to monitor progress. but again, the focus on day 2 is not on time.

    day 3 – for time (endurance and strenght)

    you do 10 pull-ups, followed immediately by 21 push-ups, followed immediately by 21 squats. if you can do this round in under 5 min’s, you can progress to level 2. so on D3 you combine endurance with strenght. you can break up your exercises in mini “rounds” if you wish, e.g. do 3 pull-ups, rest a while, do another 3, rest, another 3, rest, and then the last one. the same for push-ups and squats. important – you may only stop the watch once the last squat is done.

    trust the above makes sense!!!


    ian, didn’t mean to copy you mate – you must have submitted while i was busy replying!!!!


    Hi Ruli,

    I was half expecting someone to beat me to it as mine took a while to type.

    Between the two of us, I hope Vim has a better understanding.



    thankyou that somwhat clarifys things. You should stick it in the FAQ or its own section as I couldnt find a good explanation anywhere.

    Im not sure where to start. Normally I do 10 push ups followed by 25-30 crunches followed by 8-10 chinups. I try to do 6-9 sets of crunches then an arm exercise.

    So 6-9 sets of alternates. push up+crunch then next set chin up+crunches.

    level 2 looks like a good place to start?


    Hi vim, Level 2 sounds like a good place to start. Just some other points to be aware of: first the difference between chinups and pullups. Chinups are done with palms facing you and pullups with palms facing away with a shoulder width grip. Generally pullups are harder but really help widen your back so at the beginning I’d stick with pullups and maybe alternate with chinups after you have about a couple month under your belt.

    Second, I’d probably skip the crunches as well, at least as part of the regular workout. You’ll get a surprising amount of ab work from pushups and squats, and to some degree pullups. Check out Cheapo’s or VBM’s pictures in the progress section for a testament to simplefit and abs development. There’s nothing to say you can’t do a couple of sets of crunches after your workout but you’re abs will be working hard already if you concentrate on keeping a good straight and tense body during pushups and a good posture and full range of motion during squats.

    Last thing, to add to what Ruli said about day 1, a good pacing mechanism is to try for a round every minute, so do one round of 1 pullup, 2 pushups, and 3 squats in one minute. If you’re done in 40 seconds that gives you 20 seconds to rest until the next round etc. This way you don’t go gung-ho at the beginning and burn out halfway through (I’m guilty of that as well). Obviously you’ll have to adjust the times if you’re rest is too long or too short, but it’s a good place to start until you get used to pacing yourself appropriately.


    Hi vim, My apologies, clearly you’re not at the beginner level and don’t need the substitutions.

    I have found this post from Captain a couple of years ago informative and inspiring, hope you do too.


    “I have been doing this exercise routine with some variation and assistance work for nearly a year. I admit that I often did not keep this journal but have faithfully plod through the routines week after week. It is remarkable in its simplicity. I found myself wanting to tinker with it such as using day two to determine the best course of action to surpass day three five minute timing or skipping to another level because I knew I could do the pull ups despite the fact hat I really had not hurdled the lower level. At this point I want to say I came to the conclusion that a killer workout could be achieved at any level for day one. Day two and three merely told you what you instinctively already knew. That you could either do enough movements with strict form fast enough or you couldn’t. Everyone enters the site wondering where to start after a year of gong back to the beginning twice to harvest the work I say the beginning, after all what can you lose by doing 50 or 60 rounds of day one level one, or doing perfect, slo-o-ow pullups for day two to indicate mastery. Hurdle day three and move up, it was only a week and you added a little depth to your endurance. I watch the P90X infomercial and always think that there is no program that I can follow religously for 12 weeks without something forcing me to adjust. I think my overall posture and spinal alignment has improved during this last year. Simplefit workouts were a little like traction in pulling me more erect. I have to admit this seemed more like pain at the time and I did not think my posture was that bad at the outset, but a year into it the results belie the belief and caused several periods where I had to adjust to continue. Over the course I lost nearly 35 pounds and have never looked stronger despite always being stronger than average. I kept saying I was doing this to move on to crossfit. I am not sure that I like all of the crossfit routines some of them require more coaching than I have available and crossfit has a dogma about it that is unattractive. Yet I still want to do a 40 minute Murph simply because I promised. So today I am back to level 5 for the third pass up to level eight. Each time through I have followed the program more strictly, the exercises with better form, and each pass has yeilded better results whether from repitition or the fact that I am doing them better the outcome improves over time. I have never been able to add a mile run before or after without ending up losing a week to recovery, this is only important for the Murph promise and has nothing to do with Simplefit. I am 58 years old and I look like someone placed an old head on a new body, so thank you Kevin. I especially admire your forebearance as each of us tackles this challenge and the assumptions built into the program. Wish me continued success but I will be here.”

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