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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: 4 Hour Body's Occam's Protocol, Remember The Milk style!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

It's safe to say there are a number of people trying some new exercises this month, being just after the New Year. :) This week's tip, shared by schoonology, describes how they used Remember The Milk to manage a bit of friendly competition for achieving their fitness goals. Sounds like a win-win situation!

After we read Tim Ferriss' 4 Hour Body, my wife and I made a bet: the first person to a 20lb body recomposition is taken out to a night on the town on the other's dime. Easy enough?

Her goal was to lose 20lb of fat, something she's been unable to do. Ever. My goal, however, was to gain 20lb of muscle, something I've been unable to do. Ever.

For anyone without the book (highly, highly recommended), "Occam's Protocol" is a workout regimen based on two alternating workout routines spaced out by a number of days. These rest periods range from 2 days to over a week, and I really don't want to keep tweaking a calendar every time these periods change length.

Enter Remember The Milk!

The plan was to add one task per Workout:

Workout A @Gym !1 ^Monday *every 4 days
Workout B @Gym !1 ^Wednesday *every 4 days

To explain these Smart Add shortcuts:

  1. Name (which workout)
  2. Location (wherever you work out, of course!)
  3. Priority 1 (if you really want to win!)
  4. Initial due date (the day you're starting to work out for A, two days later for B)
  5. Double the resting period (this is the special sauce. Double the resting period to find the repeat delay, so they'll alternate at the right times)

To each of these tasks, I added a Note describing the target workout. You could, however, use the Workout Checklist tip or a shared Evernote Note URL to keep track of what's going into each.

Every time I need to update the period between workouts, all I do is bump up the repeat frequency (remember that it's doubled!), and push the second task's Due Date out one day.

For example, if I just finished Workout A, and I know I need to wait longer before my next B, I would:

  1. Increase Workout A's "Repeat:" field 2 days. (Example: from "every 4 days" to "every 6 days")
  2. Increase Workout B's "Repeat:" field 2 days.
  3. Postpone Workout B 1 day.
  4. Mark Workout A completed, and notice the due date. (Example: 6 days from now!)

Back in sync, and ready to keep gaining!

Thanks for sharing this tip, schoonology! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week. Hope it's been going well for you both! :)

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks