The Middle Way

A while back, my mom and I rented a movie called “Little Buddha” from Netflix. It takes place in modern times, but it’s dotted with flashbacks of the Buddha’s life.

The crazy part: Keanu Reeves plays Buddha.

The crazier part: It doesn’t totally suck. (Well, it sucks a little bit. But it’s entertaining and definitely not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, especially considering it was made in 1993.)

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When I saw the, ahem, surprising casting choice, my expectations plummeted faster than [insert Peter Griffin anecdote here]. Good on ya, Keanu.

Part of Buddha’s early life and development involved finding balance between extreme ways of living. After growing up as an insanely wealthy prince, he was convinced that the key to a spiritual life was renouncing all possessions and living with the ascetics. Seemed legit… until he nearly starved to death and still wasn’t any wiser. The problem with such extreme deprivation is that you’re basically still a slave to your body and your senses. Insight and enlightenment are more likely obtained when living a life of balance between the two.

For our Middle Way workout, we’ll do 3 sets: one with a high number of lighter reps, the next with a low number of heavy reps, and the third with an in-between number of reps at a moderate weight.*

*This doesn’t mean that an in-between number of reps at an in-between weight is always ideal or how you should normally work out. There are multiple paths to muscle enlightenment.

Set 1 – 25 reps of each

Chest – bosu pushups

Back – body weight rows

Biceps- dumbbell hammer curls

Triceps – bench dips

Legs – bosu squats

Core – bosu crunches

Set 2 – 5 reps

Chest – bench press

Back – Pull-ups

Biceps – barbell curls

Triceps – Full-body dips

Legs – barbell squats

Core – 60-second plank

Set 3 – 10 reps

Chest – machine press

Back – cable row

Biceps – cable gorilla curls

Triceps – rope extensions

Legs – walking lunges

Core – leg lifts, 3-3-3 second count

I’m far from enlightened, but I do know this: balance is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Obsessing over losing weight or getting into shape is no more effective than trying to gain wisdom by renouncing every worldly possession and starving yourself. Balance, people. That’s where it’s at.


Part inner nerd and part aspiring jock. Mostly inner nerd, though.

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