A longevity-focused workout protocol for busy people

I work a lot. I also travel for work a lot. In a typical week, I only have 5 to 6 hours available to work out and unfortunately do not have time to work out every day. So over the years, I've developed a workout protocol that's highly efficient and covers all bases. 

My four pillars for physical performance are to get stronger, improve cardiovascular ability, improve mobility & flexibility, and avoid injuries. A high-level goal I've talked about in my longevity protocol is to reach peak performance by the time I turn 40 and maintain that performance for the second half of my life. 

Get strong

I have tried every single strength and weightlifting workout out there over the years, and by far the most efficient and effective way to get strong is compound weightlifting using a barbell. Nothing else comes close. 

The theory is straightforward: compound exercises (squats, deadlifts) apply stress to the body by engaging all major muscles. Once you've subjected the body to said stress, it adapts in order to withstand that stress again in the future. With each workout, you apply a bit more stress (i.e. add 5lbs to each side of the barbell). Rinse and repeat. 

Using a barbell is also tactically efficient if you work out of a gym like Equinox, as you just a squat rack for for the entire workout. Not moving from machine-to-machine saves a lot of time.

If you want to get into the theory of barbell weightlifting in more depth, or learn how to do all the exercises above correctly, the best book written on the subject is Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.

The stress / adaptation cycle in weightlifting

My current weightlifting routine is as follows. All workouts are done using a barbell, and I generally work out in the morning. When you see something like 5x3, the first number is the number repetitions in a set, the second number is the number of sets: 

Monday (60 mins)

  • Bench press 5x3
  • Overhead press 5x3
  • Chin-ups 10x3
  • Hanging leg raises 15x3

Wednesday (60 mins)

  • Squats 5x3
  • Bench press 5x3
  • Deadlifts 5x1
  • Chin-ups 10x3
  • Hanging leg raises 15x3

Saturday (60 mins)

  • Squats 5x3
  • Overhead press 5x3
  • Deadlifts 5x1
  • Chin-ups 10x3
  • Hanging leg raises 15x3

A few notes of caution regarding barbell weightlifting. 

First, it's really difficult to do it correctly and you are guaranteed to get injured if you don't get a properly trained barbell weightlifting coach. I worked with Grant Broggi, founder of The Strength Co., for 3 years before having enough confidence to do things on my own. I strongly recommend Grant; he's fantastic and does all his coaching over Zoom (it works great). 

Second, do not under any circumstances ever do squats or bench press without spotter arms. That's how people die. If you're new to barbell weightlifting, spotter arms are the black arms that will stop you from dropping the barbell on you in the photo below:

Spotter Arms Attachment - Pair - Bells Of Steel USA

Improve cardio

As I age, I want to maintain a healthy heart. The research says that I should be doing 4 hours of zone 2 training, and 1.5 hours of zone 5 training each week. The good news is that weightlifting keeps me in zone 2 for most of my workouts, so I mostly need to focus on zone 5 in my cardio sessions. 

I love running, especially long outdoor runs (7-8 miles) and trail running. I try to do most of my running outside, and used to run outside irrespective of weather conditions. A few years ago, however, I was on an outdoor run in the New York winter and sprained my achilles tendon due to the extreme cold. Aside from being excruciatingly painful, it also took 4 months to fully recover. I've now stopped running outside in the winter. 

My current cardio routine is as follows: 

Saturday (10 mins)

  • After my weightlifting session on Saturday, I do HIIT sprints 10x: 20 sec sprint, 40 sec rest. I use either an assault bike, a rower, or treadmill depending on what I feel like doing that day. Goal is to go all-out at 75-90% of VO2MAX. 

Sunday (70 mins)

  • Winter: 30 mins running on treadmill + 30 mins cycle on stationary bike. While I’m at the gym I’ll also throw in chin-ups 10x3 and hanging leg raises 15x3
  • Summer: 50-60 min running outside at moderate to high pace

Optional: Thursday (40 mins)

  • If the weather is nice and I feel rested and recovered, I'll sometimes go for a short run on Thursday morning, focusing on speed (heart-rate in zone 4-5)

Improve mobility & flexibility

This is currently the weakest part of my routine. I don't enjoy doing mobility exercises, I don't enjoy stretching, and I don't enjoy foam rolling. So the only way for me to do these is to try to add a bit of mobility & flexibility work at the end of my existing workouts. 

I do the following routine at the end of each of my weightlifting workouts

Mobility (10 min)

  • Hamstring stretch
  • Couch stretch
  • Kneeling shin
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Split squat stretch
  • Downward dog stretch
  • Full body foam rolling

I borrowed a lot of these stretches from my friend Bryan Johnson. You can see Bryan's workout & stretching routine here.


What doesn't get measured doesn't get improved, so I'm very focused on collecting lots of data about my performance. 

For cardio and recovery I wear a Whoop (use the link to get a month free) and an Apple Watch Ultra. I use the Workout app on Apple Watch to track my runs, and sync that into Strava. 

For strength, I track weight-on-barbell and aim to achieve a personal record (PR) every year. I've been using the app Hevy to track my weightlifting workouts for the past few months, and it's fantastic. 

My current weightlifting PRs are: 

  • Deadlift: 350 lbs (2x bodyweight)
  • Squat: 285 lbs (1.6x body weight)
  • Bench press: 200 lbs
  • Overhead press: 135 lbs

I weigh 175 lbs and am 5'11", so these numbers put me in the 90th percentile for my age group.

For cardio, I track VO2MAX (measured every year using a stress test), RHR, and pace over a 5 mile run. 

Current cardio metrics: 

  • VO2MAX: 47 (good, would need 50+ for excellent)
  • RHR: 58-60 (excellent, would need 52+ for athlete-level)
  • Pace: 7:50 / mile (good, would need ~ 7:30 for excellent)

Tips & tricks

  • I find it difficult to maintain my workout routine when I travel. A useful hack that works is to book a hotel that's close to an Equinox gym. 
  • If you get into barbell weightlifting, you'll need proper shoes and a belt. I recommend these shoes from Adidas, and a 4 inch belt from The Strength Co.
  • If you're going to skip a workout, skip the cardio (Thursday or Sunday)
  • If you're going to skip a weightlifting workout, skip Monday
  • If you're really tight on time and want to do your workouts in 45 mins, just do one big compound movement per session (squat or deadlift), and alternate them. I don't recommend this for beginners or if you want to hit PRs.
  • You should never skip weightlifting workouts for more than a week. You'll lose much of your momentum and some of your gains.


  • Monday (70 min): upper body weightlifting + mobility
  • Tue: rest day
  • Wed (70 min): full body weightlifting + mobility
  • Thurs (optional; 50 min): running
  • Fri: rest day
  • Sat (90 min): full body weightlifting + HIIT + mobility
  • Sun (80 min): zone 2 cardio + abs + mobility
  • Total: 6 hours / week

Areas to improve

As mentioned above, I could benefit from a bit more mobility work. I haven't yet found a way to incorporate stretching & mobility in my daily routine, but that's something I'm focusing on. 

I'm really happy with my weightlifting performance, but there's a lot to improve with my cardio. I think I can improve VO2MAX to 50+ and bring my average running pace down to below 7 mins. I'll work on that when the weather gets a bit better in New York.

As usual, reach out via DM or email if you have any questions or suggestions.