My Casual Office Fitness Routine

How to get super-ripped without leaving your chair.

TL;DR: I’m doing table push-ups in my coffee breaks.

I’ve mentioned on Twitter the other day that a few weeks ago I’ve started a rather casual office fitness routine. Some people were actually asking about it, so I think a quick blog post is in order.

First up: what I describe here works for me. YMMV. Okay? Cool.

Basically, my day job is to sit on my ass all day long, hunched over a laptop, typing like a rabid monkey. Occasionally I will lean back in my chair, stroking my chin approvingly/disdainfully while nodding either smugly/Blofeld’ish. Sounds familiar?

While it’s usually good work, it’s bad for my posture. My neck and shoulders were cramping up every now and then, and my manly torso muscles started camouflaging themselves with flabber.

So I started taking short 2-minute breaks every 30-45 minutes. I just get up from my desk and walk around. (There are apps that will remind you to do that; I went with Breaktime.) Standing up and getting my blood circulation going again is good, and it helps me thinking.

Now for the good part. To soften up my shoulders and neck again, I started doing table push-ups1. At first I was doing 10 per break, which was easy. A few days later, it felt silly, and I doubled that. Still easy.

It’s been almost 2 months since I started. By now I’m doing 250-300 push-ups every other day2. And yes, I’m doing it in the office. Since I’m neither huffing nor puffing nor breaking a sweat, I guess it’s cool for everyone involved and/or around me. No complaints so far. ;)

Those numbers might not sound much (or way too much, depending on where you’re coming from), but hey. Slow and steady wins the race, and I’m really not in a hurry. It’s not like I’m trying to do them all at once. (I couldn’t.)

And so, 8 weeks in, my shoulders and neck are much, much better than before. Also, I’ve lost some body fat and gained some muscle tissue. Again, no complains; my wife seems to approve, that counts for something. Sure, I could visit a gym and see a better outcome, but gyms are not for me, really. I’m a very important biznis person, I have no time for this shit.

So, yeah, good old-fashioned table push-ups. It’s a casual yet pragmatic approach to getting back into shape, and it actually does make me feel better. I won’t claim I invented it, but it works for me.


  1. A “table” or “chair” push-up means instead of flopping down on the floor you push away from a table or a chair. The higher the surface, the easier it is. [return]
  2. That’s about ten 2-minute breaks. I don’t smoke, so… [return]