About | A Lean Life
Thanks for visiting www.aleanlife.com!
It is our privilege to have you here. We hope that you find a lot of value to help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals, and to do so without injury along the way.
My name is David Williams, and I am the founder of aleanlife.com. Our aim is to provide a blueprint to help you build a lean, attractive physique and achieve your best wellness. Most agree that the lean and toned look is the most aesthetically pleasing physique. And more importantly, it is totally achievable on a tight schedule when you don’t have 2 hours a day to spend in the gym.
- Graduated from West Point in 1990
- Top 5% of my class in Physical Fitness at West Point
(my proud Star on my fitness shorts – Top 5%)
- U.S. Army Active Duty for 3 years
- U.S. Army National Guard for 2 years
- U.S. Army Ready Reserves for 10 years
- U.S. Army Airborne Ranger
- Airborne School: 1990
- Ranger School: 1991
- Pathfinder School: 1991
- Expert Infantryman: 1992
- U.S. Army Infantry Officer: 1990 – 1995
- Top 1% on Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)
I graduated from West Point in 1990, where I was in the top 5% of my class for physical fitness. You can see the photo above where I proudly wore my “Gold Fitness Star” on my PT shorts representing the Top 5% in physical fitness.
During my time in the U.S. Army, I performed in the top 1% on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), which consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run. I could do over 100 push-ups in 2 minutes, over 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and run the 2 mile run in under 11 minutes.
In the U.S. Army, I was an Infantry Platoon Leader, and also an Airborne Ranger. This photo below was taken on August 13, 1991 – Ranger School graduation day in front of this timeless stone sign on the hallowed grounds at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
I lost a full 40 pounds in Ranger School and graduated at 140 pounds…skin and bones, but happy to be done and a Ranger School graduate! It was one of my proudest days. I was so humbled and grateful to finish the grueling 8-week course and share this day with my parents.
Workout routines and physical fitness were a way of life during this time in my 20’s, and I remained in the top 1% on the APFT during all 5 years in the U.S. Army. We did PT (physical training) six days a week, along with some pretty hardcore infantry training the rest of the time.
Infantry Platoon Leader and PT
Each morning, we did what the Army calls “PT” (physical training) five and sometimes six days a week. It goes without saying that an Infantry platoon in the U.S. Army needs to be extraordinarily fit. So PT was a way of life, and we did every type of exercise and physical training in the Army.
So I was a personal trainer five to six days a week with a platoon of 30-40 rough and tumble Infantry soldiers. We did heavy cardio, calisthenics, interval training, weight lifting (resistance training), inside workouts, outside workouts, gym workouts, bodyweight workouts, physical sports, lots of stretching, and everything in between!
They were some of the funnest, most fulfilling, and informative years of my life. I enjoyed every minute of those PT sessions, even when I was absolutely spent and in pain.
Once a month on Friday morning we did “outlaw training,” which was field exercise and then running a mountain on our base…twice. It was a nearly one mile, uphill stretch of winding mountain road that was affectionately known as “Ball-Buster.” We would run in formation for a mile just to get to the mountain, run it once, circle all the way down to the base, and then run it again. Then run back to the starting point at the barracks.
It was a diverse trek of flat, medium incline, and heavy incline road up the side of a mountain. It was as much a mental challenge as it was a physical challenge. Indeed, good days! At the end of those sessions you felt an incredibly strong camaraderie, because you made it through another outlaw session.
Below is part of that outstanding Infantry platoon on a break in the action.
A Full-time Student of Fitness and Nutrition
Today, I have built on my past experience and am a student of fitness, exercise, and nutrition. I study it daily, and along with our team of writers and contributors, we’re always looking to add value at www.aleanlife.com.
We have a talented team of writers, researchers, and contributors, and our primary goal at A Lean Life is to provide top value in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and wellness. And to keep the process simple, so that it’s sustainable for the long haul.
West Point and the U.S. Army was a great training ground to learn the fundamentals of physical fitness, exercise, nutrition, and resistance training. We lived it and breathed it 24/7, and the Infantry is a hard-core place where peak conditioning is a must and daily physical training is a way of life.
Fitness and Nutrition is a Simple Process, It’s Just Not Easy
Fitness and nutrition really is a simple process. Building a lean, healthy, and muscular frame is simple, but it’s not easy. It just takes some discipline and effort, and following a process that works.
That doesn’t mean it will be perfect every day, and nor should it be! It’s good to have cheat days when you enjoy your favorite foods. If you deny yourself this, then your path is likely not sustainable. We’re all human, and we need a mental break sometimes, in order to stay strong.
But fitness and nutrition are often complicated by the “fitness gurus” out there today. It’s the reason 70%+ of adults are overweight or obese. It becomes so complicated and overwhelming, who wants to deal with it!
So keep it simple, make a few changes, and you’ll be on the right path. And more importantly, a sustainable path for the long haul.
Resistance Training and Cardio Workouts
You only need to do resistance training two days a week to build a lean, muscular physique. Now if you’re looking to become a bodybuilder with huge mass, then yes, it requires more. But if your aim is to get lean and build an attractive, lean, and toned physique, then two resistance training days each week is all you need.
We suggest doing cardio every day. Yes, every day. It provides so much benefit to your daily life, and once you build it into your routine it becomes like brushing your teeth or getting dressed for work. But if you set 3 days a week for cardio, you’ll eventually make excuses to not do it. It’s human nature. But if it’s part of your routine, it becomes embedded in your DNA.
Our Focus at A Lean Life
- Build lean muscle
- Do cardio every day
- Increase your strength
- Control your calories for weight loss and weight management
- Increase your bone strength (really important in middle age)
- Improve your physique (lean, muscular look)
- Bodyweight exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime
- Home workout routines that are convenient and effective
- Improve your health and wellness
Types of Workouts We Focus On
There are many workouts that can be included in your workout regimen. We like to cover the main types of workouts that are a practical fit for most people on a busy schedule:
- Weights at the Gym
- Dumbbell Workouts
- Home Workouts
- Bodyweight Exercise
- Cardio Workouts
In my late 30’s and early 40’s I started to sustain pretty frequent injuries in the gym. It’s just part of easing into middle age. So I had to adjust my process to avoid these workout injuries. And it’s also pretty simple, and it comes down to proper warm-up and dynamic stretching prior to lifting weights. If you do this properly, you’re unlikely to get injured.
Stretching and proper warm-up are paramount, and I will walk you through this process on each page of this site where relevant.
I wish you the best of luck that you will achieve the fitness, nutrition, and wellness goals that make you happy, and also build a lean, muscular, toned, and healthy body that will improve the wellness of each and every day.
Take Care, and God Bless!