Design a lab at home

Yuzu [7 min read]

Yuzu

A personal newsletter by Miles Fitzgerald on design and other stuff. 

What's this newsletter? 

For you, it's a way to get snippets of interesting ideas and things I'm currently tinkering with. Always short and focused. For me, it's an archive of these thoughts. Hopefully they can inspire fun conversations.

— Oh, and it's called Yuzu because it packs a punch.👊

This week’s Issue


Last year when Covid hit and my gym closed down, I started looking for ways to work out at home (with everyone else in the country). 

I was dealing with a knee injury from running a marathon, and overwhelmed by the amount of programs out there. From Peloton to Instagram fitness, the whole industry is hard to navigate. I tried a few zoom classes but they never did it for me. 

My friend Greg pointed me to coach Gunther who ended up becoming my virtual trainer. He’s been patient and teaching me the fundamentals of maintaining my body for the long run.

Disclaimer: What I’m about to share is based on my experience learning from google and especially from Gunther, who’s guided me to find a system that works for me. Hit me up if you have any questions but also feel free to try different things. Make it your own. 

It’s a lab for your body 

“The modern gym should be considered a human performance lab. The gym/lab is a controlled environment in which you can safely layer skill progression while addressing range-of-motion issues.” - Kelly Starrett

That quote resonated with me. My goal is not to look like Arnold but more to find a training routine that will enable me to do the things I love in life. Avoid injuries and have a good time 🎉. Yet I was following online classes where I wasn’t learning much about movement but simply following an instructor and series I didn’t understand. 

With Gunther's mentorship I’ve been able to start a new journey. One where I have a lab 😅 (my home gym) and a coach helping me try different experiments. I want to share the tools I’ve been using in the process and bust some myths that kept me from starting in the past.

72" inches x 48" 

You don’t need a lot of space - 72" inches x 48" is the size of my mat. It's large enough to do everything I need. You can even start with no mat, and if you have an outdoor space even better. The important part is for you to dedicate a space in your home where every morning you can sync with yourself and find all your gear. That’s it! 

Search and Destroy 

Understand your current limitations - There is no overnight success. I needed to handle my knee injury before anything. So we started working on mobility and strengthening my core via movements. I learned about Search (find the areas around where it hurts) and Destroy (via rolling and mobility). I used my foam roller and my lacrosse ball around my knee and finally found that my knee was hurting because my tibia muscle was so tight. The foam roller and lacrosse ball should be part of your setup.

The 7 Basic Movements 

You don’t need to make it complicated - You don’t need a professional gym to get started. 

What I’ve been focusing on is getting better at these 7 basic movements

  • Hinge

  • Squat

  • Lunge

  • Push

  • Pull

  • Twist

  • Gait/Carry

To improve your push ups, pull ups, squats, and sit ups, you only need a few tools. A pull-up bar or rings (for pulling motion), and a couple kettle bells (to hinge/squat) to help you go deeper in certain movements, and finally some bands to add some resistance down the line. All of this fits in any apartment and can be stored away really easily. You are looking at under $200 investment for your home gym. 

But a lab is not complete unless you can track progress. This white board helps me with my daily workouts and notes. The key is to experiment, measure and learn.

Repeat that flow with consistency, and I’m confident you will find something that works for you. Enjoy 👍

6 Things I’ve Enjoyed


Tesla New Wheel - I enjoyed learning about the redesign of Tesla Model S and that the future of cars is the entertainment system. I also love that they are taking a stab at redesigning the steering wheel. 🚗

A new use case for crypto - A couple weeks back, a new platform launched. Selling digital art using NFT tech. I’m really intrigued to see how this will open a new segment for artists and creators. What is Crypto art? And while we are on the crypto subject check out Celo for mobile payments.You can now send cryptocurrency to anyone simply by using their cell phone number. This will be huge in parts of the world that don’t have the stability of the US dollar and access to high speed internet. 💵

Sleep pod - The importance of temperature for quality sleep has been proven. Too cold or too hot, you ain’t sleeping well! These devices are still expensive but I can see them becoming a must in many homes. Our heating and cooling systems are just not made for quality sleep. 💤

Morning Routine - I was talking to my friend Andreas about last week's topic, and he mentioned having stopped drinking coffee for over a year now and how it’s improved his sleep quality. I’m not ready to remove coffee but I’m going to try this mushroom coffee to see if it makes a difference. ☕️

Breathing Exercises - I added this breathing exercise to my workout this week and it’s been surprising how much energy it provides in such a simple tool and time. Adam Waxman wrote about it more in depth here. And if you want to have fun, check out the man behind the breathing techniques. 🧘‍♂️

Grayscaleyour phone - I got this trick from a great newsletter “Dense Discovery” and actually really enjoyed it. It’s easy to switch ON/OFF. And when your phone is all gray, it gives it such a utilitarian feel. I didn’t feel the need to browse as much. 📲

Photo of the week


So I did a couple things this week. First I downloaded all my data from Instagram. The archive file they send you is a raw file of everything they’ve collected on you. It’s scary…

Second, I deleted my Instagram account. That takes up to 30 days to fully come to action. I can still see public posts via their web app, but it will be interesting to see how my digital consumption evolves in the upcoming months. ✌️

Photo of the week is a way to keep sharing visual content and archive on my website

This week while I was walking on my daily walk around the neighborhood. This Mitsubishi Montero caught my eye. I love the compact feel and that brown/beige color. It reminds me of some of those Japanese Kei 4x4 I loved seeing on our last trip there. I had to see what they were going for and it’s not bad…

And yes, it’s been snowing in New York. The best part of snow in NY (at least for me) is not having to move our car for street cleaning. Here’s something on parking design in New York. I love these types of projects.

That’s it for this week ;) 

Say hi 👋

Anything for mobility or home gyms you've experimented with recently? I would love to hear from you. Hit reply even if it’s just to say hi!

Feel free to fwd this newsletter to friends who might want to slow down and digest content differently. 

Enjoy your week ✌️

Cheers,
Miles