A Superior Alternative to Pomodoro Timers You’ve Likely Not Seen Before

And superior alternatives to “3 sets of 8–12 reps” and “bulking + cutting” — Plus, insights on Faith, Practical Prayer, and Intelligence

Neeramitra Reddy


CC-BY-NC-2.0 Licensed by Kate Bunker on Flickr

Welcome to the 15th edition of the Manximize-360° newsletter — packed with actionable insights on fitness, productivity, and 360° self-growth. Plus, free access to my best articles, book picks, and more.

I first sent this to my 7500+ subscribers a week ago. To get these editions fresh in your inbox, subscribe here.

At A Glance…

  • Story Spotlight: 3 Profoundly Deep Books That Actually Rewired My Mind.
  • Proven Productivity: A Superior + Flexible Alternative To Pomodoro Timers.
  • Excellence Epiphanies: On Intelligence, Faith, and Practical Prayer.
  • Fitness Findings: Superior Alternatives to “3 Sets of 8–12 Reps” and “Bulking + Cutting”.
  • Bonus: A Crucial Book for Lasting + Long-Term Success.

Proven Productivity — The #1 Problem With Pomodoro

25 minutes of work. 5 minutes of break. Repeat.

On paper, Pomodoro sounds genius — and can be a good way to work, study, or research.

But this has a glaring 2-pronged problem:

  • Once/if you get into Flow, you don’t want a break — and the upcoming 5-minute break will only prove a distraction.
  • If you’re distracted while working, you need a break to reset — but that ruins the 25–5 structure.

Common in both is a rigidity problem.

The solution is a flexible version of Pomodoro — with customization options:

  • Download and install the free Sukha app.
  • Create an account and join a group. The Sukha homepage has the instructions.
  • Go to Settings → Session Timer → Break Timers → Set up Work and Break durations.
Screenshot by the author
  • When working, start The Sukha timer — here’s where the magic happens.
  • If you need a break anytime, click on “Take A Break”.
Screenshot by the author
  • If the planned break kicks in but you are in Flow and want to continue working, just click on “End Break”
Screenshot by the author

This flexible Pomodoro style of working has been a game-changer for me…

In some sprints, I work 2–3 hours in a row without breaks. Sometimes, I need breaks within 10–15 mins. But The Sukha handles it all.

P.S. I’m not affiliated with or sponsored by The Sukha — I regularly use and love the app. Hence, I’m recommending the same.

The Momentum browser extension, flexible Pomodoro timer apps, or even a physical stop-watch or alarm clock can work too…

All we want to do is work in a flexible Pomodoro style — how you do it is up to you.

Excellence Epiphanies

3 of my (or borrowed) best pithy (or not) insights on holistic 360° excellence

#1 — The Critical Inversion Worth Embracing

Of late, I’ve been chewing on the epiphanic words of a Vipassana friend of mine:

“You observe the world and cut yourself with your intellect.

Instead, do the opposite…

Observe yourself and dissect the world with your intellect.”

Incredible advice — for all my overthinking intelligent brethren out there.

#2 — The Incredible Power Of Faith

Faith is conviction in a higher power — be it God, the universe, nature, Dharma, or Karma.

“Faith is unseen but felt, faith is strength when we feel we have none, faith is hope when all seems lost.”

— Catherine Pulsifer

The beauty of Faith is — it makes Letting Go(d) easier.

Even the best of us can’t control everything in our (loved ones’) lives. Holding onto control only worsens things:

  • The intense anxiety of future planning and anticipation.
  • The stress of past unpleasant events and/or “bad” happenings.

Develop and strengthen your Faith…

Let Go and Let God.

#3 — The One Prayer I’m Recalling and Repeating Daily

Prayer isn’t just for spiritual or religious folks…

It’s for the uber-practical too — a way of invoking positive intention and relief. It’s a Placebo on steroids.

The Serenity Prayer is perfect for it:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”

As one Tweet put it beautifully:

Fitness Findings

2 non-cliche fitness insights I’ve stumbled upon (or found/recalled) recently.

Finding #1 — A Superior Alternative to 3 Sets of 8–12 Reps

Doing 3 sets of 8–12 reps is likely harming your gains. I wrote about it already.

But I’ve since found an even better alternative. For every exercise…

  • Perform one heavy all-out set of 5–8 reps — with excellent form mind you.
  • Follow it up with a backoff set with a lighter weight for 10–15 reps — after a 1–3 minute rest.

This works incredibly well as — you get to go all-out AND you get volume in with the backoff set. Plus, this covers all rep ranges — while taking much less time.

Try it out and let me know how it goes.

Finding #2 — Forget Bulking & Cutting. Try This Instead.

Bulk for 6–12 months. Cut for 2–3 months. Repeat…

This cliche is a torturous loop that’s neither enjoyable nor effective.

For lasting stable long-term progress (without fluctuations):

  • Lean bulk for 3–5 years — with a 100–150 daily calorie surplus and “mini-cuts” whenever necessary.
  • Cut for 6–8 weeks every 3–5 yearsagain, with a small daily calorie deficit (~250–400).
  • After 2–3 cycles of the above 2, just maintain. You’d have achieved your dream physique by then.

If you’re overweight or “skinny-fat”, lose the fat (sustainably) first — The Ultimate No-BS Fat-Loss Bundle covers the same (+ advanced science-based tricks).

Click Here If You’re Interested In Knowing More About The Ultimate No-BS Fat-Loss Bundle

Yes, this will be “slower” — but far more enjoyable and you’ll never feel like you’re dieting or torturing yourself.

The best part?

You get to stay in peak lean shape year-round — as I have for 3+ years now.

Photos of the author across the years

Bonus — A Crucial Book For Lasting Success

Ego Is The Enemy.

The sentence was running in my head — ever since my spiritual “awakening” of sorts (thanks to Vipassana).

And I finally got around to grabbing the book.

Photo by the author

In a world where everyone is preaching “Shoot for The Stars!”, and “You’re Meant for Great Things!”…

It’s easy to develop a massive Ego — either during/after some “success” — and end up spiraling (back) down.

The key to sustaining success is ditching the Ego — and that’s where this book comes in.

I’m still part-way into it but I’m already loving it — hope you do too.

3 More Ways I Can Serve and Be of Value to You

Phew! This is by far Manximize’s most value-packed edition — and I loved putting it together. Hope you loved reading it.

Here are 3 more ways I can serve and provide value to you:

  • My Self-Proven 1-On-1 Coaching/Consultation: From beating procrastination to finding true love to building your dream body, I can help with everything I’ve already achieved — minus the trial, error, and frustration.
  • Free Guidance On Twitter/𝕏: Questions, doubts, problems, challenges — whatever it is, DM me on Twitter. I’ll be happy to help you out.

Godspeed and Cheers!,
Neeramitra Reddy

Like What You Just Read? Join 7500+ Others Receiving Manximize-360° on the 1st and 15th of Every Month.



Neeramitra Reddy

Soulful Self-Development ✦ 9M+ Total Views ✦ (Un)Learning... ✦ For holistic 360° self-improvement, head over to → manximize.com ✦ 📧 neeramitra.writes@gmail.com