There is no magic recipe for getting stronger, running faster, jumping higher, or losing weight.
There is no such thing as the “best exercise for X,” or “perfect stretch for Y.”
THERE IS NO QUICK OR EASY TRICK TO ATTAINING YOUR FITNESS GOALS.
The fitness and nutrition industry is chocked full of information that often advertises quick fixes and overcomplicated answers to help people lose weight, build muscle, get stronger and run faster by yesterday. Often, multiple people have different opinions and many try and make mountains out of molehills by emphasizing the minutiae. The eventual information overload leads us to believe that exercise is way more complicated than it actually is.
Another issue is that people see professional athletes or Instagram stars performing particular workouts or exercises and they have to do the same. So they attempt to execute incredibly complex workout regimes in an attempt to be like the pros.
The issue with doing these programs is that they lead to increased likelihood of drop out. Some people may succeed and be able to adapt or enjoy these grueling workouts. Most people, however, will end up dumping their fitness regime in the trash and catching up on the latest season of Black Mirror.
When I sit down and write a program, I take into consideration things like the amount of load someone can handle safely, the body positions they have good control over, the total volume/intensity in a day or week of training, and specific warm-ups that help prepare the body for certain exercises. I also make sure to relate the program to the client’s assessment findings, goals, and personal preferences. All of these things are good fun and super interesting FOR ME as a fitness professional, but remember that knowing this stuff is my job.
All those things are nifty tools that I use to give my clients the best possible training experience, but for someone just looking to lose a few pounds, get fitter and live a more full life, without making their brain explode, that level of complexity is not really needed. This is where the K.I.S.S. principle comes in handy! The K.I.S.S. principle is one that is taught to all trainers in their education. When in doubt, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Complexity kills execution! The more complicated the approach, the less likely you will execute.
There are a couple of factors that are equally as (if not more) important when engaging in a fitness program: your ability to maintain CONSISTENCY and EFFORT with your fitness program.
There are some weeks where it feels like everything goes wrong and you can’t make it to the gym. That’s all right, just go for a walk/run/bike/yoga/hike, or engage in a friendly game of dodgeball instead. Find a fitness program and/or activity that you like outside of the gym to stay active. Just maintain the consistency of your exercise/fitness schedule.
Some weeks are harder than others, no doubt. During those weeks where things are feeling like a drag, instead of going by weight on the bar, try and go by feel. This might mean that you do less repetitions or a lower weight. It might mean that you go for a shorter or slower run. Just maintain the effort of your exercise.
In order to achieve your goals, focus on the basics using the K.I.S.S. principle. Do your squats, do your carries, do your deadlifts, push some stuff, pull some stuff, get in some cardio and when in doubt, do some more deadlifts. Regardless of what you do, it always comes back to consistency and effort – if you have those two things, you WILL be successful!
Kieryn Marcellus, BSc. Kinesiology, CSEP-CPT