There is a lot to be said for simplicity in exercise programming. The fitness industry pushes all types of overly complicated workouts and exercise plans – it seems somehow we all feel like the key to fitness must be complicated, expensive, or come in a pill.
The truth is, the answer is just simple, consistent, hard work. AND it doesn’t cost a damn thing. Success in all areas of fitness is actually simple. Maybe not easy, but it is simple. Eat less. Move more. Be consistent. Here’s a “move more” example:
You want to improve your abs, but you don’t know where to start. Surfing the internet gives you a million ideas, all with different exercises, rep ranges and theories. Or maybe you decide to go to the bookstore and find a book on abs, which might be the thickness of a textbook, full of anatomy charts and hundreds of different abdominal exercises. But the answer doesn’t really doesn’t have to be so complicated. Not only does it not have to be complicated, it shouldn’t be. The simpler the prescription, the easier it will be to implement and be consistent with.
If you’re going to consistently keep doing something, it needs to be simple enough that you can actually do it, and repeat it, consistently, over a long period of time.
Here’s a simple workout prescription for abs – do this three times a week:
- 3 sets of planks
- 3 sets of v-ups
- 3 sets of Russian twists
That’s it. In six months get back to me and tell me how amazed you are with your results.
Too easy? Just do a bit more every time. Longer duration planks. More reps or sets on the v-ups and twists. Build up slowly but always try for a just a little bit more.
I got this idea specifically from Runner’s World and Mike Rutt, an 800m runner who made the Olympic trials, who did this exact routine for 5 years. Unfortunately the video file type is not supported by WordPress, but this link will get you there until I figure out a workaround:
Want to lose weight? Run. Want to get in shape? Run. It actually works for everyone. I know, I know, maybe you can’t run, but if you set “being able to run” as your goal, and work your butt off to get to that point, you will definitely be more fit than you are now. And if you can’t run, that is probably something you should be working on. Is your knee busted up? Let’s work on fixing that. Foot issues? Ankles? Hips? Arthritis? Obese? It doesn’t matter. Whatever is holding you back, that’s what we need to work on. If you can walk, we can start there. Can’t walk? Well, then we have to work on that first!