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Keeping it simple brings real results

13/03/2010

A regular in the gym I work at came up to me asking for newer, more elaborate exercises, because the ones she is doing now “aren’t working”.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that there is nothing wrong with doing new, funky exercises…but do them for the right reasons.

Back squat on BOSU ball

Before overcomplicating things, get the basics RIGHT

The right reasons to do new, funky exercises is to help keep things interesting and to keep a smile on your face.

The wrong reason is because the basics “aren’t working”.  Because I can almost guarantee that the basics are working!  You just got to make sure you are doing the basics properly.

And sure enough, when I checked over the routine my regular in the gym was doing, she had been skipping over the tried, trusted and effective basics to spend more time doing weird and wonderful stuff.

But because she had neglected the basics, she simply didn’t have the physical capability to do the more complex stuff properly.

She had fallen foul of one of the most common problems…she was doing 3 hours of crap instead of 1 hour of quality.

“Doing more is not better…doing better is better.

And this goes for most things in life.

Pompous old z-list movie actor:  “How dare you speak to me like that!  I’ve made 75 films!  What have you done?”

Young, talented, film director:  “I’ve made 2 films…Good ones!”

If you want to improve your diet, forget the little details like:

  • Pills, potions and supplements
  • Specially marketed “Meal Replacement Health Bars”
  • Swapping your normal chocolate bar to one that’s “Low Fat”

Instead, sort out the basics like:

  • Cutting out junk processed food
  • Eating at least 5 portions of fruit and veg each and every day of the week.

If you want to improve your fitness, forget the details like:

  • Is this machine better than that machine
  • Should my heart rate be 70% or 75% of maximum

Instead, make sure you can handle being out of breath for at least 30 continuous minutes.

If you want to get bigger and stronger, forget the details like:

  • Should my wrists be twisted this way or that way when I’m doing bicep curls
  • Should I be using the pink or black dumbbells to do my tricep kickbacks

Instead, make sure:

  • Your arms and legs are strong enough to hold and move your own bodyweight in many positions

Spend 90% of your time learning and perfecting the basics and then you will be able to follow the advice of one of the best coaches I have ever trained under…

“Do less, score more.”

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