Get leaner and stronger with the basics

People make getting leaner or stronger waaaaayyyyy too complicated.  It’s really not a difficult thing to figure out.  A huge part of the problem is that we are bombarded with information about fitness.  You can’t even get through the check out line at a grocery store without seeing “Flat Abs in 5 Days!” or “Lose 10 Pounds in Two Weeks!”  It’s seriously a bit ridiculous.  Everyone who calls themselves a trainer or fitness expert feels that they have to have something cutting edge for their clients.  After all, everything has to be new and flashy and really crazy looking to be effective right?

I look through fitness magazines periodically.  I’m usually not looking for much that’s worth while, but I find them frustrating infuriating entertaining.  They are usually filled with exercises that have you standing on one leg with every other toe touching the ground and doing push ups against the sky all while flexing your butt in time to “Don’t Stop Believing” (no faster….no slower).  And they usually have names like “Flying Monkey with a Half Moon Twist” or “Super Cruncher Awesome-Abs Blaster Dynomite!” (That may be a bit of an exaggeration.)

The point I’m trying to make is this: You don’t need this kind of crap.  In fact, I would say that trainers who feel the need to do this have ZERO confidence in their abilities to train someone effectively and ZERO ability to get results with any of their clients.  Flashy and complicated seems like it’s better.  Trainers know this and use it to keep themselves interesting to their clients.

“He must be a good trainer, he’s having her doing a Flying Monkey with a Half Moon Twist!”

What you really need is *cue drum roll*…

……the basics.

Just the basics.

Here’s the master list:

-Horizontal Pushing (push ups, bench press variations)

-Horizontal Pulling (rows)

-Vertical Pushing (overhead presses)

-Vertical Pulling (pull ups, and pulldowns)

-Hip Dominate (deadlifts, hip thrusts, glute bridges)

-Quad Dominate (squats, lunges)

-Ab Stabilization (Pallof presses, planks and all their variations)

These are the basics, and they are all you will ever need.  There are endless variations within each of these categories.  Way more than enough to keep you from getting bored.  (Which by the way is a whole other issue.  Seriously, if you’re getting so bored with a program that you need to do something different every other week, you need to address your priorities.)

Don’t over think this.  Don’t think you’re so advanced that you need to be doing bizarre movements that work your “back/core/legs/butt/chest/shoulders” all at once.  (If you’ve ever opened a fitness magazine geared towards women, you know what I’m talking about.)

A client of mine sent me this picture mail the other day:

These abs were built with nothing but the basics.

Seriously, they are all you will ever need.

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One thought on “Get leaner and stronger with the basics

  1. Pingback: Gray Fitness Gets An Overhaul « Michael Gray

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