If you are an individual who embarked on their journey to a stronger and healthier self I (dare to) highly doubt you really knew anything about training or nutrition at all. Do not worry, neither did I. We’ve all been there doing tons of random things and routines following the most ridiculous diets and so on in hopes of getting closer to the aforementioned state. Needless to say one ended up confused, miserable and sometimes less motivated.
What was and still is the issue here? Of course, we could blame anyone we asked for advice, however that would be hypocritical and it surely wouldn’t lead us to the source.
Having spent a good chunk of time on research and facing the same problems, to my delight Martin Berkhan summed it up quite well:
’The internet provides a rich soil for fuckarounditis to grow and takes hold of the unsuspecting observer. Too much information, shit, clutter, woo-woo, noise, bullshit, loony toon theories, too many quacks, morons and people with good intentions giving you bad advice and uninformed answers. Ah yes, the information age.’
If one was to mention the victims, there wouldn’t be anyone left out. Surprisingly (or maybe not) every group of people falls into this trap regardless of their job, social status, academic degree or any other indication of intelligence/experience.
Therefore you will see lawyers or doctors applying the most irrational priciples to their training regimen neglecting basic rules of physics or biomechanics. In other words, common sense is commonly (pun intended) left at the door when entering the gym.
Ok so what’s the plan? Cut off all ’wires’of this ever growing machinery and disable access to any information? I admit itsounds anything but rational. I mean…how are you going to post your new crossfit routine on all your social networksanyway? There has to be another way.
Before going into what shall be done I’d like to start with what should be avoided at all costs. First off, complexity is not bad. It is everywhere, essential and unavoidable. However often times unproven claims unnecessarily create some sort of complexity, which is nothing but detrimental to the enthusiastic fitness newbie (without him/her being aware of that). There are two disadvantages, that come to mind.
The first is confusion, that one experiences being surrounded by endless and false information.
Confusion causes some sort of paralysis. The individual feels helpless and does not know where and how to start. This results in literally nothing, no action will be taken.
The second is actually applying the various principles and techniques without a proper foundation. Mediocrity as a result of that shows itself when looking at results. Motivation is most likely to decrease due to dissatisfaction.
In simplicity there is beauty
Let’s compare two individuals. We’ll call them guy A and guy B. A has purchased a well structured program, that is based on current studies and scientifically proven claims. A then precedes following the program for 2 weeks before taking a break. After 2 weeks he resumes his training yet stops again after just a few weeks.
B follows a training program he created himself after a couple of chats with the bros in the gym and at work. He also adds some arm/calf blaster routines from the newest bodybulding magazine, to which he is subscribed. He works out consistently. He may do a ridiculous amount of exercises/sets/reps, but more importantly, he remains consistent. Who will experience better results? The question is so rhetorical and the answer even more obvious.
The first step is to detach oneself from any redundance and actually do the first step. B may be wasting his time, but surely not as much as A. Why? Because he has taken action.
That is something many overlook. Before worrying too much about details, get f*cking started, you’ll have plenty of time to get into details later.
The second step is to stick to basic principles such as basic compound exercises and progressive overload. Needless to say this is applicable in other aspects, too. You can have the nicest suite, but it will be nothing if it does not fit you. You can combine a plain white shirt with a greater variety of pants, belts, shoes than you could with a shirt filled with logos and playful printings. Simplicity is a solid foundation for further experimentation, because there is always something, one can go back to, that is known to work or look good.
Many refer to this as common sense, but even more seem to ignore it.