1 Key to Fitness
What is the #1 thing you can do to achieve a top level
of fitness? Let's first look at some standard responses, and see what's
wrong with them.
- Walk, regularly. Yes, walking is helpful. But it's not going to make you fit. It simply isn't hard enough work.
- Do aerobics. I personally don't "do aerobics," yet I top out the spirometer and can run regular runners into the ground. Hmm. The 1 Key to Fitness provides the same benefits, without the treadmill. Keep reading.
- Stay on a diet. Yes, you should eat properly. But this isn't the same as going on a diet. Diets do not work. Eating right doesn't make you fit; it merely provides the materials for becoming fit. You can't build a house simply by purchasing wood.
- Join a gym. Sorry, this isn't it. Most people at gyms have no clue as to what they are doing, and they are simply wasting their time.
- Work out three days a week. There is no way you can match a three-day workout to reality. There is a recovery cycle for each muscle group, and with a three-day workout you will never be in synch with that cycle. This means you will be consistently wasting your workouts.
- Work out every day. Working out every day, if you have that luxury, does make it easier to accommodate recovery cycles. But simply working out every day, in itself, accomplishes nothing. It does set you up for overtraining. Arnold became a 7-time Mr. Olympia without working out every day.
- Do lots of reps. This is a huge mistake. It's a sure-fire way to torpedo your program. If you want to increase your cortisol, decrease your testosterone, set yourself up for osteoporosis, and have poorly developed muscles, then use this strategy. Otherwise, don't do it.
- Spend at least two hours per workout. Another huge mistake. If what you are doing isn't working, why do more of it? A two-hour workout simply means you have no clue about how to train your muscles to grow.
- Use exercise videos. Oh, puh-lease. Try this experiment. Find four people who use exercise videos. Ask yourself if you want to look like they look. If you want some variety, one of these is OK on occasion. Rare occasion.
- Take steroids. That can help you obtain muscular hypertrophy. But it does nothing for fitness. Unless you have more money than brains, don't go there.
- Eat lots of protein. This is simply an excuse for overeating. Your body needs a certain amount of protein, and no more. Most people do not get enough quality protein, or they eat too much protein at once. If you are a serious athlete, start with about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, per day. Spread your intake over 6 small meals per day.
- Take the supplement du juor. Supplements can really help, which is why we sell them. But most supplements are useless. Go with our recommendations, so you get what you need and don't pay for something that doesn't work.
- Go on this totally insane program my buddy is doing. Oh, yes, there's always an expert in every crowd. Your buddy has discovered the rare secret workout used by Israeli Commandoes or provided by a rogue bodybuilder who has discovered a new way to build muscle after being anally probed by aliens who provided him the answer. Don't join in another person's gullibility.
- Follow the recommendations in Men's Health Magazine. These folks are constantly trotting out the same four or five issue themes--have great abs, lose fat, etc. They usually give bad advice. Sure, someone from MH will read this article and complain. But let's see how those editors look with their shirts off. 'nuff said.
- Follow the recommendations in a muscle magazine that shows a professional body builder on it. These folks have a vested interest in spewing pure bull--it. There is no way a human being does 18 sets of 400-lb bench presses as a warmup. Even adjusting the weights used for your own size, there is just too much being done for the "workout" to be workable. On top of that, what they show for their meals is laughable. They get their results from the needle. They aren't going to tell you that, so they make up some macho workout plan and claim that's what they do. You try it, then conclude you are too hopeless to ever measure up. This helps them maintain their "hero" image to the gullible, but these guys are the real chumps.
- Hire a personal trainer. Most trainers are incompetent. That said, a good trainer is an enormous asset. Unfortunately, most trainees don't want to do the work the trainer wants them to do. If you are willing to commit to do what the trainer tells you and not argue or cheat, then hire a tough trainer who's had results. But don't treat you trainer like a babysitter.
So, if not a single item above is the key fitness, what is? What's the one thing you can do to achieve fitness? It's calledintensity. You have to structure your entire diet and exercise program properly to achieve intensity. Thus, working for intensity is the one thing you can do to make yourself extremely fit.
See our article on intensity. Warning: You have to really want intensity. Real fitness comes only through hard work. There are no shortcuts.