Aha, you have a new "fitness plan," eh? You got the hot new book from the NASM/ AFAA/ ISSA/ NFPT/ AFPA/ NCSF/ Oprah certified celebrity personal fitness trainer? The Super Secret Hot New Five Minute Sexy Body Workout and Hollywood Pineapple Diet? Plus the Bowflex Ab Rocker Nordictrac Cybex Chuck Norris Perfect Pushup machine? You've finally figured out the proper hydration and nutrition and training schedules to optimize your metabolism to Burn Fat While You Sleep? Congratulations on finally Unlocking The Code to Success.
You don't need any of that crap. Fitness: Simple—but not easy.
The reason it is important to point this out is because we are way fucking out of shape, as a nation, and there are millions and millions of people out there who are literally going to die young because they cannot manage to get themselves some semblance of physical fitness, and many of them think physical fitness is somehow a complicated endeavor, and they have no one to show them how to do it, and therefore what's the point? Look here: physical fitness is only one thing, and that is Hardcore. It is certainly not complicated. I mean, this is like, the simplest of all of my skills, simpler even than the one card trick I know where I make your card show up on top of the deck (not telling you the trick but you would seriously kick yourself if you knew.)
This shit is easy okay.
It is very important for everyone out there "on the couch" as it were ("eating the Cheetos" as it were ("sweating to the Oldies" as it were)) to understand that the idea of "getting in shape" is not intellectually hard. It is not complicated. There's not a big trick. You don't need to hire a highly paid expert to show you how to do it. You don't need to buy the one right book or read the one right magazine or wear the correct compression socks and jock strap and head band and also forearm band (what is a forearm band even for, really? Ridiculous. Gee I wonder how ALL PRO RUNNING BACK THE GREAT JIM BROWN did it without a forearm band. Just a ridiculous vanity product) in order to get in shape. Really it is not hard to figure out at all. There are only like one million free resources online that tell you how to do it. You do not need to sign up for expensive "training sessions" with some 23 year-old guido who works at New York Sports Club and is in good shape primarily due to age and genetics so he can stand next to you as you do three sets on the lat pulldown machine. Do not pay money to some jerk to tell you things that I can tell you for free! You want to get into shape? Do this, for example:
Five sets of five reps that are hard: Deadlift
5x5: Bench press
Three sets to failure: Pullups
COUPLE DAYS LATER:
5x5: Overhead press
COUPLE DAYS LATER:
Five sets to failure: Dips
Three sets to failure: Burpees
Jump up on something, then jump down, for a while.
Go for a run sometimes. Don't eat too much crapola. Continue forever.
Amazing, incredible, it's a fitness plan that will get you in shape! Somebody give me a one million dollar self help book contract right this minute please! (I will throw in some wacky obscure food that everyone needs to eat, if that would help, publishers. Seriously contact me. I beg you.) Oh, no, you say. "That's not enough. That's too much. I like to lift heavier with less reps. I like to lift lighter with more reps. I like to lift two days a week. I like to lift six days a week. I like to do a push/ pull split. I like to do an upper body/ lower body split. I like to do a very complicated split which I devised on a graphing calculator. I like to run more. I like to run less. I like to swim instead. I want to add shrugs. I want to add curls. I want to add the 4-way neck machine. I want to add the incline press. I want to add the decline press. I want to woop de doop de doop de doop."
Fine, do it, WHO EVEN GIVES A SHIT ABOUT ANY OF THE THINGS IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH? Workouts are infinitely customizable, so do what you want. The point is that for those people who do not know what the fuck to do, just do that, for example, and you will be in shape, because, as previously emphasized strongly, this is not complicated. Shit. You figure out how to do five or six exercises properly and you can get in shape just fine. You want to be some kind of hot shot? Sure, get a coach and pay them extra to help you do a lot of specialized things. But gee whiz, Christ on a cracker, there are millions and millions of Americans just wasting those gym memberships meekly hopping on and off whatever useless machine is unoccupied just because they don't know what to do in there, all while the Diabeetus Monster draws closer and closer. And there are millions more Americans being soaked for billions of dollars by hustlers who make their living by convincing ignorant and desperate people that they need to buy the SPECIAL SYSTEM that holds the SECRET KEY to fitness or else they might do it wrong.
Fuck those people. If you can walk, jump, and raise your arms above your head, you can get in shape. If you are a poor unhealthy person who can't figure out what workout to do, email me and I will tell you for free, which won't be too hard, because like I said, just now as well as at previous places in this column, figuring out what to do is not hard.
Doing it? Now that is hard. Suckers!
[Image by Jim Cooke, photo via Pavel10003/Shutterstock]