It seems like everywhere you look nowadays someone has come up with the “latest and greatest way to train” and the “latest and greatest diet and nutrition information” that is full of promises that you can get your best body ever.
More often than not, this information is just BS. In fact, many so called “experts” intentionally create diets and or training programs that are very complex because doing so will create the illusion that they are onto something great, and to cover up just how little they truly know about the topic.
So if you are overwhelmed with the surplus of information available about training and nutrition, I suggest this: get back to the basics of training and nutrition to reach your body composition and health goals. It worked 100+ years ago, and it will work today.
Losing weight along with building muscle, getting stronger, and improving your overall health doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming, and stressful. Too many people want the “advanced tips” when they can’t even comply with the most basic ones.
With that said, get back to the basics listed below and you’ll get the results you want.
Strength Training Basics
Regardless of whether your primary goal is to lose fat or build some muscle, these same rules apply to most people.
- Focus on the big lifts – you should spend at least 90% of your training time on the basic exercises: squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, dips, bench presses, overhead presses, rows, and pull-ups. That short list of exercises will get you the results you want. Spend your time on those, and constantly improve your performance, and you will succeed.
- Perform total body workouts or upper/lower splits – forget about the popular bodybuilding splits in all the magazines. You will achieve your goals much faster if you perform total body workouts or upper/lower splits.
- Use different repetition ranges – some people train exclusively with high reps (10-20) because they think it will burn fat and tone their muscles. Along with being completely untrue, you will also miss out on the great training effects when using heavier weights. Don’t be afraid to train heavy (reps of 3-6 reps) as well. Different repetition ranges have different benefits, and therefore you should use them all.
- Focus on improving your performance – this is brutally important if you want to improve your appearance and strength. Each time you go to the gym, try to improve upon your previous performance, whether it’s performing more reps with the same weight, or increasing the weight used. Don’t dismiss this simple, highly effective tip.
- And finally, use proper form – many people perform half rep squats, deadlifts with atrocious form, and cheat horribly on other exercises. Do yourself a favor and take the time to learn how to perform each exercise correctly. Not only will it help you get better results faster, but it will help prevent injuries.
If there is one area that confuses people more than any other, it is nutrition. Every month there is a new diet, one day eggs are good for you, the next day they will kill you. What are you to believe? Who’s telling the truth?
Well, if you want to improve your body composition and your health, just follow this simple tip:
- Eat whole, natural, unprocessed foods. That simple tip can get you the results you want with ease.
Eat foods that you could find in their natural state (or very close to it) in nature. This means fruits, vegetables, legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, unprocessed or minimally processed grains (quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc), and lean meats if you choose to include them.
One more nutrition tip:
- Eat lots of whole fruits and vegetables – fruits and vegetables are good for you, and we’ve all heard it from our mothers as we grew up. Not only are they packed full of vitamins and minerals, but they also contain antioxidants, fiber, and other good-for-you-things that aren’t present in animal based foods.
Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated, so keep it basic and you’ll get results.
So there you have it: get back to the basics and you’ll get results.