We’re almost half-way through the year, and it’s about this time or even sooner that the fitness resolutions people made back in January fall by the wayside–assuming they ever got started at all. There are a handful of reasons people give up exercise in the spring including:
- lack of results
- hitting a plateau
- destined-to-doom plans to exercise outdoors
Some people think that the reason their fitness and weight loss goals failed is that they didn’t have access to the right home equipment or a revolutionary new workout plan. However, complex contraptions and rigorous regimens aren’t necessarily the answer for reaching your weightloss and fitness goals. If that new diet, routine, or home gym in a box motivates you, then you should absolutely sign on. Remember, though, that you actually need to do something with the diets or fitness products you buy. If you don’t make use of them, they’re a waste of money. Before you make that purchase, try doing something simple and basic and making it a permanent part of your lifestyle. If you can do that, then maybe that fun, new piece of equipment can be your reward for hitting a small goal and you can use it as a stepping stone to help you reach the next one.
Benefits of Keeping it Simple
When things get too complicated, that’s when they get dumped by the wayside, and you start looking for the next sure-fire plan. That’s true throughout all areas of life. A study published in the International Journal of Project Management found, among other things, that a complex plan makes managing it difficult enough to derail any undertaking and, the bigger the project, the more problems that are likely to crop up. Sure, the researchers were looking at project management, but the findings apply to fitness goals, too.
Whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 100, whether you aspire to grow your “guns” by 5 inches and sculpt washboard abs to match, creating a complicated plan to do it or telling yourself you need specialized, complex equipment is like pre-programming failure because you’re building in problems. Practically everything in nature gravitates toward the path of least resistance–water, animals, humans …. So, when you’re faced with a piece of equipment that is difficult or inconvenient to use or a convoluted diet that is hard to follow, you’ll choose not to do any of it, and your goals will have to wait until you once again decide it’s time to do something about them.
Basic Workouts That Work
The most basic of workouts are ones that use nothing more than bodyweight for resistance. They’re effective exercises for beginners as well as people who have reached their weightloss and fitness goals and are simply trying to maintain. The great thing about basic exercises is that incorporating basic weight equipment with them takes the intensity up a notch to help those who are more advanced build muscle, lose more weight, or get off a plateau.
Different experts have slightly different ideas about which exercises should be included in everyone’s workout, but there are a few go-to moves that show up on most lists:
- reverse lunge (or split squats)
- pull ups
- kettlebell deadlifts
Shape suggests using kettlebells to add resistance, and those are nice, basic pieces of equipment that don’t have a lot of removable and moving parts. Even using dumbells or a barbell with plates is still simple enough to qualify as “basic.”
For starters, you can do traditional sets and reps of each exercise, and then hop on your bike or go for a run to get some cardio. Alternatively, and in the spirit of keeping it simple, you can perform three of the exercises consecutively for a set amount of time for an intense workout that gives you both cardio and resistance at the same time. For instance, do 4 split squats with your right leg, 4 with your left leg, 4 pushups, and 4 squats (bodyweight or with kettlebells). Go through the sequence as many times as you can for a 3 minute period, then take a 20 to 30-second rest and move on to 4 pull ups, 4 kettlebell deadlifts or 4 burpees, then hold a plank for 30 seconds. Do that sequence as many times as you can for 3 minutes, rest for 20 to 30 seconds and start again. Running through each set of exercises twice will only take about 15 minutes and will provide a vigorous, effective and basic workout.