Simplify Your Workouts! It’s not complicated! The latest AT&T Ad campaign hits my funny bone as the little kids sitting at the table show the grownups that things don’t have to be so complex. And, their slogan and message bring up a good point that you can apply to healthy living (and your smartphone): “It’s not complicated.”
I love these ads so much because after all, that’s my mantra when it comes to getting people eating well and moving: “It’s not complicated.” It calls for commitment and sometimes hard work. But complicated? No, it doesn’t have to be!
Just eat a little healthier; move a little more; and you will improve performance. The problem is, it’s easy to make things more difficult and elaborate than they need to be. Perhaps you remember the early days of step classes. When I first started teaching step, there were five basic choreography moves everyone was doing.
Then step patterns got really crazy! People were going “over the top” and “boomeranging” over their steps. I sometimes practiced for hours just to teach one really elaborate choreographed class – that’s how complicated it was.
Then people realized something: They didn’t want – or couldn’t do – all that complex stuff. Now step classes are back to basics again!
1. Use your body weight. Squats and lunges. They’re great for getting your heart pumping and strengthening your lower body. Simple. But go to any gym, and you’ll see people doing really complicated variations on these two otherwise simple moves. Why? Well, advanced exercisers might need it and want it. And that’s fine.
2. Keep it simple. If you’re struggling just to do an exercise the right way without all the “fancy,” then simpler is better. And if the basic feels too complicated, make it even more basic!
3. Modify. I always say there’s no shame in modifying, only quitting. And, honestly, quitting is complicated because now you have to add “get in shape” back on your to-do list! When you modify exercise so it feels manageable, you cut the “complicated” out of the exercise equation. That’s why you start with just a lunge, for example. Nothing more.
4. Good form trumps everything. Learn great lunging form first. Basic technique trumps everything else because it lays the foundation for working your way up from there. Oh, and it saves your knees, back, hips, and prevents injury.
Step back and take a look at the workouts you’re doing now. If they feel like a burden and not a welcome part of your day, perhaps re-evaluate how you could make them less complicated.
In other words, there’s no need to “tape a cheetah to your back” to achieve the results you want. Don’t get that last line? You gotta see all of those brilliant AT&T commercials!