Thursday Q&A: “What’s the BEST way to get in shape?”

The multi-billion dollar question...

January 3, 2019

Thanks for checking out Down with the Fitness, a daily guide to help you improve your health, and your life, in manageable steps!

Today’s #ThursdayQandA is a question I get a lot, especially this time of year: “What’s the BEST way to get in shape?”

Yesterday we discussed the importance of asking yourself why you even want to get in shape in the first place. Without that clear reason, the method won't matter much by the time spring rolls around.

Getting “in shape” (by most definitions) usually involves some combination of nutrition and exercise. Nutrition is super important for affecting weight in one direction or the other. Exercise is super important for keeping your muscles, bones, and joints strong and healthy.

When you’re setting out to improve your nutrition or exercise habits, the BEST way to do that is going to be with manageable steps. If your approach isn’t going to be working for you in 5+ years, it is not the best. Consistency is king. Luckily, consistency also allows you to take your time figuring out this approach.

Experiment with as many things as you want. Just don’t stop until you find something that works for your life and body. No blog, this one included, is going to be able to figure that out for you... Only you will.

I can tell you from experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, that the things most likely to “stick” for you are going to be simple fundamentals. If you’re one of the lucky ones that some complicated, trendy fad works for long-term, I say GOOD! I just also know the odds of that happening (slim), and have helped a lot people develop sustainable skills and habits after they got burnt by one of these snake-oil salespeople and their lofty promises.

There’s a reason I’ve eaten broccoli, a banana, steak, mixed veggies, and rice (even had room for some leftover Christmas candy!) today. It’s the same reason I’ve done push ups, bodyweight squats, and pull ups today. These are the same things I was doing in January 2018. And 2017... And 2016… And... You get it.

I regularly do these things you’ve already heard of, because they work. I love the exercises so much that I've written blogs on push ups and squats (pull ups are tough/require equipment, but I love them and have tips on them coming next week). I also dedicate every #NutritionTipTuesday to food.

Look, I get it. There’s nothing “sexy” about the basics. Fortunately, they are simple enough to do regularly, and they work like a motherf***er. Do them regularly. Get really f***ing good at them. Look for ways to make them enjoyable. Make dumb games out of them. Just do them. It’s your experiment to run.

It's such a worthwhile experiment in my opinion, that I write this blog aimed at helping you run it! I’m not claiming to have all the answers. I’m betting with some patience, consistency, and solid advice, YOU can figure them out yourself. When you do it that way, you’ll know they’re perfectly suited for you. Then you can forget about 2019, cuz they’ll last FOR LIFE!

As always, if you ever have any questions or comments, you're invited to join the Down With The Fitness Facebook Group

Matt Koch