Is the secret to losing weight and getting fit this simple?

Is the Secret to Losing Weight and Getting Fit this Simple?

Is the secret to losing weight and getting fit this simple?Do we overthink fitness?

Probably. (I’m sure I do, I overthink everything.)

But is it possible we don’t need P90X, pricey personal trainers or tricky sometimes-dangerous weights routines to get fit and lose weight?

Probably. (Hey, what do I look like an exercise scientist?)

An article in the New York Times has me thinking about it, though. (Ironic, no?) Fitness Crazed shares the story of the article’s author, Daniel Duane, and how he read every study and book under the sun about diet and exercise (sound familiar?), tried them and his body never changed (sound familiar?).

Then a trainer recommended a book to Duane. The book included a super simple strength training routine, which Duane thought looked like an over-simplified joke, but followed for a year anyway.

Guess what? It worked. Duane’s body responded and he got stronger. So what was the secret to his transformation?

It was something that most runners will be familiar with: progressive overload.

Duane writes in the article: “So if your own exercise routine hasn’t brought the changes you’d like, and if you share my vulnerability to anything that sounds like science, remember: If you pay too much attention to stories about exercise research, you’ll stay bewildered; but if you trust the practical knowledge of established athletic cultures, and keep your eye on the progressive overload principle, you will reach a state of clarity.”

So, what was the book Duane followed? “Starting Strength” by Mark Rippetoe, a Texas gym owner. I’d never heard of Mark Rippetoe.

Until today when I heard of him twice in six hours.

Yesterday, I posted an article about CrossFit on my Mom vs. Marathon Facebook page, saying “Here’s why I didn’t use my CrossFit Groupon.” A commenter with an exercise science degree shared some more information about the exercises in that article, and later responded to concerns about getting hurt doing CrossFit.

Early this morning, he suggested some simple strength exercises (one which I already do—yay me!—jumping split squats, which leave me sore every time, try it, it’s great for runners!), and a book called…wait for it… “Starting Strength” by Mark Rippetoe.

Of course, then I saw the NYT article a few hours later.

It was a sign.

Go read the NYT article. If you are serious about being a stronger, better runner, triathlete…or any kind of athlete, you need to read it. It’s not that long (it’ll take you about 5 minutes) and it has some good information regarding the media and fitness studies, and why progressive overload might be the super simple answer to getting fit.

Why are you still here? Go!

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