The KISS Approach to Great Bodybuilding Results
“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
What was the father of Relativity saying? Be it math, science, nutrition, or life, Keep It Simple Stupid wherever possible, but don’t simplify it to the point where it’s no longer effective or true. In my own writings, be it articles or books/e-books, I make every attempt to keep the information and message as simple as possible. However, I often see popular books and diets that are in fact too simple. They don’t want to confuse people, so they simplify things to the point that their advice is no longer correct and has little value to the reader – thus, Einstein’s warning. Oversimplified statements like “carbs are bad” or “fat is bad” or “do weight lifting for big muscles and aerobics to burn fat” are among the gems we all see. Problem is, those statements are dead wrong! A line between simple and too simple must be drawn.
OK, Back to the KISS approach… It’s not possible for me to go through every example of how to take a KISS approach to your training, nutrition, or supplement intake, but I will attempt a general discussion of each.
KISS and training:
One of the most common mistakes I see in this area is what I like to call the “I have tried everything and nothing works” syndrome. My response is always “have you tried sticking to one program long enough for it to actually have any effect?” The answer is usually a guilty sheepish facial expression. Let me be honest with you: even an average uncomplicated program you are consistent with is far more effective then any high-tech, super-advanced program you fail to be consistent with.
One simple program you follow consistently for a year is always better then the five high tech programs you tried in 6 months where none of them were followed long enough to have a positive outcome. Simple programs such as: weight training Monday, Wed, Fri, and aerobics, Tue, Thurs, and Sat, with Sunday off, whilst varying your exercises tend to work well for the majority of people.
Are there better programs out there? Of course, but the vast majority of people follow routines that are overly complicated, take too bloody long, and are simply unneeded.
I also see a dependence on less productive movements in the gym over more productive choices. I see people doing reverse Romanian lunges while the squat rack gathers dust in the corner. Was that you I saw the other day?
KISS and Bodybuilding Supplements:
You should take them if you are serious about weightlifting. Let me qualify that statement: does a person need any supplementation to achieve the basic goal of either adding muscle or losing fat? Can they help the process? Can supplementation potentially speed up the process? Can supplements potentially offset some of the negatives? Can supplements help optimize the effects of exercise and diet?
The answer is YES in all cases. The problem, however, is that I see far too many people under the impression that the next wiz bang “cutting edge” supplement is going to make some huge difference to their appearance while their diet and workout are put on the back burner or set low on the priority list. They are constantly looking for that one supplement that’s going to make all the difference while they ignore their nutrition and training! I see it all the time and frankly, it’s frustrating.
Remember, KISS. Focus on your training, your nutrition, and taking the muscle building supplements correctly. Start off with the basics, like a good multivitamin, a source of essentially fatty acids (EFA’s) and a good protein powder post workout, then add additional bodybuilding supplements depending on your goals, such as creatine when trying to add muscle, or ephedrine and caffeine when focusing on fat loss, and so on. The shotgun approach many people take rarely works, wastes money, and adds complexity (remember our conversation on variables above) where it serves no useful purpose.
I love bodybuilding supplements. I take them every day of my life. I have built my career on them, so I am not some anti-supplement zealot. However, I do speak with people all the time who outline a long list of supplements they are taking (many of which have been shown to be totally worthless) while their diets stink and their training programs are a joke. Don’t be one of these people! Don’t think for a second there is any one supplement out there that will make or break your success. Realize that bodybuilding supplements are exactly that; supplemental to a good diet and intelligent exercise program.
KISS and nutrition:
Finally, we make it to nutrition. Nutrition is a potentially complex topic, and just as importantly, it’s a highly emotional topic for many. No place do I find such clear examples of people adding complexity where it’s not required. Again, there is a small segment of people that will benefit from – and require – advanced nutritional approaches, such as pre-contest bodybuilders, pre-race marathon runners, or even the average person seeking to get to very low bodyfat levels.
Does the average person who needs to get into better shape and lose perhaps 20 – 30 lbs. (or more) need to follow advanced nutrition concepts? Of course not! Can the average person benefit from techniques more advanced dieters (e.g., bodybuilders, fitness competitors, etc.) might employ, such as cyclic ketogenic diets, re-feed days, carb cycling, and other approaches? Of course! Do they require such strategies to drop some fat and get into shape? No, no they don’t. That’s why I tend to offer well thought out, healthy, and easy to follow approaches to nutrition in my e-books and offer more advanced approaches to people who want to take it to another level.
Simplicity + consistency = success
The above is what I consider the basics of the KISS approach to nutrition, supplements, and training. You will have to fill in some of the blanks as it applies to you specifically. If you are making steady predictable progress, great, stick to it. If however you are not making progress in your goals to add muscle and or lose fat, or some other goal, then you may need to sit down and seriously rethink your approach to the problem.
To Your Success…
To get other helpful bodybuilding workout tips, visit the Stacklabs.com blog. To learn more about bodybuilding supplements, visit www.stacklabs.com
Are you convinced the KISS approach works?