“KISS” for fitness

Don’t sweat the small stuff – just START EXERCISING


This autumn has seen a cluster of new entrants to the gym where I am a Master Trainer. Bright-eyed and eager, they turn-up determined to succeed, ready to hone themselves to athletic perfection, but this is where problems can begin if they decide not to KISS their way to fitness.

Beware the pitfalls of over-complication

Starting out on a fitness journey my rule is: DON’T STRESS. Yet this is precisely what many people do, particularly when it comes to obsessing over small variables they believe to be important. To give some examples:

  • Is it best to eat carbs pre or post workout?
  • Should I have a protein shake after my workout, because if I don’t I won’t maximise my anabolic window?
  • Should I do cardio before or after my weights?
  • Will weightlifting make me bulky?

The final point is a consistent worry amongst women (don’t worry, it won’t) however the overarching issue is that each of these variables are very much on the margin. They are certainly not something to obsess over.

Don’t let ‘perfection’ be the enemy of just getting stuck in

Every technicality does not need to be addressed or perfectly planned out to achieve a good beginning to a training regime. Over-complication is unnecessary and more likely a hindrance. Instead focus upon the fundamentals.

KISS your way to fitness

KISS is the acronym for ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’, the principle that things work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. The foundation of any training programme will not depend upon marginal factors, but upon some simple fundamental training rules:

  • consistency
  • hard work
  • patience
  • time

Embrace these rules and everything else will follow.

So, don’t overestimate the importance of marginal variables, or worry about impressing the PT or indeed deflecting from the really hard work necessary to achieve fitness goals. Just embrace the opportunity and take one step at a time. Johan Cruyff put it best when talking about soccer: ‘Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.’

Once you are able to perform the simple tasks correctly for a sustainable period of time, and they become part of your routine, then you can consider adopting more sophisticated or technical practices. In the meantime, don’t forget to enjoy the journey!


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     About the author

Alex is a registered Master Trainer and Nutritional Advisor with Level 4 qualifications in obesity and diabetes. He is also a strength specialist and a Ni Dan in Shotokan Karate.

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