“The simpler – the better”. It is one of my mottos. The simpler – the more chances that you won’t screw up in something. This principle has never failed me in whatever area of life, and especially in training and nutrition. Many people have that OCD thing. They are too obsessed with perfect amount of training intensity, frequency and volume, perfect exercise selection, perfect amount of calories, perfect macronutrients, perfect amount of sleep (of course, in perfect sleep waves) etc. Funny thing that there are no things in life that are perfect. You can be very close to perfect but never perfect. And that’s the beauty of life. You will always have room for improvement. No matter how strong you are you will always have things to do to become stronger. No matter how good your Handstand, for example, or Planche you will always find little adjustments to make them better. You got the idea. But what about simplicity?
What’s the Power of Simplicity?
What was all that perfection talk about? It was about people and their inability to see what matters and what not. I don’t mean to shatter your tiny reality but on beginner and intermediate stages (where most of you are) you will gain strength even with not perfect program. You will build muscle even with not perfect exercise selection. You will lose fat even with not perfect diet. Be simpler. Concentrate on basics. What do you think will be more effective: if you get stronger just in Planche Push-Ups or if you will attempt to get stronger in Planche Push-Ups along with Bench Press, Weighted Dips, Regular Push-Ups, Dumbbell Flies and Incline Bench Press all at once to “hit your pecs from every angle”? Obviously, you’ll have more chances for success if you concentrate on couple of things and get really good at them than if you pick a lot of things and be another mediocrity. People always ask me questions they really shouldn’t be asking at their level. What is better squats or deadlifts? Can I gain muscle with calisthenics? What is better: 3 sets of 6 or 4 sets of 6? Will close-grip bench press build middle chest? Should I concentrate on my lower chest more? What is the best exercise for rear delts? I can go on and on. These are wrong questions. Concentrate on basics, get stronger and keep it simple. That’s how you’ll see results.
The same goes for diet. You can wake up at night to get your protein shake and don’t skip any bird meal every 2-3 hours while keeping the most precise macronutrient ratio in the world. Or you can fuck that and use intermittent fasting, eat like a king couple of times per day, follow calories and macros roughly, get lean, be awesome and enjoy your life. And even with such simple diet approach like intermittent fasting people get too obsessed (credit padilla). When to do eating window? Should I do 4- or 8-hour eating window? Should I do complete fasting or I can eat in very small amounts? I can easily give 10 more stupid questions about intermittent fasting but I won’t. Keep it simple. It was meant to make your diet easier not harder.
My point is that you don’t need overly sophisticated training and diet plan to get results. You need just rough reasonable plan and burning desire to succeed. Of course, when you get to advanced levels you’ll need complexity. But by that time you should already know what works for you and keep on doing it. And a special note on bodyweight exercise: don’t confuse simplicity of program and ease of exercise. In calisthenics to get stronger you will need to progress to more complex exercises. For example, when you are able to perform free-standing handstand push-ups you can (and should) progress to 90 degree handstand push-ups. You got the idea. That is it. Thanks for reading and share with your brothers and sisters in strength. Feel free to comment and contact me if you need help.