Making "the Fitness Thing" Really Simple

By Phil Kaplan

I'm often asked for a step by step guide to helping someone get fit, and the request usually wants it all in one neat little email. I really wish it were that simple. My programs are actually step by step guides, but they're not quick little tidbits I can click and send. My Best You've Ever Been book is near 400 pages, and my TRANSFORM! program includes a book that takes you 17 weeks to work your way through plus 14 hours of audio and video! There's a lot you have to know if you want to master this fitness thing.

It's also important to note that one of the flaws with "one size fits all" diet programs or exercise regimens is . . . we're dealing with individuals with individual schedules, food preferences, lifestyles, metabolisms, travel schedules, habits, etc. I've learned it's most effective to share concepts that work across the board and empower people so they can make their own decisions with the confidence that they understand how to get to the desired results. That's why, more than anything else, my programs empower people.

Do you need to buy my program to get a result? Of course not. This site has a wealth of information that can help anyone zero in on the path to positive physical change. Just don't expect a read through of a few pages to equal the power of a complete program. I'll use this page to serve as a guide, to help you acquire vital information from the site. You'll find topics listed at the Site Menu, in the Updates (the bottom of each Update has a list of previous topics), and in the audio recordings of my live radio shows.

In order to get people started in the right direction, I'll lay out a few fundamentals and a few links that may offer some tips and examples for integrating these fundamentals into your life.

The key to getting any positive physical result is a concept I've called Synergy. It's the combination of three synergistic elements, Eating Right, Incorporating Moderate Aerobic Exercise, and a Maintaining a Concern For Muscle. Let's look at them one at a time.

1. Eating Right - you want to try to eat supportive meals frequently throughout the day, ideally every 3 - 3 1/2 hours. Every meal would have visually equal servings of a lean protein, a starchy carbohydrate, and a fibrous carbohydrate. This is a concept I've termed Supportive Nutrition.

2. Moderate Aerobic Exercise - you want to perform some sort of aerobic exercise, which can be biking, walking, jogging, rope jumping, stairclimbing, roller blading, or anything you can think of that might elevate your heart rate moderately for a period of time (I know what you're thinking . . . and yes, I even have an article at the site about that).

3. Resistance Exercise - you want to integrate resistance exercise. You can find the basic resistance movements right here at the site.

OK, now, in answer to many of your questions:

What can you buy at the Supermarket?

Stick to the perimeter of the store.

Buy lean proteins in the meat, dairy, and seafood departments. Consider flank steak, chicken breast, turkey breast, ground turkey breast, eggs, egg whites (in containers), fat free cottage cheese, fat free plain yogurt.

Buy starchy carbs and fibrous carbs in the produce department. Fibrous carbs include all of those green veggies as well as cauliflower, carrots, red cabbage, onions, and mushrooms. Starches include potatoes, tomatoes, corn, and peas. Then you can sneak over to the rice aisle and pick up some brown rice, and next, over to the cereal aisle and grab some oatmeal.

Finally, after picking up some bottled water, as you want to drink .55 ounces of water for every pound of bodyweight (82 ounces for a 150 pound individual), for convenience, head over to the frozen foods and pick up some frozen hash brown potatoes (0 fat), frozen shrimp, and frozen mixed veggies.

After leaving the supermarket, it's probably a good idea to head over to the health food store and pick up some protein powder or some meal replacement formulas (or, of course you can order my EAT! formula) just to make sure supportive nutrients are always accessible.

What can you eat for breakfast?

Consider an egg white omelet with green peppers and tomatoes, or if time is an issue, maybe some oatmeal with a protein shake for starters.

For ideas for other supportive meals, check out the articles, "I Know What I Should Eat, But" and "When Supportive Eating Gets Boring."

What might a good workout routine be?

Within 30 minutes of the time you rise from bed, after a brief warm up consisting of a brisk 5 minute walk, perform the following exercises with dumbbells on alternate days (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday):

  • Squats
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Lying Chest Press (or Pushups)
  • Overhead Shoulder Press
  • Bicep Curls

Use a weight that allows you 10 repetitions (although you should feel challenged for reps 8, 9, and 10) and perform 2 sets of each movement with a 60-90 second rest period between sets.

On the non-weight training days (i.e. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) perform 15-20 minutes at a moderate intensity (you should be able to carry on a conversation, but if you can sing you're not working hard enough) of your favorite aerobic exercise (or if you don't have a favorite, opt for the one you hate the least).

Is this enough to get you into the next Olympic games? Probably not, but is it enough to get someone started in the right direction? Absolutely.

What do you have to buy?

Not a whole lot. You can read my article, "What Do You Need," or you can actually develop your body any way you want to investing in nothing more than a stability ball, some elastic tubing, and a good pair of walking shoes. (The stability ball and tubing are available at the Online Superstore) The dumbbell routine above can be effectively modified as follows:

Squats - keeping the stability ball between your back and a wall

Cable Row - Find something to attach the tubing to and stand holding the handles . . . and pull

Pushups - c'mon, you know how to do these, don't you?

Shoulder Press - stepping firmly on the center of the tubing, bring the handles up to your shoulders and push upward

Bicep Curls - stepping firmly on the center of the tubing, with a wider stance than you use on the Shoulder Press to increase the resistance, perform biceps curls by bending at the elbows

Oh, yeah, and you probably need something to wear

You can spend lots and lots of money on expensive exercise clothes or . . .

Men's Brands:

Women's Brands:


And then, of course, if you're ready to take the next step . . . . consider any one of my programs.


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