That plan about getting started or losing weight

Most of my friends hit the gym or run or do CrossFit to stay healthy and in shape. And then there are a few who’ve been thinking about getting started but haven’t been able to. Guess what’s their favorite question each time they see me? (Not that I’m a physical specimen or something, alright?)

“Can you suggest me a few things I can do to lose body fat?”

My response usually one of the three below:

  1. Join a gym and hire a personal trainer
  2. Buy a kettlebell (8kg for women, 16kg for men) and do something kettlebell swings
  3. I’ll send you a list of bodyweight exercises that you can do by yourself

And almost always I get a response that basically asks if any of the above will help them lose fat. The answer is NO! Just doing any of the above for a few days isn’t going to help you lose body fat. In fact, it’ll be tough so much so that you’ll probably quit in a week’s time.

Here’s why — most of us already know what we need to do to lose fat. Eat less and exercise more, yet they ask around hoping that someone would give them a magic pill or something even more magical! There isn’t any. Except, of course, adopting one of those crazy, weird, and unsustainable diet strategies. And they’re no magic pills, just your body’s response to restrictions. It diminishes in density because you aren’t supplying enough nutrients.

Listen, the only way to lose weight is to exercise and eat sensibly. You’ll know what to do when it comes to eating but the former is a tricky beast you need to be wary of. Signing up for a gym membership isn’t enough, you need a training partner or a personal trainer at the minimum to help you push through those tough days. And your first 15-20 workouts will suck! You just have to keep going irrespective of how you feel.

If you have some self-discipline, try a simple strength training program and yourself transform into a stronger individual. Kettlebells are just as good. All you need to do is a bunch of swings with the right form. Add a few Turkish getups and you’ve got your minimalistic strength training program.

If you’re tight on cash, you can use one of the world’s oldest physical training system — your own body. It’s stunning to imagine what some movements can do to your overall strength. You can always start with a few push-ups and squats before trying out pull-ups, handstand push-ups, leg raises, one-hand & one-legged push-up, and the pistol squat.

The possibilities are endless! You just need to be willing to do it. Perhaps, you are wanting to do it but aren’t sure what to do. Maybe you’re looking for that perfect program that will take care of all your bases… I’m sorry to break the news to you — there isn’t any. Pick a modal (barbell/gym, kettlebell or bodyweight) and just get started.

My favorite recommendation is almost always barbell and kettlebells. For women, you’re busy with their work and home responsibilities, bodyweight is the best option. Even if that means you want to go out for a run!

It isn’t complicated. You are overthinking this. Check out this video by Tim Anderson and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

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