Nine Words to Simplify Fitness

by Steven Hicks

“Do something, do it often, then make it harder.”

There. End of article. Go home. Thanks. Bye.

Wait, are you still here? Fine, I’ll explain it. But just know that nine-word sentence above is the key to fitness. Everything else is a bonus.

Do Something
To be fit and healthy, it really doesn’t matter what you do. There is no “BEST” form of exercise. You can find fit and healthy people who are runners, cyclists, CrossFitters, swimmers, yoga enthusiasts, Pilates instructors, kettlebell fanatics, strength training enthusiasts, Tai Chi practitioners… The categories go on. I have my own biases, but ultimately, I believe it’s just important to do something.

(Note: if you have a very specific goal, then you should pick a very specific form of exercise. It’s tough to finish a marathon if you only do yoga.)

couple high five

Do It Often
The second most important exercise principle is the SAID principle: “Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands.” This simply means your body makes specific changes to what it gets exposed to, and it needs repeated exposure to figure out how to adapt.

Imagine you’re at work on Monday morning and at 10 a.m., someone pulls the fire alarm. On Tuesday, this prankster does the same thing at 10 a.m. On Wednesday, an inspired troublemaker copies the prankster and pulls the fire alarm again at 10 a.m. On Thursday… Well, around 9:50 a.m. you’ll be reaching for some ear plugs to get ready for the next alarm. That’s a specific adaptation.

But what if things happen differently? What if on Monday, the prankster pulls the alarm at 10 a.m., comes back Tuesday for a 2:37 p.m. alarm, runs wild at 11:12 a.m. on Wednesday, and pulls the alarm twice on Thursday? What do you do on Friday?

Not much you can do. You know it’s coming, but it’s not specific and repeated enough to make a plan around. It just creates stress and chaos. The same can happen with fitness. Random and chaotic workout plans don’t offer the repeated regularity for your body to make the best adaptations.

Then Make It Harder
Finally, what I believe to be the most important principle in exercise science: the principle of progressive overload. As your body adapts,” it becomes easier to handle the challenge and eventually the challenge is no longer noticeable. A challenge that goes unnoticed makes no further changes.

“Do something, do it often, then make it harder.”

Clients at Health REBELs receive a personalized and individualized workout plan that follow the principles explained above. For more information about the Health REBEL Solution, drop me an email with the subject line “Huckleberry Press” to