There are a near-limitless number of ways to get fit.
If you ever hear a trainer tell you that the only way to get fit is to follow their program, chances are they are lying to you. That’s why you’ll see terribly fit people swear that CrossFit is the best, or that bodybuilding is the way to go, or that yoga is all you need.
There is no “right way” to become fit, but there are ways that are better suited for some individuals and goals.
Before I continue, let me explain my own personal biases. I am a personal trainer who specializes in helping skinny guys who struggle to gain weight, and put on muscle. Because that’s who I was. I’ve dabbled and trained in all sorts of different fitness activities, like hot yoga, martial arts, swimming, powerlifting, calisthenics, running, and much more. Of course, there are things I prefer over others, but none of these activities are necessarily the “right” ones to become fit.
But what does fitness mean?
In biology, it is “an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.” In the most general sense, this makes sense.
Someone who is strong and well-conditioned will survive more life-threatening situations than a weak person. CrossFit would say something different: for them, it is “the ability to move large loads, long distances, quickly, and in the broadest variety of domains.”
Yet others would define fitness as merely looking good and being healthy. If there are so many different definitions of fitness, then of course there will be a variety of ways to attain fitness. Even when using the same definition, there will be a multitude of methods to achieve that single definition.
There is one thing that all successful training methods have in common, be it bodybuilding, weightlifting, gymnastics, or yoga:
Gradual improvement over time.
The idea of “progressive overload” is not unique to resistance training. It is merely the applied idea of gradual improvement over time.
If you want to be a better swimmer, or even just become more fit through swimming, you’ll want to push yourself to swim just a little bit faster, or a little longer, or a little more efficiently in order to improve and become “more fit.” If you want to become more fit through yoga, then you’ll eventually want to progress from whatever routine you started off with to something that you could not do before.
With any training method you use, nutrition plays a major part.
Once again, there are a hundred different ways that you can manipulate your diet to achieve your goals or accommodate your training style.
For some people, Keto works wonders. A lot of people think a vegan diet is supreme. Others love the flexibility of intermittent fasting, and for some people, the carnivore diet does the trick.
A big part of this variation is the fact that while all people need food to survive, every individual is different.
We all have different genes, and respond to things differently. This is why people hire nutritionists, to determine what their specific needs are and how their body may respond to some foods better than others.
There is no single diet, single training style, or single goal that is overall the “best.” Everyone is different, and so the “best” is different for everyone. There’s a lot to do out there, so stop trying to find the best one. Find the one you enjoy the most, and improve at it. Don’t just do it; learn about it too. Read a relevant book, hire a qualified coach, or listen to experienced professionals on YouTube. It’s the 21st century, and we have the internet.
You have no excuse to not get after it if you really want it.