There is something better you should be looking for instead.
Ladies and gentlemen, STOP looking for fitness hacks.
There are no short cuts to any place worth going.
Granted, there’s no doubt that there are certain paths that will get you there sooner, but they will still demand a few things from you. My vote goes to the following things:
1) “Eat like an adult.”
Dan John’s now-famous admonition to eat the way you KNOW you’re supposed to eat. Don’t pretend you don’t know that fruits, vegetables, and meat is good for you, and that kids cereals and food with a commercial is bad for you.
2) Get out of the gym and go for a walk.
If you can manage to get in 30 total minutes of walking per day, you’ll be amazed at what it will do for your physique. In this case, more is better, so pile it on. Find excuses to do it. Walk to the neighborhood store and carry your groceries back. It is literally your birthright as a human to walk on two legs, so get off your duff and watch as amazing things happen when you just walk more often.
3) Train for strength and stick with compound movements
If you have to sit down for it or use some sort of pulley, it’s probably not a great exercise. Learn the basic bodyweight and kettlebell movements and watch as you lean out, feel more energized, and make everything else in your life easier. If you’re just starting out, my money would be on learning the following things:
Bodyweight: Pushups, rows/pullups, crawling (yes, crawling)
Kettlebell: swing, Turkish Get Up, goblet squat, loaded carry
In all likelihood, if you get these down pat you won’t need much else for a long, long time.
4) Go to bed, dammit!
Getting 5 hours of sleep a night and mainlining Starbucks crap-uccinos straight into your veins just to stay awake during the day is nothing to be proud of. Sleep is the ultimate recharge for your proverbial batteries, and missing too much of it will torpedo your health and fitness. Seriously. Most people find themselves much leaner just by sleeping 8+ hours per night regularly, and it’s not a coincidence. Sleep is the closest thing to a cure-all there is.
5) Keep showing up.
If there *were* an actual fitness hack out there, this would be it. Be consistent! It doesn’t matter if you workout an hour a day 5 days a week for 6 weeks if you take the next 46 weeks off. If you train twice a week for 20 minutes and you do it 52 weeks a year, I promise you that you’ll be light years ahead of your fickle, late-night-fitness-infomercial-purchasing friends.
Fitness is not mysticism. The stuff that is so obvious that you ignore and overlook is most likely exactly what you need – whether you’re a beginner or advanced. It works – always has and always will.
Now get off your computer and get crackin’!