When to consider a fitness program, and when to run the other way

I've been grappling with this notion a lot lately, as I work to finalize the Sensible Fitness Program (SFP) online course.


Well, as the course material takes shape and nears completion, and as I look at its content – I'm reminded of just how different it is to what’s out there. Although I never intended to copy or rehash any existing stuff, I never figured that it would be so unique.

Come to think of it though, it never aspired to conform either. So I guess there's really no surprise. It's a reminder to me, nonetheless, that 'The Sensible Way' and myfitnessroad.com are unconventional.

Deliberately so.

In addition to this, a number of subscribers have been asking about the design of the SFP course. Since I don't want this post to become overly long and boring, I’ll just give you a small rundown. (If you want, there's additional info here.)

As you’ll see below, SFP is inherently simple. And that's entirely intentional. 

What it is

Simple short workouts

Delivers results

Complements your life

Real food (all types)

No unnecessary supplements

No drugs or enhancement

What it isn't

Long convoluted routines

Based on 'science' and secrets

Dictates your life

Only 'clean' eating


Performance, site-enhancement

Okay, so that's a simple high-level overview.

l’m also going to share with you some of what's currently being marketed in the fitness industry. This will help demonstrate just how different SFP actually is.

But just to briefly answer the question: why the longstanding position contrary to convention?

Well, for starters, consider the following wise words:

"The fitness and nutrition world is a breeding ground for obsessive-compulsive behavior. The irony is that many of the things people worry about have no impact on results either way, and therefore aren't worth an ounce of concern." ~Alan Aragon

Alan is a highly-respected individual in the industry, and although our focus areas differ, I couldn't agree with him more here. The essence of what he's saying is: there's too much time and money spent on promises, gimmicks, fads and the small stuff – while overlooking the real important aspects of getting into shape.

I've always maintained that consistency and effort are key. Most people, though, somehow gravitate to instant gratification – duped by fancy wording, photos of Photoshopped models, supplements, apps and the like.

But getting back to the topic, as mentioned, here are just a 'few' of the many current misleading, over-presumptuous and hype-generating things on offer.  

Some of the fitness industry's current offerings

These are the kinds of products/services which contribute to the destructive epidemic in the health and fitness industries, and should be avoided, in my professional opinion:

  • "Ripped in 90 days. Finally... A complete step-by-step blueprint for building a lean and muscular body while shredding fat. Everything is completely taken care of for you. Just lift what we tell you to lift, eat what we tell you to eat and get results... fast." – To me, this sounds like the adverstizing line for a new domestic appliance. Just plug-and-play!

  • "Once you hit age 35 you must use very specific movement patterns and timing to be able to burn the belly fat. We give you all of that in our program. A New 12 Minute Metabolic Movement Exercise Program Designed For People In Their 40s, 50s, and 60s to optimize hormones for a leaner and healthier body. We need to move ‘differently’ to young people to lose weight. Discover the 12-Minute Metabolic Trick." – My basic training principles are no different now than they were when I was 21 (I'm now 51). I still get the same training effect as I did back then, and I'm in the best shape of my life.

  • "You’ll learn exactly how to eat, train, and rest to get bigger (or thinner, if you’re a woman!), leaner, and stronger than ever before...and how to do it healthily, without having to sacrifice loads of time or the foods you like, without having to spend loads of money on products, and without risk of injury or burnout." – The premise is good, but talk about cookie-cutter!

  • "Man, I had no clue how off my nutrition and training was until I took this quiz. I always thought I ate healthy and lifted hard, but when this thing matched me with a plan that match my body type, my abs started showing and I've never been so lean! If anyone wants to try it, just click the image to take the short quiz." – Oversimplification at its best. What about hard work?

  • "Proven Way to BUILD MUSCLE Faster (Science)" – Real science means that your body builds muscle according to your own genetic potential, where stimulus and recovery are concerned. The only way to side-step this is by using performance-enhancing drugs.

  • "An easy-to-follow program designed to teach you which foods to eat and which to avoid to get in and STAY IN ketosis. I've included everything you need to start burning fat for fuel...and MORE!" – Ketogenic diets definitely offer some interesting options and advantages. But from this over-presumptuous ploy, it seems that 'everyone' is okay with eating high-fat, moderate protein and no-carb... What about those of us who love our carbs?

  • "Supercharge your workouts! This Zipper Sauna vest intensifies perspiration in your core by up to 3 times more than regular gym clothing. It fits snuggly around your midsection, working its magic all the way from your shoulders, down to your waistline, helps posture for back and abs as you workout." – Really? Intensified perspiration = gains? Actually, this is downright stupid and dangerous.

  • "Make all the ladies turn after you on the street with my 90-day meal plan. Get shredded with your personalized plan, made by me!" – This is probably one of the worst I've ever seen. The first 7 words are just so wrong. We don't all train for narcissistic reasons!

Besides some entertainment, I do hope these (f)ads give you an idea of the kind of language I'm referring to when I talk about distortions, mistruths oversimplifications and exaggerations.

If you want a closer look at what a program should entail, I deal with a number of considerations on the pages: Physical Fitness Program and Complete Fitness Program.

The take home message 

Success with any fitness program depends more on your input than anything else

Whatever your choice, please steer clear of anything which contains words like 'secrets', 'revolutionary', 'shortcuts', 'new' or 'never-before-seen.' 

You cannot buy a particular physical condition. But it's so easy to fall prey to that yearning for instant gratification, and to click on 'buy now!' 

The truth is that there's effort required – whichever program you opt for. And this is where 99% of people fail. Nobody has enough time, and you won't always feel like working out or making rational eating choices.

I don’t either – but I do it anyway.

Well, that'll be it for today, except for this final quote by a highly-regarded entrepreneur-author and motivational speaker:


“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.”

~Jim Rohn