No Bells, No Whistles, No Bull

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, May 1996

No Bells, No Whistles, No Bull

Just a streamlined approach to the six elements of fitness
By Mark Jannot

In this age of fitness-advice overload, with "trim that tummy in just three hours a week" quick fixes on one end of the spectrum and high-tech programs focusing on your capillary density and mitochondria on the other, there is still, believe it or not, a Platonic ideal. A program that pays equal heed to the six pillars of total-body fitness--strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, nutrition, and rest--and melds them into a routine that even the busiest of us can maintain.

To that end, we've assembled a group of athletes, each among the best in his or her sport, and asked them to share their no-nonsense strategies. While the athletes themselves may be out of our league, their advice most certainly is not. In every case, the strategies they've used to propel themselves to greatness are perfectly suited to the recreational athlete. And rest assured, the whole program can be completed in about an hour a day. You'll be doing endurance work on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and strength training on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, while making stretching, balance drills, and of course eating and sleeping part of your daily routine (see weekly planner, page 102). But don't just take our word for it. Let the record state that when the ancient Greeks hung their long white robes in a locker and shimmied into their gym shorts, the regimen they followed was much like this one. Hey, Plato, mind spotting us for a minute?

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