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Incentives, duh

Getting and staying physically fit is simple, but not easy — a bit like dieting or giving up smoking.

Before lockdowns hit, I used to cycle to work, which made up most of my weekly fitness routine. During lockdowns, however, I quickly realized that this strategy won’t suffice any longer.

So, I naively started to search the internet for fitness plans. After sifting through the noise that the top 15 search results offered (complicated plans presented on ad-ridden websites), I realized that I need to approach this differently.

Taking a step back, I asked myself which entity would have the strongest incentives to provide a fitness plan that’s:

This already gave me a good framework to exclude the following options from further consideration:

With the options now considerably reduced, my mind got set on an organization that has a baked-in incentive for providing no-nonsense fitness plans and -advice at scale: the military.

So, instead of searching for fitness plans broadly, I narrowed my research down to workout plans employed by drill instructors around the globe.

One example is the Navy Fitness & Nutrition guide issued by the U.S. Navy — short and to the point, great to gauge where your current fitness stands. The Navy also publishes a 5-week training program here.

I bet you to find similar value in any paid guide when it comes to achieving functional fitness sustainably and efficiently.