Want a happier and healthier life?
Sure. Everybody does.
Your fitness level is one significant contributor. In this article, I introduce my model of online fitness that makes you healthier. I call that model the 4 Legs of Fitness. Like a chair needs four legs to be stable, it's similar to health and fitness. I combine strength, endurance, nutrition, and recovery into one unique program in line with a client's goals.
I will cover here the main underlying principles, why we need those four legs, more details about strength and cardio training, a purposeful diet, and effective recovery, and how online fitness can be consumed. One aspect that is important to me is that clients find the program useful long after it's completed. I achieve that by forming healthy habits.
Featured download: Get access to my Easy 7 Health Habits That Will Change Your Life guide to drastically improve your lifestyle forever.
The Benefits of Online Fitness
The global COVID pandemic changed many parts of our lives substantially. At first, lockdowns and social distancing had a major impact on access to fitness centers and how we execute a workout routine. This certainly led to a range of innovations in the online fitness space.
Access to fitness changed.
The popularity of the online format like online workout classes surged. We are now seeing a wide variety of online workouts, online programs, or fitness videos often conveniently accessible via a fitness app. Thousands of classes are available this way now. Thankfully we all can continue to work on our health and fitness. That is certainly the benefit of online fitness.
The Problem With Online Fitness
However, there is also a problem with online fitness.
Often times online training programs can simply be crap. Not based on any proven methods that deliver results or simply even dangerous with severe risk of injuries. Another shortcoming of online training is the attempt to offer one-size-fits programs. Certain types of classes may train all your core muscles well but that is only one aspect of health and fitness. Most of the programs are limited by typically focusing only on exercise programs or a nutrition plan. Rarely these aspects are integrated. The holistic approach to health is missing.
This is what I addressed with my program.
My Mission Is to Provide No-Fluff Fitness Stuff
I wanted to address this shortcoming by creating a fitness model that integrates various key aspects. This inevitably leads to better health. Make no mistake -- despite all our capitalistic drivers -- at the end of the day health is our most important asset. Jim Rohn (millionaire and motivational speaker) once said:
And I couldn't agree more. If you are sick, if you are injured, if you are not well, if you are not healthy, whatever else you may possess or aim to possess becomes absolutely secondary. Good health is the basis for our happiness. For me personally, being in good health is my most important goal (next to freedom). And I want to help others to live healthier lifestyles too.
This mission led to the creation of the 4 Legs of Fitness model.
My idea behind 4 Legs Fitness is to present a comprehensive lifestyle concept, which is one ingredient to well-being, health, and satisfaction. I spent the last 20 years creating and refining this model. I also managed to publish this in the international best-selling book: From Healthy to Athletic: How to Master the 4 Ingredients to Superior Fitness.
My book From Healthy to Athletic: How to Master the 4 Ingredients to Superior Fitness describes the 4 Legs Fitness model in detail. It is available as a paperback or Kindle ebook on Amazon.
The Principles of My Fitness Model
I designed my online fitness model based on a couple of principles. The first principle is to follow a holistic approach. Our bodies are complex. Health is complex. So, to achieve good health also needs to address and improve a range of parameters. I summarize these as the 4 Legs of Fitness, which I will cover in more detail in the next section.
Another principle is that different people have different goals and the program needs to adapt to those goals. Every time I onboard a new client, we go through a comprehensive questionnaire to find out not only body statistics but also activity levels, injuries, preferences, stress levels, quality of sleep, environment, family and living situation, etc. I use this data to create a program that integrates and balances the 4 legs relative to the client's goal.
Next, everything is science-based. The components of my program are based on scientific research, which I cite in my book or in the articles here on my fitness blog. These posts (and my book) are written to provide practical recommendations that you can integrate into your busy life next to a full-time job to improve fitness and well-being. It helps especially those who don’t have a fitness or sport-related occupation. Nevertheless, if you are a fitness professional, athlete, or fitness model you will benefit from my programs and the book too.
I designed my online fitness program to be self-explanatory and self-service. It smoothly guides my clients through the process. However, if there are any questions, I am available via a messaging function directly in my app or via a check-in call or video conference. Something things are just easier to clarify via a short voice call.
Finally, my intention is to help my clients long-term to achieve change and not for the duration of the program. To achieve that I focus a lot on forming healthy habits.
I created a component in my fitness program that achieves that: the weekly improvement moments -- or short W.I.M.s. My W.I.M.s are based on the established concept and best-selling book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Every week I introduce a small challenge to my client that will help them learn to slightly get out of their comfort zone, improve and over time form new healthy habits for life.
A Complete Online Fitness Program That Makes You Healthier
Why 4 Legs of Fitness?
4 Legs Fitness is a complete health and fitness program. I call it the 4 Legs of Fitness because four areas are essential for fitness. We can compare this to a chair. If a leg is shortened, weak, or even removed, the chair gets unstable or even useless. The same is true for our health and fitness.
The four legs are:
In dedicated blog posts, I am diving much deeper into every leg of the 4 Legs of Fitness model. Here I only set the scene with a general overview.
First Leg: Strength
Strength is not only important for sports and athletic performance but also for everyday life such as lifting up your child, opening a jar of pickles, or simply improving posture. Training strength is also referred to as resistance training. It can be executed in many different ways to increase core strength, target the entire body or a major muscle group. This resistance can be created by using tools such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, or bands, or by doing bodyweight exercises.
Based on your goals (eg, losing weight, becoming stronger, toning, or gaining muscle mass) you decide on which type of strength training is most appropriate, which weight, frequency, and scheme of sets and repetitions.
Second Leg: Endurance
Endurance (or cardiovascular endurance) is the capability of your cardiovascular system. In other words how quickly and easily you are out of breath and can recover from it again. This is also a very important capability and impacts everyday life tasks such as walking upstairs or carrying home your shopping. The condition of your cardiovascular system correlates strongly with your body’s ability to resist illness -- or in other words: your health. So you better make sure you train endurance.
Typical cardio workouts to train endurance include running, cycling, swimming, or walking. Two very typical protocols are low-intensity steady state (LISS) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT typically means short intervals of very high-intensity exercises like sprinting or burpees with short breaks in between. On the other hand, you execute a LISS session at a low heart rate for an extended amount of time like a 30-minute brisk walk in a nearby park. Fitness tracker devices are a popular way to measure your cardiovascular work.
Third Leg: Nutrition
The right nutrition is probably the most effective of the four legs. Nutrition is so powerful. And it is clear: What you put into your body is what you will get out. Your nutrition has to be aligned with your goals. Do you want to lose fat? Do you want to gain muscle? Do you want to run a marathon? Or do you simply want to become healthier? All of those goals have different nutrition requirements.
If you take this really seriously and wanna see results you’d first start by determining your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). This sets your average daily caloric limit. Within that limit, you then set the split between the three macronutrients proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The macro split looks very different for different goals. Your meal plan is then based on that macro split.
Apart from this rather advanced but effective approach to nutrition, there are some basic recommendations that are true for general health and whatever goal you have:
- Reduce sugar as much as possible.
- In general, reduce simple carbs as much as possible. Next to sugar, that’s also pasta, white bread, white rice, candy, most breakfast cereals, or soft drinks.
- Reduce processed foods as much as possible. Try to get the least processed options and cook for yourself.
- Eliminate trans fat. They substantially increase your risk of heart disease. A lot of processed foods, microwave foods, fast food, fried stuff, margarine, coffee creamers
- Consume three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily (see Harvard School of Public Health study).
- Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water.
- Eliminate (or at least reduce) alcohol. (That’s a difficult one for me, too.)
Fourth Leg: Recovery
Recovery is often overlooked in health and fitness programs or is not actively addressed. Cells are repaired and health is created during recovery.
Regardless of intensity and form of exercise, the most effective mechanism to optimize recovery is sleep. Sleep is known to reduce cortisol (the hormone that is responsible for our stress levels) and improve protein synthesis (the repairing of muscle tissue that we broke during exercise). Getting the right quantity and especially the quality of sleep is paramount for good health.
Other recovery techniques include: meditation, yoga (or any other form of mobility work), massages, sauna, cold exposure like cold showers, or breathing exercises. Recovery is essential for athletic performance and general health. It needs to be actively planned and executed according to your goal and in sync with the other three legs.
How To Start Your Fitness Program
There are several ways to get on your fitness journey to better health and happiness. You could create your own fitness routine and diet plan. I offer a 15 week training program tool for free, which you could use. You can do it but it will require you a lot of research, trial and error, it will be time-consuming and you may not achieve what you want to achieve. When you have a major repair on your car, you will most likely also bring it to a workshop where an expert will take care of it. Why would your health be any different?
Here are some ways I could help.
Build Bullet-Proof Health
My Build Bullet-Proof Health program is the most popular program. It brings you all the benefits that I outlined in this article. I combine all the 4 Legs of Fitness according to your goal. It is a good balance between a self-service program with on-demand coaching when needed. I offer it in two versions: the very affordable Basic and the more detailed Premium.
Online Fitness Courses
Nowadays we can find a lot of info on the internet -- from incredibly good to incredibly bad. That is why I extended the info from my book From Healthy to Athletic: How to Master the 4 Ingredients to Superior Fitness and offer it now also as a series of online fitness courses called Achieve Superior Health & Fitness Online Course hosted on Teachable.
These courses are a great resource for self-help. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic where we are still restricted and concerned about health, getting exercise and nutrition advice is very welcome. You will find these courses useful if you are a trainer or coach yourself, or if you want to learn more about how to create effective health and fitness plans.
Let Me Coach You
If you have any very specific requirements or you simply want a highly personal approach, I offer my one-on-one Super Coach program.
Get Into Online Fitness That Makes You Healthier
Good health should be the most important goal for everyone. It is the basis for a high quality of life and happiness.
In this article, I covered my way to improve people's fitness and health by creating and offering the 4 Legs of Fitness model. It is a unique way to consume online fitness that makes you healthier. I combined the four essential aspects of fitness: strength, endurance, nutrition, and recovery. If you are interested in how all that works take a look at my Build Bullet-Proof Health program.
As a good starting point, grab a copy of my Easy 7 Health Habits That Will Change Your Life guide to drastically improve your lifestyle forever.