The Simplicity Principle

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spea...

Image via Wikipedia

PCPFS Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jack L...

PCPFS Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jack LaLanne recognized by Secretary Leavitt at an HHS prevention event on Capitol Hill on May 3, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have recently written about the passing of, one of the founding fathers of fitness, Jack LaLanne.  I was reminiscing about Jack and doing searches on him to see what others were saying when I came across a clip with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold was discussing  a memory of when Jack had come along when he, Arnold, was stretching and warming up.  Arnold related how Jack had said; “Hey Arnold, why are you doing those stretching exercises?”

Arnold responded, “Just to warm up.”

Jack responded, “That’s all crap.  This warming up!  I don’t believe in warming up!  Have you ever seen a lion when he attacks and goes and hunts another animal?  Do you ever see the lion say hold on let me do some stretching exercises, let me warm up? No! he says, they just take off and they go and come home with the food for the young. He said, human being always have to make things so complicated!  Warming up and cooling down this is all nonsense!

I actually had heard this similar example cited when I first became involved with professional bodybuilders when I was stationed in Hawaii.  I was training with one of the many pro-bodybuilders that came in to guest pose and he was not warming up.  When I asked him about not warming up, he quoted me this same line attributed to Jack.

After that,  I read up on Jack and that is when I modified my workouts and made them much simpler and less complex.  It is an approach I take today.  In 2008 , when I decided to get back in shape, I went back to my old workouts and designed my new workout based on my old simplicity principle.

I have been back in the gym since 2008. I have played around with my physique, sometimes leaning out, other times bulking up and increasing my strength, yet, I keep my workouts simple.  I watch others who have been working out in that same time period.  They constantly alter their workouts, they do advanced training techniques they either read about or are given to them my personal trainers, and still, they don’t look any different then they did back in 2008.

Many of them lack the consistency of a solid, foundation built upon the basics.  Many are vocal proponents of muscle confusion, cross training, static stretching, active stretching, plyometerics, etc… which is fine for advanced athletes, but those in the gym advocating these principles,  never possessed the foundation to build upon.

In my book I actually outline a two month pre-training phase, that prepares you to begin serious workouts.  However, even my advanced phase still follows the simplicity principle.

Rush Limbaugh at CPAC in February 2009.

Image via Wikipedia

I have written about Rush Limbaugh’s ridicule of Jack LaLanne’s lifestyle. Well, if old Rushbo would actually listen to what Jack had said  and applied some basic fitness to his life, he wouldn’t be consistently yo-yoing his rotund frame.

It isn’t about keeping it simple stupid.  It is about applying smart and simple principles to achieve your goals.



Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to and He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, What’s Weighing You Down, w/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at and check out his website
************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************