My friend was eager to show me an article about one exercise move that can tone up the entire body. Although slightly skeptical, I read the article anyway, and it turns out that this magical move was the good ole plank pose.I don’t remember how many articles I have read about the amazing things plank can do for your body. Whether it’s the buttocks, abs, shoulders or overall posture, writers always find new and different benefits to describe the plank pose for new fitness articles.

This time, the writer happened to take a holistic approach on the benefits of the plank pose, and frames it as the panacea for out-of-shape physiques. The article in the end just gave me an overall summary of the benefits of the plank that I already knew from reading other fitness columns.How many times have you picked up a magazine from the checkout aisle because some feature article looked good? Maybe the “5 Days to Lose 5 lbs” or “One Superfood to Lose 10 lbs” article seem like a great idea to you. After all, who doesn’t like a quick fix to everything? In fact, the more convenient and expedite the solution is, the more enticing it appears.

We often end up buying those magazines, hoping to achieve a drastic image renovation in a short period of time. But after the initial surge of excitement and feeling of novelty, we would leave the magazine lying somewhere and forget completely about the seemingly revelational article we dug up a couple days go. And after a while of buying fitness magazines whenever we please, these “quick-fix” articles begin to appear repetitive. Fitness publications seem to chew on similar contents and recycle them in articles, while framing them slightly differently each time. This includes and is not limited to an overall exercise move that supposedly reduces body fat, or one superfood that allegedly combats fat gain. Knowing that people are drawn to shortcuts, fitness magazines sometimes don’t offer concrete advice that guarantees results but takes longer time to achieve. However, advice that offers concrete results is what people really seek. Especially for an exercise enthusiast like me, or someone who recently began shaping up, fitness magazines appear to be an ultimate go-to guide for exercise advice. But after reading articles in Shape, Women’s Health or other magazines for a while, some articles just appear repetitive, leaving us feeling that we had already read that somewhere else. The truth is, that in order to shape up, there are no secret and quick fixes. In fact, the essential guidelines for nutrition and fitness have long been established. It’s extremely rare for the experts in the nutrition or the fitness field to discover a revolutionary find that defies our prior knowledge (In fact, I can’t think of anything new since I began to research avidly on this matter a long time ago.). This might explain why people are drawn to quick fixes but are never able to retain that routine for a long time simply because these quick fixes are hard to maintain and don’t provide sustainable results, and by that I mean, keeping the results for an extended period of time without any practical changes to your life. Even the highly reputable rapid 28-day fat-loss regime devised by Tim Ferriss in his famous book, The 4-Hour Body, requires extreme vigilance and rule-compliance in your exercise, dietary and medial regime. And after the 28-day period, you have to incorporate a part of the regime into your life in order to maintain the results. There is no good shortcut to sustainable body transformation out there. Yes, there might be ways to cut weight and shape up in a short time, but whether the results can be sustainable, that is another question. It’s better to just get your grunt on and work slowly to achieve your dream results, rather than trying different “quick-fixes,” hoping they would bring you a dramatic appearance overhaul overnight.