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How to get in shape using 3 simple rules

Sgt. Michael Volkin has only three main rules for staying in shape

Editor’s note: Military fitness trainer and inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards, Sergeant Michael Volkin, has only three main rules for staying in shape. He refers to all three of these rules as the DCNs of fitness. “If you use my rules of DCN, you will have a killer body and be healthier than ever,” he claims. Here are his rules and how to apply them.

What is DCN? DCN is an acronym that stands for diversity, consistency and nutrition.

Diversity is important because your body has an amazing ability to adapt to exercises. And most people don’t realize that.

I see the same people in the gym month after month doing the same exercises. I call those “zombie workouts.” They are just going through the motions. What they don’t realize is after a while (about 4-6 weeks typically) your workouts start to become less and less effective. If you spend about 15 minutes a day planning to make your workout the following day a bit different, the difference it can make is enormous.

Major changes aren’t needed; you could plan to do a new exercise or even change the speed at which you perform your normal routine. That’s one of the biggest benefits to Strength Stack 52. These fitness cards allow you to constantly introduce new exercises into your routine.

The C in DCN is the hardest for most people to accomplish. This stands for consistency. You must exercise consistently to get the results you want. Too many people get motivated to sign up for a gym membership only to stop after about a month.

Have you ever been to a gym in January? It’s a zoo! New people flood the gym every year because of New Year’s resolutions, but by February the newbies are nowhere to be found.

The best way to exercise consistently is to plan time for your workouts. If you block off an hour a day 7 days a week to work out, you are much more likely to complete your workout. Yes, you should plan for 7 days a week because a couple days out of your week it’s likely that something will cause you to cancel your workout. If you plan for 7 days and actually end up doing 5 workouts that’s a fantastic accomplishment. It’s important that you do whatever you can to not schedule anything over your workout time.

The N stands for nutrition. Yes, working out alone could make you fit, but proper nutrition accelerates that process. The best advice? Stop with the fad diets. You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight nor do you need to avoid all carbs or go on celebrity diets, simply make smart eating decisions. If you’re hungry, eat something healthy, like a piece of fruit.

By combining these three elements - diversity, consistency and nutrition - you will become as healthy as you want to be. With a little bit of preparation and smart decision-making, you can make incredible health improvements.

Michael Volkin is a U.S. Army veteran, author, and entrepreneur. He served as a sergeant in Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom as a Chemical Operations Specialist where he received an Army Commendation Medal. He has a Master’s degree in Science and has authored four books in three genres. His best-selling book, The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, prepares recruits for military basic training. He is also the inventor of Strength Stack 52, bodyweight fitness cards designed for military personnel. He can be contacted through Twitter, Facebook, and his site,