Exercise and fitness has grown tremendously over the years along with the multitude of fitness fads and exercise programs. All promise to be the best program available and to get those results you have looked for but have not been able to meet.

Many of these programs also contain some sort of entertainment component as well to hopefully keep you enthused and coming back for more.The bottom line is your body will respond to any type of exercise initially and some exercise of course is better than none.

Our bodies have not changed over the years and still respond to good old-fashioned resistance training along with following proper dietary habits and sleep habits. If you are either looking to gain more muscle and get stronger, or to lose weight, you will find that there is power in simplicity when it comes to following an effective exercise program that will get you results if followed consistently. Below I have listed the three top components that should be followed in any exercise program to help you achieve the best body you can develop.

1. Resistance Training Program. Any type of exercise program you start if you are either looking to add muscle or lose weight must have a resistance training program in it. If you are just starting or, if you have been lifting weights for years, your program should have compound exercises in it.

Compound exercises include, bench presses, deadilfts or back rows, military presses, squats or leg presses. All of these exercises can be used with free weights or machines if you have previous injuries or, do not have the strength to use free weights yet. No matter what age you are, these exercises should be a part of a basic weight training program. These types of exercises build muscle and strength quickly and work your entire body.

Compound exercises are the bread and butter exercises when it comes to building and strengthening your entire body.

2. Follow Simple Dietary Recommendations. Keeping your diet simple also is a key component and really the most important for overall success. The older you get the more important it becomes. Your body, though no matter what your age is needs a certain amount of carbohydrates, fats, and importantly protein to help muscles grow and to keep the production of hormones responsible for growth producing.

Eating low-fat high protein foods like skinless chicken breasts, turkey breasts, egg whites are just several examples. Complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, and fats like virgin olive oil, flax seed oil are just a small example of foods that you should consuming if you want growth and weight loss.

Also important is consuming plenty of water. making sure you stay hydrated with water is very important for muscle growth and keeping your metabolism running efficiently.

3. Sleep. It is a known that your body does not grow in the gym but grows outside the gym during your periods of rest. It is your sleep habits that will decide your overall success. Consistent sleep habits, getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night will allow your body to recuperate and repair itself properly.

Lack of enough sleep will undermine everything you do in the gym if you do not have a consistent sleep habits. Your sleep or the inability to do so affects every function in the human body.

The three basic areas I mentioned here are not anything new however, they are easily overlooked and many times not followed. Keep your workout plan simple but consistent and you will see the changes in your body develop over time.