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Could Korean Internet sensation Psy of Gangnam Style fame be an exercise guru, too? It's more than a little possible. Here are five essential principles of muscle building and weight loss illustrated by Gangnam Style.

If you don't live on a desert island without electricity, chances are that you have heard of the video Gangnam Style. Released by South Korean pop star Psy in July 2012, the official Gangnam Style video has been viewed over 1.2 billion times and has become the topic of discussion in media as diverse as the Wall Street Journal and China People's Daily.

Gagnam Style has been played at weddings. It has become a craze in South Africa. And it's been used in dance classes in gyms. There is reason to doubt whether Psy intended to become an exercise guru, too, but his dance video illustrates five important principles of fitness for fighting fatness.

1. Fitness comes from focusing on performance, not end results.

Is there really any point to dancing in Gangnam Style? Does anyone really care? Gangam Style is just fun, and the most effective exercise is just fun, too.

This doesn't mean that you can fight fat or get fit without any goal at all. You should be able to recognize success when you have achieved it. That requires a firm, fixed goal for body transformation and weight loss (or weight gain, if that is what you need to achieve you goal). But just as a flight on an airline requires a departure time, a destination, and a plane, you should make your physical fitness and weight management goals just one part of your process. Focus on doing what you need to do rather than how you will look or how much you will be able to bench press or what you will weigh after a given number of days, weeks, or months on your program.

Especially if you have never been in shape before, you may simply not know how your body will respond to your exercise routine, supplements, or diet,. Deadlines can be incredibly motivating, but missing deadlines repeatedly can be incredibly discouraging. Focusing on the process, building your self-esteem by recognizing that you can stick to your program, builds confidence and gets results. Do the right things day after day, and the results will take care of themselves.

2. Ready! Fire! Aim!

When you start watching the Gangnam video, do you know where Psy is going? For that matter, during the filming of the video, did Psy know where Psy was going? Gangnam Style isn't about a specific destination, and fitness transformations aren't all about the destination, either.

If you approach body transformation with the attitude that you have to "aim" before you are ready to "fire," you can easily fall into the trap of "just one more thing." You need to eat just one more thing before you go on your diet. You need to buy just one more piece of equipment before you start your exercise routine. You need to read one more book, or surf the Internet one more time, or buy one supplement before you will take charge of your fitness, your weight, and your life.

In Gangnam Style, Psy is a person of action. He's in constant motion. And figuratively speaking, you should be, too. Don't get bogged down in specifying your accomplishments at the expense of going after them. Get started now.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • Sisario, B,. "On Vevo, ‘Gangnam Style’ Is the Viral Video That Never Was," New York Times, 13 December 2012.'
  • Thorndike AN, Sonnenberg L, Healey E, Myint-U K, Kvedar JC, Regan S. Prevention of weight gain following a worksite nutrition and exercise program: a randomized controlled trial.Am J Prev Med. 2012 Jul.43(1):27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.02.029.
  • Photo courtesy of 5gig on Flickr:
  • Photo courtesy of usaghumphreys on Flickr:

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