Jun 02 2017
The other day one of our new clients received an email from a company that mapped DNA. For a tidy fee, they promised to analyse his genetic code to help him reach his fitness and nutrition goals. He was keen and asked my opinion… I answered, “it’s a scam, you…
The other day one of our new clients received an email from a company that mapped DNA. For a tidy fee, they promised to analyse his genetic code to help him reach his fitness and nutrition goals. He was keen and asked my opinion… I answered, “it’s a scam, you are not a special snowflake, nor was he getting ready to face the Haka in a few days.
(Good luck boys!)
We have known what works for almost 100 years… it’s not cute, sexy, nor does it come in a box! I don’t need to know your genetic code to see why you’re out of shape – you can use your trusty Mark 1 Eyeball” 😉
If you want a better body than 90% of the people you’ll ever meet (topless or otherwise), you need to combine strength training with HITT, (high intensity interval training). If this powerful combo doesn’t get you lean & defined within a few months, your diet is out of control!
Save your money on pseudo-science, snake oil and eliminate long hours performing endurance training that eats your muscle and hammers your joints. You need to accept the challenge of lifting heavy (three figures heavy!) And make sure you access your 5th gear when performing conditioning work.
So why strength training? When I say strength training I mean lifting heavy weights for low reps (no more than 6). Strength is the production of force against an external resistance. The larger the weight the more force you must produce…and the stronger you get. When using light weights for timed repetitions or high reps, you’re simply burning calories – and not enough to make any substantial difference to your physique! Weight training isn’t very efficient at directly burning calories as you do it, it’s the benefits post workout that are so effective at changing your body.
Indeed after a heavy weights sessions not only do you put on muscle (an easily achievable increase of 10 pounds of muscle burns 2 glasses of wine per day… at rest!) In addition, it supercharges your metabolism (known as the EPOC effect,) by 67% for up to 3 days after you’ve left the gym. That’s equivalent to a large pizza! With endurance work, the EPOC effect is 11% over a max of 90 minute, which will earn you a measly chocolate digestive!
What’s the deal with HITT? When I say HITT I mean short intervals less than 20 seconds of effort with at least four times that in rest. A HITT session where the interval is longer than 20 seconds (your typical spin class), is not HITT, it’s hard endurance training. Yes, it will burn a few calories, but you won’t get the most from the workout. Think about it. You can only sprint for around 15-20 seconds, after this, your performance (even if you don’t feel it) tails off. Michael Johnson didn’t win the 400m gold medal (43.84s) in twice of his 200m time (19.32s), he slowed down a bit!
Now compare Michael’s body to endurance legend Haile Gebrselassie, which do you prefer? Even though Michael didn’t even train a 10th of Haile’s distance you’d never say he was unfit. So, you could invest less time training and still be leaner and arguably as fit as a guy pounding the pavement for hours!
HITT does give us the same EPOC effect as strength training without the increase in muscle mass, therefore you need to combine the two for the best results.
You may be fearful if you’ve never lifted or are particularly deconditioned. If that’s the case take it slow, get a coach but do follow the formula for success – stop looking for excuses for being out of shape… it’s your choices, not your genome that’s the culprit.