Sep 04 2013
Someone once told me I wasn’t in the fitness business, but the fashion business. A new craze comes along every year, and people clamber for the next revolutionary way to train. “Sal, what about the Insanity Workout, HITT, P90X, Vipr, Zumba….. it really works? You should try it.” Says the…
Someone once told me I wasn’t in the fitness business, but the fashion business. A new craze comes along every year, and people clamber for the next revolutionary way to train. “Sal, what about the Insanity Workout, HITT, P90X, Vipr, Zumba….. it really works? You should try it.” Says the overweight gym member. Personally I have never met someone who has gone from fat to fit on one of these programme’s. People may enjoy them, but if you are looking for results and a return on your gym membership, you simply can’t beat the progressive overloading of your muscles with a barbell, dumbbell or Kettlebell. All the rest is just a distraction.
Read on to find out why you should avoid the….
‘The 20 Minute Workout’
‘The Abs Class’
‘The Fitness Magazine / Online Workout’
- The 20 Minute Workout – These 20 minute classes and PT sessions are becoming quite popular of late, especially within the City where people think they are too busy to be healthy. One of my favorite trainers CT Fletcher put’s it perfectly. “20 minutes abs, 20 minute butt, 20 minute anything is a pile of bull. If you see anyone with great abs, a great butt, a great whatever, they didn’t do it in 20 minutes. And if they tell you they did, they are a lier!” If you were to train for 1 hour a week that’s 0.6% of your week, 20 mins is just 0.1%. For those of you who cry ‘What about HITT training!?” I’ve never met someone looking to get into shape that has the appropriate fitness to thrash themselves sufficiently without vomiting or stopping. For optimal body composition changes, you’re looking at 100 reps per body part, and this cannot be covered in 20 minutes. Unfortunately in sport & exercise your body doesn’t applaud you for just doing something.
- Abs Class – I’ve never seen anyone in this class with good abs – what you see is, class participant posture (CPP). Where a group of class participants all have stooped postures from crunching too much. Crunches + leaning over your desk = poor posture and a bad back. Stuart McGill is the worlds leading expert on spinal injuries, and he experimented by taking some pigs spines and subjecting them to the movement pattern experienced whilst performing sit-ups. What happened to the spines? They all prop-lapsed (slipped a disk). The conclusion: repeated flexion of the spine (the sit-up movement) is dangerous for your back. Having a six-pack is genetic, you either can get one, or you can’t. You also need a body fat % of less than 9.8. You can do all the crunches you want you, but you won’t be able to see your results unless you shed those pounds with good nutrition. Ab work will not flatten your stomach – and there’s no such thing as spot reduction!
- Fitness magazine / online work outs – Having thrashed a friend of mine at squash last week, he invited me to play tennis with him. I’d never played before and didn’t want to hand the win to him on a plate. So I went online to find some tips on tennis, spinning the ball, serving etc. Now by the same logic as following a Men’s Health programme will get me toned / muscular, I should have done well I didn’t. I played a terrible game, lost by a great margin and left with my tail firmly between my legs. The tips weren’t designed for me, or matched to my skill level. They were too advanced & expected me to have the fitness and flexibility to perform the movements. The same thing happens when I witness people reading out of a magazine at the gym. Often I see people inventing exercises, or causing themselves damage through not understanding the proper muscle recruitment. I would even go so far as to say many internet or celebrity workouts are written for steroid users. Natural and unnatural gym programme’s are easy to spot if you have a trained eye. When dealing with your health, don’t be a fool. Ask for help on how to perform exercises as doing them wrong will end in disappointment & injury.
When it comes to your health, you can’t afford to gamble. You wouldn’t choose untested medication over the drug that worked. So why choose a fitness regime just because its different. Being healthy is a science, there is no guess work, just hard work.
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