Tag Archive | Physical exercise

I don't eat that much!

stock photo : Small portion of food on a big plate

How often have we all said that?

How many times do you say or have you heard “I didn’t have THAT much to eat or drink?”  As a trainer its something I hear all the time and to be honest, something I also know I have said but it’s possibly one of the most common “white lies” clients tell their trainers and its the one thing that stops clients really getting to where they want and seeing real changes to their body. And I speak from experience!!

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Are squats the best exercise EVER?

stock photo : Women training in a fitness centerOne of my favourite exercises is the squat.  I love the challenge it gives me, both mentally and physically and if I am honest, I love the fact that stereotypically no-one associates heavy squats with girls so I always get that slightly odd look, which I lurve!!

I am a massive fan of the whole Girls Gone Strong movement and as far as I can see, the more women out there lifting heavy and telling other women about it the better the role models we make for everyone else. I have been lifting for about six months now and I love the shape it has given my body – I still don’t recognise my legs, I can believe they look like they do! But, if I can encourage other women to get off their treadmills and get into the weights area the more I will have succeeded so it was great to see Poliquin providing Six Reasons Everyone Should Do Squats.

So what reason / excuse do you have to NOT to squats?

Women and weight training

stock photo : Young woman weight training. Focus on hand.As you know by now I am a huge fan of weights and generally lifting heavy – I love what it has done to my body and my newly found strength, tone, power and flexibility but so many women are so terrified of getting ‘bulky’ that they avoid weights in favour of cardio or very light Barbie weights.

The whole Girls Gone Strong movement is doing amazing things to re-educate both men and women and to train out some of the crazy stereotypes in the fitness industry, so I love the fact the Poliquin has chosen to address the same subject.

If you are interested in getting a better more toned body, if you want to lose fat, look amazing and achieve a sense of satisfaction then you really can’t afford to miss this article

Why Women Should Not Be Afraid Gaining Muscle Mass 

Calories are Stupid!

stock photo : Cup of coffee and the blueberry muffin with calories count labelsOne of my favourite experts in the field of health and fitness is Charles Poliquin and I love his take on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle generally.

There is so much information out there that confuses the public and trainers alike and most of it is around calories consumed – how many, when, how many meals per day and its always useful to find someone who provides clear advice alongside easy to understand science!

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Can 4-minute workout trim and tone me up?

I found this article the other day (Express) which taps into some of the HIT stuff that seems to have gained popularity all of a sudden stock photo : Man Running on a Treadmill. Silhouette of a man running on a modern treadmill with halftone motion trail.and whilst I could moralise on how irritating the Daily Express is, that’s not the point of this post!

Dont you just wish reporters would do their homework before stating “…..xx have come up with….”?  Isnt what they “have come up with”  basically just Tabata? Lazing reporting is far too often the norm in the UK and I dont suppose I expected anything less than covering sloppy facts from the likes of the Express or the Mail – after all stock photo : Newspaper. Selective focus.why let facts get in the way of a good story?!

It gets worse – surely doing any high intensity exercise SIX times a week combined with healthy eating is going to lead to weight loss – it really isn’t exclusive to this “amazing new” plan! And, as is usual, the article is a “lets push a quick fix idea” and make people think they stock photo : pizza with a glass of beer on the wooden table(a) don’t really need to work hard (have you actually tried Tabata? Its brutal!) and (b) don’t need to think too much about nutrition; typical comment is “The only catch is that it has to be combined with a healthy eating plan”.  What do you expect?  Pizza and beer, four minutes of exercise and the weight will fall off?

Oh I do wish there was were some sensible, balanced fitness, health, diet and nutrition reporting in this country!

Obese People Are Not Lazy!

stock vector : fat men on couch watching tv with dog

I came across this yesterday and I love her take on things Obese People Are Not Lazy.  In particular, I love this paragraph SOOO much and I agree with the sentiment 100%

“…Trainers, competitors, fitness enthusiasts–YOU have the know-how. Don’t hoard it! Give it away! And it may not be as simple as giving someone a diet to follow. You might have to actually ASK THEM how they feel, what struggles they are having, and take responsibility for their results. My mentor Alwyn Cosgrove talks about this often – he puts it on the backs of the trainers to get their clients results. It’s convenient to simply say that our client is noncompliant and doesn’t want it badly enough – it easily takes the onus off us. But, why do we get to be off the hook? They are paying US to help them be more compliant and learn to want it. So let’s take on the challenge….”stock photo : threat to a dieter who was caught cheating

As trainers, so often the view is that it must be the client’s fault, they must be cheating, they lack commitment or focus, they don’t want it enough and speaking as both a trainer AND a client “…They are paying US to help them be more compliant and learn to want it…” is exactly right. As a PT client, when everything is going well its great but when I am having a bad week and failing at everything I need someone to understand why, to ask me how I really feel, to want to help, to give me a nudge back on track and be there until I am.  Demanding? Absolutely, but I am investing my time, my money and my trust why wouldn’t I expect 100% service?

stock photo : man fitness personal trainer in sport club

In my opinion the best thing a PT can do to help his or her clients is to be a client themselves at some point in their career – there is nothing like being the other side of the fence to make sure you empathise with your clients, you appreciate why they think that some exercises are undignified or that they look silly, you understand why trainers need to get explanations and instructions right and you understand about motivation.  There is something about changing the power dynamics that really changes the way you relate to clients – from my own experience as a client I make sure that when I train other people I always ask them how they are, find out what is going in their lives, understand their stresses and try to offer some advice.

But back to the original concept of this post!  One of the key things we should all do whether we are trainers, clients, gym members, stock photo : road in forestfriends, colleagues, partners, neighbours whatever is to stop passing  judgement on everyone we meet based on how they look, whether they are overweight, fat, thin, old, young, it doesn’t matter.  None of us can know how or what their lives are like until, as the old saying goes, we walk a mile in their shoes so, lets all try and being a little less judgemental and a lot more supportive!


Is Zumba the best or worst thing to happen to fitness?

Zumba – hmm, well the one thing we will all agree on is that is its absolutely EVERYWHERE! On every infomercial or shopping channel, being supported by celebs, in every gym, fitness centre and even, for goodness sake, in every local village hall!

But whilst I cannot fault the marketing, spin, promotional material etc that has made it ubiquitous (well for now at least!) is there any real fitness based foundation behind the scene?  Does it deliver anything special for the millions of people who go to classes each week?

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