health

This is what a personal trainer wishes you knew about health and fitness

By Marni Dixit September 29, 2016
Personal Trainer

When it comes to health, everyone thinks they're an expert, but what does an actual expert wish you knew about health and fitness? We spoke to personal trainer and founder of 6 Weeks to Sexy, Blake Worrall-Thompson, to find out.

Blake's 6 Weeks to Sexy program has helped heaps of women lose unwanted kilos while also gaining muscle and learning a whole lot about health and nutrition - he seriously knows his stuff. The trainer spoke to smooth about what he wishes people knew about health and fitness, this is what he revealed:

1. You can't do the same workout day in and day out to see results

 

We've all seen that one girl who comes to the gym almost every day and gets on the same treadmill and does the same workout, but Blake reveals that if you do the same workout every time you'll only see your results slow down or stop completely.

"I’m massive on that as a belief in terms of making sure that you change your workouts and it’s amazing that there’s so much research on it now but you still get millions of people doing the same thing. There needs to be some kind of progression and variation as well."

"Whether it’s increasing your weights, increasing your speed, whatever it may be and making sure there’s variation in there as well."

2. Cardio isn't necessarily the best way to lose weight

 

Are you the type that loves running, boxing and cycling, but won't ever step near the weights section of the gym? It's amazing how many personal trainers will hear from clients that they want to gain muscle and tone up, but don't want to do weights as it will make them 'bulky'. In reality you need to do both cardio and weights to see change.

"Personally I think it’s a mix. You’re definitely looking at ways to build lean muscle. I think that when it comes to cardio, you need to make it specific to what you’re after. So long distance cardio isn’t great for fat loss because it’s going to break down your muscle and make you catabolic which is the worst thing, you want to be anabolic.

"But in saying that, if your goal is to do a marathon or some kind of endurance event then you’re going to need to do that long distance training. In short, to get shredded there’s an element of cardio but it’s generally shorter, faster stuff so sprints or one-kilometre efforts, but there’s nothing ever over that five-kilometre distance."

3. Light weights won't get you very far

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If you want to improve and get stronger, you need to start upping your weights so it's actually difficult for you, Blake says:

"Tracy Anderson’s one of a kind in her approach to fitness where she’s doing thousands of reps on the same light weight. But I think the concern for females is still around heavy weights making you bulky." 

"You do need to make sure that you’re pushing some proper weights if you want to see results and build lean muscle."

4. Crunches aren't necessarily going to get you abs

Gotta get it in... #workinonmyfitness #gymtime #cardio #thereIamwithnomakeupagain! Lol

A photo posted by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on

 

Doing crunches day in and day out and not seeing any change? There's a reason for that:

"Crunches are one of hundreds of ways that you can work your core and I think they can play a role, but a very small role. Firstly, there’s better exercises for your abs, secondly they could be there, but they’re under that body fat that you haven’t addressed first."

5. High intensity interval (HIIT) training will burn more fat than getting in the 'fat-burning zone'

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Lately everything you read about is HIIT training, and there's a reason for that:

"There’s a lot of research that supports fat burning zones and other zones in terms of just going all out intensity. People can get lost on the research and not actually do the foundation and the fundamentals right in terms of just consistency.

"Everyone’s looking for that little fat or that little trick, but at the end of the day, if you’re not eating according to your goals, or your weekends are out of control it doesn’t matter which zone you’re in, you’re not going to get the results."

That's right, weekend calories ACTUALLY count!

6. You can't target the fat on a certain body part... Or can you?

We've all come to think that spot reduction is a lie, but what if it isn't?!

There’s lots of research that says you can’t in terms of spot reduction. But then Charles Poliquin, who’s pretty big internationally, has a program that’s called Bio Signature which is essentially spot reduction, but not from doing ‘If I do this exercise I’m going to drop fat from here’, but hormone imbalances.

"So from your stomach you might be looking at stress, so your cortisol hormone, your sugar, your digestive system, inflammation through your gut. So you can spot reduce, but it’s actually to do with hormones more so than doing an exercise that targets certain parts of your body."

Very interesting! So maybe if we all relax we'll have six-packs in no time?!

7. Don't underestimate how big a role your diet plays

 

"The simple saying for this is ‘You can’t outrun a bad diet’ and you can try all you like and people will justify anything and everything for themselves, but it’s not possible. So really, you’re looking at about 70 per cent of your results coming from nutrition, probably about 25 per cent of your results are coming from exercise.

"And then you’ve got that five per cent gap which tends to be lifestyle factors, hormone factors, your body’s ability to detox, your sleep, your stress, those types of things."

8. Fat is actually good for your diet

 

We don't mean things like pizza and burgers, but fats like fish, avocado and other healthy fats that we can use for energy. When we see packaging that reads "low-fat" we automatically thing "Oh that's healthy, I can eat that," but what that really means is that they're stripping good fats away and adding sugar for flavour. So next time you see low-fat yoghurt compare its nutritional value to that of the full-fat version and see how much sugar there actually is!

"I think finally after twenty or thirty years of people avoiding fat that it’s actually completely necessary for healthy function day-to-day. It’s more the sugar that people should be looking to concentrate on in terms of cutting back on that."

9. Protein is important for both men and women

 

"Women tend to think ‘if I have protein I’ll get bulky’, but you need your protein, fats and carbs, they’re the three essential macronutrients, you need all of them." 

"But protein and fats are probably on the higher end for our girls, than carbohydrates, but at the same time there’s certain periods throughout the day in terms of post-workout and some of them need it at night to help with their sleep as well."

10. Your recovery is just as important as your workout

Now what??? #restday #gym #restdayssuck #restdaymode #imissmygym #gymlife #fitnesslifestyle #fitnesslife

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Some people will go nuts and workout every single day and won't give their bodies any time to recover, this actually does more harm than good. Leave at least one or two days of the week to yourself to rest your body and recover so you're ready to come back stronger the next training seshion.

"This actually ties in with protein, because a lot of people won’t do the right post-workout nutrition. You’ve got to get something into your body within 45 minutes of that workout otherwise you’re literally getting half the benefits of that workout.

"Your muscle tissue breaks down, you don’t recover well, your stress levels go up and you increase chances of injury and things like that as well.

"So it’s super important and the other part to that is sleep, sleep is when the magic happens. It’s all well and good to have cracking workouts, but if you can’t recover properly it’s going to be detrimental to your results."

If this means we get to sleep in every day, we're in!

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