They are everywhere from infomercials to the doctor’s office, people around us, the internet. Everyone has their opinion, heard about stuff, a research, someone who, etc. I don’t mind hearing what people have heard, or read but when it comes across what I am trying to teach or implement into a new lifestyle, I get irritated. People are often misled by tons of information. Newspapers will do anything to get new readers. I’ve seen many articles trying to bash the benefits of fish oils. For example; a research was done by a university in whoknowswhere that 10 participants which stated that fish oils MAY have been responsible for some side effects if combined with who knows what. What was the huge title? The dark secret of fish oils, it may harm you. Anything to get the reader’s attention, and guess what, some people will believe it just to go against the trend, be different, those that if brains would be taxed, they would get a rebate. I try my best to educate my clients the best I can with the latest research and show them how to differentiate between the good and the bogus. If you want to learn how, read this ‘’so you think you can give advice?’’ Here is a little compilation of what I often come across in my office and questions in my blog.
‘’When I put my legs together, my inner thighs touch together and it rubs when I walk, how can I make it disappear?’’ It’s fat, so there is no specific exercise that will get rid of this. The biggest problem with the ”situation” is most probably your hormonal system, which may be giving you a hard time to eliminate the fat around the thighs and butt area. No matter how many hours you spend watching TV with the thigh buster between your legs, or the endless sets of adductor and abductor machine you do at the gym, unless you start a nutritional protocol that will help you with excess estrogen issue, keep working out because the fat will not come off that easily. Supplements such as Dim, Calcium D-Glucarate, estro detox can help you get rid of that stubborn fat, but not without the proper nutritional support. Some lifestyle management change may also be in order to help you lose faster, it all depend on your will to get rid of the fat and to keep it off once and for all. One last thing, if your inner thigh touches together, maybe it’s because you have put on some lean muscle on your hamstrings, adductor and buttocks, which gives it a full look. Would you rather have the legs on the left or on the right? If you choose the left one, I don’t think you are on the right blog. By the way, guess which one is healthier and with the lowest bodyfat?
Fat does not contract
I thought this one died years ago but it never fails to come back once in a while. If that would be true, everybody would walk with six pack abs year round or with a butt that looks like the picture on your right. The fat burning effect of exercising is one that you must apply regularly, but the sole responsibility of burning fat is your ability to keep your body into an anabolic state by eating the proper food, sleeping well and living a balanced lifestyle. As a matter of fact, most women who do spinning thinking it will help them lose fat around the thighs. For example, well known fitness model Chrissy May hired Charles Poliquin for an upcoming photo shoot in oxygen magazine. May was a huge spinning advocate despite the fact that she always had problems losing and leaning out her legs. Charles changed her training and she dropped from 15% body fat to 9% in three weeks after she switched from the useless spinning to high resistance interval training. Here is Charles take on spinning:
‘’Why is spinning so useless if I am getting a great workout from it? Because the high velocities fatigue a particular point in the neuro-muscular junction which is responsible for the rapid firing rate of the motor units, you perceive great fatigue even though little work has been done. When you think about it, you could reproduce the same type of fatigue in your triceps if I asked you to hold a pair of fly swatters and swat an imaginary 100 flys in 30 seconds. Would you triceps get tired, sure. Would they improve significantly in terms of conditioning. NO. Why? Because the resistance is not high enough to elicit the hormonal response needed to create adaptive response that would bring about positive body composition changes.
In spinning exercise, the body adapts by storing both intra-muscular and subcutaneous fat in the thigh and hip areas to provide a more readily available source of fuel for the aerobic recovery periods. The body figures out, if I store fat there it reduces the time to get to the muscles to provide the energy source. Result: Kobe beef thighs and butt, all plump and marbled with fat inside.’’
Aerobic is good for your heart
So is spinning good for your heart you may ask? I would say much better than doing endless sessions of treadmill, but cardio vascular endurance has little to do with your hearth’s health. Running marathons or other forms of exercise that lasts for 3 hours or more puts you at risk, about 1 in 50 000, of suffering heart attacks or sudden cardiac death during or within 24 hours of the effort(1). Running a marathon or cycling intensely for three hours is riskier than taking a commercial airline flight, even in these troubled times!
Another misconception worthy of mention; never think that being good in spinning and killing it every session will make you good in other challenges. I love when I get the spinning instructor who thinks that their cardio vascular shape is superior, come to me and say that I wouldn’t be able to challenge them. Fifteen minutes later, after making them try the prowler and trying to pry out the puke bucket from their hands, I explain to them that you can`t transfer an ability to another one, especially with spinning. First in spinning, the wheel keeps on turning, so the resistance is not that hard, unless you crank it up a notch but even if you do, you get used to it very fast. Another good example I can give you is Lance Armstrong. After winning numerous tour de France, he tried a marathon and said that it was the toughest thing he ever did. Runners experience a feeling they call ‘’the wall’’, he did hit a couple of them on his way to the finish line.
Losing weight as a marker for health.
Looking at the scale as a primary health marker is as useful as a pair of rubber lips on a woodpecker. One night, a client came to have a chat and felt discouraged. The reason was because his numbers on the scale were not going down. However, I couldn’t get mad at him, I was furious at his doctor. With the few ones out there that can actually do their jobs, make people healthier and care about their patients, I am really starting to have the proof that evolution CAN go in reverse. Though overweight, my client has decided a month ago to take charge and change his habits, which he did in a heartbeat. Lost about 10 pounds of fat in 4 weeks and gained almost the same amount of lean mass. Almost every week I have to give him a pep talk just to make sure he stays on track and not listen to his so called healthy fat doctor that is so fat, he got baptized at SeaWorld.
Misconceptions are fallacious ideas and beliefs that are documented and widespread as well as the actual facts concerning those ideas, where appropriate. In other words, information about a fact are misinterpreted and changed at the free will of whoever wants to spread them and whoever wants to listen. Unless I see the actual research, I always question an opinion if it is solid and if it is supported by solid facts and/or research and needless to say that it has to make sense. So for my client that lost the same amount of fat as he gained in lean mass, what is important is that his clothes are looser, that he feels 10 times better and that the quest to lose fat keeps on raging. For those of you who want to lose fat, spinning may not be the solution but resistance training can help you reach your goals faster. Want to have a stronger heart? Try H.I.I.T., strongman and resistance trainings with the proper nutrient rich diet including protein, tons of green veggies and healthy fats. Does it make sense?
[i] Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol 28, pp 428-431, 1996