As most of you know the best way to lose weight is by being in a calorie deficit whilst working out, the diet type doesn't matter... at all.
So you go the gym and you aren’t sure how using weights can be best for your goals or the best type of exercise to do but you heard cardio is the best… right?
You get on the treadmill spend 20 minutes jogging, you go on the bike spend 10 minutes cycling and then on the cross trainer for 20 minutes, because again you heard the variety gets you better results and spending 50 minutes on one piece of cardio equipment is boring as hell!
This is where things get interesting, so for every time you get on that treadmill your body does it slightly different, you will never notice the difference, your body will always find an easier way to do something, and it will cheat! Your body is made to adapt and will always try and find the easiest way to do things.
What this means for you is every time you get on the treadmill you will burn less calories as before, meaning your results at first will be great as you will get that massive adaptive phase, where your body doesn’t know what to do or how it can react most effectively, but as time goes on that effect will get less and less. even if you do switch machine your body will adapt to that type of movement, not the machine! So running on the crosstrainer will have a very similar effect as on a treadmill.
Once this happens you can do 3 things to keep that ‘calories burnt’ figure on the screen as high as possible, you can mix up the intensities, for example 15 minutes of running instead of 30 minutes of jogging, or 10 minutes of intervals etc.
Option 2 - is by using different inclines on the treadmills so running uphill, different resistances on the machine etc.
Option 3 - is bay far the best option – Use a mixture of weights and cardio – and using option 1 and 2 to mix up the cardio, so your body can try and adapt, you will get stronger, faster more dynamic and most importantly leaner and healthier!
on a separate note: When people talk about weight loss it usually isn’t what they mean, the number on the scale is the representation of you being unhappy with the ‘flabby bit under my arm’ or the ‘roll of fat on my back’ and the other parts of the body you don’t like, so it’s that fat that you want to lose, which yes will bring down the number on the scale but your must not fixate on that number.
By doing a mixture of Cardio and weights, you will build some muscle, you will keep those curves that you like, but most importantly you will be able to move that wardrobe on moving day, you can pick up those boxes in the office that were too heavy, you can help people to lift the heavy things instead of asking for help. Things like picking your kids up when playing with them will be easier.
If you train smartly and with the correct technique you will also improve your cardiovascular health, after a hard set I feel out of breathe, I still feel my heart beating hard and fast, so please stop doing endless amounts of cardio, if you are doing the same workout as 2 months ago the chances are you are improving anymore or if you are it won’t be the improvements you actually want.
You know who you are! You’re the person on the stairmaster sidestepping and kicking back whilst taking two steps at a time – well Hun I have news for you – while that burns your glutes, they aren’t actually growing!
The stimulus just isn’t there, the burn you feel is lactic acid, yeah they hurt the next day but that isn’t them growing – great tip to know whether your PT is good or not (if the PT makes you burn and ache so bad you can barely move after every session, they aren’t very good.)
You would have seen a difference at first, yes but that’s because you have gone from not doing anything to then training them, so the stimulus would have been there when you first started for probably no longer than a month, but it just isn’t there now and it won’t come back if you carry on doing the same. it will get less and less, you will end up losing size.
Here’s what you should be doing to grow those glutes and start seeing actual results.
Hip thrust – now while everyone will tell you to squat, the hip thrust (done correctly) will give you almost double the stimulus of what the back squat will give you (1), but again, this won’t work unless you use weights and I don’t mean light weights (2), I mean the type of weight that scares you but the type you can do safely and correctly with good control of the bar, doing this using a barbell has also been shown to have a greater stimulus than banded (3), so make sure you grab a barbell and some plates!
Next on the list is Cable pull throughs – these are very similar to stiff leg deadlifts or Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) however they force you into that correct position better than doing RDLs with a barbell or dumbbells, again you need to do them with some weight on the cable to get that stimulus, you need to squeeze your glutes the whole way through the movement while keeping control of the weight, the reason this is 2nd on the list is because of the ease of the movement and stimulus you get through your glutes.
Back Squats – These are incredible for everything you do, walking, jumping, carrying your kids, picking your kids up from the floor whatever it maybe, although the squat movement isn’t actually used in day-to-day life much, because of the stimulus it places on all your whole body it gives you a massive bang for your buck, the muscle stimulus for the glutes is greatest on the barbell back squat, and again done with good technique this will completely change your training and day-to-day life all while helping build that bum you want.
Frog pumps – These are tough but great for opening your hips up while giving you a different angle to hit your glutes and give your glutes a bit more shape and density – these target a muscle called your Gluteus Medius or Glute Med which is on the outer part of you bum, it’s important to work your glutes from different angles to give it the muscle stimulus it needs to grow and to hit muscles you might not get the best activation from doing something else.
Other exercises you should include are reverse hyperextensions, glute press (not leg press), banded fire hydrants, reverse lunges, RDLs, box or squat jumps, side lunges. All these target your glutes in different ways and using different movement patterns and planes of movement which means as long as the stimulus is good enough you will grow your whole glutes and will minimize your risk of injury as you won’t have a weak link.
1 - https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/jab.2014-0301 - Bret Contreras et al. A Comparison of Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, and Vastus Lateralis Electromyographic Activity in the Back Squat and Barbell Hip Thrust Exercises
2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15438627.2017.1282358 - Cochrane, Darryl J et al.
3 - https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/jab.2015-0091 - Bret Contreras et al.
A day in the life of a PT is a strange one as my day has to very dynamic and open to change, it’s not like a 9-5 where you can turn off your computer and go home. Personal training whether some people like it or not is a 24/7 job!
This is because PT’s like myself have a genuine passion for helping people, so even boring chores become an opportunity to learn – for example Hoovering is an experiment into which muscles are responsible - how can I train clients to find hoovering or manual chores easier? Driving becomes a learning experience by listening to podcasts, audiobooks and the audio to seminars. Even Shopping becomes an exercise into learning about new food and what foods have come out that I can recommend fitting into a client’s life.
Everyone thinks about PT as a physical job lifting weights all day however I rarely touch a weight in my working hours. my clients will prepare the weights and equipment that they need for their next exercise during their rest periods as this helps to burn even more calories. however Personal training is exceptionally mentally draining - people think we just stand and count. now don’t get me wrong, there are some shit PT's who literally stand and count reps, but a good PT will be looking at technique, your effort, your posture, the next progression, how that set will impact the rest of your workout, do you need progressions, regressions, more weight, more reps, do we need to change the work out completely as you just aren’t mentally in the workout? A good PT will consider all of these things and more whilst counting! These are the reasons why a good PT won’t have more than 3 sessions back to back, because mentally you need a break and probably a coffee!
Now let’s get into a typical day to day routine:
5am – wake-up and go to the gym
6am -9am – 3 clients
9am – eat and pre-workout coffee
10-11:30 – train and wash etc.
11:30 -12pm - eat
12pm-2pm – 2 clients
2pm-5pm – Client check-Ins, social media posts, research, program writing, website updates, course work, eat whatever it might be
5-8pm - 3 more clients
8pm- home time and eat, relax maybe more course work, programming. Etc.
So as you can see it’s a full on long day, all this time is scheduled the best we can but clients cancelling, rearranging and lateness can have a massive knock on effect. Also if we have any holiday, events or anything like that can also make the day vary.
Being self-employed means we don’t get sick pay, holiday pay, or anything else so if we miss a day for example because of car issues or sickness we miss out on a lot of money. Sure can use the time wisely and write programs etc, but we are paying for that time. We don’t get paid for that day off and then we actually lose more money to ‘pay for that’. now I’m not here to try and make you feel sorry for us, but this is a fact of PT.
But for those of us that last in the industry, it’s not the money that drives us to do this job. it’s the feeling you get when you watch a client walk out the door with a spring in their step and having the confidence to say hello to someone they would of never been able to look at because they were too nervous. It’s the transformation you see in the mentality of clients more than the physical transformation, while that can sometimes be awe-inspiring.
Diet Clubs - we've all heard of them and i'm sure that we all know someone that has been a part of them. i'm here to discuss the pro's and con's of diet clubs so that you can work if they're right for you.
On the one hand...
Diet clubs offer accountability, support, a community and a sense of belonging. they make you feel secure and like you are doing the right thing.
The fact that they offer you accountability means you will more than likely achieve your fat loss goals. it’s quite possibly the biggest thing that will make sure you stick to your exercise and diet plan.
The support aspect is also an incredible tool as you always have someone to talk to, someone to ask and someone that can offer advice when you are struggling.
A community helps when you are struggling or losing motivation. knowing that there is a community of other people that are going through or have been through the same emotions as you is incredible. This is because you can help each other get that motivation back and you have multiple people you can look at for inspiration and guidance.
Because everyone in your group is in the same boat this makes you feel like you belong at the club, working together to help each other reach your own goals. you also feel secure and like you are doing the right thing as you are surrounded by people who feel the same and are working hard to achieve similar goals.
On the Other hand...
The problem with these clubs is a huge one and it’s the reason they fail you. if you have had to re-do a weight loss club, if you have had to try something else after the weight loss club to lose weight then by definition it hasn't worked and it has failed you. Whether you agree with that or not, by definition it’s a fact. I’m sorry to tell you.
the big problem is their knowledge, it’s horrific and potentially doing more harm than good. a lot of the representatives fat shame and I have heard multiple people speak about how they were made to feel that if they didn’t lose weight or even if they did that they were still obese. their knowledge that a mashed banana is somehow different to a whole banana is insane. Not to mention the concept of ‘syn-free’ pasta and rice, possibly the things that people are most likely to overeat.
But this isn’t even the most damaging thing. the most damaging thing is that most of them will help you lose weight but then leave you with no habit changes, no understanding on how you lost weight and no understanding of the importance of changing your mindset. They don't educate you to think positively about your body or yourself, so that you don’t go back to stress eating, eating out of boredom, or eating because you don’t feel like you're worth anything. these are the reasons I hear people say that the club representative hasn’t the foggiest how to deal with stuff like that, neither does a crap PT. this is why you should invest properly in your health. this doesn’t mean you should just plough your money into any health product, you should invest your time and do your research on PT’s, products, clubs etc.
So if you are happy to go through the motions, lose weight then put it back on and then lose weight and then put it back on and end up spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on clubs, shakes, pills and powders to lose weight then that is 100% your choice.
However, If you want real sustainable change then hire a GOOD personal trainer. we have a Facebook group for clients so they can support one and another and get all the help they need from past clients and current clients.
I’m a personal trainer, who actually cares about you, your health and your results. if you turn up on time and put in the effort, I will give you everything I can to succeed with results straight away but also make you learn how to change in the future. I will teach you the basic principles that mean you will never need to ‘diet’ again and you won’t need to waste money on shakes, pills etc.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post.
The Main Author is Dan Grimes, Guest authors will be posting too.