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Friday, March 21, 2014

As we rocket around the world wide web checking out fitness sites and information we run into TMI (too much information) almost instantly. As a trainer I am perhaps more guilty than many since I feel a need to be current so that I can answer questions my clients may have. One of the things which I have found is that most of the fitness” information” is not based on any research but rather on anecdotal information or opinion.This is going to turn into a bit of a rant as I share my thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics.
First off let’s talk about diets and nutrition. The current fads are gluten free and the paleo diet neither of which has any research basis. The research on gluten free diets indicates that they are beneficial for those who have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or some form of Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel problem. All of the other information on the rationale for going gluten free is anecdotal and may be a placebo effect. If anyone has a quality research citation to refute this please send it to me. The paleo diet is touted as return to the way our Paleolithic ancestors ate when they were hunter gatherers. This period is also known as the Stone Age, food production did not begin until the Neolithic. There is a degree of uncertainty as to what constituted the so called paleo diet in that there was a wide diversity as to the geography, climate and available resources for the hunters and gatherers resulting in different diets. As an aside most of the domesticated vegetable, grain and fruit crops now available have been derived from wild predecessors albeit much different from them.
My next rant topic is cardio and its importance in weight loss. The current myth is that long duration cardio is required for significant weight loss. Part of the problem with this approach to weight loss is that up to 25% of the weight lost is muscle tissue which decreases the basal metabolic rate. In addition this type of programme has been demonstrated to cause stress and increase the production of the hormone cortisol.
“Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
• Impaired cognitive performance
• Suppressed thyroid function
• Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
• Decreased bone density
• Decrease in muscle tissue
• Higher blood pressure
• Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
• Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems .
A properly constructed resistance training programme, even one using only bodyweight, will have a built in cardio effect negating or reducing the need for dedicated cardio workouts for general fitness and fat loss.
Lastly I want to talk about workout duration versus intensity. Multiple hour workouts are not necessary except for elite athletes, for general fitness and fat loss twenty to thirty minutes is adequate if intensity is substituted for duration. This does not mean that every workout has to be a Tabata protocol or other HIIT type workout; a circuit type workout will provide the necessary intensity. A proper circuit workout is a series of resistance exercises done without pause then a recovery before the circuit is repeated. The training effect occurs during the recovery not the load phase of the circuit. These are the findings of the most current research.http://www.teatronatu
The down side of this type of workout is that you can not zone out, reading, watching TV or writing your next term paper or blog in your head, you have to concentrate on what you are doing.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good read, agreed. But I do like to watch my TV as I walk/jog on my treadmill and I do like to listen to my music when out on trails. Yes, it may make for less focused for some, but I tend to think about so much that it may just help me focus on less and allow me to run or workout without worries. :-)
    1456 days ago
    How dare you go around making sense.
    1723 days ago
    We do so appreciate your sharing the latest research findings with us. Your insights always have the ring of common sense

    For those interested, SergeantMajor is the leader of the team F.I.T. Females In Training and has posted there many other insightful articles.
    1854 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I wish you could be my trainer! Common sense prevails! Glad you opined!
    1854 days ago
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