Anyone that knows me, knows that a huge passion of mine is making fitness, exercise and nutrition accessible for everyone. Health and fitness should not be an elitist commodity in today’s society, and yet we're still seeing fitness professionals and brands treating it that way. Today, I've chosen 5 of the things I see fitpro's overcomplicating each day and have decided to break them down to the simplest terms possible. Enjoy!
Exercise Exercise should not be complicated. It should be so simple that it's just a part of each of our every day lives that for the most part, we do not even think about. Many fitpro's overcomplicate exercise by recommending 'fat loss' 'belly buster' and 'thigh sculpting' workouts when in actual fact, there is no such thing. Exercise is just a term used to describe a set amount of time where we move our bodies, elevate our heart rates and burn more calories than we would be sitting at a desk. Your exercise should be chosen based on your goals, your likes, your dislikes and your current health status. It should also be noted that there is no one 'best' exercise.
Nutrition Many fitpro's overcomplicate nutrition as a way to gain followers and create the illusion that their 'method' is better than the rest. Truth is, our bodies require a good balance of all-natural foods that exist. The best way to view this is as fats, carbohydrates, protein (macronutrients) and vitamins/minerals (micronutrients). None are bad and unless your body has special requirements due to existing medical conditions, we each need a certain amount of each to function daily. For the general population, nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it should be a case of making sure you get a variety of colours on your plate for micronutrients, choosing a substantial lean protein source to maintain the health or soft tissues, a complex carbohydrate to provide the body with energy and a portion of healthy fats to keep our brains and hormones functioning as they should.
Sets/Reps Depending on your goal, there are a few different ways to look at this. To keep it simple, I'm going to cover the basic sets and rep ranges used in lifting (if you're interested in reading more, see references at the bottom). If your goal is strength: 1-5 reps per set 4-7 sets per body part/exercise 2-6 minutes rest between sets If your goal is hypertrophy (growing muscle): 6-12 reps per set 4-8 sets per body part/exercise 2-5 minutes rest between sets If your goal is endurance: 15-60 reps per set 2-4 sets per body part/exercise 1-2 minutes rest between sets If your goals are a mix of each/a couple, then choose a mix of each for the appropriate body part.
Goal Setting Generally, goal setting can be a little daunting so I understand why some fitpro's overcomplicate the matter. Ideally, you want to set long term and short terms goals that relate to each other. The approach I take with my clients is this... Long Term Goal: Where do you want to be in 6-months to a years time from now? Short Term Goals: What do you need to do to achieve the above?
Programming Now I'll be the first to say that programming is one of my least favourite activities as a coach - I'll write more on this another time - but really, it can be rather simple once you get the hang of it. First, educate yourself on the different movement types; Squat, Hinge, Push & Pull. Then, make sure you have a variety of each in your program corresponding with however many days you can afford to train (don't overthink this). Focus first on the bigger compound lifts (those that use more than one muscle at a time) and then fill the gaps with isolation exercises to put more exertion on the other muscles that you either want to grow, strengthen or build endurance.
Essentially, my biggest take-home message from all of this is to keep it simple. If you're unsure of something, ask somebody who does, do your own research to draw up your own opinions and above all, continue doing what makes you happy. If you have any questions about anything in this post or want me to talk about anything specific, please send me an email at Beth@bethlavisfitness.com.
Always here, Beth x