When you're in a gym with 20+ treadmills lined up in a row and they are all empty you know that there is a good chance that the next person that comes in will undoubtedly take the treadmill beside you.
Then they causally glance over at your speed, especially if you're doing intervals to check-in and make sure you're not going faster than they could. Come on! I'm right here I can see you're looking!
These are a new breed of annoying gym goers.
Unless you are my client or you have a body like Giselle I really don't need to know your latest "Fran" score or how much you can deadlift.
The Group Fitness Diva
This person gets to the class 10 minutes early and waits impatiently at the door to make sure they secure their ideal spot (usually top left in my observations). They were born to be aerobic queens and on one hand I admire their commitment and ability to dance like nobody is watching. But on the other hand when you miss a step and they run you over like aerobic roadkill these gym goers can be frightening and annoying.
The Pile Maker
They grab everything they could ever possibly need for every possible exercise they've ever seen and pile it right beside their mat (or mats). Heaven forbid they have to wait 30 seconds for someone to use a medicine ball!
The pile maker really doesn't bug me that much BUT if they finish their workout and leave everything in their pile for someone else to tidy up then that's super duper annoying. Who do they think they are?
The gym really is no place to socialize. I'm a trainer and I personally can't stand being in a gym longer than 45 minutes. Get in, get it done, get out.
It always amazes me how people can kill HOURS in a gym chatting. Don't let yourself go there, it's procrastination.
Let's get one thing straight: physical recreation is not exercise! Exercise is the application of measurable stimuli to decrease fat, increase muscle or improve performance.
Recreation is for fun.
Exercise is for creating change.
I have a couple of male clients in their 50s and I hear this from them all the time, "yep, got 2 rounds in so I exercised." NO! Golf is not your exercise, it is a great form of recreation but you will not have an elevated heart rate (unless you're 80+ or a recovering stroke patient or a terrible golfer!)
If you can smoke a cigarette while you are being active then your are not exercising. I argue physical recreation includes golf, doubles tennis, types of yoga, and snow angel making. Physical recreation will help burn more calories than just sitting but the other health benefits of exercise such as decreased risk of heart problems, diabetes, etc. do not come from physical recreation.
In kinesiology we talk about METS, measured units of energy. METs need to be elevated above a certain level for an activity to be defined as exercise. For simplification purposes I like to think I'm reaching a desirable MET if I'm sweating within the first 5 minutes of the activity. If I'm not sweating after 5 minutes then I'm performing physical recreation.
There's a place for recreation but exercise should not be confused with it!
There are two types of fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Visceral fat is the scary fat, the fat that sits around our vital organs and disrupts regulatory processes.
Notice on these two scans the woman on the left has excess subcutaneous fat but the really scary part of this scan is the white fat around the centre of her body – that’s the visceral fat.
Visceral fat is difficult to detect because you can’t pinch it and know it’s there like subcutaneous fat.
So what should this woman on the left do? Sit-ups? NO!
My rule of thumb for fat loss is it has to jiggle. Sounds weird but it works. If you’re comfortable working out than it’s not working. I’m not saying kill yourself but make it jiggle. MOVE! Sit-ups, crunches, etc. isolate only a small % of our musculature.
If you’ve ever been to a spin class and noticed the guys with the large bellies who are there all the time and never lose any fat … that’s because they are comfortable and not jiggling.
If you want a lean body you need to build lean mass all over. Sprint, jump, leap … all good things to include in your regular regime. Jiggling more will help spike metabolism and a faster metabolism = a leaner you.
Clients shutter when I bring out this little marshmallow stick…
This harmless-looking apparatus has made grown men cry.
Stick-ing people is one of the best parts of my day. If you’ve never used a stick before you’re in for a treat.
Why do I love myofascial release so much? Well, about four years ago now I started spinning on a regular basis. I did that for about 3 months and then returned to running. The switch back was awful. My knees felt like they were locking with every step. I had to stop exercising for almost six weeks and that was horrible. I knew I had IT band problems so I went to see physio after physio, getting ultrasounds, stretches and various strengthening exercises. Nothing worked. I then spoke to a super fit friend of mine who suggested I try myofacial release (the stick or foam roller) and it was amazing!
The first time I hooped on a foam roller I was sweating from the pain after two minutes. Determined to get better … typical A type, I brought my foam roller with me everywhere; university common rooms, libraries, boyfriends house, etc. I’d pull out my foam roller and roll for 5-10 minutes here and there. People thought I was nuts … probably still do! But it worked! I was back to running and had no pain whatsoever. The myofacial miracle maker!
Here’s why myofacial release essential:
We have layers of fasica tissue all over our body. Fasica, unlike muscle does not have a muscle belly and therefore it cannot be stretched with typical methods of stretching.
Imagine a pizza dough being stretched out from your hip to your knee. It will be bunchy. You need a roller to roll out the bunches in the dough… the same thing happens with your fascia.
If you don’t stretch your fascia then you will be far more prone to injury. I argue that it is the single most important thing to stretch. You will know when your fasica is in good shape because rolling over it should be absolutely painless.
A great alternative to a stick is the foam roller:
The foam roller will accomplish the same thing as a stick but BE RUTHLESS.
Make sure you’re rolling over an uncomfortable spot, resist the temptation to make it easier by shifting your weight to a comfortable place.