weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
HI FOLKS. Adam this week. We’re back into the thick of September. Hopefully routine is settling back in for most of you? As a result of the influx of new people and changes to our class timetable I’ve been exposed to a couple of novel thoughts/opinions/ideas lately, through social media or clients or just general chit chat around the gym, that I found interesting, and I thought… let’s talk about them!
MYTH: You have to exercise to lose weight
It helps but it is not necessary. This post is inspired by a client that tended towards not sticking to nutrition guidelines on days she couldn’t get to the gym because she thought something like, “Well, sure I’m not gonna lose weight anyway, why not eat more!?”
Everyone in the entire history of humanity who ever lost weight did so as a result of an energy deficit. Consistently taking in, on average, less energy than they required. You can affect the amount of energy you require by exercising more and/or being more active. That is where exercise helps with weight loss. It tips the scales (no pun intended) on one side of the equation. But you can also tip the scales by taking in less energy in the first place (eating and drinking less).
Simple example… If I lock you in a room and don’t feed you and force you to exercise, you’ll lose weight. If I lock you in a room and don’t feed you but all you do is lay on the floor… you’ll still lose weight. It might be a bit slower but it’ll still happen.
So yeah, if you don’t make it to the gym (or can’t due to an injury or illness) it doesn’t mean the end of your weight loss goal. And it’s not a reason to ignore your nutrition guidelines. As far as I know my client found this useful, hopefully some of you will too?
And just in case it’s not clear: I am in no way saying you shouldn’t exercise or don’t need to for other reasons. I’m just saying it isn’t exercise alone that matters for weight management.
MYTH: One type of exercise is better than another
This one has been doing the rounds a bit lately as well. If it’s not fasted cardio vs fed cardio it’s HIIT vs LISS (high intensity interval training vs low intensity steady state). Weight training vs running. Sh’bam vs GRIT. Whatever!
There are 168 hours in the week. Your average gym goer probably spends between three and five of them exercising. In the overall scheme of things no one form of exercise is going to be so much better than all the rest that it’s going to make that much of a difference in that small space of time. So, the best exercise is… the one you enjoy so much that you do closer to five hours of it instead of three, and those five hours are you actively trying to get better at something you enjoy rather than just going through the motions because you feel you have to.
Now… caveat… load bearing activities matter. Whether that’s weight lifting, rock climbing, calisthenics or even things like pole dancing classes or some form of martial arts. Bearing load (doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights) is good for your bones. It helps them become strong and dense and that together with building sufficient muscle can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis and just generally improve health and help keep you moving and feeling better for longer as you get older.
So yeah, do what you enjoy, and actively try to get better at it!
MYTH: Virtual group fitness classes aren’t as good as instructor lead
This one is a little more personal to me, I guess. I think the virtual classes we offer at the Kingfisher Club are great! They aren’t quite as good as instructor lead classes but they’re a very close second and so much fun. I actively encourage our customers to try out the virtual classes (if they can’t make it to the instructor lead ones) and believe if you’re a member of the Kingfisher and not using them you’re missing out on a huge chunk of value in your membership… But (and this is the reason for this “myths” inclusion)… I’m often met with the attitude of, “Oh, I don’t like them, I don’t work as hard when there isn’t an instructor.”
Let me explain something for those of you that have never been to one of my classes… I never yell at specific people to do more. And on the odd occasion that I do gently encourage specific people to go a little harder I will never yell at them if they don’t.
Working harder because there is an instructor present (and even working harder for certain instructors and less for others) is a mindset issue and as a coach I would encourage you to attempt to change this. I go hard when I occasionally attend a virtual class, I don’t care that there isn’t an instructor present. I do my best for me, I encourage you to do the same. Try not to dismiss the virtual classes if they’re the only option you have. Give them a try and while you’re there do the absolute best you can… for yourself… not the instructor.
And that’s it for another week. I have to rush back to new classes and put some more bodies through their paces. Like I said, there is an altered timetable with some new classes to experience, check it out at waterford.kingfisherclub.com or download our app at waterford.kingfisherclub.com/kingfisher-app
Search for me @AdamWrightPT on Facebook or Instagram. Have a great week!