Understanding exercise…really? pt 1

Fitness has a wild array of bests and busters and blasters and burners yet you’d be hard pressed to find clear description of how exercise actually works. This (in our opinion) is a result of the huge money to be made by grossly exaggerating fat loss results and the promise of superstar looks.

We are personal trainers which is a term we often see applied backwards. Personal should mean it is about you not the trainer. Trainers should formulate your exercise as a result of your specific reactions not their foggy notion of what is best.

In a nutshell

Every minute of your life you are imposed on by outside stressors, some stimulate you in a good way some negative and over time this wears on your body. The only true role of exercise is ironically…more stress. If the stress is applied with precision it will force you to adapt and protect yourself (gaining strength, stamina, mobility etc).

In other words, the whole point of exercise is akin to building a callous on the palm of your hand. You agitate the tissues and the skin toughens in response to protect your hand. The stress must be specifically on the palm of course and just enough but not too much (or you blister). We describe this because if honestly understood you will sooner or later start asking questions like: How would losing fat and changing my looks protect me?

And therein lies the confusion. People exercise to sweat and huff and puff and try to burn body fat to change the way they look. You may in a limited manner achieve this and this IS positive but you will not achieve anything permanent. Outside stress will put you right back where you started. Lower body fat levels and supposed increases in cardio function are not nearly as cut and dried as most are led to believe.

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Fat loss will make you look thinner but it is caused only by living off/eating your own tissue and comes with substantial overall systemic weakening (muscle loss, slowed metabolic rate etc). Even less known is that endurance adaptations are almost 100% activity specific.

In part 2 : “The endurance paradox”

Be well, be strong,

Andrew and Tierney


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