2nd Thought…last myth….for now!

Myth: “Jogging makes you look lean and toned”

Pic from "mineralschool.net"

Firstly “tone” is muscle firmness, so to look toned would be the ability to see your muscle firmness, i.e. Leaner (less fat), firmer muscle.
So this one is a half truth. Guys can burn fat at low intensity with long duration exercise, ladies also do but not at the same extent.  That is why it is suggested for ladies to have an all-round training program (interval cardio work and resistance training) if they are looking to tone up AND burn fat. BUT the most important factor in losing fat is nutrition. You should have a lean eating plan based on 5 small meals a day. “oh but Geoff, 5 is way too many, I want to lose weight not bulk up”, this is what a lot of you would have said, but that’s ok! You see, if you eat one big meal a day your body believes that it will not have enough energy to sustain itself, so it stores the food (in the form of fat), leaving you lacking energy and gaining weight. Put it in this way, If I gave you one big meal a day for an extended period, and that meal was all you had each day, you would save it and eat it bits at a time. So don’t get upset when you only give your body one big meal a day and it decides to “save” it! Remember, if you are overweight you may have a slow metabolism, or you are consuming more energy than you are using, so don’t start up about Ethiopians are not fat etc! They never ate enough in the first place to make them overweight, their energy consumption was never higher than their energy expenditure!

By upping your eating frequency in small bits you speed up your metabolism! Wohoo, you get to eat more often and lose weight! But remember, small and healthy meals – low in fatty, oily and sugary content!

Facts & Tips:

A higher muscle mass means a faster metabolism! So get into that gym!

but you have no excuse people, use those arms!

Have a look out of interest at the different bodies between the running events. Compare 100m sprint with 800m, 10km up to ultra marathon. The ladies who run the highest mileage events are not necessarily your leanest athletes. Although every Kenyan runner I have seen is lean! Genetics, exercise, food…..

100m sprinter

100m sprinter

10km race

Ultra Marathon - "Comrades"

800m athletes

um........pretty far

You are what you eat, AND, you may well be what your parents are (genetics)! Before you use this as an excuse, please read the line on 5 small meals and exercise, this will combat your genetically slow metabolism:)

you are what you eat! "joshgarage-typepad-com.png"

Your body will adapt to the demands you impose on it, for example, speed/explosive work will build muscle as a larger muscle generates more power, therefore more speed, so consider incorporating some explosive (sprinting,jumping,speed cycling) work into your program.

Alright guys and girls, try some super setting in your training program: example, 8 bench flies (or push ups if you do not have a gym membership), 8 walking lunges (per leg) holding weights, & 20 crunches. Repeat this set 3 times in a row then take a 2-3 minute rest before a different superset. It’s a good way of building strength and upping your heart rate, which will target those carbs as an energy source!

Physiologically there is a lot more behind muscle type in relation to exercise type, but if you would like me to go into greater depth about any topic, feel free to ask questions in the “comments” section.


14 thoughts on “2nd Thought…last myth….for now!

  1. Good articles bra…I think you also have different types of fitnessesseesss (sorry I got carried away with the e’s and s’s). Fitness in one type of sporting activity does not equate into fitness in another necessarily. I have experienced this with the various types of sport I have been involved in. I think that cross training is great as long as it relates to what you are trying to achieve in sporting terms-I am not talking here about people who are looking at just having decent cardio. I have noticed cardio in distance running, swimming etc., is quite different to maintaining an extended sparring/grappling session which in turn is quite different to lifting to decent iron in the gym. I think that I have finally settled on “functional fitness”-if it serves no function in your chosen sport or day to day life then it is quite useless. I am of course talking as a layman here and from my own experience. I appreciate the blog bra and yes I do have a six pack…they are just very shy. I will leave with you with a question that I found quite interesting when I read it-Can you be fat (not obese) and fit…reference Fighters Only. What say you kind sir?

    • Big Marc! It’s nice to see you reading my blog:) you are correct in your functional fitness and different fitness depending on exercise. This is referred to as the SAID principle, I used it’s implication in the “tips” section about your body adapting to speed work etc. SAID – Specific Adaptation to an Imposed Demand. You will tend to get fitter (cardiovascular efficiency) and your muscle tends to develop specifically to the type of training you do. Example, even if you make a fit runner go swim he will not be anywhere nearly as fit as a fit swimmer, let alone make him grapple! Yes ofcourse fat people can be fit, especially in the sense that if you were to take their heart and muscle and place it in a much lighter frame, they would perform at a seemingly “fitter” level. Grappling is quite specific, and yes you will be fit in that area if you have trained for it, even if you are way heavier than a fit runner for example. If you make him grapple he will not have the same stamina/fitness (or strength obviously!) as you as his body is conditioned for a different event…..I hope this makes sense?

      • Abs scmabs-is there a way that I can put a photograph on this blog for humour…all relating to abs etc. I could perhaps send it to you. Thanks for this blog bra-it is lekka for interacting and learning what has worked (and failed) for other people. Geoff do you subscribe to the various body types philosophy…i.e. mesomorph, endomorph etc. If you do should each individual not be looking at where they stand and then trying to work for their best possible body conditioning. If that philosophy is true a lot of people will get extremely frustrated because they are just not seeing the results that their mates are getting with the same eating plan and training regime. I was told by a dietician that the whole BMI thing does not work across the board but works on averages. I was upset because at 5.10″ I could not get below 96kg regardless of how hard I trained and how strictly I stuck to an eating plan. This I find acts demotivates people and they give up because they are in essence reaching for an impossible or unrealistic goal. Remember the boxing bra-you had a good right hand but it does take it out of you hey.

    • I believe fitness equates equally well into every sport activity. By doing a sport which requires specialization you might reduce other abilities for the sake of another. Fitness differs by degree, not by kind. I believe that to deem yourself as fit you should be competent in cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, flexibility, strength, speed, power, coordination, agility, accuracy and balance. Also you should be able to move large loads over large distance in a small amount of time. By ensuring you are ready for the unknown and unknowable you will be able to run a 10km fairly comfortably, while also being able to squat over 150 kg. Functional Fitness is a word that is used too loosely these days and it frustrates me when people don’t know what real function fitness is all about. Functional fitness is more about giving you the correct tools and techniques to performance various tasks safely and efficiently with efficacy using multiple joints and muscle groups, not to specialize in single sport and suck at others.

      • Thanks for the comment Gareth. You definitely have a point, we tend to focus on fitness as meaning cardiovacular or VO2max capabilities and ignore other areas. However, I do think stamina, strength, flexibilty is vital for TOTAL or OVERALL fitness, I do not think that for someone to be deemed fit they must be able to carry large loads over a large distance or squat 150kgs etc. Surely you have to consider what people enjoy? For example, Roger Federer seems to enjoy tennis or at least wants to be extremely good at it. If he were to start doing all the heavy carrying etc, he would not do enough specific training to help him improve his sport. This then can be applied into all professional sport. Many elite long distance athletes, swimmers, jockeys etc would not be as good in their sport if they focussed on some of those areas you mentioned and forgot about focussing on the training that would help them excel at their sport. It is debatable to say that they specialize in one and suck at others, because they may not want to play the others. So they choose to be exceptional at one instead of being average at a whole lot. This still doesn’t take anything away from your point of being be able to function really well in day to day (overall functional fitness) you should be have good flexibilty, strength, cardio etc. I am just saying if you choose to be exceptional at a sport, there is nothing wrong with focussing on the exercises that will help you achieve your best

      • I understand that if you require to specialize then you would do so, but people who are strong and can run far are usually much more useful… I like following the what is fitness guidelines made by CrossFit, and that is, increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. I personally weigh around 120kg, I’m easily able to squat over 150kg, run 400m in an average of 1:27, 2.4km just below 10 minutes… now all of these numbers can go up and down a lot still as my fitness improve, especially if you go look at the international players in the CrossFit Games. In the end it depends in your long term goals, do you want to exceptional in one thing, or would like to be great in many…

      • @Gareth, no doubt to be all-round fit at a high level should be the ideal goal for anyone. Those numbers you punched up there are pretty impressive considering you are carrying 120kgs! Ok I can understand squatting 150kgs but being able to run decent times are impressive. Yeah crossfit are onto something really good there. However if someone comes into my rooms and requests to be exceptionally conditioned for Tennis/Basketball/swimming etc, I will have to give exercises to improve that area of interest based on my knowledge of what would be functianl for them. Personally, I run a “bootcamp” with a range of people from young to middle-aged ladies and guys. I have got them running, jumping, undergoing resistance training with weights and bands, dampened plyometric exercises, even pushing my car up and down the road on one occassion, multi-directional agility work, core activation and abdominal exercises and we end with 5minutes stretching. So dont get me wrong, unless you are training for a particular sport I am all for total fitness! Example, my last exercise session was a light jog, followed by sprints, continuous walking lunges,then a super-set of stair sprints, push ups, bridging and ab work. most enjoyable:)

  2. Great question and comment mate, watching the RWC would to me be evidence you can be heavy and fit (eg front rowers), but am looking forward to a geoffbatch answer! Keep them coming Geoff, very interesting and readable!
    For those of us working in offices and not kitchens 😉 would you suggest meal replacements, like shakes or maybe give us an example of suitable bites as opposed to the vending machine?

    • Bob! I miss you man. ideally we should try and get all our nutrition from a good eating plan, but realistically we can’t always do it, so a shake with the right combination of carbs, protein and fat can help. Try this out if you can, start with oats for brakfast, then have a fruit middmorning, for lunch take down an open sandwich on Rye or Low GI bread, put some skinless chicken or tuna on it, or some low fat cottage cheese, cucumber, ground pepper etc. then a couple provitas with marmite or humus for mid PM, then have supper in the evening including some veggies, and low in oily/fatty content. Try not eat too big a meal and not late at night, ALWAYS watch out for sauces, if you have a salad – chicken/tuna etc rather add some lemon juice and pepper than a creamy sauce or mayo. Sweet chillie sauce is normally low in fat but very high in sugars so just have a touch of it. If you are going to have pasta or potatoes or something, rather have it for lunch than supper as they are high in carb content. Although I have heard you use more energy sleeping than sitting watching tv, so thats something to consider if it is true! Always try get up and go for a walk around or at lunch time…. if you dont have time for a quick run, ride or swim and shower 🙂 hope some of the tips here can help. I highly recommend that you check out as she has a greater knowledge on nutrition than myself….hope all is well your side Bob 🙂

  3. Thanks Geoff… Could you post an example eating plan? I find it hard to think up 5 healthy meals a day and so I get despondent and binge :-/

    • Liezo check out my response to Rob, and I will try find those examples I had typed out and email them to you. have a look at that link i attached in last comment as well. chat soon

  4. Hey Geoff. Great blog, bro. You are a gifted writer. This helps alot for a guy like me trying to make the most of his 2 visits to the gym in a week. Especially that super set. I mainly just do a 22 minute jog with 2 minutes sprinting on 16-18mins and then 3 different types of weight training: Arms (coz they’re so freaking thing, gotta work them a bit) and Abs (Lower abs and the side abs, they might not be abs, but you know what I’m talking about?)

    Here’s my logic on abs… I agree entirely that just because you do abs you won’t get a six pack. I am not necessarily working for a six pack (or else I would have to be at gym more regularly and change my diet – one thing I’m not willing to do just yet!!) But what I do want to do is maintain my weight and not put on too much around the waist. Obviously a big one is keep your energy expenditure at the same level (or above) energy consumption. But also, my logic is that surely if one works the ab muscles pretty hard, the fat stores closest to those muscles would then be used quicker by those nearby muscles for energy? I am no sports scientist. But that’s my logic. What do you think?

    • Hey James! pitty I wont see you at the rugby this w’end thanks to Stormers loss! As much as I want to say it will burn more fat in that region, everything I have read and studied disproves it. You see, the body is using energy for other things besides making you do a crunch, i.e. breathing, pumping your heart, thinking about doing the next crunch, digesting your food etc. We all have a different genetic make-up, and so we store fat in certain areas more easily and burn fat in other areas initially. Example, some people will first put on fat in their arms, or abs…others first in the legs etc……In the end we dont decide where we store it, and as far as it seems we dont decide where we lose it. It is an all-round holistic approach 🙂 Build the muscle under the fat, eat healthy and wait for the benefits 🙂 Remember if you have a thin layer of fat over the abs, by building the abs underneath the fat they will be more noticable. I am going by what research I am aware of – Tim Nokes said an interesting thing to a group of people before he spoke. “50% of what I am going to tell you is not true, I just cant tell you which 50% it is.” There are always new findings, and I will post any if I come across them…..especially on the fat burning ab workout 😉

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