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.


2nd Thought cont….Mythbusting

Myth: “Doing Ab work burns abdominal fat and gives you a 6 Pack”

Good news everyone!! You all have a 6 pack! Yes, as in abdominal muscles not like the pic below, this is not a sick joke, you have a 6 pack! To the obese man who just lifted his shirt (and his chest) to check for his 6 pack hoping I have magic abilities, please cover up so that we can move on. Thank you 🙂

6 Pack

When people talk about a six-pack they are in fact talking about a muscle, called Rectus Abdominus, I know it sounds like something out of the next transformers movie, but it is a muscle just like your “bicep” aka Gun, is a muscle. The only difference for those who have a visible six-pack, is that they have built up there “abs” and kept the layer of fat above it to a minimal.

So you want one? but how? Firstly, we have to break a myth. Just because you are doing “ab” exercises doesn’t mean that you are burning fat on your “abs”. Why? well fat is an energy source, sadly a rich slow releasing energy source, but none the less, it means that you cannot really decide which part of your body you would like to burn fat on. HOWEVER, you can “tone” and build the muscle underneath which can be seen easier as soon as the fat layer diminishes. So what does this mean to you? do an all-round resistance and cardio training program that will use a large amount of calories (energy) that will draw on your fat stores throughout your body. BUT most importantly, start with a good eating plan of 5 small healthy meals a day. YES 5 of them! It will speed up your metabolism, and therefore the amount of energy you use in general. I will be focusing on this in my next Mythbuster and some exercise examples! So keep watching this space…and your eating! 😉

for more info on nutrition and food tips and myths, there is a really good blog by a nutritional biochemist. Go check it out!


2nd Thought

Thanks to my dad’s generosity, the fact that he has a friend in America and that I am an only child, I recently acquired an iPad 2! It is a great gift and enables me to type about interesting things while I am sitting in Supa-Quick buying new tyres for my bakkie for instance. Yes that is what I am doing right now and when I found out the price I considered bartering the pad for the tyres.

My ipad 2


My Tyres?

Moving on, I have come across some wonderful apps on the iPad…but I have also come across some Tom Foolery.  I figured I would download an app that gives fitness tips….I am almost sure the guy about to align my wheels was the chief editor of this app as there are a couple crazy facts about fitness! (Although he may be better at fitness facts than I am at aligning tyres), However, it has helped me realize that there are some misinformed people out there who are trying to accomplish fitness goals and failing. Over the next few days allow me to highlight a couple myths that need some tweaking…

One hard session a week.
This myth hosts the idea that if you can’t do moderately intense exercise a few times a week, just do one intense session a week. Now if you are reasonably fit, periodizing your training is a good idea where you add an intense session here and there. However, an intense session places strain on your body, and in this case where you are not trained for it, may take a week to recover only to face another big session and receiving no benefits. Now for the main point, take a minute and think back to a time where you may have done this. Then think a few days on from your intense session, did you by any chance have the flu or “cold”?

A high intensity session lowers the immune system if you are not trained for it

This is because that intense session suppressed your immune system leaving you susceptible to catching a virus, which was happily floating by until you sniffed it in and didn’t have a strong immune system to fight it off.

I have recently had a bout of the flu, and yes I had an intense touch rugby session a couple days prior. My girlfriend calls it man-flu….but now we know what it really is 😉

First Thought

Crazy Runner

So I was driving up fields hill this morning and low and behold a crazy man was running down the hill! For those of you who are not familiar with this hill, it is BIG, windey and a high accident zone. It is also a giant that destroys runners in the Comrades Marathon. Some of you at this point may still be picturing some man with an empty bottle of whisky and lipstick on his face screaming about his lost love as he gallops fearlessly down the hill, you would be wrong but it’s ok. This man was wearing running attire and was “in the zone”. But we have to ask why, why was he jogging down the most dangerous hill in his area at 8 in the morning?

He is after the one thing that many others are after – improving health and fitness. But there are a couple of things we will not notice or know as we see this man on the trot. , by running down hill you are eccentrically loading  the muscles (loading the muscles in the lengthening phase), unless you are a keen runner and have undergone many hills in the past, this can have negative effects on the muscles and tendons. However there can be great benefits in eccentric training over time. In rehab we often work with eccentric loading in a controlled environment with resisted exercises to strengthen tendons. This form of exercise was used in a study on soccer players’ hamstrings during preseason training, it resulted in less hamstring injuries during the season. So with that said, if you are a beginner runner don’t ignore the hills, but start slow and progress within reason, and maybe one day you can be the crazy man jogging down fields hill preparing for Comrades!

P.S. That was a joke, please use a different hill where there is less traffic!