Tag Archives: fitness

Pros and Cons of Your Fitness Options

It is that time of year, the resolutions have begun. Many of you are in the hunt for an avenue to begin a new fitness program.

But what should you be doing? How should you go about making changes? Where can you go to begin a program?

There are so many avenues available to you that often the most difficult part of the process is simply figuring out what the best option is for your investment.  

Here are my thoughts about the most common paths people take at this time of year.

Gym Membership

Gym memberships are great for people who are self motivated and already have a good base knowledge of how to design a fitness and nutrition program. They provide clean and safe equipment and an area to workout. If you already have a workout buddy or group and are comfortable with how your body works and how to design a fitness program than a gym membership is a great option for you.

Gym memberships are not good for individuals who are unfamiliar with exercise programs and how to design a program to meet their goals. If you need someone to motivate you and teach you what you should be doing or if you find exercise to be boring and it seems more like a chore, than a gym membership is a large waste of your money.

Pros

·         Set hours and consistent access

·         Variety of equipment

·         A lot of variety

·         Most activities and facilities included in membership

·         Larger chains provide access to facilities in multiple cities

 

Cons

·         Locked into membership for 1 to 2 years

·         No guidance or long term support; the only support offered is very basic and is designed to entice you to purchase additional services

·         More concerned about profit than your long term health

·         Many ‘hidden’ fees

·         Hide information and pricing from you in order to ‘hook’ you into listening to their sales pitch

·         Staff are all sales driven and are rewarded for high sales, not for education and furthering their knowledge base and skills

·         Large chains often lag behind fitness industry trends and research by months or even years

·         Can be very intimidating

 

Purchasing Equipment for Home

This is the other most common purchase for people who are looking to embark on a fitness program. The purchase of home based fitness equipment. Treadmill’s and elliptical trainers are the two most frequently purchased pieces of equipment.

The vast majority of fitness equipment is based on cardiovascular fitness training only and does not incorporate strength or flexibility training. There are some popular strength based pieces of fitness equipment but most of these promise dramatic results in short periods of time, which is an immediate red flag. Too good t be true = it IS too good to be true.

I call treadmills and elliptical trainers the most expensive coat rack you will ever buy. You may get on it for a few weeks but soon you will be bored to tears and after 4 weeks of slaving away you will not feel any stronger or fitter and you will look the same in the same clothes. For the cost of this equipment you could have an experienced personal trainer TEACH you what to do and how to exercise with no equipment at all!

There are a lot of companies salivating at this time of year and waiting to impress you with flashy marketing, flashy equipment, and flashy payment plans to suck you into purchasing equipment that has a track record of being ineffective at changing lives. Commissions are great for them, however.

Pros

·         Convenient due to location in your home

·         Private for those nervous to go to a gym or join a program

·         Can be a good kick start to initiating a fitness program

Cons

·         Rare to achieve long term fitness success

·         No instruction or long term support

·         High cost for quality equipment

·         Very tedious and boring over time

·         Very little variety, becomes very boring

·         One sided fitness, does not encourage a well rounded fitness program

Private Fitness Facilities

These are smaller versions of gyms and are often very specific as to their services. Common offerings are yoga, personal training, group programs, pilates, dance fitness, martial arts, or a variety of other fitness based offerings. Many facilities also offer a combination of services.

In general you will find a higher quality of service at these establishments and it is much more personal. Programming and offerings are cutting edge and are created around what is most effective and not what generates the most profit.

You will also tend to find a more experienced, educated, and higher quality of staff at smaller private facilities as they offer more rewards for staff members, better pay and better opportunities for career advancement.

The challenge is to find a facility that offers services and programs that are appealing to you and effective at the same time. Again, this comes down to research and research! Check out facilities in your area, talk to the staff, and talk to current members in order to ensure that it is the right place for you.

­Pros

·         Personalized services and offerings

·         The most cutting edge and modern programming available

·         More focus on service and quality than on profit, fads, and gimmicks

·         Variety of services

·         Staff that actually care about your long term success and well-being

·         Affordable for the quality of service

Cons

·         Can be more expensive than a monthly membership

·         Cannot use facilities on your own time (typically)

·         Limited options can make long term fitness difficult

Personal Training

In my opinion this is the best option available to everyone. If you have never exercised in your entire life, or if you have competed in Ironman competitions, a quality personal trainer is worth their weight in gold. The key phrase is quality.

80% of personal trainers should not be allowed to call themselves fitness professionals and should not be allowed to dispense fitness advice.  This is an unregulated industry and finding a quality and experienced trainer is very difficult. For detailed information on how to do that follow the following link to my blog about the subject. http://tayloredtraining.ca/blog/the-problems-with-personal-trainers/

The cost is not as much as many people think (Visit my blog to learn about that as well: http://tayloredtraining.ca/blog/the-cost-of-personal-training/ ).

Yes I am biased to personal training, that’s why I do it for a living. Make sure to research your trainer before signing up with them. Kingston has many facilities where quality personal trainers are available to you. Research them, interview them, talk to their other clients, check on their certifications and experience. Ensure that you have selected the right trainer for you, then sign up with them and be prepared to get blown away.

Pros

·         Program is customized to your body

·         Lack of motivation is not a problem

·         Experienced trainers can help avoid injuries and they can work around previous injuries

·         Customized diet and nutrition advice

·         Constant motivation and someone to ‘checkup on you’

·         Cut through the myths and fads and have a realistic and effective program customized for you

·         80% more effective than working out on your own

·         Vast increase in education and leaves you with the ability to train on your own after the end of the workouts

Cons

·         Cost can be prohibitive

·         Finding a good trainer can be difficult

·         Investing in a poor trainer can be a waste of money

·         Can be very addictive, you may never want to train alone again

Books, Magazines, and the Internet

This is a dangerous category. It is so easy to post on the internet that almost anyone can raise a voice, even if they have no experience of knowledge base to be able to do that. Fads and unsafe programs and diets are very, very, common and deciphering between good, science based knowledge, and cheesy unfounded programs can be very challenging.

Books and magazines are designed to sell. There are many out there that contain great advice and programs. But there are even more that play off fads and fears in an effort to make sales. And they are impaired by the fact that they have to keep advertisers happy, which can lead to a skewing of good information.

The programs and advice in these periodicals are also very generic and do not account for individuals difference and preferences. Not to mention that they cannot work around previous injuries or injuries you may develop during exercise.

Many of the programs also require a lot of equipment that can be costly to purchase. Careful, a lot of those equipment manufacturers also pay for advertising in those same publications!

How can you be sure? Anything that promises dramatic results in very limited amounts of time is suspect. If they promise easy workouts or no sweat workouts you should also be raising red flags.

Pros

·         Very cost effective

·         Convenient

·         Get advice from the top experts in the field

·         Lots of variety

Cons

·         Not tailored to your individual needs

·         Often is flashy marketing and based on driving sales, not effective long term results

·         Plays into what you want to hear not what you need to hear

·         Tough to find quality, not fads

·         Often based on equipment and supplements that are not necessary

·         Workouts are often not effective, can be boring, and rarely result in the outcome that was promised

Walking is Not a Fitness Program

I perform a lot of one on one health and fitness consultations for our corporate clients. There is one thing in particular that comes up all the time that drives me a little crazy. Walking.

 

When I am talking to someone new I need to know what their current activity consists of, what they think they should be doing from an activity perspective, and what they can see themselves pursuing for physical activity.

 

At least a few time a week I am told that the person is going to start walking or has already started walking. Even more entertaining for me is when I am told that they started walking for fitness but they no longer do. Why is that entertaining? Because this is a great example of the inability of walking as a primary exercise source to make you healthier and keep you healthy for the rest of your life!

 

Your going to start walking? When did you stop walking? Don’t you already walk all the time everyday? When you go to the kitchen, go to your car, go to the bathroom, or go pretty much anywhere else during the course of your day?

Continue reading Walking is Not a Fitness Program

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Muscle: Major Consequences for your Health

When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle it is very important to truly understand some of the key difference in your muscle anatomy.

            Understanding the simple differences between the main two muscle categories will have dramatic effects on your health, body fat, energy, and overall sleep patterns. It is unfortunate that this simple explanation is not provided to more people and that the majority of health professionals tend to ignore that these classifications exist.

            In the health and fitness world most professionals spend their time promoting unachievable programs and unrealistic expectations. Many professionals including, personal trainers, doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and chiropractors spend a lot of their time coercing and trying to convince their clients and patients to follow healthy diet and exercise programs without delving into the most important aspect of adherence to those programs.

            If we were to spend more time paying attention to one simple and important element that drastically affects your diet and exercise we could truly make an impact on our population’s health and fitness.

   Continue reading Voluntary vs. Involuntary Muscle: Major Consequences for your Health

Women! Stop lifting weights or you will get huge!

Here is one of those exercise myths that truly needs to stop being perpetuated.

 Looking over the past 10 decades or so there are numerous examples of truly inaccurate information that people believe wholeheartedly.

 Remember when women were told not to ride bicycles because it would prevent them from having children? How about the notion that eating fat would make you fat? (If you believe that one still you need to keep reading my posts). Eating only soup is the diet answer, the grapfruit diet, the ab roller, the thighmaster, the jiggle your fat off systems. The list is not only long but extremly comical.

Somewhere in the last 20 years women have been taught that lifting weights will make them huge, muscular, hulks with deep voices and 5 o’clock shadows. OMG, this is ridiculous.

 Female clients are always telling me that they do not want to ‘get huge’ or ‘bulky’. Even better is when they tell me that within a few weeks of lifting weights they notice such large gains in muscle size that they stop the program.

 I have a deal with all of my clients that if they ever wake up, look in the mirror and think, ‘wow, I have too much muscle and look too jacked’, I will give them $100 and free training for a year. Six years of training, ten years of dispensing advice, and I have yet to pay out on that offer.

Continue reading Women! Stop lifting weights or you will get huge!

I do not accept your excuse

What is the definition of an excuse?

Excuse = something that is offered as an explanation in order to obtain forgiveness or justify action we know is unacceptable.

    What is the key point in my definition of an excuse? It is the fact that we know that our action (or inaction) is unacceptable. Lets be honest and upfront for a moment (alright, I always am).

    Everyone knows that doing little to no physical activity is not good for them. We all know that eating processed and deep fried foods is not good for us. But we continue to do it anyway and make excuses for it. Becasue that is what an excuse is, asking for others (or ourselves) to forgive us for our actions that we KNOW we should not be partaking in.

     What are some of the most common excuses I am innundated by? By far the most common one I hear is that people do not have the time to fit in activity. This is simply not possible. Everyone I know is caught up on at least one TV show or regularly watches or reads a news source. My rule is this: if you can find the time for that you can find the time to fit in some kind of fitness activity.

    Continue reading I do not accept your excuse