WTF is going on?
[Featuring; Bertie Big Biceps, a Bear, your local electrician and #beastmode] [You can download a PDF version of this here]
Like… what is fitness these days? Is it not meant to be people being active, healthy, happy with their bodies, challenging themselves in ways they enjoy, walking if they enjoy walking, lifting weights if they enjoy lifting weights, crazy marathons if they enjoy marathons? It’s turned in to some crazy social-media based parallel world of gym selfies, hashtags and narcissistic behaviour.
Our Grandparent’s didn’t have any of this, and I know everything in the world evolves, but has it evolved for the better? Obesity rates say not. The UK is a fine example of where things get confusing. 1 million more gym members than 5 years ago, yet obesity continues to rise.
Every week I see people spending £15, sometimes up to £40 for an hours personal training. Twice a week. With the aim of losing weight. That’s 2 hours of a 168 hour week. Less than 3% of your week. Do as many burpees, sit ups, squats, planks, box jumps or horizontal-upside-down-inverted-elbow extensions as you want. If your weekly calorie intake is not controlled, your sleep is shit, your cravings are all over, you’re dehydrated and spend 10 of those hours absolutely Peter Barlow’d on 2-4-1 cocktails, then please, really? You think that 3% of the week is going to overcome the other 97% you’re sat on your bottom? Yet when “Our Aimee” books 7 days in Ibiza she will tweet “Beefa booked, OMG I need to get back to the gym x”. Aimz hun, by all means exercise, but lay off the cupcakes and check those calories ‘til you hit those sandy beaches.
Very few people fully understand why and how we gain body-fat and how we lose it again. Picture a bear, out in the wild, and winter is coming. You eat everything in sight to gain fat before hibernating. In the absence or reduction in availability of food their bodies use the fat stores as energy, you know, to stay alive. We gain weight because we eat excess calories, and lose it when we don’t provide our body with enough. Carbs the reason for weight gain though right? Nah.
Calories. Units of energy. We have known about them since the 1800’s, yet people want to avoid acknowledging them but would rather count everything else instead. They’re simple. James Smith is bang on. Calorie. Fucking. Deficit. Here’s a Banana, it’s got between 90 and 120 calories. Some will complicate it by attaching a “syn” or point value. You wouldn’t ask your bank to convert your money in to Japanese Yen or Shillings and Guinea’s? The system is already there.
The past couple of years has seen the emergence of the term “starvation mode” – the batshit crazy belief that you’re not losing weight because you’re “not eating enough” and have entered a zone where your body steps in to look after you. Explain how bodybuilders look so lean on stage? Explain how boxers get so lean before a weigh-in? Explain kids actually starving in Africa. Their bodies pack in and they die but “Louise” from the office is being saved “because she’s not eating enough”? Hahahaha it’s laughable. People lie about what they eat. Period.
Good and bad foods. This one get’s me every time. It’s really not hard. An egg is an egg. It’s untouched, unaltered. It’s packed with nutrients, because it’s a naturally occurring food that we are designed to eat. That pack of cereal in the cupboard with a sell-by date going in to next year & 6 ingredients you can’t pronounce? Probably not so beneficial. It’s that easy. Food. Products. Eat mainly food. Enjoy some products where needed or desired.
I mean, things have got that bad that a teenager went blind due to deficiencies because his diet consisted of only sausage and chips, with a few tubes of pringles thrown in the mix. People feed their plants and pets better than they do themselves.
I bang on about myths, and how many health/fitness/weight loss myths there are, but seriously, have you ever come across another industry where there’s this many? Can you imagine if only 20% of Electricians were good and the other 80% were absolute morons burning people’s houses down? No other industry is as deluded as this one. People think Carbs are the devil reincarnated. People stop eating at 7pm in the misguided belief any food eaten after this time will be stored as fat. Detoxing? Cleanses? Like, I wish I could make more people see the level of bullshit going on here. Where are these toxins you think you’re drinking green tea to eradicate? Swimming about causing havoc in your organs? Go get a blood test done and ask your doctor what toxins are running rife in your blood.
Fat-burners, fat-burning supplements. For f***s sake. Do people seriously believe the world would be the most obese it’s been if there was a pill or drink out there that “burned fat”. 61-67% of people in Britain are overweight or obese. Seriously. Let that sink in. And you think some “Ultra -Thermo-Lean 500” capsules for £29 a tub are going to help? If you believe that, stay away from an IQ test. The fitness industry is a mess. Awash with charlatans and con-artists wanting to squeeze money from people desperate to change their bodies and their lifestyles, knowing they don’t know how. Selling effortless results like selling ice to eskimo’s.
Celery juice, where the hell did that appear from? I’ll tell you where, some numb idiot struggling to make money from the industry thought being controversial may be the money ticket. I have genuinely had deluded women message me on Instagram telling me I’m making hard work for myself and my clients because Celery Juice is the answer. Do one Debbie.
I’m all for people being happy in their skin, that’s what I aim for with all my clients, to get to a place where they’re happy, not a number staring up from the floor. The “#bodypositivity” crowd seem to want to celebrate their “curves”, which is fine, but there’s a huge issue here. Some of these people have A LOT of weight to lose. They may argue that they don’t WANT to, but where does their health, especially long term, come in to it? I don’t see anything positive about celebrating your organs being surrounded in excess body-fat. They won’t be prancing about hashtagging when a consultant tells them of their impending demise.
Things come and go, look at the IIFYM (If It Fit’s Your Macro’s) movement. A big excuse to squeeze as much pizza and ice cream in to your calorie budget as possible. Used in it’s intended fashion and IIFYM should essentially be the go-to way of eating, minus the rigid tracking. Knowing your budget & working within it. Macro counting – where the hell did that actually appear from? People were getting in shape before @BertieBigBiceps came along and told you to consume 30% protein, 50% carbs and 20% fat. These lot are usually found posting #BeastMode on social media – cheers, you’re really approachable now, to all the people scared of entering gyms. Let’s scare everyone off. You’re called “Steve” and you attend a gym, you’re no beast. Have a day off from being a full-time loser.
Clothing athletes. Sorry but I’m coming out swinging with this one. Good looking girls with developed glute muscles squeezing themselves into 8 dollar gym tights, throwing a few workout videos up on Instagram suddenly constitutes calling themselves an athlete. Behave. This applies to lads with their GymKing tracksuits too. Athlete; “a person who is very good at sports or physical exercise, especially one who competes.” Not; Has a few followers, is gifted free leggings, can perform a Romanian Deadlift well and is willing to feature their arse, sideways in every single social media post. See the difference? Good. Let’s move on.
Power plates, vibration plates, or whatever the jiggling hell they’re called. Seriously. Take a step back. Do you honestly think standing on a plastic plate jiggling about until your knockers fall out of your bra or your budgie smugglers fall down is going to “tone” you? That word. Toning. Anyone who knows me laughs when the word comes up. It’s like a red rag to a bull. If you want toned arms and you currently haven’t there is two reasons for this. You either haven’t built any muscle to begin with, or your body fat is too high, or a bit of both. No “toning”.
We now have Z-List celebrities running fitness brands just because they lost 6 pounds and have a few hundred thousand followers on social media. When you take a step back, it’s absurd. Some are releasing recipe books where the average calorie count of a Raw Superfood Square is above and beyond a McDonalds Big Mac.
On one end of the scale you have people making excuses to consume as much “cheat” food as possible, at the other end a tribe of amateur body-building fanatics walking round eating cold chicken, broccoli and rice out of Tupperware dishes “counting macro’s bro”. What happened to employing some logic, eating normally, and adjusting when needed? I know several people who have to be on some sort of diet, every day of the year. I want to tell them to just learn to eat well. It’s all gone a bit mad.
Whatever your fitness goal… you’re in control of achieving it. It’s not your genetics, toxins, your macro’s, starvation mode, syn’s, Donald Trump, the Russians or Brexit.
Shameless plug: If you want to work with me to drop body-fat, up your confidence, fit in those jeans and get a boat-load of compliments from your peers, without doing all the above, drop me a message and tell me your goal.