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Arron Collins-Thomas - Episode 5 - Common Exercise Myths BUSTED

Watch Episode 5 here


If you would prefer to read a text version of Arron's latest vlog - check out the video transcript below

Amy Williams:

Hello, it's Amy Williams here with the U Perform channel and we've got Arron here our U Perform fitness expert. Now last week with Arron, we were talking about cardio versus weights and which one you do first. Today, we're talking about very common myths. What you get asked like on a common day on a daily basis in your gym. And we're going to start off with; fat spots. Can I suddenly do certain exercises that targets certain areas of my body?

Arron Collins-Thomas:

I wish I could say yes. But unfortunately you can't. You can't just choose an area and do a load of sit ups for example, and expect that to make your tummy flatter or to reduce fat through that area. Sadly not, but a lot of people think they can. And I think a lot of people on social media are trying to convince people that's also possible as well.

So there's a lot of programs you can see out there where people are saying, you can just get this shape on just your buttocks by doing these exercises. And you can create fat loss on your arms just by doing this. It's not that easy, not that simple. Our body is a whole, so we've got to treat it like a whole, right? We've got to work every muscle in the body in a multitude of different ways to have the best chance of reducing fat from everywhere as evenly as possible. And you can't keep weight on certain areas and remove from others as well. That's one thing that a lot of my clients come to me, they say 'well, I want to keep all this stuff on my bum or my chest, but I want to lose it from my middle. Is that possible?' And sadly it isn't. So we can't get those results, unfortunately.

Amy Williams:

I'm just thinking in my own head here, everyone has a different body shape. We've got our tall, thin lanky, your pear shape. That would be another myth, I guess, you know, is there certain types of training for specific body shapes?

Arron Collins-Thomas:

There can be. And I am going to leave this one open a little but. There can be certain ones that might be more beneficial to you if you're holding a certain shape. But I think we need to embrace the shape that we are and use that to our advantage when we're doing training, right. Instead of trying to make too many physique changes and working too hard on that. Think about kind of how you're feeling, where your energy is and all those kinds of things. And then hopefully your physique will change over time to match that. You know, we can't be too obsessed with how we look. It's more about how we're performing and how we're feeling that I like to take advantage of first. And then hopefully the shape changes will happen over time.

Amy Williams:

So off the back of talking about the body shape and sizes, a lot of women (another kind of myth) is they're going to pick up the weights in the gym, lift heavy and suddenly turn into the Hulk. This I'm guessing is not particularly true?

Arron Collins-Thomas:

Well, you will know that it's not particularly true as well from all the training that you've done. But yeah, I mean, women generally are quite scared of lifting weights because they feel that they are going to bulk or put a lot of muscle mass on. The reality of that is it's very, very difficult to put muscle mass on for women especially, because they don't have as high testosterone levels as men. And, you'd have to be lifting five-six days a week, minimum seven or eight months on a long-term program to start to see some big changes in the muscle shape of your body in terms of size.

And as you know, it's not as easy as people think, you know, after a couple of weeks of lifting weights, you might notice that you've got a bit more shape to the body. A bit more definition if you like, but not necessarily muscle size. And as you start to lose body fat from hopefully lifting weights as well, you become more defined. So it makes you maybe look a bit more muscly, whereas you haven't actually put any physical size at that point. Really, you've just made it a little bit more defined because the fats around the muscles go. So, you were obviously training seven days a week probably at times and certain types of power lifts and things. And that took you a long time to put on any size and gains in muscle mass.

Amy Williams:

Oh yeah. I mean, as an athlete, we were in the gym six days a week, lifting, you know, several hours and lifting very heavy, doing all your Olympic lifts, all your big, huge compound movements. And yeah, it took years to put on proper muscle and yes, you know, I was quite bulky and big at times, but on the flip side is I was still a size, you know, eight to 10 dress size. So minimal, minimal body fat, very, very low percentage. So I clearly looked more muscular and big, but actually in the big scheme of it, I still wasn't the Hulk. So yeah. Yeah, it does go to show doesn't it, the differences

Arron Collins-Thomas:

Yeah. And I think I'm out there, there's a lot of people that women can see out there who are lifting weights, who are looking quite big, but they have been doing that for a long period of time and it doesn't happen to the average. And you know, you also have to get the nutrition on point to support that muscle growth. I mean, your nutrition at that point must have been really on point, your nutritionist I'm sure you were working with to get you all the gains that you needed to perform.

Amy Williams:

Yeah. We were eating five, six times a day, certain amount of proteins in every single male. So yeah, it was a lot of eating all the time and actually one of the best things about not being an athlete anymore was you didn't have to shovel that food in as much. And now t's great because you've got different protein shakes and different formulations that you can take to mean that you're not physically having to sit at the dinner table constantly. But you're right. It's nutrition. It's a massive part that then helps you build that muscle.

Arron Collins-Thomas:

Yeah. So I think for the average person, really, they're not going to get anywhere near the shape gains or the muscle gains that they think they're going to get by lifting a few weights, especially if they're going to a gym or to some gym classes where they might be lifting some weights that are fairly heavy for them, but it's not going to be pushing them to their extremes of what they can lift in terms of pure strength training, or power training that they would need to get that change in muscular shape I think.

Amy Williams:

Yeah. And I'm just thinking now you saying that a lot of women, I think then potentially if they are lifting weights, they're then too scared to eat lots of food afterwards because straight away it's like, Oh, well I better not eat the food because I don't want put that muscle on. So you could actually almost have that very imbalance of going to the gym lifting lots of heavy weights, but Oh no, I don't want to put the weight on and the bulk, so therefore I'm not going to eat and therefore you're not going to recover and have that nutrition and that energy afterwards.

Arron Collins-Thomas:

It's a problem all in itself because it's that recovery, the repair. If you're breaking down your muscle tissue, you need the right nutrition to support that being repaired, not necessarily built, which is the important part of that.

Amy Williams:

So another myth is that HIIT training burns more fat than LISS training. I mean, for starters, what is HIIT and what is LISS training?

Arron Collins-Thomas:

Well, it would help to know those bits wouldn't it! HIIT training has been really popularised in the last few years. A lot of programs use it, a lot of online programs use it. A lot of gyms are using it to help people burn fat and improve their cardiovascular fitness. HIIT training is high intensity interval training. So effectively you work as high intensity as possible for a very short burst, have a little rest and then repeat that for a number of sets. So for example, you'd work hard for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest. And you repeat that.

Whereas LISS training is low intensity steady state training. So you might go for 45 to 60 minutes at one pace, keeping your heart rate at a set rate, which would be kind of the fat burning zone, right? So with that, it depends what your goals are and what you're doing around those programs as to which one you would use.

So, HIIT training is great because it does burn a lot of calories at the time and can be great for burning fat, but the problem with that is it's quite high intensity. Therefore it fatigues the body quite a lot. So if the next day you were then doing a heavy weights training session or a long cardio session and going for some PBs, you might be hindering that performance, therefore it might be ruining your overall gains that you might be want to be getting with those results. The long steady stuff might be more effective for someone who's looking to have a recovery and repair session at the same time at the same time as burning some calories.

Amy Williams:

Okay. And I guess it's just figuring out what you want, what you want to achieve, what your goals are. Would you say that someone could mix that up then just depending on what day and how their program is?

Arron Collins-Thomas:

I think it's a good idea to have a variety of it in your weekly training program. If you've had a really tough day one day lifting weights or doing some hard HIIT training, you might want to have that low steady state training the next day, just to help recover and repair and still get some results in terms of fat burning. So you've got to mix and match and depending on what you've been doing the day before or what you're doing the next day. You wouldn't want to a HIIT session the day before you're doing a PB in some weights, for example. Because you're going to just be tired from that.

Amy Williams:

So Arron, we've just covered three big major myths. Is there anything else on a regular basis in the gym that you get asked?

Arron Collins-Thomas:

I get asked a lot of stupid questions. I won't bring them all up now. Maybe we will visit those at a later date. But one that people always ask me is:

"Can I get away with just training once a week and getting results?"

I think they all know the answer to that one most of the time. And unfortunately again, the answer is no. It depends what your results are though. If you want to see results in body shape change, if you dramatically change your nutrition, then yes, you could probably get some great results. But if you want to improve your fitness, really change your physique, improve your mental, physical, emotional wellbeing. You've got to make it a regular practice. I would say minimum three times a week and it doesn't have to be an hour at a time; 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week as a minimum and you can get some amazing results. You're going to feel better, look better, be more confident. And then the results will keep coming from there.

Amy Williams:

It's been really interesting hearing our myths and what's true and not true from you. What have we got next week coming up?

Arron Collins-Thomas:

So next week we're talking about the benefits of running.

Amy Williams:

Okay. All right. If you want to listen to that, then please ring the bell, hit subscribe and we will see you then. Thank you Arron for today. See you next week!


Tune in next Tuesday for Episode 6 - The Benefits of Running

See you then!

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