As many of you know I deal with clients who need to change their body composition rapidly and advise them on how to do so. This includes taking control of their diet, training and cardio not to mention their supplement usage. Whenever I take a client on I ALWAYS look at what they are currently doing with their diet and training programme – any trainer who overlooks this is missing a huge trick. How do I know what may be causing you to look the way you do without looking at what you are doing. It also gives a great insight into what volume of training your body is accustomed to. One of the most common forms of exercise I come across with new clients is jogging, long distance jogging to be exact. As many of you know I am not a huge fan, but I don’t like to diss something without having my reasons so here is why!
Controlling hormones is something I set out to do straight away with my clients, especially cortisol. For those of you who are unaware, cortisol is highly catabolic and it also can cause stubborn fat spots typically around your bum and legs. It is stress related and one of the things which can really stress the body is prolonged moderate exercise – jogging is a primary example! Whilst it does indeed burn calories there are better ways to do this and stimulate a favourable hormone response for body composition changes at the same time.
Some will argue ‘’cardio’’ is healthy but I fail to see how jogging gives better health benefits to an intense session on the weights. Does your breathing get heavy when you train hard with weights? Absolutely! So is your cardiovascular system working hard? You bet it is!
The body is a very clever piece of engineering so when it is put in certain environments it tries to adapt accordingly. If for example it has to lug muscle mass for 6-10km on a regular basis the first thing it will do is try and shift this weight to make life easier.
In regards to hormone response which we touched on above, long distance running can have a negative effect on estrogen and cortisol levels within the body, leading to stubborn areas on your physique.
Most people, whether they know it or not do not have the biomechanical health to constantly do long distance running – that is a fact. There are imbalances within muscle groups and connective tissues which can lead to injuries and the wearing of joints. Even elite endurance athletes who constantly run many miles use lots of resistance training to sustain the health of their bodies.
So do I make my clients stay caged up in the gym instead of hitting the great outdoors? Don’t be silly!
I like them to do a mixture of fast walking, strong man orientated circuits, interval sprint sessions and modified cross-fit. Do you think by doing this and weight training 4/6 times a week they don’t improve their cardiovascular health and capacity? Please!!