A MILLENNIAL CERTIFIED TRAINER BREAKS IT DOWN
Just like fashion, music and interior design, fitness goes through fads. Who hasn’t seen an Insta post of “Goat Yoga?” For those who bopped around to Madonna, we can’t forget Jazzercise, step aerobics, The Thigh Master, Tae-Bo, The Abdominizer, Buns of Steel, and the list goes on. Just because all “the cool kids” are doing a certain workout, does not mean it’s right for you.
We turned to Vince Sant, Certified fitness trainer with ISSA and CEO of Vshred.com a fitness platform. Vince certainly speaks from a place of knowledge, with close to 1 million YouTube subscribers tuning in for his advice.
Whether they’re fitness trackers, pedometers, or calorie counters, this market has reached scheduled 4 billion in sales as of 2017. One study showed that non-wearers experienced more weight-loss because they relied on personal effort and, literally, sweat, to guide their workouts vs. a numerical data indicator. Vince suggests that “Sweat and good old-fashioned fatigue may be more reliable than data numbers on your wrist. After a few weeks or months, the novelty of knowing your step totals or resting heart rate wears off–even faster if you know about inaccurate those numbers can be.”
People choose spinning for a variety of reason including weight loss, cardio and stress relief. Spinning is great for weight loss if done correctly and with a sensible diet that produces a caloric deficit. Vince Sant cautions that ”Spinning excessively can actually lead to atrophy of the muscles in your legs which is the opposite of strengthening them. The simple truth is that losing weight without strength and weight training can and will lead to atrophied and weakened muscles throughout the body”. Although cycling helps build some muscle, doing excessive amounts of cycling without the addition of strength training is not a comprehensive well-rounded workout.
Boxing is a great workout for your entire body. It has stress relief benefits, helps concentration and eye-hand coordination. The improved endurance and stronger muscles you build translate effectively into life outside the ring, giving you the ability to perform everyday movements with energy and a decreased risk of injury.
Vince points out that, “With contact, boxing injuries can be a factor. Even while wearing head and mouth protection, sparring and competition can lead to minor injuries such as bruises and split lips and more serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions.” Vince suggests limiting boxing trained to shadow boxing, striking focus mitts and the smaller focus pads and hitting the heavy bag and speed bag, along with classic boxing training modalities such as running and jumping rope.
HIIT training is a type of metabolic workout where you use both cardiovascular and strength training. Your aerobic and anaerobic systems will both be used throughout the routine, meaning glycogen and fat will both be used as fuels. Most of these training sessions last between 10-40 minutes. Vince says that “The biggest risk of this type of training is an injury caused by lack of supervision or know-how of the person training.” Studies show that your resting metabolic rate can be increased for the 24 hours after you do these types of workouts and that it may burn fat more efficiently than long aerobic workouts. Vince says, “The key is to recognize signs of fatigue that can lead to poor form and injury.”
This is a combination of cardio and strength conditioning. As examples, think of P90X, CrossFit, Insanity, or high-intensity circuit training. Metabolic training is about increasing “the storage and delivery of energy for any activity.” If you do this type of training the correct way, you can burn more calories, get ‘afterburn,’ build endurance, strength, and fitness while having variety. Since this type of exercise seems to have so many benefits, why doesn’t everybody just do it? “The problem,” says Vince Sant, “Is that it’s just too intense for many beginners.” The cons of this workout are that there is a high attrition rate, a risk of injury and muscle soreness. If you are set on doing this program, Vince advises to bone up on more basic fitness first.
Body Weight Training
These are simple, effective exercises to improve balance, flexibility, and strength without machinery or extra equipment. Examples include:
Push-ups, Pull-ups, Dips, Squats, and Lunges
The pros of this method include high repetitions and increased endurance. There is no equipment required, it is convenient and can be done at home or while traveling. There is less risk of injury while working several muscle groups at once. Vince says, “Some of the cons include that it may be difficult to achieve an intensity that is near the individual’s one-rep max. It also may be difficult to execute for those who are overweight.”
“These are an absolute no,” says Vince Sant. He adds, “Vibration boards do not, and will not, work better than traditional exercises like barbells or cardio. The theory is that the vibration signals are transferred into body tissues, tendons, and muscles, which increases muscle contractions and ultimately improves muscle strength, coordination, and balance. In the long term, such contractions would increase muscle mass and energy expenditure, leading to better control of blood sugar levels. But these are still theories. The overall effects of whole-body vibration therapy remain elusive, as scientific studies vary largely in the vibration parameters used.”
If you are confused, what is the best method to adopt for your workout?
Vince stresses that “a workout should be fun, convenient, not cause repetitive injury. It should involve a warm up and cool down, have appropriate gear, be mindful of weather, be aware of your body. If something is causing pain beyond burn, stop that exercise. Workouts should take into consideration pre-existing injuries. For example, if you have chronic knee pain, swimming is a good option, while jumping and squats are not. Vince sums it up with, “For the most well-rounded workout, be sure to incorporate, balance, aerobics, flexibility, and strength training.”