You know what frustrates the hell out of me?
It’s people working hard in the gym but just doing the wrong things.
I see it all the time and I’ve written about this several times before but it’s worth looking at it again.
I was in the gym yesterday actually, trying to minimise the excess from Sunday in Hunstanton. I’d gone to the coast with Alex (and 20week old baby bump) and Mia my daughter who we collected in King’s Lynn. Fish and chips at the seaside is always a winner and because of that and the other surplus of calories consumed that day, I hit the the weights hard.
OK, there was maybe an ice cream in the mix and the full English at 8am didn’t help but it was Bank holiday weekend and I never eat like this in the week.
It seemed like half of Hertford was in Nuffield’s yesterday, no doubt doing the same and either side of me were two women who were working out with the 4kg and the 6kg respectively.
Both ladies were working very hard, both sweating quite a bit and looked like they were following a programme or a planned workout of some kind so at least that bit was good. But it was the workout that was the problem.
The lady on my left with the 4kg’s performed over 40 reps for bicep curls and towards the end of the set, she was really working hard, straining and making small grunting noises.
I want to state right now, I’m not criticising these ladies. Far from it.
I’m the first person to support and encourage ANYONE in the gym and I applaud anyone that gets up from the sofa and takes action as that’s the hardest part of staying in shape.
BUT, the ladies in question are on a one way ticket to failure and frustration and all it needs is a point in the right direction.
At the risk of being “that guy”, I didn’t say anything to either of them. I’ve done this in the past and the look on the face of last girl I spoke to was a mix of “are you hitting on me?” and “who the f**k are you?” so I’ve learnt it’s best to keep a low profile but that doesn’t stop me from thinking or indeed writing about it.
Here lies part of the problem.
The svelte figure of Instagram fitness sensation, Kayla Itsines.
She has 6.9million followers and is a big fan or proponent of high reps and low weights.
Now Kayla, 26 years old, 5.4″, just 115lbs or 52kg is not your average lady. Love it or hate it, she has been blessed with superior genes and that’s that.
Again, this is not a personal dig at Kayla. I don’t know her and I have nothing against her as such but the message she sends to millions of women is very misleading.
With nearly 7million followers on Instagram alone, let’s say 100,000 follow one of her workout plans. If just 1% are similar to Kayla in their genetic makeup and get amazing results, she would have 1000 testimonials to put all over social media. It appears that her plans work but for the vast majority of the world’s female population, they just don’t.
High reps and low weight will do nothing for nearly everyone of you reading this right now. It might sound harsh but I’m just telling you the truth.
The truth is, ladies like Kayla and so many other of these fitness gurus on social media (too many to mention), can pretty much do anything and get results.
It’s not fair is it?
Where are all these ladies anyway?
Do they only exist on social media because I hardly ever see them and I’m in the world of health & fitness. They are so far and few between, so rare, you’d have more chance of spotting a female Sasquatch strolling down Bishop’s gate in a pair of Louboutin loafers than catching a glimpse of Kayla et al 🙂
So let’s recap.
High reps and low weight equals a build up of lactic acid in the muscle. 40 reps on anything will burn and make you feel like you are doing something. It’s not. It just doesn’t work.
Actually, that’s not strictly correct. You get good at doing 40 reps with 4kg’s but that’s about it.
It’s hard though when you have “famous” trainers like her telling you one thing and the general media backing her up. It makes mine and other trainers that get real results for real people jobs, that much harder.
What will work:
Reps of about 6-12 for most people using large muscle groups or compound exercises.
It’s that simple.
I wish I had something sexier for you but I don’t.
I wish I had a magic bullet for you but that’s as rare as Mrs Big Foot and I wish that you all had been gifted with superior genetics (me included) and could lift 4kg dumbbells and look like something Michelangelo chiseled from stone.
You just have to hope for better parents next time round.
So rant over.
Well not much of a rant, more of an observation wasn’t it?
If you follow any of these Instagram gurus ( like I do) and there are just as many male ones, take what they say with a pinch of salt, smile, admire their pictures and get your head back in the real world and focus on your own circumstances, capabilities and genetics.
If you follow sound advice, you will be amazed at the results you can achieve, regardless of your genetics.
As always, give me a shout on gav@eighty20lifestyle for any questions or help required.
All the best
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