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10/06/2015

Why 8 week challenges are a waste of time!

I will be the first to admit that I have run these challenges in the past and will continue to in the future I am sure. Let me explain though why the short, intense and often over the top challenges are for the most part, a complete waste of time. The challenges start with a lot of fan fare and often unrealistic expectations of “MASSIVE BODY TRANSFORMATIONS”. Let’s be clear… one cannot get a massive body transformation in 5, 8 or even 12 weeks. In saying that, I guess it all depends on your interpretation of the word “massive”. You can definitely form some great habits in this time and make significant changes, but lets not get carried away with hyperbole. The longer I have been involved in personal training, change programs and coaching in general, the more I believe that it is best to make only changes that you can honestly see yourself doing for the rest of your life. As unsexy as that can seem, it is really all about long term lifestyle. I mean what is the point of hitting yourself super hard for a short period of time only to fall back into old health damaging habits after the razzamattaz has ended? We have all seen people make significant changes and get all excited, but unless it is something that ‘sticks’ then it was clearly not the answer. A recent post by Precision Nutrition hits the nail on the head. They refer to a recent study that looked at the effectiveness of two different diets for […]
02/06/2015

Sustainable change and results

We had a seminar at Best Practice Personal Training in Bowen Hills last Thursday the 28th of May. It was cheekily called How to Think, Eat, Move and Look Better Naked in Winter. The real focus point though was our focus on long term sustainable change. There were four speakers on the night each of which with a different professional background and area of expertise. I was talking about mindset, beliefs and habits on the ‘thinking’ side of things – four years of psych study and 10 years of hands on with clients will give you a bit of insight! Jean Paul Staats, a Chinese Medicine practitioner, presented on the benefits of intermittent fasting and how most if not all of the top selling diets are merely made up marketing exercises – he is very passionate about the ‘eating’ aspect in life. Then there was Dr Matt Platz from Alderley Chiropractic who explored the ‘Move’ side of things and showed us the importance of not only dealing with existing pain in the body when it is present, but also the importance of preventative measures as a maintenance strategy. On a side note, as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, at Best Practice Personal Training we are all about being proactive when it comes to health. Why do we wait to have a problem and then go and try and fix it with pills? Doesn’t it make more sense to invest in behaviours that promote health and continued health? I can tell you from personal experience that chiropractic care can definitely […]
01/06/2015
fitness classes brisbane

Why do people exercise?

NO ONE REALLY WANTS TO EXERCISE… Seriously, who would want to put their body through pain like that? The answer of course is no one but plenty of people do it. WHY? WHY? WHY? Why do people exercise? Glad you asked! As with most things in this life, it is not about the thing, it is about the stuff associated with the thing. Let me explain. I’ll make another statement: No one really wants a Ferrari either. WHAT? Of course I do I hear you cry. No you don’t, what you really want is the ‘experience’ of owning a Ferrari, the admiring glances as the engine squeals when you gun it at a busy intersection in the crowded city and then how that makes you feel. Or it is the rush that the blind acceleration causes in your body and the joy you get in seeing that exhilaration in your better half next to you in that shiny red car? It is the same with exercise. What everyone is looking for is not the burn in the thighs or the thumping heart (no kidding!), it is the way it makes you feel when you start to experience the results of your hard work. It is the satisfaction you experience when you walk easily up that hill that used to be hard, it is the praise you receive from your workmates when they notice the new definition in your arms, it is how attractive you feel when your better half compliments you on how healthy you look. If you can really […]
26/05/2015
BPPT logoman

Enjoying old age

What is the biggest limiting factor when it comes to enjoying old age? I guess some would say money but they would be missing the obvious – which of course is our health. As a professional in the field of fitness and behaviour change, I see it all the time. People who have for a long time ignored the one big thing that influences every part of their life. “I don’t have time for it now”, “I’ll get to it, but I know it is important”, “It’s not a priority at the moment but I am getting there”. Sobering fact number 1: most people NEVER get there. This is the primary reason I say, “act and act now” whenever someone takes time out of their busy day to ‘enquire’ about starting a fitness program. I never tire of seeing the joy it brings to someone, who has perhaps for the first time in their life started to experience how good it feels to be strong, healthy and fit. But as with all things worthwhile in this life, the path to it is not always easy. Make no mistake, it is simple but this is a very different thing. The key factor to change is identifying the need and then connecting with the reason for wanting to change it. Our best clients, the ones most likely to achieve real and lasting change, are the ones who have experienced some major emotional upheaval, usually as a result of having lead a profoundly unhealthy existence. The reason they do so well is that […]
19/05/2015
orange check mark

Mastering important skills

Mastering important skills: what is the most important yet least practiced skill you need to master you ask? It is of course goal setting. It is often spoken about but so few people actually DO it. A massive longitudinal study by the esteemed Yale University in the 1950’s followed the progress through life of their graduate class from 1953. They found that only 3% of the graduates actually wrote down their goals at the start of their careers, and 20 years later that same 3% were worth more than the other 97% put together. So what is the deal? How is this supposed to be done for the highest chance of success? As alluded to previously, the first step is to go past ‘thinking’ about it and get into ‘doing it’. When I say ‘doing it’, I mean putting into action the precise steps that give your brain, your most powerful ally, the best chance to put you on an irrevocable path to success (whatever that means to you – but you better have health in there and you know why!) The following steps relate to a proven method of putting it together which dovetails with how the brain has been shown with amazing modern day technology to actually work. Step 1. Find a quiet relaxing place and visualise in vivid detail your most idealised life – where you live, how you live, what you do on a daily basis, how energetic you are in your activities etc. Step 2. Immediately write down the 5 top goals that will make that […]
12/05/2015
four personal trainers having fun at pool area

Depression and exercise. Your first line of defense.

It has been reported by the World Health Organisation that depression is the BIGGEST cause of disability worldwide right now with over 350 million people living with it. It is a serious problem. The definition of depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. The Mayo Clinic discusses in more detail what it is here. There are many treatments depending on the severity, but what I wanted to talk about was the consistent research supporting the efficacy of physical activity, both aerobic and strength training. In some studies it has been shown to be as effective if not more so than antidepressant medication. I guess I see it as a preventative strategy just as much as a treatment. As many others do, I have depression in the family. Fortunately for me, I have always exercised as a function of my upbringing and personal desire to be athletic. This was so I could perform better in my chosen sports of rugby league and then professional tennis. This habit that I got into has persisted now into my late 40’s and I suspect has been something which has kind of fortified me against depression. I cannot say I have suffered from it personally at any time so I can’t attest to it as a treatment for myself, but I have certainly seen it do it wonders for those around me including family members as a first line of defense. If in doubt you should really check out this fact sheet from the Black Dog […]
07/05/2015
2015 Best Practice Corporate Triathlon team

Why I do events…and why you should too – Useful Fitness

On the weekend we had our annual trip to the corporate triathlon on the Gold Coast. It was a lot of fun as usual as it was a beautiful morning at Southport and there were plenty of people all shapes and sizes creating a great atmosphere. It certainly didn’t look like it was going to go ahead given the weather on Friday night! Well done to members Anthony Tuite, Dan Boucher and James Stott for partaking in this event. Now to talk about useful fitness, why I do events and why you should too!   I love these events for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is the excuse to exercise that a lot of us need, including me. Now I am not a huge swimmer or cyclist but this event gets me doing these things. And I can tell you there is nothing better for your exercise routine then to mix it up. It makes you far more likely to continue because variety is the spice of life and the chance of overuse injury is reduced considerably. I also like these events because they give our members a greater sense of purpose with their training and it gives people who may be a little apprehensive a chance to have a go and maybe get something regular going. Let’s face it. It can be hard to start this fitness gig and to stay motivated with it at times. I recommend that everyone who is nervous about starting to take one small step at a time… who knows where it can […]
05/05/2015
Bike riding on the river

Winter is Approaching

We are moving into a cool time of the year and there is nothing better than snuggling up in front of a fireplace with a glass of fine wine and handcrafted chocolate! Say what? I thought this was a health and fitness rant? I can almost hear my members choking on their protein shakes whenever I utter these words. Now before you go away and think that this is some kind of perpetuation plan for an “ongoing need for a personal trainer” business model, understand this. The mentality of “I can’t have” is a losing game. We have all heard talk of the 80:20 rule and so it applies here, with one exception but even then, a ‘perfectly’ disciplined approach to health and fitness is not only not possible, but self defeating in the end. If you live by the idea that you tick all the boxes of a healthy and fit lifestyle 80% of the time, you will be doing very well indeed. The exception is the person who has some serious and significant goals to achieve. This person, for progress, often needs to be more in the 90:10 category. But you will note that this is still not an ‘all or none’ approach. The reason it is better to have a fudge factor in there is that mentally most of us need a metaphorical pressure relief valve and some of those things that we don’t always have are quite frankly fun and sometimes even awesome! When you are trying to change some bad habits, the thought of doing […]
28/04/2015
man playing golf

Investing in yourself before others is key

Helping others? I guess it is something any advanced thinking and self actualised person wants to do. It is also a reason for why I see many of our members fail in their fitness, health and lifestyle improvement programs. Let me explain. I can talk only for men in this situation so please bear with me. It is in our nature, rightly or wrongly, to take on responsibility to ‘provide’, and often self sacrifice is worn as a badge of honour. Whilst this is very noble in a lot of ways it can also be misguided. As men we don’t verbalise so well so we often internalise the struggle. You know, the ‘strong silent type’. This is a huge mistake and often does not give our partners the respect they deserve in allowing them to join in and help us deal with this thing called ‘life’. We also deny them chance of offering the support that is intrinsically part of being a team and for us to get the help we often need. My experience on this planet has taught me that women, as a general rule (geez you have got to be careful these days!) are great at nurturing and want us to communicate more. So we should do that and it is a win win!! The main point here is that men need to invest in themselves when it comes to health before thinking about helping anybody else, because we are no use when we are sick and unhealthy. I have written about the concept before. It is […]