Exercise Physiology Archives - Best Practice Personal Training

Exercise Physiology


I’m trying to lose weight, I NEED to do more cardio!

If you have ever said this I think you might be missing the point a little. I don’t blame you by the way because it is a confusing world out there when it comes to information about what to do when trying to get healthy and maybe lose a few kg’s or a lot. There is this impression that weight loss comes from sweating hard in an aerobic workout of some kind, weight training and mobility work won’t help at all. Now I am not going to tell you that it is a waste of time like some crazy people are asserting. There are statements out there that drive me a little crazy. “Cardiovascular training will make you fat!” Great headline for sure but is it true? Here is what I think and what science is telling us, as well as a bit of common sense. Don’t ever discount what your gut tells you. So is it a simple equation of burn more energy to create a deficit in relation to what goes in versus what goes out? I would say yes to that. The qualifier however, is in what mechanism in your body allows this to happen? I see it as a very complicated process depending on how your personal metabolism works, so here is what I think is the smartest and most scientific approach. Simply start moving more and eating better….. That can’t be it surely? Scientific you said? The scientific approach is based around testing a hypothesis and if the variables you test lead to the result […]
replace old habits with new

Using psychology for good not evil

Do you ever get the feeling that you are doing something on autopilot? You know when you unconsciously eat a biscuit because you are having a coffee. We’ve all been there. It’s the way our brains are wired and it’s not our fault. It just is. The reason is that we only have a finite of space to process information, kind of like a computer. It’s efficient to not to have to think all the time. Now I want you to think about all the habits that don’t serve your ultimate goals. What if you could change those habits and replace them with others that did serve your ultimate goals? What if getting up early and walking before work every day was your thing for example? No thinking, just alarm, hit it and then put on shoes and walk out the door? It’s the no thinking part which is so appealing because let’s face it, there is A LOT of information coming at ya in the year 2018. Okay, big question how do you get from not doing a good habit to “doing”? You have probably heard of the 21-day rule and how habits can be formed in this time frame. There is a lot of physical evidence, as in brain imaging not just theorising, that shows that this timeframe is in fact pretty accurate for a change in the hard wiring of behaviour. Lesson? Find a way to fake it till you make it. Start collecting new beneficial habits by will powering your way through the first 21 days […]

Diastasis Recti. Funny name. Not so funny to have.

Firstly, apologies about the photo. We are guessing, she hasn’t had babies yet! But we wanted to focus on the female abdominal region and it is the only appropriate (ish) photo I could find that I am allowed to use! Now i’m guessing if you’re not female or not even pregnant, this may be of no interest to you unless your wife said “Hey darl, look this ‘diastasis wotsy’ one up”. Whilst it is true that men can suffer an abdominal muscle separation, it is not super common and not the focus of this article. Sorry blokes. Diastasis recti is a condition that can occur during and or after pregnancy where a woman’s inter-recti abdominal muscles (you could say between your ab’s) distance increases. An increase of >2-2.7cm is considered a pathological diastasis (separation) of the rectus abdominis muscle (DRAM). Diastasis recti is a frequent occurrence with a prevalence of 30-70%. This condition is due to the thinning and stretching of the linea alba (the bit that separates the left abdominals from the right). These alterations occur due to hormonal elastic changes of the connective tissue, mechanical stress placed on the abdominal wall by the growing foetus and the displacement of the abdominal organs. The abdominal wall is key in many functions including, posture, trunk and pelvic stability, respiration, trunk movement and support of the abdominal viscera. This increase in the inter-recti abdominal muscles can potentially put these functions at risk and weaken the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. These changes then increase the vulnerability to injury of the lumbar […]

The Perfect Exercise Program

I know you will be starting to read this with big expectations. I mean the word ‘Perfect’ is going to grab your attention every time. But is it really possible to have a ‘perfect’ anything? I know I am not the first person to have ever said this but let’s be real. The idea that there is one ‘perfect’ program that applies to all people is crazy but the concept that the best that one can do is….basically what they will do and do consistently, is actually one that makes pure sense. There is absolutely no point in having an elaborate routine that is simply too hard, to get in to the habit of doing for the simple reason that it has no chance of fitting in to your busy schedule, not now or not ever. This is something that underpins what we do here at Best Practice Personal Training. It is not about what any of us coaches have done or do or thingk you should do for that matter, it is about where the member is at when they walk in the door and what we can help them ‘buy’ in to, as something that makes them feel better when they walk out. And we need that to happen each time they workout. I don’t believe exercise has to be exhausting and painful to be of benefit. I mean who in their right mind will stick with that? Okay I can hear a few of you athlete types saying, “I will and I do!” but hey I am not […]

Why your back is sore and your booty is small

Okay… I don’t really know why your back is sore or your booty is small, but there is a good chance there is a weak glute issue lurking. The two are not necessarily related but they certainly could be. This exercise below (the single leg glute bridge which you probably haven’t seen or done) ably demonstrated by Kennet could help get your glutes activated and worked out well as part of a bigger program – if it is identified that your glutes are not doing the job they were designed for and/or you aren’t doing enough of the right glute exercises including this one. But hey, don’t go rushing into this exercise if you currently have a bad back. Please see your physio, chiro or osteopath first for a proper diagnosis and specific exercise prescription. Consider poor core stability as another obvious and likely cause for the back issue too by the way.

Where do you wear your carbs?

Where do you wear your carbs? Now this is a question I’m sure many people are very interested in…  There is a lot of confusing information out there about diet and eating. Make no mistake – the ‘weight loss’ business has been (and will continue to be) a huge industry. Why though? Why is this the case? If what they are selling is so good, why hasn’t someone come up with the answer yet thereby effectively ending the prolific amount of information written on the subject?? The answer is that it is a self perpetuating business model. What I mean is that what they are collectively suggesting creates short term but unsustainable results, which inevitably leads to snap back. And not only does the weight snap back, it comes back with interest… The reason is that most diets create a metabolic environment that makes long term fat loss (which is what the whole thing should be about) harder and harder. Talk about an ingenious business model… Give quick, short term joy only to take it away (thus creating the need again) and offer the same thing again in a new form that seems appealing all over. We all recognize the need within ourselves for novelty and fresh ideas to keep us interested. What do I suggest then? Stop looking for the easy answer. As a mate of mine once told me when I was learning how to work on my old timber boat, “the shortcut you are looking for will be the long cut you were trying to avoid. Do […]

Why runners DON’T get arthritis

Now this one surprised me a little. This is an article shared from the American College of Sports Medicine. Now these guys, in the realm of health and fitness are an AUTHORITY which in the world of bytes and bits of information of questionable value, is a breath of fresh air. I studied 4 years of psychology and the one really good thing I will say about that is that nothing is ever considered the unadulterated truth, which means we are in a continual state of learning. Whilst it is true that this may be frustrating at times, it ensures an open mind which is a prerequisite for intelligence and growth. So keep seeking the truth folks. It is the act of looking that will help you not the end point, because the truth is likely to be a little hard to pin down unless of course you know something I don’t! 🙂


Don’t believe just me about the benefits if high intensity interval training, have a look at someone else’s opinion. Check out this explanation!

I love understanding the body better…

Some of you will know I have been doing some running this year. It was interesting using My Zone (our new heart rate tracking and automatic exercise journaling tool) to observe my changing physiology, which is an obvious advantage in using it. Only last week though the true nature of where I had been at was revealed. I was having a hard time getting improvements in my performance as I got closer to the recent Bridge to Brisbane run, which probably shouldn’t have been a surprise after having run over 130km in that one week in August helping my mate  Damo on a relatively small segment of his epic run from Brisbane to Sydney. I didn’t feel overtrained but the first signs were right there in my heart rate data. I couldn’t get a very high maximum heart rate (compared to what I had seen before) and I couldn’t maintain a very high heart rate when doing  time trials. Well just last week after 2 weeks off from cardio training, my higher maximum heart rate returned as did my ability to hold a higher heart rate in interval work I was doing on computrainer. I also felt much better doing that level of intensity. The post I put out there on recovery couple of weeks back was pesonally relevant indeed and this article from Asics (no pushing of product!) is pretty interesting if you want to acquaint yourself a bit more with how the body works in terms of adaptation. If you want to keep up with what is happening […]