Everybody needs resistance!

As a fitness professional trying to grow his business, I always encounter pretty much the same objections, some of these objections,Speth-WorldMasters however, seems to keep coming back more than others and they make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The goal of this article is to address in the most scientific and clear manner these objections that seem so deeply rooted in the untrained population.

 

 

Before I go any further I have to explain a clear distinction between two words that I will use extensively in this article: Exercising and Training. Even though these two might seem quite similar, they really are not. Exercising is basically a form of dynamic, random, somewhat athletic activity that may results in caloric expenditure and elevated heart rate (walking the dog, cycling with the family on Sundays, swimming whenever the weather is nice enough, etc…). Training is something that is planned, thought out, regular and specifically aimed at progressing in a particular modality of exercise.

Training might seem reserved or limited to athletes, this is a total misconception, any goal in life cannot be reached without an amount of training, you have to do something over and over, while slowly increasing the difficulty in order to “get better” at something or in order to achieve a “goal”. In the realm of health and fitness, your goal doesn’t have to be an Olympic medal, it might simply be loosing a few pounds, gaining muscle, getting rid of that nasty lower back pain, not being out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs, etc… Exercising might induce, with a lot of luck and on an extended and unpredictable time frame some of these benefits but it usually does not.

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Lifestyle during pregnancy : Sport & Physical Activity

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We know now, that sport and physical activity are important, even essential at any stage of a human being’s life. Pregnancy does not break this rule. But why is it so important ? Wouldn’t it be, in the contrary, dangerouse both for mother and child ?

A lot of studies were conducted throughout many decades since the middle of the 20th century to finally conclude that pregnancy is recognized as a unique time for behavior modifications and is no longer considered a condition for confinement. Continue reading

Carnitine : Facts or Fiction

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Carnitine as a fat burner

Carnitine, much like creatine (even though their functions are quite different) is a supplement that has been available for years (even decades). It has always been categorized by common wisdom as a « fat burner » or « fat mobilizer », and considered by better informed parties as a placebo product because no study (until very recently) had been able to prove the efficacy of oral carnitine supplementation regarding fat oxidation. Continue reading

The influence of temperature on training and performances

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Not everyone has the comfort to work out and train in a tempered and cozy gym with constant temperature and humidity, wether it is for practical or financial reasons, or because the very discipline that is being trained requires a particular and sometimes extreme environment.

The influence of temperature on training and performances is as diverse as it is critical, and sometimes, even a few degrees can make a world of difference.

Temperature can influence physical performances on different levels : first, the ambient temperature is going to have an impact on the  body and metabolism as a whole. Then, if exposure to extreme temperature is prolonged, and ends up cooling down or warming up particular tissues, a change in muscle temperature for instance, it can also have a big impact on performances. Also, living in a specific climate, even if one actually trains inside in a neutral, tempered environment, can have some influence on training and recovery. Continue reading

The importance of a good posture

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Posture is defined as the composite of the position of all the joints of the body at any given moment. Simply said it is how we carry ourselves.

Also, it is important to acknowledge and differentiate static and dynamic posture. Static being the position of all our joint when we are not moving as opposed to dynamic when our body is performing a motion. To elaborate from the previous statement, « good » posture would be the composite « IDEAL » position of all the joints in our body at any given moment.

It might seems like something given and granted… After all, our knees, shoulders and pelvis are ALWAYS in the same position… or are they ? Continue reading

All you need to know about Creatine supplementation

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In today’s health and fitness world, new, supposedly revolutionary, supplements are being released daily. These products are being advertised as the next big thing that is going to change the way people train and progress.

But the rate at which these products are released is so high, that there is no way for the science world to keep up with conclusive studies to tell us what really works and what is bogus…

In my opinion, hard work, dedication, discipline and science are the real keys to progress and success, however there are a few products, backed up by years of experimentation and several serious studies, that have proven their efficiency and potency. One of those being creatine.

Even though creatine supplementation is nothing new, it is worth noting that despite the fact that it is one of the most studied and scientifically supported supplement, it still generates controversy and a lot of people are still confused about its use and effects. Continue reading

Barefoot & minimal shoes running

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Five months ago, I bought minimal running shoes, which main purpose is to simulate barefoot running. After using them almost everyday and reading several studies, I am able to broaden your vision of their potential effects on your health. Continue reading

The benefits of physical activity on brain health and cognitive functions

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We are constantly reminded of how exercise affects positively our physiology as well as our esthetics, and how important it is to stay physically active throughout life to age well. And although these considerations have real value, I think it is a bit limited.

Indeed, we are now starting to realize, thank to a constant progress of science, that our body is an integrated system, and that no action, or influence imposed on our body (understand  « body » as a whole, not just the bony/fleshy mechanical envelope) wether external or internal, can be looked at from a restricted and limited point of view, and that for an actual response to a given stimulus to occur, the entire human mechanism is put in motion in a holistic way.

Let me illustrate this with an example related to health and fitness :

If John wants bigger biceps (endurance athletes/enthusiasts please stay with me, this concerns you also, just think of John as a triathlete getting ready for an IronMan run), he is going to go to the gym and engage in a particular routine that will focus on stimulating his biceps, and hopefully, he will end up with bigger guns… But the reality of what is happening isn’t limited to his biceps brachii muscles.  A host of endocrine, nervous, muscular, conscious and unconscious reactions are going to occur to allow for his biceps to be trained and later on, if the adequate anabolic environment is provided, grow.

This was a lengthy introduction but I think this point needed to be made : Whatever your goals or your speciality in life, even if those are more of an intellectual nature, you should ALWAYS look at your body as an intricate, interrelated system and how this relates to your daily performances.

To illustrate this essential fact, and to give substance to my allegations, I am going to introduce you to a fact that might be new to you : Physical activity has the potential to increase cognitive functions, orientation and improve overall emotional state. Continue reading