A good coach is always willing to admit that they are/ have been wrong, and despite always wanting the best for you guys I admit that some of the information I have learnt and put into practice over the years has been wrong (unintentionally of course!)
I see a big part of my role as a coach in being able to take all of the health & fitness advice out there (there is a lot!) and disregard the BS, take what is credible and then break it down in a way that is relevant to you and easy to understand, follow and apply.
This takes a bit of time to do as it requires seeking out the most reliable sources of information and then also gaining my own experience in the relevant topics
Couple that with the fact that human physiology, nutrition, psychology etc are complex subjects and that scientific research is ever evolving we can see why opinions and advice change over time… and mine certainly has
So here are some of my biggest fitness fails so you don’t have to make the same mistakes as me:
- disregarding calorie intake as a necessary focus for weight change
When aiming for weight change (weight loss/ weight gain), calorie total should be our first focus. Weight loss can only happen with a calorie deficit and weight gain can only happen with a calorie surplus.
- High Intensity Interval Training is best for fat loss
Whatever suits you is best for fat loss. Whichever fitness protocol you enjoy and that keeps you training & working hard is best for fat loss. I like to use all the tools in my tool box- resistance training, intervals and low intensity steady state
- Demonising certain foods & food groups (low carbs, no sugar, clean eating)
I used to place far too much of an emphasis on eating ONLY clean foods and completely restricting a macronutrient (either fats or carbs). Whist eating ‘clean’ foods isn’t a bad thing I now know that the reason I got results was because of the calorie deficit I got when taking away a food group/ macronutrient. My approach these days is a lot more balanced (and enjoyable)
- Ignoring non exercise activity as a tool for changing energy balance
NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is the amount of calories we burn each day from activity that isn’t classed as exercise. Such as walking around the shops, climbing up the stairs at work, cleaning the house… Manipulating your NEAT levels is a really simple and effective tool to help shift the energy balance scales in your failure
- Believing that increasing the number of meals we eat per day increases our metabolism
I used to say that we HAD to eat breakfast in order to spike our metabolism for the day. Nowadays my advice is eat breakfast if you like to eat breakfast, if not you don’t have to. Eating breakfast can be a good way to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. But if by eating breakfast you add an extra meal into your daily intake you’ll actually increase your calories which will have a negative effect on fat loss.
My old approaches used to get results, but they definitely weren't necessary for the success. Trends change, opinions change and we develop- when we know what makes the difference it makes the process a whole lot easier to implement