Home' Air Force News : September 12th 2013 Contents IF YOU put fads ahead of fitness
and a quick-fix solutions ahead of
slow gains, this column is for you.
Listed are eight common mistakes
made when pursuing better health and
fitness -- and what you can do about
Go hard or go home
Contrary to popular belief,
training does not have to be hard.
Hard training sessions can over-
train your nervous system. The result
is that motivation goes down and you
Solution: Incorporate light, medium
and moderate intensity sessions in
your program with harder sessions
on the days you prefer to work out
(typically early in the week) and easier
sessions on the days you know you will
not want to train.
Quick fix ideas
After several weeks,
months or years of neglect, it is
unrealistic to expect your body to
change shape in a short time.
A quick fix has more chance of
destroying your gains in one day
through injury than the making of a
sudden, miraculous change.
September 12, 2013
Eight fitness-fad fizzles
These are some of the things to avoid in your
bid for fitness, says LT Robert Orr.
Solution: Be realistic about the gains
you expect, and expect it to take time
arm-busting session, Angelina's
bun-tightening exercises or Cadel's
cycling program is more likely to give
you minimal gains or, worse, cause an
Every person is different, they have
different training backgrounds, injury
histories and body shapes.
Solution: Contact your local PTI for
advice, be it for a training program
or contact details for coaches of your
Training the beach
There are more muscles in your
body than those you see in the mirror.
In fact, the most important muscles
for health, fitness and performance are
deep and cannot be seen.
Furthermore, your muscles need
more than just lifting weights for good
health. They need good flexibility,
they need to be anchored to healthy
bone, they need to be supplied by a
healthy cardiovascular and nervous
system and much more.
Solution: Contact your local PTI and
discuss the full spectrum of training
needs for a healthy active body and,
once provided, avoid skipping bits
(like stretches during a cool down).
Avoid training the small
muscles. Abdominal curls, bicep
curls, leg extensions, pec decks and
triceps extensions are often done in the
thousands in the hope of toning up a
For fat loss, it is important to
realise that muscle does not interact
with fat in its vicinity in any way.
Fat is regulated by the nervous-
hormonal system and this system
responds to the effect of training by
releasing certain hormones that
interact with receptors all over the
Muscles do not know exercises --
they know movement. So the shoulder
action for the chest muscles perform-
ing a pec deck is the same as for the
bench press and push-up, but whereas
the latter two exercises also condition
a whole group of other muscles, the
pec deck does not.
Solution: Use compound and complex
movements. The more muscles you use
in a single exercise, the better for you.
Training the ego not the
If you are considering using more
compound and complex exercises,
focus on your training technique, not
weight or speed.
Avoid training to impress, as gains
will come using the correct loads and
the chances of injury will be reduced.
Solution: Train to improve, not to
impress. Ensure your technique is
perfect and avoid changing your
loads/speeds to match others.
After taking a break from
training, do not expect to come back at
the same fitness level. Likewise, do not
expect to continue training at the same
If you suddenly try lifting the same
weight, running the same distance
at the same speed or continuing the
program from where you left off, there
is a high chance you will overload
and either lose motivation or injure
Solution: Take it slow, avoid stopping
training and contact your local PTI for
advice following a lapse in training.
Many people believe their
one training session a day is all they
need to make gains and be healthy.
Not so. There are 168 hours in a
week, and five one-hour workouts
equates to 3 per cent of the week, leav-
ing 97 per cent or 163 hours a week to
negatively impact on your training.
Solution: Be active during the day.
Take the stairs, avoid eating lunch
at your desk (walk to the park or
canteen), park at the furthest car pack,
remove the batteries from your remote
controls and eat healthy meals.
LT Rob Orr is a former Army PTI and now
a reservist and Associate Professor at the
Bond Institute of Sport and Health.
Photo: CPL Max Bree
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