So, I was at work in the office today and a colleague was telling me about an amazing contraption she has seen in her local gym that is guaranteed to help her loose weight. Its some kind of machine that makes walking a lot harder whilst keeping your pulse rate down in an effort to “increase fat burn.” Yes – complete nonsense!! When she approached to ask what it was all about she was met by a helpful exercise expert (salesman) who kindly explained the absolute rubbish behind it!
Now, we can all probably relate to this story in some way on another, whether you’ve picked up that item at the end of the shopping aisle that you didn’t really need but it was on offer, or if you were hurried into buying something you weren’t sure on because the “offer end soon.” We all fall victims to marketing and being sold to all the time, its everywhere – especially in the fitness industry.
There are literally thousands of supplements, products and pieces of equipment out there that are meant to be the “ultimate solution” to all your fitness goals but never really amount to much. The reality is people like new things, if its shiny and boasts about how its got “revolutionary technology” – then we, as humans, will be curious as to how and why – bingo – they have got you interested! Its then simply down to who-ever is managing the product to hit you with an offer or a limited time special and hey presto! We end up on some strange running machine, upside down, wearing a full body sweatsuit and a heart rate monitor – not ideal!
Obviously I am being slightly dramatic, but the reality isn’t too far away! Whenever you consider how something in exercise is going to benefit you, say to yourself;
Does it require some big science experiment looking piece of kit?
Does it resemble exercise I already do, just dressed up differently?
Does it all look/feel and resemble that could have been done 100 years ago?
This should give you an idea as to wether or not you should be using it at all. Now dont get me wrong I’m not putting down developments in the exercise industry. I for one love the “Perfect Push Up” tool, and the FAT GRIPZ are amazing for developing your flexors and grip strength. But amongst every two or three good products, there are about a hundred that are absolute waffle!!
Take, for example, the machine my colleague was speaking to me about that I mentioned at the begginning. Now, when she described it to me, she said “You step into this like walk in bath type thing and your in a half body wetsuit, and it makes walking really hard, and you do 20 minutes at a time but its like doing an hour and your heart rates lower so you burn more fat.” Alarm bells were ringing!!
So, me being me, I went and looked up the said product and as expected found the sceince behind their product explanation to be a very common misconception. They are saying that by exercising at a lower intensity you burn MORE FAT, quite simply, this isn’t the case. The truth is you burn a higher percentage from fat when exercising at a lower intensity, but when at a higher intensity the overal calorie expenditure is higher so makes this percentage irrelevant. Let me explain. I’m sitting here typing which I consider to be a fairly low intensity, lets say I burned 70 calories and 40% of them come from fat. If I now get up and do 10 hill sprints I would be at a high intensity, lets say I burned 1000 calories but only 25% from fat. 25% of 1000 cals is much higher than 40% of 70 cals – see how this works now?
My point is the “scientists” who developed this product would surely have known exactly how our bodies work, they are after all “leading experts.” So then why would they use confused information and rely on the misconception to sell and push their product? Its sales troops! Just like them biscuits at the end of the aisle or the limited time product, its all about sales. They want you to believe in this so much that even if it didnt do anything for you, your going to tell your friends it did! Becuase the science must be right and if you didn’t get any results you must be doing it wrong or being lazy, right?
The bottom line is trust your gut instinct, if some looks fancy and makes ‘ground breaking’ claims then chances are its a FAD. If it requires hard work, functional movements, dedication and time, then theres a good chance its effective training!
Hope this helps,
Thanks for reading troops.
Next article will be “You eat fat you get fat, right?”