I’m constantly disappointed with the quality of fitness and health advice in mainstream media. Don’t get me wrong there is a lot of really good advice out there but so little to differentiate it from the nonsense. One of the goals I have for Pink PT is to help my audience cut through all the industry BS and find the solutions to their problems. At pink PT we have a belief structure but it’s flexible and it’s grounded in scientific research, we are never going to hold on to a training style or diet concept if it’s not proven to do the job it’s supposed to do.

Personal Training for us is more about education than it is about writing programs and fixing technique. Our clients want to know what to do and why and we want to tell them. We aren’t flippant with the details and we don’t hold back with the information we share. I’ve always taken this approach with clients but now with the Pink PT brand up and running I can start to share my ideas with a wider community.

Firstly I will always endeavour to answer questions via email, text, or social media in full regardless of the opportunity to make some cash or not. Secondly I want to use this blog to critic some of the discussions that are out there at the moment and provide some clarity.

This is the first article I wanted to share my thoughts on, I wrote it a little while ago but its still relevant.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/15/cult-fitness-regimes-are-wreaking-havoc-on-young-peoples-joints/

It’s a cool article to comment on because it’s written by an Orthopaedic surgeon. Their qualifications suggest that they know the human body really well and are in a great position to comment on joint damage, but they don’t necessarily know anything at all about the fitness industry.

The first half of the article is great, it highlights the dangers of taking on a HIIT routine and hits us with the stats. At the end of the article there’s some advice for us:

“The message for young people to avoid this predicament is to be careful not to over-train and to avoid some of the exercises and training regimes that can trash the joints.”

He said fitness-focused youngsters should moderate their workouts and include more rest days between sessions, while those with established joint problems should opt for non-impact sports such as swimming and cycling.”

What does this advice actually mean? You can’t apply this advice to your work outs as its vague and unspecific.

How do I know when I’m over training?

How do I recognise a routine that may “trash my joints” ?

How much rest should I allow between work outs?

There are two actions people can take from this advice.

  1. Stop doing any form of HIIT or impact exercise for fear of injury.
  2. Ignore the advice and crack on.

I thought I’d take the time to re-write the end of this article so that you guys can leave with some practical advice that you can apply to your work outs and help you towards a healthier, fitter, thinner, pain free 2017.

I’ll take over from the line

“The problem, however,

The problem, however, is not that the work outs themselves are dangerous but that the person doesn’t possess the correct skill level to perform the high intensity movements and when you try to perform a high skill task with a high intensity then the movement will break down and you could be at risk of injury.

I use HIIT training with many clients, it’s a handy fat loss tool and a great time saver. It’s also really useful if they have several goals they want to work on at once which is so often the case with the clients I see. 20 mins of HIIT is generally enough which leaves me 40mins of a typical session remaining to work on all their other goals.

My advice would be to spilt your work out in half, spend half the session (15-30mins is enough) developing the skills you need for your high intensity program but in a low intensity environment (basic versions of the exercise, low numbers of reps, light weights etc). Then spend the second half of the work out (again 15-30mins will do) using movements you are already good at to push your self to fatigue and burn the high numbers of calories that drew you to HIIT training in the first place. Then over time you get more skilful at the first exercises and you can use them in a high intensity work out.

So to a gym newbie you may have identified Rowing as a movement you are already quite good at and burpees as a skill you want to improve. You could start with plank progressions, single tuck jumps, and squat thrusts for low numbers of reps to learn the skills you need for a burpee at the start then finish with some 250m repeats on a rower in week 1. By week 4 you’ll be skill developing another movement and doing HIIT sets of burpees.

Skill development Vs performance is relevant to all training styles. Bodybuilders can’t build muscle performing exercises that they aren’t skilful at, crossfitters can’t perform high numbers of reps on exercises they aren’t skilful at (they also risk injury by trying) and sports people can’t consistently execute techniques that they aren’t skilful at. All training styles should include some skill development until they have all the skills they need to hit their goals.

Yours sincerely,

A zealous but not over zealous Personal Trainer

Matthew Hill

Pink PT
Wimbledon Personal Training