The blog has been quiet for some time and I thought a small explanation of why I haven’t written for a while, due.
Over the many iterations of this website and my many articles written there have been many thousands of words written on how to effectively achieve a variety of fitness and weight related goals from weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, endurance training and others.
My belief is that within the pages of this blog 99% of people have all the information needed to achieve their goals. Humans tend to ignore simplicity mistakenly believing it is of no value. Value is often right in your face and simple.
The rules are simple:
is 100% calories in versus calories out, the science is clear. Nothing else is possible. Really. The best way to achieve this is a personal decision and the best way is the one you can adhere to, nearly any diet which creates a calorie deficit can work. Find one that gives you adequate nutrients (yes micro and macro, it pains me there is a need to say such things). Chocolate and wine and kebabs are not adequate. You know this. Fresh meat, fish, veg, fruits and dairy. You know this too.
You have to be out of breath for exercise to have any beneficial result. You know this too. Sure, low intensity work can have mental benefits but there will be no physiological health benefits beyond a small calorie burning effect unless you are forced to breathe heavily (a good marker is if you can hold a conversation then you are not out of breath).
Science is agreed almost unanimously, that whilst a variety of weights (measured as % of single rep max from as low as circa 40%) can illicit strength gains, some minimal level of effort (often measured as to failure or RPE scale) is demanded to achieve strength gains. How many times and how frequently is about the only real worth while element left to be fully understood and is probable to be as varied per person as energy requirements, within a sensible range. One to eight sets, one the three times per week seems a range to work within depending on your age, lifestyle, genetics and motivation. A single set to failure (RPE 10) once per week has been shown beneficial. That right there is your minimum starting point.
Common sense dictates that a younger and healthier person can handle and respond better than and older to higher set numbers and frequency.
Effort is the single biggest determining factor. Never forgot that when you want to quit.
No single exercise, no matter how cool, scientific or shouted about will better your sports performance better than practicing the sport itself, as specifically as possible. Gym time would be best spent building base levels of strength in the muscles involved (squats or example, for any running sport) and injury prevention and also hypertrophy of protective muscles (such as the neck for contact sports, for example).
If you wanted to get better at swimming, would you play basketball in hope of improving swim times? No, good. Then why do people still insist on other such insane practices as balance training (a specific skill dependant movement) to enhance sports unrelated entirely to the swiss/bosu balls, for example.
Simple is not the same as easy. Keep it simple, work it hard, then harder. Then rest.