My eternal foe Gretchen Reynolds delivers again…This time quoting a study stating that after a two week break from exercising the athlete will have a complete performance set back , losing their cardiovascular ability, gaining weight, even suffering from early onset diabetes.
Now bad science like this will bring out my red pen!
Here are my main issues with it
1. The subjects did not change their diet to adjust for the lower activity level, so weight gain could have been avoided . This goes in particular for the second group which consisted of overweight people . Why would you have have overweight people stopping their exercises without adjusting caloric intake I wonder? An overweight persons body is primed for fat gain due to poor insulin efficiency which can only be counteracted with …drum roll please.. proper diet and exercise.
2. The effects of a short break from exercising are easily reversible, within two weeks you will be back at your old performance level. You might even be better due to the added recovery.
3. Planned breaks or deload weeks are extremely beneficial to keep performance and motivation high in the long run. Despite what the internet tells you, nobody can go “beast mode” 24/7″ with “no days off”. There is a reason all major sports have an offseason, yet it seems to me that these guys churn out a high performance level season after season.
4. What annoys me the most about the article ( aside from the fact that the writer is a glorified marathon runner with an iPad) is the underlying moral :
“Exercising is a chore, you must do it, if you stop you die.”
That is a great way to demotivate people indeed.
Now granted, I might not be the best focus group but I still enter the gym every like a little kid and think to myself ” Oh, weights! Cool!”
If you can not bring the message across that training and eating properly are fantastic tools to improve the quality of your life and fun to do, you should not be in the health and fitness industry.
In closing, let me summarize what you need to do to stay in awesome shape.
1. Read and watch my stuff
2. Train the whole body with weights twice a week
3. Find exercises that fir the categories : squat , hip hinge push and pull
4. Develop the most amount of tension in your target muscle with exercises that work for you.
5. Hit your macros
7. Enjoy life!
New video on training frequency to be found here