Thursday TakeOver - Personal Trainer James Travis

James has been there right from day 1 of my fitness journey, the support and advice that he gives me as a friend has been a big contribution to my success so far. I have an enormous amount of respect for Jame's honesty and the passion he has for the fitness industry .. here's a few musings, free tips & opinions from Mr Traviii himself;

1) Weighing yourself everyday is a form of irrelevant insanity . You will become obsessed with numbers that tell you nothing .

2) Going to the gym is a positive thing - going to the gym with no purpose is £x wasted .

3) You need carbs - dropping carbs entirely to lose weight is an outdated and dangerous principle for most people . Carbs give you energy - you need that right ?

4) Spot reducing fat still doesn't work - tricep extensions do not burn fat off the back off your arms . The body uses energy in totality and distributes it thus.

5) The single biggest favour you can do to your health and looks is to drink more water . Most people in my experience don't drink over 500ml a day . Try tripling / quadrupling this .

6) You can smash shot after shot of 55% proof down your throat - drink potentially lethal amounts of vodka based fruit drinks - go to Macdonalds everyday and gorge - stay up till 5 in the morning , be dangerously obese and no-one will say a word . Join a gym - eat healthy and stay in a few nights to get some sleep and woah there here comes the concerned friends brigade .

7) Friends are people who support you in life not just because you are complicity enabling their behaviour.

8) Learn to exercise don't just try and wing it . This is especially true for those of you who lets say are not blessed with the most athletic of disposition . Proper coaching
is hard to find.

9) Opinions - opinions everywhere - fitness is like the flame for the proverbial moth of unsolicited advice and expertise. People smoking 100 cigs a day will have the perfect marathon prep stored in the back of their mind. That bloke you know who squats only to lower himself into his barstool will suddenly display a Poliquinesque understanding of physiology and biomechanics . It is everywhere - I would find it funny if some of you guys didn't listen to it ...

10) The only real obstacle to change is you and how much you want it . It is no surprise that the most significant changes often come after bad or potentially bad health news, your health is something that you will only truly treasure when it's compromised or God forbid gone .

11) Treats are for dogs . Humans ( that's you ) need to stop treating food like some Pavlov's dogs experiment . Rewarding yourself whenever  the bell of good behaviour rings or when someone pisses you off - grows old pretty quick as an excuse when you are trying desperately to lose weight .

12) Counting calories and macros for most of you is a waste of time. Just eat three good unprocessed meals a day.

13) Missing meals is a total disaster for someone trying to lose weight .

14) Sugar is the key ingredient that you need to cut out not fat . If sugar was discovered tomorrow then it would be a Class A banned narcotic . No substance in the history of humankind has done more short and long term damage to so many people than sugar. The type of sugar Is important - ie a little fruit or natural honey is ok - but the processed stuff you have in your bowl at home will inadvertently kill more people than cigarettes this year .

15) Some sweeteners aren't much better for Health or weight loss . Research is limited but I suggest that you go do some of your own on products like Aspartame that flavour your useless diet drinks . Whilst not having the same calorie density as sugar they can still trigger the same brain and physiological responses  thus leading to the same problems - increased body fat - decreased insulin production - increased cortisol and all the wonderful associated problems. Be smart and educated about what goes down your gullet ;)

16) Everyone is different . Don't assume for a second you know someone's trials and tribulations unless you know them implicitly. This is why having an opinion is important but not sharing it is often vital . On my page I see people openly commenting on people's physiques mainly positively I must say which is great but occasionally negatively  . I have even heard people talking about my body in supermarket queue's behind me how it is too much '  too big , not for me - things like that . I can only relate it to what many pregnant women feel like when total strangers start grabbing your belly. Imagine the uproar if I wrote ( and I never would dream of it btw) ' wow you look vastly overweight ' or ' that's too skinny for me ' . It beggars belief doesn't it - positivity is so important to people's chances of success - I have seen individuals haunted their whole lives by a comment or series of comments . So please remember unless it's good - keep it in your head - you just look like a prat writing it anyway .

17) I can't emphasise this enough - lifting weights or doing a variation involving resistance training is probably more vital to women than men . It will not make you look bulky and it will - shed body fat - increase bone density and a whole host of other benefits . However grabbing a 2kg dumbbell and doing easy curls is not going to cut it . You need heavy ( relative to you and your ability ) ass weights to use your full body .

18) Constant cardio particularly steady state will mess you up if you are a woman . I'm sure I don't need to tell you the importance and impact that hormones have on your body - constant even paced excessive exercise will alter your hormonal profile in a negative way and you will put weight on or drop to unhealthy levels of bodyfat . A mixture of steady and high intensity cardio with a solid resistance programme is key .

19) But all futile if you neck Prosecco
like it's going out of production . Empty calories will kill your body quicker than you can say Diet Coke . Yes I know it has zero calories but go and hold a 330ml can of the stuff and ask yourself - how can this full can of tasty beverage contain no energy .. Nothing . Zip . Nada . Then ask yourself what happens to this beverage inside my body ... The simple answer is that it will convert in exactly the same way but artificially that sugar does - spike your blood sugar and insulin raise your cortisol levels to create a perfect environment for bodyfat on your backside / legs / stomach and backs of arms . Alcohol is less subtle and doesn't pretend it's going to help you lose weight but it's still empty nutritionally vacant calories that cannot be exchanged for  nutritional wholesome energy .

20) Forget faddy eating - quickly here are some of my favourite food and beverage nonsense I've heard from clients and regular folk .

4 litres ?? That's way too much water in a day !! = will easily drink 4 litres of Mojito on a Friday in 4 hrs .

Eating breakfast makes me feel sick , I just can't do it for some reason = was up till 3am drinking wine and eating kebabs past midnight .

Vegetables ?? I've never liked them just can't stomach them = was caning shot after shot of aftershock the night before .

Does coffee count as water ? I've had 4 macchiatos today ... = no explanation required .

I didn't have time to cook/ prep food / food shop this week I'm sooo busy = total Facebook time 26 hrs .

21) Just eat like a normal person train with purpose and live .. I mean really live not jamming up your wonderful body with crap and drinking yourself into oblivion till you cant remember anyway. Someone once said to me when I was in a different place ' happy people don't self medicate'

22) Be what you want to be - ignore the jealous / the haters / the obstructive / the sarcastic / the contrary the passive aggressive / the stupid / the dominant - and follow your dreams . If you have to drop a few people off on the way then ce la vie .

23) Dieting is futile and implies short termism - find a way to eat for life - it is what the word diet actually means ( from the Greek 'way of living' ) . There is no one way to do this - if there were then humans would not have adapted to so many different environments with so many different food sources , so successfully .

24) Sit ups are generally a waste of time and have far less effect on your waistline than you could ever possibly imagine .

25) Be happy - I mean truly genuinely happy . The stuff that's bothering you now will probably seem like a distant irrelevance in a few weeks ..

26) Men , seriously now .. Make this the year you start training the other half of your body .. You know that bit that isn't chest and arms ;) .

Have a good one - I hope your kids get on well back at school . That going back to work doesn't suck too much and that life is good .


James is an experienced personal trainer who works from his own gym in South West London - Instagram @JTravis_PT Email james_travis@hotmail.co.uk & on Facebook. 
Skype Consultations available! 

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