Health and Fitness FAQ's #1: Evil Carbs and Sore Backs?

Updated: Nov 5

If there is one thing there is A LOT of in the health and fitness world, it's questions! And with these questions come, inevitably, contradictory opinions from so-called "experts". So, to tip-toe through the minefield that is online fitness "broscience", I will answer some commonly asked health and fitness questions.

If you have any questions you would like help with leave me a message on this site or on Facebook or Twitter.

Q. How should I structure my workout?

This depends on what you are trying to achieve. As a general rule of thumb, your workouts should place the exercise with the most value first, with accessory exercises coming afterwards. For example, if you are looking to increase your squat strength, then squats come first with other accessory leg exercises coming after. If you wanted to grow your arms then close grip bench press and close grip lat pull-downs might come first as they give you more bang for your buck, with isolated arm exercises coming later on. Go from most physically demanding > easier, more isolated exercises

Q. Should I perform cardio before weights?

Again, this is a question of what you are looking to achieve. If you are training for a specifically cardiovascular based goal or sport, then perform the relevant cardio exercise first. If you are looking to lose weight then it is better to leave your cardio exercises until after you have done your resistance work. Resistance work depletes the body of glycogen meaning your cardio work will burn more fat.

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Q. Are carbs evil?

No. Carbohydrates are not evil. The only “foods” you should really be avoiding are trans fats, added sugars and rancid oils - cooking oil which has been heated to high temperatures repeatedly (think fried foods in restaurants). Carbohydrates can play an important role in our diet and manipulating them can help to achieve your physique goals. Carbohydrates should mostly be consumed before and after your workouts, with the bulk to be consumed after a hard workout. This helps to replenish muscle glycogen and can increase insulin sensitivity.