All in Training

Spend any significant time at your average health club or gym and you'd soon begin to notice how familiar the faces are at different times of the day. Ask the people exercising why they chose to be there at that time and you'd likely be told that they feel more alert and energetic in the morning or vice versa for those in the evening. This is all very well but what does the science have to say about it? Does the time of day you exercise matter? 

Products which are advertised to improve your sports/exercise performance litter the internet and magazines. I've written about a number in this blog and they include things like supplements, drinks, footwear, gadgets and exercise equipment. While doing a bit of reading for another post I came across an interesting article in the BMJ Open about such products which I think is worth writing a few paragraphs about. 

When I started working at the beginning of the 90's I took a job working in a health club in Notting Hill London. Here the majority of my colleagues were, like me, graduates who'd been at university studying Sports Science or Physical Education. Back then fitness related vocational qualifications were few and far between and those that were available usually involved learning how to prance around to music in leg warmers.

Secondary spend is a word that you'll hear banded about a lot by management in gyms and health clubs. It refers to the money members spend in addition to their monthly or annual subscriptions. This might include money spent on personal training in the gym, classes in the studio, treatments in the spa, food from the restaurant and various stuff from the club shop such as clothing and nutritional products. The latter can include anything from chewy bars to sports drinks but there's one word that's very common in much of what's available; and that's protein.  


A derogatory term for misconceptions and ideas of questionable scientific credibility, passed around among laymen by word-of-mouth as if factually true.

Most examples of bro-science pertain to biology, fitness and sports where it most often circulates in fitness, athletic and bodybuilding circles. Here, many people want to know how to most effectively train but are either ignorant of or do not fully understand the actual science. (

You may have noticed in recent years that the space dedicated to fixed weights machines inside your average gym or health club has diminished somewhat. What it's being replaced by is dedicated space filled with equipment such as Swiss balls, BOSUs, TRX bands and Powerbags as well as more traditional equipment like barbells, kettle bells and medicine balls. 

Common sense tells us that running places a lot of stress on our joints, particularly the knees. We've all heard I'm sure that every time we take a stride whilst running we're placing '3 times our body weight' through our knee joints. Repeat this hundreds of times for each run, multiplied by many years and your knees are surely going to suffer?