This could be the difference between losing and gaining those extra kilos.

Photo: iStock

We’ve read so much recently about why quick bouts of intense exercise are the secret to achieving results, with 28-minute miracle regimes, endless apps and online programs flooding the market.

But it’s not always as straightforward as adhering to a strict half-hour sweat session. While these “quick-fix”, “silver bullet” solutions certainly guarantee transformed torsos and tightened thighs in the short term, they can be hard to maintain, particularly when the primary focus isn’t on ‘health’, says personal trainer and co-founder of The Collective Elite (The CE) Dwayne Anthony.

With 10 years’ experience as a trainer under his belt, Anthony teamed up with fellow PT Ellie Bell to launch The CE, a lifestyle brand targeting women in an attempt to teach them how to get the body they want, the right way, with permanent results.

The Melbourne-based PT explains the hardest part is often convincing women that it’s more than just a number on the scales and shifting the focus away from wanting to simply lose weight.

“There has always been so much focus on weight loss and not enough focus on health,” he says. “It’s that re-shifting of perspective which can often be the biggest hurdle. But once women begin to focus on health overall, they get results so much more easily and enjoyably, without all the negativity and stress that comes with just focusing on the number on a scale.”

Dwayne and Ellie also happen to be husband and wife, and together the duo is tackling the fiercely competitive fitness landscape in Australia, working to revolutionise the way women approach their health, their nutrition, their workouts and the way they recover.

“The problem society currently faces is that superficial, heavily marketed brands and products are the most popular; yet all completely overlook the importance of mindset. These ‘quick-fix’, ineffective and unsustainable solutions subsequently produce a negative association with the process of attempting to better one’s health — something of which women are the greatest victims,” Dwayne says.

“The fact is, there is no magic amount of time that you need to exercise for when you want results.”

So, what are women often doing wrong? Here are the most common fitness misconceptions that Dwayne and Ellie hear from their female clients daily that we need to stop believing:

“I just need to exercise more and I’ll get skinny”

No. Firstly, the right nutrition is key when it comes to fat loss. Secondly, less is more: you have better things to do than workout for hours every day, which is what you’d need to do if you’re playing the ‘calories in versus calories out’ game if you’re indulging all the time. Life goes on even when you’re working out, so you need to exercise smarter, not longer.

Too much [exercise] and the body just becomes overstressed and could result in injury or overtraining, which will actually hinder your fat loss progress.

“I don’t want to lift weights too much. I’ll get bulky and look like a man”

Firstly, us women don’t have enough testosterone to build muscle as fast and as easily as the boys. Our hormonal profile just won’t allow it. That means, lifting weights is absolutely nothing to be scared of.

As a matter of fact, the best form of training for your health and your body is weight training. Lifting heavy things often means you’ll gain strength and boost your metabolism, which both add up to burning fat and “getting toned”.

“A great ab routine will get me a sixpack”

The bad news is, it doesn’t work this way. But the good news is that everyone has rippling abdominal muscles. Bad news again: they may be too covered in fat to be seen. That body fat needs to decrease so you can showcase the washboard you’ve always had underneath. And that means you need to focus on the right nutrition because that’s what’s going to make all the difference. And this means sit-ups alone won’t cut it.

“Squats are the best way to slim down my butt and thighs”

Just like crunches can’t give you instant abs, you can’t spot reduce any other areas of your body. Fat burns evenly from the body, but some areas have a larger store than others, and that differs person-to-person. Your body doesn’t burn the fat nearest the muscle you’re using for its fuel, so squats won’t shrink down your thighs and bicep curls won’t blitz your upper arms. It’s a whole-body deal.

“I don’t need to lose weight, I just want to tone up”

Toning is a combination of the right nutrition and exercise: you’re going to burn fat. That’s how you get toned. People talk about toning like it’s a magic third body sculpting technique along with building muscle and cutting fat. But toning is simply the appearance of leanness: an aesthetic rather than a method. To achieve the look, you’ll need to do some good old fat burning to show off the long, lean muscle you have underneath.

“A fit, toned body is 28 days, a magic pill or a cup of detox tea away”

Let’s get real — these just don’t work in the long term. The worst part though? These quick fix, ‘diet style’ solutions are usually approached with the mindset that you’re about to start a restrictive, challenging and unenjoyable process. The body you ‘get’ at the end is your reward for this painful, difficult process that you’ve just endured. You’ll be able to enjoy your new body for a little while, now that you’ve completed the unenjoyable process, but because this approach had an end to it, you’ll probably go back to your ‘normal’ routine, ending up in the same place that made you to want to change in the first place.

This story was originally published on

September 12, 20168:19am

beauty | body+soul

Read more