Ian Dowson graduated from Deakin with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement. He answers some frequently asked questions about fitness.
Q&A with Ian Dowson
Cardio is the most effective way to lose body fat. True or false?
False. A combination of strength training, cardio and good nutritional habits are the best way to lose body fat. Good nutrition is key and strength training is also vital as it builds muscle, which means that you increase your metabolism and everyone knows the people with fast metabolisms are thin!
Is it better to do two long work outs a week or 30 minutes a day?
Depends on your goal. A long workout can be beneficial if you are training for an endurance event, however, generally consistency is the key. Therefore, doing 30 minutes each day would have better long-term effects. It gets you in the habit of exercising and reduces the risk of injury and burnout. These workouts also mean you can train at a higher intensity to burn the same amount of calories as a longer workout, plus you get the benefits of a higher heart rate.
Are there benefits to purchasing a fitness machine from those TV ads?
There are some that can be worthwhile if you are educated and know how to use them effectively. Most are not the best, and I would definitely suggest seeking the advice of an exercise professional to guide you to your results.
What are your exercise tips for people that are time poor?
Train for 30 minutes at higher intensity intervals and find something you enjoy. Try and prioritise exercise on your list of things to do and train with a partner or a personal trainer.
What is your most hated fitness or diet fad? Why?
Anything promoted as a quick fix such as shakes and fat burners. These send a poor message about long-term health and wellness.
Will lifting weights at a young age stunt your growth?
If done incorrectly then it can affect the growth plates in younger children. Generally, with guidance from an exercise professional, children can do some light weight training, but it is recommended to stick with body weight training or more cardio vascular-based training. Skills work is also important at a young age in sport.
If you have protein after a workout is that going to assist with muscle mass?
Yes, it can for sure. It can be any form of protein from a shake to a steak. Research actually shows blends of protein and carbs is best for recovery within 30 minutes of the workout.
Should you eat before or after a workout?
It’s important to eat before and after a workout. Eating before means you have some fuel in the tank to train hard and eating after is good for recovery.
No pain, no gain. True or false?
False. Pain is a sign there is something wrong with your body. The feeling was created to alert you that you are injured. No pain, no gain can partially ring true to get results. But you need to continually increase your exercise intensity or duration over time for the body to make improvements. This does not necessarily mean you are causing it ‘pain’, but there may be some slight discomfort.