In truth, personal training can be a bit hit or miss. The industry needs more thorough regulation, and, in my opinion, it needs to demand more of those who work within it, in terms of continued professional development, in order to bring the overall standard up to point where we can genuinely class ourselves as a professional service.
Some will have us believe that we need nothing more than bodyweight exercises, others will insist that we should do higher reps with lighter weights while others are convinced that if the weight isn't super-heavy we are not providing the body with enough of a challenge. But who should we listen to and what is the best rep scheme to use if we want to get into shape?
Core training is a concept that is often misunderstood. You regularly hear people discussing 'the best ways to get a 6-pack', or giving advice like 'make sure you use a Swiss ball' or 'add weight to your sit-ups.' Invariably this sort of training is labelled core stability training, but I would argue that the stability element is often forgotten.
Mindlessly staring at a question for minutes on end doesn't make the answer magically appear. All it achieves (if achieves isn't too strong a word in this context) is to make the question seem even more incomprehensible than it did in the first place. And it seemed pretty incomprehensible initially.
The underlying problem is that for women over 40, exercise ALONE is not enough to cause weight loss. This is not true for men. And it's less true for women under 40. But if you ask most women over 40, they will tell similar stories of exercise programmes that no longer delivered the goods when it came to weight loss.
I have written before that stress will eventually lead to people, who are normally vigilant with their diet, going 'tonto' - and losing control. Check: there is a wonderful photo of me gazing amorously at a slice of pizza like it is Monica Belluci. I didn't meet a single carb that I didn't like in Spain. Once I started eating badly, I didn't stop.
Alcohol is ubiquitous at this time of year. Abstinence may make you feel virtuous but can also be dull. If you do drink, I'd advocate men avoiding beer. Beer increases levels of an enzyme called aromatase. This converts testosterone into oestrogen and leads to fat deposition around the pectoral - the dreaded man boobs. Stick to a few glasses of good quality red wine instead.