Do Ketogenic Diets Burn More Fat?

Butter curls in a small white butter dish, with bone-handled knife.It seems like everywhere I go currently, there’s someone hyping up the effectiveness of ketogenesis for fat loss. So what’s all the hype about, and should we be jumping on the hype train?

Before I answer those questions – let me say – I’m a fan of ketogenic diets for certain people; but there’s a ton of confusion about them which we really should clear up.

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Are You Following A Fad Exercise Program?

geek-lifting-weightsMore specifically, are you on the “Muscle Confusion” … fad?

P90X has again prompted the concept of “Muscle Confusion”, which means, to constantly change the stimulus of exercise so as to create constant variety for the muscle.

As stated in two great rebuttals from Bret Contreras and Charles Staley published on Bret’s blog and T-Nation, variation is important over a longer period, however, consistency is essential over the short term.

I agree with Bret, and ideally, you should choose a series of movements to prioritise over a period of 4 to 6 weeks (depending on your level of strength and experience). Then progressively overload, lifting slightly heavier weights each week as your body (muscles) adapt.

If you are more experienced, to increase the stimulus, you could train the same movement a number of times throughout the week, varying the loading parameters each time.

_pa_6566For example, if you want a bigger, stronger chest, then choose horizontal pressing movements such as the bench press on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but alter the loading parameters.

Here is how that might look:

  • Monday – 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Wednesday – 5 sets x 8 reps
  • Friday – 4 sets x 10 reps

I recommend always pairing the agonist antagonist movements, so I would program horizontal rowing with this as the A2 movement. This keeps you well balanced and also can increase the volume over the week by saving time.

Our personal trainers at Unity Gym would then supplement these movements with complimentary joint movements using paired sets, circuits, or possibly superset variations etc.

_pa_6575Here’s the thing, muscle confusion concepts have exploded onto the fitness scene since the rise of CrossFit, and variability within a training program will get reasonable results. If you’re the type of person who gets bored easily and therefore needs to be entertained every time you exercise then this might be for you.

But it’s clearly proven to be inferior to proper periodisation when the goal is to get stronger or more skilled in movement.

Lets remember, CrossFit training makes you good at CrossFit. But when comparing the strength of a CrossFit athlete to a powerlifter or Olympic weightlifter they don’t come close.

If your goals are to be able to handle random workouts, then use random training methods. If your goals are to get as strong as possible, as fast as possible or as skilled in movement as possible, then less is often more.

In other words … keep it simple!

I recommend using proper, periodised strength training protocols that keep the movement selection consistent over a period of time allowing adequate adaptation to occur.

Most good personal trainers will understand these simple concepts.

Keep in mind, random raises the risk of injury because there’s often not much thought put into the pairing of highly neurologically demanding exercises.

What I mean here is that there are certain movements that should not be paired with others, and there are certain movements, like the olympic lifts, that should not be paired with anything!

In summary, choose your goal, if it’s to improve skill or strength, then keep your workouts consistent and follow proper periodisation. Try to find enjoyment in the pursuit of movement mastery, not variability.

At Unity Gym we follow research and therefore, use a 4 week, undulating periodisation model that includes a peak week and back off week to allow enough recovery between volume and intensity cycles.

Why am I telling you this? Why even post this blog in the first place?

I believe it’s important to keep you guys, our followers up to date and protect you against the BS. There’s a vast difference between something that hurts versus something that works.

As Charles Staley said best, “friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and friends don’t let friends do P90X.”

Follow proper science. You might just find the gains in strength and skill and the subsequent improvements in your body composition highly motivating.

Martial Artist – I am here to save your life

Mixed martial artists vs Traditional martial artist

Scouring through some of my favorite movers I came across this blog by Ido Portal. This is a common discussion, who wins in a fight between a traditional martial artist and a modern UFC fighter?

Having practiced traditional martial arts most of my life, I used to be a firm believer that the best kung-fu expert would beat the pants of the best UFC fighter.

UFC is a sport after all, whereas martial arts was designed to kill people!

Over the years, my opinion has changed. I realize that traditions have actually heavily influenced modern fighting. And modern fighting deserves our traditionalist respect …

I will let Ido explain in more detail …

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We’ve Been Wrong All Along!


I was wrong, by focussing only on aesthetics I was becoming stiff and un-supple. Unhealthy!

Working in an industry that measures success by the way you look, the weight you lift, or the distance you can run, ride or swim, I’ve always considered myself fairly successful.

I have a great physique, I can lift double my body weight and I run and swim further than most men I know.

From the outside, I have it made. I’m extremely fit and healthy right?


Sure, I was fit … but was I actually healthy?

To find the answer to that question, we’ll need to completely shift our attitude towards health.

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Inspiring Members Story – Vasco Overcame 2 Heart Attacks!

Vasco_member of the month_Square_smlMember Of The Month – Vasco Barros

Rad and I made a decision early in our career that we wanted to work with people who really needed the help.

Most trainer have ambitions to train athletes, body builders and figure models. There’s nothing wrong with that. It just wasn’t for us. It just didn’t enable us to live our purpose to make the world better by enhancing mindset, movement and nutrition.

Working with people like Vasco is exactly why we love our jobs. The reward experienced when hearing news from doctors and health care alliances that proves you can turn things around is incomparible.

Vasco has literally overcome life threatening health issues to transform his body in ways I can only describe as incredible. Vasco has been a part of our community since the beginning of Unity Gym. It has been a privilege to watch his journey unfold.

This is why we do what we do. Here’s the inspiring true story, in his own words …

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Crack – Alarmingly, That Was In Fact My Spine!

file-11-10-16-4-51-52-pmHow Breaking My Own Rule Almost Stuffed My Back And Totally Derailed My Summer Training Program.

Crack … the sound is my 5th thoracic spinal vertebra, somewhere just below my shoulders, releasing an intense amount of tension.

Lying on the chiro table at Cartwright Physical Therapy, I can’t help but ponder how I ended up here. In severe pain, stiff and unable to turn my head or touch my toes!

My whole life revolves around keeping people out of this exact place. Pain free, flexible, supple and strong.

And yet, here I am, suffering the exact fete I work so hard to prevent in others.

Although I do dislike pain, I often believe it’s constructive when I hurt myself. It always leads to a higher level of consciousness. I learn from every mistake and injury. And I’ve had plenty, enough to qualify me as a scholar in injury management.

So what’s the big lesson here I think to myself?

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Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

We’ve Been Recognised As The Number 1 Fitness Business In Australasia.

Wow … where has the year gone?

It’s October and I have some great news! It’s almost summer!!

Oh, and Unity Gym has just been awarded Fitness Business Of The Year in Australasia by our fitness industry pears.

How good is that!

Rad, Richard and I could not be happier.

We’ve been a member of a special NPE fitness business community since 2010 and in that time grown to open our own facility (Unity Gym) and we’ve seen some incredibly successful businesses from across the Australasian region win this coveted award. Businesses we’ve been inspired by and look up too.

To stand here now as the winners is truly humbling.

The key components that made Unity Gym stand out above all else this year that really got us over the line is this our amazing culture!

We are really leading the way in two main areas that makes me incredibly proud:

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Meet The Only Person To Ever Win Member Of The Month Twice

Matt LobbDrum Roll Please … The September Member Of The Month Goes To …

Every member of Unity Gym has their own important story and their own reasons for joining our community … I find this one especially inspiring because this month’s member of the month has become the beacon to what we hope to achieve in every new member.

He originally came to us after gaining weight and becoming relatively unhealthy with no daily exercise routine and with a little help, he completely transformed his lifestyle to becoming possibly our most consistent member.

That’s a big call amongst a group of people, some who travel kilometers across the city or from the far reaches of the Northern Beaches to train under our supervision in the FMS program five or six days per week.

Despite rigorous professional commitments at Vodafone, Australia, and a devoted and loving commitment to his beautiful family, this super inspiring friend turns up every single day! What’s even more impressive to Rad and myself (Yani), he doesn’t just completes his FMS training program each day.

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Oh What A Night! Happy 3rd Birthday Unity Gym

tumblr_obxbkpl3YS1vdshq5o5_1280We Celebrated Our Birthday In True Unity Fashion

In case you missed it, on Saturday August 13th we came together to unite and celebrate Unity Gyms third birthday.

Thank you all who could attend. Rad, myself, Richard, Kaliesha, Lea and Koby thoroughly enjoyed spending an tumblr_obxbpsGPax1vdshq5o8_1280evening with you to share a meal and a few drinks.

Such a night would not have been possible without the incredible support from Hamish. I caught up with him after the party to get his personal rap up and find out more about what he does at Mentor1, here’s what he had to say …

Ps. you’ll find the full photo album link in hamishes rap up below.

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Read This Before Starting An Exercise Program Or Employing A Personal Trainer!

Sports equipment - sneakers, skipping rope, dumbbells, smartphone and headphones. Sport background on wooden floor, top view.Finally Spring Is Here And It’s Time To Get In Shape …

Firstly, I congratulate you for wanting to start a new personal training program … It’s a big, bold step towards better health and Spring is a great time to get refocused or started.

I also understand that for many of you, it’s going to be scary. Starting with a personal trainer or at a new gym is a high level of commitment, often with little to no guarantee of success at the end.

I don’t blame you for being nervous or even apprehensive.

Gyms in general can be horrible places for an inexperienced person who’s new to exercise or personal training. Especially if you’re a little self conscious or uncomfortable in your skin.

Cropped shot of muscular young woman taking a self portrait from the reflection in the mirror using her smart phone. Fitness model taking selfie in gym.Particularly the big chain gyms filled with massive sculpted units that prance around posing half naked in the mirror to take a selfie … and don’t get me started about the men!

Teaming up with such an individual feels like the best option sometimes. They must know what they’re doing right? Just get a look at their damn abs!

Well, I’m here to warn you – be extremely careful who you trust your precious body with.

Here’s why.

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