the great fitness deception
‘Health and fitness’ does not mean ‘lean, ‘energetic’, ‘strong’, ‘toned’, ‘muscular’, ‘athletic’ or any of the other positive terms people mistake it for. In fact, the unintentional consequence of health and fitness diet and exercise is to prevent or reverse the development of a lean, toned, muscular and/or athletic body!
The dictionary definitions of the words makes the truth abundantly clear:
- Health: “The state of being free from illness or injury“
- Fit: “In good health, especially because of regular physical exercise“
- Exercise: “Activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness”
Notice there is not even a suggestion that sports performance or good bodies are related to health and fitness? By definition, the peak of health and fitness is simply not being sick or injured. If you are not clinically unfit, there actually is no such thing as getting ‘fitter’ or ‘healthier’. You are done.
the truth about health & fitness
The measures, methods and goals for health and fitness are openly described by:
- the Health Department (www.health.gov.au)
- Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia (PAA)
- the Heart Foundation
Visiting these websites quickly confirms the focus on treating illness and disease; not on creating exceptional bodies.
Reading through all of the published health information you will discover:
- The health goal for body composition is reducing bodyweight below a BMI of 25 (eg less than 76kg for a 175cm person)
- The health goal for exercise is simply not to be sedentary
- The health goal for diet is following the healthy eating guidelines
There is absolutely no reference to sports performance, running endurance or exceptional body composition that people commonly presume to be the goal of health and fitness. The Health Department’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines highlight that the benefits sought from exercise are only to reduce obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and mental illness. There is absolutely no mention of ripped abdominals, round deltoids, wide lats or any other issue related to creating an exceptional body.
The Health Department does state that one of it’s goals is increasing participation in sport, which first requires ‘fitness’. That is, even the Health Department wants the public to move onwards from fitness, and into sport. Sport is the level beyond fitness; it is not part of fitness.
These guidelines are vitally important and appropriate for the vast majority of Australians who are clinically overweight, sedentary and likely to die of heart disease or cancer. But these guidelines are either irrelevant or contradictory to anyone concerned with bodybuilding, sports performance or showing off amazing abs and glutes at the beach.
Preventing heart disease is unquestionably a more noble and important outcome than bigger biceps or defined abdominals. But, to draw an analogy, teaching teenagers to drive safely on busy roads is far more noble and important than teaching them to control a skidding race car. But if the goal was to teach them to skid a car around a race track, then the practices for driving safely on public roads would need to be completely abandoned. Driving at a slow speed, giving way to passing drivers and always keeping left are literally the opposite of what is needed on a race track. Similarly, performing a variety of random, low risk activities, from dancing to gardening, while following the health eating guidelines (low-protein, high-carb, moderate-fat), is the opposite of what is required to develop a lean, muscular physique.
Body Recomposition is the process of becoming lean, muscular, athletic, toned or whatever other term you prefer for a better body! By definition, Body Recomposition is going beyond the mediocrity of ‘fitness’. It involves measured sports performance training and diet to achieve a measured, desirable, athletic figure or physique of whatever extreme you desire. Whether you are talking about a flat tummy or pro bodybuilding, its all body recomposition; not fitness!
‘Body composition’ is defined in the dictionary as being: “The chemical constituents or tissues of which a living organism is composed; especially the relative proportion of fat and lean tissue in the body of a human or animal“
Body re-composition is, therefore, the manipulation of body composition; specifically, changing the quantities and proportion of fat and lean tissue in the body.
The full Recomp definition of body recomposition is:
The planned manipulation of body size, fat mass and muscle mass,
using measured weight training and sport nutrition prescriptions,
to improve the ratio of muscle mass to body fat and/or bodyweight,
beyond the mediocrity of fitness or utility or sport.
Critically, body recomposition involves the methodical measuring and planning that is inherent to the correct application of the scientific method and critical to success in any professional endeavour.
In direct contrast to ‘fitness’ where the objective is to ‘destroy the body you hate’, body recomposition is creating the body you want, by design!
who is body recomposition for?
Body Recomposition is for any healthy person who wants a leaner, more muscular body. It includes every level of fat reduction and muscle gain, from the low mediocrity of fitness, to the upper limits of competitive bodybuilding. The entire range is body recomposition; not fitness!
Fitness is for every sedentary, obese, non-athlete to achieve a minimum state of physical mediocrity that is unlikely to cause disease or death. It is a branch of the health industry, along with doctors and physical therapists. Hence, most Fitness training prescriptions are rehabilitation techniques from Physiotherapy. Unless you were born with an amazing body, things like walking on a treadmill, ‘functional training’, ‘core stability’, swiss/bosu balls, Pilates etc do not create great bodies. They aren’t designed to, even according to the publicly advertised, published standards.
recomp vs fitness measurements
Body Recompositioning focusses solely on the manipulation of bodily fat, weight and muscularity levels as measured by regular body composition testing. All nutritional and exercise interventions are meticulously measured and planned to achieve specific, measured changes in bodyfat and lean, muscle mass.
The published goals for fitness are nothing more than 1) doing something physical for at least 30mins, 5x weekly (including tasks such as gardening) 2) having a BMI under 25 (with any high level of bodyfat), 3) not smoking and 4) having a systolic blood pressure below 120. Generally, personal trainers do not even measure these things. Mostly, if anything is measured then they are things such as heart rate, oxygen uptake, flexibility and other amorphous qualities that have no relevance to bodyfat and composition, or even the published health standards mentioned!
recomp vs fitness nutrition
Body Recomposition nutrition is based on proven sports nutrition protocols. Nutritional intake is measured and planned to achieve predefined, measured body composition changes, then tested to confirm it is ‘working’. Dietary adjustments and refinements are made constantly, based on the athlete’s response and continued progress to their goal.
Fitness professionals are not legally allowed to prescribe diets at all! They can only recommend the Government Healthy Eating Guidelines.
The Healthy Eating Guidelines recommend a very high carbohydrate, moderate fat, low protein diet which directly contradicts most sports nutrition science for losing bodyfat, while building muscle (ie not indiscriminate ‘weight’ loss).
But the Healthy Eating Guidelines, that fitness professionals must recommend, have absolutely no intention of helping develop a lean, athletic body. They are about disease prevention. They are mostly designed to answer the biggest problems in most Australian’s diet: eating too many calories, and eating too much processed ‘junk’. So the guidelines are mostly based on reducing calorie intake, while maximising the variety of natural foods; predominantly fruit, veggies, starches and dairy.
recomp vs fitness exercise
Body Recompositioning exercise is measured and planned strength training. It is based, again, on established sports science. Every weights exercise, load and intensity has a specific purpose to achieve a specific improvement in physical development. Training targets are designed to parallel muscularity goals. And the training is structured to work synergistically with the sports nutrition program for ultimate fat loss and muscularity.
‘Fitness’ exercise is literally any activity that requires physical effort. There is no design for achieving anything from the activities, except for being a remedy to being inactive.
The only quality a fitness activity must exhibit is safety. As such, fitness exercise is deliberately low-intensity, low-risk activities designed to achieve and maintain ‘normal’ physical capability. Concepts like ‘functional training’ and ‘core stability’ are simply activities that were stolen from rehabilitation. The names are meant literally. They are techniques designed to help injured or disabled people restore normal physical capabilities. They have nothing to do with looking like a gymnast or making the abdominal muscles become visible! Its only about not being sick or injured.
Fitness is literally the minimum physical state a person needs to not be mildly debilitated. With 60% of the Australian population deemed ‘overweight’ and ‘unfit’, fitness IS a legitimate need in our society. But do not mistake it for being something aspirational. If a person abuses themselves badly enough to become ‘unfit’, they can return to fitness quickly and easily with any variety of activities and simply not eating poorly.
Body recompositioning is for anybody who wants to improve their body beyond the mediocrity of being just ‘fit’. It involves the disciplined application of measured strength exercise and sports nutrition to achieve extraordinary improvements in the form and function of the human body. Body Recomposition is what Recomp is all about!