Fit For Life: Is More Exercise Really Better?

Saturday, February 15, 2014
Matt Espeut, GoLocalProv Health + Lifestyle Contributor

According to Matt Espeut, the smarter you train, and the more you pay attention and listen to your body, the better you are going to be.
My teen clients are notorious for asking me "what else can I do on my own?" and “how many more days should I be lifting weights?” And, they are surprised and mostly disgruntled when I advise them not to do more. My newer clients always ask how many more times a week do they need to train with me to get results and they too are surprised when I tell them none. You see, if you follow my system you will get results, and my system does not include over doing it, so I do not promote extra exercise until you make the proper progressions, and you prime your body to handle the load. Not until then, do I encourage extra workloads. I request that my clients and football players give 100% effort through the workout and it is impossible to do so if you are sore tired and broken down. I told an athlete that I would rather be slightly under trained than over trained and I compared it to a steak on the grill, if you remove it too early, you’re safe, and can put it back on; but if you burn it, it's worthless.

Recovery is key

The same goes for your body, when you workout too much, several things happen. Your chance for injury increases, due to weakened and fatigued stabilizers and muscles. You compromise your immune system. You elevate cortisol levels, causing hormonal disruption, and risk muscle depletion. What doesn't happen is achieving results. Recovery is the key to making gains. You will never reach your goal unless it is becoming skinny fat, or staying overweight. I see it every day. People at the gym for hours every day and never looking different or moving any better, because they are there too long, lack rest and burn muscle, causing body fat percentages to sway in an unfavorable direction. Not the most ideal way to spend your time and energy. This is not only due to improper exercise and progression but poor nutrition programming.

Eat Real

When I design a nutrition program, I try to stay away from as many processed foods as possible, and try to eliminate wheat all together. I encourage my clients to stay away but if you need to snack on something, go gluten-free. Many times this gets misinterpreted to eat as many gluten-free foods as possible. From pasta to pancakes to corn chips to cereal to brownies, it is still a processed food, and it still needs to be limited, period. Gluten free foods still have a high glycemic level, still have a lot of empty calories, and can still make you fat. Look what happened in the early 90's fat free craze, it made people fatter because they removed something and replaced it with something just as bad or worse - fat for sugar, gluten for other processed flours etc. Many of these foods lack nutrients and proteins deeming them useless to the body anyway, so less is better.

In conclusion, there is no magic way to get results. The higher quality food you eat, the better you will feel. The smarter you train, and the more you pay attention and LISTEN to your body, the better you are going to be. Train hard and rest easy!


Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: [email protected], check out his website at or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.

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