Unpopular Opinion - It Depends
Many gyms promise to be the solution you’ve been looking for all your life.
The truth is that what you need depends on you. It’s relative to your unique body and life.
At OPEX Gyms, we live by the mantra, “it depends.” There are no hard and fast rules to great health and fitness. There are so many variables to consider from one individual to the next that blanket statements and dogma can’t account for.
Let’s see how that plays out in a few common health questions.
Question: Is fat healthy?
Answer: It depends! While keto diets are all the rage, fats are not created equally. There is a big difference between the quality of fat coming from avocado, grass-fed meat and olive oil, when compared to the fat in a fast-food cheeseburger, conventionally farmed meat and soybean oil. The quality of fat you consume will determine whether your body can use it as healthy fuel, or whether it will create an unhealthy inflammatory response. In addition, there are certain times of the day, for example, right before or after a workout, that a high-fat meal may be poorly digested. Some folks do better on a high-fat, low-carb diet, while others thrive with higher-carb, lower fat, relative to their goals, training style, digestion and ability to metabolize. So is fat healthy? It depends!
Question: Will squats give me well defined glutes?
Answer: It depends! Squatting can be a great exercise for developing a nice posterior, but whether or not they will build lean muscle will depend on a multitude of factors. Does your lifestyle and nutrition support gaining lean mass? Some people put on lean mass more easily than others, what’s your rate of adaptation? Are you a beginner or more advanced in your training age? Beginners will gain lean mass at a faster rate than advanced trainees. What kind of squats are you performing and for what rep scheme? Some styles of squatting and rep ranges are conducive to hypertrophy, some are not. You also need to consider whether you can effectively engage your bum to squat, or whether you’re compensating with other muscle groups. So will squats give you well defined glutes? It depends!
Question: How much sleep do I need?
Answer: It depends! While 8 hours is often held up as the gold standard, sleep requirements differ between individuals. For example, sleep duration needs will decline with age. At 25 years old an individual may need 9 hours for optimal function, but at 75 years may only require 7 hours. An athlete focused on sports performance may need more Zs than someone who is relatively sedentary. There is a very small percentage of the population who have a gene that enables them to function well on 6 hours. So how much sleep do you need? Roughly 7-9 hours, but it depends!
Question: Should I drink a post-workout shake?
Answer: It depends! A post-workout shake may be appropriate if your protein and carbohydrate requirements are higher than you can get from whole foods. This is more likely to be the case for athletes who may be training multiple sessions and need quick-to-digest fuel. For most general population clients, especially those interested in fat loss, a post-workout shake isn’t necessary. However, sometimes convenience is a priority and a shake may be a better option that no food or a fast-food meal. All protein powders aren’t created equal, so the quality of the shake also determines whether it’s a yay or nay. So should you drink a post-workout shake? It depends!
As you can see from these examples, there is so much grey area in health and fitness. We know you are coming to us looking for answers, but the unpopular reality is it depends. Until we know you, your goals, your quirks and your lifestyle, there are very few black and white truths.
That’s where an OPEX Coach comes in. They can assess and consult with you to understand your starting point. With this data, they can answer your questions. An OPEX Coach doesn’t buy into fitness dogma. They view every question within the context of the individual asking it.
Find an OPEX Gym near you and get the fitness answers you need.