Lee Boyce has been featured in publications such as Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness and MuscleMag, and has done segments as a fitness expert on various national TV shows in Canada. He’s now going to be blogging for eHow, sharing his tips and tricks for getting and/or staying in shape. With his cut-and-dry approach to all things training, lots of people want to hear what Lee has to say — and it’s worth the hype. Now Lee’s on a mission to bust more training myths than you can shake a stick at, raise a few eyebrows in the process, become a beast in the industry and tick off commercial gym staff everywhere — all while having fun! We did a quick Q & A with Lee so you can get to know him better. Here’s what he has to say.
How did your fitness journey start? Were you always active as a kid or did it come later in life?
My fitness journey started as an athlete in high school. I always wanted to be involved in the world that surrounds the human body. I narrowed things down to exercise science by the time I was done with high school, and entered university to compete as a track athlete and take my first year of kinesiology studies. I was always active as a kid, but only realized my “true abilities” around age 16. That’s when I blossomed athletically and stood out in my school and was able to take things to the next level.
Do you count calories? Why/why not?
I don’t. Partially due to negligence, and partially because I feel it can pay a psychological toll. You can become preoccupied with things and become a prisoner to the numbers you record.
There are a lot of different schools of thought when it comes to diet and fitness, how can people figure out whom to listen to?
As someone studies more, they’ll recognize that within those philosophies comes irrefutable “baseline” thinking. Opinions on what kinds of things that, on a very simplistic level, can help build muscle, burn fat, increase strength etc. Those are the people whose information is worth paying attention to. Many commercialized training systems or quick gimmicky product placements will encourage new, trendy workout methods that may seem cool and fun. They’ll also be on the largest platforms like TV and other mass media. Unfortunately, they don’t have the respect of true influencers in the field of strength and conditioning.
Is weightlifting beneficial for everyone as part of their fitness regime or only people trying to get bigger?
It’s beneficial for everyone. People associate weight training with getting bigger too often and don’t realize its importance as the primary tool to get stronger. The two have crossover, but less than most people are willing to admit. An abundance of strength never disadvantages anyone from anything functional, and it keeps joints healthier for longer when implemented correctly.
When will you get the most out of working with a personal trainer? How do you pick the right one for you?
There’s no “time” that you’ll benefit from working with a good trainer more than others. The only specification I can make is that you better be mentally prepared to be committed. Don’t focus on the process, but the journey towards your goals; stay disciplined and you’ll see results. Picking the right trainer comes from examining what their style is like. Feel free to watch them train others and see how that could relate to your goals. Having a base of general knowledge on fitness will help you from being deceived by a trainer who isn’t competent.
Do you ever have days when you’re not motivated to work out? How do you deal with that?
Sometimes I make it a point to get to the gym as soon as those feelings enter my mind. I find that in the first 10 minutes of me being there, my attitude makes a 180-degree turn and the fire to train is reignited. On the other hand, if my body feels like it can use the added rest (say if I didn’t get enough hours of sleep the night before), I won’t go to the gym and make it a rest day instead. The world won’t end if I postpone a workout one day or miss it altogether. It’s important to listen to your body and play things by ear sometimes.
What’s a better way of measuring fat loss success, looking in the mirror or standing on a scale? Why?
Of those two options, the mirror test is better. We all have heard muscle outweigh fat, and having a lean body won’t always be reflected by a “light” poundage on the scale. As long as you notice your composition is changing (waist circumference is decreasing, clothes fit differently, body appears firmer) you know you’re on the right track to success.
If someone hasn’t been exercising for several years, what’s the best way to start back up again?
Slowly. If you want your attempt at fitness to be sustainable then don’t blast your body the first week back. Take it easy, focus on lower volume with an emphasis on form and technique, and make sure your nutrition is on point outside of the gym for ample recovery (because you’ll probably get mighty sore).
- Go vegetarian for a week or skip leg day? Skip leg day.
- Burgers or pizza for cheat meal? Burgers.
- The best thing about being a personal trainer is: Being able to wear a track suit to work.
- Name a fitness class or type of workout that would make you feel like a fish out of water: Zumba.
- Lifting weights makes women bulky, true or false? Technically, that’s true. But driving a car increases your chances of sudden death, too. It’s all about how you decide to do it and what care you take to make sure your goals are being met.