Over the past twenty years, people coming to my class have asked me one question literally thousands of times. That question is, “How do I firm up this area?” The question always refers to the hips and butt areas. Ironically, women who could easily pose for Muscle Magazine always ask. About six months ago, I caught myself answering the way all other fitness instructors answer.

“There’s no such thing as spot reduction,” I said like an automaton. If you want to create more definition in that body, you have to account for calories. If you eat more calories than you spend, you build up fat. You lose fat when the calories spent is greater than the calories consumed.

Then I realized I hadn’t answered her question. In fact, I didn’t even listen to the question. I just babbled on quoting the party line. Worse, I started talking about all that core conditioning training that has been in vogue over the past five years. She didn’t ask about fat, and neither did 90 per cent of the others. They asked about firm. Firm, to me, doesn’t mean fat. Firm means muscle. All she wanted was an exercise regimen that would help her get a more muscular rear.

When I first started in this business, fitness classes included a barrage of exercises for the gluteal muscles. As a result, participants hobbled a little as the stood up, but they did have firm and shapely butts. One had such a firm and shapely butt that she sported a T-shirt that read, “Body by The Hunk.” She flattered me.

More recently, exercises for the glutes have been forsaken for the interest in posture. I, by contrast, am resurrecting those old exercises that resemble dogs having a go at the old fire hydrant. (In fact, I recall that ‘The Fire Hydrant’ is a name for one of the exercises.) I suspect the fitness police from the BCRPA will catch up to me soon. The epitaph after my summary execution will read, “He may have had a lousy class, but he had a very muscular ass.”

 Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He also does some work as a field Archaeologist. He is also a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive  

You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at michaelb@neilsquire.ca. re looking for a change, start with a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all the above, he lives in Port Coquitlam


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