Ask the Expert, Luke Whitehouse

Have you ever wanted to sit down with a personal trainer and pick their brain? Well, this week Liv has a Kitchen Table Conversation with Luke Whitehouse, a Well-being, PT and Corrective Exercise Specialist and has done that for you! Read below where Luke provides his expert advice on weight loss, fitness and well-being.

Luke has been a PT for several years and works with both male and female clients with a variety of goals; from those trying to lose weight, to those looking to gain muscle mass and lean out, or even just improve their quality of life. He is fully certified as a personal trainer and trained in conducting Health MOTs to give you a holistic view of your overall health and evaluate your potential risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. His expertise incorporates nutritional and lifestyle coaching, personal training, training reviews and correcting posture and movement issues.


Kitchen Table Conversation with Luke Whitehouse

8309550_origHi Luke, Thanks for taking the time to talk to Liv’s Recovery Kitchen, you’re the first fitness professional to be featured on the blog!!

Liv: You’ve been a great support to me on my weight loss journey, not only in terms of your encouragement but your expertise too. Thank you. With that in mind, what advice would you give to someone who is embarking upon a similar journey in terms of physical activity? How would you advise them to get going?

Luke: I think you summed it up perfectly with the word ‘journey’. Anyone at the start of their journey should remind themselves that it is exactly that and they have started it for a particular reason or to achieve a certain goal. Many people give up on their journey because they haven’t got a clear focus on what is actually important to them. A good trainer or coach can help someone really delve deep into what they actually want from their training and help set them up with a periodised training plan.

Liv: It’s a common myth that weights bulk women out; can you explain how important a role weights play in a weight loss programme?

Luke: Weight training certainly has its place in a weight loss programme, if you really want your shape to change then weight training is very important. One of the most important factors is the effect it has on your metabolic rate, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn whilst exercising and at rest.

Liv: For optimum weight loss, what would an ideal programme of activity look like, say across a week?

Luke: There is no one-size-fits-all programme unfortunately, this will depend on a number of factors. Experience levels, how many days a week you can train, how long you train for, fitness levels etc. But to give a rough idea I would always try for a minimum of 3 times per week for 45-60mins with a mixture of cardiovascular training and resistance training. Trail and error is the best action to take here to find out what works best for you.

Liv: Often we hear that jogging won’t make a difference to your weight and shape, is there any truth in that?

Luke: I can understand why people would say that when we look back at the previous question about weight training. Will you lose weight from jogging? Yes probably, as you are expending energy and, depending on your nutrition, will create an energy deficit resulting in weight loss. Will you change shape? Possibly not.

Liv: What would your advice be to someone attending the gym and doing the same work out every week, but struggling with results?

Luke: Change something! As humans our bodies adapt very quickly unless something changes. Whether this be the frequency of your sessions, the intensity of your sessions, the amount of weight you are lifting, the exercises you are performing or a completely overhauling your workout. There are tons of ways to vary your workout and if you aren’t seeing results please don’t get disheartened, go and see one of the coaches/trainers at your gym and see if they can help you.

Liv: How much can exercise affect the way that you feel? What effect does it have on the brain and, say, your well-being?

Luke: Massively, I’ve had loads of my clients turn up for sessions after a bad day at work or suffering from personal issues and within 20 minutes their mood has completely changed. Exercise releases endorphins which interact with the receptors in your brain triggering a positive feeling. These feelings can help with your overall outlook on the day, week, year and even your life if regular exercise forms a part of it.


Liv: What other benefits would one achieve through exercise?

Luke: I may need another few hours to answer this question. There really are hundreds of benefits you can achieve through exercise but aside from all the physiological benefits, such as increased strength and fitness and changes in body composition it also has many psychological benefits; to name a few, exercise also helps you sleep, improves your self esteem and confidence, reduces anxiety and can help fight depression.

Liv: How would personal training help to compliment a weight loss objective?

Luke: In my eyes, everyone should have a Personal Trainer. But that just isn’t realistic. A Personal Trainer is there to help you do the things that I have mentioned in the previous questions. To help you set your goals, to change your training when you’ve adapted to it, to make sure your nutrition is on track, to pull you out of a negative mood when you’re having a tough day. All these things will help you on your journey to achieve your goal. If your goal is weight loss, then Personal Training will help lay the path, all you have to do is walk down it.

Liv: With a weight loss objective in mind, how important a role does good nutrition play?

LukeHave you ever heard the saying ‘you can’t out train a bad diet’? I have been mocked many a time before for using it (to be fair, it is a bit corny) but it is true, to a certain extent. Weight loss can be achieved by counting calories, its a simple formula of calories in vs calories out, if you eat less than your body requires then you will lose weight. But if the quality of those calories are poor, expect your quality of life and training outcomes to be poor as well.

Here is some of the food Luke shares (below):

Liv: Leading on from the previous question; are there any food groups or types that you would recommend avoiding, for those trying to lose weight?

LukeNever avoid a food group, no matter what crazy diet book you are reading. Your macronutrient (Fat, Protein and Carbohydrate) intake can be manipulated depending on what your goal is, but they all play a very important role and shouldn’t be avoided. I would always advise to eat a balanced diet, full of whole foods, fruits, vegetables and a occasional treat every now and again (just remember, it’s not the end of the world if you treat yourself).

Liv: In summary, what are your top five tips to those trying to lose weight and get fit?

1. Take your time, as I mentioned, it is a journey not a race;
2Pay attention to your lifestyle (alcohol, caffeine, stress levels,
hydration and sleep have a bigger impact than you think);
3. Don’t give up! Just because you had a jar of Nutella and only went
to the gym once this week doesn’t mean everything has fallen to
pieces, get your shit together and get back in the game;
4. Don’t take everything you read or see as gospel, the fitness
industry is full of conflicting evidence, different opinions
(including mine) and ideas. Find out what works best for you, which
leads me to number 5;
5. Get a Coach/Personal Trainer!

Luke is based at Nuffield Health, Printworks. You can contact him there or directly, by email:
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On Instagram: lw_healthandwellbeing