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How is it Jan 2024 already? Just as the famous quote from the 1980 classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Looking back is something we should all do. It’s easy to get caught up in the now, but listing all the great things you achieve will help you move forward into the coming year!

Oh, January, that fab time when the Xmas lights come down. It’s grey and wet and probably the most depressing time of the year, yet for some crazy reason, we think we can wipe the slate clean and initiate something new and refreshing. However, fast forward just two weeks later, and the self-criticism kicks in as our New Year resolutions disappear. Honey, trust me, I’ve been there. So, for this edition of the QX wellness column, let’s dive into the realm of sustainability—covering everything from mindful eating and practical training to meaningful ways of giving back.

For those who are new to the magazine, Mark here. I am the founder and coach of Workout with Pride, an LGBTQIA wellness group curating workshops, events, fitness classes, personal training, and social events. If you want to meet new friends or get some knowledge, Workout with Pride is the place for you. Use the code QXFRIEND to take advantage of a free class.

Let us explore that magical realm of sustainable wellness I mentioned previously. Just before we get into it, I’m going to be straightforward (or, should I say, “queer forward” for a touch of humour) on a few points where people often find themselves misinformed.

1. Spot Reduction of Fat is a Myth: Targeting fat loss in a specific area is not feasible.
2. Not All Fat is Your Enemy Consuming dietary fats does not necessarily lead to weight gain.
3. The Timing of Carbs Matters Less Than You Think: Eating carbohydrates after 7 PM won’t automatically result in fat accumulation.
4. Reality Check on Booty Workouts: Doing booty kickbacks alone won’t magically make your bum grow.

Now those myths are out of the way; here’s the truth!

1. Shedding pounds and getting in shape isn’t merely about slashing calories! It’s a common misconception to reduce food intake when the real issue might be a lack of movement. Before tossing aside those Jaffa cakes, consider taking a 30-minute walk and incorporating one workout daily – a simple routine that can yield remarkable results.

2. While running has its merits, relentless cardio for weight loss might leave you feeling depleted and demotivated. Diversify your exercise routine, as your body responds better to varied stimuli. Integrate strength training into your weekly schedule; not only does it build muscle, but it also boosts your metabolism for prolonged calorie burning.

3. Understanding the basics is key – many dive into fad diets without grasping the essentials, such as calculating your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Rather than hastily cutting food, assess your TDEE to gain insights into how many calories your body naturally burns each day.

Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know, so stop giving yourself a hard time; instead, ask a professional. Ones with the qualifications. Not friends who go to the gym, they mean well, but there is so much misinformation out there, it’s best not to confuse yourself.

If you want to learn more and cut through all the BS, join Workout with Pride for our Fuel Yourself event on Tuesday, 23rd January, at Fora Spitalfields. The event is a no-nonsense nutrition talk with Nutritionist Paul Bailey.

The event is for anyone who has ever found themselves investing their hard-earned money in wellness books, magazines, and workout guides- particularly those focusing on nutrition and weight loss- only to feel like they are going in circles. It’s not your fault! The wellness industry thrives on keeping you confused whilst sprinting toward a never-ending goal like a hamster on a wheel.

Fuel yourself! Our upcoming workshop is here to break the cycle and guide you towards a sustainable wellness future with a little more sparkle and pizazz!

This event is your opportunity to overcome hurdles and gain the knowledge and tools needed to build a wellness routine that truly works for you. You won’t see any pie charts or nutrition graphs in our event. We aim to give it to you straight up so you can embrace a more informed and sustainable path to well-being with us!

The event is available to book via our website, www.workoutwithpride.co.uk.

Having dispelled certain training and nutrition myths, let’s redirect our attention to the movements you should incorporate into your gym routine!

The Deadlift!

Yes, it sounds scary! But don’t be put off by the name.

If the deadlift was a musical artist, it would be Madonna, the queen of pop. Why? Because it’s rated the best movement as it recruits a lot of muscle tissue and will help boost testosterone levels, which leads to muscle development. It’s also a movement you use every day! Oh yes, think about picking up your shopping bags from Lidl.

How to do deadlift
Mark performs the deadlift.

Which muscles does the deadlift target?

The deadlift primarily engages the glutes, back, and legs, working on multiple muscle groups.

How should you incorporate the deadlift into your workout routine?

For beginners, start with a gradual approach. Begin with body weight, sliding your hands down your thighs and shins while descending into a squat position. As you reach the front of your laces, stand straight back up. Once you’ve mastered this movement, introduce some weight, referring to the step-by-step picture for guidance on form. Progressively increase the weight until you can comfortably complete around 12 reps with excellent form.

Capture a photo or video of your deadlift technique.

SEND IT TO US @WORKOUTWITHPRIDE. Not only will we provide feedback on your form, but you’ll also be entered into our draw to win a 10-pack of classes!

Sweatbox announces naked gym as clothing is now optional 24/7 PLUS January Membership Sale.

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Bootylicious is a gay club night at Union club in Vauxhall, London

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