Sunday, December 30, 2007

Resolutions and attitude

Avoid making resolutions that sound like "I will lose weight." Sometimes, the way we phrase certain tasks influences whether these tasks will get accomplished or not. "Lose weight" sounds dreary, and sounds like it involves pain or being deprived. I always thought "Weight Watchers" wasn't a great name for a business because the name has built-in dreariness. Saying, "I will lose weight," doesn't really describe how you're going to do it, either.

The subconscious hears the things we say to ourselves and leads the body accordingly.

Make resolutions that are phrased better. It's like asking the right question. Ask the right question--the one that will give a better answer. Don't ask "how much do you bench press?" ask "how do you bench press and how does it make your chest muscles feel while you do it?"

Instead of "I will lose weight," say "I will learn how to do basic weight training moves." By starting with low weights and gradually increasing them, while learning correct lifting form and eating 6-7 meals a day (adding snacks between meals)."

By February--probably before the end of January--you'll notice the changes to your body as a side effect that you get for pursuing your hobby, learning weight training moves and eating throughout the day. The positive changes to mood, energy level, even outlook on life, will also be side effects. And all this just for picking up a new hobby.

Friday, November 30, 2007

How to Lose Weight

Every person needs a certain amount of calories (food) in a day.

Here are two ways to go about eating that amount of food:

1. You can take this amount of food and divide it up into 6 to 8 fractions and eat it throughout the day, taking each small meal about every 2 or 3 hours while you're awake. (6-8 small meals)
  • you won't really feel hungry
  • your metabolism will speed up
  • you will lose weight
2. You can starve yourself all day while drinking soda and then binge eat all your calories in 1 or 2 sittings. (1-2 giant meals)
  • you'll be hungry at first, but then the hunger passes as your body enters survival mode
  • when you do get around to eating, your body will "remember" or realize how hungry it is and the urge to gorge or binge on food becomes intense
  • your metabolism will slow down
  • you will store as much fat as possible and gain weight
Somewhere in between these two extremes is "3 meals a day" which is a social convention that we made up. Is "3 meals a day" the best of all possible worlds?

The metabolism changes based on the frequency of meals (how often one eats) regardless of whether one exercises or not.

Eating 6-8 meals or grazing (eating throughout the day) changes the metabolism and puts the body in an "anabolic state."
  • For people who train with weights with a goal of building muscle, eating 6-8 meals is a must. Otherwise, they won't get significant results--unless they support their training (work done) with proper nutrition.
  • For people who want to lose weight (body fat), eating 6-8 meals is an effective and long-lasting way to go about it.
This principle is essentially what NutriSystem sells. There's probably nothing special about what is in their food--the key is in having a consistent meal schedule.

Some cereal brands promise weight loss of 5 or 10 lbs by eating their cereal for breakfast. I have a hunch that the weight-loss occurs just by encouraging people to have a more consistent and well-proportioned meal schedule.

There is a stereotype that obese people eat all day long. More often than not, they fast until they've made themselves very hungry and then they binge eat. The roots of this behavior usually begin with the false but common misconception that skipping meals will lead to weight loss, which is absolutely false.

After fasting or starving oneself, the pleasurable feelings produced by finally eating are intensified. It becomes a reliable way to change the way one feels--using food to influence one's emotions--much like drugs and alcohol are used as predictable ways to change one's feelings. In contrast, if you eat throughout the day, you don't get to that point of intense hunger; you forget what hunger is like. Food is still pleasurable but it doesn't affect the brain's survival and pleasure centers as intensely.

After adjusting one's eating habits for long enough one realizes that unless you fuel your body and brain throughout the day with well-portioned and balanced meals, they don't run as well. It's a self-reinforcing habit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The New Plan for Powerful Legs

Any properly executed squat, however, may be a more effective muscle builder than all other exercises combined. It requires the synchronized recruitment of muscle fibers throughout your body. And because squatting is one of the most natural human movements, like walking or using the remote, it's perfectly safe. And new research shows that squats burn up to three times as many calories as previously thought. So it's a powerful fat-burning tool as well.


Named for the way in which you hold the weight--in front of your chest, with your hands cupped--the goblet squat may in fact be the only squat you need in your workout.

Monday, August 20, 2007

25 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

"Many women have spent an average of 20 years "dieting," so another safe assumption is that we know a lot about what to do right. However, little attention is usually given on what not to do. Apply this list of things NOT to do to your healthful regimen, and spare yourself many of the pitfalls that derail most dieters."

1. Having a negative defeatist attitude. If you think there is no way that you are going to succeed this time, lose the weight and keep it off, then you will be right! However, if you think positively and believe that change is at hand, you will empower your journey, and you will reach your goals!

2. Going on any diet that is NOT a manner of eating that you can adhere to for the rest of your life. Be careful when deciding what nutritional plan you want to follow, as it should be a manner of eating that matches your tastes, budget and lifestyle. You should model all of your future nutritional plans closely after how you lost the weight to keep that weight lost for good!

3. Believing that you will eat cabbage soup -- or any other low-cal, monotonous fare everyday for the rest of your life. If a particular odd "diet" is something that you can barely stomach, it isn't realistic to think you will eat that way for the entire time it takes to lose all the weight. It certainly won't teach you much about how to live healthfully for the long-term. Just say NO, to cabbage soup and other such funky diets!

4. Weighing in too frequently, letting the scale rule your mood and actions. Up to this point, have you been fixated on the scale? Well, if so, it hasn't really helped you lose weight, has it? Otherwise, you wouldn't be here, looking for yet another "diet." So do us both a favor, and pack the scale up, put a big red bow around it, and unwrap it after six months of consistent healthful living. It might actually show you something you want to see! --- more »

Calorie needs can fluctuate like your weight

Calorie needs depend on weight, age, gender and activity level, as well as individual metabolic rate. The figures from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion provide a rough estimate.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tip of the Week: Six of the Worst Workout Habits

Lobes of Steel

"Scientists have suspected for decades that exercise, particularly regular aerobic exercise, can affect the brain. But they could only speculate as to how. Now an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain."
Not very long ago, scientists and doctors thought that the number of brain cells a person has after puberty was all they would ever have in their life. Now scientists now that adults produce new brain cells throughout adulthood and into old age, in a process called neurogenesis. The article explains that physical exercise enhances neurogenesis.


A nice story about attitude

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tired of spin classes? Try Wii workout station

He estimates that one session of Wii boxing, tennis or bowling equates to going for a brisk walk and can burn between 75 to 125 calories.

“All of our clients get great results, but the biggest result we see is the smile on their faces. People have to understand that fun is important,” said Mellalieu.


Nintendo is also currently developing Wii Fit, a 2008 video game with an array of activities, from yoga to aerobics. [link]

The Comfort Zone

Remember that big conversation you had with yourself, in which you vowed to lose weight or find a new career or start exercising, etc? Do things always seem to get in the way of accomplishing even the simplest of goals like calling potential clients? If you find yourself in the intellectual zone and not the productive zone, I have some ideas for you to think about if you’re willing to break out of your personal “comfort zone“. [link]

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

It's amazing how many cares disappear when you decide not to be something, but to be someone.
- Coco Chanel

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
- Maya Angelou

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (Paperback)
-This book teaches something truly amazing. It can change the way you see the world.

Top 9 Fitness Myths -- Busted!

It's easy to fall into the trap: A workout buddy passes along an exercise tip, and then you pass it on to several folks you know. One day, you're at the gym, and sure enough, you hear the same tip repeated, so you figure it must be true. But experts say that in the world of fitness, myths and half-truths abound – and some of them may be keeping you from getting the workout you need.

"Some myths are just harmless half-truths, but many others can actually be harmful," says professional triathlete and personal coach Eric Harr, author of The Portable Personal Trainer. "They can cause frustration in working out and sometimes even lead to injury," he notes.

One reason myths get started, says Harr, is that we all react to exercise a little differently. So what's true for one person may not be true for another.

"In this sense you sometimes have to find your own 'exercise truths' – the things that are true for you," says Harr.

That said, experts say there are also some fitness myths that just need busting, and the sooner the better!

edit 8/20/07
Exercise 'must be tough to work'
To be healthy, you really do need to break into a sweat when you exercise, say experts.

Recently, researchers at Queen's University, Belfast, found walking for half an hour on just three days a week gave similar fitness and blood pressure benefits to walking for 30 minutes five times a week.

The sports scientists, however, say this advice is misleading and could encourage people to do too little exercise.

"There are people who have not accepted, and others who have misinterpreted, the original recommendation.

"Some people continue to believe that only vigorous intensity activity will improve health while others believe that the light activities of their daily lives are sufficient to promote health," they told Circulation.

This article contradicts one of the myths on that list.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

16 Ways to Eat Healthy While Keeping it Cheap

What is Healthy Food? Before we start, let’s define healthy food. It consists of:

  • Protein. The building blocks of muscles, needed for strength.
  • Fat. A balanced intake of omega 3, 6 & 9.
  • Veggies. All kinds, especially green fibrous veggies.
  • Fruit. Full of vitamins.
  • Water. 1 liter per 1000 calories you expend.
  • Whole grain food. Oats, rice, pasta, breads, …

On with the tips.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yoga @ Your Desk

People who work at their desks all day tend to stay in one position for a long time. The exercises in these videos are designed to counter the effects of sitting at your desk.

We suggest that you start with Part 1 below and then move on to Parts 2 and 3. Each video is about the length of your coffee break.

10 Ways to Instantly Build Self Confidence

9. Work out

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Namaste Yoga

Namaste Yoga is on FitTV. It's a good workout. The models make it look easy.

Kids are still obese, despite nutrition education

Kids are still obese, despite nutrition education
$1 billion government programs don't change weight problem, studies show

PANORAMA CITY, Calif. - The federal government will spend more than $1 billion this year on nutrition education — fresh carrot and celery snacks, videos of dancing fruit, hundreds of hours of lively lessons about how great you will feel if you eat well.

But an Associated Press review of dozens of rigorous scientific studies shows that these programs almost never change the way kids eat. And there is no indication they will make a dent in the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.

That reinforced a slew of disappointing studies:

  • Last year a major federal pilot program offering free fruits and vegetables to school children showed fifth graders became less willing to eat them than they had at the start. Apparently they didn’t like the taste.
  • In Pennsylvania, researchers went so far as to give prizes to school children who ate fruits and vegetables. That worked while the prizes were offered, but when the researchers came back seven months later the kids had reverted to their original eating habits: soda and chips.
  • In studies where children tell researchers they are eating better or exercising more, there is usually no change in blood pressure, body size or cholesterol measures; they want to eat better, they might even think they are, but they’re not.

Most Americans think that they "eat healthy."

They could throw even more money at the problem by enforcing mandatory nutrition classes, but it still won't necessarily change people's behavior.

Nutrition information is good up to a point, then you have to realize that people eat what they have learned tastes good to them(processed junk), not the foods that actually make them feel more energetic and give them the best health returns (foods with high water content, fruits and veggies)

Instead of eating to survive people tend to use food to change the way they feel, sort of like they do with drugs. It's common for people to feel sorry for themselves with a tub of ice cream, for example.

Nutrition education is and should be just be a footnote to physical education and teaching people good habits to change the way they feel by breaking out of their comfort zone, instead of reaching for food. Food is fuel.

Now's a good time to ask again, "What is the difference between fit and fat people?"

Is it money? No.

Is it because the cheapest, most calorically dense foods can be found at the fast food drive through? No.

Is it having a personal trainer? No.

Is it because fat people are lazy and don't care? No, that is a stereotype. A lot of them do care and realize things could be better, they just don't act or rationalize "good reasons" to keep putting it off.

In general, the difference between fit people and fat people is a habit. The habit is regular physical activity. People who normally exert themselves and break out of their comfort zone feel great. People who don't have this habit, do other things, like emotional eating, to make themselves feel better or just normal.

If you do a thing consistently for 90 days, it becomes a habit. Exercise is a self-reinforcing habit. Once a person has this habit, other things like nutrition fall into place and it becomes a lifestyle.

"Weight-loss without exercise" is a marketing trick, a myth. Exercise only appears optional these days.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big Wendy the muscular whippet

Look at the picture of this dog, Wendy the whippet.

The dog has a double mutation for myostatin protein. [link]

Wendy was recently part of a genetics study done in the U.S. on mutation in the myostatin gene in whippets, which resemble greyhounds in appearance. The National Institute of Health study reported that whippets with one single defective copy of the gene have increased muscle mass that can enhance racing performance in the breed, known for speeds up to 60 kilometres an hour.

But whippets with two mutated copies of the gene become "double-muscled," like Wendy. It has been seen before in one human, and also in mice, cattle and sheep, says the study.

p.s. Myostatin blocker bodybuilding supplements are a fraud.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Increase your Brain Activity with 15 Ideas

These are 15 fun ideas that will increase your brain activity. It has been proven that the more exercise you give your brain the more it will grow and operate to new super levels. Are you striving to be more intelligent, more creative? Here’s a great platform on how you can achieve your goals.

1. Just stop.

“Take 20-30 minutes out of your day to think about nothing. But don’t sleep – you’ve got to meditate. Sit still, reduce sensory input, and try to focus your mind on something like a calm scene or a color (to begin with thinking about something rather than trying to think of ‘nothing’ is easier). A study at the University of Kentucky revealed that subjects who took a late-afternoon test after meditating for 30 minutes had better scores than those who napped for the same time.”

2. Hit the streets.

“Lace up your running shoes and get moving. A study from the University of Illinois, US, revealed that aerobic exercise actually increases brain volume. They put two groups through different regimens - one did aerobic training three times weekly for one hour; the other group did just stretching and toning exercise. The aerobics group had increased their brain volume and white matter, which forms the connections between neurons.”

3. Mix it up.

“Exercise has long been hailed as an aid to brain-power longevity. But to ensure you’re not leaving the gas on in your eighties, vary your workout routines now. Try changing things up on a regular basis and you’ll stimulate your brain more because you’re not using the same pathway over and over again.”

Friday, June 29, 2007


It has been some time since I thought my shoulders were "fixed." I was wrong again. But thankfully, I know I'm right this time. :)

I had rounded shoulders, andI did the Perfect Posture Plan. But I was still using my shoulders wrong and they were still not growing at all. I found that there is one last thing I needed to do to get my shoulders lined up correctly and working in coordination with my back and chest.

It took me a long time to figure this out instinctively yet it's so simple. It is necessary for me to do exercises while standing within a door frame.

What I did was to stand erect inside the door frame with contracted core and pushed against the insides of the door frame with my arms. I did that in various positions with forearms flat against the insides of the doorframe, directing the force through the elbows. I did this until I could move my forearms up and down, mimicking the shoulder press movement.

I'm not sure what effect this had on my back muscles or what it did specifically to my shoulders. Maybe it contracted my trapezius which could have been overly stretched out. Anyway, doing this doorframe exercise made all the difference in the world.

Good article [LATERAL COMBUSTION:Take lateral raises above parallel to prompt middle delt and trap growth] that argues that above parallel is actually is most effective way to do lateral raises.
Which brings us to the dumbbell lateral raise. Just about anyone who does this exercise raises the weights to only shoulder level, arms about parallel to the floor, but no higher. Know why? Think it causes rotator-cuff impingement and is dangerous to go above that point? Uh-uh. Think the arms-parallel position is where the middle delt stops working?

Wrong again.

“Going to arms parallel in the dumbbell lateral raise provides good deltoid recruitment and doesn’t put the shoulder joint in a stressful situation,” says Louie Brockhoeft, MES, a personal fitness coach at Mercy Hospital in Anderson, Ohio. “But taking the move 45 degrees past parallel fully engages the middle delt; plus it recruits the upper traps, levator scapulae and all muscles around the scapula, including the rhomboids, the lower traps and serratus.”

Shoulder Stretches for Swimmers

Yoga @ Your Desk

I do the poses from Yoga @ Your Desk before training shoulders and it helps prepare the muscles to do upper body exercises with good form.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Drama Prairie Dog

The best YouTube video is only 5 seconds long

Saturday, June 23, 2007

McDonalds supersizes its Q&A list

McDonalds has launched a site answering its British customers’ questions. All of them, by the looks of it.

“Are your baconburgers kosher?” asks one curious connoisseur (A: “This item is not kosher”). “I read in the paper that some burgers contain poo. Is this really true? If so, what proportion of burgers contain poo?” asks anther. (A: “This is absolutely not true”). “What part of the cow do you use in the burgers cos i heard it was the teeth?” runs a third.

There are 8,500 of them. Each gets a considered answer from a McDonalds sage with the patience of a saint.

The link within the article is broken.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

18 Cool Body Hacks

Soothe a burn, cure a toothache, clear a stuffed nose...[link]

Saturday, June 16, 2007

This be funny storyz

I didn't make this one, but hehe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pump up the volume to bring on the burn

Pump up the volume to bring on the burn
"We asked you which songs get you moving. Your favorites ran the gamut from heavy metal (“Metallica … and White Zombie always make my workouts more intense,” writes Jennie from Schenectady, N.Y.) to soft rock (“I like to work out to Air Supply. It is so soothing,” writes Vince Jones) to soundtrack standards ("Anything from the ‘Rocky IV’ ... Combining the songs with the memory of Rocky training really gives [me] motivation to exercise harder," writes Hirsch in Chicago)."
    • Anything by Frank Sinatra
    • “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
    • “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue
    • “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails
    • “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce
    • “Earthshine” by Rush
    • “Escape” by Gwen Stefani
    • “Fergalicious” by Fergie
    • “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera
    • “Going Back to Cali” by Notorious B.I.G.
    • “Hold On” by Santana
    • “Hung Up” by Madonna
    • “Lose Control” by Missy Elliott
    • “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers
    • “New Workout Plan” by Kanye West
    • “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode
    • “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado
    • “Rent” soundtrack
    • “Run Like Hell” by Pink Floyd
    • “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne
    • “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake
    • “Starve” by Rollins Band
    • “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
    • “You Could Be Mine” by Guns ‘n’ Roses

OTC fat-diverting pill Alli, debuts today

FDA allows nonprescription sale of lower-dose version of Xenical

WASHINGTON - Dieters got a new tool Wednesday to help them take off the extra pounds — the first government-approved nonprescription diet pill.

The Food and Drug Administration said the fat-blocking weight-loss pill orlistat, which has been available by prescription, can be sold in a reduced-strength version over the counter.

The drug is intended for people 18 and older to use along with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise.

Dr. Charles Ganley, FDA’s director of nonprescription products, stressed that the drug is intended for use along with diet and exercise programs.

“Using this drug alone is unlikely to be beneficial,” Ganley said at a telebriefing. ...

Ganley said in trials, for every five pounds people lost through diet and exercise, those using orlistat lost an additional two to three pounds.


"We know that being overweight has many adverse consequences, including an increase in the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "OTC orlistat, along with diet and exercise, may aid overweight adults who seek to lose excess weight to improve their health." link


The way orlistat works to prevent weight gain or promote weight loss is to inhibit enzymes that would otherwise facilitate absorption of fat in the gastrointestinal duct. As reported, the drug can stop as much as 20 to 30 percent of dietary fat from being absorbed.

Because fat-soluble nutrients need fat as carrier to get into human body, the diet drug inevitably blocks absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, K, E, and other fat soluble nutrients. For this reason, the consumers of orlistat are suggested to take a multivitamins at bedtime to compensate the loss of nutrients due to the use of the diet drug.


The worse part is this: studies showed the weight loss effect diminished and lost weight came back after use of the drug was discontinued. Those who want to keep the pounds off need to keep taking the pill. But that is not advisable because the long term adverse effects of this diet drug remain unknown.

Considering the fact that the drug prevents absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, potentially leading to malnutrition, it is unreasonable for one to continue the dieting regimen beyond six months. What does that mean is, you may have to lose the regained weight again later.

The side-effects of using orlistat, prescription or TOC, include gas with discharge, oily discharge, increased number of bowel movements, oily spotting, oily or fatty stools, urgent need to have a bowel movement and inability to control bowel movements. About 50 percent of patients on the drug experienced some side-effects and seven percent lost bowel control. For this reason, one may have to take another
drug to get the side-effect under control. link at

This pill is meant for people who are cutting down their calories while burning more calories exercising. It is not meant for people who want to keep their current habits and also lose weight

Sunday, June 10, 2007

'Exercise after eating' diet tip

Exercising after meals can help promote weight loss by boosting hormones that suppress appetite, say UK scientists.

Thanks to these hormones, active people feel less hungry immediately after exercise, and this carries through to their next meal, experiments suggest.

Even when their meals were bigger, sporty people gained fewer calories overall because they burned off more.

... levels of hormones called PYY, GLP-1 and PP, which tell the brain when the stomach is full, increased during and immediately after exercise. [link]

Yoga May Help Treat Depression, Anxiety Disorders

THURSDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga's postures, controlled breathing and meditation may work together to help ease brains plagued by anxiety or depression, a new study shows.

...Brain scans of yoga practitioners showed a healthy boost in levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) immediately after a one-hour yoga session. Low brain levels of GABA are associated with anxiety and depression, the researchers said.

...She believes yoga could prove a useful tool to help people battling depression and anxiety disorders. "We're not advocating that they chuck their medication, but I would advise that they could use it as an adjunct and see how they are doing," Streeter said.

...She said the style or school of yoga practiced didn't seem to matter. "We had hatha, ashtanga, bikram, vinyasa, and kripalu" practitioners included in the yoga group, Streeter said, "and many had been trained in several different schools."

..He also pointed out that all of the people in the study were mentally healthy, and clinical depression and anxiety disorders involve more than the "daily fluctuations in stress and tension" that healthy individuals are prone to.

..."We know that yoga can have a profound effect" on smoothing out life's daily ups and downs, Segal said. "But so does working out on a Stairmaster for an hour."

...Would other mind-body practices -- Tai Chi, for example -- produce similar effects?

"I think that's very possible," Streeter said. "I suspect that all roads lead up the mountain." [link]

Friday, June 01, 2007

JFK exercise quote

"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." John F. Kennedy

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gym comes up with No Grunting Rule

Personally, I don't like when people grunt while lifting because I think it's embarrassing for the lifter and it creates a sort of eyebrow-raising discomfort for others.
"If I've just heard you grunting in the weight room like a walrus, there's no way I'll talk to you." --Nina, 24, florist
I disagree with the notion that grunting is useful if you learn how to breathe without grunting from the start. Some people grunt as a way to exhale a little bit of air and after lifting like that over and over, it becomes a habit.

Grunting on the last repetition to complete the set, might be acceptable. But some people grunt on every rep. IMO, they use too much weight for themselves without realizing it and grunting is an attempt to retain some control of their lifting form. This habit is easy to develop if during every set and every workout you try to lift as much weight as possible (going "heavy duty") instead of varying one's routine now and then.

Nevertheless there is a gym that is yanking memberships for grunting.
"Planet Fitness is not interested in such vocal lifting.

Members who violate the grunting prohibition a second time are subjected to the lunk alarm -- a siren that flashes blue.

The New York Times recently featured an article about a Wappingers Falls, N.Y. bodybuilder who ran afoul of the grunting rule.

A manager of the Planet Fitness in Wappingers Falls canceled the bodybuilder's membership after the muscle-bound member challenged the manager about the grunting charge." [link]


WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y., Nov. 13 — Albert Argibay, a bodybuilder and a state correction officer, was at a Planet Fitness gym with 500 pounds of weight on his shoulders one afternoon this month when the club manager walked over and told him it was time to leave. Mr. Argibay, the manager explained, had violated one of the club’s most sacred and strictly enforced rules: He was grunting.
At most health clubs, grunts elicit little more than annoyed looks or sighs of irritation. But at Planet Fitness, a national chain with 120 locations, it is a matter not only of etiquette, but also of club policy: one too many offending noises can get a membership revoked
The no-grunt policy is one of several eyebrow-raising rules — no bandannas, no jeans, no banging weights — that managers say are intended to make their target clientele of novice exercisers feel comfortable. [link]
Their rule about no banging weights should be a standard rule in every gym, just like this one:

"Your Mom does not work here. Put your own dumbbells and weights away when you're finished. "

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tip o' the Day

Do Cardio. The overall best way to shed fat fast is to do cardio (30 min minimum) right when you wake up. Your body will search for energy to use, when it finds nothing in your stomach, it will go directly to your fat storage for energy and the fat will burn up so fast!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Students can't stomach bare-bellied photo, so they swipe newspapers

Those girls think they look fat? Maybe they're slouching a little, but come on.

There's a picture with the article.

Thin people can be fat on the inside

Some doctors now think that the internal fat surrounding vital organs like the heart, liver or pancreas — invisible to the naked eye — could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin.
“Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat,” said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create “fat maps” showing where people store fat.
According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. “The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined,” said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council.
Even people with normal Body Mass Index scores — a standard obesity measure that divides your weight by the square of your height — can have surprising levels of fat deposits inside.
Still, most experts believe that being of normal weight is an indicator of good health, and that BMI is a reliable measurement.
The good news is that internal fat can be easily burned off through exercise or even by improving your diet. “Even if you don’t see it on your bathroom scale, caloric restriction and physical exercise have an aggressive effect on visceral fat,” said Dr. Bob Ross, an obesity expert at Queen’s University in Canada.
The caveat for BMI is that it's a reliable measurement for most people but not for those with a lot of muscle. Sometimes a higher BMI is the result of muscle mass figuring for a larger portion of overall body composition.

The generic scale for BMI for males usually considers 26 to be the cutoff from being fit and being "overweight." The study described below found 26.5 to be the "ideal" for males. How can it be ideal to be overweight? which makes the value label of "fit" and "overweight" a bit arbitrary.

World's most beautiful couple: and the figures to prove it

It is the holy grail of the fashion and beauty industries: a scientific blueprint for the most beautiful women, and men, in the world.

Researchers have thrown away the old vital statistics and, instead, focused on how the dimensions of different parts of the body relate to height and body mass index (BMI) to give the perfect physique. Perhaps surprisingly, two of the most important measurements are the girth of the thigh and the slimness of the calf.

Perfect woman: Naomi Campbell

The vital statistics:

Body mass index 20.85

Bust girth to height 49.3%

Waist-chest ratio 1.4

Leg-to-body ratio 1.4

Calf girth to height 19.5%

Height 175cm

Thigh girth to height 29.7

What it all means:

"Super beautiful" women have waists a third smaller than their hips and three-quarters their bust measurement. They have longer legs, and slimmer thighs and calves than the average woman.

Perfect man: Christian Bale

The vital statistics:

Body mass index 26.5

Waist-chest ratio 0.6

Leg-to-body ratio 1

Height 188cm

What it all means:

The physically ideal man is more than 6ft tall, with legs the same length as his upper body. The leg-to-body ratio of 1 makes him appear more muscular, which is why the ideal BMI for men is higher than for women.

Bye-bye BMI? Tape may measure obesity better

Researchers say waist-to-hip ratio may paint better picture of fitness

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Training Wheels: Laying the foundation for your training program

Great article that focuses on the essentials of training. Even though the author specifically mentions triathlon training and preparation, all the tips after the first page apply to training with weights as well. link

Friday, April 20, 2007

Exercise Fuels the Brain's Stress Buffers

"Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress, according to research into the effect of exercise on neurochemicals involved in the body's stress response."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Many dieters 'finish up heavier'

Dieting is unlikely to lead to long-term weight loss and may put a person's health at risk, a study says.

US researchers found people typically lose between 5% and 10% of their weight during the first six months of a diet.

But the review of 31 previous studies, by the University of California, said up to two-thirds put more weight on than they had lost within five years.

Repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to heart disease and stroke, the American Psychologist journal reported.

Lead researcher Traci Mann said: "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more.

"Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people.

"We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all.

"Their weight would have been pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear of losing weight and gaining it all back."


Professor Mann said in her opinion eating in moderation was a good idea for everybody as was regular exercise.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fitness Tip of the Day

If being a few pounds away from so called perfect is your biggest problem in life - then you have a pretty amazingly good life! Think about all the problems people have around the world and your body issues will be put into better perspective.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Caffeine...Exposed! Soda Labels Show the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

"So, you should ask yourself: When you are tired and reaching for your caffeine fix, are you giving yourself energy, or are you managing the withdrawal effect?" [link]

"A high intake of caffeine is 500 mg daily. A medium intake is between 250 and 500 mg and a low intake is below 250 mg. The following list of beverages and foods, along with the amount of caffeine in each serving, will help you determine the category you fall into:

Coca Cola Classic — 34.5mg (12-ounce can)
Diet Pepsi — 36mg (12-ounce can)
Pepsi — 37.5mg (12-ounce can)
Diet Coke — 46.5mg (12-ounce can)
Mountain Dew — 54mg (12-ounce can)
Diet Pepsi Max — 69mg (12-ounce can)
Instant Coffee — 40-105mg (150ml cup)
Filtered Coffee — 110-150mg (150ml cup)
Tea — 20-100mg (150ml cup)
Starbucks Coffee, Grande — 500mg (16-ounce cup)
Chocolate Cake — 20-30mg (one slice)
Caffeine Pill — 50-200mg (read label to determine exact dose)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Too shy to strip in front of a man

A third of women think they are too fat ever to appear naked in front of their partners, according to a survey.

Images of stick-thin models and digitally-slimmed celebrities are convincing a whole generation to keep their clothes on at all times.

Experts believe the compulsion to cover up is putting a serious strain on domestic relationships, with one woman in ten having to turn out the light before she can undress in front of her partner.

Some of the most awkward encounters happen in the bathroom - with nearly a quarter of females never entering with their other half.


"This shows how seriously people think about their body image - yet being bare-skinned is such a natural thing." link

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Diets an unhealthy fix for teen weight concerns

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Teens who go on diets to drop some pounds are more likely to skip breakfast and binge eat -- which may at least partly explain why they put on more weight over time than their peers who don't diet, a new study shows.

...Nevertheless, the findings show that dieting is a short-term fix that teens choose instead of longer-term, healthier -- and more effective -- strategies such as eating more fruits and vegetables and getting more exercise, Neumark-Sztainer said.

...The findings suggest, Neumark-Sztainer and her colleagues conclude, that kids who diet are in danger of developing unhealthy physical activity and eating behaviors.

..."My advice to parents is to redirect their children's efforts away from dieting toward the adoption of eating and physical activity behaviors that they can engage in over the long term," she told Reuters Health.

Dieting is a short-term fix that tends to backfire. Diets in general don't work and are commercial enterprises to sell the appeal of that mythical creature, "weight-loss without exercise."

Skipping meals doesn't lead to weight loss. It seems like the common-sense thing to do, but it doesn't work. Instead, it leads the body to think, "No food. Famine coming. Hard times coming. Time to store as much fat as possible to survive hardship." The metabolism slows down, and the body stores fat more efficiently.

Humans are natural grazers. Before we had agriculture and stored food, humans ate all day long. The idea of three-meals-a-day is a social convention, we made it up. Grazing, or eating throughout the day, will actually change your metabolism. In a sense, it's the opposite of what starving does to the metabolism. Since real grazing is not feasible for most people,"the trick is to break up the nutrition you need in a day to have as snacks in between meals." That creates 5 meals instead of only 3. Grazing and weight loss

When you hit the gym can impact your results

Early birds get cardio boost; afternoon exercisers can cut down on stretches

... Personal trainers and experts on exercise say the effectiveness of your gym time depends partly on your body rhythms as well as what exactly you're trying to get out of it — whether it's losing inches around your waist or putting inches on your biceps.

...clients who want to build muscle mass to hit the weights in the afternoon. In the morning there isn't enough glycogen in our muscles, or stored fuel, to support an effective workout.

...There are, of course, pluses to working out in the morning too. May recommends it for people whose main priority is losing weight.

say you're probably better off spreading it out in frequent intervals throughout the week, rather than saving it all up for one hellish day or the weekend.
Some say that it's best to do weight training early in the morning, based on testosterone. More testosterone is available around the time a male wakes up, which is the physiological reason why men get morning erections or "morning wood." Because of this, some think pumping iron in the morning is taking advantage of the situation.

But the testosterone is there in the morning for other purposes besides lifting weights. Cortisol is higher in the morning too and this supposedly makes it a less optimal time to train with weights. And there's less glycogen and less flexibility in the morning as well.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Study shows why exercise boosts brainpower

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss, U.S. researchers reported Monday.

Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans.

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans to help document the process in mice -- and then used MRIs to look at the brains of people before and after exercise.

They found the same patterns, which suggests that people also grow new brain cells when they exercise.


"Our next step is to identify the exercise regimen that is most beneficial to improve cognition and reduce normal memory loss, so that physicians may be able to prescribe specific types of exercise to improve memory," Small said.

Just one more good reason :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wash those Bananas (and other lessons in cleaning produce)

"Probably 100 people handled that banana before you did," says Ann Zander, a food safety expert with the Colorado State University Extension in Longmont, Colo. "If you have somebody who hasn't washed his hands after the bathroom or has the flu, that's all over it." link

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Machine May Help Shed Pounds Without Sweating"

Sweating off the pounds might be a thing of the past with a new machine that promises to shed pounds simply by standing on it."You can stand on this machine for 10 minutes and it's equal to 45 minutes to 60 minutes of typical exercise," said DeepTone instructor Jennifer Ament.

Ament said TurboSonic uses sound waves that produce frequencies to stimulate your cells. She said a person can burn up to 300 calories in 10 minutes, and that's why people shouldn't be on it for more than that.
"It's equal to 60 minutes of exercise so you'd be just overdoing it," said Ament.

"I lost 9 pounds, a pants size, which is very exciting and I noticed my face tightening," said Kelly Walton.
"Most of the research that looked at whole body vibration said that they were at best mild cardiovascular effects, which means you're burning some calories just standing there but not the same thing as jogging around the block," said Wolkodoff.

DeepTone in Denver is offering the use of TurboSonic to its clients for a fee.
You can buy one here for yourself, it's only $13,000. Soloflex sells a non-powered platform for $500

Professor Alan Hedge of Cornell University writes, "Whole body vibration [at the frequencies detailed] may create chronic stresses and sometimes even permanent damage to the affected organs or body parts."
"Suspected health effects of whole body vibration include:
– Blurred vision
– Decrease in manual coordination
– Drowsiness (even with proper rest)
– Low back pain/injury
– Insomnia
– Headaches or upset stomach" link

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Analyze a bodybuilding supplement ad

In a previous post, I wrote that no company, university, or hospital has yet determined how exactly myostatin inhibits muscle growth. Nor have they discovered how to stop the action of myostatin protein in humans.

Yet certain bodybuilding supplement companies say that they know how to do all that. Look at this ad here. That page is a good example of how supplement marketers make their ads.

That website, btw, is dedicated to selling supplements. Like bodybuilding magazines are just brochures to peddle supplements, websites are now dedicated to selling supplements under a guise of authority. Is it or At the front page, there is this illusion that one can choose to enter either the "supersite" or the "store." This puts the mind to rest that they're not just out for your money. Then enter the "site" and all the articles and links point to...the "store" you actively chose not to enter.

Many supplement companies came out and directly stated that products that affect myostatin are actually not possible currently.

But then there are other supplement companies who are so patently dishonest, they contribute to the impression that all people within the "fitness industry" are bunch of con artists, like many in the weight-loss industry, the diet pill peddlers and the like.

Usually a supplement ad will say something that sounds scientific, or verifiable, substantiated with evidence.

Regardless, the subject of the ad, their product, has nothing to do with the scientific details that are mentioned in the ad.
Myostim - the first generation of the new age

Once we had found a compound that bound myostatin we had to develop a delivery system to get it into muscle. At the same time we wanted to make sure that all of the synergistic pathways of muscle synthesis were properly supported. After all, muscle development requires that many things come together at once.

Unlike other supplements, which may work fast, but with results that taper off over time, the action of myostatin control is gradual but consistent. In fact, research studies have shown that as long as myostatin is under positive control, animals NEVER PLATEAU!

Bahahaha! Notice how they never state explicitly that their product does anything at all. Notice that they are talking about research in lab animals.

If someone told you this garbage to your face, it would be told by no more than a con-artist. One who lacks shame.

What's in that ad is like saying:
Let me tell you about Einstein's Theory of Relativity. E = mc^2. Wow! Awesome!

Now, the exciting part is actually having a time machine using Einstein's equations! First I had to come up with a way to power the vehicle. Next, I would have to determine how my face wouldn't peel off my skull while flying at the speed of light. Can you believe how amazing it would be for you to travel back to the time of Jesus? To the age of the dinosaurs? Rowwrrr! Pack your bags! You're going and I've got your ticket!

Only $1Billion $1Million add to cart

After sometime reading through these ads, one just finds that almost all bodybuilding supplements are marketed in exactly the same way. Creatine does have some evidence, but they never advertise for creatine; only the the novel, sensational, the obscure that most haven't learned about yet. Nitric oxide this, human growth hormone that...blah blah blah

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Most Important Exercise Tip

I usually don't see any point to reprinting other articles within a blog post but this article is spot-on, explaining clearly one major reason why people exercise and keep doing it.
The Most Important Exercise Tip

By Robin Lloyd
Special to LiveScience
posted: 30 May 2006

They lack six-pack abs. They could lose a few. Yet they're happy, body and soul. How are such people possible in body-centric America?

They exercise. They work out. It's part of their routine. Maybe not as often as they would like or think they should, but they do something.

Sure there are the long-term benefits like lowering your blood pressure, improved strength and endurance, a trimmer physique and the confidence that follows, increasing mental alertness, and reducing your odds of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But exercise simply makes you feel good.

It is no sure-fire happy pill, and some say it has to be intense, or anaerobic (involving short energy bursts that cause the body to run out temporarily of oxygen), to bring on the psychological boost, but it is a part of the feel-good equation, experts say.

The problem with the perfect workout

Many Americans forget or ignore both the short- and long-term benefits and avoid exercise due to a sedentary lifestyle, allowing a "perfect" workout to be the enemy of one that is "good enough," and boredom due to repeating the same exercise routine over and over, says Debbie Mandel, author of "Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul" (Busy Bee Group, 2003).

Two primary chemicals involved in making exercise feel good are cortisol and endorphins.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the body under stress, such as anger, anxiety or fear, and it ultimately inflames and damages our organs. Exercise burns cortisol, and thereby makes us healthier and happier, Mandel says.

Endorphins are morphine-like hormone molecules that enter the brain's neurons and park on receptors that normally send pain-signaling molecules back to other parts of the brain. Some say endorphins are even more powerful and yield a more euphoric feeling than opiate drugs such as morphine and opium, which park on the same receptors when introduced to the body.

Exercise stimulates the brain's pituitary gland to release endorphins, an abbreviation for endogenous (meaning "produced within") morphine, in the bloodstream.

Get started

Even with a stagnant gym membership or so-so discipline, individual episodes of intense exercise provides psychological boosts aside from the harder-to-see, harder-to-acquire physical and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.

A single exercise session lasting 20 or 30 minutes at 80 percent of your capacity brings on pain-relieving endorphins, according to work by Robert G. McMurray of the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mandel agrees that even one session makes you feel better and clears your head. "Once you make a commitment to exercise then you are motivated to keep feeling good every day. After about two weeks of exercise you stay on course," she said in a recent email interview.

Mandel says you can ensure a psychological reward if you tailor your workout level to your stress level. "If you are highly stressed, you need to do a more intense workout which means longer than 30 minutes; if you are less stressed, then 30 minutes should suffice," she says.

Heavy lifting

Some scientists say the feel-good benefits vary with the type of exercise. Research by Ed Pierce, now at Bridgewater College, and his colleagues shows that moderate exercise and light weightlifting or other resistance training, while critical for overall health, fail to bring on endorphins.

Alan Goldfarb of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro also says endorphins are only associated with heavy weightlifting or any kind of exercise during which you sprint (such as during running, biking, swimming).

Some experts say that tolerance to endorphins increases over time, but Mandel also says this varies with the person.

"Mostly, you get a consistent high from a workout to music and a workout that you enjoy," she says. "It is important to realize that routine deadens the heart, and you have to change up your exercise regimen. The body always adapts and you need to challenge it. So, vary the intensity, cross train, take dance classes, try a new sport, use a personal trainer for a few sessions, etc. Keep it fresh, and you will get that high!"

To those who don't get much regular physical activity, the people who don the sweats and run at dawn when it's freezing outside or who head to the gym before work, must look nuts. They must have superhuman willpower and motivation. What they have is a habit, one that offers many health benefits and is self-reinforcing.

The author is right. When you go the gym, you don't see things like in the movie Dodgeball, where everyone already looks "perfect." You see people of all shapes and sizes and ages; people enjoying themselves.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's good to keep muscle as one ages

These two relatively recent stories got my attention

81-Year-Old Jumps In Pond, Pulls Woman From Submerged Car

An 81-year-old security guard in Volusia County, Fla., is being credited with saving a woman's life by jumping into a retention pond and pulling her out of a sinking sedan, according to a Local 6 News report. Frank Cappel, who is a security guard at the Hawaiian Tropic tanning labs in Ormond Beach, Fla., said he noticed a woman drive her vehicle into the water and he ran to help. Cappel wrestled the 200-pound woman out of the vehicle.

U.S. tourist kills mugger with bare hands
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - An American tourist who watched as a U.S. military veteran in his 70s used his bare hands to kill an armed assailant in Costa Rica said she thought the attempted robbery was a joke — until the masked attacker held a gun to her head.

28 February 2007
A 100-YEAR-OLD man fought off three teenage muggers after being surrounded at a bus stop.
Buster Martin, who still works five days a week as a car washer and mechanic, was followed by the gang when he left a pub..."I pushed one and kung-fu kicked the other one between the legs. They ran off scared after I did that and I still had all my money."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Essential Fatty Acids

Fats usually get a bad rap, are relegated to a "bad" status. Nevertheless they are necessary; the brain does not function normally without essential fatty acids. A simple way of obtaining these, in terms of supplements, is through fish oil.

Nutrients we need include essential amino acids. Glucose is necessary too, all the time, to feed the brain (but carbs are not called "essential").

There are necessary fats. There are good fats and bad fats. Good fats include essential fatty acids that must be consumed in our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are part of a healthful diet and are required for good cardiovascular health and brain and nerve function. ("Essential oils" are not the same thing as essential fatty acids; consumption of tea tree oil has recently been linked to gynecomastia or man-boobs)

Linolenic acid (linolenate) and Linoleic acid or (linoleate) are essential. They were deemed "essential" because they are necessary at certain, specific stages of development.

The recommended daily value for omega-3 fatty acids is 2 grams, or 2000 milligrams per day (too much is not a good thing either).

According to Dr. Brenda Watson, the average person in America actually gets about 0.2 grams, or 200 milligrams per day, or
of the recommended daily value. link

Many who train with weights commonly focus on protein and carbs in their nutrition.

But like essential amino acids, there are also essential fats that are necessary for normal brain, heart, and vascular function and development.

Lately, food retailers are putting omega-3 fatty acids into many foods, even orange juice and bread. But these contain only trace amounts and would require eating too much bread or drinking too much juice to get what one needs.

I once read a blip in Men's Health that said that fish oil may contain mercury, so take flaxseed oil instead. But then two months later the magazine had another article stating that taking flaxseed oil hasn't been proven to be nearly as beneficial as taking fish oil. Great, now what?

Dining Dilemma: A new study suggests that a federal advisory urging pregnant women to restrict their seafood intake could do more harm than good. But what about the risks of fish-borne mercury?

Fish during pregnancy may boost kids' IQ

Fish oil capsules, two of them, contain all the fatty acids required for one day. One with breakfast and one with dinner is good, based on trial and error.

Strive to supplement your essential fatty acids so that you get the minimum requirement and you will notice a difference. These nutrients are necessary for normal function. Humans evolved eating the harvest of seafood provided from living within intertidal regions. This tradition allowed humans reliable and sufficient nutrition before the inception of agriculture. Humans subsequently left the African continent, migrating across the globe.

Taking fish oil capsules are easier for me than eating a lot of fish (ie wild salmon). I decided it's better to just take the fish oil caplets and get nutrients my body must have, despite the possible risk from mercury.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mmm, sweaty! Women aroused by male scent

WASHINGTON - For women, apparently there’s nothing like the smell of a man’s sweat.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley said women who sniffed a chemical found in male sweat experienced elevated levels of an important hormone, along with higher sexual arousal, faster heart rate and other effects.

They said the study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, represents the first direct evidence that people secrete a scent that influences the hormones of the opposite sex.


The study focused on androstadienone, considered a male chemical signal. Previous research had established that a whiff of it affected women’s mood, sexual and physiological arousal and brain activation. Its impact on hormones was less clear.

Every year in Men's Health there is at least one article about "what smells sexy on a man" and reports that women enjoy apparently the smell of his sweat more than his cologne. Now there's evidence for it. You don't even need to buy anything to get the "Axe effect."

I should note that in the articles the author usually makes certain to distinguish between "sweat" and "body odor."

Another hurdle to exercise: embarrassment
Fear of looking fat, silly prevents many people from breaking a sweat

Whatever you focus on or whatever you are thinking about affects the way you feel.

If you focus on the bad, the unpleasant, the gloomy, you start to physically feel bad.

If you focus on good things, take inventory for why you're grateful, think of happy or funny times, you will feel that way too.

Want a good workout? You better believe it
People who think of activities as exercise gain more benefitsPeople who think they're getting a good workout obtain more benefits than those who perform the exact same activities but don't think what they are doing is exercise, according to the findings of a study by Harvard researchers. These results support the idea that the benefits of exercise may involve a placebo effect.

Most of the noisy, seemingly incessant inner dialogue that goes on in our heads is just a hindrance from living in the present with awareness.

The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action

*This is actually a Zen or Chan maxim which means to "be in the moment" and NOT be distracted by your own thought process. The Zen quote is: "If you seek it, you will NOT find it". The "Western" counterpart to this is the term "Being in the Zone".