Archive for February, 2010

The New World

February 20, 2010

In 1492 Columbus found the New World, but he’d be blown away if he could see my five-year-old daughter downloading 3D moving images of banshees from the movie Avatar on the little computer that sits on my office desk. His New World was a discovery, but the world has probably changed as much if not more in the last 15 years than it did in his entire lifetime!

This is not an article about great explorers, but it is about a new world and how you “fit” in. No, I’m not asking whether you tweet or twit or twerp or poke, and I won’t ask if you text more than you speak or videotape the world around you with your cool new cell phone. I want to ask a much simpler question.

How do you feel?

Yes, that’s my question. It’s a new world, and I want to know how you feel, right now?

If your answer was anything other than “great,” what are you going to do about it? Eat better? Hmmm. What does that mean?

Maybe you think you know what that means . . . but then again . . .

You have your turkey breast on whole wheat bread . . . but whole wheat bread may not really be whole wheat, and even if it is, you might be sensitive to gluten.

OK, forget the bread. Go with something you know is healthy. Have some yogurt. The “good bacteria” in yogurt ensure a healthy meal . . . unless you have trouble tolerating lactose. Hmm. If you can’t rely on dairy for your protein . . . you can’t deny that despite what your vegan friend told you, meats are good sources of protein, but aren’t they riddled with drug resistant bacteria?

Pasta’s good . . . or is it? It used to be hailed as an ideal food for runners, but what if you don’t run. Doesn’t it elevate triglycerides, and isn’t that going to increase risk of heart disease?

Fruits! Healthy? Sure . . . or are they too high in sugar, and even if it’s natural sugar, aren’t they grown in depleted soil poisoned by pesticides?

Healthy cereals aren’t healthy, healthy frozen dinners are laden with sodium and preservatives, and even our old reliable, seafood, packed with essential fats, are also sources of mercury.

OK, so there are a few food questions that need to be answered. That doesn’t make health all that complicated, does it?
Well, if those were the only questions, perhaps our population would only be partially confused, but what’s a trans-fat, and what’s a hydrogenated fat, and why are they in so many foods that taste so good? The articles and health practitioners have turned sour on high fructose corn syrup, but the new TV commercials say, “it’s made from corn . . . it’s natural.”

Are you ready to scream?

Suppose you manage to sort through all of the supermarket confusion and you learn to make better food choices. You’re on the right track . . . but then . . . there’s the exercise component.

Do you have to do 30 – 45 minutes of aerobic exercise in your “fat burning zone?” Why then, when you do that religiously, do you find you’re losing weight but retaining flab? Oh, because you have to also do resistance exercise, right? It’s a new world. It’s not as simple as having a couple of dumbbells in your closet. Now you have to make choices. Are kettlebells better than dumbbells, and is functional training better than the routine you used to do in the gym? Should you sign up for a bootcamp, or Pilates, and what’s this new cross-fit thing?

Ah, who knows if you even need to know the answers to these questions. Isn’t there just an infomercial device that works?

Is the Montel Williams juicer that crushes concrete really going to help you lose weight, and if so, is it better than the Jack La Lanne juicer? After all, you’re not likely to mix concrete into your protein shakes, are you? Then again, who needs a juicer at all if you can now take vitamins that provide the nutrients and “green” phytochemicals we’re supposed to get from eating or veggies?

So far I’m well into this article and haven’t provided a single answer. Why am I opting to pose question after question without sharing a single answer? It’s because I’ve shared the answer at least 100,000 times, and it’s the same as it’s always been. Synergy. The Right Nutrition, Moderate Aerobic Exercise, and Something to Challenge Muscle.

Did I now give you clarity? Probably not. There are two primary challenges. One is confusion, due in great part of information overwhelm. The second is . . . finding an expert who can help you understand how the “synergy” applies to your individual circumstance, what, in your case, you need to do in your strength and aerobic training, and what in the world the “right” nutrition means to you.

Many of my clients come to me after they’ve sought out solutions from the world of medicine. They have not only lists of medications, but also lists of doctors. Doctors are experts in medicine . . . or are they? Some may be, and some might have been, but to believe every doctor is expert in every realm of medicine is an unfair expectation. The drug releases come at a whirlwind pace, the drug reps resemble Hollywood stars hawking “hot new products,” and the doctors are often caught in as much of a headspin as the consumer.

Where do you turn if your belly fat is creeping up on you, your energy is dropping down, and you’re gradually losing that youthful sense of being unstoppable? Do you turn to medicine, fitness, or the health food store? Maybe there’s another option . . . not quite medical but better than the GNC.

Maybe the new “wellness” clinic has answers.

The new clinics will promise Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is the solution. In fact, they’ll promise pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women that HRT can help to reverse bone mineral loss and prevent osteoporosis. Is it worth the risk, however, if these hormonal compounds that you’re asked to swallow or inject can increase your risk of endometrial cancer or breast cancer?

If you’re a man over 45, you get a prostate exam to see if you need meds to reverse prostate enlargement. If your prostate’s OK, but your libido’s down, there’s HRT for you as well. You can get a prescription for testosterone cream. It’s legal, it’s medical, and it can make you feel more youthful. That sounds good, right? Why, then, are those same people who believe it’s OK to replace hormones, who believe exogenously supplementing male hormonal production is therapeutic, critical of athletes who use steroids? The compounds are the same. The “labels” are different.

The questions abound, the confusion grows, and the population suffers for it.

I’m appalled by what appears to be forced or at least welcomed naivety of the “unwell” marketplace. It’s accepted that you want to intervene chemically (using drugs) if you have a disease, but today the drug giants have convinced the “not-so-sick-but-not-so-well” people of the world that there’s a pill that fixes whatever the condition.

“You’re not quite diabetic, but you’re pre-diabetic. Take a pill.”

“You don’t have osteoporosis, but you have osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis). Listen to Sally Fields on the TV commercial. She’ll tell you what pill to “ask your doctor for.”

How about prescribing drugs for thin people who are “pre-fat” or nice people who are “pre-angry?” We as a society accept the prescription of “calm down” drugs for kids who are told by school psychologists that they need medication for the ADD or ADHD, so why not medicate drivers with pre-road rage or irksome people who are “pre-annoying?”

OK, so you’ve sensed my frustration, and you also know me well enough to know, I’m going to claim many of the solutions lie in understanding and committing to a sound exercise routine. You may also assert that I make this claim only because exercise is my gig. It’s what I do for a living. It’s what I’ve done for 25 years.

I assure you, I make the “exercise is best” claim for one reason. Because it’s true. If you have a venereal disease, you need an antibiotic. If you have a viral infection, an anti-viral is a sound choice. If you have pain as the result of injury, careful use of pain management medication can help you ease unnecessary suffering. If you have recently had an organ transplant, a cardiovascular incident, or a malignant invader, you want to trust the doctor to treat you with the best pharmaceutical options.

If, however, you’re like most Americans, and you have discomfort, dis-ease, blood irregularities, fat accumulation, muscle loss, energy loss, reduction in bone density, arthritis, inflammatory disease, sluggish thyroid, mild depression, if you get frequent colds, if you’re subject to strains and sprains, or if you just don’t find it as easy to run as you used to, exercise is, without question, a vital part of the most effective therapy, and due to the two challenges I outlined earlier, confusion and difficulty in finding true experts, it’s all-too-rarely integrated in a sound and effective manner .

I shared these sentiments with a group of trainers I guide and consult with, high level fitness professionals who are extraordinary in their commitment and in the caliber of service they deliver. I urged them to step up further, to stand on a platform where they can be comfortably respected as experts, to recognize the two challenges and adapt to the new world we live in.

If you’re at all frustrated with the progress you’re making from your chosen fitness or health improvement option (doing nothing should not be an option), recruit a true expert in your corner. What should you look for in a fitness “expert?”

Of course you want to find a credential which would either be a four-year or advanced degree in a fitness related field and/or a credible certification from ACE, NSCA, NASM, or a handful of other respected agencies, but that’s only a prerequisite. You want to find someone who has worked professionally with people like you who have achieved that which you most want to achieve. You want to check references, and at least one of them should be a professional reference from someone with a medical or academic credential. Is this a lot to ask? Yes, and it should be.

I know some trainers reading this are already getting offended. “I’ve worked out for years and I’m an expert” is an overriding sentiment that allows ego to prevent true expertise. An expert must adapt to the changing landscape, and someone who was a valuable expert a decade ago might have lost some footing if they aren’t able to help clients discern between the virtues and the pitfalls of newest foodstuffs marketed as healthy and the old reliables that are as important a part of a health regimen today as they were 1000 years ago.

With that recognition, you can look further. If you are admittedly confused, or victimized by misinformation, if your beliefs about exercise have been shaken a bit, and if you walk through the supermarket wondering whether carbs are good or bad or whether good carbs include healthy chips or bad carbs include fresh cut fruit, you need someone who will take responsibility for empowering you, guiding you, directing you, and making you accountable for follow through.

Here’s the 10-point list I shared with those trainers who I know strive to maintain the highest positions of excellence:
A viable fitness expert with the power to deliver results in the 21st century will exhibit:

1. Influence power and a willingness to move past the “can’t,” and the “but” that indicate limiting beliefs in their clients

2. An understanding that our scope of practice extends into the realm of helping people stay healthy and is not limited by the walls of a weight room

3. A recognition that staying healthy in today’s society requires a different understanding than it did 20 years ago when exercise physiology was a new field limiting itself to cardiovascular and strength conditioning

4. An ability to provide nutritional information in a manner that empowers people to understand their intake, to manage their intake, and to match their intake with their goals without ever prescribing any type of diet or specific regimen (unless the fitness professional also has a valid nutritional credential, i.e. R.D.)

5. A commitment to deliver whatever results we believe possible in line with our clients’ reasonable wants and desires

6. An integration of psychology into the sciences we rely upon to help people find betterment, an ability to recognize mindset variances and motivation shifts

7. Responsibility for client adherence and outcome

8. A willingness to deliver extreme value in exchange for just compensation

9. An ability to respect medical professionals while recognizing and positively adapting to some of the shortcomings inherent in the medical field

10. An unrelenting want to do what’s right and the willingness to connect with proven protocols even when they challenge what is conventional

Personal responsibility is warranted today more than ever. It’s easy to listen to the first opinion aimed in our direction, but easy doesn’t serve people as much as expertise. Expertise can be acquired, borrowed, or connected with. Do the necessary homework. Don’t choose your expert lightly. Finding the right one is well worth the effort as it gives you power and control over your future health, fitness, and well being.

My ALIVE protocol is designed to empower people, to help them benefit from the workings of the experts I continue to learn from. I strive to make this resource accessible to anyone seeking physical betterment. It is not the only program that is founded in sound principles and proven science, but it is one I stand behind 100%.

Article complete, I must respond to my most recent text messages.  The thought that prompts as I prepare to hit “send” on my cell phone is, “if only they’d find a pre-PMS drug (or a Pre-Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder drug) the new world would be a much better place.”

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Back In Time

February 20, 2010

This blog includes excerpts from an article in which I offer a remote live teleconference / seminar teaching people to make radical positive changes in their physical condition. But first . . . we go back in time . . .

In 1984 I dated a girl I met at the Heartbreak Café in New York. She was a model and the day after our first date she was featured in a fashion segment on a show called Midday Live with Bill Boggs. I watched the show with hormones raging.

I was captivated. I was 24 years old, my testosterone levels were out of control to begin with, and she became a hormone-prompter. The chemistry between us was raw, hot, and . . . explosive (OK, I guess the appropriate word is “lust” but I was trying to be tactful).

Days later a jealous ex-boyfriend showed up and confronted me while Mr. Hormones (that’s me) and the object of my affliction (that’s Miss Lusted-After) were wrapped up in each other at a restaurant. The ex-boyfriend, no doubt also riddled with hormonal angst, wound up flying through the front window. Literally. Glass everywhere. Lots of chaos.

I heard sirens as I got into my Oldsmobile Omega and drove away.

So ended the relationship. Even now, more than 20 years later, when I think of the incident it plays out moment by moment. There were so many of those moments where I could have changed course. I could have walked away. I could have grabbed his shirt and thrown him to the floor instead of into the window. I could have, would have, should have . . . and the overriding thought is, I wish I could go back and undo it.

I can’t.

What might have been? Who knows? It happened the way it happened and there wasn’t any way to rewind.

Even though I doubt you’ve ever thrown someone through a restaurant window (not recommended), you had the thought “I wish I could go back” plague you at times. Maybe you wouldn’t have consumed as much tequila as you did, or maybe you might have stopped one shot short of “I don’t remember.” Maybe you wouldn’t have taken a certain job, or said the abrasive thing you said, or allowed your hormones to move in front of your rational mind.

Now . . . I have bad news . . . and very very good news.

You can’t go back and undo the incidents of your life. That’s the bad news. You can repent, apologize, do better, and if necessary plead for forgiveness, but you cannot go back in time and ask for a replay.

Now, the good news. I saved money on my car insurance.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

The good news is . . . when it comes to gradual physical damage, when it comes to the abuse you might have inadvertently put your body through by eating poorly, making bad decisions, or sitting still when you should have been moving, you can undo virtually all of it. I’m suggesting you can literally become younger, bring your body back in time.

Bad news and good news out of the way . . . next I have some troubling news, news I want you to ponder, and unless you find evidence to the contrary, consider as fact.

Conventional medicine, as it functions today, is NOT utilizing the most successful and proven systems and tools for restoring youth, for minimizing or reversing the most common diseases, or for curing the conditions that plague so many. I’m talking about the 21st century diseases that seem to not only have run rampant, but have come to be accepted as necessary parts of the aging process.

Excess bodyfat. Abdominal adiposity. Type 2 diabetes. Hyperglycemia. Arthritis. Osteopenia, osteo-arthritis and osteoporosis. Inflammatory disease. Hypothyroidism. Metabolic Syndrome.

I can keep going. These, per protocol, are “treated” with medications, and the system has moved from a “know the patient and work to cure” paradigm to a “diagnose and medicate” paradigm.

A Diagnosis Prompted A New Protocol

After two decades in the fitness industry, I, for the first time ever, became “a patient.” It allowed me to see things from the other side.

In 2006 I developed odd symptoms including shakiness, involuntary muscle twitches, difficulty catching my breath, and ultimately tremors. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease after going from doctor to doctor, lab to lab, and test to test.

They looked at my brain magnetically and electronically, hooking me up to electrodes, lying me down in noisy metal narrow tunnels, and asking me to follow lights with my eyes. Along the way to the Parkinson’s diagnosis I was also told I had emphysema, allergies to dust, cats, and ragweed, and anxiety. I was given prescriptions for inhalers, anti-depressants, and beta-blockers. I never filled any of the prescriptions and I refused to stop searching.

I wasn’t OK with the statement the neurologist made when he delivered my diagnosis. “Don’t worry, there are lots of medications and you can have a good quality of life for many years.” That gave me chills, and not in a good way.

I read, I studied, I got on airplanes, I found experts, and ultimately I found I didn’t have Parkinson’s disease at all. It was a mis-diagnosis. I had inhaled mycotoxins from mold when my office was destroyed and flooded by Hurricane Wilma. After a week using two compounds prescribed by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, I was fine. Dr. Shoemaker, the author of Mold Warriors, is an amazing family doctor with a modest practice in Pocomoke City, Maryland, a country town you’d miss if you sneezed driving through. 14 days after I first shook Dr. Shoemaker’s hand my tremors were gone. My thinking was clear. My workouts took on a renewed vigor. I was joyous . . . but it opened up a new path for my career.

I thought about all the people who might have stopped at the Parkinson’s diagnosis. I wondered how many people had been misdiagnosed with Lupus, MS, Parkinson’s, or other disheartening labels, simply because they got ushered along by the medical paradigm. Those who have the diseases will find great value in the meds that serve to manage their conditions, but had I stopped at the diagnosis I’d be taking handfuls of drugs today believing I’m “managing” a condition I never really had.

Through that frustrating yet enlightening experience, I realized the shortcomings in our current medical system, and I started speaking . . . not to trainers, not to the audiences I’d previously spoken before, but to physicians. I had a new message that complemented everything I had preached and promised in my career thus far, and it was embraced, more than I’d anticipated.

I looked at the science. I opened up new discussions with biochemists. I came to realize, there is a strategic integration of exercise and eating that makes people “better.” It goes far beyond “walking and eating healthy foods,” but once understood it is anything but complex. I am not promising the exercise and eating strategy I’ve developed will cure anything you have been diagnosed with, but I’ve seen, first hand, the impact it has had on people who felt stuck and longed for physical improvement.

This is not a miracle program, but rather a flexible protocol, that works not only to improve energy, physical function, and body composition, but also works to restore biochemistry back toward optimal. Most of the conditions that plague our unfit overfat nation are unintentionally self-induced, and they develop gradually, over time.

Our population has grown far too comfortable with a “so what” attitude. They’ve been led to believe that there’s a “fix” for everything that ails them, and it’s doled out over the pharmacy counter.

If you believe a pill or capsule will “cure,” you’re likely misinformed.

Most of the most-prescribed medications “manage” conditions.

They do not serve to move you back along the continuum toward health, but they help to alleviate the symptoms and perhaps slow the process of degeneration.They do not mak e you younger, they do not make you better, and they do not treat the root causes of the evolution of the dis-ease.

Getting Younger

I’ve alluded several times to the concept of restoring youth. Allow me to clarify a bit, as I know the anti-aging claims run rampant everywhere from salons to the emerging “hormone replacement centers.”

Your body ages through oxidation.

In a sense, single oxygen molecules, known in the medical and scientific communities as free-radicals, break down cellular structures much as rust eats away at metal (see very cool rendering at right).

Combine that with erratic blood sugar sparked by the typical American diet, and failure to activate some of the body’s cleansing systems through movement, and the aging process takes on momentum.

Nobody can make you chronologically younger, or I’d go back to my 24th birthday and do a better job of handling the jealous ex-boyfriend in the restaurant, but you can begin creating new cellular structures that are the equivalent of “younger” cells. In other words, you can become biologically younger and return to a sense of well being that you had years ago, and through gradual betterment there are few limits as to how far you can take the process of rejuvenation.

Now, we arrive at an exciting point in time. I’m ready to throw the doors open, or perhaps crack them open slowly.

The last few years I’ve reduced my travel, reduced my live seminars, reduced my media appearances, and committed to two of what I feel are the most important things I can do with my life. One, I’m committed to being the best dad I can possibly be to my daughter who’s turning six. Two, I’m committed to understanding the human body at a higher level so I can help people reverse their movement to or toward dis-ease, so I can serve as a true complement to the presently flawed medical community.

In the pursuit of furthering the evolution of the relationship between fitness and medicine, I’ve developed a stunning protocol that has not only stunned the 184 people I’ve personally taken through it, but it has stunned their doctors, their spouses, their friends, and their families. It’s allowed most of those who were taking umpteen medications to eliminate or reduce their meds. It’s allowed people who thought they were stuck, for life, with diagnosed conditions, to eliminate the conditions completely.

If you’re starting to think this is a protocol for sick people, stay with me. This is a protocol for humans. It improves performance in athletes, it helps moms get back into pre-mom condition, it puts the body in a state where it readily burns fat as fuel, it increases metabolism, energy, endocrine function, and endurance.

OK, now you justifiably wonder, “can this really exist?”

I’ll prove it to you. I’m about to conduct my first-ever “ALIVE – A Journey Back in Time” teleconference. I’m going to share the technology behind my ALIVE protocol (ALIVE is an acronym for Aggressive LIfestyle Intervention through Variable Exercise). I’m going to teach 40 people, of varied shapes and sizes, of varied physical conditions, to find dramatic improvement in their appearance, fitness, health, and well-being.

Here’s the ambitious part. I want to do this with people I haven’t yet met.

Rather than releasing this with a South Florida seminar, which will happen in the near future, I want to offer a 90-minute live teleconference with a visual web component to 40 people seeking betterment, 40 people I’ve never met, 40 people who are ready to take on a journey that defies convention but delivers results beyond expectation.

Timely, Effective, and Affordable

I told you that over the past two years I’ve worked with a significant number of people one-on-one. Those people who I guided through the 8 week ALIVE protocol invested $2425. I’m about to shock you.

If you’ve read this far, I suspect you have interest. You can find more by visiting my site, or . . .

Register right now.

Blew What?

February 13, 2010

Three words ring out days or weeks after January 1st – I blew it.

Blew what?

The resolution. The diet. The promise. The exercise plan. The quest for health. The pursuit of fitness.

The words aren’t limited to the onset of a new year. They arrive after commitments to betterment run into an acceptance of a failed attempt. They arrive after a promise to change is followed by abandonment of the promised journey.

Here’s my take on blowing it. You’ve only blown it if you stop, and fail to start with a new attempt or a modifcation in the approach. You’ve only blown it if you stop learning and acting. I’m not going to give you the “Thomas Edison failed umpteen thousand times before he invented the lightbulb” story, or the “Sylvester Stallone was rejected for Rocky again and again and again” saga. Instead I’ll put it on you with a simple question.

Do you really want it?

If “it” is better health, better fitness, better confidence, better well-being, better muscularity, better sexuality, better performance, or better all around sense of power, you know you really want it.

Most people blow it. You don’t want to be most people. You may, however, find comfort among the masses. You’re certainly not alone if you resign yourself to “I tried.”

Oh, there are lots of excuses, and many of them are “good ones.” You might have been diagnosed with a “condition.” Perhaps you blame your thyroid, your parents, your hormones, or your spouse. Perhaps your family doesn’t enjoy “healthy foods” or your job requires that you eat donuts.

Excuses support the non-phenomenon of “blowing it.” They are thoughts that may, in the moment, make you OK with what would have otherwise been a blatant sense of failure. If you want to wallow in those excuses, if you want to coddle those thoughts and allow them to recirculate, and if you want to rationalize by deciding there are others worse off than you so what’s the big deal if you find comfort in Edy’s Grand . . . every night . . . far be it from me to challenge you. All I ask is that you accept that you’re making a choice.

I’ll make a promise. You can be better. I’ll make another promise. If you want to be better, it’s in your court. I know you can, only because I understnad the human machine. I understand metabolism. I understand the process of positive physical change. If you want to gain some new momentum, if you want to kick the excuses to another universe, then a few forward steps can ensure that you never blow it again.

There are three massive mistakes that are so common almost everyone I consult with has made them:

1. They fail to eat enough

2. They exercise more than they have to and typically fail to adequately recuperate

3. They have absurd expectations, accept absurd beliefs that something’s supposed to change in the blink of an eye, and if they do, in fact, find a valid and supportive program, they fail to recognize the milestones and decide it didn’t work way before visible results could manifest.

Any of those ring true for you? Let’s try a few things.

First, consider that a 150 pound man lying in a hammock would burn about 1500 calories in a 24 hour period. If he’s going to sustain his metabolic need, he has to consume at least 1500 calories in a day. If he gets up and moves, he’s going to require significantly more than the 1500 calories he requires to lay still. Now, let’s suppose this 150 pounder dcides he’s going to consume 800 calories a day. He’ll survive. His body will opt to create fuel from amino acids, and after a short while, it will consume muscle tissue as fuel. That’s a win if his only goal is survival, especially because the reduction in muscle reduces his caloric need. In addition, his endocrine system will work to avoid starvation by adjusting production of thyroid hormones and slowing metabolism. Eventually, he’ll have reset his metabolic thermostat so in a modified body, with a slower metabolism, he survives on 800 calories. I said that’s good . . . if survival is the goal . . . but if the 150 pound man doesn’t want to get fat . . . the muscle loss and endocrine shift is anything but good. Eventually, he’ll go back to eating more, and the 1500 calories that once sustained him in a state of extended rest, will now lead to the accumulation of fat. With repetitive bouts of dieting, he’ll gradually turn himself into a fat guy who says, “I’m going to start my diet new years,” and winds up “blowing it.”

But Phil, I’m not a 150 pound man!

The illustration using the 150 pound man becomes even more disheartening when we apply it to someone who begins the process in an overweight condition. The reduction in calories slows an already compromised metabolism and as muscle diminishes, the body programs itself to become quite efficient at adding fat.

What does all of this mean? It simply means a calorie restrictive diet is NOT going to be a solution if long term healthful fat loss is a goal . . . thus . . . failing to eat enough is an element leading to perceived failure.

Ideally, someone seeking fat loss will consume frequent meals made up of delicious (yes, I said delicious) combinations of lean proteins, natural slow-release carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Frequent meals throughout the day help to supply fuel and materail for building new healthy cells. Most people who come to understand the “synergy” that combines supportive eating with the right type of exercise are initially shocked by the volume of food they consume as they lose fat.

Maybe you’ve been with me for some time. Maybe you attended one of my seminars. Maybe you’ve heard this before. Good. If it didn’t sink in yet, and you “blew it,” unblow it! Apply it now, and know that supportive eating is only one of three pieces of the synergy. That leads to further exploration of mistake #2, too much exercise, too little recuperative downtime.

This will shock you. I am having the best success in boosting endurance and in burning fat by taking my clients through 12-minute aerobic sessions. Yes, 12 minutes. I know it flies in the face of convention. I know it goes against everything you’ve heard about “burning glucose first and not releasing fat until you’ve spend 15-20 minutes in your target zone.” Here’s what I say. It’s working! It’s backed by science . . . and . . . look at our population before you assume convention is working.

The 12 minute sessions including metabolic “pumps,” short duration all-out efforts where the clients kick the energy output to their perceived max for 12-15 second bursts. This seems to activate the “fight or flight” systems and amplify the production of catecholamines. It sparks a release of “fuel” and allows for enhanced fat burning. It also, over an 8-week period, has been consistent in increasing VO2 Max, a measure of aerobic endurance. The short sessions allow for individuals with active lives and fair amounts of stress to recuperate adequately. Long duration frequent intense workout may require a full 8 hours of sleep and a sufficient management of stress to allow for an optimal internal environment for fat release and health.

I said there are three pieces to the Synergistic process that “works,” the first piece being supportive eating, the second piece being moderate aerobic exercise, and the third part I’ve always called A Concern for Muscle. Here too, most of those who try and fail do far too much. The resistance portion of the ALIVE protocol, the protocol I’m using to help people find movement toward their physical best, typically incorporates 6 – 8 movmeents and workouts that rarely exceed 20 minutes. Conventional? No. Effective? You bet.

That leaves us with one more mistake to explore . . . false expectations and failure to follow through.

The explosion of diets over the past decade and the emergence of fitness magazines, websites, infomercials, and supplement ads have contributed to the blaring repetition of an all-too-familiar theme. “It’s quick.” Stimulants, appetite suppressants, drugs, and extremes have reinforced the illusion, and the tricks that lead to rapid loss of pounds are the same hazards that lead to a sense that the program “stopped working.” Quick weight loss is always going to be water loss, and continued quick weight loss is going to almost always include loss of muscle. Quick muscle gain using prohormones or anabolic drugs are almost always going to be short-lived or, reliance upon hormone and drugs may cause lasting compromise of the endocrine system. Because people “see” quick results, they believe they too should achieve dramatic changein unreasonably shor ttime periods.

21 days is enough time to note improvement if you have a fair gauge for progress. 8 weeks is enough to show dramatic change. 16 weeks is enough for most people to recognize that they are not only better, but far better than they anticipated. Of course, the time period only leads to thrilling results if the approach is sound, if the synergy of positive physical change is respected and employed.

If you made it this far, I know you’re in touch with your sense of want, and now you have a bit of new information. If you’ve been plagued by one of more of the mistakes, you need only to make some shifts to move toward the betterment you want for.

I’m here to help. The Synergy you’ll rely upon is outlined completely in all of my programs. Whether you opt for ALIVE, the ANSWER, Transform, the remote 21 Day Journey, or one of my live programs, I’ll make you one more promise. Betterment begins when you accept new possibility and take a step forward with a true technology of physical change. I’ve been sharing that technology now for over 25 years. Put excuses to bed, allow the past to be the road that led you here, and get started on a program that can take you to true excellence.

Proteins, Carbs, or Supplements?

February 12, 2010

C’mon, use your head! It’s so simple. I’m referring, of course, to the “what should I eat” question. Over the years I’ve written hundreds (literally) of articles on the topic. The answers haven’t changed. All that has changed is the insanity of the marketplace. In restoring sensibility, simplicity, and of course, optimal benefit, here’s the simplest lesson I could possibly provide . . .

The macronutrients have calories, and there are three categories of macronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

STOP. Digest. Got it? OK, then we move on . . .

The mechanisms carried out in the act of metabolism, cell development and maintenance, and energy production (the utilization of the macronutrients) requires micronutrients, namely vitamins and minerals (including phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, and all of the super-long names they give compounds found in fruits and vegetables).

Then, there are supplements . . . presented as if they are scientific marvels, groundbreaking discoveries, or ancient secrets of some hidden land buried deep in the magical mountains where the indiginous people live in utter ecstasy.

So much of supplement marketing is hype. Supplements, in the great majority of cases, are nutrients. Yes, they are bottles of our old friend the macronutrients and/or the micronutrients.

Protein is the materials from which cells are primarily constructed (i.e. skin, muscle, etc.).

Carbohydrates and fats are the preferred energy substrates.

When we consume meals, we want to get an adequate mix of the cell-supporting proteins, the energy producing carbohydrates, and the essential fats (the fats our bodies cannot synthesize). These are found in foods, granted, much of the value is compromised as foods are produced more for packaging and marketing than for optimal human consumption.

I eased into the creation of nutritional supplements only after years of hearing the “is chromium good,” and “what product will burn fat” questions. When I developed my formulas, I didn’t add magic, I didn’t add super-duper-longest-words-in-the-dictionary compounds that I could use to create the illusion of superiority. I constructed powders that contain macronutrients and micronutrients in outcome-specific blends.

For years, without any advertising at all, I’ve continued to build and supply a loyal customer base with my EAT! And RELOAD formulas.

Here’s how I’ll conclude this simple, but I hope clarity-forming article.

1. If you consider supplements, consider not the magic or the history, but rather the nutrients and compare them to your intended outcome.

2. Any episode of positive physical change (performance, body composition, healthful lasting weight loss, muscle growth) is going to require attention to supplying adequate macro and micronutrients and recovery (post-exercise).

3. Supplements, despite all you’ve heard about the soil, the planet, the elements, and the impending need for unobtanium on Pandora (a reference you’ll get only if you’ve seen Avatar), are “the extra.” Nutrients are a need. Supplements are simply an alternate means of supplying them.

I stepped into supplement production only for my customers and clients and have maintained the same four products for over 15 years without any advertising.  EAT! and RELOAD! are my best sellers.