Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brain Science And New Year's Resolutions by Tom Venuto

If you're not just going through the motions of making New Year's resolutions; if you're really serious about making changes this year, read Tom Venuto's article below for tips on effective goal setting.

Brain Science And New Year's Resolutions
A Study in Goal Setting By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, "I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps it's because escape is easier than change."

Success psychologists say that 95% - 97% of the people in the world do NOT have written goals and fail, while 3-5% have written goals and succeed.

If these statistics are correct, then Mr Rohn's observation really IS quite fascinating isn't it?

Unfortunately for most people, the odds for success are actually even lower, because out of the few people who do set goals, most don't take goal setting seriously, they don't do it scientifically and they only do it once a year.

Goal setting is so important, that I always teach goal setting and mind dynamics first, and only THEN, do I teach nutrition and training second.

It doesn't matter how much you know about nutrition or exercise. Until specialized fitness knowledge is linked with goals and directions, the knowledge is useless and you won't accomplish very much or keep the changes long term.

In fact, I devoted the entire first chapter of my book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, to the subject of goals and constructive "mind programming" for successful, permanent behavior change.

I've also studied neuro linguistic programming (NLP) for many years and more recently spent many months researching the latest information about neuroscience to see just how much of the traditional self help and goal setting wisdom is actually backed by brain research.

As you start thinking about your goals for 2007 right Now, I'd like to help you start the year off right by sharing two very valuable, science based tips on achieving your goals:

SCIENTIFIC GOAL SETTING TIP #1: Repetition is an effective way to "plant" a goal in the non-conscious mind

Why don't most resolutions stick? Psychology and neuroscience today are giving us the answers.

Thanks to new technologies in brain imaging, such as PET scans, SPECT scans and functional MRI's, we can now actually see your thoughts as electrochemical impulses and we can see the formation of new neural connections in real time right before our eyes.

We can also see where, geographically, in your brain, a particular type of thought is occurring.

Most importantly, we can see how long it takes to form strong neural patterns and what types of stimuli cause the patterns to form more quickly

Here's what we've discovered:

Setting a goal once is a conscious activity. Willpower is also a conscious activity. But research has shown that at least 5/6 of your brain power is in the non conscious mind and that the information and instructions that reach the non conscious mind are responsible for your automatic behavior.

Some psychologists believe that 95% of our behaviors are unconscious and automatic... more commonly known as habits.

Long term behavior changes don't take place when you set goals one time as with most new years resolutions. There's an old saying in "self help" circles that it takes at least 21-30 days to form a habit. This has now been proven to be fairly accurate on a neurological basis.

New neural patterns begin to form only after they've been repeated enough times. They continue to strengthen with further repetition. If you make resolutions on January 1st and you don't continue to repeat and reinforce your desire for those "goals," no new neural connection is formed, no new habits are formed, no new behaviors are formed....

Your resolutions wither away and die and any results obtained through willpower (trying to force the new behaviors through conscious effort), are quickly lost when you slip back to your old ways.

What you repeat over and over again is programmed into the subconscious mind and begins to take root. On a practical level, this means RE-writing your goals everyday and thinking about them in positive terms and in mental pictures, every day, repeatedly until the habit is formed and turned over to "auto-pilot."

In 1956, when Earl Nightingale wrote "The Strangest Secret is that we become what we think about most of the time," we didn't know what we know now about the brain.

Nevertheless, Earl was right.

You don't change your body by trying to change your body. You change your body by creating new habitual patterns of thinking and visualizing.

Trying to force new behaviors with willpower while continuing with your old ways of thinking will always fail because your automatic behavior is mostly under non-conscious control.

It's not the resolution you set once... it's the goals (mental thoughts and images) you focus on all day long that create the long term (and automatic) behavioral change... when you change your behaviors, you change your body and your life...

SCIENTIFIC GOAL SETTING TIP #2: Emotion is a goal-turbocharger

Is there any way around this tedious process of "mental programming" through repetition? Not really. The fields of NLP and hypnosis have given us some tools for creating more rapid changes, but ultimately you have to begin to "run your own brain" and change your habitual way of thinking. No one else can do it for you and there's no way around it.

There is however, a scientifically proven way to to speed up the process and that is with the use of strong emotion.

Since modern imaging technology can see activity in the brain and scientists have located the seat of emotions in the brain, we know that the strength and number of neural connections associated with a thought or behavior are increased when you're in a highly emotional state.

The neuron connections are also stronger, longer lasting and it takes longer to lose a neural connection when it was formed with great emotion.

With this knowledge, we see another reason why new years resolutions fail: They are set casually with no emotion and no strong emotional "reason why" that gives you the leverage to you need to make a change permanent.

On January 1st, you may think you're setting "real" goals, but if you're like most people, you're not only doing it a mere once a year and then losing focus, you're also likely to be making flimsy, wishy-washy, emotion-less "resolutions."

Zig Ziglar once said that, "A goal casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle."

You might want to back up and read that quote again, maybe even write it down or print it out, because this one hits the bull's-eye!

This truly explains why New Year's resolutions almost never work, and why so few people can keep off the pounds after they get rid of them.

Goal setting should not be casual or lightly taken. Goal setting is an important and serious matter. This is not a game - this is your life, and you only have one life to live.

Goal setting is also not a one time event - it is an ongoing process of literally "re-wiring your brain." With the discovery of brain plasticity, we now know that this is science fact, not self-help fiction.

Make the time to set REAL goals, today! Take it seriously, do it scientifically, re-write your goals every day, think about them constantly, and then take massive action

Do it and this will be the most successful year of your life!

Tom Venuto, CSCS, CPT, is a natural bodybuilder, certified personal tainer, certified strength coach, certified master practitioner of NLP and author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle: Fat Burning Secrets Of The World's Best Bodybuilders And Fitness Models". Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and turbo-charge your metabolism by visiting:


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Are You Smarter Than A 5 Year Old?

No fitness or health related info today. I simply wanted to share the story below with you. The insight, empathy and grace displayed by this 5 year old child amazes me.

Five Year Old Cancer Patient Leaves Hundreds of Notes for Her Family
by Susan Wagner

When five-year-old Elena Desserich was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, she set out to help her family deal with her death in a truly remarkable way. The kindergartener started writing -- she created "The Kindergarten Survival Guide" for younger sister Grace -- and drawing.

When Elena's cancer robbed her of the ability to speak, she used drawing and painting to communicate with her family. One of her paintings, titled "I Love You," was hung in the Cincinnati Art Museum, next to a painting by Pablo Picasso, one of Elena's favorite artists.

But she also wrote hundreds of notes for her family and hid them in various places around their home in Wyoming; her parents didn't know about the notes until after Elena died. "We were moving some boxes around one day and in between some of the books a note fell out," recalls mom Brooke Desserich. "Each time I would read one of those notes, it was like a little hug from her."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

22 Diet Secrets by Bonnie Lefrak

Bonnie Lefrak is a former pro-natural bodybuilder and owner of Punch Kettlebell Gym in Worcester, MA. She's compiled a list of 22 nutrition and training secrets.

22 Diet Secrets

Secret #1 There are no secrets.

Hmmm.. How will I get you to read the rest? I am not trying to depress you, but bottom line…there is NO super special workout or diet that is THE ANSWER.

Generally there are a few factors that people need to address, to unlock the secret to their personal success. Maybe you are not strength training? Maybe you eat processed foods?

Maybe your hormones are out of control? Maybe you are not getting enough sleep.

Often it is a few factors that can be addressed for ultimate success.

Secret #2 “Fat Burners” are generally money burners!

Sorry to say, there really is no magic pill that dissolves fat. The supplement industry is a billon dollar industry and growing. With the internet and magazines, these companies can appeal to us with their consistent advertising and false promises. Think about it. If a pill could melt fat, why is everyone struggling to lose weight, why is obesity at epidemic proportions?

If anything a fat burner will have caffeine (usually 200-300mg!) and therefore you may feel more energetic and perhaps work out harder. But you could also add more stress to your body and end up with a host of medical maladies, and still be fat.

Save your money. If you are a bit pooped and need a cup of coffee, ok get it- but beware you will build a tolerance to caffeine and need more and more and more.

This could give you problems when trying to fall asleep. Poor sleep will add to your problems.

If you already are very stressed out, adding “fat burners” could further tax your adrenal glands causing what is known as adrenal fatigue, which could lead to thyroid disorders as well.

Our bodily functions and systems do not operate in isolation. Even in terms of healthy weight loss our bodies will often make shifts and changes to protect us from what it perceives as famine or starvation!

In the end, save your money.

Secret #3 Whatever seems to be working now will stop working.

Our bodies are wicked cool! They adapt as part of our ability to survive. (As mentioned above in Secret #2, when losing weight the body fears famine!)

So, when you start a new workout program or a new nutrition program you often see changes right away… and then as your body adapts (literally it figures out what you are up to!).

The progress you were experiencing will slow down until it stops and you have reached the dreaded “plateau”.

Every 4-6 weeks it is a good idea to make at least one small change. You do not have to change drastically or EVERYTHING in order to keep your body guessing.

If you are doing 3 strength workouts a week, see what happens if you add an extra day. Or if you have not been doing any cardio, add some…

But beware, we cannot keep adding and adding and adding to infinitum.

There are only so many days in the week, so many hours in the day.

You will also have to back off some weeks, and change the program up, rather than Add more work! (see Secret #4 for MORE…)

You can read the other 19 secrets at 22 Diet Secrets

Friday, December 26, 2008

You Want The Secret To Fat Loss?

Craig Ballantyne's Secret to Fat Loss

You want the secret to fat loss?

Well, you're not going to like it.

It has nothing to do with Green Tea, acai berry gummy berry juice, or the Master Cleanse.

Instead, the secret to fat loss is a state of mind. Once you're in it, you can't fail.

So here it is...

"Once you accept how HARD it is to lose fat, then it becomes easy."

Do you understand what I mean?

It's like saving money.

Once you understand and accept how much discipline is required to save money then it's easy and becomes 2nd nature to do so. You understand the difficulty but just do it automatically.

It's the same with fat loss.

Once you understand that you must...

- Plan, shop, and prepare your meals in advance...
- Do three high-intensity workouts per week...
- Keep yourself active on off days and keep your butt off the couch for at least 30 minutes...
- Develop rituals that help you avoid night-time eating...
- Take time to set goals and to plan solutions for every obstacle that gets in your way each week...

Only then will fat loss become 2nd nature to you, so much so that you couldn't get fat if you tried!

Seriously, once you "get it", you literally couldn't get fat if you tried, because your mind is on autopilot to stop you from binge eating or from skipping workouts.

So work on that...apply that secret mindset and you'll succeed. You'll lose as much body fat as you want.

Heck, you can apply this to any aspect of your life and you'll experience success beyond your wildest dreams.

If only you accept the reality of the situation.

The secret doesn't come in a pill, potion, or powder.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

Craig is graciously offering FREE 10-Minute Turbulence Training Workouts. You can get them here --> 10 Minute TT Workouts. Try them out and you'll see for yourself why I highly recommend Craig's program.

The 4th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest has officially begun but you can still sign up. Craig has now split the contest into Male and Female categories so the best male and female success story will each win $1000! You can check out previous winners' before and after photos, read their stories and sign up here --> Turbulence Training Transformation Contest

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy, happy new year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ditch the Dips

The Bench Dip is a very common exercise in many workout routines. Because you can use a park bench, an aerobic step, a short wall or even a chair, it's a staple in many group fitness classes as well as bodyweight and bootcamp programs.

There are also ways to make it harder or easier depending on the participant's fitness level.

We used to do it with our hands on one bench and our feet on another; the guys did it with a 45 pound plate on their legs.

Up until 3 or 4 years ago, I still had some clients doing Bench Dips but I don't anymore. I'm sure that some people could do them occasionally with no ill effects but why take the risk? When the guy called "the smartest man in fitness" by many other fitness pros talks, I listen. I even named my blog based on a post he wrote. You can read it here.

Anyway, regarding this exercise, Bill Hartman says:

The bench dip requires about 90 degrees of shoulder extension which exceeds normal shoulder extension by about 25 degrees.

To achieve that much range of motion the scapula must tilt forward which is a pretty unstable position. This also means that the shoulder joint is unstable and increases demands on the rotator cuff especially the subscapularis.

Over time this is a lot of undesirable stress leading to impingement of the cuff. This doesn't even consider the stress on the AC joint. It's also a crap exercise for overload.

Try Parallel Dips or Close Grip Pushups instead of Bench Dips.


Monday, December 22, 2008

No More Pink Dumbbells

I recently came across the post below on the Fit Freshman blog.

Although there aren't a lot of posts there, much of the info is worthwhile.

No more pink dumbbells

I am about to go on a rant regarding how fat loss and weigh training is usually depicted to young women.

Fat loss follows a pretty simple formula, here goes.

1: Eat higher quality foods more often
2: Engage in moderate to high intensity conditioning a few times a week for at least 20 mins
3: Train with weights at least 3x a week with a focus on progressively increasing the resistance or intensity
4: Rest properly

Thats it.

Now if you have noticed , the majority of books, tapes and magazines have women doing the exact opposite. They recommend:

1: run or engage in low intensity cardio like jogging
2: Eat small portions of foods that will stop your fat loss like granola and yogurt
3: Train with weights a few times a week with (you guessed it) pink dumbbells
4: No mention of rest

Remember the body needs to be constantly challenged if it is going to change. Pink dumbbells are not a challenge.

That's all

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gift Suggestions for the Fitness Enthusiast

I'm reposting my fitness-related gift suggestions because, if you're like me, you still have holiday shopping to do.

All of these are under $25 (unless you're 6'9" or taller) except for the Plate Mates, which are About $25 per pair.

GymBoss Interval Timer

I'm not usually not one of those people who gets off on gadgets but I love my GymBoss. If you're a regular reader, you know that I'm a big proponent of interval training. Cardio intervals, bodyweight intervals, Tabata training, etc. The GymBoss is an inexpensive and convenient way to keep track of your intervals.

You can set it for 1 time or 2 different times. For example, you can program it to beep every 30 seconds if you're doing a bodyweight circuit or you can program it for a 20 second work and 10 second rest Tabata workout or any combination of times for other interval training. There is also a handy clip, which is helpful when I'm running outside.

To get the most out of your workout, you need to focus on the exercise at hand. Trying to keep track of the time is an unnecessary distraction which the GymBoss eliminates.

You can get your's here.

Plate Mates

In lower weight dumbbells, you can easily find a slightly heavier weight to progress to. At Body & Soul, I have 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12 pound dumbbells. However, once you hit 15 pounds, the dumbbells increase by 5 pounds.

That can be a big jump, especially for some exercises and that's where Plate Mates come in. Each pair contains two 1 1/4 pound magnetic weights that attach to each end of the dumbbell. So, instead of trying to jump from 15 pounds up to 20, you can make 17.5 pound dumbbells using Plate Mates.

Just a reminder- because they are magnetic, they only work on metal dumbbells. Also, you'll need to get two pairs because you need two Plate Mates per dumbbell.

PlateMate Micro Loading 5/8 Pound Hex Weight Plate - 1 Pair

Flashing Safety Light

If you're buying for someone who bikes, walks or runs after dusk, they really should have a good clip on flasher to improve their visibility. This one has 6 different flashing settings or can be set to glow steadily:

Flashing Safety Light

Thera-Band Stability Balls

When I first saw exercise balls popping up at gyms, I thought they were probably just another gimmick. I was wrong. While I have no use for the crazy acrobatic "functional" exercises some trainers have their clients perform, I have found stability balls to be a valuable addition to any gym. If you work out at home, an exercise ball is an excellent way to greatly increase the number of exercises you can do.

I have always used Thera-Band stability balls at Body & Soul. It's a quality product used by many physical therapists and very sturdy.

I've read comments by exercisers who had to constantly refill their balls or whose cat burst multiple cheap exercise balls, etc. I only rarely have to top off my Thera-Band balls with some air but they get used every day by many members.

If you are 5'1" - 5'6", you would get a 55cm (red).

For those 5'7 - 6'1", go with the 65cm (green).

If you have exceptionally long legs and are close to the upper height range, you may want to go with the next size up.

Thera-Band Exercise Balls

Spri Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are another item you can find at many discount stores and they may be fine. I haven't had a lot of experience with different brands. An aerobics instructor once told me that she had tried different kinds in her classes and found Spri bands to be the most durable. They're the ones I use at Body & Soul and I've been happy with the quality.

Each band below comes with a door attachment and exercise chart. Regardless of which brand you buy, you will probably do best to get at least two different resistances because you'll be able to use more resistance on some exercises than others- just like with dumbbells. (Please don't tell me that you do all your exercises with the same weight. If so, you're definitely doing yourself a disservice.)

The different colors signify different resistances, going from "light" to "very heavy"

SPRI ES500R Xertube Resistance Band with Door Attachment and Exercise Charts (Green, Light)

SPRI ES501R Xertube Resistance Band with Door Attachment and Exercise Charts (Red, Medium)

SPRI ES502R Xertube Resistance Band with Door Attachment and Exercise Charts (Blue, Heavy)

SPRI ES503R Xertube Resistance Band with Door Attachment and Exercise Charts (Purple, Very Heavy)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who Says You Can't Drop Fat Over The Holidays?

Who says you can't drop fat over the holidays?

No one should after checking out the finalists for the 3rd Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.

Click on the link below and help fat loss expert and TT creator, Craig Ballantyne, choose the winner.

TT Transformation Challenge

I think a guy is going to take the crown this time around.

Definitely impressive results from all of the finalists. Remember, these are not celebrities with personal chefs, fitness trainers and hours to spend working out. These are REAL people getting REAL results.

And look at these prizes:

1st Place Grand Prize - $2000 plus a 3-Year Platinum TT Membership

2nd Place - $1000 plus a 2-Year Platinum TT Membership

3rd Place - $500 plus a 1-Year Platinum TT Membership

Go vote here:

TT Transformation Challenge

Who will get the top 3 fat loss prizes? You can help decide.

The winner will be announced Thursday so get over there and vote.

TT Transformation Challenge

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stress Buster

If the stress of the holidays has gotten to you, watch this video. It's shorter than a minute but good for a laugh.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unethical and Uniformed Fitness Pros Tick Me Off

I'm all for people making lots of money. I don't care if they just got lucky or had rich benefactors who invested in them or whatever. As long as their product or service is legal and ethical, more power to them.

My problem is with people making money through services or products that cheat or harm people, regardless of the legality. For example, I have a problem with ill-informed fitness trainers who still promote hours of cardio for fat loss or tell women to use light weights or they'll bulk up.

I proudly get hung up on the ethics of business. I refuse to offer or promote worthless or harmful merchandise or services to members, clients or readers of my newsletter or blog.

Yes, people want to lose weight but that doesn't justify preying on them by selling worthless fat burning drinks or pills. I realize that a tan is still prized by many over the pasty look but I'm not going to lie about the safety of tanning beds just to make a few bucks.

I have never understood fitness centers equipped with tanning beds. If we're supposedly promoting health and wellness, how does increasing someone's risk of skin cancer fit in?

Just for the record, if you believe the tanning industry line that tanning beds are safe, you're misinformed. They are not. As dermatologist Jeffrey Dover, M.D. writes in his book The Youth Equation: Take 10 Years Off Your Face, "If there's enough light in that box to tan you, there's enough to cause skin cancer and wrinkling."

People are getting skin cancer from the use of tanning beds. Anyone who tells you differently is either lying or terribly misinformed.

In 2002, researchers at Dartmouth Medical School found that people who participated in indoor tanning were 2 1/2 times as likely to get squamous cell carcinoma and 1 1/2 times as likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than people who didn't tan. A study from Norway and Sweden of regular (as infrequently as once a month) indoor tanners found that they had a 55% greater chance of developing melanoma than non-tanners.

Obviously, some people will do things regardless of the risks and that is absolutely their right. It's also the right of health club owners to promote tanning even though it's an unhealthy and potentially disfiguring (not to mention potentially fatal) behavior. That doesn't make it right.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Fitness Tips from Mike Geary

I recently received the e-mail below containing some good reminders about holidays fitness and nutrition. As always, good advice from Mike Geary.

The time of year for fitness excuses is here... December is probably the worst time of year where most people use excuse after excuse as to why they are letting themselves get fat and out of shape during "the holidays".

So with this newsletter, I just want to give you some tips and motivation to do the opposite of what most people are going to do this December, and get yourself in BETTER shape during this busy season. This doesn't mean that you have to deprive yourself of anything during your parties with friends and family, but it DOES mean that you have to be sensible and stick to your fitness and nutrition plan when you're not in party mode.

First, the biggest excuse I've heard over the many years I've been doing fitness counseling is that they don't "have any time" to keep working out during the holidays.

Ok, I know we all may have a lot of family gatherings and holiday parties to go to during this time, but saying that you don't have time to keep yourself in shape is basically admitting that your health and fitness is not a priority in your life. If it was a priority, you'd make time.

So let's commit to a pact that we will not use the lack of time excuse this holiday season. Instead, if there are days that you don't feel that you have time to go to the gym for a full workout, schedule a 15 minute workout in for yourself at least 4 days/week either before or after work, or at whatever time you can fit in a 15 minute workout at home.

Anybody can fit in 15 minutes... that's all it takes. However, those 15 minutes need to be full of high intensity exercises that work your entire body. Even doing just some bodyweight circuits at home can keep you in great shape.

For example, you can rotate through 5 or 6 exercises such as lunges, bodyweight squats, pushups, mountain climbers, and lying leg thrusts in a circuit fashion, alternating between them for as many sets as you can do in that 15 minute time period.

If you work hard enough, you can get a great full body workout in only 15 minutes and then be ready to go for whatever holiday activities are on your schedule.

The second biggest excuse I've heard over the years from many people during the holidays is that there's no way they can control their eating during this time of year with parties and gatherings with all of the delicious food being offered everywhere. What many people have told me is that the 5 or 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years every year is just one massive free-for-all bingefest for them.

This doesn't make any sense though. For example, even if you were extremely busy with parties and gatherings and let's say you have 8 parties/gatherings to go to during these 5 weeks, that is still only 8 days out of 35 that you're going to be surrounded by party food for only a small time each day.

This means that if you're still eating super-healthy during the 27 other days and also during the other time available on the party days, you can easily still have at least 90% compliance with your healthy diet. If you can have 90% compliance, it is quite easy to stay lean instead of packing on the lbs during the holidays.

The important thing to keep reminding yourself is that the ONLY time you are going to cheat is during the parties and gatherings and not before, after, or for entire weeks at a time.

One thing I like to do if I know I'll be going to a holiday party or big meal is that I plan to get in a great weight training workout within a few hours (if possible) before going to the party. This way I know that my metabolism is already elevated from the weight training and some of the excess calories that I may consume can help towards muscle repair and glycogen replenishment instead of being deposited as body fat.

So I hope this email has helped to make sure that you stay on track with your fitness during the holidays. There are NO EXCUSES. There's no reason at all to wait until January to start on your fitness program, when it should really be a part of your everyday lifestyle.

Here's to getting in BETTER SHAPE, instead of worse this December!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder -

PS - if you liked today's article, feel free to fwd this email on to any of your friends, family, or co-workers that would enjoy it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Less Than 5 Hours Remaining...

The holiday special on Jayson Hunter's Carb Rotation Diet ends tonight at 11:59 PM. If you're looking for a solid nutrition program, check out the details here or just scroll down to yesterday's post for the basics.

I'm always annoyed by bloggers and marketers and their canned sales letters who gush about every product that they come across. I'm recommending you check this out because, at this price, I am truly shocked by the personal support you will receive from Jayson and by the number and quality of the bonuses.

Remember, you only have until 11:59 tonight to grab the Carb Rotation Diet with all the extras at this price.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If You Struggle With Nutrition

I'm not going to post some long sales pitch here but I wanted to let you know that Jayson Hunter, RD, CSCS is running a special on his
Carb Rotation Diet

As I'm sure you can imagine, I run across all kinds of health and fitness related products. I honestly don't think I've ever seen a product that contained the level of support and the quality of bonuses that Jayson is offering.

You really should check it out yourself here but below is a sampling of what you'll get.

* 30 Day Weight Loss Made Easy Meal Plan - I know there are people who like having specific meal plans to follow when they are working on losing weight and you will get an entire month's worth.

* 90 Days of Unlimited E-mail Support - How often do you have 3 months of unlimited e-mail access to the creator of something you purchased?

* A 20 minute phone consultation with Jayson - Remember Jayson is a registered dietitian AND a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Besides that you get 14 other bonuses, including nutrition and motivation reports and exercise programs from...

Valerie Waters

Craig Ballantyne

Rachel Cosgrove

Jason Ferrugia

Steve Cotter

and others. These people are some of the best in the business.

With that kind of one-on-one support and the number and quality of the bonuses, I am shocked at the low cost of this holiday special.

If you have any interest in a nutrition program, you really should do yourself a favor and check out Jayson's
Carb Rotation Diet
before Thursday, December 11th, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Collected Fitness Wisdom #2

First off, happy birthday to my brother Mike!

Here's another installment of great quotes I've collected from other fitness professionals. You can find the first one here. If you're a fan of traditional cardio or mislabeled "functional" training, you may want to stop reading now.

"The reality is that most guys need to check their ego and cut back on the weight and focus on fixing their skitzoid form. Most women need to lift heavier."

~Mike T. Nelson, CSCS

"Standing on half a balloon (actually known as the BOSU ball) with one leg and then doing an overhead dumbbell shoulder press isn’t going to help you at all. When’s the last time you were in your driveway and you needed to walk on a balloon to get inside your house while carrying groceries?

~Dan Grant, CPT

"The fact of the matter is that nutrition and training are like the two wheels of a bicycle; you cannot ultimately be successful if only one wheel is spinning."

~Chris Mohr, PhD, RD

"Do people think there are invisible fat sucking trolls living beneath the treadmills? Well I have looked and let me assure you there are not.

If people spent 1/4 the time doing exercises like squats and deadlifts as they did on the damn treadmill they would be leaner, stronger and (last but not least) healthier. Plus they would be out of the gym in a fraction of the time."

~Joshua Carter, CPT

"I think people know what to do, but just aren't doing it.

e.g. for getting lean: Did you train today? Did you do something that will elevate your metabolism? Did you eat supportively? Post workout shake? 5 meals? Protein at every meal? EFA's?

Stop trying to figure out a better plan if you aren't already doing all of the above.

A lot of the time it's an application of knowledge that is the missing link - not a lack of knowledge per se."

~Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Real Power of Acai Berry

In my "What I Know For Sure" post below, I wrote about how diet scams will always be with us because people want to believe there's any easy way. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but although fat loss is simple, it's not easy.

The real power of Acai Berry is emptying wallets.

Right now the internet is full of ads for this latest magic diet pill. Before that, it was Hoodia. Remember Hoodia? Hmmm, wasn't that the answer to losing weight? What was before that? Ephedra, Chitosan, Calorad; the list goes on and on. That should be a clue that these products are scams; the only thing you'll lose because of them is your money.

So the lying, unethical marketers rake in a fortune while people get fatter. As I said in my last post, if most people spent as much time and money on nutritious food and good exercise instruction as they do on quick fixes, they be slimmer, healthier, happier and more confident.

My beef is not with Acai Berry, it's with the snake oil salesman promoting it as something it's not. Acai Berry was featured on Oprah but not as a weight loss miracle; Dr. Oz correctly promoted it as a powerful anti-oxidant.

The guys have a new product called Longevity that includes Acai Berry as one of its main ingredients. The big difference is that they only promote their product for what it is; a very powerful antioxidant that can help your body fight the aging process and help boost your immune system.

They could make lots of money touting Acai Berry as some magic pill that's will flush the excess pounds off your belly, butt and thighs but they don't because it won't. was started by 2 fitness pros who were disgusted by the unscrupulous supplement companies and their poor quality products and marketing hype.

They are a certified GMP "A" rated facility, which is not an easy task.

I recently bought some Cravers (ProGrade's nutrition bars) and my members are raving about how good they are. I had stopped selling bars a few years ago because they either tasted like cardboard or were glorified candy bars. Cravers are different; they're nutritious, they're organic and they taste great.

If you care about your health and are looking for high quality supplements, multi-vitamins, meal replacements or nutrition bars, check them out here ==>

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What I Know For Sure

Nowadays, it seems that it's cool to bash Oprah. I don't know if it's jealousy or that some people are upset that she has the power to infuences millions of people or what but it sure seems to be happening more and more. Obviously, all of us have our faults but I think Oprah does far more good than harm.

What's that got to do with No Pink Dumbbells? Not much but Oprah writes a column every month in her magazine called, "What I Know For Sure". She's been very honest about where she got the idea- the late Gene Siskel rattled her with that very question once during an interview.

So I'm going to borrow the idea from Oprah and Gene and tell you some of what I know for sure.

* No fitness program will transform your body without proper nutrition.

* There will always be market for weight loss/exercise scams. Too many people want everything handed to them. The concept of delayed gratification seems to be dead. Why save up for something when you can CHARGE! So many people nowadays think they should start out their working careers with lots of perqs and making lots of money. High blood pressure? Diabetes? Give me a pill, Doc, I don't want to exercise and improve my diet.

Long term weight loss doesn't work like that. You need to be ready to learn some simple nutrition concepts, to exercise regularly and to challenge yourself when you do, to prepare healthy meals, to make the choice to eat right 90% of the time. It doesn't have to be drudgery unless you make it that way but it will take effort.

* If most people spent as much time and money on nutritious food and good exercise instruction as they do on bogus quick fixes, they be slimmer, healthier, happier and more confident.

* Most people waste way too much time in the gym. There's nothing wrong with being sociable but if you are a serial time waster, don't use the "no time to exercise" excuse. Put the magazine down and push yourself. Stop spending 15 minutes on one exercise. An hour on some cardio machine? Fagettaboutit.

* If you are over 100 pounds overweight, it's not just because you like to eat.

I see comments stating the opposite often on online forums. For some reason, there are people who refuse to admit that they use food to medicate themselves, relieve boredom, stress or loneliness, for protection, etc. I don't believe that anyone who has overeaten enough to gain 100 pounds or more just "likes to eat".

* For most people, compound exercises are superior to isolation moves and intervals are better than steady state cardio.

That's a few things that I know for sure; at least as of today. :-)

Leave a comment and let me know what you know for sure.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Finish Strong

If you need some extra motivation to stick with your fitness and nutrition program over the holidays, check out this video:

Finish Strong

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting Maximum Results From Your Workouts

Everyone wants results from their exercise program but most of us don't have hours to spend in the gym. Luckily, you don't need to. I've written about this before but I got an e-mail the other day from Mike Roulston that spells out the simple steps to get maximum results from your workout.

3 Rules for a Results Focused Workout Program
Mike Roulston, CPT

Rule #1 = Consistency

You have to exercise regularly and consistently in order to see results for your efforts. You could have the most effective workout program ever developed, but if you're constantly missing workouts, the program will not be effective.

Rule #2 = Effort

Exercising regularly isn't enough; you need to put in effort in order to see results. So every time you exercise, you must work hard and put forth your very best effort.

Rule #3 = Progression

This is the real key to producing results from your exercise. Each and every workout, you need to try to perform a little bit better than the previous workout. Perhaps you'll be a bit stronger, or have more endurance, or require less and therefore have a quicker recovery, or a combination of those things. There are lots of ways to progress from workout to workout, so you should always been trying to keep improving every time you exercise. When you work at improving your fitness, you will also see the aesthetic results (usually fat loss) that you're hoping to achieve.

Mike has created a home resistance band workout program. To find out more about it, click ---> here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fat Burning Medicine Ball Workouts

Men's Health fat loss expert Craig Ballantyne has created four new fat burning medicine ball workouts. Check out the video for one of them at the end of this post.

Medicine ball workouts are great for the holidays season, when so many people don't have time to go to the gym.

All of his Craig's new TT Medicine Ball workouts can be done in 10-25 minutes at home, in your bedroom, or even in your office. Even if you don't have a medicine ball, a basketball, soccer ball or stability ball will work for most of the exercises.

In Workout A, you'll do 3-4 supersets of medicine ball exercises followed "interval training" with this cool exercise called Power Swings. No cardio equipment required!

In Workout B, you'll do more advanced strength training exercises with the medicine ball, and finish off with medicine ball burpees as your interval training.

Workout C is a 10 exercise circuit where you'll go back to back to back with medicine ball exercises and no rest. That circuit can be done up to three times.

You'll get over 25 different and unique medicine ball exercises to help you burn fat during busy times without going to the gym or using fancy, bulky equipment. You'll do fun supersets and challenging circuits, with every single exercise working multiple muscle groups - including your abs. (You know how I feel about getting the most fat blasting bang for your buck/time with compound exercises. You will never get results like these from doing Tricep Kickbacks.)

So, regardless of your holiday plans and obligations, you can still get in a fast, fun, effective workout using just the ball.

No medicine ball? Tell Santa!

Once you get access to the member's area, go to the TT Workout of the Month area to download Craig's Medicine Ball program.

If you want a crack at these TT Med Ball workouts, you'll get free access to the program in the TT Member's area when you grab your copy of Turbulence Training here -->Turbulence Training

Yes, you do have time to work out.


PS - This program is perfect for...

...when you want a break from the ordinary workouts, or when you are sick of cardio machines, or during the holidays when you only have time for 10 minutes of medicine ball exercises in your bedroom.

Not sure if you'd really like these types of workouts?

Take the Turbulence Training $4.95 trial option for 21 days. If you don't like it, just let Craig know and you won't be billed the remaining $35. I can't imagine anyone not loving these fat burning workouts but Craig is totally trustworthy so if TT is not for you, let him know, and you will not be billed further.

Here's the link for the $4.95 trial offer --> TT 21-Day Trial

The video I promised you...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Is Your Workout Wasting Your Time?

If you're serious about making the most of your exercise time, you should read this article...

Is Your Workout Wasting Your Time?
A no-nonsense look at the often nonsensical world of fitness clubs

Obviously, all gyms are not the same but there are definitely too many one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter facilities out there.

If you're a woman in the Lancaster, PA area looking for results and no fluff workouts, please call me at (717) 509-7777.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tina!

Tina Turner turns 69 today. She is currently on tour and will celebrate her birthday on stage in New Jersey. You read that correctly, the woman is rockin' and rollin' at 69!

Take a look at Tina in action just this month and tell me again how you're "too old to exercise".

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reminder: Save $20 on Body & Soul's Enrollment Fee

Are you…

...full of energy?
...maintaining a healthy body weight?
...confident and self assured? good health?

Or are you…

...frustrated by clothes that don’t fit?
...hesitant to participate in activities for fear you can’t keep up or won’t fit in seats?
...artificially fueled with mega doses of caffeine?
...too unhealthy or overweight to be active with your kids or grandkids, go for a nice walk, or enjoy favorite hobbies or retirement?

I am far from the Discount Diva and I rarely run specials. I am very confident that the value of a Body & Soul membership will match or exceed that of any other gym in the area. That being said, to encourage women not to wait until the new year to join, I am offering a $20 discount on Body & Soul's enrollment fee through November.

Don't wait until January to drop fat, improve your health and lower your disease risk. There are still over 6 weeks until New Year's. Begin now and be the one getting all the compliments at holiday parties.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about joining Body & Soul Fitness Studio, now is the time. Starting now will give new members a head start on their health and fat loss goals. Exercising through the holidays will reduce stress and help with weight management. And, in January, when others are just getting started, you will already be enjoying the results of your program.

Exercise is not one-size-fits-all. Included in your $59 enrollment fee (regularly $79) is a personalized workout program and 2 one-on-one personal training sessions to go through it.

Nothing will change until you take action but all exercise is not equal. Don’t waste your time on outdated, ineffective workouts. Call Mickey today at (717) 509-7777 to save $20 and to find out how the right fitness program, designed specifically for you, can change your life.

This offer expires November 30th.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If You're Not Injured Or A Bodybuilder

A few days ago in my Collected Wisdom post, I included the following from Paul Scott:

"Most of us are neither crippled nor on the verge of entering the Mr. Olympia competition, so why do we train as if either is the case? The answer is a combination of the gyms' desire to maximize profits, and our own desire to find workouts that don't involve work."

I realize that some readers may have been confused by that so I wanted to elaborate on it today.

Many, probably most, gyms have a machine circuit that contains exercises for different body parts. Typically, some of the machines you'll find are the Leg Extension, Leg Curl, Hip Abduction and Adduction, Pec Flye, Lateral Raise and Bicep Curl.

The object is to move through the circuit and when you're finished you will have worked all the major muscles of the body. The problem with this approach is that the majority of circuit machines work your muscles in isolation, which is rarely how our body works in real life.

Unless you're physically disabled, a bodybuilder or rehabbing an injury you will get far more benefit from performing compound exercises, which work multiple muscles at one time. Regardless of whether your goal is strength or fat loss, compound exercises are the way to go.

Too many people who are trying to drop fat spend way too much time doing exercises that are not the best use of their time. Bodybuilders may need to add some isolation work into their routine because their goal is too make their muscles are large as possible. Rehabbing an injury usually involves a lot of isolation work.

Are you injured? Is your goal to look like a bodybuilder? If not, and your goal is weight loss, Bicep Curls, Hip Abduction/Adduction, Tricep Kickbacks, Leg Extensions/Curls, Crunches, etc. will not give you the bang for your buck that Squats, Presses, Kettlebell Swings, Pushups, Rows, Deadlifts, etc. will.

I think Mr. Scott is right. Many gyms don't want to bother teaching members how to correctly perform free weights exercises; they use the excuse that machines are "safer". I also agree that most people will look for the easiest option when exercising. Of course, they'll also be the people who complain about not getting good results.

Remember, it's called working out for a reason.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reminder - Shape Up For The Holidays!

Exclusive 4-Week Small Group Personal Training Program

Look and feel better by the holidays!

Most people will throw caution to the wind and find themselves heavier on New Year’s than they are today.

Don’t follow the crowd and wait until January to reshape your body and get healthier. Begin now and you can be the one getting all the compliments at holiday parties.

Body & Soul Fitness Studio in Lancaster is offering a 4-week small group personal training program. Beginning November 25th, we will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 – 10:00 AM.

This program is limited to 4 women who are serious about losing body fat and reshaping their bodies. If you believe in the promises of magic pills, no-effort workouts or eating all the junk you want and still losing weight, please ignore this post. If you want to look and feel better by the holidays and are ready to work for it, call Mickey today at (717) 509-7777 to reserve your spot.

The small group setting will provide social support and accountability, which are huge components of weight loss. At the same time, you'll get top notch instruction, insuring that you're performing each exercise correctly for maximum benefit.

Nothing will change until you take action but all exercise is not equal. Don’t waste your time on outdated, ineffective workouts. For just $199, you’ll get two challenging, fat-blasting, total body workouts per week. Remember, this program is limited to just 4 women so call me today to sign up.

Will you be excited about how you look and feel on New Year's day or will you be making resolutions about getting in shape and kicking yourself for missing this opportunity?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Collected Fitness Wisdom

Lately I've been saving bits of articles or e-mails that really nail a topic. I hope one or more of them helps you see something in a new light.

From Paul Scott:

(On using machines and training muscles in isolation)

"Most of us are neither crippled nor on the verge of entering the Mr. Olympia competition, so why do we train as if either is the case? The answer is a combination of the gyms' desire to maximize profits, and our own desire to find workouts that don't involve work."

From Alwyn Cosgrove:

"If you cheat: get right back on track. A lot of people think after cheating- I've blown it- so I might as well REALLY blow it! Let me ask you- if you get a flat tire do you get out of your car and slash the other three? Hey, you have a flat tire- might as well have four, right?"

From Rocco Castellano:

"There is nothing in the world that will change your life, not a piece of equipment, not a diet, not a personal trainer, not a workout...nothing will do the work for you.

You need to take action. YOU can only make YOUR life better."

From Mike Geary:

"In several of my newsletters in the past, I've given examples of how choosing your foods based on the glycemic index can be misleading and useless in many cases.

Case in point...

Watermelon has one of the highest measured GI's of all foods (much higher than even cake and ice cream). However, a normal serving of cake and ice cream may give you a whopping 700 or 800 calories, whereas a typical serving of watermelon may give you 50 or 60 calories max!

Trust me... watermelon isn't making anyone fat!

The lesson... GI is almost useless when you're not considering "Glycemic Load", which also factors in the quantity of carbohydrates ingested in a typical serving."

From Rachel Cosgrove:

(On how her body changed from doing lots of steady state cardio when she was training for a triathlon)

"I now have first-hand experience that steady-state aerobics is absolutely, completely, utterly ineffective for fat loss. After working my way up to twenty training hours a week, I can tell you that long, steady-state endurance is not the answer for a defined, lean physique and it's a waste of time if your goal is fat loss.

It's only the answer if your goal is to complete an endurance event."

From Vern Gambetta:

"If you have a limited amount of time to work out, you're better off ditching the machine to do different kinds of body-weight and whole-body exercises. You'll get more caloric burn for your time spent."


Monday, November 17, 2008

The Problem with Weight Loss: Your Body Will Do The Opposite by Alwyn Cosgrove

Today I have a terrific article for you from the great Alwyn Cosgrove.

The Problem with Weight Loss: Your Body Will Do The Opposite
Alwyn Cosgrove

Homeostasis is the property of a living organism, that regulates its internal environment so as to maintain a stable, constant condition.

When you don’t drink enough water in the short term — often the body retains water. It attempts to maintain homeostasis by counteracting the stresses we put on it.

When you drink a lot of extra water - your body excretes more water to maintain balance.

When we weight train — we actually break down muscle tissue. And the body responds by building new muscle. It attempts to maintain homeostasis by doing the reverse of the stimulus we placed on it.

When a male takes supplemental testosterone — the body shuts down its own production in a bid to maintain homeostasis.

When we immunize children against disease — we actually inject them with a small dose of that disease. The immune system recognizes the vaccine as foreign, destroys it, and ‘remembers’ it. When the virulent version of an agent comes along, the immune system is thus prepared to respond. In order to prepare the body to defend against a disease - we expose it to the disease - and it responds by doing the opposite - it destroys the disease.

In almost every situation I can think of, the body tries to maintain homeostasis by “doing the opposite” of the stimulus.

How does this apply to weight loss?

Now we know that while you are doing it — low intensity exercise burns primarily fat.

Higher intensity exercise actually burns more carb stores than fat.

But in every head to head comparison, high intensity exercise results in more fat loss than low intensity exercise - even though the more intense work may burn a lesser percentage of fat during the exercise session.

Burning glycogen results in a larger amount of fat lost than burning fat directly.

The body responds by “doing the opposite”…

Break down muscle to grow more muscle. Burn glycogen to lose more fat.

I designed Warp Speed Fat Loss training program to specifically take advantage of this ‘law’ of nature so that when your body “does the opposite” you’ll end up with faster and greater fat loss.

Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete 28 day diet and training system crafted to help you lose 10,15, or 20lbs of body fat in just 28 day. To start losing weight fast visit .

About the Author:

Alwyn Cosgrove, M.S., C.S.C.S. is a nationally renown fat loss expert whose work has appeared in magazines such as Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Men’s Journal, Self, Oxygen, and Muscle & Fitness HERS. His Warp Speed Fat Loss system is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint that gives you exactly everything you need to eat and exactly what to do for exercise to lose weight in record time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Do You Want A "Bargain" or Do You Want Results?

I've written about this before but considering the phone calls I've received in the last week or so, it obviously needs repeating.

Your el cheapo gym membership is no bargain if you are not getting results.

Call #1 came from a woman who's been faithfully attending her discount gym but seeing no results. She had received no direction and they have no personal trainers.

I designed a program for her. She's been amazed at how much faster and more challenging her workouts are now. Instead of wasting hours on the cardio equipment, she's doing far more productive but shorter workouts.

Call #2 was from a woman who's been attending the same cut rate gym as #1 for a year and a half and isn't happy with her results. There's no one there who can give her knowledgeable advice so she'll be coming in to speak with me.

Previously, I had worked with the husband of a Body & Soul member because his entire "orientation" to his new gym (the same one as above) consisted of some pathetic group machine demonstration.

Yes, it's come to the point where some of these gyms don't even give newbies a basic circuit workout and make sure they're set up with the proper seat positions. People are basically on their own.

As someone who has worked in this field for 13 years and really cares about people getting fit, this kind of "service" really ticks me off. I think most of those new to exercise would expect to get at least a minimal level of instruction when they join a gym. I believe that's reasonable.

On the other hand, I don't cut the same slack to those who are previous exercisers. You should be asking what kind of new member orientation the facility offers.

Will you get an individualized routine? If not, will you get taken through some basic workout that incorporates all the major muscles of the body? If it's a circuit workout, will you be properly set up on each piece of equipment by a knowledgeable staff member? Will you get a workout card listing your exercises, seat positions on machines, starting weights, etc.?

If you base your decision on which gym is the cheapest, don't be surprised if you don't get the results you want.

Now, if you're a fitness junkie who is really knowledgeable about exercise and knows the real experts from the pretty boy/girl just out to make a quick buck, that type of gym may be fine for you. That description, of course, doesn't apply to most people.

So, is the cut-rate gym really a bargain ...

* if you spend hour after hour at the gym when you don't have too? What's more valuable than time?

* if you don't get results?

* if you injure yourself due to lack of instruction?

Remember, you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shape Up for The Holidays!

Exclusive 4-Week Small Group Personal Training Program

Look and feel better by the holidays!

Most people will throw caution to the wind and find themselves heavier on New Year’s than they are today.

Don’t follow the crowd and wait until January to reshape your body and get healthier. Begin now and you can be the one getting all the compliments at holiday parties.

Body & Soul Fitness Studio in Lancaster is offering a 4-week small group personal training program. Beginning November 25th, we will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 – 10:00 AM.

This program is limited to 4 women who are serious about losing body fat and reshaping their bodies. If you believe in the promises of magic pills, no-effort workouts or eating all the junk you want and still losing weight, please ignore this post. If you want to look and feel better by the holidays and are ready to work for it, call Mickey today at (717) 509-7777 to reserve your spot.

The small group setting will provide social support and accountability, which are huge components of weight loss. At the same time, you'll get top notch instruction, insuring that you're performing each exercise correctly for maximum benefit.

Nothing will change until you take action but all exercise is not equal. Don’t waste your time on outdated, ineffective workouts. For just $199, you’ll get two challenging, fat-blasting, total body workouts per week. Remember, this program is limited to just 4 women so call me today to sign up.

Will you be excited about how you look and feel on New Year's day or will you be making resolutions about getting in shape and kicking yourself for missing this opportunity?


Monday, November 10, 2008

For Fat Loss, Limit Liquid Calories

If you're interested in fat loss, the first thing you should do is eliminate liquid calories. Soda, ice tea, lattes, "energy" drinks, etc. are just full of nutritionless, empty calories.

However, if you simply can not function without your designer drinks, check out the article below from Men's Health so you can at least choose the lesser of the evils.

Worst "Healthy" Drinks - And What You Should Drink Instead

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Start Now And Look Great At Holiday Parties

Are you…

...full of energy?
...maintaining a healthy body weight?
...confident and self assured? good health?

Or are you…

...frustrated by clothes that don’t fit?
...hesitant to participate in activities for fear you can’t keep up or won’t fit in seats?
...artificially fueled with mega doses of caffeine?
...too unhealthy or overweight to be active with your kids or grandkids, go for a nice walk, or enjoy favorite hobbies or retirement?

I am far from the Discount Diva and I rarely run specials. I am very confident that the value of a Body & Soul membership will match or exceed that of any other gym in the area. That being said, to encourage women not to wait until the new year to join, I am offering a $20 discount on Body & Soul's enrollment fee through November.

Don't wait until January to drop fat, improve your health and lower your disease risk. There are still over 6 weeks until New Year's. Begin now and be the one getting all the compliments at holiday parties.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about joining Body & Soul Fitness Studio, now is the time. Starting now will give new members a head start on their health and fat loss goals. Exercising through the holidays will reduce stress and help with weight management. And, in January, when others are just getting started, you will already be enjoying the results of your program.

All new members will still receive a personalized workout program and 2 one-on-one personal training sessions to go through it.

Nothing will change until you take action but all exercise is not equal. Don’t waste your time on outdated, ineffective workouts. Call Mickey today at (717) 509-7777 to save $20 (through November) and to find out how the right fitness program, designed specifically for you, can change your life.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Weird Results of Mike Geary's 6-week Overeating Experiment

The following is an interesting e-mail I received this morning:

My 6-week overeating experiment:

Here's the deal... I decided to use myself as a guinea pig and attempt an overeating experiment over the last 6 weeks.

Basically, I wanted to see how much weight I would gain if I purposely tried to overeat on a consistent daily basis for 6 weeks.

What do you think happened? Did I get fat? Maintain the same? Get leaner?

My theory was that if you eat the right types of super nutrient-dense foods and don't stray from those foods, that the body will automatically rebalance itself (hormones, appetite, etc)... and even though you're attempting to overeat, as long as nutrient-density is maximized, total calorie balance will inevitably end up at a level where I would not gain weight.

This goes along with my theory that calorie counting is basically pointless as long as your nutrient density of your foods is so high that the body obtains all of the nutrition it needs and re-balances your appetite and hormones to account for this.

Think of it this way... if you eat 1000 calories worth of soda, donuts, and cookies, your body needs to readjust hormone levels, increase your appetite and try to force you ingest more food to attempt to get more nutrients, since those 1000 calories were almost devoid of the nutrition your body needs.

However, if you eat 1000 calories worth of healthy foods with high nutrient density such as avocados, whole eggs, nuts, vegetables, fruits, grass fed meats, and other healthy options, your body obtains most of the nutrition it needs and accounts for this by leveling your appetite and hormones in the time period following that meal (the remainder of the day perhaps). In this scenerio, your body is not forcing you to eat more food (via cravings) to obtain the nutrition it needs since it already received a boatload of nutrition.

Ok, here were the caveats in my little experiment:

1. I couldn't just eat any and all types of foods... I would overeat on as much food as I wanted, but ONLY the foods that are "approved" according to my rules... this means all foods had to be unprocessed natural foods.

Some staples during my overeating phase were tons of whole eggs, full-fat grass-fed raw cheese and yogurt, avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, lots of virgin coconut oil and olive oil, grass-fed butter, berries, lots of fruit and veggies, sprouted grain bread, raw almond butter, sweet potatoes, and lots of venison and grass-fed beef.

2. I was still training very intensely 3-4 days/week at the gym but nothing extremely different from my normal workouts (this means that my caloric expenditure from exercise was not drastically different than normal).

The end result after 6 weeks of trying to stuff my face with as much healthy food as possible:

>> My body weight stayed EXACTLY the same! I didn't gain a single pound.

I know the first reaction of many people is that I just must have a "fast metabolism" or something along those lines and that's why I didn't gain weight.

But that is false!

The truth is that I have no problem at all gaining weight when I overeat on junk foods, or lots of processed foods in general. I can guarantee you that if I was overeating on pasta, white rice, cookies, white bread, and other processed foods during these last 6 weeks, I would have gained a massive amount of weight.

In fact, as I've mentioned before, in the past I've easily gained as much as 10 lbs in only 1 week when I've been on some sort of vacation and simply eat the normal types of processed foods that everyone else is eating.

This proves that I'm just as prone to gaining weight as anybody else.

However, notice the stark contrast in my experiment with attempting to overeat on all healthy unprocessed foods... I simply couldn't gain weight because my body would be constantly readjusting hormone levels and appetite levels to account for the super-high nutrient density I was giving it.

In the end, this meant that my body automatically maintained calorie balance without the need for calorie counting.

This is the type of eating that pretty much totally eliminates cravings... Remember I've said before that I don't think I've had any real cravings in at least 5 years (that's the time since I've been more strict on the type of foods I eat).

I also think it's actually fun and more enjoyable to eat in such a healthy manner (for the skeptics that think this involves some sort of deprivation).

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Creator The Truth about Six Pack Abs

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lose Weight and Reduce Your Cancer Risk

According to research, approximately 33% of cancers could be prevented through good nutrition, moderate amounts of exercise and by maintaining a proper weight. Unfortunately, according to a survey by the World Cancer Research Fund, 50% of people are unaware that being overweight is a direct contributing cause of cancer.

Overweight and obesity is correlated with breast, prostrate, bladder, esophageal, bowel, endometrial and skin cancers, along with cancers of the mouth, larynx and pharynx.

Scientists believe that after not smoking (or quitting), the most important action you can take to reduce your risk of cancer is maintaining a healthy weight.

What are you doing to reduce your risk of cancer? Are you at a proper weight? Do you eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet? Do you have a physically active lifestyle?

Regular exercise will...

* reduce your risk of a multitude of diseases
* help get rid of excess body fat
* improve mental alertness
* increase your energy and self confidence
* build muscle and bone to help you stay active and independent as you age

(For a more complete list of benefits, go here)

You don't need to spend hours in the gym to get health and fat loss benefits. For optimum results, you need to ignore the outdated fitness info that is still too prevalent in magazines, books and on TV.

Stop thinking of cardio as the most important aspect of your fat loss exercise program. Find a good strength training program that consists primarily of compound exercises and use weights that will challenge you in about 8-10 reps. (No, ladies, you will not turn into the Incredible Hulk by using more than 3 lb. pink dumbbells.)

Hours of boring, steady state cardio just increases your body's efficiency and you end up burning fewer and fewer calories during your workouts. Not an effective or efficient way to drop fat. Instead, do cardio intervals or bodyweight circuits.

If you're in the Lancaster, PA area and are ready to get in great shape mentally, physically and emotionally, call me at (717) 509-7777.


P.S. If you aren't local and can't work with me, check out Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training program. And, regardless of your age, if you're in need of motivation, take a look at Jon Benson's Fit Over Forty.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just Say No To Cardio

I just found out that Craig Ballantyne has released his first book. Well, his first actual, physical, hold-in-your-hands book. The title is Just Say No To Cardio and there's a complete description of the contents here.

Order today and you'll get all kinds of extra bonuses from Craig.

If you're a regular reader of No Pink Dumbbells, you know how highly I think of Craig and his Turbulence Training system.

If you're ready to get real fat loss results, stop wasting your time doing mindless hours of ineffective cardio and snag this book.

Check it out here --> Just Say No To Cardio

Congrats, CB!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Boost Your Brain Power

As important as a strong body is, it's a lot less enjoyable without a strong mind. Check out this article:

14 Scientifically-Proven Ways to Boost Brain Power

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You're Not Too Old or Too Out Of Shape

I have a personal training client who started out as a real novice. She'd never participated in sports or been very active. She works hard (because she knows she has to or I'd fire her as a client :-) ) and in the few months she been working with me, her fitness level has improved tremendously.

Unfortunately, she can be a whiner. (I'm not telling tales out of school; it's actually kind of a running joke.) The other day I wanted her to finish up her workout with a bodyweight circuit rather than cardio intervals. You'd have thought I'd suggested she run a marathon.

Anyway, one of my gym members happened to be finishing up her strength training and I asked if she wanted to do the circuit with my client. I thought it might help the client to have some company in her "misery". I also hoped that the fact that the member was 77 years old and was willing to give it a go might decrease the whining.

These are the 4 exercises in the circuit:

* Prisoner Squats
* Standing Medicine Ball Shoulder Press
* Lying Hip Bridge
* Mountain Climbers

To make it a little easier, I set my GymBoss for 20 second intervals (rather than 20:10 Tabatas). So, they did as many Prisoner Squats as they could in 20 seconds (with good form, of course), rested 20 seconds, did 20 seconds of Standing M.B. Shoulder Presses, rested 20 seconds, etc.

They both completed the circuit 4 times straight through and got a great cardio workout in just shy of 11 minutes.

The kicker? Janet, my 77 year old member, asked me to review the circuit with her because she wanted to do it again today! Go Janet!

Here she is in action...

Prisoner Squat

Medicine Ball
Shoulder Press

Lying Hip Bridge

Mountain Climbers

Tell me again why you're not exercising regularly.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Forget The !@#$% Scale!

Prepare for a rant.

This morning, on a private forum I belong to, I saw a post from a woman upset by the fact that she's only lost 2 1/2 pounds a month even though she's been been faithfully following the exercise and nutrition program she's on.

It's understandable that someone who is only eating 1500 calories of healthy food and regularly engaging in challenging workouts would be frustrated at those results, if that were the whole story.

But it's not.

The poster also reported that...

* she's gone down 2 dress sizes

* her body shape has changed and she's lost lots of inches

* loads of people are commenting on her new body

She used the words frustrated, despair, fed up, and despondent to describe her feelings about the number on the scale. She went on to say that she was sure that she could have lost the same amount of weight by sitting on her butt and just dieting.

She probably could have lost 2 1/2 pounds in a month just through eating right. I'm the first person to remind members, clients and anyone else who will listen that you can't out-train a bad diet but there's no way her body would look as good as it currently does had she skipped the exercise. (And that's not even going into the other mental, physical and emotional benefits of regular workouts.)

I honestly don't understand why women insist on getting hung up on the scale.

If you're overweight, isn't your bottom line goal to get smaller? To improve your body composition (less fat, more muscle)? To fit into clothes you haven't worn in a while? To take pressure off your joints and internal organs? To comfortably sit in theater and airplane seats, etc.

If that's happening, why obsess over the number on the scale?

This woman is doing great.

She's down 2 sizes and lots of inches!

Loads of people are noticing her improvements!

Why would she possibly be "despondent"?

Although it may sound like it, I'm writing this not just to beat up on this forum member. I hear the same thing from people far too often and it frustrates and confuses me.

When you get down to it, would you rather be a size 18 and weigh 125 lbs. or a size 6 and weigh 140?

Forget the scale.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Try This Upper Back Stretch

A lot of women hold their tension in their upper back.

Here's a post I recently ran across on fitsugar that might help.

After all those push-ups and side-arm raises you do, I'm sure your shoulders and upper body could use a nice stretch. This one is really easy to do, and it targets your upper back instantly. All you need is a sturdy chair with four legs. If you're at work or sitting just on the couch, why not give this a try?

* Sit on the very edge of a chair. Separate your feet so your knees are a little wider than your shoulders.

* Lean your torso forward and bring your arms inside your legs. Wrap your hands around your calves and try to reach your fingertips in front of your ankles.

* Use your hands to gently pull the torso though your legs to open your shoulders and stretch your upper back.

* Hold there for 30 seconds then lift your torso up to a seated position.

Let me know what you think of this stretch. - Mickey

Friday, October 24, 2008

68 Year Old Grandma Chases Down Thief

Another Reason To Get and Stay Fit. Yea, Janet!

Granny Janet Lane runs teenager to ground over snatched pension
The Times
Simon de Bruxelles

It was an unequal chase: a 68-year-old grandmother against a teenage thief who had just run off with her bag.

The bag-snatcher had no chance.

Janet Lane was sitting on a park bench when three teenagers grabbed her handbag containing £100 in cash, her mobile phone, an umbrella, a first-aid kit and a present that she had just bought for a friend.

What the thief did not know was that Mrs Lane had won the Yorkshire cross-country championship as a schoolgirl in 1953 and had kept herself in shape ever since.

As he and his two accomplices ran away, Mrs Lane set off in pursuit, chasing them 100 metres across a park and into the grounds of a hotel. Despite wearing sandals, the 5ft 6in (1.68m) tall grandmother managed to catch up and grabbed one of the youths by the collar. The youth, aged about 15, dropped her bag and begged to be let go. All three escaped empty-handed.

Mrs Lane, a retired nurse, said: “Those boys saw a little old lady and thought I was easy pickings, but there was no way I was going to sit there and let them get away with it. I was so angry when they took it. I had been to collect my pension and I had water rates to pay with that money.

“My first reaction was, ‘They are not having my bag'. I used to be a very good runner when I was younger so I just got up and ran after them.”

Mrs Lane, a divorced grandmother of two, had her bag stolen as she sat on a bench near the Riviera International Centre in Torquay, Devon.

She said: “I had my shopping bag with me by my side and I turned around, looking for my friend, Sue, who would be coming around the corner. The boys came up to me and asked for a cigarette but I said no. They must have been checking if I had anything worth stealing. They must have come back and I felt a whooshing movement and I saw a boy in a grey hooded top take my bag.”

A spokesman at the Inglewood Hotel, in Torquay, where Mrs Lane chased them to ground, said: “There was quite a commotion outside as the lady ran by chasing the boys. Her shouting alerted two waiters who were putting up decorations and they tried to stop them as well.”

However, Devon and Cornwall Police warned members of the public against following Mrs Lane's example. A spokesman said: “Generally, for safety reasons, we do not actively encourage this kind of behaviour, as you never know what could happen. But we understand this woman is a former cross-country runner and did not feel able to let it go.”

The police are continuing their inquiries.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 Things I Learned From Jillian Michaels by Margarita Bertsos

I recently ran across an article that contained some good advice from Jillian Michaels. While I disagree with her that running melts the pounds off, based on how I've seen her train on The Biggest Loser, I'm not sure that her complete thoughts were printed.

Why don't I think running is the key to losing weight? If it's such a great fat burning exercise, why do you see so many overweight people participating in races, including marathons?

Anyway, I like the rest of Jillian's comments so here's the article.

For the original post, with all the live links:
5 things I learned from Jillian Michaels
by Margarita Bertsos

I met Jillian Michaels yesterday; she's one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser--and my new favorite person.

Here's what she had to say.


I told Jillian that some of my habits--flushing rice down the toilet so I won't eat it, bringing my own high-fiber bread to brunch--stirred some controversy on the blog. "Why?" she asked. "Why should we apologize for the practices that help us manage the symptoms while we deal with the real reasons we eat? I pour candle wax on my food at restaurants," Jillian admitted. "Not wanting to 'waste food' is a poor excuse for ending up far worse off later on, dealing with all the health problems that come with obesity." (Here are a few restaurant do's and dont's to help you maintain your healthy eating goals while dining out.)

2.) RUN.

I asked Jillian if running really is the best form of cardio for weight loss. "Absolutely," she said. "There are lots of great ways to get your heart rate up, but if you want to see the pounds melt off, running is the fastest way. But I get that not everyone is built for it--knee problems, tight IT bands, heel spurs; I get it." Whatever you do, she said, "Don't forget the weights! The more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism will run."(What's better running outdoors or on a treadmill?)


"You don't watch the Olympics and think, Hmm, I should swim for 6 hours a day like Michael Phelps, do you? But you might think about joining a pool and swimming a few times a week," she said. That's what Jillian wants people watching TBL to think, too: "If these people can lose ten pounds in two weeks, maybe I can lose ten pounds in a couple of months." She adds: "I want people to realize their own potential; I meet people all the time who never thought of themselves as athletic, but now? They truly are athletes."


"Losing weight is not about willpower--it's about moments of bravado, like the moment when you ask your waiter to take the bread away from the table right away."


When I told Jillian how much weight I've lost, she congratulated me. And then (as I always do), I added, "But I still have a long way to go." "Stop," she said. "What does that do," she said, "apart from negate everything you've already accomplished? You're being self-deprecating and disempowering, and that doesn't serve anyone-and especially not you. Be proud of what you've done for yourself."

Got it, Jillian. Thank you! :- )

What do you guys think--is weight loss about willpower? I happen to agree with Jillian and think it's NOT. It's not about gritting your teeth and finding the strength "deep within you"--I think that's B.S. and will leave many people feeling really bad that they can't find it. They key, I think, is to set up your environment and make decisions so that you can succeed even when willpower is nowhere to be found.

Margarita Bertsos

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How To Get The Most From Your Interval Training, Part 2

If you've visited No Pink Dumbbells before, you know I'm a big fan of challenging strength training and cardio intervals for fat loss.

The other day, I wrote about a member whose intensity was not high enough during the hard portion of her intervals. On Sunday, I ran into kind of the opposite scenario.

One of my male clients, who I only see once every month or so for a new workout routine, mentioned that his performance really falls off by his 3rd or 4th interval. As we discussed it more, it was obvious why- he was not performing the recovery portion of the intervals correctly.

I see this often on internet forums. Someone reports that they run at 8.5 mph for 30 seconds or a minute and they "recover" at 5.5 or 6.0 mph. Wrong.

It's called recovery for a reason.

If you are running, recovery should be a walk, probably no faster than 3.5 mph. If you are walking fast during the challenging section of the interval, slow down significantly for the easy part. If you're using a stationary bike, lower your resistance. You should be ready for your next interval when it's time to go hard again.

The challenging part of the interval should feel like an 8 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10; recovery should feel like a 3.

If you don't allow your body to recover properly, you will not be able to push yourself as much and you will not get the best results from your session.

For a more thorough description of how to perform cardio intervals correctly, go here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hate Mail

Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training, recently found the following threatening post on his TT members website:

Dear Craig:

I am the spokescell for Dan's fat cells. We hate you. We knew we were in trouble when Dan woke up at 4:30AM on a SUNDAY!

He did workout 1 from Hardcore Fat Loss, and we are hurting. For starters, the triple press was difficult, although we really enjoyed when our enemies, the muscle fibers, were screaming bloody murder, that made us feel good. But then, doing 20 deadlifts, we couldn't hear the muscles screaming over the shrieks of pain from my fellow fat cells.

We thought it was over, but then Dan decided to do a 4x6 3-minute arms circuit. Jeez. We know he's not in the NBA, nor does he yet deserve to be, but he was giving it his all to be among those elite TT-ers.

Finally, the intervals...oh those intervals. No treadmill for Dan today...oh noooooo...he did 30/60 intervals using burpees for the intervals. While we hate that infernal treadmill, that was the worst thing we've ever gone through.

Craig Ballantyne, we fat cells hate you. Since we are falling off of Dan's body, we are going to band together, come up to Canada and picket you wherever you go. We're sure there are many of us who have been looking for new jobs since you came around, so we will band together and make your life difficult.

We miss playing w/ Dan's kids when they would poke us and call him "Squishy".

We HATE you, Craig. We're meltingggggg!

W/ much hate.

-Dan's fat cells

There's a lot of serious fat loss going on with the TT members but there's always time for fun on the forum.

If you're interested in having your fat cells threaten Craig Ballantyne, check out