Tuesday, March 31, 2009

!@#$%!* This is Why People Are So Confused

I am so annoyed that I'm not even going to wait until tomorrow to post this rant.

I opened an e-mail from Discovery Channel's National Body Challenge today and saw a link for an article titled Small Changes, BIG Weight Loss. The author started out explaining the value of simply reducing your calorie intake 100-300 calories per day.

The premise is true and the advice beneficial. So, a harmless article on weight loss, right? Maybe, until I read this...

How to Knock Out Calories

Of course, if it were that easy, you wouldn't be reading this now. So how do you hunker down and continuously knock out those 200 to 300 calories a day? The often-repeated formula is to combine eating less calories with regular cardiovascular exercise. Do all three, and you're guaranteed to melt away fat.

I'm not sure but I think the third of "do all three" refers to an earlier comment about increasing daily physical activity. The example used was "walking around the office instead of shooting out emails nonstop."

Not a single mention of strength training! Nothing about cardio intervals, of course. No wonder people spend hours doing cardio and then give up from lack of time or mediocre results.

Even worse, the author goes on to say...

But be forewarned: Your body can only metabolize a certain amount of fat — 1 to 1.5 pound(s) a week — on a low-calorie diet, says Tallmadge.

I won't challenge this point although Alwyn Cosgrove and quite a few others would because I'm more appalled by what she says next...

At some point, the fat will turn to muscle, which is why you want to build muscle when losing weight.

What?????? Fitness pros have a hard enough time getting people to understand that fat cannot turn into muscle and vice versa. Muscle and fat are two different types of tissue. You can't turn wood into stone, you can't turn plastic into metal, you can't turn bone into a liver and you can't turn fat into muscle!

It is unbelievable to me that a "health journalist" would not know that. Worse yet is that no one at Discovery caught it.

How many people have been misinformed by that article?

You can read the entire article here ==> Small Changes, BIG Weight Loss


Stop Multi-Tasking While Exercising

If you're one of those people who believes that carrying weights while walking will kill two birds with one stone, you're wrong. Walking while carrying weights or while performing Shoulder Presses or Bicep Curls is a bad idea for multiple reasons.

To properly work your muscles and get results, muscles need to be challenged. They will not be sufficiently challenged by the size weights you can carry while walking.

Carrying weights while walking can increase your blood pressure, interfere with your natural walking movement, place strain on tendons and ligaments and increase your risk of injury.

If you carry weights in an effort to increase the calorie burn of your walk, don't bother. The small amount of additional calories you might burn is definitely offset by the increase in injury risk. On top of that, carrying weights may actually cause you to slow down when you get tired, burning fewer calories.

To make your walk more productive, incorporate cardio intervals in to your routine. If you're not sure how to do that, check out my previous blog post here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Did You Know?

* According to a study by the University of California at San Diego, only 3% of 15-year olds get enough daily exercise compared to 90% of 9-year olds.

* From Circulation, 30% of heart attacks worldwide are caused by poor nutrition.

* According to a study of 8,000 Japanese men, being overweight increases your risk of developing colon growths, which could become cancerous. Researchers also found that, after a year, the men who had dropped some weight also had a lower occurrence of polyps than those who had gained or maintained their weight.

* The average American spends 151 hours per month watching TV, an all-time high. ~Nielsen Media Research

* 12.5% of cancer survivors are meeting NONE of the three recommendations regarding diet, smoking and physical activity. Only 5% are meeting all three. The more recommendations survivors follow, the higher their quality of life. ~Journal of Clinical Oncology

Friday, March 27, 2009

Collected Fitness Wisdom #5

Women are just really terrified of weights. They're on cardio machines, elliptical for 60 minutes and wondering why they don't see definition and tone. The missing link is strength training.

~Jessica Matthews

Normally, arguing with a pilates instructor over the internet is about as exciting as playing Marco Polo with Helen Keller, but I’ll play along and make this short and sweet. For the love of god, pilates DOES NOT lengthen (or elongate) your muscles.

~Tony Gentilcore

Consistency is key. Challenging yourself 2-3 days per week, week in and week out, is much better than going all out for a couple months and then completely burning out, getting injured, and falling off the wagon.

~Doug Jackson

Effective doesn't mean excessive. This applies to cardio AND weight training. Strive to get the best results from the least amount of work.

~Brad Pilon


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You Don't Know Squat

Squats are one of the best leg exercises you can do. Period.

Ladies, stop wasting your time doing endless side leg raises and butt kicks.

What am I always preaching? Use compound exercises for the most efficient and effective workout. Performed properly, the Squat is an excellent overall leg movement.

While responding to a question about thinning thighs on her blog, Holly Rigsby of Fit, Yummy Mummy wrote...

While no single exercise can make the fat on one area of your body go away - with the combined effort of cutting out the junk and doing the BEST full body resistance training moves Correctly - you absolutely can accelerate your thinner thighs results and look amazing in your favorite shorts this summer.

“But my thighs get Big and Bulky when I do squats”

If you are following a full body resistance training program and cutting out the junk, your body will have no choice but to burn more fat and cause you to lose inches. Working the muscles in your lower body causes you to become stronger. Muscle is dense and takes up less space than fat.

I find it amusing that many of the online and magazine fitness articles tell women to just use moderate weights to avoid getting bulky.

This simply is not true.

Here's a great video from Holly on proper squatting technique.

You can check out Holly's complete program here ==> Fit Yummy Mummy

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

According to Australian and Canadian researchers, physically active women decrease their risk of breast cancer by 25-30%.

The scientists recently reviewed 62 exercise research studies and found that in 85% of the studies, the more exercise the women performed, the greater their risk reduction. This held true even for recreational activities like walking. Even better, they found that you can begin exercising at any age and reduce your risk of breast cancer.

British Journal of Sports Medicine 2008;42:636-647 Physical activity and breast cancer risk: impact of timing, type and dose of activity and population subgroup effects

Monday, March 23, 2009

Choosing The Right Workout For You

I came across an excellent guide to choosing a workout program for yourself written by fitness enthusiast, Kelley Moore.

So, if you're not a Lancaster resident and can't join Body & Soul and work with me, check out Kelley's tips.

Which Workout?
by Kelley Moore

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tainted Weight Loss Supplements

It's human nature. We want the easy solution. The no-sweat exercise gizmo, the magic fat loss pill, a eat-all-you-want diet, etc.

It's the reason why supplement companies make gazillions of dollars.

Unfortunately, many of these weight loss supplements may not just be money wasters but could also be extremely hazardous to your health. Many of these pills contain undeclared ingredients that can put you at risk for a variety of medical conditions such as stroke, heart attack, seizures, etc.

From FDA website:

FDA Expands Warning to Consumers About Tainted Weight Loss Pills

List increases from 28 to 69 products; Agency seeking recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expanding its nationwide alert to consumers about tainted weight loss pills that contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients. On December 22, 2008, FDA warned consumers not to purchase or consume 28 different products marketed for weight loss. Since that time, FDA analysis has identified 41 more tainted weight loss products that may put consumers’ health at risk.

These weight loss products, some of which are marketed as "dietary supplements," are promoted and sold on various Web sites and in some retail stores. Some of the products claim to be "natural" or to contain only "herbal" ingredients, but actually contain potentially harmful ingredients not listed on the product labels or in promotional advertisements. These products have not been approved by the FDA, are illegal and may be potentially harmful to unsuspecting consumers.

The following is a list of dietary supplements that have been banned by the FDA. Here is the original FDA press release ==> FDA Expands Warning to Consumers About Tainted Weight Loss Pills

Fatloss Slimming

2 Day Diet

3x Slimming Power

Japan Lingzhi 24 Hours Diet

5x Imelda Perfect Slimming

3 Day Diet

7 Day Herbal Slim

8 Factor Diet

7 Diet Day/Night Formula

999 Fitness Essence

Extrim Plus


Imelda Perfect Slim

Lida DaiDaihua

Miaozi Slim Capsules

Perfect Slim

Perfect Slim 5x

Phyto Shape

ProSlim Plus

Royal Slimming Formula

Slim 3 in 1

Slim Express 360





Zhen de Shou

Venom Hyperdrive 3.0


Slim Waistline

Slim Waist Formula

Slim Up


Slim Fast

2x Powerful Slimming

Slim Express 4 in 1

Reduce Weight

Super Fat Burner

Super Slimming

Sana Plus

Trim 2 Plus

Powerful Slim

Waist Strength Formula

Slimming Formula

Perfect Slim Up

Slim Burn

Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula

Slim 3 in 1 M18 Royal Diet

Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Waist Formula

Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Formula

Natural Model

2 Day Diet Slim Advance

Miaozi MeiMiaoQianZiJiaoNang



JM Fat Reducer

Imelda Fat Reducer

7 Days Diet

Extrim Plus 24 Hour Reburn

Fasting Diet

Cosmo Slim

Body Slimming

Body Shaping

Body Creator


3 Days Fit

21 Double Slim

Eight Factor Diet

7 Diet

Do yourself a favor and give up the search for the quick fix; it doesn't exist. Begin a effective exercise program and improve your nutrition. Focus on changing your lifestyle and on eating as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible. You'll soon feel better, look better and be on you way to a slimmer and healthier body.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quit the excuses, ladies!

Can you handle the truth? If so, here's an excellent article from Simon Dainton, a U.K. personal trainer.

Quit the excuses, ladies!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Membership Has Its Benefits

Recently, there's been an increase in the number of online fitness pros slamming working out in a gym. It's annoying but I totally get it.

They've done their research and they're very aware of the all-too-prevalent fear some people have of joining a fitness center.

They've created a product (at-home workouts or equipment) to appeal to those people. Now, they're pushing the buttons of their target market. Since many people are already apprehensive about going to a gym, these marketers, I mean fitness pros demonize the health club setting.

I'm the first person to tell you that you don't need a bunch of equipment to lose weight and get in shape. Even though I own a gym, I will never pretend that you can't get a great workout outside or at home.

I am also very aware that some fitness centers do a lousy job educating members and making them feel at home. So, while I won't say it's true for every gym, I do believe that there can be definite advantages to working out at facilities like Body & Soul and here's why...

* You will get a solid, well balanced, effective workout program. Too many people piece together a strength training program willy-nilly. For optimum benefits and lowest risk of injury, use a professionally designed routine.

* Social support from like-minded people. You can commiserate with other members about certain exercises that your evil trainer includes in your program. :-) Body & Soul is like Cheers; other members know you by name and ask about you when they haven't seen you in a while. If you miss too many workouts, you'll get an e-mail or call from me.

* Fewer distractions. Working out at home can be great but way too many people (especially women) end up skipping workouts because the phone rings or their kids need something or because a chore needs to be done around the house. You deserve some time to yourself to take care of yourself.

* Form check. If you're performing an exercise incorrectly, I'll let you know. Unless you've been working out for years, reading about an exercise and doing it with good form are often two different things.

* Variety. You probably don't have a fully equipped gym in your home. Being able to challenge your muscles with a wide variety of exercises is better for you physically and it prevents boredom.

* Encouragement. You'll be regularly reminded to challenge yourself by increasing your weights, learning new exercises, working harder, etc. Too often, when exercising on their own, people end up just going through the motions.

Those are a few advantages to working out in a fitness center, or at least in mine. If you prefer exercising at home, regularly do so and are getting results, good for you. I'm all for people exercising period. The point of this article was to show the positive aspects of being a member of a place like Body & Soul.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quick, Delicious Recipes From Celebrity Chefs

Are you one of those people who thinks eating right means spending a lot of money?

Do you know you should eat better but rely on fast food or take-out because you don't want to spend hours in the kitchen?

Recently, Oprah had celebrity chefs on her program. Cat Cora, Curtis Stone and Tyler Florence meet with families to show them how to prepare delicious, healthy, low-cost meals that don't take long to prepare.

Here's a link to 7 days worth of meals from each of those chefs ==> Celebrity Recipes

Saturday, March 14, 2009

50+ Group Fitness Training

Did you know that one-on-one personal training can run anywhere from $35-$75 per session?

Would you like to get in shape but are leary of trying to design an appropriate workout program on your own? And, how do you know you're performing the exercises correctly?

Do you enjoy group activities?

Now you can get the instructional benefits of personal training along with the support and camaraderie of a group, at a fraction of the cost of individual personal training.

Body & Soul Fitness Studio is offering "Fit & Feisty" group fitness training. This 4-week program is designed for men and women, ages 50 and over who want to be leaner, stronger and live better. Join us as we put the fun in functional training.

Training will take place Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00 – 10:00 AM at Body & Soul, beginning March 31st.

Sessions will be led by certified personal trainers Mike and Loretta DeCarlo. Cost is $89 for members, $99 for non members.

Contact Mickey at (717) 509-7777 to register or for more information.

Body & Soul Fitness Studio
618 Columbia Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 509-7777

Plenty of free parking.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 Reasons Why The Term "Cardio" Is Lame

5 Reasons Why the Term "Cardio" is Lame
by Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

"Cardio" is the "Economic Stimulus Bill" of the fitness world. You can put your hopes in it, but generally it isn't going to do anything for you, and it will just waste your time and resources.

Most people don't realize that there was "life before cardio". People used to exercise outdoors. They participated in sports. They played games - outside! - with their family and friends. They used their feet or bicycles for transportation (rather than driving 15 minutes to the gym to go do "cardio").

So here are the top 5 reasons why I think the term "cardio" is lame.

1) People hate doing cardio.

Have you ever met a person who smiled when they said, "Oh, I have to go do cardio now." (That's not the same as the excitement an endurance athlete gets when they go "training". That's different from "cardio". Endurance athletes don't call their workouts, "cardio".)

So if you are a runner, and you love to run, and you tell me (with a smile), "I'm going out for a run", then that's cool by me. Nothing wrong with that. But if don't like to run, and you tell me (with a pout), "I'm going out for a run because I have to get my cardio", then I say, "Boooooo to that". Life's to short to hate your workouts!

2) People mistakenly believe that 30 minutes of half-assed cardio (which is what most people do) will help them lose weight.

But it won't. It just wastes their time. People are obsessed with the calorie counters on machines. I truly believe this is how folks get hooked and obsessive compulsive with cardio...because all they can think about is how many calories they have burned, and how much food that means they can eat.

"Cardio" does not promote healthy relationships with food.

3) People think you have to "cardio" (i.e. go to a gym and exercise on a machine that doesn't go anywhere) for 30 minutes in order to be healthy.

You don't have to do "cardio" to be healthy. There is so much more to health than 30 minutes of "cardio". Your diet is more important for your cardiovascular health than your exercise regime. Plus, as long as you're active each day (doing manual labor, "cardio", playing sports, or lifting weights), you're doing enough to meet the minimum required amount of exercise for cardiovascular health.

4) People think "cardio" will help them with sports performance or their short, burst fitness (like climbing stairs).

It rarely does.

In fact, the guy who does "cardio" in preparation for his basketball, soccer, hockey, or Ultimate Frisbee league is going to be sorely disappointed by how slow he is - and by how he lacks sports-specific fitness as much as all the guys who just lifted weights all off-season. Plus, doing traditional "machine cardio" does not prepare you for sports-specific movements or speed of movement, so you're just as likely - if not more likely - to get injured during the early season.

5) It signifies a waste of time, inefficiency, and a sheep-like mentality towards doing something just because everyone else is doing it.

Seriously, if you were from another planet and you came down to earth and went into a big commercial gym and look at the "cardio" section, pardon me, the "cardio theater" section, you'd smile to yourself and say, "wow, this planet is going to e easy pickens".

"Cardio" is also lame because people use cardio as a time to catch up on their magazine reading and TV watching (and now Internet and email time). That about says it all. Workout time is not multi-task time.

So what should you be doing instead if you want to sculpt your body, burn fat, lose your belly, and get lean before summer?

You should skip the "cardio" (let's not ever use that phrase again) and focus on total-body, multi-muscle resistance training and interval training exercises to help you build "everyday" strength and fitness (like the ability to carry groceries or children, or climb 3 flights of stairs as fast as possible).

Plus, with these total body workouts, you'll save time and get more health benefits than you will with straight "cardio". (Sorry to use that term again.)

Helping you get more results while saving time and money,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

PS - If you want the best, fastest, and most effective fat burning workouts that you can do at home...

...(without the indignity of driving to a gym to use a sweaty, disgusting "cardio" machine), then grab your copy of Turbulence Training for Fat Loss.

Click here for a $4.95 Trial Offer of Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Collected Fitness Wisdom #4

I used to read any kind of "fitness" magazine I could buy. You know the typical ones on the news stands, ladies. Well, I can tell you that there is no way on earth my body was going to transform into one of those cover models doing the workouts they suggest. I realized I was going to have to do a lot harder work than that and I can also say I don't want the skinny-fat look either. It wasn't until I started tapping into more of the resources geared to men that I really began challenging myself, increasing my weight during workouts and seeing changes in my body.

~Kelley Moore

More than anything else, I believe that they key to success is to put effort into what you’re doing. You would make better progress putting maximal effort into an average program than putting a half-hearted effort into a superior program.

~John Alvino

If there is one over-riding secret that controls our future, it is that we can not win-out over our own self-image. This is so important and hardly ever talked about. Someone can use every other success strategy in the world, and if their self-image is in conflict with what they are trying to achieve, they will not achieve any long-term success with their desired goal.

~Doug Jackson

Most people are on a constant search for the path of least resistance. A drug, a supplement, a "breakthrough technique" a new machine, a shortcut in exercise form - anything and everything they think will help them reach their goals with less effort and in less time. This is typical human nature. Unfortunately, this is also faulty thinking and you will NEVER become a champion with this type of attitude.

~Tom Venuto


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Exercise And The Brain by Jon Benson

Sorry I've been M.I.A. from the blog. I'm sure you can understand how time consuming unpacking and setting up the gym are.

Although I'm still finishing up, members can definitely come and work out. If you want to check out Body & Soul's new digs, call me at (717) 509-7777.

Until things calm down I'll have little time to post but I wanted to pass along the following info from Jon Benson.

Exercise And The Brain

If you ever needed another good reason to exercise, I've got one for you:

Exercise makes your brain bigger.

Actually this isn't entirely accurate. To be more specific, exercise was found to increase brain size slightly, but far more important to increase "spatial reasoning."

This is the ability to recognize patterns, remember phrases, numbers, and so-on. This was discovered by researchers at the Universities of Chicago and Pittsburgh.

It is also one of the most important factors to the prevention of Alzheimer's and dementia.

My mom suffered with dementia the last ten years of her life. But unlike most dementia patients she was fully functional thanks to exercise. She drove and had a mind that was unbelievably sharp right up until an accident injured her beyond the ability to exercise.

After that, she mentally went downhill rapidly. Thankfully, she passed in peace... and she had ten wonderfully active years thanks to her willingness to take up weight training at the age of 71.

She eventually walked up to 3 miles per day and trained in the gym 3 days per week.

That kept her mind sharp, along with fish oil and N-Acetyl L-Carnitine, a wonderful brain nutrient.

Once again, we see the power of exercise. It increases the QUALITY of your life.

Quantity is no where near as important to me as quality.

The links at the bottom of this newsletter are to my books on exercise. Pick the one that appeals to you most and take action.

Your brain will thank you, as will the rest of your body.

One of the best ways to start exercising when you are over 40 is by using the routines covered in "Fit Over 40".

This book profiles 53 different men and women, age 40 to 80, all sharing their workouts, nutrition plans, and mental empowerment techniques.

It is a MUST-HAVE for anyone wanting to begin exercising or improve their level of fitness after the age of 40.

For a free fat-burning course from Fit Over 40, go here -- Free Fatburning Course

If you're in the Lancaster area, call and schedule an appointment to come see me. Body & Soul has members of all shapes and sizes, ranging in age from teenager to 92. It's never too early or too late to start a regular exercise program.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quick Update on Body & Soul Fitness

Except for my computer and phone, Body & Soul's move is complete. Our new address is 618 Columbia Avenue in Lancaster, PA.

There is a ton of stuff that needs to find a home but things are coming along. Unfortunately, my new (freebie) desk has not been picked up yet (because of the snow) so I can't organize my office.

Since most of the equipment is set up, there's not much I can do until the desk arrives so I stayed home for a rare day off. However, the snow has stopped so I may stop in later.

The fire marshal was supposed to come today and approve opening for business but I haven't heard anything yet so the weather probably delayed inspection.

Hopefully, Body & Soul will be up and running very soon. Keep your fingers crossed.