Thursday, April 30, 2009

Researchers Prove Strength Training Is Better Than Cardio To Lose Belly Fat

If you're trying to drop pounds and lose belly fat you need to look at the big picture.

First and foremost is proper nutrition. Say it with me now, "You can't out-train a bad diet." :-)

After good eating habits comes exercise. Here's where many people are misinformed. Their first thought when they want to lose weight is to do cardio. It's understandable; I used to think the same thing.

If you compare the same number of minutes of strength training versus traditional cardio, cardio does burn more calories during that time. However, strength training burns more calories overall. How is that possible, you ask?

Afterburn. When you stop performing traditional cardio, your body stops burning extra calories pretty much right away. When you finish a weight training workout, your body's metabolism stays elevated for many hours afterward.

In fact, according to a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout ended up burning an average of 100 more calories in the following 24 hours than they did when they hadn't lifted weights. 100 extra calories may not seem like much but it all adds up.

You can also increase your afterburn by increasing your weights. In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women burned nearly twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout when they performed 8 reps with a challenging weight than when they completed 15 reps at a lower weight. (Always use good form, of course.)

Can you lose weight without exercising? Yes, but check this out...

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers compared dieters who strength trained 3 times a week with those who did aerobic exercise for the same amount of time. Everyone ate the same number of calories and lost about the same amount of weight- 26 pounds. So why not just keep mindlessly walking on the treadmill while watching TV or reading a magazine?

Besides the fact that we need to maintain our muscle to maintain our independence as we age, the study participants who pumped iron lost pure fat while 8% of the aerobic exercisers weight loss came from muscle. You don't want to lose muscle! Besides its obvious physiological importance, muscle gives you that tight, defined look that most of us want. Ever hear the term "skinny fat"? Yuck.

I would love to know how many more inches and sizes were lost by the strength trainers than the aerobicizers. One pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat so the weight lifters had to have ended up smaller than their cardio bunny counterparts.

And isn't that the real goal? Who cares how much weight you lost on the scale if you still look like cased sausage in your favorite outfit?

Another bonus for those who strength trained? Researchers discovered that pumping iron is better at reducing the intra-abdominal fat that's not only unflattering but is associated with multiple diseases, including cancer and diabetes.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Collected Fitness Wisdom #6

If you fail to strengthen the entire body, it limits lean mass. When we strength train, we are building lean body mass and decreasing body fat.
~Jessica Matthews

If you do 45 minutes of interval training, you are sacrificing quality for quantity, and that type of interval training is best left to marathon runners.
~Craig Ballantyne

Every exercise is an “ab” exercise. Your abs are working super-hard when you do heavy squats, for example. Crunches and crap like that are useless.
~Sarah Rippel

Interval training is like putting your savings into a high return investment account. Low intensity aerobics is like hiding it under your mattress. Both will work, but the return you get is radically different.
~Alwyn Cosgrove

Most people allow their minds to be their greatest barrier. This is unfortunate because, properly utilized, our minds are our greatest asset and ally.
~Doug Jackson

The bottom line is if you do ANY "cardio" to try and lose are doing too much cardio.

If you are doing "cardio type" activities because you enjoy running or biking or because you are competitive in an endurance sport that's another story, but cardio for weight loss, any amount is too much.
~Brad Pilon


Monday, April 27, 2009

More "Race Against Racism" Videos

As usual, we broke off into mini teams. No runners from Body & Soul this year but some people walk faster, some slower. We don't want to hold anyone back or leave anyone behind.

Here are Body & Soul member Margaret and guests Jill and Rachel coming in the home stretch.

And then crossing the finish line...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yesterday's "Race Against Racism"

Here's some of the Body & Soul team at yesterday's "Race Against Racism". It was my first time using my new Flip Cam.

It took me forever to figure how how to get this one up. Hopefully, I can upload a few others tomorrow.

Yes, we're kind of a crazy bunch. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Diet vs. Exercise Episode 3

Here's the third video in the series from Craig Ballantyne...

DIET Vs EXERCISE Episode 3: Fat Loss Diet Versus Best Cardio Workout to Burn Belly Fat

To learn more about Craig's Turbulence Training system, go here ==>

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stupid Trainer Tricks

Last night on The Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper was going over the food his contestants were eating. He was understandably troubled by the fact that his trainees, who were in the 16th week of the contest, didn't seem to have a good grasp of basic nutrition so he told them to videotape everything they prepared and ate.

I won't go into all the details of what he saw in the video but basically his contestants were eating too few calories and too little protein. Unfortunately, instead of encouraging them to increase the amount of real food protein they consumed, he went into a plug for Biggest Loser Protein Powder. Ugh.

Look, I realize that Bob & fellow trainer Jillian Michaels are expected to hawk crap like this but it’s annoying and unfair to the public.

I know Jillian is a proponent of eating as little processed food as possible and yet a few weeks ago they had her pushing Cheerios. (BTW, did you know that Whole Grain Cheerios have some kind of sugary coating on them? So much for a "healthier" version.) I don't know if Bob really believes that protein powder is a better source of nutrition than real food but I sure hope not.

This has been going on since TBL started but I really wish the producers would stop inserting commercials into the actual show. If Bob Harper recommends a 100 Calorie Snack Pack to his trainees, people think that's a good choice and it's not.

Let the sponsors advertise during commercial breaks and let the trainers advise the contestants (and, in turn, the audience) with the same information they use with their private clients.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wow! The Winner Set A Turbulence Training Contest Record

Craig Ballantyne announced the winners of his 4th Turbulence Training transformation contest a few days ago. I'm a big proponent of TT but even I was shocked at the photos.

See for yourself here ==>4th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest Winners

Friday, April 17, 2009

Women Have It All Wrong - Rachel Cosgrove

I received this today by e-mail. For some reason, Rachel hasn't posted this terrific article on her blog so I can't give you a direct link.

If your goal is weight loss, you really need to read this.

Women have it all wrong!
By Rachel Cosgrove

Women have it all wrong when it comes to weight loss. The average woman when she joins a gym looks at how many treadmills there are and the aerobics schedule to see if there are classes that fit in her schedule. When women want to lose weight they torture themselves with repetitive movement for hours on end spinning their wheels or running to nowhere like a hamster in a habitrail! If you take a look at all of the women walking on the treadmills you'll notice none of them have the body most women want.

The problem is that most personal trainers haven't figured it out yet either. They get a female client who hires them to change their body and they think, "Oh man...another one of those stupid toning programs in the ladies only section with the pink dumbbells doing lots of reps..." Most trainers don't realize that they need to challenge women to get their bodies to change and to stop being afraid of pushing her to gain muscle to boost her metabolism to change the way her body looks, permanently.

Weight Loss Program the average woman does:

* Endless hours of cardio or aerobics classes
* Avoids strength training because she doesn't want to get "big and bulky" or maybe she uses some rinky dink pink dumbbells to "tone" for lots of reps
* Cuts back her diet to practically starve herself
* Focuses on the scale weight and a number she wants it to say

What works about this plan: NOTHING!

What is wrong with this plan: EVERYTHING!

She will lose weight but it will be a mixture of muscle, water and maybe some fat so she'll end up looking like a smaller version of her same self but in the process she will have dropped her metabolism so there will be no way she can keep the weight off and will gain it back guaranteed. This is the cycle most women have been through many times throughout their lifetime. Yet, when they want to lose weight they do the same thing again. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

Weight Loss Program the average Women SHOULD do:

* Metabolically demanding full body strength training program lifting challenging weights. This should be their priority workouts 2-4 days a week.
* Boost their intensity and drop the duration on their cardio sessions performing interval style workouts for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
* Fuel their body with healthy food every couple hours getting their metabolism revving.
* Focus on how her clothes fit and how she looks and feels and not on a number on the scale. Focus in Fat Loss, not Weight Loss.

What works about this plan: It will boost her metabolism, it will change her body, it will make her feel confident about herself, she can eat and she will be able to maintain her new body!

What is wrong with this plan: NOTHING!

To really change their bodies permanently women need to start checking out the strength training floor. They need to get out of their comfort zone and push their bodies beyond what it is used to. No more walking to nowhere on the treadmill! I am not talking about bodybuilding routines where you split up each body part and bomb and blitz the pecs or pump up the biceps. It is not necessary for a woman to isolate any muscle group to get the defined look she wants.

Instead a woman should do a full body, metabolically demanding program in which she alternates between an upper body compound movement such as a push up or chin up with a lower body compound movement such as a squat or lunge. Keep the rest periods short and use a weight that is challenging. Use 3-4 pairs of exercises working out for no more than an hour at a time.

The woman with toned arms and defined legs looks that way because she has the very thing most women are terrified of, muscle. They are so afraid to lift weights in fear of bulking up that they never get their bodies to look the way they want them to. They have it deeply seeded in their subconscious that as soon as they touch anything over 10 pounds, they will sprout humungous muscles! Even if they do use weights, they probably still aren't lifting heavy enough and pushing themselves hard enough to get the look they want. Most women don't know what their bodies are capable of and tend to not push themselves hard enough. There was actually a research study done on this where they showed that women when left to train on their own, lifted loads below what they were capable of.

Maybe it is because women have been conditioned our whole lives to exercise from the point of view of what we "can't" do, rather than what we can do. Women grew up doing "girl" push ups, because we were told we "can't" do actual push ups or hanging from the bar instead of a chin up because girls "can't" do chin ups. The first woman to run the marathon had to sneak in dressed as a man because women "can't" run a marathon, and that was only in the 70's, not that long ago. Women "can't" lift too heavy, they will hurt themselves. We still subconsciously hold ourselves back when it comes to training whether we realize it or not.

We need to start training from the standpoint of- What CAN you do? How much CAN you lift? How strong CAN you get? And stop letting "can't" enter our vocabulary. As women start to push themselves in the gym, lifting weights and building lean muscle tissue, their metabolisms will be revving and they will be the toned, defined body they have always wanted.

So how do you get your body to change? You have to lift enough weight to build muscle to increase your metabolism, fuel your body with healthy food and turn your body into a fat burning machine. Stop pounding your body with hours of cardio and stop starving yourself!

Rachel Cosgove is a triathlete and personal fitness coach. She and her husband Alwyn own Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California.

Rachel Cosgrove Online Journal

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Calling All Golfers

Although the weather in PA has been pretty crappy so far, golf season is upon us.

Regular No Pink Dumbbells readers know how highly I recommend Craig Ballantyne and his Turbulence Training system. As I've said before, I base many of the programs I write for my clients on his method.

I just found out that Craig has created a new golf fitness challenge product with golf fitness expert, Susan Hill.

I'm not a golfer and I won't try to pretend that I am but if you want to improve your game I suggest you check out their program. Why?

Susan Hill is an avid golfer and a professional golf fitness trainer. That's what she does for a living - she works with professional golfers, competitive golfers of all levels, collegiate golf teams, and recreational players.

Besides creating his Turbulence Training fat loss system, Craig Ballantyne's sports training articles and workouts can be found on many of the best fitness websites. He is a regular contributor to Men’s Health and his articles have appeared in many magazines including Oxygen, Maximum Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness Hers.

Check out Susan and Craig's golf program here ==>"

And, if you haven't already done so, place your vote for the winners of the 4th Turbulence Training transformation contest.

Female Voting => TT Female Transformations

Male Voting => TT Male Transformations

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Check Out the Latest Issue of "Deliberate Movement"

I just received the latest issue Of Kim Ball's Deliberate Movement e-newsletter. Check it out. Great articles on food rationalization / demonization, compound vs. isolation exercises for best results, recipes, etc.

Deliberate Movement - March-April '09

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazing Transformations

Craig Ballantyne just wrapped up the 4th Turbulence Training transformation contest and he needs your help. Please click on the links below to see the amazing transformations and to vote for your favorite.

This year, the contest has been divided into men's and women's categories.

Female Voting => TT Female Transformations

Male Voting => TT Male Transformations

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Another Quickie Circuit Workout

Here's a quickie circuit for you to try out.

Warmup for 3-5 minutes.

Beginners or deconditioned folks should do 10 reps per exercise (or 10 per side if it's an exercise that works the legs or arms individually). If you currently work out, shoot for 12-15 reps.

Complete all 6 exercises with no rest in between (if possible). That's one round.

Rest 30-60 seconds then repeat for a total of 3-6 rounds, depending on how much time you have and how you feel.

* Alt. Rear Lunge (with or without dumbbells)
* Bent Over 2 Arm D.B. Row
* Prisoner Squats
* Pushups - (Based on your ability - Decline, Standard, Incline, Knee or Wall)
* Lying Hamstring Ball Curl (or Lying Hip Bridge if you don't have a Stability Ball)
* Spiderman Climbs or Mountain Climbers

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Diet vs. Exercise Episode 2

I haven't had time to blog lately so I'm really glad these guys have come out with another Diet vs. Exercise video.

This time Craig takes on the StepMill while John Alvino takes on a burger and fries (with some help from Brad Pilon).

Last time I was remiss in not including some info about Craig and Brad's programs. Craig Ballantyne is the creator of Turbulence Training and Brad Pilon is the author of Eat Stop Eat. I've used and recommend both programs.

Turbulence Training

Eat Stop Eat

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Diet vs. Exercise

You really gotta watch this.

Diet vs. Exercise
A Craig Ballantyne - Brad Pilon Production