Monday, August 27, 2012

Collected Fitness Wisdom #52

It seems to me these days the ‘vogue trend’ is training people to exhaustion then telling them how effective it is to have done so. This is the silly equivalent of saying to train for a marathon, run one every day – to train for a triathlon, do one every day. To train for a powerlifting meet, lift your 1RM every day. In these various realms of fitness pursuits this would be considered ludicrous of course.

~ Scott Abel

Conventional wisdom tells us that if you find yourself in a hole, you should stop digging--that's the logical thing to do. However, when it comes to nutrition, we aren't logical or conventionally wise. When clients have a dietary faux pas, their impulse, paradoxically, is to make it worse; after they eat the brownie, they think, "Well, I've ruined today. I may as well just eat whatever I want and then be good tomorrow."

That would be bad enough by itself; however, for many people, they carry the failure over to the next day, and the day after, and finally, "I'll be good tomorrow" becomes "I'll start again on Monday."

~ John Romaniello

Building muscle isn’t what makes a woman appear “big ‘n bulky” – excess body fat does. So, the solution would be to lose some body fat. And, if you want to look absolutely awesome, build some muscle!

~ Nia Shanks

I see women talk about fat loss and they do crap isolation movements that use small muscle groups with light weights. How many calories does that burn? Try using the large muscle groups like hamstrings, glutes, and quads with compound moves in which you can move heavy weights and the calories literally melt off you. And you build LBM (lean body mass) in the process!

I see men in the gym who want to build muscle doing half reps with toy dumbbells for dozens of reps. They look exactly the same as they did last year by wasting their time like this!

Resistance, folks!

~ Dave Chesser


Thursday, August 23, 2012

This Type Of Exercise Can Damage Your Heart

This Type of Exercise can Damage your Heart
by Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Contributor:  Men's Health Magazine
Creator: Turbulence Training       

I’ve just emerged from my training research lab with a tsunami of scientific studies that give us 5 more scary reasons to cut traditional cardio from your fat loss workouts.

Not an efficient or effective way to drop excess fat.

This breaking research just goes to show you that unless you are training for endurance sports, there’s practically no good reason to engage in long, slow cardio (especially really long sessions as you’ll discover in a moment).  And if you do train for endurance events, you should be aware of the potential heart issues with excessive training.

First up, let’s take a look at why cardio fails as much as Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (I’m saving the scariest study for last.)

In a study titled, “Why do individuals not lose more weight from an exercise intervention at a defined dose? An energy balance analysis“, researchers found that weight loss from cardio was always lower than predicted (using a standard calories in vs. calories out approach).

The article, published in Obesity Reviews (Vol. 13 Issue 6), explained that cardio doesn’t work for FOUR reasons:

a)  Some people eat more when they start a cardio program
b)  Calorie burning at rest often decreases with cardio
c)  Calorie-burning lean muscle tissue is often lost (can cause reduced metabolic rate)
d)  Cardio programs cause you to do less activity over the day

So if you’re still trying to lose fat with cardio, those are the reasons why it’s not working (or why it didn’t work for you before you switched to Turbulence Training).

Second, speaking of TT style training, we now have another research study showing the fat burning power of interval training. This time, it’s from China…

In the study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (2012 Jun;52(3):255-62), 60 overweight young women were separated into three groups.

Group 1 did a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program
Group 2 did moderate intensity continuous training (MICT)
Group 3 was a non-training control group.

Groups 1 & 2 trained five days per week for 12 weeks.

The researchers concluded that the HIIT group achieved better results than those in the MICT group.

But it’s not “new” to hear about intervals being better than slow cardio for fat loss, so finally, here’s the FIFTH scary reason you need to avoid long cardio... And believe me, it’s frightening, particularly to those who love their long-distance events like marathons.

In a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2012 Jun;87(6):587-95), researchers concluded that there are potential adverse cardiovascular effects from excessive endurance exercise.

Frankly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After all, what happens when you do a high-volume workout?

Well, your muscles get really sore, right? And that’s called muscle damage.

Now think for a second…what is your heart?

It’s a muscle.

Therefore, when you do high-volume cardiovascular training, your heart experiences a LOT of muscle damage, and over the long-term this can damage your  heart.

The researchers from the Mid America Heart Institute of Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO, said that while regular, short workouts are good for your heart, that long-term excessive endurance exercise may cause “pathologic” structural remodeling of the heart and large arteries”.

Pathological is bad, very bad.

You’ve heard the phrase “pathological liar”, right? Well, just imagine someone with a pathological heart. Notta too good.

The scientists found that training for and competing in extreme endurance events such as marathons, ultramarathons, ironman distance triathlons, and very long distance bicycle races, damage the heart.

Worse, they found that if done for years, it creates “patchy myocardial fibrosis” and could lead to arrhythmias.

Something to keep in mind if you’re a hardcore marathoner.

Get your heart checked.

It always disheartens me to read stories of men who pass away while running (the Toronto marathon had another death during the race last year). So make sure your ticker is up to par if you’re a cardio fanatic.

Be careful with your cardio, if you must do it at all.

For fat loss, it’s certainly not mandatory.

Nutrition is much more important than exercise (for both fat loss and heart-health), so take some of that excessive endurance training time and put it towards preparing a healthier diet.

No matter what, I want you to be active, but safe and smart.

As the lead researcher in that last study wisely said:

“When people come to me as a cardiologist and say they want to run a marathon I say, ‘OK, do one and cross it off your bucket list and then let’s focus on an exercise pattern that’s more ideal to producing long-term health benefits and improving your longevity.”

Words to live by.

Pardon me, words to live a LONG-TIME by.

If you want a safer AND more effective way to train that strengthens your heart while also getting you super lean and chiseled, try out my unique TT Bodyweight Cardio Metabolic workouts. You can get ripped, anywhere, anytime!

Train hard but safe,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Thursday, August 16, 2012

With Friends Like That...

If your "friends" question why you exercise, encourage you to eat badly or drink too much alcohol, criticize your body, dismiss your dreams, or make fun of pictures of you exercising on Facebook, FIND NEW FRIENDS!

I don't say that lightly. You are affected by the attitude and actions of the people you surround yourself with.

If you hang around mostly overweight people, you're more likely to gain weight. If your environment is a study in negativity, it's much harder to reach your goals. Your income correlates with the income of the people you associate with most.

Your success or failure, your health, your outlook on life, your income, your happiness, your eating habits, and more are all affected by those you spend the most time with.


Trying to make positive changes while surrounded by critics and naysayers is like running a race wearing concrete shoes. If your friends really care about you, they'll support your efforts not tear you down.

Too many people don't want you to succeed because it will make them look bad for not improving themselves. If you fail at shedding fat / going back to school / exercising regularly / getting promoted / learning something new / starting a business / etc. it "justifies" them sitting on their asses doing nothing.   

Someone who holds you back to make themselves feel better is not a real friend and you DESERVE better. Find positive, supportive people to hang out with. You'll be happier AND more successful.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

This is an excellent article from "The Boot Camp Girls", Alicia & Carrie. I couldn't have said it better myself so I won't. ;-) They even include one of my major pet peeves about people hanging onto the treadmill! If you want to know more about that, there's a great article here ==> Stop Holding On When On The Treadmill.

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Losing weight and burning fat DOES NOT have to be a losing battle! You have more control over it than you think.

Small tweaks can make a BIG difference.

Here are a few reasons why you’re not seeing the results you’d like:

You’re not strength training. Often, people who are not losing weight don’t do strength training. The more lean, sleek muscle you have, the faster your resting metabolism is because muscle is the body’s most metabolically active tissue.

You’re not exercising in a way that forces your body to adapt. The adaptive response requires energy; it raises your body’s energy needs. The body will then dig into stored fat for this energy.

They may not be pink but they're WAY too light.
If you’ve been strength training and the weight hasn’t been coming off, it may be because you’re not doing much more than merely going through the motions.

There’s the story of a heavy-set woman who was doing body weight squats. A trainer waltzed over, knelt beside her, said “Hi” with a smile, then handed her two 10 pound dumbbells (one for each hand).

The woman’s mouth fell open, but the trainer said, “You’re going to do eight reps of your squats but this time you’re going to hold a 10 lb dumbbell on each side.”

“I can’t do it with that weight!”

“Oh yes you can. Trust me. You’re going to complete all eight reps.”

The woman said her goal was to lose weight, but nothing was happening despite regular workouts. She began her squats, and it wasn’t easy. She had to fight her way to the eighth rep, but she completed eight full repetitions.

The trainer said, “Now that’s the way every set should feel. Apply this effort level to all of your sets for every exercise. You won’t lose weight if you keep doing something your body is efficient at. You must do something that forces you to struggle. Struggling begets weight loss.”

A month later the woman reported having dropped an entire dress size.

Moral of this true story: Exercises that require you to push harder will burn fat and spark weight loss, especially when paired with sensible eating.

No, a couple won't kill you but they do add up.

You eat mindlessly. Every little sample and nugget counts. One tablespoon of gravy is 100 calories. A “little bit here and there” adds up. Avoid eating when you’re focused on other things, such as watching TV or you’re on the computer.

You drink diet sodas. Artificial sweeteners often trigger hunger.

Too many processed foods. These trigger hunger, and too much white sugar and high fructose corn syrup will get stored as fat.

You skip breakfast. Breakfast, even if it’s only a cup of yogurt, tends to tame later-day appetite. Skipping it can make you feel entitled to overeat later on.

You hold onto the treadmill. This has got to be one of the most weight-loss-sabotaging habits out there. The body has absolutely no reason to burn more fat in response to make-believe walking.

Instead, pump the arms and get winded to force your body to adapt. Remember, the body won’t adapt to something that it’s very efficient at doing (e.g., walking while holding onto something for support).

If you're trying to burn lots of fat, this won't do it.

You don’t do HIIT: high intensity interval training. This form of cardio blasts fat.

Inconsistent exercise habits. Regular exercise means the difference between success and failure. Even if you’re doing everything right in the gym, consistency is the MOST important thing.

Poor sleeping habits. Research shows that under six hours of sleep and over nine are strongly linked to excess body fat.

Too much daytime napping. Excessive inertia means a slowed metabolism to accommodate it.

Before you blame your parents and grandparents for having “the wrong genes,” review your lifestyle habits to find out what can be modified to promote fat loss.

For more information about how to get the best fat loss results from your nutrition and exercise programs, call Mickey at (717) 509-7777.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

You Are Very, Very Sleepy

Unfortunately, many Americans are sleep deprived.

Researchers tell us that lack of sleep affects our performance, health, and even our weight but there are still people who brag about consistently getting by on 5 or 6 hours a sleep. It’s their norm so does it still have negative consequences or do their bodies adjust to less shut-eye?

Multiple studies have shown that no matter how tired you think you are, lack of sleep can influence the way you perform visual and cognitive tasks.

Other studies show a correlation to lack of sleep and weight gain (or diminished weight loss if you are trying to shed some excess fat).

It makes sense that being groggy could impair thinking and physical tasks but what does lack of sleep have to do with weight? Sleep affects the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which help regulate appetite and satiety.

Leptin helps you feel satisfied but when you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels fall so you don’t feel as satiated after eating. The hormone ghrelin helps control appetite. Sleep deprivation causes ghrelin to rise, making you hungrier.

One recent joint study between Stanford and the University of Wisconsin showed that those who slept less than 8 hours a night had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, and also higher levels of body fat. In fact, of the about 1,000 volunteers, the ones who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most.