Henry Rollins v.s. McDonalds

A lesson in nutrition from an unlikely source – Mr. Henry Rollins

enjoy

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Health Habits Workout – Week 51 – Day 3

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HIRT workout #3

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The goals for this phase are Fat Loss / Aerobic Endurance / Anaerobic Endurance / Improved Joint Mobility / Correct Typical Muscular Imbalances (reduce neck & lower back pain)

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And remember, the success of this phase of the workout relies on three things:
  1. Keeping good form throughout each exercise.
  2. Performing as many reps as possible. Really push yourself.
  3. Keeping the rest between sets to an absolute minimum. No rest if possible. .

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.
.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor.

When your back starts to arch…STOP
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1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

 .
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THE WORKOUT

,

Superset # 1

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Horizontal Wood Chops – (cable or band)

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set per side…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 7 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

Exercise #3

1 Leg Bodyweight Deadlifts

  • 7 sets
  • 5-10 reps per set per leg…
  • Bodyweight only

Superset # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Bench Step-Ups – (bodyweight only)

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per set per leg…
  • Bodyweight only
  • Most fast…what we’re sacrificing in weight, we’re going to make up in speed

Exercise # 2

Hip Thrusts – feet on bench

  • 10 sets
  • 20 reps per set
  • controlled speed on the descent – explode on the ascent

Superset # 3

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Alternating Shoulder Press (See Saw Press) – (dumbbells)

  • 7 sets
  • 10 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Alternating DB Bicep Curls – using the same DBs used for Ex.1

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps (with good form) per set…
  • Using the same DBs used for Ex.1

Exercise # 3

Bodyweight Tricep Extensions

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps (with good form) per set…
  • Bodyweight

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

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Health Habits Workout – Week 51 – Day 2

HIRT workout #2
.
The goals for this phase are Fat Loss / Aerobic Endurance / Anaerobic Endurance / Improved Joint Mobility / Correct Typical Muscular Imbalances (reduce neck & lower back pain)
.
And remember, the success of this phase of the workout relies on three things:
  1. Keeping good form throughout each exercise.
  2. Performing as many reps as possible. Really push yourself.
  3. Keeping the rest between sets to an absolute minimum. No rest if possible. .
WORKOUT WARM-UP
Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.
.
Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction
.
Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor.
When your back starts to arch…STOP
.
1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up
 .
.

THE WORKOUT

.

Superset # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Toes to the Ceiling

  • 10 sets
  • Maximum reps per set…
  • Reach your hands behind your head and hold onto something solid for increased stability
  • Try to go higher up than the guy in the video

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

.

Superset # 2

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Push-Ups – (using Smith Machine if needed…no girlie push-ups ever)

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Exercise # 2

Air Squats

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Exercise # 3

Bodyweight Row on Smith Machine

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

.

Superset # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Stability Ball Crunches – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

OR

Stability Ball Jackknifes – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Feel free to mix & match

Exercise # 2

2 Leg Hip Thrust with feet on stability ball

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

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That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

How to create a Photo Diet / Food Log

It’s almost a brand New Year – 2011.

That means it’s almost time for 96 percent of the world’s adult population to make the following New Year’s Resolution.

I AM GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT.

And if you’re among that desperate 96%, here is a fantastic tool for weight loss success.

The Photo Diet / Food Log.

Research has shown that dieters who photographed their meals prior to eating are more likely to stick to their diet, less likely to cheat and lose up to three times more weight.

And here’s how to create your own Photo Diet/Food Log in under 5 minutes.

  1. Go to Posterous.com
  2. Sign up for an account
  3. Create a new site – follow the instructions
  4. Here’s one I created as an example
  5. Adjust the settings as you see fit. I recommend that you either make the site public OR make private with password protection if and only if you send the url & password to at least 5 people who are willing to keep you honest while you are trying to diet. You really need that threat of someone checking out your diet/food log to keep you from cheating.
  6. I also adjusted my settings so that only I can post, but that logged in visitors can comment.

Alright, now that your site is set up – what’s next?

  1. Take a picture of your next meal with a) your mobile phone or b) your digital camera
  2. If you used your phone – email that picture to yourwebsitename@posterous.com. In my case, I would email it to myphotodietfoodlog@posterous.com. You can also send the image via SMS text.
  3. If you don’t have a mobile phone, take a pic with your digital camera, upload it to your computer and email that image to yourwebsitename@posterous.com via your computer.

Obviously, the mobile phone option is much, much better.

Now what?

  • Now you take a picture of everything you eat before you eat it.
  • Email it to your photo diet/food log
  • And get ready to lose weight

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And if you need help with your diet/exercise program, there is a bunch of new articles in the pipeline.

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Re-Build Your Heart with Exercise

We all know that exercise is good for our heart.

What we didn’t know is how and why endurance exercise causes your heart to grow larger and work better in response to the increased pressure and volume.

The Science

According to the research published in Cell, endurance exercise causes a downregulation of a specific transcription factor called C/EBPβ.

This reduction in C/EBPβ kickstarts a genetic program which results in the hypertrophy and proliferation of cardiac muscle.

Ergo, endurance exercise re-builds your heart.

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Kind of like the Grinch at Christmas.

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Reference

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    healthhabits health fitness exercise workout

    Health Habits Workout-Week 51/Day 1

    It’s HIRT workouts for the next 2 weeks.
    .
    The goals for this phase are Fat Loss / Aerobic Endurance / Anaerobic Endurance / Improved Joint Mobility / Correct Typical Muscular Imbalances (reduce neck & lower back pain).
    .
    And remember, the success of this phase of the workout relies on three things:
    1. Keeping good form throughout each exercise.
    2. Performing as many reps as possible. Really push yourself.
    3. Keeping the rest between sets to an absolute minimum. No rest if possible. .
    WORKOUT WARM-UP
    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.
    .
    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction
    .
    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor.
    When your back starts to arch…STOP
    .
    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up
    .
    .

    THE WORKOUT .

    Superset # 1

    • 2 exercises performed back to back
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • No rest between sets
    • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

    Exercise #1

    1 Arm Swing Snatch

    • 10 sets
    • 10 reps per set…
    • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form
    • Alternate arms every other set
    • Notice the flat back…very important

    Exercise # 2

    Standing 2 Arm Cable Row

    • 10 sets
    • 10 reps per set…
    • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form
    • 4 different variations in the video – rotate through or use the one that feels “best” for your shoulders

    .

    Superset # 2

    • 3 exercises performed back to back
    • 7 sets of each exercise
    • No rest between sets
    • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

    .

    Exercise #1

    Flat Bench Press (barbell or machine)

    • 7 sets
    • 5 reps per set…
    • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

    Exercise # 2

    Shuffle Lunge

    • 7 sets
    • 20-40 reps
    • Bodyweight only – move fast!!!

    Exercise # 3

    1 Arm Dumbbell Row to Hip

    • 7 sets
    • 5 reps
    • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

    Superset # 3

    • 2 exercises performed back to back
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • No rest between sets

    Exercise #1

    Prone Leg Curls

    • 10 sets
    • 10 reps per set…
    • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form – probably bodyweight only

    Exercise # 2

    Varied Grip Pulldowns

    • 10 sets
    • 5 reps per set…
    • palms facing away from you
    • 1st set, start with a wide grip, 2nd set – med. grip, 3rd set – narrow grip, etc…
    • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form
    .
    That’s it, you’re done for today.
    Stretch and go home
    Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)
    .

    You Are What Your Father Ate

    Attention all fathers to be!!!

    Researchers from the U of Mass have found that the food you eat is going to make a big difference upon the health of your future children.

    So, before you inhale another bucket of popcorn chicken, be aware that your diet will influence the genetic makeup of your children.

    In the UMass study, researchers found that adult mice fed a low protein diet produced offspring with an increase in the production of cholesterol synthesis genes.

    And while this doesn’t mean that the wee baby mice are doomed to a lifetime of high cholesterol and prescriptions for lipitor, it does mean that a parent’s diet has a big impact on their kids –  in the form of changed epigentic information.

    In the UMass experiment, scientists fed two different diets to two different groups of male mice – a standard diet and a low-protein diet. All females were fed a standard diet.

    And as nature took it’s course and little mice babies were born, the researchers observed that the low-protein offspring showed an increase in the genes responsible for lipid & cholesterol production in comparison to the standard diet mice.

    The observations are consistent with two human studies (1 & 2) which showed that a poor adolescent diet in one generation resulted in an increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in second-generation offspring.

    However, since these previous human studies were retrospective and involved dynamic populations, they were unable to completely account for all social and economic variables.

    Hence this study with lab mice.

    According to lead researcher Oliver Rando, “Our study begins to rule out the possibility that social and economic factors, or differences in the DNA sequence, may be contributing to what we’re seeing. It strongly implicates epigenetic inheritance as a contributing factor to changes in gene function.”

    Co-author Hans Hofmann continues by saying that “the results also have implications for our understanding of evolutionary processes. It has increasingly become clear in recent years that mothers can endow their offspring with information about the environment, for instance via early experience and maternal factors, and thus make them possibly better adapted to environmental change. Our results show that offspring can inherit such acquired characters even from a parent they have never directly interacted with, which provides a novel mechanism through which natural selection could act in the course of evolution.”

    So, what does this mean?

    According to Dr. Rando, “we often look at a patient’s behavior and their genes to assess risk. If the patient smokes, they are going to be at an increased risk for cancer. If the family has a long history of heart disease, they might carry a gene that makes them more susceptible to heart disease. But we’re more than just our genes and our behavior. Knowing what environmental factors your parents experienced is also important.”

    What’s next for this research?

    Drs. Rando et al will begin to explore how and why this genetic reprogramming is being transmitted from generation to generation. “We don’t know why these genes are being reprogrammed or how, precisely, that information is being passed down to the next generation,” said Rando. “It’s consistent with the idea that when parents go hungry, it’s best for offspring to hoard calories, however, it’s not clear if these changes are advantageous in the context of a low-protein diet.”

    What does this mean for you?

    It means that not only will that bucket of popcorn chicken screw up your health, it will probably screw up your kid’s health as well.

    Reference

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    Health Habits Workout – Week 50 – Day 3

    Today’s picture expresses the type of intensity I would like to see applied to the following workout…perhaps without the adamantium claws and the homicidal intent.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Same as the past 2 workouts.

    • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
    • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
    • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

    Exercise #1

    Chin-Ups / Assisted Chin-Ups or Pulldowns – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

    Exercise #2

    Bulgarian Split Squat/Lunge – same weight selection as before – 12RM per leg

    Exercise #3

    Wood Chops – same weight selection as before – 12RM

    Note – Exercises 3 & 4 can be performed one after the other OR as a circuit (left leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop right to left – right leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop left to right)

    Exercise #4

    Dive Bomb or Hindu Push Ups – BW

    .

    • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
    • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
    • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

    .

    That’s it

    .

    3 Tips to Avoid A Christmas Party Pig-Out

    I have been seeing a ton of these “how-to survive a Christmas Party” articles the past few weeks…and they all stink.

    It’s the same old unrealistic advice about eating a “healthy” meal before coming to the party or bringing your own “healthy” snacks to the party.

    As if anyone is going to do that stuff.

    It’s more likely that they are going to eat their “healthy” pre-party meal, forget about their “healthy” party snacks and then pig-out at the party like everyone else.

    So, what the heck is a real person supposed to do to help minimize the Christmas Party Pig-Out?

    Here are three common-sense tricks that have worked for me in the past….

    1. Be a social butterfly. Talk to everyone at the party…and I mean everyone. If your gums are flapping, you ain’t eating.
    2. Have a low-cal/no-cal drink in your hands at all times. ex. Cranberry juice & soda water. And if anyone tries to hand you an egg nog laced with dark rum, just tell them that you’re the designated driver.
    3. When it’s time to eat, start with a plate of “real food”. If you have a plate full of turkey, ham, vegetables, etc filling up your belly, you are less likely to inhale a plate of Grandma’s Christmas cookies.

    But with all that being said, don’t forget to eat at least one of Grandma’s cookies. She’s an old lady and you’ll break her heart if you don’t eat one of them and tell her how great they are.

    Just don’t inhale their entire plate.

    .

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 50 – Day 2

    Same as last week – Enjoy.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    It’s a very simple workout.

    • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
    • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
    • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

    Exercise #1

    1 Hand Swing Snatch – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

    Exercise #2

    Band / Cable Snap Downs (aka dynamic straight-arm pulldown) – same weight selection as the Swing Snatch – 12RM

    I prefer to perform these standing instead of kneeling.

    Exercise #3

    BW Rows – like Monday’s push-ups, this exercise may be too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

    Exercise #4

    Ab Wheel Roll Outs or Toes to the Sky – same rep scheme as BW Rows if possible

    .

    • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
    • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
    • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

    .

    That’s it – simple ain’t it?

    .

    Oranges – So Much More than Just Vitamin C

    • We all know that oranges are good for us.
    • We know that they’re good for us because they’re loaded with Vitamin C, fiber and a bunch of other stuff like antioxidants and enzymes.

    What we don’t know is why a whole orange is better for us than a handful of vitamins & antioxidants.

    And it’s that question that got a bunch of researchers at BYU all excited to find out why eating oranges protects our cardio-vascular system from free radicals and a bunch of other junk flowing through our veins.

    So, here’s what they did.

    The Research

    Operating under the assumption that an orange is more than just a collection of Vitamin C and a bunch of antioxidants, the researchers took a closer look at the polyphenol antioxidants found in a navel orange.

    They looked at how these antioxidants worked alone and in combinations to create a “healthy” effect. Their research identified three different combinations of 2 compounds and 5 combinations of 3 compounds to be synergistic. In particular, the combination of the phenolic compounds hesperidin and naringenin appeared to provide the strongest antioxidant effect (as measured by ORAC)

    Conclusion(s)

    • An orange is much more than the sum of it’s parts
    • The antioxidants found in an orange work together to increase their collective “healthy” effect
    • Scientists are going to examine these combinations
    • Supplement companies & pharmaceutical companies are going to market these combinations
    • And 10 years from now, researchers are going to identify new compounds in oranges that they had never dreamed of…and those compounds will be studied and identified and produced as nutritional supplements and sold for a large profit.

    The Moral of the Story

    Eat an orange every day…or a mango…or some blueberries…or a kiwi…or…

    Reference

    Multi Vitamins for people who hate taking vitamins

    • My wife hates taking vitamins
    • A lot of my clients hate taking vitamins.
    • There is even a facebook group dedicated to the hatred of vitamins.

    And that’s why I went looking for nutritional supplements that can give you all the benefits of multivitamins without setting off your gag reflex.

    And, after an extensive 2 months of guinea pig / training client / wife  testing, I have come up with two products that I can honestly recommend as an alternative to those giant, stinky multivitamins you are choking down this morning with your O.J.

    Disclosure – During this little experiment, I tried out products from 7 different manufacturers. These were the two products that I found worthy of recommending to you. The other 5 are in a landfill somewhere.

    PRODUCT #1

    Athletic Greens

    In the past, I have written about my favorite “green food” supplement – Vege Greens.

    And while I am still a big fan of Vege Greens, I have always had one big problem trying to convince clients to replace their Flintstone multivitamins with a tub of green food.

    While it’s great to know that each scoop of green food has 115 mg of Acerola Berries…

    …I have no idea how much Acerola Berry me and my clients need every day.

    But, I do have a good idea how much Beta Carotene and Vitamin C and Magnesium we need to consume.

    And that’s why I contacted the fine folks at Athletic Greens.

    Because unlike with Vege Greens, I can tell my clients that each serving of Athletic Greens contains this much Beta Carotene or that much Magnesium, etc…

    Personally, I replaced my Vege Greens with Athletic Greens and was very pleased with the results. In the past, when I have cycled off Vege Greens, I have always noticed a drop off in energy and an increase in my stupid allergy symptoms.Plus, it tastes great and after pestering the owner of the company with about a million emails and questions, I am very happy about the quality of ingredients and manufacturing process of this product.

    I felt great on Athletic Greens and now I have a product I can very easily recommend to clients.

    UPDATE

    A lot of people who have read this article and clicked through to the Athletic Greens site have emailed me complaining about the price of Athletic Greens. And while it’s true that a tub of AG is pricier than a tub of Greens+ or Vege Greens, I always tell them that once they try AG, they will never question the price again.

    It’s been almost a year, and I am still buying Athletic Greens for me and my wife.

    ,

    PRODUCT #2

    Multiforce ORAC

    Another product that was really popular with my clients was multiforce ORAC from Prairie Naturals.

    Especially popular with those people who just can’t stand the taste of green food, multiforce ORAC not only covers your basic vitamins & minerals, it gives you a serious dose of antioxidant polyphenols from Hi-ORAC berries and fruit

    Prairie Naturals is another company whose manufacturing process and ingredient quality I feel comfortable recommending.

    On a personal note, I found the multiforce ORAC to be a little too sweet for my tastes, so I cut the sweetness on alternate days with either a splash of lemon juice of a serving of Prairie Naturals Morning Rise & Shine product. And while both the lemon juice and Rise & Shine were equally effective in cutting the sweetness of my morning health drink, the Rise & Shine provided a very noticeable impact upon my digestive regularity.

    I am telling you – it was like clockwork.

    Long story short… even though I didn’t request a sample of Rise & Shine, I am pretty happy they sent me one.

    .

    So there you go…two multi vitamin alternatives for people who hate to take multi vitamins.

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 50 – Day 1

    Same workout as last week.

    Have fun.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    It’s a very simple workout.

    • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
    • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
    • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

    Exercise 1

    1 Hand Overhead KB Squat – try to keep torso as upright as possible – non-weight hand is held between your legs – squat deep enough so that non-weight hand touches the floor

    Exercise 2

    1 Hand Overhead Shoulder Press using the same arm that was held overhead during the squat. Also using the same dumbbell/kettlebell that you used during the squat

    Exercise 3

    1 Leg Deadlift using the same arm and the matching leg (ie if you pressed with the right arm, use the right leg to DL & hold the DB/KB in your right hand)

    Repeat all 3 Exercises for the other Arm

    Exercise 4

    Push-Ups

    For some people, this exercise is way too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other 3 exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

    .

    • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
    • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum

    .

    That’s it – simple ain’t it?

    .

    Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #4

    Winter has come to Toronto…and you have two options.

    1. Hibernate
    2. Get outside and enjoy winter in Toronto

    For those of you that choose the second option, Toronto has 51 outdoor, compressor-cooled ice rinks.

    Click on the map to see a pdf version and/or click on this link to check on the open/closed status of your favorite rink.

    On another note, earlier this week I contacted the new Toronto city government about a plan I have for using public facilities and private money to create a system of free (or nearly free) mini-health clubs all around the city.

    I have heard back from the Board of Health and am currently in the process of putting together a written proposal for their review. No word yet from the other committees (Community Development and Recreation, Parks & Environment or my local councilor) but considering how busy they are right now, I’m not surprised.

    I will keep you updated as to my progress

    .

    Note – If anyone out there knows of any other city governments who have been successful in improving access to health & fitness resources for their citizens, please leave a comment/link/etc…

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 49 – Day 3

    Today’s picture expresses the type of intensity I would like to see applied to the following workout…perhaps without the adamantium claws and the homicidal intent.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Same as the past 2 workouts.

    • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
    • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
    • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

    Exercise #1

    Chin-Ups / Assisted Chin-Ups or Pulldowns – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

    Exercise #2

    Bulgarian Split Squat/Lunge – same weight selection as before – 12RM per leg

    Exercise #3

    Wood Chops – same weight selection as before – 12RM

    Note – Exercises 3 & 4 can be performed one after the other OR as a circuit (left leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop right to left – right leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop left to right)

    Exercise #4

    Dive Bomb or Hindu Push Ups – BW

    .

    • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
    • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
    • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

    .

    That’s it

    .

    The Science behind Beauty Sleep

    According to the latest research….your Mom was right.

    A good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do to look attractive and healthy.

    In this study, researchers looked at the relationship between sleep and our perception of attractiveness and health.

    The researchers took 23 participants between the ages of 18 and 31 and photographed them between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. on two separate occasions – once after a normal sleep and once after being deprived of sleep.

    A group of 65 observers were then asked to rate the photographs for attractiveness and whether the individuals looked healthy and rested or unhealthy and tired.

    Results

    • The sleep deprived photos/people were judged to be less healthy, more tired and less attractive.
    • Conversely, the well rested photos/people were judged to be unbelievably sexy and a veritable picture of health.

    Conclusion

    The researchers concluded that “humans are sensitive to sleep related facial cues, with potential implications for social and clinical judgments and behaviour”.

    In short, if you want to look your best…get some beauty sleep.

    Reference

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    How to Lose Weight during Christmas without turning into Ebenezer Scrooge

    After posting my “Is Paleo + Intermittent Fasting the Ultimate Diet for Guys?” article last week, I have received a flood of emails with all sorts of qualifying questions and clarifications.

    One of those emailers told me that he plans to use this diet, along with my workouts to lose weight over the Christmas holidays…without abstaining from any of his holiday get togethers.

    While I think he’s nuts, I admired his chutzpah and offered to help him out with some online support…if he was willing to follow a few requirements.

    1. Pre-select his 8 hour eating window to correspond to his party schedule
    2. Eat 100% Paleo at each non-party meal
    3. Plan out all his non-party meals for the week
    4. Agree to a modified non-Scroogian dietary approach to holiday parties. This approach simply requires him to eat a plate of “real Paleo food” before diving into the cake, cookies, egg nog, booze & candy
    5. Supplement daily with 2 servings of green food, BCAAs during his fast and a handful of digestive enzymes before gorging on Christmas party food.
    6. Photograph everything he eats before he eats it – this will serve as a visual diary and as an emotional eating disconnect.
    7. Measure weight, BF% and various body circumferences every week for the duration of the festivus.
    8. Report back to me every week and allow me to write about his progress / lack of progress.

    .

    So, do you think our little guinea pig can lose weight during Christmas without turning into an Ebenezer Scrooge-like diet obsessed party pooper?

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 49 – Day 2

    Alright…I hope Monday’s workout went well.

    Today’s is going to be a real SOB. Have fun.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    It’s a very simple workout.

    • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
    • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
    • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

    Exercise #1

    1 Hand Swing Snatch – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

    Exercise #2

    Band / Cable Snap Downs (aka dynamic straight-arm pulldown) – same weight selection as the Swing Snatch – 12RM

    I prefer to perform these standing instead of kneeling.

    Exercise #3

    BW Rows – like Monday’s push-ups, this exercise may be too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

    Exercise #4

    Ab Wheel Roll Outs or Toes to the Sky – same rep scheme as BW Rows if possible

    .

    • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
    • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
    • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

    .

    That’s it – simple ain’t it?

    .

    Soda Tax v.s. Corn Syrup Subsidy

    In a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers have concluded that imposing higher taxes on soda and other sweetened beverages will:

    1. Generate a lot of money for government
    2. Have minimal effect on weight loss for the middle class and,
    3. Have almost no weight loss effect on either those consumers in the highest and lowest income brackets.

    Regarding the tax income side of the equation, the researchers estimated that if the federal government were to impose a sales tax that raised the price of sugar sweetended beverages (SSBs) purchased by 20 percent, this would generate about $1.5 billion per year in tax revenue in the U.S.;

    If they imposed a tax that raised prices by 40 percent, this would generate $2.5 billion per year, at a cost to the average household of about $28.

    And what would America’s soda drinkers get for their $1.5 to $2.5 billion?

    According to Dr. Finkelstein et al, results of the study showed that due to the high likelihood of consumers switching from SSBs to other beverages, the effect on total calories consumed would be negligible.

    A tax that raises SSB prices by 20 percent generates a daily average reduction of 6.9 calories. Over the course of a year, this equates to a weight loss of no more than 0.7 pounds per household member.

    A 40 percent tax would reduce daily calories by 12.5 calories and generate annual weight losses of up to 1.3 pounds per person per year.

    The researchers also found that nearly all of the weight losses were generated from middle income groups.

    “Higher income groups can afford to pay the tax so they are unaffected, and lower income groups likely avoid the effects of the tax by purchasing generic versions, waiting for sales, buying in bulk, or by other cost-saving strategies,” Finkelstein said.

    However, he notes that there may be a secondary benefit of the tax, even for lower income households, if the revenue is used to fund obesity prevention efforts.

    Hmmmm, now that may be an idea.

    The tax itself may be ineffective in reducing obesity, but if it funds more effective weight loss programs, we may be on to something.

    Of course, it still means a new federal tax of between $1.5 and $2.5 billion.

    And no one likes new taxes.

    But, what if instead of a new tax, the government were to reduce/eliminate the subsidies they give to the farming industry which cause the price of high fructose corn syrup and traditional sugar to be artificially low?

    And what if they took all of that corn syrup/sugar subsidy money and redirected it towards healthier food choices and public parks and walkable neighborhoods and public school phys ed programs and…?

    What we would/could end up with is:

    • Soda being sold at fair market prices
    • Junk food being sold at fair market prices
    • Healthy food being sold at artificially lowered prices
    • Greater access to healthy lifestyle choices
    • More livable neighborhoods
    • Healthier children
    • Reduced national obesity
    • and No New Taxes

    So, what do you think?

    Soda taxes or a repeal/reduction of the pro-junk food agriculture subsidies?

    .

    Reference

    .

    Merry Christmas from KFC

    Source: The Sunday Telegraph

    KFC knows how difficult it can be to find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

    • Little Suzy wants the latest Justin Bieber thingamijig.
    • Little Jimmy wants the loudest, most annoying video game of all time, and
    • Your unemployed couch potato lump of a brother in law wants a giant bucket of popcorn chicken

    And if your lazy bro in law is lucky enough to live in Australia, he might just be getting his Christmas wish.

    Because starting this month, KFC outlets in Australia are selling Christmas Gift Cards in denominations ranging from $5 to $500.

    And according to the fine folks at The Daily Telegraph, $500 in KFC bucks can be redeemed for over 300 pieces of original recipe fried chicken or a little more than 14 kg / 30 lbs of popcorn chicken.

    .

    burp

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 49 – Day 1

    I know that I promised we would have a new Tabata workout this week, but I changed my mind.

    Instead, I present to you a new workout that I have been beta testing on some of my real-world clients over the past few weeks. It’s designed to kick the stuffing out of your anaerobic energy system while giving your muscles more than they can handle…all in under 30 minutes.

    This should give you lots of extra time for all that Christmas shopping you still need to do.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    It’s a very simple workout.

    • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
    • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
    • 10 sets of each exercise
    • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
    • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

    Exercise 1

    1 Hand Overhead KB Squat – try to keep torso as upright as possible – non-weight hand is held between your legs – squat deep enough so that non-weight hand touches the floor

    Exercise 2

    1 Hand Overhead Shoulder Press using the same arm that was held overhead during the squat. Also using the same dumbbell/kettlebell that you used during the squat

    Exercise 3

    1 Leg Deadlift using the same arm and the matching leg (ie if you pressed with the right arm, use the right leg to DL & hold the DB/KB in your right hand)

    Repeat all 3 Exercises for the other Arm

    Exercise 4

    Push-Ups

    For some people, this exercise is way too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other 3 exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

    .

    • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
    • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum

    .

    That’s it – simple ain’t it?

    .

    Orange Ginger Pork

    Here’s this weekends Paleo friendly recipe. As an alternative to the usual protein packed chicken and turkey, pork loin is the ‘other’ white meat which is lean and mean. It’s also one of those meats that marinades well. The ginger and orange work great here together with the earthiness of the Swiss chard.

    Have a great weekend guys.

    RECIPE:
    1 x 2 lb organic pork loin
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper

    Marinade:
    1 tbsp fresh ginger – grated
    1 large orange – zested
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/4 tsp black pepper

    Here’s the full recipe.

    For those of you who’ve followed my recipes here on HH, I just launched my new online cooking show with Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern show. It’s called VEGUCATING ROBIN.

    The show involves me teaching Robin, who’s a vegan, how to cook an assortment of vegetables.
    This is not just for vegans but is a show for any and everyone who enjoys cooking but needs a little inspiration in the kitchen. In this weeks episode I show Robin how to make pesto. Our next episode goes up Wed 12/15.

    Here’s some more of my Paleo friendly recipes from previous posts.

    Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #3

    The Tough Mudder race is coming to Toronto in 2011.

    And just in case you don’t know what the Tough Mudder is, please watch the following video.

    That’s Tough Mudder…bitches.

    .

    FYI, I will be setting up training programs in the coming months to help my fellow Torontonians get ready for the Mudder. There will be programs for runners who need to get stronger as well as programs for muscle-heads and fat-asses who can’t run the 7 mile course without bringing up a lung…and their lunch.

    I am also planning on setting up outdoor training sessions this winter & spring somewhere in Toronto. Location suggestions are welcome.

    .

    Note – You don’t have to be from Toronto to use these programs. They’re free for everyone.

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 48 – Day 3

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    This week is an exact duplicate of the previous Tabata phase. We are going to do this for 1 week and then follow up with 2 weeks of new Tabata exercises. My hope is that the bridge week will allow you to beat your PBs from the lastTabata week.

    As always, during these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.

    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Thrusters

    • Thrusters (BB or DB) for 20 seconds
    • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of thrusters
    • 4 minutes  total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    Ab Wheel Roll-Out (or barbell / stability ball roll-out) (article on roll-out)

    • Roll-outs for 20 seconds
    • Rest (kneeling) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of roll-outs
    • 4 minutes total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Straight Arm Pulldowns – standing – use a rope handle

    • Pulldown for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of pulldowns
    • 4 minutes total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    Push-Ups

    • From the floor if you can do them
    • Using a smith machine if you can’t do floor push-ups
    • No “girl” push-ups on the knees
    • Push-up for 20 seconds
    • Rest (floor) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets total of Push-ups
    • 4 minutes  total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    ..

    Paleo Diet Good

    Is Paleo + Intermittent Fasting the Ultimate Diet for Guys?

    In all my years as a personal trainer, I have uncovered a few common truths.

    One of those truths is that men & women don’t diet the same way.

    Women are generally better at counting calories and men are more effective at restricting food groups. To test this observation, I conducted an experiment with a few of my male clients on what may just be the Ultimate Guys Diet.

    Combining my version of the Paleo Diet with Martin Berkhan’s Lean Gains version of Intermittent Fasting, I watched four of my male clients/guinea pigs drop a bunch of body-fat without hearing any of the typical “I hate dieting” bitching and whining.

    Amazing…..Here’s what they did.

    • From waking up until 1 or 2:00 p.m., they ate nothing except for one coffee (no sugar) and/or a green food drink sweetened with stevia.
    • They also supplemented their diet with branched chain amino acids (BCAA) throughout the morning – dose dependent upon bodyweight.
    • Between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., they ate a meal of salad greens, protein (steak, chicken, fish, eggs), balsamic vinegar and some version of healthy oil.

    Notesome of my guinea pigs worked out in the afternoon while others in the evening. This would impact when their second meal of the day was consumed. If they worked out in the afternoon, we increased the size of their lunch. If they worked out in the evening, we increased the size of their dinner.

    • 20 minutes prior to their workout, they took another dose of BCAAs.
    • Dinner was consumed between 6:00 and 8:00 pm depending upon the workout schedule with the goal being to eat dinner as soon after working out as possible.
    • Dinner consisted of more protein and either more salad or a plateful of sauteed/grilled vegetables. Everyone’s barbecue got a lot of work during this experiment.
    • No solid food was eaten after 8:00 pm.
    • Between 8:00 p.m. and bedtime, they were only allowed unsweetened, calorie free beverages.
    • Before bed, another dose of BCAAs and a few other supps were taken.

    And as I mentioned previously, the end result was fairly significant fat loss without any noticeable bitching, moaning or muscle loss.

    Success.

    While I am not a big fan of his style of web marketing, his book is the best available for explaining the whys & how-tos of Intermittent Fasting.

    huge strong and ripped healthhabits fitness strength

    Health Habits Workout – Week 48 – Day 2

    huge, strong and ripped is what you will be after doing this workout

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    This week is an exact duplicate of the previous Tabata phase. We are going to do this for 1 week and then follow up with 2 weeks of new Tabata exercises. My hope is that the bridge week will allow you to beat your PBs from the lastTabata week.

    As always, during these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.

    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    ..

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Smith Machine or Barbell Hip Thrust

    Hip Thrust for 20 seconds
    Rest (lying) for 10 seconds
    8 sets of hip thrusts
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set

    .

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    To make it tougher, stand on one foot.
    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    Incline DB Chest Press

    Press the DBs for 20 seconds
    Rest (DBs on chest) for 10 seconds
    8 sets of chest presses
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Pulldowns – vary grips as needed

    Pulldown for 20 seconds
    Rest for 10 seconds
    8 sets of pulldowns
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    Cable Woodchops

    Woodchop in one direction for 20 seconds
    Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    Repeat in the other direction
    Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    8 sets total of Woodchops – 4 per direction
    4 minutes  total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    Friday, it’s back to the weights

    .

    5 Minutes of Pleasure

    What would you give up for 5 minutes of pleasure?

    • Your pride?
    • Your quality of life?
    • Your self-esteem?
    • Your health?

    And before your imagination crawls completely down into the gutter, the 5 minutes of pleasure that I am discussing is of a gustatory nature.

    I am talking about the visceral lust some people have for their favorite food(s).

    Whether their desire is for something sweet or savory, a lot of my clients come to me with an appetite that is completely out of control. And even though their love for cake and cookies and pizza and chocolate has resulted in a fist-full of doctor’s prescriptions, they continue to be slaves to their culinary 5 minutes of pleasure.

    Whether their desire for food is caused by stress or low self-esteem or their crappy day at work or one of the other bazillion reasons we use as an excuse to soothe our feelings with food, the result is the same.

    • The food tastes really good,
    • But, we eat it too quickly,
    • So we grab some more,
    • And eat that too quickly,
    • Etc….

    Then, thanks to the wonders of our bodies, we get a nice little endorphin rush from the sugar in our food/drug of choice and our crappy day at work doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

    Unfortunately, in a very short period of time, that endorphin rush wears off and the memory of our crappy day comes rushing back…except now, we also feel extra crappy for having inhaled an entire large pizza.

    (Disclosure – pizza was my former food/drug of choice)

    So, I ask you again…

    What would you give up for 5 minutes of pleasure?

    • Your pride?
    • Your quality of life?
    • Your self-esteem?
    • Your health?

    .

    The Douchebag Workout

    We, as a species, have reached a new low.

    Is there a worse exercise video than this?

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 48 – Day 1

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    This week is an exact duplicate of the previous Tabata phase. We are going to do this for 1 week and then follow up with 2 weeks of new Tabata exercises. My hope is that the bridge week will allow you to beat your PBs from the last Tabata week.

    As always, during these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.

    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    ..

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Bodyweight Squat

    • Squat for 20 seconds
    • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of squats
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set
    • Resistance can be added by holding a dumbbell/plate at chest height

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    See Saw Press

    • Press the DBs/KBs for 20 seconds
    • Rest (arms at side) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of see saw presses
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Standing Cable Row

    • Row for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of standing cable rows
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    1 Leg Deadlift

    • Deadlift on 1 leg for 20 seconds
    • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    • Repeat on other leg – alternate back and forth
    • 8 sets of 1 Leg DLs
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set
    • Hold DBs for resistance

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

    Sundried Tomato Chicken

    Here’s another one pot meal perfect for the weekend. As you guys know I’m a big fan of these not only ’cause it’s easy to put together but more importantly there’s hardly any washing up. Ideal!

    RECIPE:
    Serves 4

    1 whole organic chicken – portioned (2 breasts, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp smoked paprika
    1/2 tbsp salt

    Here’s the full recipe.

    For those of you who’ve followed my recipes here on HH, I just launched my new online cooking show with Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern show. It’s called VEGUCATING ROBIN.

    The show involves me teaching Robin, who’s a vegan, how to cook an assortment of vegetables. This is not just for vegans but is a show for any and everyone who enjoys cooking but needs a little inspiration in the kitchen. The first episode is up now and the next one goes up Wed 12/8.

    Here’s some more of my Paleo friendly recipes from previous posts.

    Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #2

    Next summer, when your very expensive and very out of shape teenage children shuffle up to you and announce that they’re bored and that they have nothing to do, send them over to the nearest GoodLife Fitness club.

    In concert with Teen Fitness Connection, GoodLife Fitness is offering free gym memberships to Canadian kids aged 14-17 during the months of July & August and between the hours of 8am & 4pm.

    Here is a list of participating GoodLife Fitness clubs.

    You will have to contact the clubs directly for the specific terms and conditions, but after speaking with the Corporate Manager for Teen Fitness International, I have been assured that the only other restrictions would include access to specific fitness classes and/or use of the pool/spa.

    Now if only we could convince a few other health clubs in Toronto to offer similar programs, our kids could be the fittest in Canada.

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 47 – Day 3

    Goals: This is the last “bridge” workout for the week. It’s  designed to allow your energy systems a break from the high intensity workouts you have been doing for the past four weeks.

    After this week, we will be returning to the Tabatas.

    And now on to the warm-up….

    .

    1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    .

    2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    .

    3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    and now for the….

    .

    WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Your choice..either Pulldowns or Pull Ups

    warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a max 15 reps

    * Choose the weight that you could perform 15 reps with
    * Then do 25 reps by…

    * banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

    Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

    Exercise #2

    Bodyweight Skullcrushers

    • Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
    • And then try to get between 20-60 reps

    * banging out those first 10 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps
    Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

    Exercise #3

    Shoulder Press (barbell, dumbbell, machine)

    * Choose a weight that you could perform 15 reps with
    * Then do 25 reps by…

    * banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

    That’s it, you’re done for today.

    Go home

    Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    New workout for Monday

    School-Based Healthy Eating Programs Really Do Work

    According to this study, children who eat lunch in schools that promote healthy eating are:

    • 2 times more likely to eat fruit for lunch
    • 1.5 times more likely to eat fruit or vegetables on a daily basis
    • Half as likely to eat sweets for lunch

    And how much do you want to bet that kids who are 2x as likely to eat fruit for lunch end up being 1/2 as obese as kids who eat candy with lunch?

    .

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 47/Day 2

    Goals: This is another “bridge” week designed to allow your energy systems a break from the high intensity workouts you have been doing for the past four weeks.

    After this week, we will be returning to another high intensity phase.

    And now on to the….

    1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    .

    2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    .

    3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    and now for the….

    .

    WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Bulgarian Squat/Lunge (bodyweight only)

    warm up with 2 sets per leg of 10 reps

    * Then do 40 to 60  reps per leg by…

    * banging out the first 15-20 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to your maximum (40-60) reps

    Rest 5 minutes, and then do the other leg

    Rest another 5 min and move onto….

    Exercise #2

    Glute Ham Raises (2 Leg)

    Same protocol as the Bulgarians

    • Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
    • And then try to get between 50-80 reps

    * banging out those first 30 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps

    Note: There is a good chance some of you won’t be able to do 50 reps. Here’s what I want you to do – place an incline bench or big stability ball in front of you so that you can do partial reps.

    You will have to fiddle around with the depth of repetition and the # of repetitions to get it right.

    Either way, remember that you legs should be screaming at you by the end of this single work set

    That’s it, you’re done for today.

    Go home

    Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    Friday – weights

    Obesity & some really cool genetic research

    We all know that obesity is highly heritable – from parent to child to grandchild, etc…

    And while I believe that we should be focusing our attention on the epigenetic effects of our lifestyle and environment, there is still some pretty cool genetic research going on.

    And this study is definitely cool.

    Using genetic resequencing, researchers have identified DNA variants in two nervous system genes that are associated with an excessively high BMI.

    According to study author Kelly Frazer, “we sequenced two intervals encoding the enzymes FAAH and MGLL which modulate the levels of endocannabinoids present in the brain and peripheral tissues that are involved in the regulation of energy balance and appetite. The level of these endocannabinoids is high in obese patients, and thus these two enzymes provide strong candidates to examine for a genetic association with BMI”.

    And for everybody who has ever inhaled, you know the effect that endocannabinoids can have on your appetite.

    Using genetic resequencing, the researchers identified four regions associated with BMI: the FAAH promoter, MGLL promoter, MGLL intron 2, and an enhancer in the MGLL intron 3.

    Further testing revealed rare variants associated with increased levels of endocannabinoids in the plasma, which is consistent with previous findings.

    According to Frazer, “This is one of the first studies to use the new sequencing technologies to link rare and low frequency variants to a complex trait such as obesity and will be of particular interest to understand more comprehensively the role of inheritance in obesity, a rapidly rising serious health issue across the world”.

    Or, in layman’s terms…some of us have a genetic predisposition to higher levels of endocannabinoids in our brain & nervous system. This may lead to a genetically elevated appetite…which may lead to a greater sense of hunger…which may lead to overeating….which may lead to obesity.

    The operative word being may.

    Because, even if you have this genetic predisposition, there’s not a darn thing you can do about it.

    With our current understanding of obesity, it still comes down to lifestyle choices.

    .

    But, this genetic resequencing stuff is still pretty cool.

    .

    Reference

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 47 – Day 1

    Goals: This week is a “bridge” week – designed to allow your energy systems a break from the pounding it took over the past few weeks.

    Alternately, you could skip these workouts and go to a yoga or pilates class or do a week of cardio.

    Nothing too strenuous and hopefully something you enjoy doing

    Alright, let’s get to the…

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Leg Press

    warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a maximum 15 reps

    Then, using the weight that you could perform 15 reps with, I want you to perform 25 reps!!!

    Impossible???

    Nope

    * Start by banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

    Once finished, your legs and lungs should feel like you just ran a marathon

    Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

    Exercise #2

    Seated Machine Row

    warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a maximum 15 reps

    Once again, I want you to get 25 reps!!!

    Start by banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

    That’s it, you’re done for today.

    Stretch and Go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

    .

    Did he NEED to Eat that Cookie?

    Last week, one of my clients told me that he had “pretty much” stuck to his “diet” except for that one day at the office when one of his employees brought in a tray of homemade cookies…and he had been having a really stressful day…and he didn’t want to insult her….and he was starving….and he needed to eat that cookie.

    NEEDED to EAT that COOKIE

    • Didn’t want to eat that cookie
    • Didn’t choose to eat that cookie
    • Didn’t make the conscious decision to eat that cookie

    He needed to eat that cookie.

    I had to call bullshit on that.

    • He wanted to eat that cookie. So, he ate it.
    • And then he lied to himself about why he ate the damn cookie.
    • And then he lied to me about why he ate the damn cookie.

    This is a 50-something year old, very, very successful businessman. If I told you his name, most of you would recognize it. Not exactly the kind of person who had to eat a cookie. And he knows that.

    He knows that he didn’t need to eat a bunch of cookies.

    • He needs to breathe oxygen
    • He needs to drink water
    • He needs to eat food
    • He needs to move his body

    But he doesn’t need to eat cookies. He wants to eat cookies.

    And that’s okay. He’s a grown man who is busting his ass to regain his health & fitness. Even during his transformation from fat to fit, an occasional cookie isn’t the end of the world.

    Perfection isn’t required.

    Eat the damn cookie. But eat it because you want to eat it.

    Health Habits Workout – Week 46 – Day 3

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    It’s Week 2 of these workouts. That means next week is a bridge workout and then we go back to Tabata for another 2 weeks.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.

    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Thrusters

    • Thrusters (BB or DB) for 20 seconds
    • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of thrusters
    • 4 minutes  total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    Ab Wheel Roll-Out (or barbell / stability ball roll-out) (article on roll-out)

    • Roll-outs for 20 seconds
    • Rest (kneeling) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of roll-outs
    • 4 minutes total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Straight Arm Pulldowns – standing – use a rope handle

    • Pulldown for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of pulldowns
    • 4 minutes total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    Push-Ups

    • From the floor if you can do them
    • Using a smith machine if you can’t do floor push-ups
    • No “girl” push-ups on the knees
    • Push-up for 20 seconds
    • Rest (floor) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets total of Push-ups
    • 4 minutes  total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    ..

    Sarah Palin Plays Politics with the Health of America's Children

    Yesterday, in a radio interview, Sarah Palin went on the offensive against Michelle Obama and her anti-childhood obesity campaign –  Let’s Move.

    In her own words, the former vice-presidential nominee said:

    Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat. And I know I’m going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician’s wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back, and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track.

    Given the current polarization of American politics, I am not surprised that Sarah Palin is trying to rally additional Tea Party support against the Obama administration and it’s policies.

    What I am surprised by is how Ms. Palin is willing to put political gamemanship ahead of the health of America’s children.

    Surprised because back in 2009, when Ms. Palin was Governor of Alaska, her policy on childhood obesity was as follows:

    Alaska is experiencing an obesity epidemic that will have serious consequences for decades to come. Childhood obesity is a complex problem that needs to be addressed at the individualcommunity, state and national levels.
    That sounds a lot different than “leave us alone, get off our back, and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions”.
    .
    In fact, Ms. Palin’s 2009 position on childhood obesity prevention seems pretty darn sensible and frighteningly Obama-esque.
    .
    Childhood obesity is a complex problem that is going to require the combined best efforts of individuals, communities, organizations and government.
    .
    And while I don’t think Sarah Palin circa 2009 would have been happy with the “progressive” nature of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, she probably wouldn’t have attacked the First Lady and her educational/motivational Let’s Move program.
    .
    This verbal attack was all about playing politics.
    .
    It’s just too bad that Sarah Palin had to score those political points at the expense of America’s children.
    .
    .Reference

    (skip ahead to 2:35 for the relevant portion of the interview)

    .

    Get Rich Selling Fitness Equipment on TV

    A few nights ago, I couldn’t sleep so I crept out of bed, flipped on the tv and was introduced to the Bas Rutten Body Action System.

    And like the vast majority of sleep deprived zombies watching late night infomercials, I was intrigued by the claims of a “Way Better Workout in Way Less Time”.

    Luckily for my bank account, I still had a few functioning brain cells and I decided to do a little research on the B.A.S. before I gave them my credit card number.

    So, I went to the BAS website….where I found out that the Deluxe model was going to cost me $569.99 CDN + tax.

    OUCH.

    Being of Scottish (ie frugal…ie cheap) heritage, I decided to look for a more cost effective option.

    First, I checked with some martial arts buddies of mine. After they stopped laughing at me, they recommended a wall mounted unit called the Focusmaster. Problem is, the Focusmaster cost $800 USD. OUCH again.

    Next, I found this BAS clone unit called the MMATT being sold at those Showcase “as seen on TV” stores. For $299.99 CDN + taxes. Alright, $299.99 is more like it.

    But why is it so much cheaper than the original BAS – Body Action System?

    Looking for that answer, I contacted the BAS people and asked them about this unit being sold at Showcase.

    They aren’t happy with the MMATT. We’re talking lawsuits and expensive lawyers kind of unhappy.

    In their humble opinion, the quality of the MMATT is inferior to the BAS unit. We’re talking patent infringement. We’re talking big smelly coal powered Chinese sweatshops.

    This piqued my interest even more. I decided to look for the manufacturers of the knockoff BAS/MMATT units.

    And I found a whole bunch of them…and the average cost for these straight from the manufacturer is around $50 USD per unit with a 50 unit minimum purchase.

    Of course, I don’t need 50 units and I would have to pay duty, customs fees and brokerage charges on top of the taxes and delivery. And considering that I don’t have a clue how to do all this stuff, I would probably end up costing myself a whole lot of time, money & aggravation.

    But it got me thinking…if these units were of the same quality as the BAS, there is a lot of money to be made selling these things.

    Buy for $50 and sell for $569.99.

    Or even if you’re selling for the MMATT price of $299.99 – that’s a difference of $249.99

    And when you consider how many late night tv watchers get sucked in by those infomercials….you realize how much money can be made selling these exercise gizmos.

    So, who wants to get rich selling fitness equipment on tv?

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 46 – Day 2

    huge, strong and ripped is what you will be after doing this workout

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    It’s Week 2 of these workouts. That means next week is a bridge workout and then we go back to Tabata for another 2 weeks.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.

    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    ..

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Smith Machine or Barbell Hip Thrust

    Hip Thrust for 20 seconds
    Rest (lying) for 10 seconds
    8 sets of hip thrusts
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set

    .

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    To make it tougher, stand on one foot.
    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    Incline DB Chest Press

    Press the DBs for 20 seconds
    Rest (DBs on chest) for 10 seconds
    8 sets of chest presses
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Pulldowns – vary grips as needed

    Pulldown for 20 seconds
    Rest for 10 seconds
    8 sets of pulldowns
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    Cable Woodchops

    Woodchop in one direction for 20 seconds
    Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    Repeat in the other direction
    Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    8 sets total of Woodchops – 4 per direction
    4 minutes  total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    Friday, it’s back to the weights

    .

    Functional Amino Acids for Better Health

    Functional amino acids are being investigated by researchers for their ability to regulate key metabolic pathways and improve human health, growth, development and reproduction.

    Building upon current animal research, Dr. Guoyao Wu recommends “nonessential amino acids be provided to humans to prevent chronic disease.”

    For example, it is known that the amino acid arginine helps to prevent obesity.

    “Currently in the U.S., more than 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese,” he said. “Globally, more than 300 million adults are obese and more than 1 billion are overweight. Also, a large number of children in the U.S. and other countries are overweight or obese. The most urgent needs of new research in amino acids and health are the roles of functional amino acids in the treatment and prevention of obesity and its associated cardiovascular dysfunction.”

    In addition to arginine, studies have shown that leucine has a strong effect on insulin response as well as sparing muscle during periods of caloric restriction.

    Unfortunately, researching the many potential health benefits of amino acids is not a priority for Big Pharma.

    They can’t slap a patent on arginine or leucine, so what’s the point of spending the big bucks.

    Too bad for us.

    Reference

    Mainstream Medicine is Insane

    Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

    If this definition is true, then I have to conclude that mainstream medicine is insane.

    Insane because even though our modern lifestyle is the single biggest threat to our health and vitality…our medical experts keep dispensing the same tired lifestyle advice.

    • Low intensity cardio 2-3 x per week
    • Reduce your calories
    • Eat less fat

    And yet, as a species, we keep getting fatter and weaker and sicker.

    All the while, there are outlier theories producing amazing results….while being ignored and/or disparaged by the  “experts”.

    • New dietary theories
    • New psychological theories
    • New pharmacological theories
    • New exercise theories
    • New spiritual theories

    And while most of these new theories will most likely turn out to be just as ineffective as our love affair with everything fat free, aren’t we doing ourselves a disservice by not investigating each of them with an open yet critical mind?

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 46 – Day 1

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    It’s Week 2 of these workouts. That means next week is a bridge workout and then we go back to Tabata for another 2 weeks.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.
    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    ..

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Bodyweight Squat

    • Squat for 20 seconds
    • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of squats
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set
    • Resistance can be added by holding a dumbbell/plate at chest height

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    See Saw Press

    • Press the DBs/KBs for 20 seconds
    • Rest (arms at side) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of see saw presses
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Standing Cable Row

    • Row for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of standing cable rows
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    1 Leg Deadlift

    • Deadlift on 1 leg for 20 seconds
    • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    • Repeat on other leg – alternate back and forth
    • 8 sets of 1 Leg DLs
    • 4 min total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set
    • Hold DBs for resistance

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

    Roasted Pumpkin & Pear Soup

    Today’s recipe is courtesy of my better half also known as, the missus. Enjoy – Gavan.

    There comes a time when the wife of a chef has to dig in and do the dirty work. Lucky for me I like to cook but I’m still getting used to just whipping things together as I’m more of a recipe girl. But sometimes (just sometimes in my case) throwing caution to the wind pays off.

    Our fruit bowl was overflowing with apples, pears, persimmons, pumpkin and winter squash. I stared at it thinking, what to make….what to make….

    I love pumpkin soup. I love pears. Why not?

    With a little guidance from the hubby I whipped up a delicious twist on the usual pumpkin soup and it was fabulous.

    Here’s the full recipe. Take a gander ’round my site and you’ll find lots more healthy tidbits.

    For those of you who’ve followed my recipes here on HH, I just launched my new online cooking show with Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern show. It’s called Vegucating Robin.

    In it I’m teaching Robin, a vegan, how to cook all varieties of vegetables. This is a show for any and everyone who enjoys cooking but needs a little inspiration in the kitchen.
    If you get a sec take a look.

    Here’s some more of my Paleo friendly recipes from previous posts.

    Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get my FREE Entertainment booklet with recipes and tips for your next or first dinner party.

    Have a great weekend guys.

    Cheers.

    Estrogen Makes You Smarter

    According to my wife, estrogen is a magic brain elixir… sharpening mental performance, and even showing promise as a treatment for disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

    Unfortunately for all of us wanna-be genii, long-term estrogen therapy, once prescribed routinely as a treatment for symptoms of menopause, is in disrepute because of research showing it increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

    However, new research from Northwestern Medicine may allow us to reap the benefits of estrogen without the risk.

    Using a special compound, researchers were able to flip a switch in the brain that mimics the effect of estrogen on cortical brain cells. The scientists also discovered how estrogen physically works in brain cells to boost mental performance, which had not been known.

    After flipping the switch, technically known as activating an estrogen receptor, they witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of connections between brains cells, or neurons. Those connections, called dendritic spines, are tiny bridges that enable the brain cells to talk to each other.

    “We created more sites that could allow for more communication between the cells,” said lead investigator Deepak Srivastava. “We are building more bridges so more information can go from one cell to another.”

    In previous research on animals, an increase in dendritic spines resulted in improved mental performance.

    “We think there is a strong link between the number of dendritic spines and your mental performance,” Srivastava said. “A major theory is if you increase the number of spines, it could be a way to treat these significant mental illnesses. ”

    Northwestern scientists also found strong clues that estrogen can be produced in cortical brain cells. They identified aromatase, a critical protein needed to produce estrogen, to be in precisely the right spot in the brain cell to make more dendritic spines.

    “We’ve found that the machinery needed to make estrogen in these brain cells is near the dendritic spines,” Srivastava said. “It’s exactly where it’s needed. There’s a lot of it in the right place at the right time. ”

    Next, Srivastava said, he wants to further identify the key molecules involved in the dendritic spine production and target them in the same way as the estrogen receptor in order to ultimately be able to treat schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

    And if we’re really lucky, they may be able to boost my personal complement of dendritic spines and I could start winning a few more of these Husband v Wife domestic arguments.

    .

    Reference

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 45 – Day 3

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    We’re going to do 2 weeks of these workouts, then back of for a week with some bridge workouts and then back to Tabata for another 2 weeks.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.
    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Thrusters

    • Thrusters (BB or DB) for 20 seconds
    • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of thrusters
    • 4 minutes  total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    Ab Wheel Roll-Out (or barbell / stability ball roll-out) (article on roll-out)

    • Roll-outs for 20 seconds
    • Rest (kneeling) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of roll-outs
    • 4 minutes total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Straight Arm Pulldowns – standing – use a rope handle

    • Pulldown for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets of pulldowns
    • 4 minutes total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    Push-Ups

    • From the floor if you can do them
    • Using a smith machine if you can’t do floor push-ups
    • No “girl” push-ups on the knees
    • Push-up for 20 seconds
    • Rest (floor) for 10 seconds
    • 8 sets total of Push-ups
    • 4 minutes  total
    • Perform as many reps as possible per set

    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    ..

    No More Birthday Cupcakes for America's Fat Kids


    image: cupcakepicures.com

    America has a problem with childhood obesity.

    It also has a problem with brain-dead nanny-state bureaucracy.

    According to the Detroit News, elementary schoolchildren will no longer be allowed to celebrate their birthdays by bringing homemade cupcakes to school.

    Instead, they will be allowed to celebrate their birthdays by snacking on raw vegetables and getting an extra 30 minutes of gym class.

    Yay.

    birthday dodgeball.

    .

    Is it any wonder that kids think all grown-ups suck?

    .

    Health Habits Workout – Week 45 – Day 2

    huge, strong and ripped is what you will be after doing this workout

    It’s Tabata Time again!!!

    4 Minutes of exquisite pain

    • 8 sets
    • 20 seconds work
    • 10 seconds rest

    During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

    • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
    • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

    The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

    We’re going to do 2 weeks of these workouts, then back of for a week with some bridge workouts and then back to Tabata for another 2 weeks.

    You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.
    .

    Also, I know I sound like a broken record, but buy an interval timer for these workouts.

    ..

    WORKOUT WARM-UP

    Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

    Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

    Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

    1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

    .

    THE WORKOUT

    Exercise #1

    Smith Machine or Barbell Hip Thrust

    Hip Thrust for 20 seconds
    Rest (lying) for 10 seconds
    8 sets of hip thrusts
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set

    .

    No rest between work sets

    Do this instead…..

    Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
    If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
    With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
    This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
    To make it tougher, stand on one foot.
    I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

    Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

    Exercise #2

    Incline DB Chest Press

    Press the DBs for 20 seconds
    Rest (DBs on chest) for 10 seconds
    8 sets of chest presses
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

    Exercise #3

    Pulldowns – vary grips as needed

    Pulldown for 20 seconds
    Rest for 10 seconds
    8 sets of pulldowns
    4 minutes total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    Exercise #4

    Cable Woodchops

    Woodchop in one direction for 20 seconds
    Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    Repeat in the other direction
    Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
    8 sets total of Woodchops – 4 per direction
    4 minutes  total
    Perform as many reps as possible per set
    Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

    This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

    At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

    After that, you’re done for the day.

    Stretch and go home

    Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

    Friday, it’s back to the weights