Can my friends make me fat?

Can my friends make me fat?

Q:   Can my friends make me fat?

  • A1:   Yes
  • A2:   No
  • A3:   Sort of

According to this meta-analysis of fifteen experimental studies, the type and quantity of food that your peers (friends, family, etc) consume does have fairly strong influence on the type and quantity of food that YOU eat.

  • In short, if your friends eat healthy, you will feel the influence of positive peer pressure to eat healthy.
  • Conversely, if your friends eat piles of junk food and drink gallons of sugary beverages, you will feel that influence as well.

Can my friends make me fat?

Of course, just because your friends choose to re-enact an episode of Man v. Food every time they sit down for dinner doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to their bad habits & peer pressure.

  • You have free will.
  • You have the ability to transcend your unconscious need to “be one of the gang”.

Even if that means your friends get upset, launch into a major guilt trip and unfairly accuse you of judging their poor eating habits and thinking that they are a bunch of fat losers with no willpower. Seriously, I have seen this happen many, many times with my personal training clients.

Let’s take a closer look at the science…

This meta-analysis, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, looked at fifteen different studies from eleven different scientific journals.

What they found is that “if participants were given information indicating that others were making low-calorie or high-calorie food choices, it significantly increased the likelihood that participants made similar choices.”

In other words, if I am presented with a healthy food option and an unhealthy food option, I am more likely to eat healthy if I am told that everyone else is eating healthy. The same holds true if I am told that everyone is choosing pizza over salad.  

And it’s not just the quality of food. The same peer-pressure effect holds true for quantity of food eaten. When participants were told that everyone was pigging out, they were more likely to strap on the feed-bag as well.

According to the psychology researchers conducting the study, “It appears that in some contexts, conforming to informational eating norms may be a way of reinforcing identity to a social group, which is in line with social identity theory. By this social identity account, if a person’s sense of self is strongly guided by their identity as a member of their local community and that community is perceived to eat healthily, then that person would be hypothesized to eat healthily in order to maintain a consistent sense of social identity.”

What happens when you alone?

According to the shrinks, the “analysis also revealed that the social mechanisms that influence what we decide to consume are present even when we eat alone or are at work, whether or not we are aware of it.”

“Norms influence behaviour by altering the extent to which an individual perceives the behaviour in question to be beneficial to them. Human behaviour can be guided by a perceived group norm, even when people have little or no motivation to please other people,” says Dr. Robinson.

“Given that in some studies the participants did not believe that their behaviour was influenced by the informational eating norms, it seems that participants may not have been consciously considering the norm information when making food choices.”

What does this mean to YOU?

It depends.

If you have terrible willpower AND you want to start living a healthier lifestyle, you may want to consider adding some new healthy friends into your posse and hope that their positive peer pressure rubs off on you.

Of course, you should probably also scan through my blog archives for articles on nutrition and exercise. And feel free to include me in your new healthy-eating posse.

obesity-warning-pizza

Reference

 

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healthy is happy

Fitspiration Friday

On a person’s journey from fat to fit, there is going to come a time when personal motivation wanes and the possibility of missing workouts and cheating on the healthy-eating plan becomes all too real.

That’s when we all need a little external motivation.

That motivation can come in two very different forms : the carrot & the stick.

fitspiration
An example of “stick” motivation
  • As a personal trainer, I use a lot of stick motivation with my clients (a little bit of carrot…but mostly stick)
  • One of the most effective forms of carrot motivation is fitspiration…motivational images designed to light a fire under a temporarily lazy ass…
  • Pictures of ultra-fit people…
  • Motivational sayings…
  • Before : after transformation pics…

…serve to help a lot of people (myself included) stay focused on their goals and give them the external motivation that they need periodically to recharge their own internal motivation.

If that sounds like something that might work for you, check out these fitspiration images that I created and/or “borrowed” from around the internet.

And if you feel that these images present unrealistic expectations and do nothing to motivate you, stop reading this post, find something else that can light a fire under your ass and/or find a personal trainer to do it for you. Or leave a snarky comment…your choice.

discipline (2)
Every January, health clubs around the world are swarmed by millions of people who have resolved that this will be the year that they get lean, fit & healthy.

Unfortunately for the vast majority of them, once the initial enthusiasm has worn off and the realization that getting fit is hard work becomes painfully real…they quit…leaving the gym to those of us with the discipline to do what needs to be done…even when we don’t want to.

ultimate weight loss transformation

The Ultimate Weight Loss Transformation

For the record, I like my Santa to be fat, jolly and full of cookies & milk, but around this time last year, our dear old Mrs. Claus was getting a little worried about old Saint Nick’s rising blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Terrified that she was going to lose her man to a heart attack or complications of diabetes, she decided to make some lifestyle changes…and since this past January, it’s been goodbye to the Coca-Cola, cookies, pizza, McDonalds Meal Deals and non-stop reality tv while parked in the La-Z-Boy….and hello to the Paleo Diet, hill sprints and High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT).

most amazing weight loss transformation

Note – If you need help with your own ultimate weight loss transformation, feel free to stay up and weight for Santa on Christmas Eve…or do some surfing through my archives

Health Habits Exercise Videos – Fat Burning HIRT Circuit #1

Here is the 4 minute “kick yo’ ass”, super fat-burning workout exercise video I promised you on Tuesday.

Note: I almost didn’t post it today as it is not 100% finished. The workout is good to go, but I need a bit more time for my video guru Lauren to input all of the instructional text.

So, what I am going to do is get this sucker online right now, and when we have added all the text, come back and replace all this text so future viewers never know that I put a beta version online.

About the Workout:

This is a High Intensity Resistance Training Circuit consisting of…

  • 4 Minutes total work
  • 8 x 30 second sets
  • 3 exercises

The 3 Workout Exercises are…

  1. Squats
  2. Push Ups 
  3. Jumping Jacks

Note – Choose the version of Squats or Push Ups equal to your fitness level. You want to push yourself as hard as possible, while being realistic about your current fitness level

Exercise Options

SQUATS

PUSH UPS

Exercise Tips

  • Push yourself as hard as your fitness level will allow
  • Keep rest to a minimum
  • Maintain correct form – see “how-to” videos
  • Work hard, fast & safe

This is a great fat-burning, fitness boosting workout. However, since I can’t watch over you like one of my “real-life” personal training clients, I need to drop a little common sense…

Please note that this video is designed for educational purposes only. Not all exercises and/or training programs are appropriate for everyone. Before starting any new workout routine, please take into account your personal health & fitness condition. Injuries can happen. Please consult your trainer or healthcare professional before jumping into this or any other exercise program.

Now that that’s over, it’s time to get sweaty….

THE WORKOUT

 As this is the first workout / exercise video I have put online, I would really appreciate your feedback. Be merciless….I want these exercise videos to be as good as they possibly can…without spending a ton of money of course 🙂

Planned Changes/Upgrades

  • We are going to change the timer/buzzer. What I want is a 30 second timer for each set & either a 4 minute timer or progress bar so that people know how much time is left in the workout.
  • Text warning 5 sec before the next exercise starts – “Push Ups are next” – or something like that
  • A longer chunk of text at the end of the workout with more details about the circuit
  • Text before the workout starts with some of the info I posted above

About my experience with these first few exercise videos

It has been incredibly cool. I have been lucky enough to find an amazing partner in my videographer Lauren Webb…(her Vimeo page – her Tumblr). She took my rambling descriptions of what I wanted to do with these videos and is making them look even better than I had hoped they could be.

And we are just getting warmed up. Lauren’s background is actual film making…not exercise videos. As such, this first round of videos has involved a LOT of getting to know each other, our goals for the project, our expectations and what can actually be done on a shoestring budget.

Not only will we be faster with the next round of videos, they will look better and will have more features. Stay tuned.

I would also like to thank our fantastic fitness model Nicole for her patience and positive attitude…as well as her ability to bang out push up after push up after push up.

Finally, I would like to thank the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto for providing the location for the video shoot. With that said, if you’re looking for a new gym in Toronto, I can highly recommend the JCC and suggest that you call and ask for my buddy Manny at the JCC –Call and ask for him at (416) 924-6211 x 500  or  shoot him a direct email .

Health Habits “How-To” Exercise Videos – Squats

As I promised yesterday, today’s post is the second installment of “how-to” exercise videos. Yesterday’s push-ups and today’s squats are going to be combined with a third “mystery” exercise to create a thoroughly unpleasant (and very, very effective) High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout video that I will post on Wednesday. bodyweight squat And as the exercise video library grows, I will create full-length (20 minute) High Intensity Resistance Training exercise videos. These videos will be posted on Thursdays…and will include instructions on how to add mobility, flexibility, HIIT and/or cardio training to the resistance training workout video to look after all your exercise needs. Alright, enough yakity yak…let’s get to the exercise videos

HealthHabits “How-To” Exercise Videos #2 – Squats

Bodyweight Squats

Goblet Squats

Overhead Squats

Tomorrow, I combine these exercises + one more “mystery” exercise into an awesome High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout. Get ready to sweat.

suck it up buttercup

NOTE – As this is my first attempt at doing workout – exercise videos, I would really, really appreciate your feedback on the quality / usability of these videos. My goal is to make them useful for people who workout at home (video on their tv sets or laptop) & at the gym (video on smartphone or tablet). 

Health Habits “How-To” Exercise Videos – Push Ups

I am launching a new project here at Health Habits.

Starting this week, I will be posting…

  • a group of “how-to” exercise videos on Mondays,
  • another group of “how-to” exercise videos on Tuesdays, and
  • a short (4 min) High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout video on Wednesdays

Wednesday’s 4-min circuit workout video will be made up of the exercises posted on Monday & Tuesday.

woman-push-up

As the video library grows, I will create full-length (20 minute) High Intensity Resistance Training workout videos. These videos will be posted on Thursdays…and will include instructions on how to add mobility, flexibility, HIIT and/or cardio training to the resistance training workout video to look after all your exercise needs.

So…here we go….

HealthHabits “How-To” Exercise Videos #1 – Push Ups

Push Ups from your Knees

Push Ups – Standard

Push Ups – Single leg version

Push Ups – Feet on stability ball

NOTE – As this is my first attempt at doing exercise – workout videos, I would really, really appreciate your feedback on the quality / usability of these videos. My goal is to make them useful for people who workout at home (video on their tv sets or laptop) & at the gym (video on smartphone or tablet).

grover sesame street exercise

And before anyone compliments me on my awesome videographer skills with multiple camera angles and video editing and original music and all the other stuff that makes these videos look waaaaayyyy better than all the other exercise – workout videos on Youtube…..it wasn’t me. I managed to convince an amazing young videographer – Lauren Webb…(her Vimeo page – her Tumblr)  – to do all the hard work for me.

I would also like to thank our fantastic fitness model Nicole for her endurance. Even though Nicole is a super-fit personal trainer at the JCC, you wouldn’t believe how many reps she had to perform as we changed angles and played with lighting, etc. Two hours of push-ups, squats and jumping jacks…without getting sweaty and un-model-ly.

Finally, I would like to thank Manny Amaral from the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto for providing the location for the video shoot. Everyone at the JCC is great and Manny is no exception. With that said, if you’re looking for a new gym in Toronto, I can highly recommend that you ask for my buddy Manny at the JCC – Call and ask for him at (416) 924-6211 x 500  or  shoot him a direct email .

4 Really, Really Good Reasons To Stop Eating Factory Farmed Meat and Start Buying Organic Meat

Today’s post was sparked by a chat I had the other day with someone on Twitter.

I had just tweeted an infographic about all that yucky pink slime in America’s hamburgers. Normally, a tweet like this generates a pile of RTs from people who are viscerally grossed out by the existence of pink slime in their hamburgers.

pink-slime-jon-stewart-2

However…on this day, I ran into someone who didn’t care about the existence of pink slime in her McDouble because (in her words) McDonalds burgers taste AMAZING.

After I grabbed my jaw off of the floor, I replied to her and suggested that someone needed to introduce her to a better hamburger joint…because McD burgers ain’t as tasty as she thinks they are…with or without the pink slime.

The conversation went on for a few more tweets, with no real conclusion…she thinks that the Big Mac is the pinnacle of hot beef sandwich…and I prefer a burger made from grass fed beef and a lack of industrial chemicals.

But even though I couldn’t convince her to abandon her love affair with her McBurgers, this little chat got me thinking about the meat processing industry in general and the quality of meat that most of us eat every day.

After about 30 minutes of daydreaming, I came up with what I think are… 4 Really, Really Good Reasons To Stop Eating Factory Farmed Meat and Start Buying Organic Meat.

1.   Your Health

Medical science has come a long way in the last century.

  • Infant mortality rates have dropped.
  • Anti-biotics and anti-virals have saved millions of lives
  • Trauma surgeons put us back together after horrendous accidents

Unfortunately, medical science is having a hard time keeping up with the damage we inflict upon ourselves with our modern diet.

  • Diabetes rates are exploding
  • Obesity rates are exploding
  • Cancers related to diet are exploding
  • Dementia / Alzheimers rates are exploding

All of these conditions are directly related to the food we eat…and unlike the type of medicine we are really good at, these conditions are slow to develop and modern medicine can’t do a thing to cure them.

Here are a few articles if you want to learn more:

2.   Your Kid’s Health

Same reasons as above…but instead of just making ourselves, now we’re talking about your precious little bundles of joy.

3.   Your Tastebuds

Back in the olden days, your great-great-great-great grandparents ate organic…and free-range…and local…and all that other good stuff that costs me extra every time I go grocery shopping

But unlike me, they didn’t call their food organic or free-range…they called it food.

Because that’s what food was.

  • Cows grazed on grass until it was time for the rancher to turn them into dinner for his neighbours and…
  • Farmers used manure from their livestock to grow better vegetable crops and…
  • Chickens pecked around in the dirt eating bugs and seeds and grass and worms and…
  • Crops were rotated and seeds were shared and our produce wasn’t covered in chemicals or grown from genetically modified seeds and…
  • Hunters went into the woods and hunted for game

And not only was their food healthier…it tasted better.

Ever since I switched to free-range, naturally fed meats, I can’t believe how much better they taste, look and smell. The beef I buy comes from a co-op of ranchers in PEI who finish their grass-fed cattle by adding potatoes to their feed…they swear that it makes the beef taste sweeter.

I chuckled when the butcher first told me this…but that night as I was chomping down on a mushroom cheeseburger, I couldn’t stop making noises about how good the beef tasted….seriously, it was like I had never had a burger before…Ahhh-mazing.

FYI – Earlier today I made a meat sauce of grass-fed beef, mushrooms and tomato sauce. Very simple, very basic…but the taste…OMG. Right now, I am baking a spaghetti squash in the oven. In 10 more minutes, I am going to pour the sauce over of the spag and have a serious post-workout dinner. Mmmmmmmmmm good.

Better ingredients = Better tasting meals

4.  You’re not cool with torturing animals

As a self-aware human being and life-long meat eater, I understand and accept the moral implications of killing animals for my dinner.

  • Because I eat meat, I am partially responsible for the death of other animals.

I can live with this…I may not think about it all the time, but when confronted by a rabid vegan in a nutrition forum, I am able to own up to my complicity and still sleep well at night. Nature is bloody and meat consumption is partially responsible for the state of human evolution and our big brains.

What I can’t accept is the cruelty we inflict on the animals trapped in our industrial meat factories.

It is seriously messed up.

For example…in this video expose of Walmart’s pork suppliers, we see…

  • Pregnant pigs confined to gestation crates so small they are unable to even turn around or lie down comfortably
  • Workers slamming conscious piglets headfirst into the ground and leaving them to suffer and slowly die
  • Workers ripping out the testicles and slicing off the tails of piglets without the use of any painkillers
  • Sick and injured pigs with severe, bleeding wounds or infections left to suffer without veterinary care

All so we can save 50 cents on a pound of Walmart’s breakfast sausage.

Like I said…seriously messed up…and it doesn’t have to be this way.

If mega-corporations like Walmart told their suppliers to stop torturing their livestock, it would happen. It might cost you an extra 50 cents per pound of breakfast sausage…but it would happen.

Note – If you live in the U.S. and would like to see Walmart stop sourcing meat from producers who torture their livestock, you can sign this online petition…it takes about fifteen seconds.

Conclusion

I’m sure that there are a lot more reasons for you to stop eating factory farmed meat and start buying organic meat, but since I only thought about it for 30 minutes and I’m not that bright to begin with, I only came up with four really, really good reasons.

Hopefully they are good enough to get you to re-think tonight’s dinner purchase.

 

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How to get in the best shape of your life by actually trying less, not more.

How many times have we all started a diet or an exercise program, only to call ourselves “lazy” in the end?

  • When we start an exercise program but feel way too tired to get off the couch and “just do it”, we feel we lack self-discipline. We should try harder.
  • When we start a diet but accidentally slip…we feel terrible. It was our responsibility to take care of what we eat, and we are now letting ourselves down by not eating the right foods. We have to try more.

But what if I told you, that you could enjoy more success if you tried…less?

What if I told you that you can easily stick to exercise and avoid the “couch temptation” even when you’re tired…without having to use self-control, or self-discipline?

Or, what if you could easily eat the right thing, even when you go to a restaurant and all your friends around you are having a culinary feast?

That’s exactly what I am thoroughly describing in my healthy habits book “Surprisingly…Unstuck”, and what I’m including in my 10-week 5-min exercise video service Exercise Bliss to make exercise ridiculously easy to stick to.

You see, there are “little things” that have a major impact in what you do or don’t do. However, even though they have a major influence on you, you have no idea you’re under their spell!

Using these “little things” in your favor can you help you get in the best shape of your life by actually trying less, not harder.

Yes, you read that right. LESS.

The “little things” to get in the best shape of your life by actually trying less.

Do you want to know why watching TV instead of exercising, or eating more when you’re out with friends, are both so irresistible?

It’s because our habits take over. And when habits take over, we find ourselves doing things without even realizing them!

You see, our habits are unconscious. They make us do stuff almost automatically without even thinking about them. That’s how fast they can be. Just like when you accidentally ate meat during your “going vegetarian” experiment. Ooops! You realized it only when you had already swallowed.

eating too much food - restaurant

If you master what habits get activated vs. what habits don’t get activated, then you can easily find yourself doing the right thing…no matter how tired you are and without using any self-discipline.

Habits get initiated by cues in your environment, aka triggers. A trigger can be any kind of sensory cue (something you see, hear, smell, feel, or taste), something you remembered, or even one of your existing routines. They are little things that are all around you, yet powerfully affect what you do.

For instance, when you get in the car, you wear your seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt is the habit, but your brain gets the message to do it when you first experience the car setting environment: The movement of getting in the car, feeling the seat beneath you, leaving your bag at the back of the car, etc.

Your day is inundated with habits: brushing teeth, having breakfast, even how to put on hot water in your shower is an established habit. Even eating is a habit.

Just like triggers can initiate bad habits – without you being consciously aware of that, they can also initiate good habits. Learning how to identify the right triggers and manipulate them in your favor can make the difference between you EASILY getting in the best shape of your life, or you trying really HARD but still failing.

Next Page….How to stick to exercise…even when you’re tired

 

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The Best Vitamin C Foods

Back in the 1970’s, Dr.Linus Pauling popularized a theory that high doses of Vitamin C would significantly decrease the incidence of the common cold.

This theory spurred a widespread belief that consuming more vitamin C will reduce the risk of catching a cold and reduce its severity. While that theory has taken a beating in the past few years, no one can deny that Vitamin C is a nutritional superstar.

  • Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen – an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone.
  • Vitamin C also plays an important role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter – norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are critical to brain function and are known to affect mood.
  • In addition, vitamin C is required for the synthesis of carnitine, a small molecule that is essential for the transport of fat into cellular organelles called mitochondria, where the fat is converted to energy.
  •  Research also suggests that vitamin C is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol to bile acids, which may have implications for blood cholesterol levels and the incidence of gallstones.
  • Vitamin C is also a highly effective antioxidant. Even in small amounts vitamin C can protect indispensable molecules in the body, such as proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species that can be generated during normal metabolism as well as through exposure to toxins and pollutants (e.g., cigarette smoke).
  • Vitamin C may also be able to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E. One recent study of cigarette smokers found that vitamin C regenerated vitamin E from its oxidized form.

So…which are the best Vitamin C foods?

Most of us get our Vitamin C from a glass of OJ with our breakfast.

And while that glass of liquid sunshine is a great way to get the “C” into your body, it’s also a great way to get a whole bunch of sugar without all the fiber, vitamins & minerals that goes along with most solid-food sources of Vitamin C.

And for that reason, I am giving you 2 different lists of Best Vitamin C foods sources

The JUICE list….

  • 1 cup of Orange juice – has 124 mg Vitamin C…over twice the daily recommended amount
  • 1 cup of Pineapple and grapefruit juice drink has 115 mg Vitamin C
  • 1 cup of Cranberry juice cocktail  has 107 mg Vitamin C
  • 1 cup of Grapefruit juice  has 94 mg vitamin C
  • 1 cup of Grape drink has  79 mg Vitamin C
  • 1 cup of Vegetable juice cocktail has 67 mg Vitamin C
  • 1 cup of Pineapple juice – 1 cup has  25 mg Vitamin C

And the FOOD list…

 

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5 Reasons You Should Go Gluten Free

Hey everybody…today’s post is written by my personal go-to source for all things GLUTEN…Ms. Jaqui Karr blogger, author, public speaker and expert on gluten and it’s impact on your auto-immune system.

A few weeks ago, I asked Jaqui if she would write me an article on gluten that would give my readers all the bullet-points that they need to know about why and how to go gluten free. I didn’t want her to go into all the intricate details…explaining and proving her points with research and quotes from PhDs. What I wanted was a list of simple – do this / don’t do this – instructions for those of us without an encyclopedic knowledge of gluten and how it may be screwing up our health.

And here are the results…enjoy

GlutenDemystified

1) Gluten is killing you slowly and retarding your brain function. We are all intolerant to gluten at varying levels and your DNA will determine the effects it has on you, but have no doubt gluten IS affecting you negatively and the biggest impact is on the brain. Depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s; there are studies showing even people with schizophrenia healed when they go gluten free and adopt a clean pure diet.

grain brain

2) There are over 300 symptoms and diseases medically and scientifically linked to gluten. As you read this you are experiencing several of them like headaches, stubborn weight, foggy brain, depression, mood swings, skin issues, dry scalp, insomnia, sexual malfunction, back pain, joint pain, muscle soreness, bone deterioration (did you know that most women diagnosed with osteoporosis unknowingly had Celiac Disease when tested later?)

3) Your body and brain function more efficiently when you go gluten free. Gluten causes chaos in your system; it is the ultimate cause & effect. Remove the cause (gluten) and you remove the effects

Gluten-Induced-Disease-Chart-

4) It’s easy to make switches and there’s no denying that a more pure diet will help you get to optimal health. It is impossible to say that when you replace over-processed bleached chemically treated fillers like wheat and barley with real pure foods you won’t feel better. There’s not even a question that it will improve your Quality of Life.

5) You want healthier kids. Gluten is medically linked to ADD, ADHD, Autism, stunted growth, muscle atrophy, and of course: weakened or completely malfunctioning auto-immune system. “Celiac Disease” (which 30% of the developed world has the genes for is exactly that: an exhaustion of the auto-immune system until it fails and starts misreading food).

Next PageThe 5 Best Steps to Going Gluten Free

10 Fantastic Fitness Gifs

If you like fitness…and you like gifs…you’ve come to the right place. Today’s post is a collection of fantastic fitness gifs that I whipped together last night when I couldn’t sleep 😦 Enjoy… kettlebell-swing Kettlebell (or dumbbell) Swings are one of my favorite exercises.

  • They are a great way to dynamically warm up your entire body prior to your regular resistance training workout
  • They are a great way to build core strength
  • They are a great way to strengthen your glutes / booty / butt / rear end / badonkadonk
  • They are a great way to mobilize your hips and prevent muscle imbalances & their associated aches and pains

Next PageStir the Pots

The 12 Most Amazing Hollywood Physique Transformations

In Hollywood, the competition for blockbuster parts is fierce. Sometimes, the difference between landing the leading role and getting a “we’ll be in touch with your agent” brush-off can come down to whether or not…

  1. you have a wicked set of abs and…
  2. a set of pecs that would make Kate Upton jealous.

Seriously, if you’re looking for some motivation to help you hitting the gym and sticking to your diet, check out these amazing Hollywood physique transformations achieved by some of today’s biggest male movie stars…

 1.  Christian Bale

christian-bale-muscle-transformation Christian dropped more than 60 pounds from his normal weight to play the lead role in The Machinist. In the five months between finishing that role and starting shooting for Batman Begins, Christian had to train and eat his way from 120 pounds to 220. Unfortunately, Batman director Christopher Nolan felt Bale had bulked up too much and had him drop 20 of the 100 pounds he had just gained.

Keep that in mind next time you need to drop (or gain) 5 lbs.

Quick Navigation

  1. Christian Bale
  2. Michael Chiklis
  3. Daniel Craig
  4. Russell Crowe
  5. Robert DeNiro
  6. Robert Downey Jr.
  7. Ryan Gosling
  8. Hugh Jackman
  9. Edward Norton
  10. Brad Pitt
  11. Ryan Reynolds
  12. Will Smith

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What Happens When Superstar Athletes Endorse Junk Food

  • In a free market, superstar athletes like Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams are free to negotiate celebrity endorsement contracts with any company that they choose.

lebron sprite

  • In a free market, parents, pediatricians, anti-obesity advocates and health & fitness nerds like myself are free to be peeved that superstar athletes like Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams choose to endorse products with a direct link to childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc.

fat-kits-eating-mcdonalds

  • In a free market, anti-obesity advocates like Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity are free to research which superstar athletes are most likely to trade their celebrity status with children for big endorsement contracts with companies who market  products with a direct link to childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc.

athletes market junk food

  • In a free market, anti-obesity advocates like Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity are also free to distribute that research to the media in an attempt to shame superstar athletes like Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams about their decision to endorse products that threaten the health of their young fans.

freeoreos1

  • In a free market, public health experts are free to postulate what would happen if superstar athletes like Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams had been exposed to the same kind of celebrity endorsed messages that today’s kids are exposed to.

fat lebron

  • In a free market, we are free to absolve Big Food corporations of any & all responsibility and choose to heap all the blame on the parents who buy their children junk food.
  • In a free market, we are also free to recognize that childhood obesity isn’t as simple as “blame the parents” or “blame the corporations” or “blame the government”, and that parents, government, food producers and superstar athletes like Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams have all played a role in the obesification of our children.
  1. Parents feed their kids too much junk food.
  2. Government officials are manipulated by the lobbyists of Big Food producers into placing corporate profits ahead of the health of our children as well as the exploding healthcare costs that threaten the financial health of our countries.
  3. And superstar athletes (and other celebrity endorsers) ignore the reality that the kids who look up to them are being harmed by their financial decisions.
  • In a free market, we are free to use social media to tell our sports heroes that we want them to stop selling junk food to our kids
Click to expand
Click to expand
  • In a free market, we are free to tell our politicians to cut junk food subsidies, promote healthy eating and to force Big Food producers to stop advertising junk food to our pre-teen children.

twinkies1

  • In a free market, we are also free to accept our share of the responsibility and stop feeding our children huge quantities of junk food.

choose-real-food

Childhood obesity is a real threat to the future health of our children and there is more than enough blame to go around.

What Now???

  • If you want to check out the study looking at superstar athletes and their involvement shilling for junk food companies, head over to the Rudd Center website and read it – Athlete Endorsements in Food Marketing – Pediatrics
  • If you want to apply some pressure on the athletes named in the study, go to their social media profiles (Twitter & Facebook are a good place to start) and tell them that you are not impressed. You can also contact the teams that they play for and tell them that you are not impressed with the behaviour of their employee.
  • If you want to apply pressure to the government, write/email/call your representatives directly and tell them that you expect them to start putting the health of young kids ahead of the health of corporate balance sheets.
  • And if you want to apply pressure to the producers of junk food….STOP BUYING JUNK FOOD FOR YOUR KIDS.

.

What do you think?

  • As a parent, do you appreciate Peyton, LeBron and Serena telling your kids to eat junk food?
  • How would you feel if they were advertising cigarettes or alcohol?
  • Should today’s athletes be expected to project an positive image of health & fitness?
  • If an athlete’s image is tarnished for taking PEDs, shouldn’t it be tarnished for marketing junk food to children?
  • Do athletes in team sports have a duty to their team to project an image of sportsmanship, athleticism,etc?
  • Do you consider the modern athlete a positive role model for our kids?
  • Do you appreciate junk food producers running advertisements on programs/websites dedicated to pre-teens?
  • Do employees of junk food producers have an ethical responsibility to not manipulate pre-teens?
  • Tobacco, alcohol and firearm producers are prohibited from marketing to children…why not producers of products that promote obesity, diabetes and heart disease?
  • Should our political representatives be placing the health of our children above the profits of junk food producers?
  • Should our politicians be placing the profits and jobs of junk food producers over the health of our children?
  • Should parents stop their kids from watching tv shows with ads for junk food?
  • Should parents contact tv networks to complain about junk food advertising aimed at their kids?
  • Should parents contact their politicians and demand expanded limitations on marketing products to children?
  • Should parents teach their kids about what advertisers are trying to do by running ads during Sesame Street et al?
  • Should parents be teaching their kids about living a healthy lifestyle?
  • Should parents ignore their kids demands for junk food?
  • Should parents feed their kids healthy food most of the time?
  • Should parents eat healthy and teach their kids by example?
  • Should I take a chill pill and stop stressing about junk food producers trying to brainwash our kids, politicians placing their financial wants over the health of our kids and parents abandoning their responsibilities and feeding their kids junk food every day???

Reference

The Walmartification Of The Organic Food Industry

There was a time in the ‘not so distant’ past, when organic food was just a teeny tiny sliver of the entire food consumption pie. Organic products were bought and sold primarily by hippies and health nuts. Not any more. In fact, since 1990, organic food sales in the United States and Canada have been growing at approximately 20% per year. In 2006, sales of organic food in the United States and Canada topped $18 billion. Numbers these large were enough to catch the attention of the mainstream agri-business industry. As a result, a growing percentage of the new growth in organic food sales is being driven by mainstream supermarketsIn 1998, organic food sales in supermarkets were half the size of the sales in natural food stores. However, by 2006, supermarket sales had grown to be neck and neck with the natural food stores.

click to expand the image

Even as food prices keep rising year after year, the demand for organics keeps rising faster than non-organics year after year, resulting in….

  • the expansion of existing organic food companies – both public and private,
  • the introduction of thousands of new raw & process organic food products,
  • takeovers (and mergers) of small organic independents by large food producers/retailers,
  • the introduction and expansion of private label organic brands by the large food producers/retailers,

Next pageAnimation of the Organic Food Industry and How it Has Changed – 1995-2007

TellSpec answers the question…what is in that food?

Imagine for a second that you are someone who…

  • is trying to lose weight, or
  • is allergic to peanuts, or
  • is lactose intolerant, or
  • doesn’t want to eat foods laced with pesticides, or
  • just wants to know what is in that food that they just picked up at the supermarket.

In 2013…what you would do is take a quick look at the nutritional info on the back of the package, or pull out your smartphone and consult an app that gives you the nutritional info of the average sized apple or serving of pasta salad or the nutritional info claimed by Senor Nacho Grande.

nacho chips label nutrition

In 2014, what you’re going to do is whip out your TellSpec scanner…

  • aim the TellSpec scanner at that bowl of nacho chips,
  • press the button until it beeps
  • firing a low-powered laser at the chips,
  • measuring the reflected light with a nano spectrometer, and
  • sending those measurements up to TellSpec’s cloud servers
tellspec spectrometer
The TellSpec scanner sorts these photons by wavelength and counts them. The resulting numbers, called a spectrum, describe the chemical compounds in the food.

Once in the TellSpec cloud, the data will be analyzed using a proprietary mathematical algorithm. And in less than 20 seconds, TellSpec will send the results of all that number crunching and nanophotonics back down to your smart phone, computer or tablet

tellspec phone1

Letting you know EXACTLY what is in that food you are (or were) about to eat. TellSpec will give you the…

  • Calories
  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Allergens
  • Chemicals
  • Ingredients

tellspec phone2

Letting you make an INFORMED decision about the food you were about to eat…or serve to your child.

  • Which could be kind of a big deal if you have a problem feeding your kid nacho chips laced with Tartrazine – a food dye made from petroleum – known to cause CANCER. (funny how the manufacturer never mentioned the tartrazine in their nutritional info graph)
  • It could also be a big deal if your kid is allergic to peanuts…which is about 99% of all kids nowadays.
  • It could also be a big deal if the reason you keep getting headaches every day is because you are sensitive to gluten or dairy or MSG or any of the chemicals found in processed foods.

tellspec phone3

And because TellSpec can track what you eat, as well as how you feel after eating, it can help identify potential food sensitivities and allow you to make changes to your diet with or without the help of your MD.

It can also track your caloric consumption, your distribution of macronutrients (carbs/fat & protein), which micronutrients are missing from your diet as well as advise you to cut back on the canned tuna sandwiches (Google tuna & mercury levels for more info).

tellspec phone4

How Cool is That?

If you’re anything like me, your mind has just been blown away by the TellSpec scanner.

And it gets even better. TellSpec is developing a software development kit that will provide developers with tools for directly accessing the food analysis data from our servers so that they can create their own amazing applications. The SDK includes source code for iPhone and Android apps, an API for TellSpec’s analysis engine, JSON specifications for data interchange, and access to information about each nutrient, chemical, allergen, and ingredient.

Unlike the fine folks at Apple and most other tech companies, the really fine folks (Isabel & Stephen) want all of the world’s software geeks to push the TellSpec technology even farther to provide even more value for the end user.

Where Can You Get a TellSpec Scanner?

You can’t get one yet 😦 The TellSpec is still in development, and as of October 1, 2013…

  • They have developed the analysis engine, coded it, and tested it, 
  • They have successfully tested three prototype scanners, including one using a nanochip,
  • They have finished the industrial design for the scanner,
  • They are well along with the user interface design;
  • and they have been doing an independent validation of the underlying algorithm.  

Now What?

If you want one of these bad boys, you can get one by supporting their IndieGoGo campaign – hurry up…time is running out.

Open your HTML editor and load the file that has the iframe coded.

2
Type “align=middle” into the HTML iframe code. The code below is an example of a centered iframe:

This code centers the internal page within the iframe.

3
Use a div tag to center the iframe within the web page. The code below encapsulates the iframe and centers it on your web page.

4
Save the page. Use your web browser to test the new settings. Open the page in a web browser and view the iframe location. It’s now centered on the page.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_5825834_center-iframe.html#ixzz2kMJXJiek

Here’s what they need – $650,000

Here’s what they need the money for:

  • Manufacturing the TellSpec scanner and get all the regulatory approvals needed to ship it.
  • Deploying the food analysis engine on servers that reliably provide quick analysis of the spectra.
  • Developing the SDK for Android and iOS platforms so others can build exciting apps.

Personally, I ponied up $420 to become a beta tester of the TellSpec scanner because I can’t wait for the production models and because I am totally geeked by the potential of this technology. I will be meeting with the founders of TellSpec next week to discuss the beta testing procedure as well as potential future applications for the technology.

Conclusion

For $150, you can grab one of 500 Early Bird Specials – You’ll receive one TellSpec scanner and two years of unlimited analysis of your food scans. Once those 500 spots are gone, the price shoots up to $200 for the next 500 people and then up to $250 for the next 3000 people.

I have no idea what they are going to cost once the IndieGoGo campaign is closed and they go on sale to the general public. But I have a feeling they’ll cost more than $250.

tellspec scanner

Plus, wouldn’t it be cool to have one of these bad boys before they go on sale at Amazon and Best Buy?

Cocoa Tea : Anti-Obesity, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Cancer

You gotta love Mother Nature. Only she could come up with a plant – Cocoa Tea (Camellia Ptilophylla Chang) that…

  1. Prevents diet-induced obesity,
  2. Has very high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants,
  3. Shows promise as a treatment for liver cancer,
  4. Lowers levels of fat in your blood,
  5. Is a useful chemotherapeutic agent against prostate cancer,
  6. Is caffeine free, and
  7. Tastes of vanillin and jasmine

white_cocoa_tea

What is Cocoa Tea – aka Camellia Ptilophylla Chang?

Camellia Ptilophylla was discovered in 1981, growing wild in southern China. Since then, cocoa tea has been domesticated and rigorously studied by Prof. Chuang-xing Ye, of China’s Sun Yat-Sen University.

Chemically, Camellia ptilophylla is different than the tea you buy (Camellia sinensis) at your local supermarket, with three major differences.

  1. Camellia Ptilophylla aka Cocoa tea is naturally caffeine-free,
  2. Cocoa tea has high levels of the alkaloid theobromine,
  3. Cocoa tea is high in the catechin gallocatechin gallate (GCG) while regular tea is high in the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),
  4. Cocoa tea has high levels of the alkaloid theobromine.

cocoa tea chemicals

It is these high levels of theobromine which have resulted in Camellia Ptilophylla being given the nickname of cocoa tea, as cocoa is the world’s most popular source of theobromine.

Different Types of Cocoa Tea

Like traditional tea (Camellia sinensis), cocoa tea is processed using different production methods resulting in white, green, black and oolong versions. The different methods of fermentation results in different flavors and different chemical compositions.

For example, as Camellia ptilophylla is fermented and moves from a green tea to an oolong tea and finally to a black tea…

  • Polyphenols are reduced – 38.58%, 30.41% and 23.6%,
  • Catechins are reduced – 23.51%, 17.68% and 4.02%,
  • Theaflavins are increased – 0.11%, 0.11% and 0.17%,
  • Thearubigins are increased – 4.29%, 5.00% and 9.71%,
  • Theabrownins are increased – 2.75%, 4.90% and 13.52% ),
  • along with increases in water-soluble carbohydrates, flavonoid glycoside and gallic acid.

Interestingly, levels of theobromine (3.52%, 3.43% and 3.71%) did not change with fermentation.

How should you prepare Cocoa Tea?

According to Prof. Chuang-xing Ye, to get the full benefits of cocoa tea, an infusion of Camellia ptilophylla tea leaves (g) with 50 times boiling water (ml) for 3 min is recommended. 

Why should you drink Cocoa Tea?

Even though the research looking into the health benefits of Cocoa Tea has just begun, it’s looking like a legitimate superfood. Here are four studies which highlight the potential awesomeness of cocoa tea as a health food.

Study #1

After testing a water extract of white cocoa tea (WCTE) against human prostate cancer (PCa) in vitro and in vivo, researchers found that oral administration of WCTE (0.1 and 0.2%, wt/vol) to athymic nude mice resulted in greater than 50% inhibition of tumor growth. Based upon these findings, the researchers concluded that WCTE can be a useful chemotherapeutic agent against human PCa….keeping in mind that the science around white cocoa tea is very new and it will be a long time before Big Pharma develops a WCTE pill to combat prostate cancer.

Study #2

A second study aimed to evaluate the anti-liver cancer activities of green cocoa tea infusion (GCTI) in vitro and in vivo using human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2 cells and nude mice xenograft model. Study results showed that GCTI significantly inhibited the proliferation of HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner  inducing HepG2 cells to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death . Which is a good thing when we’re talking liver cancer cells. The study authors concluded that tumor growth was effectively inhibited by GCTI in a dose-dependent manner as indicated by the decrease in tumor volume and tumor weight after 4 weeks of treatment and that GCTI may be a potential and promising agent of natural resource to treat liver cancer

Study #3

Another cocoa tea study indicated that a single oral administration of cocoa tea extract suppressed the normal increases in plasma triacylgycerol (TG) levels when mice were fed olive (23% inhibition) or lard oil (32% inhibition).  Under the same condition, cocoa tea extract did not affect the level of plasma free fatty acid. Likewise, the extract reduced the lymphatic absorption of lipids. Also, cocoa tea extract and polyphenols isolated from cocoa tea inhibit pancreatic lipase. These findings suggest that cocoa tea has hypolipemic activity…which might be a good thing for a population with chronically elevated plasma triacylgycerol  levels due to it’s addiction to deep fried chicken nuggets and hot dog stuffed pizzas.

Study #4

To find out whether cocoa tea supplementation can improve high-fat diet-induced obesity, hyperlipidemia and hepatic steatosis, and whether such effects would be comparable to those of green tea extract, researchers studied six groups of mice that were fed with:

  • normal chow (N),
  • high-fat diet (21% butterfat + 0.15% cholesterol, wt/wt) (HF),
  • a high-fat diet supplemented with 2% green tea extract (HFLG),
  • a high-fat diet supplemented with 4% green tea extract (HFHG),
  • a high-fat diet supplemented with 2% cocoa tea extract (HFLC) and,
  • a high-fat diet supplemented with 4% cocoa tea extract (HFHC).

The researchers found that 2% and 4% dietary cocoa tea supplementation caused a dose-dependent decrease in

  • body weight,
  • fat pad mass,
  • liver weight,
  • total liver lipid,
  • liver triglyceride and cholesterol and,
  • plasma lipids (triglyceride and cholesterol).

These findings show that cocoa tea has a beneficial effect on high-fat diet-induced obesity, hepatomegaly, hepatic steatosis, and elevated plasma lipid levels in mice….comparable to green tea.

Conclusions

  1. As cocoa tea is a newly discovered substance, there is not a large body of research into it’s pros and cons,
  2. The research that has been completed looks very promising,
  3. There is a lot of upcoming research looking into the health benefits of cocoa tea,
  4. You can wait for the research, or you can try to get your hands on some cocoa tea and run your own small-scale private experiment,
  5. Unless you live in southern China, it’s pretty hard to get your hands on cocoa tea 😦

Stay tuned – I will update this post as new research is conducted.

Reference

Sustainable Livestock Production is Possible

According to a growing body of research, not only is sustainable livestock production possible, but with growing numbers of consumers expressing concern for improved animal welfare, environmental impact and the overall healthfulness of the meat they purchase, sustainable livestock production may actually soon be economically feasible.

In a recent University of Cambridge study, researchers have identified what may be the future of sustainable livestock production: silvopastoral systems which include shrubs and trees with edible leaves or fruits as well as herbage.

sustainable livestock
Silvopastoral livestock production

Professor Donald Broom, from the University of Cambridge, who led the research said: “Consumers are now demanding more sustainable and ethically sourced food, including production without negative impacts on animal welfare, the environment and the livelihood of poor producers. Silvopastoral systems address all of these concerns with the added benefit of increased production in the long term.”

In a silvopastoral system, animals are allowed to feed on a diverse group of edible plants which:

  • promotes healthy soil with better water retention,
  • makes better use of available farm land,
  • encourages predators of harmful animals,
  • minimizes greenhouse gas emissions,
  • reduces the need for herbicides,
  • minimizes contamination of local land & water,
  • improves job satisfaction for farm workers,
  • reduces injury and stress in animals,
  • improves biodiversity,
  • improves welfare and encourages biodiversity using native shrubs and trees,
  • increases human food supply,
  • produces healthier meat,
  • while enabling a profitable farming business.

And who can argue with healthier animals living in a healthier environment amongst happier ranchers working on profitable farms producing healthier meat for consumers who care about living longer & better.

cow-factory
Modern/factory livestock production

Real World Examples of Sustainable Livestock Production

According to Professor Donald Broom, “the planting as forage plants of both shrubs and trees whose leaves and small branches can be consumed by farmed animals can transform the prospects of obtaining sustainable animal production. Such planting of ‘fodder trees’ has already been successful in several countries, including the plant Chamaecytisus palmensis which is now widely used for cattle feed in Australia. Another success has been in Colombia where a mixed planting of the shrub Leucaena with a common pasture grass resulted in a 27% increase in dry matter for food and 64% increase of protein production.”

In other silvopastoral livestock systems, researchers have seen an increase in growth and milk production…all without the need of milk producing hormones like rBST.

Conclusions

  1. I like eating steaks and hamburgers…and I am not alone.
  2. I like being healthy…and I don’t believe that eating factory farmed meat is conducive to being healthy….and I am not alone.
  3. I don’t enjoy the reality of animals living in inhumane conditions just because we are either intellectually lazy, morally deficient and/or financially greedy…and I am not alone.

And when I find out about a method of sustainable livestock production that may indeed be financially viable…I hope that I am not alone in wanting to help make this possibility become a reality.

What’s Next?

If I am not alone in thinking that the silvopastoral system of sustainable livestock production is pretty darn cool…I am asking that you share this article far and wide. If more people know about the concept, more people will talk about it, and more farmers will look into it, and more people will agree to buy from those farmers and so on and so on and so on.

Reference

More Proof – HIIT Better than Cardio

I-LOVE-HIITAs a personal trainer with 25 yrs of experience AND as a certified fitness junkie, I love HIIT because…

  1. it works really, really well to help my clients get fit really, really fast,
  2. it helps my clients drop excess body-fat really, really fast
  3. and because it is really simple to program HIIT workouts and it fits into the busiest of schedules really, really well.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees HIIT like I do. 

There is a large group of trainers and fitness “experts” who…

  • think that low intensity cardio is superior to HIIT for developing aerobic fitness, and
  • fear that the High Intensity aspect of HIIT is dangerous to the health of their clients.

Their concern is that people with less than perfect cardiac function are at imminent risk of suffering a heart attack if their trainer puts them on a HIIT protocol. Which makes sense….if you haven’t read a medical journal in the past few years and still believe that low intensity cardio is the only safe way to improve cardiac function..

However, if you’re like me and don’t want to wait for our mainstream health & fitness to catch up with modern science, I invite you to…

1. Take a look at some of my articles about HIIT and Cardiac Function

2.  Take a look at the latest research investigating HIIT and building a healthy heart

In a study just published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, researchers tested the effectiveness of HIIT workouts to improve the VO2max/VO2peak of 112 patients with coronary heart disease.

NoteVO2max/VO2peak is considered to be the gold standard for aerobic fitness, and aerobic fitness is believed to be the best indicator of cardiovascular health and a well-established predictor of total and cardiovascular mortality in subjects with and without coronary heart disease.

This means that exercise protocols which drastically improve VO2max/VO2peak are to be seen as powerful tools to help the medical (and fitness) communities prevent coronary heart disease and extend life.

In this study, the participants were divided into three groups based upon exercise intensity – as determined by percentage of HRmax.

  • <88%,
  • 88–92%, and
  • >92% of HRmax

The goal of the study was to determine if higher relative intensity during exercise intervals would elicit a greater
increase in VO2peak…leading to greater & faster improvements in aerobic fitness and in theory improve cardiac related mortality rates.

Here’s what happened

  • No adverse effects occurred during training
  • Overall, VO2peak increased by 11.9 % after 23.4 exercise sessions
  • Higher intensity exercise groups showed the greatest increase in VO2peak
  • 3.1 mL for the <88% group
  • 3.6 mL for the 88–92% group, and
  • 5.2 mL,for the >92% of HRmax group

hiit heart function

These findings build upon previous research which shows that the beneficial cardiovascular effects of aerobic exercise are intensity dependent, with higher intensity exercise showing a superior effect…leading the study authors to conclude that  “CHD patients who are able to perform high intensity training should aim at increasing exercise intensity above 92% of HRmax and thereby possibly achieve even greater improvements in aerobic capacity”.

What does this mean for you?

  • If you’re a CHD patient, you need to talk to your cardiologist about HIIT training…keeping in mind of course that CHD patients need to keep a close eye on how everything they do – exercise, nutrition, lifestyle, stress, etc – can impact the function of their CV system.
  • If you’re not a CHD patient, it means that if you want to improve your aerobic fitness and avoid dropping dead of a heart attack, you NEED to start doing some form of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.
  • And if you’re a doctor or fitness expert who still believes that low intensity cardio is the best way to improve aerobic function, you need to put down your preconceptions and pick up a scientific journal every now and then.

Reference

  • Moholdt T, et al. The higher the better? Interval training intensity in coronary heart disease. J Sci Med Sport
    (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2013.07.007
  • Rognmo O, Moholdt T, Bakken H et al. Cardiovascular risk of high- versus
    moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in coronary heart disease patients. Circulation 2012; 126(12):1436–1440.
  • . Kodama S, Saito K, Tanaka S et al. Cardiorespiratory fitness as a quantitative predictor of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in healthy men and women: a meta-analysis. JAMA 2009; 301(19):2024–2035.

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What Happens When A Skinny Person Gets Fat

No one ever said the world was fair.

  • Some of us can eat and drink whatever we want…and never gain a pound of body-fat.

Victorias-Secret-vs-Dove-women

  • While some of us eat healthy, eat small portions, exercise religiously…and still have to shop for Plus Size clothes.

NOT FAIR….especially in a society which:

  • Rewards women (and men) who are lean, fit and have no need to squeeze into a pair of Spanx.
  • Punishes obese women (and men) with lower pay, bad jokes and outright hostility by a growing army of douche-bags.

So, what happens when the world goes all Freaky Friday and a 39 year old woman who is naturally tall…naturally lean…while being naturally addicted to potato chips & pizza…suddenly gains 30 pounds in less than 3 months…without changing her diet or level of physical activity?

  1. Does she freak out and start snorting diet pills?
  2. Does she go into denial and pretend that she still fits into her uber-skinny “skinny jeans”?
  3. Does she morph into a rabid Fat Acceptance advocate denying that obesity is a symptom of less-than-optimum health?
  4. Or does she step back, look critically at the situation and start looking for causes, cures and support?

Here’s what happened

About two weeks ago, I got a call from Ms. Skinny/Fat to discuss her recent & unexpected weight gain.

She told me that how, after a brief period of denial (#2), she had become concerned that this weight gain might be an indicator of a hormonal imbalance or some other health issue…and that she had better do something about it (#4). She had already booked an appointment with her family doctor, but since she is friends with one of the world’s greatest weight loss experts (moi), she decided to solicit my opinion.

Over a cup of coffee with her and her husband, we discussed the past six months of her life…what she ate, when she ate it, her work life, her home life, her medical history, her stress levels, her husband, her plans for the next six months, etc…

We looked into every nook and cranny of her physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual aspect of her life…trying to find clues for why her body decided to stop being skinny and start being pudgy.

What we found was that a teeny-tiny dose of mirtazapine (1/4th of the normal starting dose – prescribed for anxiety) was most likely the culprit to have caused a significant shift in her appetite, metabolism, insulin sensitivity, leptin sensitivity and ultimately caused this naturally skinny person to get fat

After a quick consultation with her doctor, Ms. Skinny/Fat made 4 immediate changes to her daily routine:

  1. She started bleeding herself off of the mirtazapine
  2. She started taking a new prescription for anxiety
  3. She started a CBT/Mindfulness Mediatation program for anxiety
  4. She removed ALL starchy carbs from her diet in an attempt to compensate for any potential insulin/leptin sensitivty problems

The Result?

  • Her appetite dropped immediately
  • Her weight gain stopped immediately
  • After one week, weight loss has begun

The Moral(s) of the Story?

  1. It doesn’t take much for a naturally skinny person to get booted out of their excluisive little club. A slight shift in hormones or brain chemicals can have a drastic effect upon body composition.
  2. If you are the type of skinny person who thinks that fatties are fat because they are lazy and without self-control, you may want to put down your prejudices and give your brain a shake.
  3. Obesity IS a symptom of something going on in your body. A perfectly healthy body is NOT obese. Whether the cause of your obesity is easy to find and/or easy to correct is another question altogether. In this case, it was pretty easy to find and seems to be on its way to being corrected.
  4. If you are the type of obese person who blames their metabolism for their obesity, you might be correct in the diagnosis, but you are 100% wrong if you think the situation is hopeless. Obesity isn’t a curse. It’s a symptom of imbalance. Discover the imbalance and try to correct it.

Reference

The Difference Between Can’t and Won’t

  • I can’t eat healthy all the time…
  • I can’t make it to the gym tonight…
  • I can’t go for a walk after dinner…
  • I can’t get my kids to stop eating junk food…
  • I can’t quit smoking…
  • I can’t do HIIT sprints…
  • I can’t stop eating grains…
  • I can’t resist the lure of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiatio…
  • I can’t…I can’t…I can’t….

WRONG.

The next time you think that you can’t do something…..watch this .

  • You can eat healthy…you just won’t do it
  • You can make it to the gym tonight…you just won’t do it
  • You can go for a walk after dinner…you just won’t do it
  • You can get your kids to stop eating junk food…you just won’t do it
  • You can quit smoking…you just won’t do it
  • You can do HIIT sprints…you just won’t do it
  • You can stop eating grains…you just won’t do it
  • You can resist the lure of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiatio…you just won’t do it
  • You won’t…you won’t…you won’t…

Unless YOU decide that you will.

 

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The Science Behind Ice Cream Addiction

Most of you can look at this picture of an ice cream sundae, appreciate it’s creamy goodness and move on with the rest of the article.

However, for an unlucky minority, just the very sight of this frozen delight is enough to set off a powerful dopamine response in their brain – leading to a burst of neuro-chemical happiness and an almost irresistible desire to find the nearest ice cream parlor.

For those people, the mental association between this picture of an ice cream sundae and the real thing is so powerful (due to the dopamine), that they can already imagine the pleasure they will receive as they dive into that giant bowl of ice creamy goodness….leading to an actual ice cream addiction…or potato chip addiction…or candy addiction…or chocolate addiction…

And, considering we live in a world where ice cream sundaes aren’t hard to come by, a large percentage of those dopamine-flooded individuals are going to indulge in a bowl or two.

And it’s not just ice cream.

Scientists believe that this study points the way to figuring out why some people are more strongly motivated by environmental cues and therefore at a greater risk of compulsive/addictive behavior.

And it’s not just over-eating…this research could apply to all manner of addictions – food, drugs, sex, danger, my blog, etc…

Reference

Who is Your Favorite Fitness Blogger / Tweeter / Tumblr / FBer / Pinner???

Believe it or not, in just four short months, it will be January 2014…and just like every other January since the beginning of time, millions of people are going to:

  • Resolve to “get into shape”…
  • Go shopping for the latest celebrity diet/fitness book
  • While ignoring all of the amazing non-celebrity fitness bloggers / tweeters / tumblrs / pinners scattered all over the internet.

Missing out on some health & fitness advice that actually works and costs a whole lot less than a delivery from Amazon.

So, as a personal service to everyone involved, I am asking for a little feedback from you – my fitness friends. Tell em about your favorite fitness sources by leaving their name, websites, social media profiles, reviews, testimonials, etc in the comment section below.

[colored_box color=”yellow”]Come late December of this year, I will take all your comments and assemble a “Best Of” article with links to all your hidden gems. [/colored_box]

And with the awesome power of social media, we can spread that list far and wide, helping all those January 1st fitness virgins while simultaneously rewarding your favorite fitness bloggers / tweeters / tumblrs / face bookerspinners with new readers and followers.

It’s going to be a real win/win/win….unless you don’t leave a comment 😦

Who is your favorite fitness blogger / tweeter / tumblr / pinner???

(and don’t say me…my ego can’t get any bigger)

Is Magnesium a Cure for Insomnia and Restless Legs?

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to a number of clinical conditions including hypertension, myocardial infarction, cardiac dysrhythmias, coronary spasm, premature artherosclerosis and diabetes.

It is also used as a treatment for angina, asthma, gall stones, menstrual cramps, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, glucose intolerance, diabetes, hypoglycemia, fatigue, fibromyalgia, prevention of hearing loss, kidney stones, leg cramps, migraine, osteoporosis, PMS, prostate issues and INSOMNIA.

And according to government data, 68% of Americans do not consume the recommended intakes of magnesium and 19% of Americans do not consume even half of the recommended intakes.

Not good….and up until 5 years ago, that was me.

Until I was introduced to magnesium supplements during a health & fitness trade show.

A rep for Natural Calm gave me a bunch of samples and while I sleep pretty well, I did notice an immediate effect on my sleep. My mind stopped obsessing over what I did or didn’t do that day or what I had to do tomorrow. Just calm.

And it made me wonder…could something as simple as magnesium be a cure for insomnia?

Since then, I have had no qualms recommending this product to clients & friends who are having trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or just getting their busy minds to quiet so they can relax.

A mug of their lemon flavor drink about an hour before bed does the trick for me every time.

And recently, while searching for a natural treatment for a friend with neuropathy in both legs, I found a bunch of research about magnesium oil helping to relieve muscle spasms, tension and various forms of neuropathy – pain, restless legs, itching, tingling, etc.

Google also told me that Natural Calm makes a magnesium oil.

So, I emailed the fine folks at Natural Calm and told them about my friend and they sent me a bunch of samples – Magnesium Oil & Gel. (being a blogger can have its perks)

And knock on wood, it’s been a great success. Applied on her legs after a  hot bath and just before bed, my friend has seen a significant reduction in pain, tingling and restlessness.

Conclusion

I was a fan before trying the oil…and I am an even bigger fan now.

So, if you think that supplementing with magnesium may be helpful to you, I can honestly & wholeheartedly recommend both the Natural Calm drink and their Magnesium Oil.

NOTE – You can buy Natural Calm and Magnesium Oil at these links

NOTE #2 – I would love to hear about your experiences (good or bad) with magnesium.

Reference

Lose Weight with Cocaine

As the world’s biggest health & fitness nerd, I read dozens of research papers every day…looking for any new ideas that could help my clients, readers and social media followers transform themselves into healthier, fitter, stronger, better versions of themselves.

Today…I came across one of the weirdest studies related to body weight and fat storage that I have ever seen.

cocaine tony montana

Entitled “The Skinny on Cocaine: insights into eating behavior and body weight in cocaine-dependent men”, the study was designed to confirm or debunk the general assumption that weight loss associated with cocaine is due to its appetite suppressing properties.

The researchers recruited 65 male volunteers, half cocaine users and the other half non-users. Eating behaviour, food intake, body composition and plasma leptin levels were measured. And although the cocaine users reported…

  1. Significantly higher levels of dietary fat consumption
  2. Significantly higher levels of dietary carbohydrate consumption
  3. Patterns of uncontrolled eating

…their body fat mass was significantly lower than the non-cocaine users.

cocaine body fat

They also found that the levels of the hormone leptin were lower in cocaine users and trended lower as the duration of the user’s stimulant use increased. This decrease in plasma leptin together with a high fat diet suggests an impaired energy balance, which typically leads to weight gain rather than weight loss.

Because of these surprising new findings, the researchers believe that regular cocaine abuse directly interferes with metabolic processes and thereby reduces body fat.

For addicts looking to kick their coke habit, this explains why they are prone to significant weight gain when they stop using cocaine.

But what about all those dieters desperate to drop some significant weight?

Do they wait a decade or more for Big Pharma to jump all over this research and start investigating a new pathway towards that elusive safe & effective weight loss drug?

Or do they try to self-modify their metabolism with a little Bolivian marching powder?

Reference

Increase Your Bench Press…thanks to Koji Murofushi

The Koji Bench Press is known by many names:

  • the Crazy Bell Bench Press,
  • the Bamboo Bench Press,
  • the Banded Kettlebell Bench Press,
  • the Hanging Kettlebell Bench Press,
  • the Crazy Plate Bench Press
  • the Bandbell Bench Press
  • and the Chaos Bench Press.

Whatever you call it, the Koji Bench Press has been attributed to Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi and his unique training techniques.

The general idea behind the hanging weights is to create a higher level of instability via it’s pendulum chaotic oscillating effect….taxing and strengthening the assistance / stabilizer musculature….

….preventing & repairing injuries….

…improving athletic performance…

…while exposing any weaknesses in your musculature.

NOTEThe first time you try this technique, GO LIGHT!!!!

I’m not joking. Until your nervous gets used to the Koji bench press, you’re gonna shake and shake and quite possibly dop the bar onto your face. So GO LIGHT!!!

Over time, I have found the Koji bench press to be a great tool for helping get rid of sticking points, increasing totals and helping “sore shoulder” lifters bench with less pain.

You’re going to look strange doing the Koji, but if you give it 2-3 months, you will see improvements.

How to Get Strong – The Science of Strength

In an earlier post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I divided physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

In today’s post, I am going to focus on muscular strength…or as Google likes to say…how to get strong, how to get stronger, how to get brutally strong, how to get freaky strong, etc, etc, etc.

And if you plan on getting freaky strong, you’re going to need to understand the whys and hows behind getting strong. And those whys and hows are all based in science.

So….we’re going to look at some of that science to help you figure out how to maximize your own personal levels of “strong”.

Intro to Muscular Strength

How strong you are (and how strong you could be) depends on the performance of your body’s skeletal muscles.

Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them.

  • Sit on the couch and they will atrophy.
  • Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions.
  • Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

Muscular Strength can and has been categorized in a variety of different ways. In this article, I am choosing to divide Muscular Strength into four categories, based primarily on Newton’s Second Law.

vec F = m vec a (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.) Mass relates to how much weight/mass a muscle or muscle group can move. Acceleration relates to how fast that weight/mass is moved.

By using and manipulating force, mass and acceleration, we can force our muscles to adapt and become more efficient at generating…

4 Types of Muscular Strength

  • Maximum Muscular Strength
  • Maximum Muscular Power
  • Maximum Muscular Speed
  • Maximum Muscular Endurance

NOTE – Each of these categories has different characteristics with regard to mass and acceleration

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How to Become a Better Person

Today’s post is a little different than the ones I normally write.

No science…no workouts…no cutting edge nutrition research. Just a short story about one of my friends/clients and how the changes she made in her life has made her a better person…her words, not mine.

How to become a better person in 500 words or less

Suzanne (not her real name) was referred to me by one of her friends. When we met, she was forty-something years old, with three growing kids, a good marriage, a good life, with lots of friends and a job that helped pay the bills for a home in a very nice neighbourhood in mid-town Toronto.

Like a lot of forty-somethings, she was essentially healthy but was carrying excess body-fat and just didn’t feel like her old self.

Based on her friend’s recommendation, she came to me with expectations of:

  1. Dropping the weight,
  2. Fitting into her pre-baby clothes and,
  3. Feeling more energetic.

And while all of those goals came true in the 14 months we worked together, they weren’t the reasons why she took the time to write me the most touching letter of thanks this past week.

gallery_vitruviawoman1

In her letter, Suzanne talked about how her new health habits have made her a better version of herself…stronger, calmer, happier, more creative, more loving…not to mention looking better than ever in a pair of skinny jeans.

  • She wrote about how her cravings for cookies and cupcakes have disappeared
  • She wrote about how she no longer “freaks out” on her kids and husband
  • She wrote about how her lower back & neck doesn’t ache anymore
  • She wrote about how she doesn’t feel sad & anxious like she used to
  • She wrote about how she doesn’t “need” coffee like she used to
  • She wrote about how her energy levels have gone through the roof
  • She wrote about how her relationships have grown
  • She wrote about how her improved work performance has led to a promotion
  • She wrote about how her kids and husband were positively affected by her changes
  • She wrote how her husband has been able to cut back on hypertension meds, lose weight and get rid of his sleep apnea machine
  • She wrote about how one of her kids is no longer on ADHD meds
  • She wrote about how all of her kids are better behaved and are much more physically fit

She also wrote about how she didn’t have to abandon the good stuff from her “old life” to make all these changes. She just got rid of the “stuff” that was getting in the way of being the best Suzanne that she could be.

  • She didn’t stop going out for dinner. She just made better choices
  • She didn’t stop watching tv. She just made better choices
  • She didn’t stop eating cupcakes. She just made better choices.

And that is how you become a better person. You start making better choices.

Will Obesity Bankrupt the USA?

Last month, the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease.

The very next day, representatives of both the Senate and House of Reps introduced bipartisan bills that would require Medicare to pick up the tab for obesity treatments…including prescriptions, counselling and bariatric surgeries.

One of those bills, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act, presents the following findings:

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) According to the Centers for Disease Control, [highlight color=”yellow”]about 35 percent of adults aged 65 and over were obese[/highlight] in the period of 2007 through 2010, representing over 8 million adults aged 65 through 74.

(2) Obesity [highlight color=”green”]increases the risk for chronic diseases and conditions[/highlight], including high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

(3) More than half of Medicare beneficiaries are treated for 5 or more chronic conditions per year. The [highlight color=”yellow”]rate of obesity among Medicare patients doubled from 1987 to 2002, and spending on those individuals more than doubled[/highlight].

(4) Obese men and women at age 65 have decreased life expectancy of 1.6 years for men and 1.4 years for women.

(5) The [highlight color=”pink”]direct and indirect cost of obesity is more than $450 billion annually[/highlight].

(6) On average, an obese Medicare beneficiary costs [highlight color=”green”]$1,964 more than a normal-weight beneficiary[/highlight].

(7) The prevalence of obesity among older Americans is growing at a linear rate and, left unchanged, [highlight color=” blue”]nearly half of the elderly population will be obese in 2030[/highlight] according to a Congressional Research Report on obesity.

And that’s just America’s seniors we’re talking about.

  • What about the huge glut of boomers just entering their senior years?
  • What about all of America’s children raised on a diet of processed food and soda?
  • What about all of America’s poor who can’t afford to eat healthy food?

What happens when they become seniors and medicare starts footing the bill? What happens when medicare coverage evolves into Obamacare coverage and everyone in America becomes eligible for government funded obesity treatments?

And we haven’t even discussed health conditions related to obesity that are already covered by medicare and Obamacare.

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Certain forms of cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis and joint replacement
  • Liver disease
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Depression
  • Etc, etc, etc…

Because all of these medical conditions are related to obesity and primarily caused by the same “modern” lifestyle that causes obesity….

  • Inactive
  • Stressed out
  • Low nutrition diet
  • High calorie diet
  • High consumption of processed food

And it’s not getting any better. According to the OECD and CDC, 35% of Americans were obese as of 2010…and that percentage is climbing year after year after year.

obesity-rates

What happens if we keep getting fatter?

Projections indicate that if we keep getting heavier at the projected rate, “the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could increase 10 times between 2010 and 2020—and double again by 2030”.  

This means that America could be looking at “more than 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next two decades”.

Obesity could contribute to more than 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next two decades.

And just in case you’re one of those few people who looks after themselves and doesn’t have to worry about obesity, heart disease, etc…

Remember that these health conditions are costing all of us real money…

obesity costs

As you can see in the chart above (look at the SOLID line), total medical expenditure costs per person increase exponentially as individual Body Mass Index rate rise linearly.

Which is not good considering the public cost of obesity is going to keep rising…which means [highlight color=”yellow”]your insurance premiums and tax burden is going to keep rising[/highlight]…even if you’re in tip-top shape.

More Obesity Economic Data

  1. Estimates of the medical cost of adult obesity in the US range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per annum.
  2. Obesity costs Medicare $61.8 billion per year
  3. Obesity makes up 8.5% of the Medicare budget
  4. Obesity makes up 11.8% of the Medicaid budget
  5. Based on current trends, the cost of obesity to the US are expected to increase by between $50 and $70 billion per year

And that’s not including indirect costs such as lost productivity, insurance premiums and lost wages. It has been estimated that [highlight color=”yellow”]America could be losing up to $580 billion in GDP per year[/highlight] thanks to lost productivity due to obesity.

The following infographic, created by the Public Health Dept. of George Washington U highlights these financial costs (and future cost estimates). The full infographic is available here.

obesity financial cost

Is there hope for America’s economic waistline?

YES. Analysis of the current data indicates that if the average American BMI was reduced by just 5% by the year 2030, rates of disease would drop significantly and nearly every state in the nation would save between 6.5 to 7.9% in healthcare costs.

For a giant state like California, this would mean an additional $81.7 billion dollars not spent on obesity & related illnesses.

And how do we reduce those obesity rates???

That’s the $81.7 billion dollar question.

  • You’ve got nutrition experts saying that they need to educate the public on how to eat healthfully.
  • You’ve got politicians eager to enact taxes and bans to force us to stop eating junk food
  • You’ve got diet gurus publishing a new crop of diet books every January
  • You’ve got celebrity personal trainers willing to sell you their master plan

And so far, it ain’t working 😦

fat-couple walking 

Reference

The Absolute Best Barefoot Running Shoe

Last year, I reviewed the Skora Base running shoe. In that review, I concluded that the Skora Base was an excellent barefoot/minimalist/natural running shoe. Excellent…but not perfect.

  • The soles were very durable, giving the shoe a very long life
  • Great ventilation = reduced stinkfoot
  • I received lots of positive feedback on how the shoes look…not important, but nice
  • Easy to slip on…way easier than Vibrams
  • A little on the heavy side for a barefoot shoe
  • Comfortable as heck
  • Designed to encourage “natural” walking/running gaits
  • A toe box roomier than standard running shoes but not as roomy as some uber-barefoots
  • Zero heel drop
  • Average sole thinkness – not super thin like Sockwa but way better than a lot of “barefoot” shoes. This give them decent ground feel.
  • And the unfortunate feature that when my cross-training workouts got a little hot & sweaty, I found that lateral stability became a significant issue. Not a big deal if you’re running around a track, but if you’re bounding through the woods or playing a little tennis, I found that I was almost sliding sideways out of my shoes.

So….when I heard that Skora has two new models for 2013, I was curious to see if Skora had addressed my personal issues with their kicks. And they have.

With two new models…. The Phase and the Core.

phase x skora

Here are the upgrades…

  • The toe box is roomier in both styles- I can now wiggle my toes while wearing both the Skora Phase and the Skora Core
  • The new for 2013 synthetic upper Phase is lighter than my synthetic upper Base shoes. 7.2 oz v.s. 7.9 oz
  • The new for 2013 leather upper Core is lighter than the previous leather upper Form shoes. 8.1 oz 8.2 oz (not much of a diff here)
  • Both of the new styles are using a new injection blown rubber outsole giving both the Phase and Core a “grippier” feel and an increased ability to feel the ground beneath your shoes. This new sole reminds me of the sole Leming uses.
  • And finally, both shoes have much improved lateral stability. This might be due to the new lamination process used to bond the upper materials and overlays without stitching. Skora claims “this results in a stronger, more durable upper with less seams to let in water or rub against the skin”. All I can tell you is that I am not sliding around in this shoe.

So, all in all, both of these new Skoras – the synthetic Phase and the goatskin leather Core get two great big enthusiastic thumbs-up from yours truly.

SKORA_CORE-M03_medial_34_3

If you want to learn a little more about the specifics of these shoes, please continue reading…

Review Criteria

  • Protection – If you’re not going to develop thick natural calluses by actually running barefoot, you need to wear a shoe that will protect you from the occasional sharp stone or chunk of glass.
Where my old Skora Base shoes have a 9mm Forefoot/heel stack height (sole 4mm, midsole 5mm), the new Skora Phases and Skora Cores have both been reduced down to 8mm while changing the sole material from a high abrasion rubber to a grippier injection blown rubber. Defintely an upgrade in my mind.
SKORA_CORE-M03_outsole_36_3
  • Proprioception – A bare foot provides immediate feedback to the surface it rests upon. A thick spongy sole…not so much. This can be crucial when it comes to avoiding ankle sprains and wiping out while trail running.

I can’t get over how much this shift to injection blown rubber has made on the proprioception capabilities of these new Skoras. As mentioned above, both the Phase and Base are 1 mm thinner. And unless you are the princess from the Princess and the Pea, I doubt you can tell the difference. But there definitely is a difference in ground feel with these new Skoras. It has to be the new rubber.

SKORA_PHASE-M03_top_59_3

  • Natural Foot Movement – Does the shoe allow or prevent your foot from flexing & spreading in order to distribute the load uniformly over the entire foot. This analysis will address shoe width (especially the toe box), arch support, shock absorption, etc…

Like the older model Skora Base & Form, this is where I believe Skora really separates itself from the rest of the barefoot/minimalist/natural shoe pack. Unlike some minimalist shoes which basically slap some rubber onto the bottom of a polyester sock, the Skora engineers have created an aysmmetric last shape with a curved bottom profile. And it’s that curved outsole which is supposed to mimic the natural foot shape and encourage a natural medial to lateral rolling motion which makes the Skora truly unique. And with the now wider toe box, there is absolutely nothing to complain about. Unlike any other minimalist shoe that I have ever worn, the Skora Base actually makes you run naturally. No more falling back into old patterns of heel striking.

All 4 models of Skora running shoes (Core, Form, Phase and Base) will have you landing midfoot and absorbing impact as your feet were originally designed. And while that may not be a huge deal for someone (me) who has spent years re-training their neuro-muscular system and suffering though freakishly tight calves and the converted their bodies to a minimalist style of running, it is a gigantic deal for someone who wants to start running ala barefoot put has spent years running heel-toe. For this one feature alone, I can’t say enough good things about Skora.

  • Weight of the Shoe – Who wants a heavy, clunky shoe?

Both of these 2013 models are lighter than their predeccesors – with the Skora Phase weighing 7.2 oz and the Skora Core weighing 8.1 oz. Not the lightest barefoot shoes on the market, but light enough that you probably will never notice the difference. Next page – the review continues…

health fitness exercise healthhabits

Our Health Care System is Completely Backwards

Earlier this evening, I was reading a business book entitled Breaking the Time Barrier. The book is written for small business people (like me) in service industries who bill their clients on an hourly basis. Written as a pseudo-fable, the author tries to hammer home the lesson that I should be billing my clients based on the value I bring to them…not by selling blocks of time to them at an hourly rate.

The author recommends that I…

  1. determine the goals of a potential personal training client – ie a 20 lb weight loss or a 10 pt. drop in systolic blood pressure,
  2. identify the value of their goals to them. How much do they value their health, fitness, appearance?
  3. Offer solutions designed to achieve their goals
  4. Charge them a percentage of the value of their goals in return for my solution

…as opposed to selling them hour long chunks of my day..with the implied promise that those hours are going to add up to their goals…of a 20 lb weight loss or a 10 pt. drop in systolic blood pressure.

And that got me thinking about other personal trainers…and the fitness industry…and then the entire health care system. And by the end of my pondering, I concluded that our health care system is completely backwards.

Our Current Health Care System

Currently, we have a society where rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, depression et al increase year after year after decade. And instead of the health care system offering solutions to help us achieve our goal of good health, it offers us products & services designed to…

  1. mask the symptoms of disease
  2. extend life after the medical condition has become critical

poppin-pills

We’re not paying for health…we’re paying to manage pain, disability and disease.

[colored_box color=”green”]If I was a cynical man, I might start thinking that our health care system is a bit of a racket. Why focus on keeping their patients healthy when they can sell them lots of stuff when they get sick?[/colored_box]

But what if doctors could make a good living and keep us healthy at the same time?

  • What if our health care system taught us how to eat for health?
  • What if our health care system taught us how to be active for good health?
  • What if our health care system taught us how to shop for and cook healthy meals?
  • What if our health care system made healthy food inexpensive?
  • What if our health care system made health & fitness cool like Hollywood makes really bad movie sequels seem cool?
  • What if our health care system made access to exercise facilities universal?
  • What if our health care system focused most of it’s efforts on keeping us healthy?

And what if you paid for these services in advance…like you do everything else?

For example…

  • If you want shelter from the elements, you buy a house or rent an apartment.
  • If you want to get rid of hunger, you buy food
  • If you want to travel from home to work, you get a bike or a car or a transit pass.
  • If you don’t want to be lonely, you talk to people, go on dates, nod and smile at the stuff they find important…

We all pay a price in some form or another to achieve the goals that are important to us.

So why don’t we do that with our health care system?

Why don’t we pay doctors to keep us healthy? Isn’t that what we want? To be healthy…and fit…and strong…and attractive.

seniors exercise fitness

So why do we pay the health care system to mask our illnesses and keep us alive in hospital beds while our family goes bankrupt trying to keep us alive just a little bit longer?

Can anyone answer that question for me?

The Bruce Lee Workout

In the world of bodybuilding and physique transformation, one of the most highly respected physiques of all time belonged to a guy who stood 5’7″ and weighed between 130 and 165 lbs.

That’s right…at his heaviest, Bruce Lee weighed only 165 lbs.

And yet, bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger were in awe of the body he built.

So, how did he do it?

And more importantly, how can you do it?

How can you build a body like this?

Well, if you want to learn about the weightlifting routine he used to build his strength and increase his muscle mass….pick up a copy of The Art of Expressing the Human Body.

But…you will be wasting your time.

If Bruce Lee was alive today, he would not be using the training routines found inside that book.

Bruce Lee believed that as a warrior and as a person, one should never “get set into one form. One should adapt and create your own style, and let it grow, be like water”.

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water.

When you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup;

When you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle;

When you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.

Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

At this point, you may be asking…what the heck does being formless like water have to do with fitness, working out and getting a wicked set of abs like Bruce Lee?

Well, I’m going to tell you.

Bruce_Lee

Being formless like water means using those training techniques that work for your particular goals…and to not get all wrapped up in dogma.

  • There is no perfect workout
  • There is no perfect diet.

What there is, is….

  • your body as it currently exists,
  • your vision of how you want your body to be
  • and a whole bunch of tools & techniques that may or may not help you achieve your goals.

Becoming attached to a certain training method (bodybuilding, yoga, pilates, crossfit, cardio, walking, aerobic classes, Tae-Bo, P 90X, etc…) is a sure path to stagnation and unattained goals.

The same goes for nutrition.

If the tool is ineffective, find a way to make it effective or replace it with another tool.

Be like water

Unique goals require unique solutions.

One size does not fit all.

Be fluid like water…and get a wicked set of abs like Bruce Lee

bruce-lee-lats

Happy Canada Day 2013!!!

Anniversaries are a great time to re-evaluate…looking forward to the future while learning from the lessons of the past.

And as today is Canada Day, and all Canadians are celebrating our national birthday, maybe it’s a good time to take a good, hard, long look at ourselves in the mirror and commit to making the coming year a healthier, fitter year for all Canadians.

canada-fat-fit-2

After all, none of us want to look like the guy on the left.

Food Addiction: It’s In Your Eyes

As a personal trainer, fitness blogger and all around health & fitness geek, I am constantly reading scientific journals looking for the latest research about nutrition, obesity, exercise science and overall health and longevity. And every now and then, I come across something truly interesting….to my geeky brain.

Something like this research about measuring the pleasure response we get from eating chocolate.

The Science

In this study, researchers from Drexel University found that they could accurately measure our brain’s pleasure response to consuming chocolate with the use of a common, low-cost ophthalmological technique called electroretinography (ERG).

Why is this important?

It’s important because not only is food how we deliver nutrients into our bodies, it’s one of the most powerful ways we generate pleasure in our brains.

woman-eating-chocolate-

Unfortunately, there are a few nasty side effects to eating foods that give us a big boost of pleasure chemicals….calories, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, cancer, etc…

And in 2013, it’s quite obvious that we have a pretty serious problem with those side effects.

Processed food manufacturers have found ways to manipulate their products so that our pleasure centers are constantly issuing commands to eat more, more, more. And for those of us without the willpower of a Spartan, we eat more…and more…and more.

With the result being an epidemic of food addiction, obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

What this new research could do for us is provide a truly “pharmacological approach to the brain’s response to food.” No more airy-fairy talk about cravings and food addiction and willpower and how obese people just don’t try hard enough. If and when this technique is validated by additional studies, mainstream medicine would be able to:

  1. Quickly and accurately measure how different foods impact the pleasure center in our brain
  2. Research ways to make “healthier” foods more pleasurable
  3. Research ways to make “unhealthy” foods less pleasurable,
  4. Thereby boosting our willpower against potato chips and chocolate bars
  5. Eliminating food addiction
  6. And helping us fall in love with broccoli & kale

What does this mean to you?

At this point…nothing.

This is the first study of this technique, and it was a very small study too – only 9 people. But it’s a great start.

There are a ton of ongoing studies looking at how food gives us pleasure in the hopes that we can manipulate these pleasure responses with drugs or medical instruments or diets focused on manipulating macronutrient consumption, etc, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, the gold standard for meauring the effectiveness of these approaches is with the use of a PET scanner…which costs $2000+ per session, is more invasive and takes more than an hour to generate a scan.

With electroretinography, the Medicare reimbursement cost for clinical use of ERG is about $150 per session, and each session generates 200 scans in just two minutes.

ERG

And if you’re a drug company looking to test a compound designed to increase our desire for “healthy” food and eliminate food addiction, the lower financial & time costs associated with this new test is a very big deal. It would allow them to test more products, get successful ones to market sooner and offer them at a theoretically lower cost to the consumer.

And who wouldn’t want a magic pill that makes them think cauliflower tastes better than chocolate?

Reference

How Often Should I Exercise?

Q. How Often Should I Exercise?

A. According to Dr. Pietro Tonino, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Loyola University Hospital, “celebrities look the way they do because they’ve followed their intense regimes for a long time. They also can afford ace trainers who make sure they don’t hurt themselves, vary their routines and keep them motivated”.

Another difference: “Most people that I know don’t have that amount of time to work out every day,” Tonino says.

Overexercising can be dangerous, warns the doctor. You might see some short-term benefit, but at the risk of long-term damage.

Among the hazards:

  • degenerative damage to tendons,
  • ruptured biceps or pectorals
  • and muscle strain.
And all it takes is an hour a day...
And all it takes is an hour a day…

“Thirty minutes a day to an hour a day would be a good workout,” Tonino says.

Which kinda makes sense.

  • Americans are told to perform moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 min on five days each week or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 min on three days each week.
I'm too sexy for this shirt...
I’m too sexy for this shirt…

ooops, that’s only 60 minutes a week. And that only keeps you from dying, it doesn’t give you a six-pack.

  • In Canada, Big Brother recommends that all good little Canadians accumulate 60 minutes of physical activity every day to stay healthy or improve your health. Time needed depends on effort – as you progress to moderate activities, you can cut down to 30 minutes, 4 days a week.

Alright, 2 hours of moderate activity each week….making us twice as fit as the Yanks?

What about the Brits?

  • For general health benefit, adults should achieve a total of at least 30 minutes a day of at least moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days of the week.  The recommended levels of activity can be achieved either by doing all the daily activity in one session, or through several shorter bouts of activity of 10 minutes or more. The activity can be lifestyle activity or structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these.

We have a Winner!!!

150 or more minutes of moderate intensity activity each and every week.

Okay, that’s it then, 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week is your exercise prescription.

Wait a minute, what’s this?

In a new study, published July 28 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers tracked 191 overweight and obese women to determine the exercise prescription required to maintain a weight loss of 10% or more of initial body weight over two years.

The Study

  • The women were instructed to eat between 1200 and 1500 calories a day.
  • They were assigned to one of four groups. The groups were based on exercise intensity (moderate v.s. vigorous) as well as the number of calories burned through exercise – 1000 to 2000 kcal per week.
  • The participants were encouraged to divide their exercise over five days a week and to exercise for at least ten minutes per session.
  • They also had regular contact with members of the Health and Physical Activity Dept at the U of Pittsburgh.

The Results

  • After six months, all of the women had lost weight.
  • About half of the group lost 10% or more of their starting weight.
  • However, after 2 years, only 47 (25%) of the overachievers were able to maintain their weight loss.

So how did the Fantastic Forty-Seven do it?

Researchers found that the women were averaging 275 minutes (1835 calories) of exercise per week. That’s 55 minutes a day on a 5 day schedule, or 40 minutes a day if you exercise every day.

As well, the women who exercised the most were also eating the least. On average, they ate 444 less calories than the women who exercised the least. It should also be noted that after crunching the numbers, the super group was eating 3108 less calories per week than the slacker group. And then when you add in the fact that they were also burning 1100 more calories per week, it’s no surprise that they did better than their chubby sisters.

Conclusion

Theirs: The addition of 275 mins/wk of physical activity,in combination with a reduction in energy intake, is importantin allowing overweight women to sustain a weight loss of morethan 10%. Interventions to facilitate this level of physicalactivity are needed.

Mine: Keeping in mind that I am a personal trainer and that I spend a good part of my day screaming for “one more rep”; I think that this research paints a realistic picture of the type and amount of activity needed to keep our society from getting fatter and fatter.

And before you say it, you do have 40-55 minutes of free time each day.

According to data collected from the annual Health Surveys for England between 1997 and 2006, rich old white people are more likely to participate in sporting activities than other demographic groups.

This also happens to be the demographic that carries the least amount of excess fat. Even worse, the fitness participation gap between rich and poor, black and white, old and young appears to be growing wider. So it seems that while more and more lily-white baby boomers are trying to get fit, the rest of the general population is getting fatter and lazier.

And before you say it, the rich actually have less free time than the rest of the great unwashed.

“Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman has found, however, that being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things, and more time doing compulsory things and feeling stressed”.

“People who make less than $20,000 a year, for example, told Kahneman and his colleagues that they spend more than a third of their time in passive leisure — watching television, for example. Those making more than $100,000 spent less than one-fifth of their time in this way — putting their legs up and relaxing”.

“Rich people spent much more time commuting and engaging in activities that were required as opposed to optional. The richest people spent nearly twice as much time as the poorest people in leisure activities that were active, structured and often stressful — shopping, child care and exercise”.

So, no more excuses, get your rear in gear.

Here’s your inspiration…

Get off the couch!!!
Get off the couch!!!

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No Time to Exercise?

  • Every January, approximately 3 billion people make a resolution to make exercise a daily part of their lives.
  • Every February, approximately 2.99 billion people abandon their resolution because…they have no time to exercise.

Their lives are just too busy…work, kids, home, groceries, more work, youtube, etc, etc, etc… They just don’t have ANY free time…or at least that’s what they tell themselves.

What if I told you thanks to HIIT, HIRT and my gigantic fitness brain, even the world’s busiest person has more than enough time in their day to get enough exercise to be fit, healthy and outrageously super-sexy.

You would probably say prove it…so prove it I will.

outdoor gym suspension trainer

THE PROOF

Last week, I was standing in the driveway speaking to one of my neighbours. After trying to squeeze me for free training advice, “Jim” proceeded to tell me how even though he paid almost $200 per month for a gym membership, he just didn’t have enough time in his day to get to the gym.

After giving “Jim” a serious eye roll, I suggested to him that he had more than enough time in his day to exercise and that he was full of BS. And after an thoroughly uncomfortable silence, I dragged him into my backyard to show him the suspension trainer that I had hanging from a tree branch.

Two minutes later, I had Jim cranking out set after set of push-ups, bodyweight rows, chin-ups and a variety of core-torturing exercises. And in less than 5 minutes, Jim was a sweaty, tired mess…and thoroughly in love with my suspension trainer.

Once Jim caught his breath, I suggested that…

  1. He borrow my Jungle Gym for the week
  2. Hook it up on the fire escape in his backyard/driveway
  3. Agree to do a 5 min mini-workout every time he walked past the Jungle Gym.

Fast forward seven days…

  • Jim has averaged 3 x 5 minute mini-workouts per day
  • He feels physically great – lots of energy, stronger, etc
  • He feels mentally great – less grumpy, less stressed out
  • He has lost a little body-fat
  • He has pumped up his flabby little-girl muscles
  • And he’s buying his own Jungle Gym.

Most importantly, he admitted that I am a fitness genius and the best neighbour on the street 🙂

BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE A JUNGLE GYM or SOMETHING TO HANG ONE OFF OF???

Have no fear my friends.  You don’t need any fitness equipment to take advantage of these mini-workouts. Here’s the plan.

  1. Select a place or activity that you visit/perform on a regular basis every day – (walk past the tv, walk into the kitchen, go to the bathroom, answer the phone, etc)
  2. Every time you visit that place or perform that activity, commit to doing a mini-workout. This could be as simple as 10 push-ups off of the kitchen counter or 5 body-weight squats or 30 seconds of step-ups or as involved as a 5 minute HIRT workout on your backyard Jungle Gym.
  3. The length/intensity of workout depends on how many mini-workouts you will perform over the course of your day and your personal fitness level. If you choose an activity that you perform 20 times per day, keep the workouts very short. For Jim, he started out with 2 workouts per day – walking to get his car in the morning and again when he returned home from work. As he got to enjoy his mini-workouts, he began to make excuses to head out into the backyard.

If you’re just starting out, make the individual workouts very easy…and perform a lot of them throughout the day. If you’re fitter, make the mini-workouts longer (5 min max), tougher and less frequent.

Most important, this plan needs to work with YOUR schedule if it’s going to work. We’re trying to make these workouts fit seamlessly into the rest of your day so that they become part of your “new normal”. After a few months of this, you can begin to consider a gym membership or extending your “at home” workouts into longer duration (30 min) and/or higher intensity sessions.

Here is a List of Bodyweight Exercises to get you started

  • 2 leg squats
  • 1 leg squats
  • Assisted 1 leg squats (hold onto something stable)
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Lateral squats (side to side)
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Shuffle Lunges (like JJs, but moving front to back instead of side to side)
  • Burpees
  • Single Leg Bodyweight Deadlifts
  • Step Ups – use the stairs in your house or a chair
  • Hip Thrusts – 2 leg or 1 leg
  • Standing Leg Kickbacks – for glutes
  • Standing Leg Side Kicks
  • Standing Straight Leg Front Kicks
  • Bridge / Plank – Face down, face up or sideways
  • Toes to the Ceiling ab exercise
  • Windshield Wipers – lying on back
  • Push Ups
  • Back Rows – use kitchen table to hold on to
  • Shoulder Press

I have included a lot of exercises for variety, but if you are just starting out, I would suggest you stick to a rotation of…

  1. 2 Leg Squats
  2. Push Ups
  3. Back Rows
  4. Lateral Squats
  5. Bridge / Planks
  6. 2 Leg Hip Thrusts

Click links for exercise videos

For more info, feel free to comment and/or check out the following posts.

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

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Coca Cola to End Canadian Obesity Epidemic

Today is an important day in the history of Canada. From this day forward, Canadians will recognize April 23 as the day Coca Cola came to our rescue and helped us save ourselves from the medical scourge known as obesity.

Because on this day, Coca-Cola Canada announced the launch of a national campaign to inspire Canadians to come together to find real solutions to this important issue affecting our society.

“This campaign aims to inform people about the concept of energy balance, educate them on our products and inspire Canadians to live more active, healthy lives,” said Nicola Kettlitz, president Coca-Cola Ltd.

Wait a second…that sounds like a big pile of marketing BS to me…let’s check the BS detector…

bullshit_detector4

Yup, just as I suspected…total marketing BS.

If only we could have a little honesty injected into the discussion.

So…what do YOU think?

  • Is Coca-Cola being honest?
  • Or is it just marketing BS?

Reference

Fitness for Beginners – How to Squat

My buddy Andi is back with another exercise video.

Last week it was Push-Ups…this week, we are focusing on developing leg strength with the bodywight squat. More specifically, today’s video showcases a progression of bodyweight squat variations..from the ultra-beginner high-chair two-leg bodyweight squat..all the way to single-leg pistol squats…ouch.

squat---shallow

Note – readers of Health Habits come in all different shapes, sizes and experience levels. Some of you will need to start with the most easiest squat variations performed in the video. Others will be ready to tackle the pistol squats. Most will be somewhere in the middle. Either way, I hope this video helps encourage you to push yourself toward greater levels of fitness.

Teaching my clients how to properly/safely squat is very, very important. Squatting is a very natural movement – babies squat before they walk. However, over time, most adults develop muscle imbalances and bad habits which made proper squatting technique next to impossible.

So…in addition to today’s video, I am going to give you two VERY important squatting tips.

1. Squatting is not about bending your knees and hips…it’s about dropping the weight of your torso straight down toward the ground. Focus on dropping your belly down between your legs.

2. Squatting involves movement in your hips, knees and ankles. Unfortunately, due to those bad habits and muscle imbalances mentioned above, most people put too much stain on their knees during the movement.

To fix that, I make sure that they shift their center of gravity backwards towards their hips…saving their knees undue load/stress. I do this by employing two “tricks”

The first is to have them squat facing a wall with their toes no more than 6 inches from the wall…forcing them to stick their butts backward.

The second trick involves some quasi-gross visualization….Imagine you got up in the middle of the night and needed to go to the bathroom…unfortunately the power was out and it was pitch black. You stagger into the bathroom, lift the seat, turn around and reach with your derrière…aiming in the dark to sit down safely without ending up on the floor.

The point of this exercise is to make them really stick their butt backwards when they squat..once again saving the knees.[/box]

face-the-wall-squat

Next post – Complete Core Conditioning

Reference

Best Body Workout – 2013 – Week 11 – Day 3

It’s the last workout for week #11  and today’s workout is once again…all about HIIT and core stability.

Next Monday is all new stuff.

THE WARM-UP

This is the same workout I use with most of my clients. The goal is to lubricate your joints, mentally get you in workout mode  and physically warm up your muscles – making them more elastic and ready to work.

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

  • We are going to alternate between 60 seconds sets of HIIT sprints and 60 seconds of static core-stability exercises.
  • Keep rest periods as short as YOUR fitness level will allow.
  • No sitting while you’re resting – stretch a muscle while you’re catching your breath
  • Don’t sacrifice good for for a few extra reps – watch the videos
  • Push yourself as hard as YOU can. Pretend I am there…screaming at you!!!!

uncles-sam-workout

Set #1

  1. HIIT Sprints – stair step-ups or bike or hill sprints or elliptical or…

This one is dead simple….

  • Walk over to a flight of stairs.
  • Step up and down on a single step as fast as you can for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for two full minutes
  • If you have cardio equipment (bike, elliptical, treadmill), feel free to substitute

Set #2

  1. Prone Plank for 60 seconds total

If you can do 60 seconds straight, do that. If you need to do 6 sets of 10 seconds, do that.

Just remember to keep your core tight and don’t let your back droop. Remember, you’re a plank…flat…like a plank.

bridge-plank-core

Set #3

  1. HIIT Sprints – stair step-ups or bike or hill sprints or elliptical or…

Same as Set #1….

  • Walk over to a flight of stairs.
  • Step up and down on a single step as fast as you can for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for two full minutes
  • If you have cardio equipment (bike, elliptical, treadmill), feel free to substitute

Set #4

  1. Side Plank for 60 seconds total – 30 seconds each side

If you can do 60 seconds straight, do that. If you need to do 6 sets of 10 seconds, do that.

Just like the prone plank…remember to keep your core tight and don’t let your hips/core droop. Remember, you’re a plank…flat…like a plank.

side-plank

For some of you, this is the end of the “workout” portion of the workout. If you’ve pushed yourself HARD, you might be running out of gas. If this is the case, it’s time to do the “cool down” portion of the workout and get on with the rest of your day.

For those of you who have built up more fitness skillzzz, I want you to start repeating these supersets. Let YOUR fitness level and recovery ability dictate how many more supersets you are going to perform. Ditch the ego…use some common sense.

THE COOL DOWN

For the cool down, I want you to take 15 minutes and do some physical therapy on your muscles

  • Grab a rope, band tennis ball, lacrosse ball, yoga ball, golf ball wrapped up in a sock or one of these and start mashing your muscles. Here are some “how-to” videos.

TOMORROW’S WORKOUT (optional)

Tomorrow, feel free to do 20-40 minutes of cardio.

Go for a walk, jog, run on the treadmill, swim laps, ride your bike, etc…

Calculate Your Own Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate

To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps. First, subtract your age from 180. Next, find the best category for your present state of fitness and health, and make the appropriate adjustments:
1. Subtract your age from 180.
2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
b. If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
c. If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180–age) the same.
d. If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5.

For example, if you are thirty years old and fit into category (b), you get the following:
180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).

  • If you can’t monitor your heart rate, I want you to use the “talk test”. With the TT, you should be ABLE to talk to your training partner…but you won’t WANT to.

NEXT WEEK’S WORKOUTS

Monday, we start a brand new form of workouts.

[box type=”important”]And part of that workout is going to involve strength bands.

So, for the last time…I highly recommend you do not the cheap tube-style exercise bands. Buy the flat/square style bands. They don’t break and will last you forever. I have had my first set for over 10 years.

If you don’t have any, you can pick some up for a good price at Rogue Fitness. Plus, if you end up buying some by following THIS LINK, Rogue Fitness will kick back 5% of the purchase price to me.

Thanks in advance for everyone who helps throw a little bit of  moolah my way. [/box]

Motivation: How to Get It and Fuel It

Today’s article is a guest post from one of my favorite fitness gurus – Adam Ali.

The reason I asked Adam to write an article for Health Habits is that unlike most fitness ‘experts’, Adam not only cares passionately about bringing fitness to “normal” people, he actually does something about it. Working in one of Toronto’s at-risk neighborhoods, Adam has recently created the Goodfit Battles as a way to get Toronto’s urban youth to participate in active living through fitness training. While politicians and health experts talk about reversing childhood obesity and eliminating the chronic lifestyle diseases bankrupting our healthcare system, Adam actually does something about it.

Alright, that’s enough of  pumping Adam’s tires, on with the article….

motivation-adam-ali

Being known as the motivational-athlete-guy, I receive tons of e-mails from people asking me how do I get and stay motivated. My answer is always the same…I tell them that it’s a simple as just get STARTED and be on the look-out for any & all positive indicators. Seeing small wins lets me know that I am going towards the right direction and that’s what usually motivates me. However, to get those small wins, you got to START. There is no secret to that. Chase things you are passionate about and you are likely to stay on course. Besides finding small wins to motivate me here are some other approaches I use to get MOTIVATED.

  1. Find someone to keep you accountable
    Now not only am I responsible for achieving my goal I have someone also breathing down my neck when I am going off course. A mentor or a friend who genuinely keeps you accountable can dramatically support you to get motivated.
  2. Think about what will happen if you DON’T do it
    It scares me when I think about the consequence of not doing one my goals. I do not want to be regretful and spend any time later in life wondering what if. Out weight the loss of not taking action and that should be enough to motivate you.
  3. Set up anchors
    Display a collage on your wall, set alarms, emails alerts to yourself, to do list, etc to continuously remind you of your goals. This can support fuelling you on your way to your goal.
  4.  Find motivation
    Seek motivation. Go online and search for a video and article. Pick up the phone and call someone and start a conversation – I’m sure you will get encouraged. There are thousands of books on self-development and motivation. If you seek you will find it and remember that the best motivation comes within.
  5. Greatest Invention.
    The greatest invention in my humble opinion has to be the paper and pen. There is something magical when you put your goals on paper. Utilize the magic of paper and pen and get writing everyday. Write a to do list that supports your goals. If you have a worthy thought about your goals or an idea – write it down.

Here is a link to my personal daily to do list. Utilize it daily and I promise that it will motivate you to your goals.

 .

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
—Thomas Jefferson

.

About the Author

This article was written by super-trainer Adam Ali, founder of iWontLose.com and creator of the Goodfit Battles. If you want to connect with Adam, you can reach him at Twitter – @ADAMwontLOSE or Facebook or on his YouTube page.

Best Body Workout – 2013 – Week 11 – Day 2

Get ready for a butt-kicking (yours) combination of HIIT and timed HIRT supersets.

THE WARM-UP

This is the same warm-upI use with my real-world clients. The goal is to lubricate your joints, mentally get you in workout mode  and physically warm up your muscles – making them more elastic and ready to work.

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

  • We are going to alternate between 60 seconds sets of HIIT sprints and 5 minute HIRT resistance supersets.
  • Keep rest periods as short as YOUR fitness level will allow.
  • No sitting while you’re resting – stretch a muscle while you’re catching your breath
  • Don’t sacrifice good for for a few extra reps – watch the videos
  • Push yourself as hard as YOU can. Pretend I am there…screaming at you!!!!

Superset #1

  1. HIIT Sprints – stair step-ups or bike or hill sprints or elliptical or…

This one is dead simple….

  • Walk over to a flight of stairs.
  • Step up and down on a single step as fast as you can for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for 1 to 2 minutes
  • If you have cardio equipment (bike, elliptical, treadmill), feel free to substitute

Superset #2 

  1. Bulgarian Split Squats
  2. Toes to the Ceiling 
  • 5 Minutes – Set your timer or watch a clock
  • 30 seconds per exercise per set
  • For Bulgarians, alternate legs between sets
  • Perform as many reps as possible with proper form
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you need to add resistance to the squats, hold onto 1 or 2 dumbbells/kettlebells

Superset #3

  1. HIIT Sprints – stair step-ups or bike or hill sprints or elliptical or…

Same as Set #1….

  • Walk over to a flight of stairs.
  • Step up and down on a single step as fast as you can for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for 1 to 2 minutes
  • If you have cardio equipment (bike, elliptical, treadmill), feel free to substitute

Superset #4

  1. Bodyweight Shoulder Press
  2. Single Leg Hip Thrust – feet elevated
  • 5 Minutes – Set your timer or watch a clock
  • 30 seconds per exercise per set
  • For Hip Thrusts, alternate legs between sets
  • Perform as many reps as possible with proper form
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion

Superset #5

  1. HIIT Sprints – stair step-ups or bike or hill sprints or elliptical or…

Same as Set #1….

  • Walk over to a flight of stairs.
  • Step up and down on a single step as fast as you can for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for 1 to 2 minutes
  • If you have cardio equipment (bike, elliptical, treadmill), feel free to substitute

Superset #6 

  1. Wide Grip Push-Ups
  2. Lateral (side to side) Squats
  • 5 Minutes – Set your timer or watch a clock
  • 30 seconds per exercise per set
  • Perform as many reps as possible…
  • …with proper form – I would rather see you perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you need to add resistance to the Squats, hold onto a DB/KB
  • Notice that the toes are facing forward on the squats – this is the form I want to see, but if your knees don’t like this, you’re going to need to pivot your foot as you lunge to the side – gotta look after those knees

For some of you, this is the end of the “workout” portion of the workout. If you’ve pushed yourself HARD, you might be running out of gas. If this is the case, it’s time to do the “cool down” portion of the workout and get on with the rest of your day.

For those of you who have built up more fitness skillzzz, I want you to start repeating these supersets. Let YOUR fitness level and recovery ability dictate how many more supersets you are going to perform. Ditch the ego…use some common sense.

THE COOL DOWN

For the cool down, I want you to take 15 minutes and do some physical therapy on your muscles

  • Grab a rope, band tennis ball, lacrosse ball, yoga ball, golf ball wrapped up in a sock or one of these and start mashing your muscles. Here are some “how-to” videos.

TOMORROW’S WORKOUT (optional)

Tomorrow, feel free to do 20-40 minutes of cardio.

Go for a walk, jog, run on the treadmill, swim laps, ride your bike, etc…

Calculate Your Own Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate

To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps. First, subtract your age from 180. Next, find the best category for your present state of fitness and health, and make the appropriate adjustments:
1. Subtract your age from 180.
2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
b. If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
c. If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180–age) the same.
d. If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5.

For example, if you are thirty years old and fit into category (b), you get the following:
180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).

  • If you can’t monitor your heart rate, I want you to use the “talk test”. With the TT, you should be ABLE to talk to your training partner…but you won’t WANT to.

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

Wednesday, we get back to a resistance training.

[box type=”important”]Remember…We’re going to start using bands soon…so make sure you have some…and not the crappy (and dangerous) tube-style of resistance bands. Buy the flat/square style bands. They don’t break and will last you forever. I have had my first set for over 10 years.

If you don’t have any, you can pick some up for a good price at Rogue Fitness. Plus, if you end up buying some by following THIS LINK, Rogue Fitness will kick back 5% of the purchase price to me.

Thanks in advance for everyone who helps throw a little bit of moolah my way.[/box]

Best Body Workout – 2013 – Week 11 – Day 1

It’s week #11 of our Best Body Transformation 2013 series, and you have just finished a very demanding portion of the program. This week, we are going to shift back to a primarily HIIT style of training program, designed to increase fitness and minimize fitness…while giving your muscles a bit of a respite from the pounding they took for the past 6 weeks.

Have fun.

THE WARM-UP

This is the same workout I use with most of my clients. The goal is to lubricate your joints, mentally get you in workout mode  and physically warm up your muscles – making them more elastic and ready to work.

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

  • We are going to alternate between 60 seconds sets of HIIT sprints and 60 seconds of static core-stability exercises.
  • Keep rest periods as short as YOUR fitness level will allow.
  • No sitting while you’re resting – stretch a muscle while you’re catching your breath
  • Don’t sacrifice good for for a few extra reps – watch the videos
  • Push yourself as hard as YOU can. Pretend I am there…screaming at you!!!!

bridge-plank-grey

Set #1

  1. HIIT Sprints – stair step-ups or bike or hill sprints or elliptical or…

This one is dead simple….

  • Walk over to a flight of stairs.
  • Step up and down on a single step as fast as you can for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for a full minute
  • If you have cardio equipment (bike, elliptical, treadmill), feel free to substitute

Set #2

  1. Prone Plank for 60 seconds total

If you can do 60 seconds straight, do that. If you need to do 6 sets of 10 seconds, do that.

Just remember to keep your core tight and don’t let your back droop. Remember, you’re a plank…flat…like a plank.

bridge-plank-core

Set #3

  1. HIIT Sprints – stair step-ups or bike or hill sprints or elliptical or…

Same as Set #1….

  • Walk over to a flight of stairs.
  • Step up and down on a single step as fast as you can for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for a full minute
  • If you have cardio equipment (bike, elliptical, treadmill), feel free to substitute

usain-bolt

Set #4

  1. Side Plank for 60 seconds total – 30 seconds each side

If you can do 60 seconds straight, do that. If you need to do 6 sets of 10 seconds, do that.

Just like the prone plank…remember to keep your core tight and don’t let your hips/core droop. Remember, you’re a plank…flat…like a plank.

side-plank

For some of you, this is the end of the “workout” portion of the workout. If you’ve pushed yourself HARD, you might be running out of gas. If this is the case, it’s time to do the “cool down” portion of the workout and get on with the rest of your day.

For those of you who have built up more fitness skillzzz, I want you to start repeating these supersets. Let YOUR fitness level and recovery ability dictate how many more supersets you are going to perform. Ditch the ego…use some common sense.

THE COOL DOWN

For the cool down, I want you to take 15 minutes and do some physical therapy on your muscles

  • Grab a rope, band tennis ball, lacrosse ball, yoga ball, golf ball wrapped up in a sock or one of these and start mashing your muscles. Here are some “how-to” videos.

TOMORROW’S WORKOUT (optional)

Tomorrow, feel free to do 20-40 minutes of cardio.

Go for a walk, jog, run on the treadmill, swim laps, ride your bike, etc…

Calculate Your Own Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate

To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps. First, subtract your age from 180. Next, find the best category for your present state of fitness and health, and make the appropriate adjustments:
1. Subtract your age from 180.
2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
b. If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
c. If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180–age) the same.
d. If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5.

For example, if you are thirty years old and fit into category (b), you get the following:
180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).

  • If you can’t monitor your heart rate, I want you to use the “talk test”. With the TT, you should be ABLE to talk to your training partner…but you won’t WANT to.

WEDNESDAY’S WORKOUT

Wednesday, we get back to a resistance training.

[box type=”important”]In 2 or 3 weeks, I want to start adding in some band training.

I highly recommend you do not the cheap tube-style exercise bands. Buy the flat/square style bands. They don’t break and will last you forever. I have had my first set for over 10 years.

If you don’t have any, you can pick some up for a good price at Rogue Fitness. Plus, if you end up buying some by following THIS LINK, Rogue Fitness will kick back 5% of the purchase price to me.

Thanks in advance for everyone who helps throw a little bit of moolah my way.

Note – I will put together a quick article tomorrow outlining which bands you might want to buy.[/box]

Be the Best You that You Can Be

Every day, I speak with people who want to transform their body from fat to fit. And for the most part, I tell them that the human body is an amazingly adaptable machine that WILL respond to exercise, nutrition, etc.

Unfortunately, sometimes I have to splash a little cold water on their hopes & dreams. Just like Mssrs Ecto, Meso & Endo, we all face unique limitations and restrictions.

  • Mr. Meso’s waist is great for bodybuiding…but not so good for becoming the World’s Strongest Man
  • And while Mr. Endo is built for pulling transport trucks out of ditches, he is never, ever going to be as lean as Mr. Ecto without a boatload of illegal and life-threatening drugs.

We all have limitations…

  • Physical – wide hips, narrow hips, small boobs, big boobs, muscle fiber type, metabolic rate, etc…
  • Mental – self-confidence and belief in their ability to improve
  • Financial – gym memberships, trainers, healthy food & supplements cost money
  • Social – support of friends & family isn’t guaranteed
  • Knowledge – Some people still believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight
  • Time – we are all stuck with this one 😦

And while most of us will never be hired to be the next Calvin Klein model…

calvin-klein-models

…we sure as heck can be better than we are today.

Be the Best You that You Can Be

 

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As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

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Best Body Workout – 2013 – Week 10 – Day 3

Last workout of the week!!!! Congrats for making it through the end.

THE WARM-UP

This is the same warm-up as always. The goal is to lubricate your joints, mentally get you in workout mode  and physically warm up your muscles – making them more elastic and ready to work. 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

flex-wheeler-2

THE WORKOUT

  • We’re  not going to be timing your supersets this time. However, I do want you to time the “WORKOUT” part of the workout – 30 minutes – not including warm-up and cool down. Start your timer when you are starting the work sets. When the timer goes off, move on to the COOL DOWN.
  • We are going to alternate between resistance training supersets and calisthenic style exercises (ex jumping jacks).
  • Like the first 4 weeks, we’re going to keep rest periods as short as YOUR fitness level will allow.
  • No sitting while you’re resting – stretch a muscle if you need to catch your breath
  • Don’t sacrifice good for for a few extra reps – watch the videos
  • Push yourself as hard as YOU can. Pretend I am there…screaming at you!!!!

Superset #1

BW-row-table

  1. Shrug Body Weight Rows – Overhand/Palms away from you
  2. Inch Worms
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for the Rows and Inch Worms
  • Perform 75% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do with BW rows in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate between Rows & Worms
  • Perform 2-4 supersets
  • You’re aiming for 4 supersets, but I wan’t you to stop if you form starts to get sloppy

What the Heck is a Shrug Row?

It’s the same movement as the regular row, except…you don’t bend your elbows. The entire movement happens in your upper back. It will feel really odd at first, but it is a GREAT back builder.

inch-worm

Calisthenics #1

  1. Jumping Jacks – 20-40 reps

Jumping_Jack

  • I want these performed quickly…if that means 20 reps instead of 40 reps….so be it.

Superset #2

straight-leg-hip-thrust
Imagine her doing this single leg
  1. Single Leg Hip Thrust – with a straight leg (don’t bend the knee)
  2. Toes to the Ceiling
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for each exercise
  • Perform 75% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate between exercises – Hip Thrust Left/Hip Thrust Right/Toes to the  Ceiling
  • Perform this sequence 2 times

toes-to-the-ceiling

Calisthenics #2

  1. Dynamic Scissor Lunges – 40 reps
  • Feel free to sacrifice a little depth to keep up the speed and get your 40 reps.
  • Think of this more like jumping jacks than strength-training lunges

Superset #3

reverse-lunge

  1. Reverse Lunge
  2. Body Weight SkullCrushers
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for both exercises
  • Perform 75% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate Reverse Lunge left leg/Reverse Lunge right leg/BW SkullCrushers
  • Perform this sequence 2 times

bodyweight-skullcrusher2

For some of you, this is the end of the “workout” portion of the workout. For some of you, the 30 min timer may have gone off before you finished the entire workout. For others, you may finish so quickly that you have to start over again at the beginning. Either way, when the 30 minutes buzzer goes off, it’s time to stop and move on to the Cool-Down portion of the workout. Let YOUR fitness level and recovery ability dictate how many more supersets you are going to perform. Ditch the ego…use some common sense.

THE COOL DOWN

For the cool down, I want you to take 15 minutes and do some physical therapy on your muscles.

  • Grab a rope, band tennis ball, lacrosse ball, yoga ball, golf ball wrapped up in a sock or one of these and start mashing your muscles. Here are some “how-to” videos.

TOMORROW’S WORKOUT (optional) Tomorrow, feel free to do 20-40 minutes of cardio. Go for a walk, jog, run on the treadmill, swim laps, ride your bike, etc…

Calculate Your Own Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps.

  • First, subtract your age from 180.
  • Next, find the best category for your present state of fitness and health, and make the appropriate adjustments:
  1. Subtract your age from 180.
  2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
  • If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
  • If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
  • If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180–age) the same.
  • If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5. For example, if you are thirty years old and fit into category (b), you get the following: 180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).
  • If you can’t monitor your heart rate, I want you to use the “talk test”. With the TT, you should be ABLE to talk to your training partner…but you won’t WANT to.

  [box type=”important”]Remember…in a few weeks, I want to start adding in some band training. I highly recommend you do not the cheap tube-style exercise bands. Buy the flat/square style bands. They don’t break and will last you forever. I have had my first set for over 10 years. If you don’t have any, you can pick some up for a good price at Rogue Fitness. Plus, if you end up buying some by following THIS LINK, Rogue Fitness will kick back 5% of the purchase price to me. Thanks in advance for everyone who helps throw a little bit of moolah my way. [/box]

Make No Little Plans – Ontario to be the Healthiest Place in the World

I have no idea who holds the title right now, but they had better watch their extremely fit backs…because Ontario is about to take the world by storm and become the world’s healthiest people.

Ontario’s public health community recently released Make No Little Plans, the first-ever comprehensive strategic plan for the public health sector. The plan outlines the sector’s five shared strategic goals and eight collective areas of focus for the next three to five years.

Make No Little Plans is a roadmap that will help Ontarians become the healthiest people in the world, calling for strong partnerships across all sectors to work towards:

  • Giving children the best start in life
  • Improving the prevention and control of infectious diseases through immunization
  • Getting more Ontarians to exercise more, eat better, not smoke and drink less alcohol
  • Influencing municipal planning and policy to reinforce the strong link between community planning and health outcomes
  • Strengthening the public health sector’s capacity, infrastructure and emergency preparedness

Sounds great…doesn’t it?

Especially when we consider that 60 % of all Ontario deaths in 2007 were attributable to five factors…

  • smoking,
  • unhealthy alcohol consumption,
  • poor diet,
  • physical inactivity
  • and high stress

…and that Ontarians with all five of these risk factors are losing on average…almost 20 years of life.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, all of this unhealthiness has created an economic problem – 25% of all publicly funded health care costs are due to preventable illnesses – diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc) – with that that number growing year after year after year.

And since no one wants to keep paying higher and higher taxes, the government is getting serious with their No Little Plan plan.

no-little-plans

Fingers crossed that the plan works…because I am sick and tired of seeing my countrymen looking more like the uber-pudgy BEFORE picture than the super-studly AFTER picture.

I am also sick of seeing my taxes go up and up and up…but that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

So…what happens now?

To be honest, I have no idea. The No Little Plan calls for all sorts of sectors to be involved:

public-health-partnerships

Does anyone see a potential problem?

I do….Nowhere amongst all these very smart and dedicated people do I see any mention of the PUBLIC.

I see no mention of parents groups or community associations or social activists or any other the other grassroots organizations that can turn a bunch of strangers into a tight-knit and vibrant community.

For example, I know a LOT of fitness professionals in Toronto who would be willing to donate their time & expertise to help make their city a fitter, healthier place. I also know members of my neighborhood residents’ association who would gladly donate their time and expertise to help create healthier, fitter neighborhoods across the city.

But no one is speaking to them. And that’s a shame.

Because in a world where social media gives power to the individual, governments really need to start moving away from their top-down approach to policy and start incorporating input from (and ceding power to) the grassroots.

– End of rant –

Seriously, I am excited that my provincial government is taking steps to help improve the health of it’s citizenry. It’s a truly noble and truly big plan. Something we could all be proud of.

make-healthy-change-happen

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.”

Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912)

Reference

abs-fitness-health-exercise-workout

Best Body Workout – 2013 – Week 10 – Day 2

It’s the last time you are EVER going to do this workout…so give it your best effort.

THE WARM-UP

This is the same warm-up as always. The goal is to lubricate your joints, mentally get you in workout mode  and physically warm up your muscles – making them more elastic and ready to work.

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

arms-abs-quads

THE WORKOUT

  • We’re  not going to be timing your supersets this time. However, I do want you to time the “WORKOUT” part of the workout – 30 minutes – not including warm-up and cool down. Start your timer when you are starting the work sets. When the timer goes off, move on to the COOL DOWN.
  • We are going to alternate between resistance training supersets and calisthenic style exercises (ex jumping jacks).
  • Like the first 4 weeks, we’re going to keep rest periods as short as YOUR fitness level will allow.
  • No sitting while you’re resting – stretch a muscle if you need to catch your breath
  • Don’t sacrifice good for for a few extra reps – watch the videos
  • Push yourself as hard as YOU can. Pretend I am there…screaming at you!!!!

Superset #1

BW-row-table

  1. Body Weight Rows – Overhand/Palms away from you
  2. Prone Plank or Stir the Pots
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for the rows
  • Perform 75% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do with BW rows in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • For the Planks/Stir the Pots – do 30 seconds per set
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate between rows & core
  • Perform 2-4 supersets
  • You’re aiming for 4 supersets, but I wan’t you to stop if you form starts to get sloppy

stir-the-pot

bridge-plank-core

Calisthenics #1

  1. Jumping Jacks – 20-40 reps

Jumping_Jack

  • I want these performed quickly…if that means 20 reps instead of 40 reps….so be it.

Superset #2

Bulgarian_Squat

  1. Bulgarian Split Squat
  2. Ab Vacuum
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for the Bulgarians
  • Perform 75% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout.

Ab Vacuums are performed as follows…

  1. Exhale all the air out of your lungs.
  2. Suck in your gut like Mr. Zane in the pic below
  3. Hold it for time.
  4. For this workout, I want you to give me 150% of the hold time you did last week – If you did 10 seconds, I need you to give me 15 sec today.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate between exercises – Bulgarian Left/Bulgarian Right/Ab Vacuum
  • Perform this sequence 2 times

vacuum frank zane

Calisthenics #2

  1. Dynamic Scissor Lunges – 40 reps
  • Feel free to sacrifice a little depth to keep up the speed and get your 40 reps.
  • Think of this more like jumping jacks than strength-training lunges

Superset #3

single-leg-deadlift

  1. Single Leg Straight Leg Deadlift
  2. Body Weight Rows – Underhand/Palms toward you
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for both exercise
  • Perform 75% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate SLDL left leg/SLDL right leg/BW Rows
  • Perform this sequence 2 times

palms-facing

For some of you, this is the end of the “workout” portion of the workout. For some of you, the 30 min timer may have gone off before you finished the entire workout. For others, you may finish so quickly that you have to start over again at the beginning.

Either way, when the 30 minutes buzzer goes off, it’s time to stop and move on to the Cool-Down portion of the workout.

Let YOUR fitness level and recovery ability dictate how many more supersets you are going to perform. Ditch the ego…use some common sense.

THE COOL DOWN

For the cool down, I want you to take 15 minutes and do some physical therapy on your muscles.

  • Grab a rope, band tennis ball, lacrosse ball, yoga ball, golf ball wrapped up in a sock or one of these and start mashing your muscles. Here are some “how-to” videos.

TOMORROW’S WORKOUT (optional) Tomorrow, feel free to do 20-40 minutes of cardio. Go for a walk, jog, run on the treadmill, swim laps, ride your bike, etc…

Calculate Your Own Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate

To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps.

  • First, subtract your age from 180.
  • Next, find the best category for your present state of fitness and health, and make the appropriate adjustments:
  1. Subtract your age from 180.
  2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
  • If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
  • If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
  • If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180–age) the same.
  • If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5. For example, if you are thirty years old and fit into category (b), you get the following: 180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).
  • If you can’t monitor your heart rate, I want you to use the “talk test”. With the TT, you should be ABLE to talk to your training partner…but you won’t WANT to.

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

Friday, we get back to a resistance training.

Remember…in a few weeks, I want to start adding in some band training. I highly recommend you do not the cheap tube-style exercise bands. Buy the flat/square style bands. They don’t break and will last you forever. I have had my first set for over 10 years. If you don’t have any, you can pick some up for a good price at Rogue Fitness.

Plus, if you end up buying some by following THIS LINK, Rogue Fitness will kick back 5% of the purchase price to me.

Thanks in advance for everyone who helps throw a little bit of moolah my way. [/box]

Reference

  • Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption

Fitness for Beginners – How To Do Push-Ups

Every January, gyms/health clubs/fitness centers around the world fill up with fitness virgins…eager to get in shape, drop a few pounds and transform their fat into fit.

Unfortunately, most of those newbies have no idea how to properly and safely perform resistance exercises…and are left to flail and flounder until they eventually quit out of frustration, embarrasment and/or injury.

woman-push-up

So…as a public service, we are starting this series of how-to videos for beginners. In this first video, my buddy Andi shows us a number of different Push-Up versions…starting with Wall Push-Ups (designed for the absolute beginner) and progressing all the way to some truly nasty Superman Clap Push-Ups.

All of these different push-up variations have one thing in common…good form Tight core muscles…not letting your back/belly droop. Tight leg muscles..helping you transmit energy effectively Shoulder blades retracted and held tight…protecting the shoulder joint from potential energy Proper breathing pattern – exhaling a thin stream of air as you push-up and inhaling a thin stream of air as you lower down to the floor[/box]

Next post….Bodyweight Squat variations

Reference

Omega 3s Can Save Your Life

Over the years, there have been dozens of studies and thousands of articles written about how eating fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids is good for our health. These studies have shown us how diets high in salmon and herring and even tuna are good for our hearts and lower our risk of dying from heart disease.

But up until now, there haven’t been any studies which conclusively prove that individuals who ate a diet high in Omega 3s actually lived longer and better than the rest of us.

A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows us that “older adults who have higher levels of blood omega-3 levels are able to…

  • lower their overall mortality risk by as much as 27%
  • and their mortality risk from heart disease by about 35%

Researchers found that older adults who had the highest blood levels of Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.

Not only will your doctor be happy with your blood tests and your ECG scans, you will actually live longer…and that is pretty darn cool.

The Science

The researchers examined 16 years of data from about 2,700 U.S. adults aged 65 or older. Participants came from four U.S. communities in North Carolina, California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; and all were generally healthy at baseline. At baseline and regularly during follow-up, participants had blood drawn, underwent physical examinations and diagnostic testing, and were questioned about their health status, medical history, and lifestyle.

The researchers analyzed the total proportion of blood omega-3 fatty acids, including three specific ones, in participants’ blood samples at baseline. After adjusting for demographic, cardiovascular, lifestyle, and dietary factors, they found that the three fatty acids—both individually and combined—were associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality.

One type in particular—docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA—was most strongly related to lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) death (40% lower risk), especially CHD death due to arrhythmias (electrical disturbances of the heart rhythm) (45% lower risk). Of the other blood fatty acids measured—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)—DPA was most strongly associated with lower risk of stroke death, and EPA most strongly linked with lower risk of nonfatal heart attack.

Overall, study participants with the highest levels of all three types of fatty acids had a 27% lower risk of total mortality due to all causes.

And how much fish & Omega 3s do you need to consume to get these amazing life-extending benefits?

  • 400 mg or two servings of fatty fish per week.

But what if you’re worried about high mercury levels found in some fish?

  • Consult this chart and eat fish high in Omega 3s and low in mercury
  • Or buy quality fish oil supplements (my second choice)

fish-omega3-mercury

Reference

Best Body Workout – 2013 – Week 10 – Day 1

This is the last week for this program. Next week is all-new stuff.

THE WARM-UP

This is the same warm-up as always. The goal is to lubricate your joints, mentally get you in workout mode  and physically warm up your muscles – making them more elastic and ready to work.

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

kettlebell-woman-web

THE WORKOUT

  • We’re  not going to be timing your supersets this time. However, I do want you to time the “WORKOUT” part of the workout – 30 minutes – not including warm-up and cool down. Start your timer when you are starting the work sets. When the timer goes off, move on to the COOL DOWN.
  • We are going to alternate between resistance training supersets and calisthenic style exercises (ex jumping jacks).
  • Like the first 4 weeks, we’re going to keep rest periods as short as YOUR fitness level will allow.
  • No sitting while you’re resting – stretch a muscle if you need to catch your breath
  • Don’t sacrifice good for for a few extra reps – watch the videos
  • Push yourself as hard as YOU can. Pretend I am there…screaming at you!!!!

Superset #1

snoopy-pushup

  1. Push-Ups
  2. McGill Crunches
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for each exercise
  • Perform 75% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do with push-ups in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • If you can’t do floor push-ups, please modify with an easier version – push-ups off of a bench/chair for example.
  • Same protocol for the McGill Crunches
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate between push-ups and crunches
  • Perform 2-4 supersets
  • You’re aiming for 4 supersets, but I wan’t you to stop if you form starts to get sloppy

mcgill-crunch

Calisthenics #1

  1. Dynamic Scissor Lunges – 40 reps

shuffle-jump-lunge

  • Feel free to sacrifice a little depth to keep up the speed and get your 40 reps.
  • Think of this more like jumping jacks than strength-training lunges

Superset #2

single-leg-hip-thrust

  1. 1 Leg Hip Thrust – with bent knee
  2. Side Plank
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for the Hip Thrusts
  • Perform 75 % of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • For Side Planks, I want 30 seconds per set per side
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate Hip Thrust one leg / Plank one side / Hip Thrust other leg / Plank other side
  • Perform this sequence 2 times
  • This means you will do 2 sets per leg and 2 sets of planks to each side

side-plank

Calisthenics #2

  1. Jumping Jacks – 40 reps

Jumping_Jack

Superset #3

lateral-squat

  1. Lateral Squat
  2. Body-Weight Shoulder Press
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for both exercise
  • Perform 75 % of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 9 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate Lateral Squat to the left/ Lateral Squat to the right / Shoulder Press
  • Perform this sequence 2 times
  • This means you will do 2 sets of presses and 2 sets to each side for lateral squats

modified-bw-shoulder-press

For some of you, this is the end of the “workout” portion of the workout. For some of you, the 30 min timer may have gone off before you finished the entire workout. For others, you may finish so quickly that you have to start over again at the beginning.

Either way, when the 30 minutes buzzer goes off, it’s time to stop and move on to the Cool-Down portion of the workout.

Let YOUR fitness level and recovery ability dictate how many more supersets you are going to perform. Ditch the ego…use some common sense.

THE COOL DOWN

For the cool down, I want you to take 15 minutes and do some physical therapy on your muscles.

  • Grab a rope, band tennis ball, lacrosse ball, yoga ball, golf ball wrapped up in a sock or one of these and start mashing your muscles. Here are some “how-to” videos.

TOMORROW’S WORKOUT (optional) Tomorrow, feel free to do 20-40 minutes of cardio. Go for a walk, jog, run on the treadmill, swim laps, ride your bike, etc…

Calculate Your Own Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate

To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps.

  • First, subtract your age from 180.
  • Next, find the best category for your present state of fitness and health, and make the appropriate adjustments:
  1. Subtract your age from 180.
  2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
  • If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
  • If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
  • If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180–age) the same.
  • If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5. For example, if you are thirty years old and fit into category (b), you get the following: 180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).
  • If you can’t monitor your heart rate, I want you to use the “talk test”. With the TT, you should be ABLE to talk to your training partner…but you won’t WANT to.

WEDNESDAY’S WORKOUT

Wednesday, we get back to a resistance training.

[box type=”important”]In a few weeks, I want to start adding in some band training. I highly recommend you do not the cheap tube-style exercise bands. Buy the flat/square style bands. They don’t break and will last you forever. I have had my first set for over 10 years. If you don’t have any, you can pick some up for a good price at Rogue Fitness.

Plus, if you end up buying some by following THIS LINK, Rogue Fitness will kick back 5% of the purchase price to me.

Thanks in advance for everyone who helps throw a little bit of moolah my way. [/box]

Best Body Workout – 2013 – Week 9 – Day 3

Last workout of the week!!!!

THE WARM-UP

This is the same warm-up as always. The goal is to lubricate your joints, mentally get you in workout mode  and physically warm up your muscles – making them more elastic and ready to work. 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

flex-wheeler-2

THE WORKOUT

  • We’re  not going to be timing your supersets this time. However, I do want you to time the “WORKOUT” part of the workout – 30 minutes – not including warm-up and cool down. Start your timer when you are starting the work sets. When the timer goes off, move on to the COOL DOWN.
  • We are going to alternate between resistance training supersets and calisthenic style exercises (ex jumping jacks).
  • Like the first 4 weeks, we’re going to keep rest periods as short as YOUR fitness level will allow.
  • No sitting while you’re resting – stretch a muscle if you need to catch your breath
  • Don’t sacrifice good for for a few extra reps – watch the videos
  • Push yourself as hard as YOU can. Pretend I am there…screaming at you!!!!

Superset #1

BW-row-table

  1. Shrug Body Weight Rows – Overhand/Palms away from you
  2. Inch Worms
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for the Rows and Inch Worms
  • Perform 50% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do with BW rows in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 6 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate between Rows & Worms
  • Perform 3-6 supersets
  • You’re aiming for 6 supersets, but I wan’t you to stop if you form starts to get sloppy

What the Heck is a Shrug Row?

It’s the same movement as the regular row, except…you don’t bend your elbows. The entire movement happens in your upper back. It will feel really odd at first, but it is a GREAT back builder.

inch-worm

Calisthenics #1

  1. Jumping Jacks – 20-40 reps

Jumping_Jack

  • I want these performed quickly…if that means 20 reps instead of 40 reps….so be it.

Superset #2

straight-leg-hip-thrust
Imagine her doing this single leg
  1. Single Leg Hip Thrust – with a straight leg (don’t bend the knee)
  2. Toes to the Ceiling
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for each exercise
  • Perform 50% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 6 reps per set for this workout.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate between exercises – Hip Thrust Left/Hip Thrust Right/Toes to the  Ceiling
  • Perform this sequence 3 times

toes-to-the-ceiling

Calisthenics #2

  1. Dynamic Scissor Lunges – 40 reps
  • Feel free to sacrifice a little depth to keep up the speed and get your 40 reps.
  • Think of this more like jumping jacks than strength-training lunges

Superset #3

reverse-lunge

  1. Reverse Lunge
  2. Body Weight SkullCrushers
  • Guess-timate the maximum number of reps you could do for both exercises
  • Perform 50% of those reps per set
  • For example, If the best you can do in a single set is 12 reps, I want you to do 6 reps per set for this workout. It won’t seem like much, but it’s part of my master plan for you.
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • Alternate Reverse Lunge left leg/Reverse Lunge right leg/BW SkullCrushers
  • Perform this sequence 3 times

bodyweight-skullcrusher2

For some of you, this is the end of the “workout” portion of the workout. For some of you, the 30 min timer may have gone off before you finished the entire workout. For others, you may finish so quickly that you have to start over again at the beginning. Either way, when the 30 minutes buzzer goes off, it’s time to stop and move on to the Cool-Down portion of the workout. Let YOUR fitness level and recovery ability dictate how many more supersets you are going to perform. Ditch the ego…use some common sense.

THE COOL DOWN

For the cool down, I want you to take 15 minutes and do some physical therapy on your muscles.

  • Grab a rope, band tennis ball, lacrosse ball, yoga ball, golf ball wrapped up in a sock or one of these and start mashing your muscles. Here are some “how-to” videos.

TOMORROW’S WORKOUT (optional) Tomorrow, feel free to do 20-40 minutes of cardio. Go for a walk, jog, run on the treadmill, swim laps, ride your bike, etc…

Calculate Your Own Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps.

  • First, subtract your age from 180.
  • Next, find the best category for your present state of fitness and health, and make the appropriate adjustments:
  1. Subtract your age from 180.
  2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
  • If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
  • If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
  • If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180–age) the same.
  • If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5. For example, if you are thirty years old and fit into category (b), you get the following: 180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).
  • If you can’t monitor your heart rate, I want you to use the “talk test”. With the TT, you should be ABLE to talk to your training partner…but you won’t WANT to.

  [box type=”important”]Remember…in a few weeks, I want to start adding in some band training. I highly recommend you do not the cheap tube-style exercise bands. Buy the flat/square style bands. They don’t break and will last you forever. I have had my first set for over 10 years. If you don’t have any, you can pick some up for a good price at Rogue Fitness. Plus, if you end up buying some by following THIS LINK, Rogue Fitness will kick back 5% of the purchase price to me. Thanks in advance for everyone who helps throw a little bit of moolah my way. [/box]

ANGRY Workout Music Playlist

Most of the time, my brain is able to tune out the incredibly lame music they play at most gyms/health clubs.

However…when it comes time to dive into a heavy lifting, kick your own butt kind of workout, having to hear the latest Ke$ha song in the background is a HUGE distraction.

That’s when I slap on the headphones and start cranking the official Health Habits ANGRY Workout Music Playlist.

angry-henry-rollins

[box type=”note”]This is not the music you want to listen to while doing cardio or pilates or zumba or driving the car or making dinner or just about anything other than unleashing all your aggression on a pile of heavy weights at the gym. This stuff is going to unleash your inner barbarian[/box]

BAND SONG
Motörhead Ace Of Spades
Nirvana Aneurysm
Silverchair Anthem For The Year 2000
Skinny Puppy Assimilate
AC DC Back In Black
Kid Rock Bawitdaba
Nine Inch Nails Bite The Hand That Feeds
Public Enemy Black Steel In The Hour O…
LINKIN PARK Bleed It Out
Rage Against The Machine Bombtrack
Linkin Park Breaking The Habit
Nirvana Breed
Public Enemy Bring The Noise
DMX Bring Your Whole Crew
Rage Against The Machine Bullet In The Head
Rage Against The Machine Bulls On Parade
Five Finger Death Punch Burn It Down
Ministry Burning Inside
Rage Against The Machine Calm Like A Bomb
Skrillex Cat Rats
Skinny Puppy Chainsaw
Saliva Click Click Boom
Audioslave Cochise
Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train
Rage Against The Machine Darkness (lp Version)
Foo Fighters Darling Nikki
Skinny Puppy Dig It (short Edit)
Disturbed Down With The Sickness
Rob Zombie Dragula
Nirvana Drain You
White Zombie Electric Head, Pt. 1
White Zombie Electric Head, Pt. 2
Foo Fighters Everlong
Ministry Everyday Is Halloween
Public Enemy Fight The Power
The Prodigy Firestarter
SKRILLEX First Of The Year
Rage Against The Machine Fistful Of Steel
Rage Against The Machine Freedom
NWA Fuck The Police
Skrillex Fucking Die 01
Rollins Band Going Out Strange
Rage Against The Machine Guerilla Radio
Nine Inch Nails Head Like A Hole
Matthew Good Band Hello Time Bomb
Filter Hey Man Nice Shot
Nirvana In Bloom
Linkin Park In The End
House Of Pain Jump Around
Skrillex Kill Everybody
Rage Against The Machine Killing In The Name Of
Eminem Lose Yourself
Bush Machinehead
Rage Against The Machine Maggie’s Farm
Skrillex & Damian Marley Make It Bun Dem
LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out
Rage Against The Machine Maria
Rage Against The Machine Mic Check
Marilyn Manson Mobscene
White Zombie More Human Than Human
KMFDM Mortal Kombat Theme
Foo Fighters My Hero
Rage Against The Machine New Millennium Homes
Rage Against The Machine No Shelter
Limp Bizkit Nookie
Soundgarden Outshined
Linkin Park Papercut
Rage Against The Machine People Of The Sun
Ministry Psalm 69
Skrillex Reptile
Various Artists Resident Evil Main Title …
DMX Ruff Ryders’ Anthem
Beastie Boys Sabotage
Skrillex Scary Monsters And Nice S…
The Offspring Self-Esteem
Rage Against The Machine Settle For Nothing
Rage Against The Machine Sleep Now In The Fire
Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit
Beastie Boys So Whatcha Want
Foo Fighters Stacked Actors
Nine Inch Nails Starfuckers, Inc.
Ministry Stigmata
Nirvana Territorial Pissings
Common Testify
Rage Against The Machine Testify
Marilyn Manson The Beautiful People
Five Finger Death Punch The Bleeding
Motörhead / Lemmy The Game
Nine Inch Nails The Perfect Drug
Foo Fighters The Pretender
Rob Zombie Thunderkiss
ACDC Thunderstruck
Eminem ’till I Collapse
ACDC Tnt
Rage Against The Machine Township Rebellion
Rage Against The Machine Vietnow
Rage Against The Machine Voice Of The Voiceless
Rage Against The Machine Wake Up
Guns N’ Roses Welcome To the Jungle
Rage Against The Machine Year Of Tha Boomerang
Death From Above 1979 You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine

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