Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Exercise – no more ‘cardio’

So, you’ve probably heard it all before:

  • The key to not losing weight is to ‘burn more calories than you consume.’
  • You accomplish this mean feat by counting how many calories you consume (to varying degrees of precision) and engaging in ‘cardio’ activity several times a week (3-5, depending on the purveyor of this advice) for at least 30 minutes a pop.
  • Doing so ensures you stay in a state of ‘caloric deficit’ which results in weight loss (or at least the absence of weight gain).

The crux of this post is intended to turn that thinking upside down. Regular visitors to this blog have seen me rail against the ‘calorie is a calorie’ idea, expressing strongly that the nature of the calories you consume plays a significant role in the extent to which you make fat for storage.

Now that I’ve taken on that commonly-held notion, it’s now time to focus on the other side of the coin: exercise. Here are a few alternate bullet points for you to consider:

  • Cardio exercise is bad for you (that’s right, I said bad for you)
  • The best type of exercise for ensuring weight control (and a vast array of other benefits) is strength training – many people call it weightlifting
  • The most effective way to perform strength training should take you no more than about an hour a week, and there’s a good chance you won’t even break a sweat doing it.

Well, I hope that has at least piqued your interest.

I’ve been admonished to keep my blog posts shorter, so I’ll try to go into the ‘why this works’ in brief and leave to you to follow up with the recommended readings. So, how does this approach work?

  • The single most beneficial thing you can do in the realm of exercise to control weight (read: lose fat) is to build muscle
  • The most effective, least time-consumptive and safest way to do build muscle is to engage in high-weight, slow-speed motion that ‘exhausts’ your muscle groups. This can be done for all the major muscle groups in the body in about a half an hour.
  • In order to get the maximum benefit from this ‘exhaustion’ is to give your muscles about a week to recover as it takes that long for your largest muscle fibers to re-build.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat

So that’s the summary. I can tell you I’ve been working out in this way for the last couple of months and it is hard to believe the time vs. benefit ratio.

You’ll want to know more, I’m sure. As always, I have references:

Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week

Best one of the bunch for my money. Might delve into the science a bit too much for some, but it covers all the bases and you come away understanding how this crazy idea just might work.

The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution: The Slow Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body in 30 Minutes a Week

This one is a comprehensive take on the issues as well. Covers the science well enough, but still a non-threatening read if you don’t want to geek out. Also great dietary advice from Drs. Eades.

Power of 10 : The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution

This one is very light and breezy while still getting all the big ideas across. Heavy on the testimonials. There are times when it comes across mostly as an avertorial for the authors gym in Manhattan, but take it for what it’s worth.

More details on my own progress in a few weeks.

Primal Blueprint – Limited Time Offer

Here’s a fantastic, one-day-only offer from one of my favorites. It’s Mark SDo not delay, get it todayisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. You may recall I sent you his way in a previous post. Since then, I’ve been a regular reader and subscriber to his blog and have found the quality of his information to be superb and his style to be infectious. If you buy his book The Primal Blueprint from today (3/17/10), in addition to getting this life-changing book, you also get tons ‘o goodies along with it (cribbed from his announcement e-mail):

  • A personal invite to a private 2-hour Live Webcast Q&A Session. Ask me anything you want. I’ll be answering as many questions as I can about weight loss, muscle building, supplementation and anything else that interests you.
  • Access to the password-protected audio interview: "Special Report: 20 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight (And How to Fix Them)" ($24.99 value, yours free!)
  • Access to the password-protected audio interview: "Special Report: 5 Reasons You’re Sick (And How to Get Better)" ($14.99 value, yours free!)
  • A convenient and exclusive e-book (PDF) of 25 Primal Blueprint Recipes from Mark’s Daily Apple
  • A free preview edition (PDF) of my upcoming, hardbound cookbook with 5 select Primal Blueprint Recipes

You can get the full skinny (heh, he said skinny) at the ‘apple.’ The deal is even sweeter if you buy more books at a pop. The price of the book is paltry compared to its worth, and you get all this extra to boot. No excuse not to take advantage of this. Mark’s motivation is to raise the profile of his book so as to accelerate the broader changes we need to craft a healthier society. I’m down with that too. Tags: ,,

Mark Sisson – Primal Blueprint

Hey everybody, got a great new site/book for you. It’s The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. Think Paleo diet (with a few differences), Crossfit (no cardio here) and supplements (think Life Extension) and you get an idea of where Mark is going.

Check him out. It’ll be worth it to you!

Pillars of Weight Loss – Life Extension

Life Extension Foundation have done it again. They’ve taken all of the best advice that’s is now emerging on the blood testing, supplement and dietary (well, almost) front and compiled it all together into their Nine Pillars of Successful Weight Loss.

The entire write-up is worth your time – whether or not you think you need to loose weight – because the principles apply to everyone. It’s about optimal overall health. If everything’s in balance, it’s almost hard to put on a lot of fat.

Please do yourself a favor pick up the .pdf from the site. Here is a brief sidebar that gives you a sense of where they’re taking this:

  • Simply eating less and exercising more is not enough to help most people remove excess body fat and keep it off. A comprehensive program is necessary to aggressively target the many factors that contribute to excess body fat.
  • Excess body fat is not only unsightly, it can be deadly, increasing the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Abdominal fat is particularly dangerous.
  • A comprehensive fat-loss program includes improving insulin sensitivity, achieving youthful hormone balance, controlling the rate of carbohydrate absorption, controlling the amount of dietary fat absorption, increasing physical activity, normalizing brain serotonin, restoring energy expenditure rate, and adopting a long-term healthy eating strategy.
  • Certain nutritional supplements offer important support for reducing appetite, promoting satiety, and enhancing fat-burning.
  • The rewards of removing excess body fat go far beyond a slim physique to the promise of a lengthy, disease-free life.

On the dietary side of things, I remain hopeful they’ll get a copy of Good Calories, Bad Calories and begin to step away from the low-fat, calorie restriction premise that still underlies much of their dietary advice. At least this time around, they make a pretty strong statement about the consumption of simple carbohydrates and how the emphasis on low fat approaches quite often result higher consumption of said carbohydrates.

Be Well,

Seattle: Health Summit – I get to speak

For those of you in the Seattle area, I’ve been honored to be asked to speak atSeattle Urban League an upcoming “Young Professional Development Summit” held by the Seattle Urban League Young Professionals group. I’ll be speaking on my usual spiel, but will also be joined by two others who have great experience knowledge and insight.

Here are the particulars:

Date: Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
Panel  Time:  9:15 – 10:45AM (includes time for Q & A)
Location: Starbucks Corp Headquarters
2401 Utah Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
Panel Topic:  “Taking Charge of your health in times of change.”

Men’s Health meeting recap

Well, my first in-person meetup took place today. It was a small and lively group. We covered a wide range of topics that I’d like to touch on in this post. We also had a great suggestion as to how to focus our next few meetings.

As mentioned, we covered pretty wide range of topics, We talked at some length about the simple, straightforward dietary advice. It’s been said before, but my #1 recommended book is Dr. Thompson’s Glycemic Load diet book. It gets you 80% there if you’re currently on a typical North American diet and its advice is very widely applicable.

We also talked a bit about the cycle of glucose and insulin response. For a very brief video description of that process, please reference a YouTube video on Diabetes. There is a more engaging one on that I was not able to find … I’ll update when I do.

Also, note that we’re all set for our next get together on Sunday March 8th at the Starbucks in Madison Park.

Hope to see you there!

Blogging to the real world and back

The whole idea for this blog was kicked off by friends asking for more information – so I figured I’d write once.

Writing is great, but I’m also very interested in keepin’ it real. So I started a real live face-to-face get together through You can find the meetup here:

For those of you in Seattle and environs, check it out.

Appearance by Dr. Rob Thompson

This just in! An appearance by one of our favorite authors scheduled for the Seattle Area. I’m putting it on my calendar! Hope to see you there.

Meet the Author: Dr. Rob Thompson

Fairwood Library
Tuesday, February 10 at 7pm
Learn how lowering your glycemic load can help you lose weight and reverse insulin resistance without dieting in the usual sense of the word or engaging in strenuous exercise. Dr. Rob Thompson shares over 28 years experience practicing cardiology in his book,

The Glycemic Load Diet.
For more information on A Low Glycemic Load Diet

Here’s the address information in line:
17009 140th Ave S.E.
Renton, 98058

The Top 3 Weight Loss Mistakes!

This one’s a very quick post from my favorite video channel on YouTube: Underground Wellness. The guy’s name is Sean Croxton. He’s a personal trainer out of San Diego. Love this guy – he gets it! He also has a very engaging and entertaining way to convey serious and sometimes complex topics. I also appreciate that he keeps all his videos to 10 min or less (this one is a little over 8 min).

In this video, he does as good a job as I’ve seen to simply state some of the main mistakes we make by going with the low-fat, low-calorie dietary approach that so many of us have been taught all our lives. Don’t be take aback by the ‘still’ photo that intro’s the video. It’s not about body building it’s about educating you about the fundamental flaws in our dietary approach.


Underground Wellness – Top 3 Weight Loss Mistakes


20/20 Lifestyles Program

You know by now that I’ve got my own ideas about things that come from sources that I feel good about (I’m not really making any of this stuff on my own) but I’m pretty down on what most authorities put out there and say what’s good for you. So I went to an introductory meeting of this program called 20/20 Lifestyles expecting to here more of the same yadda, yadda. Even though, I know, having personally seen at least a dozen people benefit tremendously from the program, that it works. The vast majority of those people have appeared to remain fit and hadn’t reverted back to their previous habits.

So it might seem a little strange that I was going into this meeting a little skeptical. You see, I was expecting this to be all about caloric balance (calorie restriction and exercise) – yes it’ll work, but it’s gonna cost ya – big. The whole scene reminds me of this segment I heard on NPR once. There was this guy who was some world-renown expert on music composition who seemed to make a point to cite all the errors in counterpoint Mozart made in his compositions. It’s like, OK, I get you know all this stuff, but it’s Mozart! (that reference makes sense in its own twisted way … just let it settle in for a bit).

Can’t tell you how wrong I was about the program. First off, I was a little surprised to see the head guy of the program, Dr. Mark DeDomenico delivering the session. I expected a perky trainer right out of their ASCM certification class. What almost floored me is that he led with tying the increase in obesity in the US to the low-fat diet (i.e. increased carbohydrates) emphasis over the last thirty years. He got my attention.

He went further to go into surprisingly complete detail to explain how insulin resistance, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease all tie together. He also echoed one of the themes from Good Calories, Bad Calories essentially stating that people aren’t fat because they eat too much, they eat too much because they’re fat. Well, he didn’t state it as black and white as that, but he did make it clear that abdominal fat is not simply this inert blob that has no impact on our metabolism (other than making it harder for you to get up that flight of stairs), but that the presence of excessive abdominal fat causes the insulin resistance and the cycle persists until you stop it.

But wait, there’s more. He described ghrelin and explained it’s impact on your impulse to eat. Then there’s leptin which also governs your sense of hunger and SOCS-3, which is tied to leptin resistance. Then there’s PYY-3-36 and CCK Protein which help govern your sense of satiety. This was way more than I expected and way more that I expected to buy into. With all that science, it’s hard to image in being engaging, but he manages to keep it light hearted and is constantly referring to those in attendance with ‘we’ citing his own battles with weight over the years.

Lest I leave you completely misled by the program, there is a very significant element of exercise to the program and there are major elements of the energy/caloric balance orthodoxy still in place. But to emphasize that would be like quibbling with Mozart’s contrapuntal technique. The program really works for people and that’s the bottom line.

Well, I’m not a fan of long posts, so I’m going to end it here. I’m sure my buddy Chris took way better notes than me so he’ll have a lot more to say on his blog when it’s time. But for now, I’ll just say that I’m heartened and encouraged by what I saw tonight and don’t feel like I’m tilting at windmills so much.

I guess you could call this a post-script. If the name DeDomenico sounds familiar to you, it may be because it’s the name behind one of the biggest food brand names ever as far as I can remember: Rice-a-Roni (I’m sure the jingle is bouncing around in your head right now). Seems the good doctor participated in the family business for many years. Now he’s down on carbs. I guess we all live and learn.


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