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The Great Fitness Fraud”
Are People Failing Programs or Are Programs Failing People?
- ”The next major advance in the health of the American People will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself.”
—John Knowles, past President of the Rockefeller Foundation
After spending more than 38years in the fitness field and after working with tens of thousands of people, I am convinced that programs are failing people.
These programs fail because they are providing only a part of the solution. There is no “one-stop-shopping” available today that addresses the whole person. Instead, in today’s crowded fitness marketplace, you get a multitude of choices. The choices range from incomplete to way more incomplete and from unbalanced to totally unbalanced, yet they are sought out and used continually!
If you have not experienced and witnessed both the short-term and long-term results of different programs as I have, you have no way of knowing which ones partially work and which ones do not do very well at all. One diet program may offer a part of the solution. Another exercise program may provide another part. How can we expect to attain sustainable or even moderately reliable results when there are no programs out there that have utilized and referenced the exercise and nutrition at the same time.
When an individual exercises and their body starts changing the need to adjust the critical factors to sustain the desired results is or should be self-evident! Simply put, more strength equals more muscle which equals more cost to metabolism, which means more nutrients and calories needed. This is the part that hasn’t been taken into consideration.
If we want to have a whole program, then we need to address all the critical factors together. Simply put we need to address the whole equation. So unless a program addresses the complete picture that program can’t deliver the complete end result.
The key, is to having experienced and tested the results of different programs over a long enough period of time, to understand what really works. The bottom-line is simple - how can you build a “sustainable health” program, if you don’t have the complete set of facts to do so?
Now the sad part. Obviously, there are always those individuals who because of their emotions overriding their logic, will and are ready to buy or try anything, you know, the ones who without thinking ever so little say, “Something is better than nothing.” Is it, really? Unequivocally, positively, NO! This is one of those times that it needs to be the right thing, because what’s at stake is your health and longevity.
Now, this is when the mighty dollar comes in over what is right. This is when true concern takes the back seat, and the fraud and dollar win out. Yes, this is where all the quick fixes raise their head, and all the experts come to the full.
Health and fitness are two very misused words. As I call it, “The Great Fitness Fraud”, has been running rampant for years. Fraud is when there is a perception, without an actual received value, or you were sold with the understanding they knew the product or service can’t be delivered. This is not to say people aren’t more than willing to go for it. After a while, these sales pitches of this type become standards - reality and values are forgotten. Now, it becomes just the way it is. I am the type that has a question for everything and then I still want the facts, with proof!
This is the real reason I have written this manual - to give you all the program had done for the clients, they begged and pestered me to write it down. They told me they wanted to share this knowledge with their family and friends.
Evaluating Programs for Completeness
Today a vast majority have joined a diet or a fitness program. Did you notice these programs most all claim to give you extraordinary results? They have great photos and testimonials from people who have benefited from their programs.
So just why are there so many different diets and fitness programs? It’s because most of them do not work over the long term. They promise quick results and may even work for a while, until you hit a sticking point or the point where results are so slow it is not worth the trouble anymore. Over the long run, most of these programs do not provide the desired results long term - the kind of results that will carry a person for a lifetime of healthy living.
To begin with, your body is intelligent and many times keeps us alive, even when it’s seriously abused. When you do anything to it, it almost always responds immediately. If you start a diet program, your body realizes this and begins to adapt. When you change what and when you eat, it responds immediately. When you change your exercise routine, it creates a corresponding response. Everything you do with your body, is quickly realized and responded to.
Everything your body does in response to your actions, is based on its own built-in operational program. This program is built to help you survive. It was built by the creator or your ancestors (whichever you prefer) back when the world was young, as they struggled to survive harsh conditions. During bad or tough times your body lowered or slowed its metabolism, to conserve energy to help survive as long as possible. In good times, it stored as much energy as possible for the tough times, it knew it would be coming, sooner or later.
I want you to see what is really happening with many of what I call “the fitness and diet frauds.” I feel today’s fitness and diet systems for the most part, are made up of fraud, lies and extortion. The big sell as I often say. This chapter is to help show you with what I call “the obvious.” It is to sharpen your view and hearing of the “cues” that will not just serve to keep you aware, but to help you help friends and loved ones from being “taken” by the “sell.”
So Many Programs
Have you wondered why is it, there has to be so many programs and why most of them are so different from each other? If you have tried more than one of these programs, have you noticed you seem to get the same limited results each time? With a lot of individuals the natural tendency is to blame yourself - your lack of will power or some of the distractions in your life. I am here to say the problem is not always you! Most times, if your efforts are sincere, you can be sure it was most likely the program. You may have not failed the program as many trainers or diet systems will lead you to believe. Instead, the programs have failed you in many cases.
Yes, you probably were not at fault. Most all of these programs are incomplete. They are, in fact, way out of balance. Because of this unbalance, they are not able to sustain the body, so your long term possibilities were sabotaged, before you started. Unless your program had at least most requirements to stop cravings, hunger and or fatigue possibly set in. Continuing was probably just too difficult.
You could have exhausted yourself from too much exercise and too little recovery ability. You may not have been able to recover from an exercise session, before you had to exercise again.
Recovery requires the right nutrition, at the right time, in the right amounts. If the proper nutrition is not available, your body will signal it is not getting sufficient nutrition. It will do so by making you feel hungry. At other times, you may start to have cravings.
Meanwhile, you want to stick with your program. So, you fight the hunger pangs and try to stifle the cravings. What you failed to realize, is your body is talking to you through its hunger and cravings. When you fight these signals, you are ignoring your body’s cry for the right nutrition. Yes, our bodies if you will, are equipped with an excellent sort of survival mechanism. We have all heard of individuals who “listen “ to their bodies, but unfortunately most don’t know the language. By this I am not being just funny, or cutting, I mean very few individuals really know when, why, and what these signals represent. This understanding takes time and "working knowledge" over years to become truly accurate.
We are being offered more different diets than ever before. Here is a list of just some.
Low Fat diet
Good Fat diet
High Low Carbohydrate diet
Right Carbohydrate diet
Fruit Juice diet.
Raw Food diet
Counting Calories diet
Calorie Restricting diet
Famous People diet
Fat Flush diet
No Carbohydrate diet
No Sugar diet
No Counting Calories diet
Blood Type diet and many, many more...
Why do we have all these diets? There are pieces missing, because they do not work long term. They are not sustainable over the long run. So, we keep trying different diets. And of course, there are so many people who are creative enough to create a new diet for everyone to try.
This program is not a diet, but an actual health, performance, and fat loss program - a system. I have tried throughout this book to create a change in your thinking, to help the understanding and questioning of what’s required, rather than the “something is better than nothing” emotional reaction. I want you to see results quickly and enjoy the fruits of your efforts - to develop a life-style that will last.
Have you been a member of a health club and seen the usual short-term results? Maybe you joined just to get healthier and saw some exceptional short-term improvements. Unfortunately, they seem to diminish or stop progressing after a period of time. Or have you signed up for a personal training program or personal instruction program of any type, where you perhaps again got some results in the beginning? Then you notice your results begin to slow down after a little while? Did you ask yourself why? More importantly did anyone give you answers that worked measurably? Possibly you started to get tired of having your money taken with all the promises most usually get?
Well, when nothing appears to be happening, despite all your efforts, you have a problem. Your body is not responding to what you are doing. It is not responding in a positive way, because there is something negative happening!
Now take a moment and think about that health club. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of service did you get?
- Did you get shown the proper use of their equipment once or twice, perhaps with a personal trainer?
- Did you get any instructional materials to help you continue what to do after the first week?
- Did they teach you about which exercises to do, how much, and how often?
- Did they bother to tell you why, you should do your exercises in a certain order?
- Did they test you, and how, not just when you started, but as an ongoing service?
- Did they teach you about nutrition, what you should, should not, and when to eat to help achieve your goals?
- And of course, did they try to up-sell you to a more expensive program?
Trainers, Personal and Otherwise
Had you decided you needed a personal trainer or a personal fitness program to give you the best results?
How did you pick your trainer? Was certification important? Certification is a simple process of money transfer. (More on that later.) Verification requires the trainer demonstrates his or her expertise in front of an expert trainer. Without verification, you have a person who is book smart, but may not be able to provide the best training. So let us continue with some more of the obvious need to knows:
Was the trainer recommended by someone you knew? Why?
Did you choose the trainer because you liked how the trainer looked or was it their personality?
1. Did you ask the trainer for several references of his or her work? Hopefully you did not pick your trainer because he or she was "certified."
Certification does not mean the trainer did any actual training in front of anyone. They never had to prove they obtained any results. They simply paid some money, received a program to follow, and received a piece of paper that said they were certified.
- Were you taught that diet was just as or actually more important as an exercise program?
- Did you learn what you should and should not eat, when to eat and why?
- Did you ever get your body composition tested to see how much fat and muscle you had? Then, did you get tested regularly to find out how much fat you lost and how much muscle you gained? Without this knowledge you may be losing lean muscle along with fat.
- Were you required to take photos every few weeks to be able to see your progress?
- Were you told how much rest and recovery you need between exercises and did they prove it?
- Did you know why, when and how much cardiovascular exercise you needed?
- Did they teach you the importance of the resting heart rate and how to test for it?
- Did they teach you how to test if you’re ready for a heavy exercise program again?
- Did they teach you the significance of the descending heart rate and what it signifies?
So what was it you wanted with a personal program? This is the way we need to be, in order to even possibly hope to get moving toward our goals.
Meals to Go
There are package food companies with big promises. You just have to purchase the food and lose weight automatically. Here is what you will usually be getting from any of these programs.
You buy the food and it is usually not reasonable for the actual cost of what you received. They deliver the food to your home and you heat it. Perhaps this may appear as a solution for people who have little time to prepare foods or eat on a regular schedule.
Unfortunately, the food they send you is not fresh. You can leave it out on your shelf for months and it will not spoil. They are prepackaged and filled with preservatives. Did you stop to think if you eat all these pre-prepared meals are you pre-prepared for what you will and will not get? Most packaged foods simply cut calories with portion control. But you should now know life is far more than counting calories and losing weight. It is about providing the body with the proper nutrients and exercise that will improve your performance.
When you decide to stop eating this way, ask yourself, “What have I learned?”
Oh, and remember these companies actually brag you don’t need to count calories or bother with learning all the particulars.
You will only have become dependent on a company solely interested in making more money for as long as you let them.
With what you have learned in this program, you will not go hungry. You will probably complain, as almost everyone in this program has, how difficult it is to eat everything you are required to eat. And you will be eating natural, fresh, real, healthy foods and your body will begin to lose fat and increase lean body tissue, because it is balanced. However, when it comes to your body, do you wish to compromise? Do you wish to live your life at a survival level of performance that is far below your optimum potential? The answers to increase health and performance aren’t difficult. Yes, it will take some time and learning, but the rewards are worth it.
Over the long run, eating what your body requires will create and maintain your health. It will assist you in losing excess weight and minimize or prevent most health problems.
Before taking any drugs I suggest you find out what the side effects and or adverse effects are. The Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) will list all the known side effects for any drug. Once you read what your drugs have as side effects, you may not want to take them. Often the side effects have the potential of causing more harm and discomforts than good.
You can take diet pills to cut hunger. How ever you suppress these feelings what the body requires is still registered internally and the body will react and store food because blood sugar levels were not maintained. You will lose weight for a while. Weight loss will probably include 20% to 40% lean muscle or more, as well as some fat if it’s a better than average program. If you do lose fairly quickly your body will adapt. It will slow down your metabolism until you hit another sticking point. Further weight loss will be almost impossible and your health will probably diminish also. Then we are back to, "what did you learn for the long term?"
Fat and Carbohydrate Blockers
You would think fat blockers would be a good thing. Yes, they do block fats from being absorbed into the body. They also create problems. For one thing they also block any good oils such as Omega-3 that you take for your health. It does not block just the bad fats. It blocks all fats.
With fat blockers you will not be able to absorb fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K. Therefore while fat blockers sound like a good and logical answer, they may cause even more problems than being overweight, such as not giving your immune system what it needs.
Carbohydrate blockers also sound like a good weight loss idea. Did you stop to think vegetables are mostly carbohydrates? So if you stop carbohydrates from being absorbed you will also block a lot of the nutrients found in vegetables. Then again your blood sugar levels tell your body to save as much calories as possible meaning you are going into storage mode. (adding Fat.)
For more than 35 years I have had the time and experience to gather the results of programs and confirm what works and what doesn’t, what builds and sustains health over the long run, and what deteriorates it. I can tell you it all comes down to three basic components: Nutrition, rest, and exercise.
However they must be applied in the correct sequence and the balance is critical.
Of the three, nutrition is the most important. It provides the critical materials for energy, maintenance, and building of your body. Nutrition is the most self styled component of the essentials needed to produce results.
Rest or time is the second most important factor and probably the least considered. It is critical in providing the body the necessary time and opportunity to accumulate and process the critical materials or nutrients for the body to repair itself. Yet almost everyone goes by how they “feel” rather than considering if they have had an adequate amount of time or rest for accumulating and processing of nutrition. There is also the consideration of sacrifices with sleep or being sleep deprived in order to fulfill the many obligations of today’s fast-paced living.
Finally, people need to understand why health is not created by exercise. Health is created by adequate and accurate nutrition and sufficient rest or time. Exercise is a stress or trigger to the body when combined with the proper nutrition and rest first, then improves fitness.
You may be one of the many who has been here!
You pull and tug as you try to get your jeans on. You finally succeed by managing to suck your stomach in enough to button the top button. Carefully, you pull up the zipper which hides the embarrassing problem behind it. It is now party time with your girlfriends, who have never said anything to let you know just how far you have gotten out of shape.
Possibly the next morning your email in-box contains photo attachments of the party. Wow, you are shocked when you see your photo. Who is that person bulging out of their jeans? That cant be me, oh ,no, it is worse than I thought, what have I been thinking?
Of course, guys face the same situation. They claim to wear the same size pants they did in high school. The difference is their belly is now protruding over and even covering their belt buckle. They may brag of not wanting to lose the beer gut because it took so long to get. But is that the real truth of how they really feel?
Or you may be one of those who are trying to gain weight. You want to gain lean muscle, not fat. No matter how much you eat you don’t seem to be able to put on the weight (lean muscle). Then, just when you finally manage to put on a few pounds, you suffer a week in bed from an illness or were unable to eat the way you wanted and all the muscles or lean gained quickly disappears. You are puzzled at how your friends, who eat much less than you, seem to gain weight so easily.
Maybe you are one of those who is feeling perpetually tired. Most days you feel like you are getting old before your time. You get up in the morning and you need a cup of coffee or an energy drink to get you going. At the office you have to have a quick pickup snack a few times during the day. So you indulge in a snack - perhaps a granola bar or a soda. Of course, you may be more health-minded and you get yourself a fruit, a fruit drink, or a flavored cup of yogurt. Regardless of what kind of a day you have had, you are beat by the end of the day. Most times it is enough just to get home.
Then there are the usual family responsibilities.
You keep pumping yourself up with more of whatever is there. You think or believe the things you consume are healthy and finally, it is time to crash.
You may find it hard to sleep. You feel tired, but the stress of the day has left you feeling tense. You begin to toss and turn. Perhaps a piece of a chocolate treat or a cookie will do it. Then you finally fall asleep. The next morning, you start to repeat the process all over again, with no foreseeable relief in sight.
The truth is, we all want to look great! We all want to be fit and more energized. We also all want to be as healthy as possible for the rest of our lives. After all, most people don’t get up in the morning and say to him or herself, “Hey, this is a great day to start ruining my health and suffer for the rest of my life!” We all say we all want to look good and feel great!
Yet more and more of us are overweight, out of shape, and suffering from a lot of painful or energy-draining ailments. Most individuals never even think about the fact that our decisions have caused this.
At some point in your life, you will hopefully say, “STOP!” Will it be when you realize you are no longer able to look at yourself in the mirror, when you get out of the shower? Or is it when your child sees an old photo of you and cannot pick you out of the group? Perhaps it is when you get up feeling so tired you wished you can just spend the rest of the day in bed? Or is it when you no longer fit into your clothes and you are forced to go out and buy another bigger-size wardrobe? Then there is the worst scenario, the doctor says, “We have a problem, you have to do something.”
We all have that defining moment. When we come to that point, we make a vow that this time I am really going to change my life.”
We no longer want to look like the proverbial fattened calf, being led to slaughter. We decide to act now and search for a weight loss or fitness program.
The Hunt Is On
So where do you begin, to find the right weight loss or fitness plan to fit your life-style? After all, you are busy. You have a lot of obligations and requirements. Family, co-workers, and relatives depend on you for a lot of things. So, what do you have to sacrifice to find the time to research, evaluate, and finally get on a diet or fitness plan?
What you will find are hundreds of choices. If you flip through the different television programs late at night, or do a Google search, you will be bombarded with all the different fitness and diet program options. They will all try to grab your attention, saying, “Buy this machine,” “eat our meals,” “take this pill,” or “exercise this way!” Unfortunately, you have no way to make an intelligent choice. So you may ask friends and relatives for their opinion and they too have little or no knowledge of what’s best. They will tend to repeat what they may have heard at work, from fellow workers or what they may have seen on TV. Most of the advice being doled out will be partial truths or incorrect and fragmented information. It will not be based on empirical data, collected over years of experience. They are usually based on the quick, fast, easy and of course cheap!
Out of your desperation, frustration and confusion, you will probably pick a program and follow it religiously. You may be given a regimen of eating a very limited amount of food. As a result, you suffer a constant gnawing hunger in your stomach. The exercise program very well may be long and somewhat draining.
Afterwards you feel tired and quite often also irritable. But the program will seem to work and you may have gotten some results, in several weeks or even after a month.
But in time, the stress and strain of the eating program will become unbearable and you will stop. Then over more time, it is most likely the weight you lost will start to creep back on. Eventually you will most likely end up even heavier than you were before you tried the program. So, you decide to pick another program. This time it may be a nearby health club. You walk into a gym and suddenly feel intimidated. Nearly everyone there will look to you, like they don’t need to be there, at least in your mind. The men to you usually appear fit and muscular, some even looking like they could be professional athletes or bodybuilders. The women will look trim and fit. Fortunately, there are a few people who look like they need to lose a fair amount of weight so you will not feel like you are not the worst one there or are standing out. But even with them around you still feel like somewhat of a loser.
When you get on some of the machines you may feel self-conscious when you lower the weights to the lowest settings. But you will be trusting. You will give it a try, spending the hours you think need to be spent at the gym. Thus, you begin to lose some weight but it will be a rather long and difficult process. The time you are spending will begin to cut into your life and your work and family life may begin to suffer. Eventually you become tired of it all. You will call it quits after all the results were just too slow. Then eventually you start searching for yet another program.
After some time off and after a few more of these programs under your belt you will become even more discouraged, because you find yourself needing to go to a larger belt or dress. You come to the realization you are not getting anywhere. You become seriously discouraged, even depressed.
Many at their wit’s end finally decide to bite the bullet and go to the doctor for advice. You are hopeful your doctor will show you how to end this never-ending battle of the bulge. His advice is simple and to the point. “Eat less and exercise more,” he says, “Eat a balanced diet and start walking or joining a gym is good.” You think to yourself, I went to him why?
So, you have been there and done that! You realize your doctor is not giving you any real answers. Besides, you realize your doctor’s orientation is not into creating health and fitness. He is trained to work with sick people. His focus is to diagnose illness and to treat the “symptoms” of the problem. It is disease maintenance!
Besides, you are not sick. You just want to lose weight. This is also where many are sold on surgeries that only leave people to face the problem again. After all, surgeries only temporarily fix the real problem. The solution is in learning what and how to eat, and get a balance of everything your body requires. You want to look and feel good and you are willing to work to get those results. Finally, with your busy schedule, you want to have as much energy as possible.
This is a significant part of my expertise - "helping people lose weight and build their health." I have spent my entire career teaching people what they should eat, how often, and how they should exercise. I then measured the results and progress while constantly searching for ways to get even better results.
This was my mission in life! I dedicated my life to understanding how to help people to lose weight, increase their strength and energy, improve their health, and improve their physical appearance. The goal is not to just live longer, but to live longer with all possible vitality.
Have you even wondered why people fail to get consistent results from their fitness and weight loss programs? Is it not because they do not have enough will power or sufficient staying power to do it right? Ask yourself a simple question: “Are people failing programs or are programs failing people?”
It’s Not Just the Facts
There are no real secrets in what I’ve learned! If there is a secret, it’s in using the right "sequence or timing."
As I mentioned before, health and fitness comes down to three basic components: nutrition, rest, and exercise. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? For the most part it is! Of course, you must do all three of them properly in the right sequence. This simple point is probably one of the most misunderstood and least considered by both consumers and fitness professionals.
Think about it this way. If you have a set of facts and apply them one way you’ll get a certain result. If, however, you take that same knowledge and apply it in a different sequence, or in different amounts, your end results will vary.
It is like cooking a fine dish. You take out the recipe for your favorite dish and gather all the necessary ingredients. You decide not to follow the recipe and you do it your way! So you put the ingredients into the bowl, placing different amounts, in a different sequence, at different time periods. Even though you have used all the ingredients you will get a different result. Every change makes a difference. Even with all the right ingredients, changing the sequence or the amount added will change the result. Ask any chef about this.
Another way to look at sequence and timing, is to consider a few facts about human survival. In any one month, you will need a set amount of food and water to live. Suppose in the first two weeks you decide to eat all the fats and dense proteins and at the same time refuse to drink any water. You will probably become extremely ill, at best, and not survive, at worst. You must apply the facts about survival in a sequence to get the desired results. The same requirement applies to nutrition, rest, and exercise. In this case, it is critical.
In your fitness program, you must use the same sequencing principle. Suppose you begin a program to strengthen your muscles. You consistently and correctly exercise but you fail to obtain adequate nutrition and rest. Because your body lacks the necessary materials to rebuild the stressed tissues and replenish energy reserves, you don’t experience the desired or optimum results. Your program failed you even though you did it correctly and stuck with your plan.
I cannot repeat this enough — nutrition, rest, and exercise are the essential keys to any successful fitness or health program. Unfortunately, most fitness programs today fail to focus on all three of these vital components. They fail to consider what the physical body dictates.
If you are exercising and see little or no measurable results, then you can conclude your body is unable to adequately respond to the stimulus (the stress) of the exercise.
Your body is unable to respond because it lacks adequate or proper nutritional material and/or the time to accumulate and process the nutrients to cause a positive response. If the body cannot respond, even minimally, to the added stimulus or stress of exercise, how is it supposed to maintain health? The body is out of balance because of the way nutrition, rest, and exercise are being applied. This is where “working knowledge” comes into play!
Do not begin an exercise program the way most people do. They start their exercise regimen before considering or applying proper changes in the basic nutritional makeup of their daily diet. This is like driving your car up a steep hill for a prolonged distance with very little oil in your car. Driving your car in this state of maintenance will probably damage your engine. The harder or longer you drive your car, the more likely you will suffer greater engine damage.
At the same time, people fail to consider the element of time (and rest). Again, using the analogy of a car, if you fail to put in gas, grease, and water when needed, you will probably have car problems. Requirements are just that, things that are “required!”
In most programs, there will be some immediate progress then, you will experience physical exhaustion by depleting the body’s nutrient and energy supply. In addition, these programs often require a greater time commitment and provide only minimal or even no results. They will build high expectations, but will provide only limited possibilities for progress. This simply means that you, the practitioner, have little or no chance of short-term success and almost no chance of long-term sustainable results.
This really bothers me, especially in today’s knowledge environment. Think about this next set of facts. We can put a man on the moon and bring him back. We can take the DNA from a drinking cup and identify the individual who used it. We can do liver and heart transplants and extend a person’s life. So why can’t we show an average human being how to eat, rest, and exercise to be healthy, vibrant, and become a responsive physical being that lives a full and healthy life?
The Key Component: Nutrition
The fitness secret is in the quality, the quantity, and the frequency.”
Let us compare a fitness program to build sustainable health to renovating or building a house. First, you have the foundation and framework of the existing building (your body). To improve this house (your health), you need building materials (nutrition), workers (exercise), and time to do the renovation (rest). Obviously, you are not going to send the workers to the job site to start improvements without proper and adequate materials. Similarly, if you begin exercising without ingesting proper and adequate nutrition prior, your efforts to improve your body and health will be futile. In fact, your efforts may damage your body. When you exercise without proper and adequate nutrition first, you are putting your physical body in a state of health foreclosure. You are sending the workers to the job site without anything to work with.
Most fitness programs today are grossly negligent (and even by lawful definition) in presenting the vital facts concerning nutrition. I do not believe they do this intentionally, but instead do it more likely out of ignorance.
All muscular exercise, either recreational or actual effective exercise, adds wear and or stress to your physical body.
Vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other essential nutrients enable us to respond and repair our bodies when ingested in the proper and adequate amounts, and in the proper sequence. Unfortunately, too many fitness programs and instructors do not provide the working knowledge for you to make appropriate nutritional decisions. They need to provide you with the answers to the following questions: What you should eat? How much should you eat? How often you should you eat? When you should eat? In what order or combination should you eat? Think, is it your progress or their money that is first and foremost? We are talking about healthful response, aren’t we?
Instead of accurately answering these questions, some programs may suggest restricting proteins, fats, carbohydrates or any combination of these three nutrients. Some other programs simply limit the number of calories you should ingest. Still others prescribe meals of soups, or grapefruits, or encourage hardcore intestinal cleansings.
The body simply needs all the required nutrients to perform at optimum levels. It requires sufficient water to process, remove waste, and cleanse the body. It also needs adequate amounts of calories for energy.
Although calorie-restrictive diets yield weight loss benefits, those benefits are often limited and temporary and may not work short or long term when combined with exercise. Thus, most people do not receive accurate nutritional advice. They remain in the dark as to what foods and supplements to choose let alone what amounts or what order to eat them to help establish and sustain good health.
What people may get instead is a program that offers fast, short-term, visible external results. This is where you need to be aware of the big sell! Instead of searching for these short-term visible results, you should be looking for quick, long-term, internal-facilitating results.
You need a program that will build you up and sustain you over a lifetime. There is an old saying that is applicable here: short-term pleasure usually equals long-term pain. On the other hand, short-term pain often equals long-term happiness and pleasure. I think we should all seek long-term happiness and health.
During my many years in the fitness trenches I have had the fortunate opportunity to work with many types of people and health conditions. Through extensive testing and verification, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. The positive results my clients experience are not just the external ones that look good in photos. Their results extend internally as well and are reflected in improved body composition and blood chemistry. They have even lost symptoms associated with their debilitated conditions as well as loss of cravings and hunger. Two of the most important factors contributing to these results have been the proper use of minerals and the selection of quality proteins which includes natural fish, fowl, and meats.
As you will learn in upcoming chapters, the nutritional portion of this book focuses on what I call the high-nutrient, lower-calorie dietary program. Yes, you do have a need for all food groups. However, the quality of what you eat, how much you eat, and in what sequence you eat, will determine how efficiently and effectively your body uses the nutritional material.
The adage, “you are what you eat,” is totally true. If you are willing to learn what constitutes “proper and adequate nutrition,” you can then increase your physical performance which is a great indicator of improved health.
In other words, you will not only experience increased performance but you will also advance your health and learn to sustain it for a lifetime by,
Choosing better foods.Setting priorities.
Understanding what an adequate amount is for your needs.
Applying the proper sequence of eating (the what, when, and how of eating.)
This approach doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite foods. Good grief, no! You can indulge in some of your favorites. You merely need to set your priorities: what are the rules of health, and what are the exceptions and when can you indulge. This calls for knowledge.
The Neglected Component: Rest and Recovery (time)
Arthur Jones, inventor of the Nautilus and Med-X equipment, was the first individual I met who considered the element of time a major component in the exercise equation. “Time is a factor in exercise,” he claimed way back in the 1970’s. This concept intrigued me. So while other fitness professionals were studying the stress of exercise and its effects on the body, I saw the need to study how to cause the body to hyper-recover. By hyper-recover I am referring to the body’s ability to respond more rapidly to the stimulus and stress of exercise. I was looking for the fastest means to add muscle and to provide needed repairs to the body in the most healthful way. I also wanted to speed up the body’s ability to replenish reserves to accommodate the future stimulus of more exercise. As previously discussed, one of the body’s major requirements is proper and adequate nutrition. The second requirement is adequate time and rest to allow this repair and restoration to occur.
I took the factor of time and applied it to the body’s recovery system in the form of rest. I wanted to know what nutritional combinations best helped the body recover and respond from the stress of exercise.
I also wanted to determine how much time the body needed to accumulate this nutrition. I then found two of the most effective ways to pinpoint the body’s required recovery time. These are by accurate body composition testing and by monitoring all heart rates.
Through accurate body composition testing, I know (without a doubt) the amount of fat lost and the amount of muscle gained. Without adequate nutrition and rest, lean muscle cannot be gained and may be lost. At the same time fat may be increased. Talk about attaining the opposite of most people’s goals! It is imperative the body does not receive too much stimulus or stress from exercise and that it has adequate time to accumulate and process the needed materials. The bottom line is simple: without sufficient time between workouts for recovery, the entire fitness program is working against itself, causing more harm than good!
The bottom line is simple: without sufficient time between workouts for recovery and rest, the entire fitness program is working against itself, causing more harm than good!
Very few fitness programs insist you track your body composition. I recommend weekly testing or at least bi-weekly testing. Accurate testing often requires time, money, and the availability of equipment. The most accurate method available, hydrostatic water weighing, involves considerable equipment, expense, and time. An alternative is N.I.R. or Near Infra-Red light which is easily and quickly performed. Of course, the equipment is expensive and few fitness programs have them available. Most programs today try to utilize calipers, a device that tends to give varied results.
For my clients I recommend three simple methods of double checking. We will go into more details later, but these are:
- Accurately gauging the timing, resistance, and range of movement of repetitions of a workout in order to see how strength is improving.
2. Regularly measuring the upper thighs, buttocks, and hips or waist at the naval.
3. Periodically taking a photo. (Oh, my, accurate photos do not lie!) Besides body composition, heart rates also determine the body’s rest and recovery time.
Three different heart rates are key to monitoring a person’s fitness.
- The working (when exercising) heart rate.
2. The descending heart rate (recovery time).
3. The resting heart rate.
All fitness programs should monitor these three heart rates. Unfortunately, most do not! The working heart rate measures, within a narrow margin, the intensity of an individual’s workout. (Note: Although slowly performed repetitions and more difficult exercises can cause greater positive effects, they are not always reflected in the heart rate.)
The descending heart rate indicates an individual’s overall conditioning (not condition).
When a person elevates his or her heart rate during a workout, then abruptly stops the exercise, his or her descending heart rate should drop very quickly. The quicker the heart rate slows after exertion the better shape the heart muscle is in and usually indicates the “overall conditioning” of the person.
The greatest indicator in fitness and health is the resting heart rate. (Note: The defining recovery state is best determined by the resting heart rate!) When a person performs an effective workout he or she will have an elevated resting heart rate the following morning. Resting heart rates should be taken in the morning in bed before rising or moving much. When the individual recovers from the stress of exercise the resting heart rate returns to a low number.
Now pay close attention. NOTE: Most coaches, if they know about the resting heart rate returning to the low number will say, “Now you’re ready for another workout.”
Wrong. No. Nada. Zip. Zero. Not even. You have only arrived at balance, or what is called stasis. You need to allow one or two more days to build reserves so when the exercise or triggering is performed the body will be able to respond at peak performance levels. It is important to realize the heart is the last muscle in the body to recover.
Although I’ve been studying rest and recovery for decades, I have yet to see many, if any, so-called fitness professionals apply this critical use of the resting heart rate. They still tend to focus on exercise first, and possibly, nutrition second. Unfortunately for their clients, rest and recovery are too often ignored. (Note: this means that health is compromised.)
The Stress Component: Exercise
Finally, we arrive at exercise, the last component of the fitness equation.
Of the three components, exercise is the least important, at least from the health point of view. As mentioned, in most fitness and weight loss programs, exercise is the numero uno consideration. Of course it is popular. People like it. It feels good. Some programs focus on resistance training (weights).
Others focus on cardiovascular exercise while still others emphasize a particular type of exercise or methodology like stretching, Pilates, Tai Chi or yoga. Most people are accustomed to thinking exercise leads to physical fitness. Or how about the old adage, “something is better than nothing.” Wrong , very wrong!
So brace yourself. Empty your mind and give me a clean page. No thoughts allowed. No preconceived notions. In this program, exercise is the last component in the equation of increased performance and health.
That doesn’t mean it is not integral to what you may want to accomplish. However, in order for exercise to produce effective positive results with the least harm to the body, it must first be supported by proper and adequate nutrition and then sufficient rest. Balanced, sustainable health is not created by any one factor.
Arthur Jones summed up the common misconception of exercise in the early 1970s.
He said, “Most people work out way too much, way too often, and not near hard enough.”
There is a definitive difference between recreation and exercise. In other words, suppose you are working out five, six, maybe even seven hours a week or more and you are not able to see measurable results from your efforts. You may think you are not working out enough. It is more probable you are not recovering adequately. Your body is too depleted to adequately respond.
Through my work with thousands of clients I know it is possible to lose fat (weight) and get in shape (gain lean muscle) by working out as little as three times a week.
In fact, it can take only as few as three to eight exercises, doing only one set of each, provided each is performed effectively. All of this can be done in less than 20 minutes. Throw in the option of 20 to 21 minutes of cardio exercise performed after resistance training and you have a complete workout session. Then add to these three sessions an adequate and effective nutrition program, allow and test for adequate recovery, and you can and will get the results you truly desire. Again, provided your exercise is effective.
One of the most important points most trainers and consumers don’t realize is the importance of time. Just as it is with nutrition and rest, exercise is most effective when properly sequenced and performed with time limitations.
Few fitness programs advocate proper sequence in exercise. In general, resistance training should be performed from the largest muscles to the smallest although special considerations may need to be addressed. Resistance training should always be done prior to cardiovascular training. We will delve into more details about this later.
Many consumers and even trainers do not understand the difference between recreation and exercise. True exercise is performed in order to cause change. Recreation, which is usually referred to as exercise, is usually performed to have fun. You enjoy recreation and it makes you feel good. Truly effective exercise, on the other hand, will usually make you feel uncomfortable, feel exhausting, and may deplete the body’s energy reserves. That’s why it is so important to combine exercise with proper and adequate nutrition as well as adequate time for recovery. When you do this, positive results happen. Remember, short-term pain leads to long-term gain - and happiness.
Truly effective exercise, on the other hand, will usually make you feel uncomfortable, feel exhausting, and may deplete the body’s energy reserves.
After more than 35 years and more than 300,000 sessions with people in over seven cities, this program of nutrition, rest and exercise, has yielded positive results across the board regardless of age, sex, and level of ability. Yes, oh yes, sustainable health can be a part of and should be the center of any and every fitness program. In this program, the results you read about ARE TYPICAL!
Results Are Proof
So it’s time to stop the madness. It is time to stop struggling into pants and asking if it makes you look fat. It is time to stop avoiding mirrors and finding yourself with that bulge over your belt. This is a method of factual working knowledge that will not fail you. Sure, you could fail, but my guess is once you start and experience positive results you’ll continue for years to come. After all, why wouldn’t you continue if you can eat more food, lose more fat, eliminate cravings, exercise less, and receive more results? Would you not continue if you could also balance your blood sugar while improving your body composition, blood chemistry and vitality, even if you have debilitating conditions?
You will literally be able to put fitness into your lifestyle instead of having to put your lifestyle into a fitness program.
This program will not consume your life although more time is required during the initial learning period. After all, all changes require some time. Think about it - learning has always been a process, not an event!
Of course you know people tend to resist changes. In the next chapter we will discuss the process of change and how to create the changes you desire.
On this program you can still have better nutrition while on the run. You will know you can enjoy your favorite foods provided they become the exception instead of the rule. So as I have told my clients: “If you can do it once and do it right, you can learn it for life.”
You will learn how to build the body from the inside-out and enjoy sustainable health. Remember, health is achieved and maintained through the balance of proper nutrition, rest, and exercise. How do I know all of this is true? Just like everyone who has ever followed it says, “Results Are Proof!”
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