Friday, October 26, 2007

Losing Weight without Losing Money - Separating Diet Facts from Scams and False Claims

Heard of these flashy headlines before?

"Lose weight without diet or exercise!"

"Lose weight no matter how much you eat of your favorite foods!"

"Lose weight permanently! Never diet again!"

"Block the absorption of fat, carbs, or calories!"

"Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!"

"Everybody will lose weight!"

"Lose weight with our miracle diet patch or cream!"

Sounds too good to be true? They probably are.

Luckily, our big government helps protect small consumers by separating facts from scams and false claims.

Doctors, dieticians and other fitness experts agree that the best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and increase your exercise and physical activity. The ACSM recommends to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds a week.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends close evaluation with skepticism before you spend money on products that promise fast and easy weight loss results.

Visit the FTC's website at www.ftc.gov for detailed explanations about the above false claims.

There are many cases filed by FTC against companies and individuals that sell and market diet pills, supplements and ads. To file a complaint, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Investigate the claims, check for any consumer complaints before opening your wallets.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Super Tri-Set Leg Blaster

In an earlier article, I introduced a upper-body strength circuit training routine. In the following, I provide another strength circuit workout based on a tri-set training on lower body.

If you reach your training plateau or run out of training ideas, this super lower-body workout will help you "blast" your legs.


Super Leg Blaster Workout RoutineA. Barbell Squat x 12-15 reps
B. Dumbbell Deadlift x 12-15 reps
C. Bodyweight Lunge x 20 reps (10 each side)

This tri-set circuit training target your all the major muscles on your legs - quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. So you can name it as a lower-body-specific or leg-specific circuit training routine.

There are many ways or variations to set up this workout. Before I get to the details, I want you to review the superset and tri-set training principles that I covered in the past as to how to set up effective and efficient workout.

In addition, learn how to change up your weight training routine in my earlier article. Given the same three exercises, you would have many routines by varying the exercise order, load (weight), reps and rest intervals.

How to do it
Bring a pair of dumbbells that you can normally do 15-rep set by the squat rack or Smith-machine. Perform any squat exercise or its variations for 12 to 15 reps. Immediately take dumbbells to do deadlift or its variations (Romania, Sumo, Stiff-legged) for 12 to 15 reps. Set aside the dumbbells, do bodyweight lunge or its variations (dynamic, stationary, step forward or backward).

Do these three exercises back to back without rest until you finish the lunges. Rest for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Then repeat again for a total of 3 to 5 sets. By this time, your legs should be pretty much blasted and burnt out. Remember to stretch the leg muscles afterwards.

You can do all three exercises with dumbbells. But you'll need to use different pairs of dumbbells (different weights) due to strength difference and accumulated training effect for the three exercises and target muscle groups. Then you'll end up spending more time taking the weights, re-racking the weights than doing the actual workout.

The repetitions in this workout are a little on the high side. It's designed this way so as to "blast" your leg muscles in a mixed strength and endurance circuit.

>>> Sign up for FREE 'Jump-Start Your Body!' Workout and Nutrition Program to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Top 10 Training Myths Debunked

There are so many training myths circulating around the gym, even among the trainers. It's difficult to believe who is right or wrong.

Here is the list of top ten training myths. Go through them and see what you think.

MYTH#1: Lactic acid causes muscle fatigue.

MYTH#2: It’s safer to lift weights slowly.

MYTH#3: Light weights and high reps tone muscles.

MYTH#4: Machines are safer than free weights.

MYTH#5: You need to “shock” your
muscles to make gains.

MYTH#6: You must train to failure for the best results.

MYTH#7: You have to get a “pump” to gain muscle.

MYTH#8: Your muscles need high-volume training to grow their biggest.

MYTH#9: You should never let your knees go past your toes on squats and lunges.

MYTH#10: You should wear a lifting belt whenever you go heavy.


Figure out your own anwsers yet?

Check here to see if they are myths or facts.

With the collective wisdom of top trainers, you have a seal of approval and confidence to believe in their answers. They explained how each myth started and it's a myth or truth. It helps you clear up your doubts once and for all.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Training ADD

Do you have Training ADD?
Training Attention Deficit Disorder.

You say that you want to build muscle, lose fat, chisel your six pack abs, look lean and ripped, etc.

Do you always start Monday workout with the "show muscles" - chest and biceps - and forget about all other areas for the rest of the week?

Do you change every routine in every workout without a plan or program? or do you just follow what the "big guys" do in the gym?

Are you frustrated that you have tried everything and still cannot see the results? Are you sure that you have tried everything? Do you follow and stick to a training program until you complete it?

I got a email from my fitness professional friend Vince DelMonte about his take on training ADD. Vince is a personal trainer and director of a university fitness center. He has transformed himself from a 149-lb skinny runner to a 190-lb muscular man and became a national champion fitness model.

His story was amazing and inspiring. Vince has developed a no-nonsense muscle building guide for hardgainers based on his own experience and training thousands of clients. When he talks, I have to listen too.

Before you find out if you have symptoms of training ADD and learn how to fix them, check out Vince's skinny guy's secrets to muscle building.

Learn more about Vince Delmonte's No-Nonsense Muscle Building - Skinny Guy Secrets to Insane Muscle Gain >>


by Vince DelMonte - Hardgainer and Skinny Guy's muscle building expert


Signs and Symptoms of Training ADD

  • When you start a program without finishing it.

  • Ditching programs after not seeing results in 1 week.

  • Buying every program on the net with nothing to show.

  • Spending more time reading about fitness than training.

  • First one in line to buy the newest program on the market.

  • You participate in more then 3 chat rooms at the same time.

  • You have a subscription to every bodybuilding magazine.

  • Distracted by 'big guys' in the gym training.

  • Can't finish a workout without talking "shop" to someone.

  • Program hopping is more fun than finishing ONE program.



  • Consequences

  • Lack of result

  • Lost of time and money

  • Inability to "follow through"

  • Letting your "inner child' control you

  • Lost of trust in expert advice

  • Bad habit of quitting* Never learning about your body

  • Pointing the blame on the "program" or author of program

  • Not taking responsibility for your decisions



  • How to fix it

  • DECIDE to be successful before you start. Rarely does a program "not work." It is the trainee that does not work the program

  • Be truly COMMITTED to your goals. This means you are prepared to take a"Whatever it takes" attitude.

  • TRUST the program. If you trust the program then you will put a greater amount of effort and focusinto it.

  • Set a CONSEQUENCE. Recently I made a bet with a client. If he did not gain 20 pounds in 2 months then he was going to buy me a $400 iPod. The stake was great enough for this unemployed 18 year old to achieve his goal!

  • Take the FIRST MONTH very seriously. The greatest failure rate occurs in the first 30 days. If you are seeing results then your drop off rate is less likely.

  • Appreciate the LEARNING PROCESS. Training is not just a science, it's an art. Some of the best physiques have been built on intuition and knowing how their bodies respond to different programs. If you learn one or two new pieces of information about your body during a 12 week program then celebrate that and take the information into your next program.


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    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    What Can We Learn about Fad Diet Trend from Stock Market

    What does stock market have anything to do with fad diet trend?

    Well, a lot.

    We can learn from the publicly traded companies who manufacture and/or supply fitness products, diet pills, nutritional supplements, weight management and services.

    In general, a company's stock price is a (leading) "speculated" indicator of the company's business sales, profit and growth potential. If the business is great and growing, the stock price typically goes up. How fast the stock price going up also shows how "hot" the company is in the business or industry sector. On the other hand, when business is going south, so is the stock share price. It could get very very ugly!

    A recent example is NutriSystem Inc. (NTRI) that offers a weight loss program based on portion-controlled, lower Glycemic Index prepared meals. The program has no membership fees and provides free online and telephone counseling.

    As of late Wednesday October 3, 2007, the company reduced its third-quarter revenue and earnings forecast. The stock dived hard. By mid-day trading on Thursday October 4, the company lost nearly one-third of its value. Check current NTRI stock quote here.

    The company cited a decline in business from new customers and considerable competition from new over-the-counter diet drug Alli. Analysts noted that there were a number of reasons for the dropoff.

    Check the company's 5-year stock/volume chart in the following.



    The stock soared about 10 times in the year of 2005 alone from $4 to about $40 a share. It's traded as high as mid 70s in the last two years but hasn't gained much ground. Today it pummeled to about $33 a share at this writing, the level traded about two years ago. Will it come back? Only time will tell.

    The company has spent a lot of money doing TV informercials - "Another two weeks of NutriSystem meals free" - with testimonials from former NFL football star and many customers. Its business hyper-growth coincided with the end of the last high-protein, high-fat, low-carb fad diet. Frustrated weight-loss consumers have to find the next dieting method to fill the void. The pre-packaged meal plan foots the bill.

    The pre-prepared-meal-program business model works for a few years. Now the company has hard time getting the first-time customers to sign up and stay on the program. Does it mean this meal-program dieting craze gone? Are people getting sick and tired of the sales pitch? Probably. We'll know better in a few quarters to see if their business is picking up again or dying down.

    It's difficult to stay on this type of meal program for long. The foods may taste great. But personally, I cannot take the pre-packaged meals, every meal, for a week. It may work for anxious habitual dieters who want to try anything, everything.

    The concept of portion control, balanced nutrition and total calorie control is sound in a weight management program. Ultimately, you have to learn how to choose healthy foods by yourself either preparing at home or dining out. Othewise, it takes away the fun, variety, freedom of healthy good choices and preparation. Then you don't know what to eat, how much to eat and how often to eat when you're off the program. That's why many people gain back the weight they've dieted so hard to lose. These are the same people who are "dieting" all the time, jumping from a new diet method to the next.

    Healthy food choice and nutrition should be an integrated part of a healthy, high-performance lifestyle. A combination of healthy lifestyle changes, balanced nutrition and regular exericses (both strength and cardiovacular training) is a proven strategy for weight loss and successful long-term weight management.

    There is no magic pill or quick fix.

    It takes discipline, commitment and accountability.

    Fat-loss is that simple, but not easy.

    Click here to learn the proven fat loss strategies from the top expert.

    Disclaimers: The author is a fitness professional and does not own NTRI shares nor have any vested interested in NTRI. This post is for information purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell the security.

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    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Why Excess Belly Fat is More Deadly Than You Think

    In my last post, I commented on a recent research study finding that most overweight and obese people have misconception about their actual weights.

    These overweight or obese participants in the study underestimated their actual weights. They "thought" or "perceived" their weights were about right or average although in fact they're overweight or obese by BMI measurement.

    Granted, BMI (Body Mass Index) is not the true best indicator of weight status and body composition. It's still the most straightforward measurement. Body fat measurement and distribution along with lean muscle mass would be the better method.

    In my personal experience, most overweight or obese people acknowledge that they gain some weight and need to do something about it. They are self-conscious about their overweight bodies. But they are simply too comfortable with their weights, partly because over 65% U.S. population is overweight or obese. The U.S. obesity epidemic continutes to grow. When you see so many (two out of three) out-of-shape people everyday and everywhere, you're used to it - big! The used-to-be "overweight" now becomes "normal" or "average."

    Perhaps you feel OK to be overweight since it's accepted in your circle of friends - all of them are like me or even bigger.

    So what's the big deal that I just have "a little" belly fat?! I feel OK, better than my friends with "big" pot belly or beer gut. You can comfort youself by thinking that I still have my six pack abs underneath that thick layer of abdominal fat. They're just covered.

    Well, "a little" can grow slightly bigger, and then bigger and bigger if you don't take care of yourself. Fat isn't accumulated in one day or a month. You don't just go out to binge for one night, and boom, you gain 10 pounds of weight (fat) overnight. All big starts from small over a period of time.

    Out of excess body fat in different body areas, belly fat is the most dangerous and is more deadly than you think. There are many health risks associated with excess belly fat. For most men, the risk factors for heart disease and other diseases increase with a waist size over 40 inches (102 centimeters).

    In the following article, Mike Geary, the founder of TruthAboutAbs.com, explained why excess belly fat is more deadly than you think and how you can minimize your health risks. Mike is the six-pack-abs guru, a certified nutrition specialist and personal trainer.

    By Mike Geary, Truth About Abs:

    Did you know that the vast majority of people in this day and age have excess abdominal fat?The first thing that most people think of is that their extra abdominal fat is simply ugly, is covering up their abs from being visible, and makes them self conscious about showing off their body.

    However, what most people don't realize is that excess abdominal fat in particular, is not only ugly, but is also a dangerous risk factor to your health. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated that although it is unhealthy in general to have excess body fat throughout your body, it is also particularly dangerous to have excess abdominal fat.

    There are two types of fat that you have in your abdominal area. The first type that covers up your abs from being visible is called subcutaneous fat and lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles.

    The second type of fat that you have in your abdominal area is called visceral fat, and that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs. Visceral fat also plays a role in giving certain men that "beer belly" appearance where their abdomen protrudes excessively but at the same time, also feels sort of hard if you push on it.

    Both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat in the abdominal area are serious health risk factors, but science has shown that having excessive visceral fat is even more dangerous than subcutaneous fat. Both of them greatly increase the risk your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

    Part of the reason visceral fat is particularly dangerous is that it apparently releases more inflammatory molecules into your body on a consistent basis.

    If you care about the quality of your life and your loved ones, reducing your abdominal fat should be one of your TOP priorities! There's just no way around it. Besides, a side-effect of finally getting rid of all of that excessive ugly abdominal fat is that your stomach will flatten out, and if you lose enough stomach fat, you will be able to visibly see those sexy six pack abs that everyone wants.

    So what gets rid of extra abdominal fat? Is there actually a REAL solution beyond all of the gimmicks and hype that you see in ads and on commercials for "miracle" fat loss products?

    The first thing you must understand is that there is absolutely NO quick fix solution.

    There are no pills or supplements of any sort that will help you lose your abdominal fat faster. Also, none of the gimmicky ab rockers, rollers, or ab belts will help get rid of abdominal fat either. You can't spot reduce your stomach fat by using any of these worthless contraptions. It simply doesn't work that way.

    The ONLY solution to consistently lose your abdominal fat and keep it off for good is to combine a sound nutritious diet full of unprocessed natural foods with a properly designed strategic exercise program that stimulates the necessary hormonal and metabolic response within your body. Both your food intake as well as your training program are important if you are to get this right.

    I've actually even seen a particular study that divided thousands of participants into a diet-only group and an exercise/diet group. While both groups in this study made good progress, the diet-only group lost significantly LESS abdominal fat than the diet & exercise combined group.

    Now the important thing to realize is that just any old exercise program will not necessarily do the trick. The majority of people that attempt getting into a good exercise routine are NOT working out effectively enough to really stimulate the loss of stubborn abdominal fat. I see this everyday at the gym. Most people will do your typical boring ineffective cardio routines, throw in a little outdated body-part style weight training, and pump away with some crunches and side bends, and think that they are doing something useful for reducing their abdominal fat. Then they become frustrated after weeks or months of no results and wonder where they went wrong.

    Well, the good news is that I've spent over a decade researching this topic, analyzing the science, and applying it "in the trenches" with myself as well as thousands of my clients from all over the world to see what works to really stimulate abdominal fat loss. The entire solution... all of the nutritional strategies, as well as training sequences, exercise combinations, and more have all been compiled in my Truth About Six Pack Abs Program.

    Keep in mind that the point of this whole program is NOT abdominal exercises (that is only a very small portion of it). The main point of this program is showing you the absolute most effective strategies for losing your stubborn abdominal fat, so you can get rid of that dangerous health risk, as well as get a flatter more defined midsection. If you follow the guidelines, you WILL lose your belly fat that has been plaguing you for years. This is not guesswork... it is a proven system that works time and time again for all of my clients on every corner of the globe that actually apply the information I teach. If you apply it, the results will come. It's really that simple.

    The only reason most people fail in their fitness goals is that they have good intentions at first to adopt a new lifestyle, yet after a few weeks or months, they abandon their good intentions and slip right back into their old bad habits that gave them the excess body fat in the first place. I want to help you succeed in finally getting rid of that extra abdominal fat that is not only UGLY, but also DANGEROUS. Don't waste another day allowing that nasty abdominal fat to kill your confidence as well as contribute to your risk for MAJOR diseases.

    Get the solution to rid yourself for life of this belly fat problem at Truth About Abs.

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    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Do You Really Weigh What You Actually Weigh?

    Look at yourself in the full-length mirror.

    You think your weight is OK? Perhaps just a little pot belly, expanded waistline, love handles, a few extra pounds --- but, hey, better than the next door Big Joe's beer gut.

    What does the weight scale reading tell you?

    Are you in the healthy weight range?

    Are you aware of the health risks associated with overweight and obesity, particularly excessive belly fat?

    Are you comfortable with your current weight?

    According to a research study authored by Bennett and Wolin, most overweight and obese people underestimate their "perceived" bodyweight compared to their "real" bodyweight.

    Although there are differences among races and genders, overweight and obese people "think" that they weigh less than they really are. In fact, they weight more than their "perceived" bodyweight.

    This weight "misconception" becomes accepted in these overweight or obese people due to sociocultural influences among many possible reasons.

    The study group sent out a standard perceived weight question to participlants, "Do you consider yourself now to be overweight, underweight, or about the right weight?" All participants are overweight or obese. They are divided into groups by gender (Men or Women) by race/ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic or Other).

    There is a great debate in the health community on classification of weight status by Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is still the single most straightfoward and conveneint measurement for research purposes. A complimentary body fat and girth measurements would give an more accurate body composition and fat distribution.

    Do you know your BMI? Find out here >>

    A well muscled person could be wrongly classified as overweight (BMI greater than 25) with just 8% body fat. BMI alone has its limitations, but a relatively reliable tool for tracking overweight and obesity rates. If you're lean and fit, don't worry too much about your BMI number.

    Read more about BMI and body fat >>

    The study utilized standard thresholds to classify individuals as normal/underweight (BMI less than 25), overweight (BMI larger than or equal to 25, but less than 30) or obese (BMI larger than or equal to 30)

    Here are their findings:

  • Across racial/ethnic categories, men were more likely to misperceive their weight status than women.
  • Comparing racial/ethnic categories, for both men and women, Blacks were most likely and White were least likely to misperceive their weight status.
  • For both men and women across racial/ethnic categories, the weight staus misconception was higher among overweight than obese participants.


  • The U.S. adult population is estimated over 65% overweight or obese. U.S. obesity rates are still rising every year with no sign of slowing down. So today when you say or think that you're about "average", you are actually at least slightly overweight.

    When we're surrounded by more and more overweight or obese people around us, our brain slowly perceives and accepts the overweight body image as the norm. It could become culturally and socially acceptable of higher bodyweight and heavier body shapes. It's a problem when people fail to realize the health risks associated with overweight or obesity.

    Learn how to fight obesity here >>

    You can argue that you do have muscles here and there. In fact, you're likely to have excess body fat here and there as well unless you've been seriously weight-training or bodybuilding. That's why body fat measurement along with BMI and lean muscle mass would give a more accurate body composition.

    Don't underestimate the power of your friends, particularly the five of your closest friends, in your weight loss program. The acceptance or intolerance of unhealthy habits in your circle of friends could break or win your weight loss battle. Hire a fitness coach. Pick your own fitness mastermind support group. Surround yourself with health-conscious and fitness-minded people.

    The secret to weight loss is no secret at all. It's not weight training, cardio exercise, or eating healthy. They are all important essential elements to your weight loss success. The fundamental key is your performance lifestyle.

    Correcting mispeceptions of weight status may be necessary to actively and successfully engage overweight and obese individuals. As with what Bennett commented, "We think that mispercention can be very useful when it comes to protecting people against overly stringent body image ideals and eating disorders."

    The study findings suggest that information and concern about obesity epidemic in the U.S. hasn't had enough impact on overweight people's recognition of their excess pounds.

    More education is needed to raise the awareness of overweight and obesity and importance of losing excess bodyweight or fat. It's more than just for healthy body image, but lowering health risks and social cost.

    References:
    Bennett, G.G., Wolin, K.Y., "Satisfied or unaware? Racial differences in perceived weight status," IJBNPA, 3:40, 2006. http://www.ijnapa.org/content/3/1/40

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