Friday, September 30, 2011

Living Like a Warrior In 2011

Below is an article that appeared USA TODAY recently. It calls attention to the fact that many doctors in the United States believe that their patients are recieving too much care. It is a fact that the Untied States spends more on health care than any other nation, yet is a world leader in preventable (we could even say self-inflicted) disease.
It seems that the prevailing attitude of many is that individual health is someone else's responsibility. In this modern world it seems that often we put too much faith in science and technology. Don't get this wrong, I am not against science and I fully recognize the increased quality of life that that technology allows us today. BUT, personal health still comes down to individual decisions to act on the best knowlege available. While our knowlege has advanced in many ways, we still have the same physical bodies that our early ancestors had and there is no high tech way to stay healthy and fit. In spite of what the infomercials and glossy magazines try to sell us, there is no magic formula or piece of equipment that will keep us healthy and fit without consistent effort and an investment of time. The Warrior way is still the only way to achieve physical health and fitness and that will never change. Resist and fight back against the tide. Exemplify the Warrior life even if it is 2011. Give your body the activity and challenge that it craves. Don't allow the urge for comfort to drive your life. Be driven by goals to conquer. Don't eat solely for enjoyment or for satisifaction. Eat to fuel your body to face the challenges ahead. Seek strength from challenge. Don't surrender to the quest for comfort and allow it to weaken  you. If you need a reminder or some inspiration, then buy one of our T-shirts.lol  Just click on the Online Store tab.
Many primary care physicians in the United States believe that their patients are receiving too much medical care, and that the pressure to do more than is necessary could be reduced by malpractice reform, adjusting financial incentives, and spending more time with patients, according to a study published in the Sept. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Brenda E. Sirovich, M.D., from the Veterans Affairs Outcomes Group in White River Junction, Vt., and colleagues assessed the viewpoint of U.S. primary care physicians on whether a substantial amount of the health care they provide to their patients is unnecessary. A total of 627 U.S. primary care physicians were surveyed from June to December 2009.
The investigators found that 42 and 6 percent of the physicians believed that patients in their practice receive too much or too little care, respectively. Malpractice concerns, clinical performance measures, and inadequate time spent with patients were the factors identified as leading to more aggressive practices, at 76, 52, and 40 percent, respectively. A total of 62 percent of physicians believed that the amount of diagnostic testing would decrease if it did not generate revenue for medical subspecialists. A total of 95 percent of physicians believed that there is variation in practice for identical patients and 76 percent were interested in knowing how their own practice style is considered versus other physicians.
"Many U.S. primary care physicians believe that their own patients are receiving too much medical care," the authors write.

Live the Warrior lifestyle. Don't give in to the quest for comfort!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mr. Olympia 2011 and the Current State of "Bodybuilding"

Before and after. Bodybuilding can give us power to transform our bodies.
Below is an article that appeared in the news recently. The transformation is amazing and I have to admit that this power to transform oneself is what has kept me lifting for close to 50 years now. I have an ambivalent attitude towards bodybuilding. Like many of my generation, it was Steve Reeves in a Hercules movie and a picture of Arnold S. on a magazine cover that first stimulated my curiosity and eventually lead to the empowering realization that I could make my body into whatever I wanted. I was naive enough to believe that bodybuilding was about great health and improving performance. Indeed it was, for awhile. The entrants in the physique contests were also great lifters and often all-around athletes. Tommy Kono and John Grimek for example were world class lifters who showed off their hard earned physical develpment now and then. Even Sergio Oliva was a lifter for the Cuban national team and Arnold also lifted on the Austrian team. The "sport" of Bodybuilding today is a caricature of athletics. Image has replaced performance. Bodybuilders only have to stand before judges and have the "look". Attaining that "look" is no longer about health, in fact it is extremely unhealthy. It requires extreme dieting, chemicals beyond what the body produces (drugs), and an extremely unbalanced and self-centered lifestyle. Ironically the popular magazines market bodybuilding (and supplements, clothing, and equipment...etc.) as the epitomy of health and vigor. The current competitive bodybuilders are grotesque. They look bloated and even fat in street clothes. In competitive condition they sport fake tans and diaretic induced dehydration. Here in the U.S.A. the general public thinks of bodybuilding whenever weights are mentioned as it drives the market. I am all for building a strong and healthy body. I think the "sport" of bodybuilding has become a travesty. At he bottom is a clip of an interview with John Grimek and some footage of him doing his "posing" which included a lot of muscle control. Unfortunately it is somewhat blocked out by the word graphics, but is still impressive and represents what real body building can accomplish. It was my privilege to meet and speak with John Grimek several times. He was over 60 years old when I first met him, but very physically impressive, a testimony to a lifetime of building the body in the context of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. At the time of this interview he was in his 80's. Below that is a short clip of him performing outdoors, perhaps at the annual York Barbell picnic, I'm not sure where this is, but it is great footage.His physique is (dare I say it?) functional.

Most college basketball players never make it to the NBA, but that doesn't mean they can't make it in the world of sports.
Phil Heath, a guard for the University of Denver men's basketball team from 1998 to 2002, was known as a defensive specialist, which is a polite way of saying he didn't have much of a jump shot. Heath averaged 1.3 points per game and shot just 33 percent from the floor in his four years with the Pioneers.
The 5-11 guard gave up basketball after playing 66 games in college to focus on the professional sport of bodybuilding.
To say Heath, who weighed 180 pounds in college, made the right choice would be an understatement. The 31-year-old from Seattle beat out four-time winner Jay Cutler (not the Bears QB) to win the 2011 Mr. Olympia contest in Las Vegas over the weekend.
"I feel awesome," Heath told the bodybuilding site flexonline.com. "Words cannot describe how I feel right now. I'm so happy I was able to do it and able to have fun while doing it.
Heath, nicknamed "The Gift," became only the 13th different winner since the iron-pumping event began back in 1965, according to CBS 4 Denver.
Competing in only his his fourth Mr. Olympia contest, the former baller joins iconic muscle legends Lee Haney and Arnold Schwarzenegger as kings of bodybuilding.
As the 2011 Mr. Olympia, Heath picked up a sweet trophy and a nice check for $200,000. Of course that's still less than the minimum salary in the NBA,

Friday, September 23, 2011

U.S. Army Pushing Fish Oil

How much fish oil do you think Geronimo had?
He and his band of 36 or so evaded several thousand U.S. soldiers for months. They had no doubts about their cause.
This has been all over the news lately. I'm not sure if this will be the answer to military suicides. It is no magic bullet, but fish oil is a good idea for anyone interested in being healthy and feeling good.
As for the U.S. Army, when I was part of it in the immediate post-Viet Nam era of the early 70's, we used to say that half the Army spent their spare time reading comic books while the other half just looked at the pictures. (This is an in-family joke, I will fight anyone making fun of the Army who hasn't served.)
I believe that a coherent and consistent mission with credible leaders does more for the mental health of soldiers than anything else. Politicians who manipulate men's lives to promote their own partisan idealogy create more dissonance than any amount of fish oil can counter-act. A Warrior is sustained by a sure knowlege that his cause is just.
The Army is eager to know whether omega-3 fatty acids not only are good for the heart, but also might deter soldiers from killing themselves.
"I'm all over it, because I'm looking for something to help," says Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff, who has been working for years to reduce the service's record number of suicides.
Research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry last month showed that men in the service with low levels of an omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, were 62% more likely to commit suicide. The researchers compared routine blood samples taken from 800 servicemembers from 2002 to 2008 — and who months later committed suicide — with samples taken from 800 other servicemembers.
The authors say their findings do not suggest fish oil is a way to deter suicides. The Army suicide rate reached 22 per 100,000 last year, higher than civilians of the same age group.
Omega-3s are found naturally in foods such as fatty fish and walnuts and have been shown to help prevent heart disease. Preliminary studies suggest that the supplements could help relieve symptoms of certain depressions, the Mayo Clinic says. Experts note that fish oil's potential benefits for mental health need to be confirmed in larger, more rigorous studies.
Even so, the potential psychiatric benefits of omega-3s could be a factor in reducing the suicides, says Joseph Hibbeln, a co-author of the Journal study and nutritional neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health.
"I'm trying to make sure our docs get going as fast as they can to get some clinical trials going so we can make a determination whether or not there's anything to this," Chiarelli says.
Some findings have been disappointing. A study in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that fish oil supplements didn't help prevent preterm labor. The supplements, marketed to boost brain development, also didn't make babies smarter, the Journal of the American Medical Associationsaid last year.
Some like their fish oil fresh!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Story Behind the Story, Strongman competitions.

Strongman events mimic real life labors.
Erie, Pennsylvania is not nearly as well known as Pittsburgh to the south and Philadelphia to the southeast. When you think of these towns, you think of toughness. The Steelers, Rocky Balboa, and of course a document we here in the United States call the Declaration of Independence were all born there. Erie is Pennsylvania’s 3rd largest city and it’s only port on the Great Lakes. I was born in Hamot Hospital which overlooks Presque Isle bay where large ships from around the world would dock. In my teens I worked with my father for a construction company that was builtding an addition to that hospital. It was in the winter when the wind blows down from Canada across Lake Erie and threatens to freeze anything isn’t moving. I spent my days on the roof pulling up buckets of cements hand over hand with a rope. That’s how we did it then. Once I asked my dad why we couldn’t get a conveyor and he said, “Why should I? That’s why I have you! Besides, it’s too cold. The conveyor would freeze up.” Such was the life of a construction laborer. In order to inject a little fun into the work we turned things into competitions. Who could load the most bags of cement onto a flatbed wheelbarrow and push it up the ramp? Who could hold 12 inch concrete blocks out at arms length for the longest time? Danny Carr was an iron worker in Erie. One day he fell from several stories up and broke his back. He survived, but with a partially paralyzed leg that withered and caused him to walk with a limp for the remainder of his life. He continued to train at the local YMCA and developed 20+ inch arms. When I knew him he was a business agent for the local ironworkers union. He made sure that union workers were being hired and paid properly and few wanted to contend with him. He started arm wrestling and became a world champion. He got the idea to market the types of competitions that construction workers did and “American Gladiators” was born. Below is an article about Danny today. Following is a clip of Mark Felix and his “home gym”. I love it. It reminds me of the jobs we did back in Erie and how many really strong men there are who maybe never compete in the standard “strength sports” of weightlifting or powerlifting. Modern day "Strongman" gives another outlet.

Danny Carr doesn't want your pity. He says he'll simply continue to live with the bitterness and move on.
Carr knows his home in Orlando, Fla., should be a shrine to "American Gladiators," the television show and pop-culture phenomenon he helped create in Erie in the 1980s.
He's well aware that he should be giddy with excitement over the reinvention of the lucrative spandex-and-glitz competition series, which premieres tonight on NBC in primetime.
But the 60-year-old former Erie resident says he won't watch the new show.
Not one minute of it.
"It's too painful," he says in a telephone interview from Florida. "And I'm still too bitter."

Due to bad business decisions, Carr says he reaped meager financial gains from the multimillion-dollar "American Gladiators" franchise.

The former ironworker and founder of Erie's Lower East Side Sports Center says he was paid about $20,000 during the TV seasons that the "American Gladiators" show ran in syndication from 1989 through 1996.

As for the nationwide tours in arenas throughout America, the dozens of licensed "Gladiators" products, and the Hulk Hogan-hosted show that NBC will truck out this weekend, Carr says he didn't get a dime.

"I wasn't legally protected," he says. "I wasn't smart."

Be it the cult hit status the old episodes now have with teens and college students on ESPN Classic, and the catchy clips rerun on VH1's "I Love the '90s" specials.

Or the plug from former President Bill Clinton, who said his favorite show during his White House days was "American Gladiators," which he and his daughter, Chelsea, always watched.

All of it, Carr says, began in Erie.

The former arm-wrestling champion who served two years in a juvenile detention center says his idea for "American Gladiators" came during the annual picnics he sponsored for Erie's gritty ironworkers from the late 1960s through the mid 1980s.

Tough-man games and challenges, pitting one rowdy blue-collar guy against another, and testing their strength, speed and agility.

The original "gladiators," Carr says, included construction worker Donny Plonski; Frank Fusco, president of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 506 at GE Transportation; and automobile dealer Brent "The Bull" Doolittle.

And the first organized show came in 1982 in front of a frenzied, sold-out crowd at Tech Memorial High School.

Plonski, now 52, says he was the "original gladiator," a 6-foot-2, 255-pound muscular machine nicknamed "The Sledgehammer."

"I trained hard to be a gladiator," says Plonski, whose 23-inch biceps ripped through his cutoff sweatshirt uniform. "I'd pull a sled piled high with cement blocks with a strap around my waist. I pulled my car. I meant business."

Plonski says his dream was to be on the "Gladiators" TV show and become a star. But that dream was smashed along with Carr's botched business arrangements.

"I was crushed. We both were," Plonski says, adding that he refuses to watch NBC's new version of the show. "It still hurts. To not have the recognition. To not have people watching this show know that it originated from little Erie, Pennsylvania."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Energy Leaks, Pushing a Rope

                              If you can do this, you won't have any energy leaks!

Following is an article that I saw recently on another site, EliteFTS. The author does a pretty good job of explaining and illustrating the point. As I like to say, "You can't push a rope." The body is one piece and it must be developed as such. One of the major causes of these "energy leaks" is the tendency to organize workout programs into body parts or segments such as "Leg Day", "Chest Day", or even "Upper Body" and "Lower Body". I am not against some "core" work as the author suggests, but I don't think that is the best way to fix this problem. Trust me, if you include work where you are lifting heavy weights from the floor to overhead on a regular basis, you will not have any "energy leaks". One of the best exercises to prevent and fix "energy leaks" is the heavy overhead support done inside a power rack. These are seldom seen in collegiate and commercial weight rooms, but we have written several posts on them in the past. Check our archives.
Energy leak: A point at which force disappears due to an unflexed group of muscles or non-secured joint.
Go out and try to hit a baseball with a rubber hose. It just won’t work no matter how good your form. This idea hit me for a few reasons:
1. I’m weird and admittedly so.
2. I’ve been trying to explain to my athletes how all the energy leaks in their lifting were creating submaximal numbers.
The two ends of the hose aren’t firmly connected, just as the two adjacent joints in a lift must be firmly locked in. No, I’m not saying they can’t move, but they must be supported.
I can’t remember where I heard it most recently or if I heard it anywhere, but the term ‘energy leaks’ has been coming out of my mouth more and more often at my gym. I train athletes and men, and it isn’t an accident that in addition to their performance on the field, they both want to lift some heavy a** weight. Of course, this can’t be done immediately. After weeks and possibly months of GPP, depending on where I get these guys, I will progress them to the big three lifts or variations of the lifts. I notice that on every one of those lifts, you will more than likely see an upper back round on a deadlift or squat (not to mention the always feared rounding of the lower back) or the wrists break on the bench press. These are just some of the many energy leaks that can happen.
I’m going to use the bench press as an example. First, I have my athletes perform some light benching after they have mastered their body weight in movements such as push-ups and pull-ups. When they first get on the bench, they more than likely bench like typical bodybuilders—all chest, shoulders, and arms at 90 degrees to the torso; no scapular retraction; no tightening of the glutes; and no gripping of the floor with the feet. The list could go on. I then have the athlete stand up and I put him through the hand shake test (thanks Pavel), in which he squeezes my hand as hard as he can. Then I have him flex the opposite arm, grip the floor, and tighten the abs and his gripping strength goes through the roof. He has just eliminated energy leaking.
It doesn’t matter how much force you can produce if it gets lost and disperses at a weak joint or joint that isn’t firmly in place. For my younger athletes—check that, all athletes—this is often the core. Again, it doesn’t matter how big and strong you are if you have a core of jello because once the force and energy reach that jello core, the force will disperse. If I have an athlete who can potentially jump 40 inches, he will never realize it until he can transmit the force applied to the ground up through the core and out to the limbs. This is a key reason why there must be some core control and core development in your training programs. Yes, your core is stimulated greatly in the big lifts, but if the lifter isn’t aware of the core and how to activate it, you’ve just created an energy leak.
What drives me nuts are when the wrists aren’t in line with the forearms on the bench press. I could have my athletes perfect on all other aspects of the bench press, but if those wrists are flimsy, they’ve created an ‘energy leak.’
So this is where my “trying to hit a softball or baseball with a rubber hose” idea came from. There literally won’t be any force transmitted because it will all be lost upon contact with the hose and ball. This doesn’t just apply to the big lifts. The whole reason I perform the big lifts with my athletes is for performance in the sport.
Think about how many potential energy leaks we can have in the swinging of a baseball bat. Energy leaks can only be corrected through body awareness just as an arrogant idiot can only correct himself through self-awareness (if at all). Put a wooden or steel bat in your hands and start transmitting force from your body through to the ground and back up to the barbell!
Kyle Newell is the owner of Newell Strength, located in central New Jersey. To find out more about Kyle’s training insights, visit www.newellstrength.com.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Trouble Shooting Workouts

Consistent progress is a simple matter, but no one says it's easy!
Not being much of a technologist, I have figured out that sometimes when I have computer problems the screen will show a troubleshoot box. Clicking it puts you on a kind of flow chart that can eventually lead you to a solution to your problem if you have the patience to follow it.

It occurred to me that such an approach can be helpful in trouble shooting workouts if progress is stalled.

Step one:
Examine your workout.
Does it consist of mainly multi-joint, closed kinetic chain type exercises?
In other words, do you do most of your work standing on your feet?
If not, adjust accordingly and get back to basics. Less is more. Focus on the lifts that give the most bang for bucks invested. Keep your workouts short and intense.
Do you incorporate sufficient variety into your workouts?
Change sets, reps, and even exercises every 3 weeks or so.
Rep ranges from 8 to singles work best. Sets from 3-6. Make sure that your volume drops as intensity increases and vice versa. A common error I see often is when someone manipulates sets and reps without changing volume like 3X10, 4X8, 6X5, 10X3…..etc. Really, I have had coaches show me this type of program.

If your workout is in good shape, but you are still not making progress…..

Step two:
Examine your eating habits.
Do you eat Breakfast?
Do you skip meals?
Do you count ketchup as a vegetable?
Is Red Bull your favorite pre-workout snack?
Do you think a truck load of supplements will compensate for a poor diet?
Nutrition is a wide area and specifics will vary greatly according to individual goals, but it still is not all as complicated as many make it seem.
Eat breakfast.
Eat frequently.
Get some protein in each meal.
Include fresh fruits and/or vegetable in each meal.
Choose whole fresh foods as much as possible.
Drink lots of water.
Use supplements to supplement, not replace, food.
Enjoy your meals and don’t stress out over nutrition.

Finally, if you are still stalled after trouble shooting your workout and food intake…..

Step three:
Examine your sleep habits.
Recovery comes during sleep. Merely resting is not sufficient.
Growth hormone is secreted naturally during sleep.
Regularity is almost as important as actual sleep hours. Of course there is a minimum for each individual, but going to bed and getting up at a regular time allows your body to get into a rhythm and adapt.
One thing about sleep is that you can’t store it or replenish it in one great sleep marathon. Your body will respond best to consistent patterns.
If you trouble shoot your workouts through this template and still aren’t making progress, then maybe you need a medical exam. You may have leukemia or cancer of the testicles.
Really, fixing problems is simple. Not easy, but simple.
Work hard. Work smart. Eat good. Sleep well.
Enjoy the journey.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Obesenomics: The High Cost of Fat

Fully invested in the war on anorexia!!

This article appeared today in a local newspaper. It is an interesting perspective on the societal costs of obesity and poor health.Generally we focus on the well known individual health problems, but we do not see the larger perspective of what the impact is on our national economies. I don't think that better health alone will solve our debt problems here in the U.S.A., but on the other hand, it could make a major difference. Of course our health is not entirely within our control. Even those with the best lifestyles are sometimes afflicted with illness or disease. But much suffering today is self-inflicted by lifestyle choices. It is ironic that some areas of the world are suffering from famine, while in other areas people are suffering from poor eating choices fueled by abundance.Wherever you live, live the Warrior lifestyle. Strong individuals make a strong society.
WASHINGTON — The metaphor of tightening the belt to save money may not be so far off according to a recent study. Being obese has a high financial cost attached to it.

The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services' Department of Health Policy released a report last year that tallied the high individual costs of obesity to Americans.

For women, the annual additional cost of being obese is $4,879. If you add the "value of lost life" (obesity leads to shorter lives) the cost rises to $8,365. The annual cost for men is $2,646 and, for "lost life" $6,518.The study looked at anybody with a www.bmi-calculator.net/ Body Mass Index more than 30 (overweight is a BMI between 25 to 29.9 and normal is 18.5 to 24.9).

The big financial hit for women was lower wages — being obese does not seem to lower the salaries of men, but obese women earn an average of $1,855 less per year than other women.The Washington Post summarized the factors used in the study as "medical care, absenteeism from work, short-term disability, insurance and other factors."The study author, Avi Dor, noted that, "existing literature provides information on health- and work-related costs, but with the exception of fuel costs, no published academic research offers insight into consumer-related costs, such as clothing, air travel, automobile size or furniture. Anecdotal evidence suggests these costs could be significant."

Fuel costs were higher — between $8 and $36 more a year — because of the extra gasoline needed to haul around extra weight. But, as MSN.com observed, the study "didn't factor in the cost of buying bigger cars."

MSN.com also listed other possible costs:

Bigger food and restaurant bills

• Cost of diets or counseling

• Costs to employers for higher absenteeism and lower productivity.
A study by Ohio State University researcher Jay Zagorsky (also cited by MSN.com) found that for every one-unit increase in a young person's BMI there was an 8 percent reduction in net financial worth.But losing weight also may have financial risks. One formerly-obese blogger, Beth Sheldon-Badore, said she is much more expensive now that she has lost weight through gastric surgery — which, in her case, resulted in "intractible epilepsy."

"$30,000 obesity surgery, follow-up care, ER visit, return visits, lab work, hematologists, psychologist, psychiatrist, psycho-pharmacologist, PCPs, plastic surgeon consults, more ER, MRI, CAT scans, inpatient visits, neurologists, follow up, RX's, etc., etc.," she wrote. "I know, I'm being silly, but I literally stopped, laughed out loud, and turned the radio up to listen to this report (about the study). … I was a cheap fat chick. I'm an expensive 'skinny' … chick."
EMAIL: mdegroote@desnews.com

                                    Obese habit #1-Why walk when you can ride?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Breaking A Bad Habit

What you drink can really make a difference in how look and perform. Drink alot, but drink smart!
Here is another really sobering article on sugary beverages.(Note that "energy" and "sports" drinks aren't really any better than sodas) A blender and some fresh fruit is a really healthy alternative. One of my favorites is to take some pineapple (preferably fresh, but canned chunks work also), peeled oranges, (Orange juice concetrate can also work) and a banana. Blend with water or juice and some ice cubes and you have a cold, refreshing drink that will revive you on the hottest of days. If you want some protein add cottage cheese, use skim milk (or regular if you are trying to gain) and some whey protiein. This is a great post workout recovery drink. If you prefer, add mangos, papayas, or other tropical fruits. Try a few of these and you'll never crave sugary sodas again.
Teens who drink soda, energy drinks and other sugary beverages are guzzling about 327 calories a day from them, which is equal to about 2½ cans of cola, new government data shows.
And people ages 20-39 who drink sugary beverages consume 336 calories a day from them.
Some people are getting a lot of their daily calories from these drinks, says Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted this survey.
The latest analysis shows that half of people in the USA drink sugary beverages on any given day; and about 25% consume at least 200 calories a day from them.
About 5% of people ages 2 and older consume at least 567 calories a day from these types of drinks, which is equal to more than four 12-ounce cans of cola.
This issue continues to be a national problem, nutrition experts say. "Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one single source of calories in the American diet and account for about half of all added sugars that people consume," says Rachel Johnson, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and a nutrition professor at the University of Vermont.
"Most Americans don't have much room in their diets for a completely nutrient-void beverage."
A high intake of added sugars increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, she says. "One recent study showed that drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage a day increases your risk of high blood pressure."
Ogden says that "the reason we are interested in sugary drinks is they are associated with a variety of conditions including obesity and type 2 diabetes."
Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and one of the nation's top experts on beverage consumption, says the consumption of super-caffeinated energy drinks, especially among teens and young adults, is skyrocketing. "These are empty calories with no health benefits."
The new findings are from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is considered the gold standard for evaluating food and beverage habits because the data is from in-person interviews about dietary habits. These results are from more than 17,000 interviews conducted from 2005 to 2008.
The drinks with added sugar in this analysis included sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks and sweetened bottled waters. Not included: Diet drinks, coffee, 100% fruit juice, sweetened teas and flavored milks.
Among the findings:
•Males consume more sugary beverages than females.
•Teens and young adults consume more than other age groups.
•Black and Mexican-American adults drink more calories from these beverages than whites.
•People in lower socio-economic groups consume more calories from them than higher-income people.
•52% of sugary drinks are consumed at home; 48% away from home.
The heart association advises people to consume no more than 36 ounces or about 450 calories from sugary beverages a week. "It's better if you can avoid them altogether and instead consume water, fat-free or 1% fat milk, 100% fruit juice and low-sodium vegetable juices," Johnson says.
On Wednesday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the heart association, the American Diabetes Association, other leading health groups and several major city public health departments announced a new public awareness campaign, Life's Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks, (fewersugarydrinks.org) to reduce the consumption of these types of beverages.
"We want to make it part of conventional thinking that soda and other sugary beverages are acceptable as an occasional treat but not day-in and day-out in such large quantities," says Michael Jacobson, CSPI's executive director.
Get a yourself a blender and some fruit and/or vegetables and you can drink all you want everyday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Setting the Record Straight

This guy must do a lot of jogging to stay so lean! lol

Earlier this week one of the dumber articles that I've read appeared in USA Today. Not that any serious person looks to them for real health advice, but this article is so superficial and completely misleads the public. They claim that aerobic exercise is better for burning fat than resistance training. While I am not against aerobic type exercise, anyone who has ever done full body multi-joint type lifts knows that these are superior for fat burning and revving up that metabolism. Too often the laboratory geeks who churn out this "research" don't have a clue what real weight training is. They compare 3 sets of 8-10 reps of arm curls and leg extension type movements to running a few miles and guess what? Running burns more calories. Compare running with a workout of high rep squats, or multiple snatches or clean and jerks and you will find a whole other conclusion. Not to mention that the metabolism is increased for hours after the exercise session. If fat burning and conditioning is your goal, try some sets of combination exercises such as 3 cleans and push presses followed by 5 front squats without lowering the bar. Another favorite combination that I like is snatches followed with overhead squats. Your imagination is the limit. Full body multi joint lifts will keep you lean and fit and much more muscular and explosive than jogging no matter what the "research" says.
Aerobic exercise is better than resistance training if you want to lose the belly fat that poses a serious threat to your health, researchers say.
That's the finding of their eight-month study that compared the effectiveness of aerobic exercise (such as jogging), resistance training (such as weight lifting), or a combination of the two activities in 196 overweight, sedentary adults aged 18 to 70.
The participants in the aerobic group did the equivalent of 12 miles of jogging per week at 80 percent maximum heart rate, while those in the resistance group did three sets of eight to 12 repetitions three times per week.
The Duke University Medical Center researchers looked at how these types of exercise reduced the fat that's deep within the abdomen and fills the spaces between internal organs. This type of fat -- called visceral and liver fat -- is associated with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Aerobic exercise significantly reduced visceral and liver fat and improved risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as insulin resistance, liver enzymes and triglyceride levels. Resistance training didn't deliver these benefits. Aerobic exercise plus resistance training achieved results similar to aerobic exercise alone, the investigators found.
"Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass," lead author and exercise physiologist Cris Slentz said in a Duke news release. "But if you are overweight, which two-thirds of the population is, and you want to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the better choice because it burns more calories."
Aerobic exercise burned 67 percent more calories than resistance training, the researchers found.
The study was published in the Aug. 25 issue of the American Journal of Physiology.
(I searched for this "research" and couldn't find it. To my knowlege there is no single "American Journal of Physiology", rather they publish a collection of journals, none of which has the above research that I could find)