April 2007


It seems like my goals change on a monthly basis.  I’m sitting here early this morning wondering how I will manage to consume 4200 calories every day until I reach my goal.  If my math is correct that’s six meals per day at 700 calories per meal.  Consuming these many calories for any length of time, seems totally impossible.  I do realize that eating this many calories is a gradual process, however, I cannot think of a healthy way to consume them.  How much oatmeal or salad can a person eat in a day?  What about egg whites or plain chicken breasts?  I could do it the lazy way by ordering out and eating a ton of empty, unhealthy calories then pay for it in the gym.  I could also eat high fat chemically laced fast food, but I know that’s counterproductive.  The crux I’m at right now is a classic example of not having a clear cut goal.  Do I really want to build this size?  I’m 204 right now and at 6’2 I look skinny in comparison to others.  (What has motivated this entire thought process is a bodybuilding show coming up).  So, once again I ask myself, “do I really want to get up to 220″  Regardless of what I want, I realize that I have to make a commitment that requires courage, self-discipline, motivation, and complete mental toughness.  

Since I’ve had all day to ponder these thoughts I realized that it is no different when it comes to losing weight for some people, especially when a person doesn’t know if they want to put forth the effort and commitment that losing weight requires.  I also realize that once I gain this size and muscle I will have to lean back down by eating less and participating in some type of aerobic exercise.  Right their is the problem, I literally hate doing any type of aerobic activity for an extended period of time.  For myself, twenty minutes on a treadmill is too long.  I do it now, however, I need to do 40 minutes or more to burn a significant amount of fat.  I guess I’m afraid that if I do gain that much weight (15lbs.) I will not have the motivation to lean back down.  In other words, will I stick to the program. 

It really does take a conscious effort and commitment for people to accomplish their goals.  The easier softer way is my natural response to anything that requires hard work.  Some people may be reading this saying, ” I wish I had the problem of having a hard time consuming 4200 calories”.  I’m not writing this to say “look at me” I am writing this to say “wow, what a commitment and a self-discipline it requires to realize your goals”.  I give credit where credit is due and I honestly don’t know if I had to lose a mere 15 lbs, I could do it.  I know how to do it, however, everything that gaining/losing weight entails, is quite difficult.  I guess what it boils down to is commitment, courage, motivation, self discipline, and mental toughness. 

Champions aren’t made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.- 

                                                                                                                                  Muhammad Ali 

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining

images4.jpgAs my comment awaits moderation I figure I better post it here in case I forget.  How about this one?  Okay, I don’t claim to know it all, but the minute I saw mice as the subjects, I immediately had to say something.  

Here’s an excerpt from the article:   

“Even when the mice are not active, turning on the chemical switch activates the same fat-burning process that occurs during exercise. The resulting shift in energy balance (calories in, calories burned) makes the mice resistant to weight gain on a high fat diet”.

The only problem with this exercise pill is mice have brown adipose (fat) tissue. Humans have a white or yellowish which stores reserve energy.

Everyone is familiar with white adipose or fat tissue, which provides insulation and, by storing triglyceride, serves as an energy depot. Many mammals also have brown adipose tissue, which also stores triglyceride, but has the unique ability to generate heat.

Brown adipose tissue is sometimes mistaken for a type of gland, which it resembles more than white adipose tissue. It varies in color from dark red to tan, reflecting lipid content. Its lipid reserves are depleted when the animal is exposed to a cold environment, and the color darkens. In contrast to white fat, brown fat is richly vascularized and has numerous unmyelinated nerves which provide sympathetic stimulation to the adipocytes.

Brown fat is most prominent in newborn animals. In human infants it comprises up to 5% of body weight, then diminishes with age to virtually disappear by adulthood.

A good place to observe brown fat is in mice, where it persists into adulthood. Dissection of a mouse will reveal two large, lobulated masses of brown fat on the dorsal aspect of the thorax, between the scapulae. Masses of brown fat are also to be found around the aorta and in the hilus of the kidney.

Examination of sections of white and brown fat at low magnification reveal dramatic differences in structure, as seen below in images of mouse tissues.

White adipocytes (right panel) have a scant ring of cytoplasm surrounding a single large lipid droplet. Their nuclei are flattened and eccentric within the cell.
Brown adipocytes (left panel) are polygonal in shape, have a considerable volume of cytoplasm and contain multiple lipid droplets of varying size. Their nuclei are round and almost centrally located.
Brown fat is of particular importance in neonates, small mammals in cold environments, and animals that hibernate, because it has the ability to dissipate stored energy as heat. 

Fat is an energy source for humans.  We burn energy, not heat(brown adipose). 

Classic example of the media selling stories. 99.9% of people reading this have no clue that human fat cells and mice fat cells have a DISTINCT difference.

NEXT!

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining          

Marathon runners are definitely a different breed.  The amount of mental and physical preparation is unparalleled.  How does anyone run that far for that long, and never seem to show any signs of pain or weakness.  Maybe runners experiece these symptoms but they have no idea how to physically express them.  I guess it’s like that for all elite athletes, however, running seems especially ” freakish” to me because I hate it so much.  LOL! 

I’ll be honest, I know how to get a football player bigger, stronger, and faster.  I can also improve an athletes explosiveness and vertical jump that’s required on the basketball court.  I definitely know how to strength-train, and I can also help an everyday person lose-weight and shed body fat.  Alternatively, do I really know how to train a marathon runner?

To my knowledge the first session of training “my” marathon runner went well.  I know he experienced some minor soreness, but that’s easy, I can make anyone sore.  The true goal here is to make him better by increasing his times.  Soreness does not equate to making a person better or developing true overall strength.  He went through the movements, sets, and reps with no problem, and I know he was pleased with what I have him doing, however, I am not 100% sure that I can improve his running.  On the other hand, I guess it’s not my job to improve his running, my goal is to decrease his LBM, practice sound nutritional advice, and develop overall body strength.  With that in mind I am postive that his running will improve.  I’ll keep you all posted.   

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining

About 60% of the total free amino acid content of the body is glutamine. During stress, major changes occur in glutamine levels. The muscle concentration decreases sharply, whereas the immune and gut cells show an increase in demand. The plasma glutamine level may drop below the physiological level, resulting in a situation of imbalance and increased vulnerability to infections. In this condition, the body needs an extra supply of glutamine from the diet. Dr. Eric Newsholme and his associates at Oxford University in the United Kingdom were among the first to hypothesize that an amino acid imbalance may result from strenuous exercise and, as a consequence, induce a number of phenomena that are collectively referred to as the “overtraining syndrome.” Decreased performance, depressed mood and increased incidence of infections are among the many symptoms that are related to the syndrome, which has been experienced by runners, cyclists, swimmers, skiers, ballet dancers, rowers and even race horses.  Dietary glutamine plays a role in counteracting these phenomena because, as has been shown repeatedly, endurance exercise decreases the plasma glutamine level, suggesting that the muscles cannot provide enough of the nutrient.Inadequate amounts of circulating glutamine may lead to impaired immune function and increased susceptibility to infection among athletes suffering from overtraining syndrome. In addition, glutamine consumption by the small intestine has been found to occur at a very high rate. Observations of gastrointestinal disorders, particularly of diarrhea and food allergies, may be due, at least in part, to low concentrations of circulating glutamine. Recently, it was also shown that glycogen storage in the muscles occurred significantly faster when study subjects consumed protein together with carbohydrates as compared to carbohydrates alone. One of the responsible dietary factors for this faster glycogen recovery is thought to be glutamine.  International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) 8th Edition Text

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

gilmore_new_150.jpgFor me, training a marathon runner will be an adventure, however, I am 100% confident that I will make an already good athlete a better athlete. 

A marathon running friend of mine has accepted me as his personal trainer.  If you’ve read my MAKIN GAINZ post you will see why this is such a historical event.  It’s historical because honestly I don’t like runners, or let’s say, I don’t like when people believe that running is the only approach to physical conditioning.  Runners and people who strength-train have opposite ideals regarding conditioning and rarely, if ever, meet in the middle.   I do appreciate the fact that it gives me the opportunity to bring the two concepts together.  I am totally pumped!  What’s great is he is already a good runner, and he could repeat his efforts from last year (his best marathon time is 3:01) but, he has chosen to get better by opening his mind to the ideals of strength-training.  Last year he ran this time when he didn’t eat right, he didn’t strength-train, and he did not take advantage of any supplements or vitamins to keep up with his rigorous training schedule.  At 36 years old, he still wants to get better.  I love it!  He wants to strength train because he believes in my philosophies (by the way they are not original) so that he can set a PR or even win this thing. 

Today is the beginning of our journey.  (Yes, it’s Friday.  Years ago I remember hearing that the best day to start training is on Monday.  You think the body knows what day of the week it is?)  This is a challenge for me because first off, I despise running, I strength train, I help people lose-weight, I primarily help athletes get bigger, stronger, and faster.  I don’t work with runners, I am capable of improving his times, however, runners have a hard time accepting the principles of strength training and how it will improve their running. 

My belief is a person does not get faster by running, they get faster by doing something different than running.  A person does not get stronger by training muscles, they get stronger and more explosive by training movements.  And, a person does not lose weight by not eating, a person loses weight by eating, strength training, and not eating a surplus of calories. 

He is 5’10 155 pounds, 15% bodyfat and ran a 3:01 in last years race.  My goal is to keep him at 155, get his bodyfat down to 10%, help him set a PR or possibly win this thing, and to show how strength training is important in everything we do. 

 LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

I often hear how losing the last ten or fifteen pounds of any exercise or diet program are always the most challenging.  I do not have any personal experience when it comes to losing 50-60 or even 100+ pounds.  However, I have trained people, and I know people that have complained of this common problem.  How frustrating is it when you have worked so hard and so long only to find it extremely difficult to reach your final goal. 

There are several reasons why these elusive pounds are difficult to attain.  One of the main reasons is most people feel as if they are “ending” something that has required a lot of time, frustration, tremendous effort, and self-control.  It amazes me that people work so hard at losing this weight only to throw it away at the “end”.  People, there is no such thing as an “end”.  You have already adopted the nutrition and fitness lifestyle, so why would there be an end.  Think about some of these professional athletes, you can always tell which players will have mediocre careers.  They don’t work hard with there strength coaches, they don’t improve their game, and they begin a lifestyle that they are unaccustomed to living.  Once they become comfortable, all the hard-work they put in, becomes null and void.  Soon thereafter, they are out of the league and as a result, they forfeit millions of dollars in future earnings.  They rest on their laurels.   

The second reason is losing weight from this point is somewhat difficult so you struggle to continue to produce results.  You don’t know how to lose those last few pounds.  If you have already adopted excellent eating, exercise, and lifestyle habits, why are the last ten pounds so difficult?  Simply put, you have hit a wall, your same training routines and eating habits are no longer effective.  You do not continue to see or feel any sort of improvement, so you become discouraged and revert to old habits.  Why do you think actors and professional athletes pay $200 or more per session for help from a personal trainer?  It is not because they don’t know how to train.  It’s because they simply do not know how to get to the next-level, therefore, they remain confused at their lack of continued progress.  

My point:  It is never a good idea to try to be the exception to the rule.  Instead, continue to follow accepted methods of nutrition and strength training by working on many different aspects.  Your diet and training habits cannot be the same when you become 50-110 pounds lighter than when you started. 

“Permanent weight-loss is elusive for most fat people”. 

I read this somewhere on the internet and immediately closed my mind.  Are you kidding me?  Is that what the diet industry wants people to believe?  Is that why there is so much misinformation out there and why headlines lead people to believe that they are hopeless without some “magical” weight-loss formula?  Listen, most overweight people are overweight because they may actually believe this BS.  I cannot remember a time where someone mentioned that they received great results from a weight-loss pill or fad diet.  (By the way I thought testimonials were illegal).  The media said it so it has to be true, therefore, immediately after they influence us with this propaganda, they go directly into a Pizza Hut, McDonalds, or Dorito commercial. 

I got one for you, it’s called Lap-Band.  I just saw this advertisement last night and I was utterly digusted.  Everyone keep your eyes open for this commercial, but make sure to pay close attention to the side effects, that is, if you can listen fast enough.  This is why I need TIVO! 

Kudos go out to everyone that is not looking for an easier softer way towards permanent weight-loss. 

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

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