Wow!  Taking any amount of time off will make a person feel like they are completely out of touch with what’s going on anywhere. 

That’s exactly what I have done over the past few days.  I’ve posted but I’ve had these last couple posts in my Manage file for several weeks. 

Due to the effects of my surgery I haven’t trained in 2 weeks and I’ve lost 5 pounds as a result, which doesn’t make me happy. 

I have not had any contact with any of the people I train.  Which really seems like it puts me out of touch.  I may not be, but I feel that way. 

I haven’t read anyone else’s entries, which, now I’m behind.

 I guess the reason I am writing this is because life changes on a daily basis and unless I am up on current events in my life and others’ I can miss some very important information. 

Oh well, I hope you all are still on the correct path to your goals and didn’t allow the distraction of yet, another holiday, foil your plans.



Myth #2: Strength training will stunt the growth of children.

It still amazes me that parents won’t hesitate to get their young children (6-7 years old) involved in sports such as football, gymnastics, basketball and soccer, yet they feel that participating in a strength-training program is damaging to their children’s bone health and will stunt their growth. Nothing can be further from the truth.

The fact of the matter is that running, jumping and tackling can create loading on a child’s body which is up to ten times greater than most strength training exercises. In other words, the physical demands on a child’s body are far greater on the athletic field compared to the weightroom. Parents who don’t let their children participate in resistance training are actually increasing their children’s risk for injury on the athletic field.

There have even been position stands by such organizations as the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggesting that children can benefit from participation in a properly designed and supervised resistance training program. Position stands recommend that prepubescent children shouldn’t lift maximal weights; they should lift weights that can be lifted for at least six repetitions with proper form.

Strength training in this manner can be the most potent exercise stimulus for bone growth and development. In fact, research has shown that young weightlifters have greater bone densities than individuals who don’t lift. Thus, the positive benefits of resistance training for bone health, injury prevention and improved athletic performance are far greater than the risks.

J. Defranco           #3 of Top Ten Traininig Myths


This question is one that many people ask when trying to implement a strategic approach to their new found fitness lifestyle.  Some may not ask this question and just assume they know what to do, while others have been misinformed by a peer or a heap of misinformation in some strength and fitness magazine.  Consider this the next time you plan to put your program together. 

If your goal is bodyfat reduction, then we recommend that you do your aerobic work directly after your resistance training at less than 60% of your VO2 max. If you are doing cardiovascular work on your off days, then we recommend that you train at 75% to 85% of your VO2 max for the first 30 minutes and drop the intensity the remaining 20 to 30 minutes to less than 65% of your VO2 max.  Warming up for five minutes prior to resistance training while beneficial is not considered cardiovascular work. Warming up for five minutes is necessary because, during exercise, blood flow patterns change. Through the action of the sympathetic nervous system, blood is redirected away from areas where it is not essential to those areas that are active during exercise. Only 15 to 20% of resting cardiac output go to muscle, but during exhaustive exercise, the muscles receive 80 to 85% of the cardiac output. This shift is accomplished by reducing blood flow to the kidneys, liver, stomach and intestines. The warm-up allows for this transition to occur.

Keep in mind that the major factor that determines the role of fat as a substrate during exercise is its availability to the muscle cell. In order to be metabolized, bodyfat (triglycerides) must be degraded into three molecules of free fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol. This splitting allows the free fatty acids to be converted to acetyl-CoA and enter the Krebs cycle. Hence, if fat is not available to the muscle cell then it can not be metabolized.

Fat can only be metabolized via Krebs cycle oxidation. It is essential to recognize that a reduction in Krebs cycle intermediates: whether it is the result of (1) low carbohydrate diets, (2) no carbohydrate diets, or (3) excessive prolonged aerobic sessions, resulting in a diminished rate of ATP production from fat metabolism. When carbohydrate stores are depleted in the body, the rate at which fat is metabolized is reduced. Therefore, carbohydrates are essential in the ability to metabolize fat.  It is only the free fatty acids that are metabolized via the Krebs cycle that are used in ATP production that go toward reducing bodyfat levels.

Therefore, when designing an exercise program to reduce bodyfat stores, it is vital to consider both (1) the total rate of energy expenditure and (2) the percentage of energy that is derived from fat metabolism. You must optimize the availability of fat to the muscle cells through selection of appropriate intensity and duration of exercise sessions. Since it takes approximately 20 minutes for lipolysis (fat burning) to occur, the session should exceed 20 minutes in duration for fat to be made available to muscle cells. At approximately 70% of VO2 max the availability of fat to the muscle cells diminish due to an increase in lactate production, which inhibits fat metabolism. Although engaging in activity at 20% of VO2 max will burn 60% of calories from fat as compared to working at 50% of VO2 max which would derive 40% of energy from fat, the total rate of energy expenditure is 2.5 times greater at 50% VO2 max. The absolute amount of fat metabolized is 33% higher during exercise at 50% of VO2 max. The ideal rate of work would be at 50% of VO2 max for duration of 60 minutes. Unfortunately, this physiological actuality has led many individuals to mistakenly believe that because the body utilizes a greater percentage of fat as fuel during aerobic exercise at a relatively low level of intensity, such exercise is more effective for fat loss than high intensity exercise. These individuals ignore two very important facts. First, the absolute amount of fat calories burned during high intensity exercise tends to be equal to or greater than the number burned during low intensity exercise, even though the percentage of calories burned from fat is higher during low intensity exercise. Second, when you eat, you replenish both carbohydrates and fats. As soon as an excess of calories (from either fats or carbohydrates) exists, your body will begin to store them as fat. Once you eat after exercising (including those activities which burn more fat than carbohydrates), you will rapidly replenish any of your carbohydrate stores you may have used up. Once they are replenished, your body will begin to store the rest of your caloric intake as fat. The net result is that your body’s fat stores will be virtually unchanged—if at all. The critical point is that low-intensity aerobic exercise does not (by itself) cause you to alter your body’s overall energy balance. Keep in mind that you lose weight and body fat when you expend more calories than you consume, not because you burn fat (or anything else) when you exercise. By the same token, all other factors considered, the most positive feature of low-intensity aerobic exercise is that it is relatively well-tolerated (orthopedically) by most individuals.

Larger mitochondria in greater numbers, increased levels of aerobic enzymes, coupled with increased blood flow all boosts the fat burning capabilities of the muscle fibers. Aerobics can lead to more routes for blood to reach working muscles and more oxygen, which is needed for oxidation of nutrients within the mitochondria. The more massive a bodybuilder becomes the more routes in the form of blood vessels are needed to supply these working muscles. From fat burning to improved cardiovascular health to improved recovery abilities, aerobic work should be an integral part of all training programs.

Once you deplete glycogen in your body you will no longer maintain an adequate level needed for resistance training.  You simply do not have enough energy to tackle the intense demands of strength training.  In short, aerobic should succeed resistance training.


I genuinely enjoy posting and exposing these controversial myths.  Part of my reason for becoming a personal trainer was, I was tired of getting conflicting answers on how to train and how to diet.  In other words, I had to put down body-building magazines, stop watching workout shows on ESPN, stop listening to steroid junkies in the gym, and stop watching infomercials.  Needless to say, I have become extremely careful with what I read and who I listen to.  Anybody can argue anything and the best salesman is always going to gather the larger audience, however, beware of false “teachers”. 

Myth #3: The best indicators of a good workout are how tired you are after the workout and how sore you are the next day.

This is a myth my most dedicated athletes still have a tough time dismissing. Most hard-working individuals equate a good workout with being exhausted and sore. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had athletes say, “You didn’t even make me puke” after a workout. My response is usually, “I didn’t make you puke because I didn’t want to make you puke. Making you puke would be easy. Getting you stronger, faster and more flexible actually takes some work.”

Puking is one of the most catabolic things you can do to your body. If your goals are increased muscular strength and/or muscular hypertrophy, you should do everything possible not to puke during your training!

Fatigue is another popular indicator people use to rate the productivity of their workouts. Remember that the goal of your training session should dictate how you feel after your workout. For example, if you’re going to perform a plyometric workout with the goal of improving your vertical jump, you shouldn’t be exhausted after the workout.

Actually, a properly designed plyometric workout should stimulate your neuromuscular system and you should feel better than when you started the workout. On the other hand, it’s good to be exhausted after a tough practice that was designed to get you in “game shape” for your given sport.

Finally, I’ve never read any research that links post-exercise soreness to strength gains, hypertrophy gains or improved athletic performance. Who the hell wants to be sore anyway? Think of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) as an unfortunate side effect of training, not a goal of training.

Remember that it’s easy for a coach to make an athlete tired, but it takes a true professional to get an athlete stronger, faster, more flexible and better conditioned.

J. Defranco           #3 of Top Ten Traininig Myths


cont… The second stage of change is called conscious incompetence or waking up. This is when we suddenly realize how much more there is for us to know. This is the single most important step to change – the broadening of our awareness. Fortunately, once we get to this stage, we seldom ever go back to the first one. It can sometimes be difficult for us to admit that perhaps there is a better way to do what we think we’ve been doing well all along. “New ways” require change and change is difficult because it takes effort. That’s why we sometimes simply dismiss them without ever trying them out for ourselves first. The “new way” poses such a threat that we’ll even attack the person sharing it with us. Einstein once said, “The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.” Socrates said something similar: “The only thing I know, is that I know nothing.” And as far as discounting a “new way” simply because we heard it first from someone who is less experienced or less effective than us, we’ll do well to remember the adage: “Wise men learn more from fools than fools ever learn from wise men!”

If we don’t fall victim to simply dismissing a “new way” when we first hear about it, then we are likely to move into the third stage of change: conscious competence or choosing change. This is where we struggle to master a new skill. This is usually the most awkward of the four stages because we feel the stiffness and strangeness of trying something new or different. This is also the stage where most children excel and where most adults fail. By “adult”, I mean anyone who has a fairly well formed definition of themselves and their perceived role in life. Also, adults have an intense need to defend those definitions. In general, a child does not think that falling down or making mistakes equals failure… they just keep trying and trying and trying until they get it. But for an adult, it’s not cool to fall down. It’s too embarrassing to look foolish, it’s too painful to fail. That’s why, for us adults, change is so hard and why we resist it so much. We’ll try something new once or twice and if we don’t meet with instant success, we start making excuses such as, “Yeah, that may work for him but it doesn’t work for me” or “I have special needs that no one else has” or “I gave it a fair try but I knew it wouldn’t work” or “Well, it just wasn’t me.” Instead, we need to follow the example of children. After each fall, we need to ask ourselves what we learned, what could we do differently to get a better result, and how quickly can we get back up and try it again. Take it from someone who personally knows: if you fail enough, it stops hurting! to be continued…

Patrick Gamboa -International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)


cont…  There are four stages of learning that each of us goes through as we learn something new. The first stage is called unconscious incompetence or pre-change. That’s when we don’t know how much we don’t know! And, contrary to the popular saying, ignorance is not bliss – it’s just ignorance. This stage becomes a real stumbling block to people who consider themselves an “expert.” The problem with considering oneself an “expert” is that too many of us start to believe that we know all there is to know about a particular topic. And when we think we know it all, we tend to be less open to new ideas and to stop learning altogether. Now, you’re probably saying to yourself right now, “Well, I don’t think I know it all!”, so let me expand on what I mean here and you might find that you’re not quite as guiltless as you’d first like to believe. The “student” is passionate about learning and derives pleasure from growing and evolving; the “expert” uses the excuse that they don’t need to devote any of their “free time” to learning. The “student” is an ardent consumer of knowledge and information; the “expert” rarely reads books or other publications anymore. The “student” knows that learning events are fertile ground for inner growth; the “expert” seldom attends any seminars or workshops. The “student” knows that nothing works all the time; the “expert” constantly looks for reasons why new ideas or strategies won’t possibly work and often uses phrases like; “the right way” or “the best way ” which is generally the only way they know.  to be continued…

Patrick Gamboa -International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)


Me: Hey I’m hungry, you cooking anything?

Mom: I can make a cheeseburger for you.

Me: Okay, thanks!

Mom: You sound better, is your taste back?

Me: No, not really!

Mom: What do you want on your cheeseburger? 


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