February 15, 2002
The Good, the
Bad, and the Ugly
I enjoyed meeting many of you at
last week's seminar, and as always, the questions arose as
to whether specific products are "good or bad."
I wish it were that simple. I really wish I could come up
with a list of Good Products, Bad Products,
and "Somewhere In-Between" Products. It's
just that things aren't that black and white when it comes
to fitness, nutrition, and fat reduction.
I were to ask if pizza is good or bad . . . while it isn't
the optimal food for leanness, it certainly has its fair share
of vital nutrients, and if you love the taste, a good pizza
can be reeeeaaaallllly good! Get a pizza made with whole wheat
flour and fiber content is significantly increased. Trade
standard pizza meats for sliced chicken breast and fat content
is significantly decreased. If, however, someone seeking to
lose 40 or 50 pounds develops an intimate relationship with
the Domino's delivery person, daily pizza binges will deter
that person from achieving the desired goal. I guess that
makes it bad.
good or bad? Atkins says bad. Mainstream nutritionists say
good. I say . . . it's an impossible question to answer. Whole
grain bread is extremely nutritious, provides carbohydrates
that can be used as energy, and can be used to turn sliced
turkey breast into a mobile meal. So it's good. The carbohydrates
in bread, however, do go through some processing, thus, they
are pretty readily converted into triglycerides and stored
as fat. Hmmm. So I guess bread's bad.
If I'm confusing you, I'll stop.
Here's the reality. If you eat frequently, sugar-free low-fat
balanced meals containing an adequate mix of proteins and
complex carbs from natural food sources, you're going to do
OK in the nutrition department. With time and study you can
pick up some nutritional strategies that further allow you
to zero in on specific results. That doesn't mean you have
to give up your favorite foods.
glass of wine has its place, as do chocolate kisses and Fruit
Loops. No, you don't want to go on the wine, kisses, and Fruit
Loops Diet if your personal mission includes optimal health
and a body representative of physical excellence, but if you
love those foods, to eliminate them from your life would be
a crime. If you exercise with resistance and aerobically,
your body learns to utilize more of the nutrients in the foods
you eat, fats and carbohydrates can be dissipated as heat
(energy), and proteins can be used to build new healthy cells.
As metabolism speeds up, your body becomes even more efficient
at burning through the less supportive foods.
that said, there are a few things that can be sorted into
categories titled Good, Bad, and Ugly.
(I must admit, I've always been
a Clint Eastwood fan, so my categorizing might have a familiar
ring to it).
I'll provide a few examples . .
big balls . . . stability balls. They're good. Really good.
They aren't magic, and they really don't "do" anything,
but they are such a valuable tool for exercise directed at
improving real world performance and function. The stability
balls allow you to recruit balance muscles and stabilizer
muscles just as you do throughout the course of a day. While
health club machines have their place, they do ask you to
perform unnatural movements in order to isolate muscles.
bringing some of the standard exercises, such as the abdominal
crunch, the dumbbell chest press, or the side lateral raise,
to a stability ball, while the target muscles are being stimulated,
they are acting in conjunction with the body as a whole. My
new book, the Best You've Ever Been, incorporates stability
ball movements into the Intermediate and Advanced programs.
It's almost comical to see 100 people walk out of a seminar
of mine carrying oversized beach balls, but for many, that
simple tool has made the difference between struggling through
ineffective workouts and actually beginning to improve form
and function. If you think
the big balls are only for beginners, give me 10 minutes to
prove you wrong.
potentially bad things hide in packages attempting to make
them look good. If you've already read my article on ephedrine,
you're aware of the risks (if not . . . click
here for some quick enlightenment). What you might not
be aware of is that even if you scan the labels of the hottest
new fat burners for ephedrine, you might miss it. With all
of the bad press ephedrine products are getting, and with
all the money the ephedrine sellers are making, some people
in charge of product distribution had to share a brainstorm
that went something like this . . .
"If we include ephedrine,
people will lose weight, and if we include ephedrine people
will feel all zippy and cranked up, if we include ephedrine
people will develop an addicition so they'll buy the product
again, and if people never know it's in there but we work
within the loose supplement label laws, we'll make a fortune!"
Ephedrine shows up under many different
names, some rarely recognized by even educated label perusers.
Here are just a few:
Ma Huang, Heartwood, Cal Ma Huang,
Ephedra, Desert Tea, Brigham Tea, Mexican Tea, Epitonin, Herba
Ephedrae, Mahuuanggen , and Sea Grape. So now with this revised
list can you become an ephedrine detective. Nope. The enitre
list is far longer. One in four drugs in the U.S. is derived
from an herb. Ephedrine is one such drug, and there are an
endless list of herbs that contain ephedrine alkaloids, not
to mention that each herb might be referred to by five or
six different names depending on the language of the region
it's grown. While savvy sports nutrition and diet buffs have
learned that Ma Huang or Ephedra are ingredients that indicate
ephedrine being present, many of the supplement manufacturers
have now moved to include another herbal source of ephedrine,
Sida Cordifolia, an herb used in India less readily recognized
as a source of ephedrine alkaloids.
Staying with my original theory,
things rarely fall cleanly into a category. There are medicinal
uses for ephedrine and for someone who suffers with asthma,
ephedrine can be a life saver. So why am I including it in
a "bad" category? I'm really not. I want you to
understand my point. While the compound may have some value
to people, the part of the equation that is clearly and indisputably
bad is the fact that supplement manufacturers using label
deceit and trickery to deliver a product to consumers, some
of whom might be at risk. Some of those people died. Now that's
just plan BAD!
used randomly and for non-medicinal purposes can be ugly.
I've seen the "benefits" of Anabolic Steroid use
among competitive athletes who were honest enough to share
their stories with me. I've also, unfortunately seen the downside
ranging from potentially lethal staff infections to serious
conditions of hypertension. As time moves forward, the drug
use in sports gets uglier and uglier. I remember watching
a bodybuilder inject ecycline into his calf. Ecycline is a
drug that causes an immediate and intense muscle contraction.
He was in such severe agony he literally couldn't walk. That
was the most bizarre pursuit of athletic excellence I'd ever
seen . . . but that was a decade ago. Today I meet bodybuilders
who are injecting prostaglandins between steroid cycles .
. . to the tune of 16 injections . . . a day! I've seen bodybuilders
inject Synthol into their biceps. It's sort of like injecting
silly putty so the muscle appears larger . . . and freakier,
and in some cases, unwise use of synthol can lead to disfigurement.
I've met former bodybuilders psychologically addicted to testosterone
and chemically addicted to prescription pain killers.
The Path to Betterment
If you're looking for shortcuts,
there aren't any. Is that bad? No, that's good! If you remember
that you'll save a lot of money by remaining protected from
sellers of "bad" and "ugly" offerings.
There's even more good news. If you're willing to combine
the right nutrition with moderate aerobic exercise and a concern
for muscle, there are very few limits to the physical improvement
you can achieve.
The feedback I've received on my
new book, the Best You've Ever Been, is the greatest reward
I could ask for. People are "getting it." The book
is empowering them to understand the realities behind physique
improvement. It clears up all of the confusion, making the
path to betterment crystal clear. If you don't yet have a
copy, you can order it through the Online
Superstore or by calling Holly in my office at 1 800 552-1998.
And if You Live
in South Florida . . .
There's only one more! One more
seminar in South Florida this year! You don't want to miss
As always, I promise this one will
be my best to date! The "Best" Seminar, entitled
"Breakthroughs" is taking place May 16, 2002 at
the 17th Street Marina Marriott in Fort Lauderdale. If you
want to make sure you're on a path toward being
the Best You've Ever Been, commit
to being there! I'll cover not only the truth behind food
labeling, and the real story behind supplements, but the inside
secrets to making health and fitness simple and long lasting.
This one's open to 1,000 people, but it will sell out. I'll
be talking it up on my radio show, on ZETA, and during all
of my appearances between now and then, so our posting of
the words "Sold Out" is only a matter of time. Don't
miss out. Register
Of Interest to Fitness Professionals:
long awaited re-release of the Health & Wealth Newsletter
receives rave reviews!
PEAK Weekend is now an international full blown conference
event! It's gonna kick ass! I mean it! 500 trainers from
around the world will learn how to power up their businesses
and profits . . . but they'll learn to do so by actually
doing some good for people! I'll share, not only the ins
and outs of profitably operating a Personal Training business,
but also the fine details that make the difference between
clients getting "some" result, and clients being
amazed by the progress they make! Call Holly for details,
1 800 552-1998 or sign
up on line!
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