December 14, 2002
There Really Anything New in the 21st Century?
By Phil Kaplan
Years ago I did a radio show I
Experts' Round Table and it's become a classic. I
interviewed three of the most respected bodybuilding &
nutrition specialists in the world and while we all stand
firm on the foundational stuff . . . the Synergy between Nutrition
and Exercise . . . they managed to disagree on some of the
specifics. We discussed everything from protein need to controversial
supplements, from MCT oil to steroids. I still receive orders
for the tape and it's now been almost 7 years since the show
was originally broadcast. If there was a lesson to be learned,
it was simply this:
Science is a best guess, and with
all of the misleading information put out by supplement sellers,
we're led to believe that physical improvement science is
soaring. In reality, what worked 25 years ago "works"
The experts were biochemist Anthony
Almada, Bodybuilding Guru John Parrillo, and Renowned Sports
Nutritionist, Dr. Michael Colgan. Anthony visited with me
on the show back in October at the conference I held in Manhattan
Beach, California, and that show was posted at my "Radio
Show Menu" audio page. At the beginning I referred
to the Experts Round Table and since then I've received hundreds
of requests for the old tape. I decided . . . it's been 7
years now . . . rather than continuing to sell it, let me
make it available in Real Player format over the internet
. . . and that's precisely what I've done. After reading this
month's Update, go to the Radio
Show Menu audio page and listen in on "The
Experts Round Table." You'll find that it holds up
today and the same questions that were apparently being considered
by scientists in 1996 remain prevalent today. So, the question
again comes up . . . Is Anything Really New?
you read the ads or listen to the commercials, you'd believe
something "new" is released every week. From cellulite
busters to miracle skin tighteners, from penis enlarging pills
to breast enhancing formulas. In most cases, the only thing
that you can expect to stretch are the boundaries of morality
with even more misleading ads and fraudulent claims, and the
only thing that you can expect to shrink is your bank balance.
Still, the ads just keep
So what is in fact new? Is there
anything that's been released after 1980 that really does
have value? I'd have to say . . . yes! It's just that the
legitimate products are usually expensive to manufacturer
and difficult to promote. After all, how can the ad campaign
that says "you have to work at this" compete with
the boundless "works like magic."
I'd like to share what I believe
some of the new innovations to be and what are yet the latest
and greatest marketing ploys selling products at your expense.
Let's start with something I mentioned already . . . the Breast
Enlarging pills as I now receive hundreds of e-mails each
week asking if these work.
Big Breasts Naturally??!?!
you seen the ads? "Forget surgery, grow your breasts
naturally!" The ads include soap opera stars and beautiful
well shaped women making the promise that taking this product
will just go right to your breasts and make them grow.
Some of the primary ingredients
in these "herbal formulas," include Saw Palmetto, Fennel Seed,
Don Quai, Black Cohosh. These are herbs. Herbs are substances
from which we can extract alkaloids of drugs . . . thus, "herbal"
doesn't necessarily translate to "safe." Some of these ingredients,
i.e. Saw Palmetto and Black Cohosh, do have a propensity to
interfere with estrogen and progesterone levels. These compounds
bind to either androgen receptors or estrogen receptors. That
means if you use these compounds with any regularity, you
are increasing your risk of estrogen related issues. Increases
in estrogen can lead to further accumulation of fat, primarily
below the waist. Some of the other herbal ingredients, i.e.
fennel seed, contain phytoestrogens, which can also interrupt
regular endocrine function making the risks even more apparent.
Increasing fat storage due to hormonal manipulation may increase
breast size, but will not likely have a gratifying effect
on your figure.
It's also important to note that
until a product achieves widespread use . . . the FDA has
little control as they haven't any budget for monitoring products
. . . at least until there are enough injuries or deaths to
warrant further investigation. There's a law firm in Tampa
bringing forth a class action suit against the manufacturers
and marketers of some of these breast enhancing products.
There are far too many reports of a correlation between the
use of the product and fibrocycstic tumors. A research study
showed a further correlation between the herb black cohosh
and liver disease.
now. Next they'll be promising a pill you turn you into Fabio
while you sleep! Again, product marketers have tapped into
an emotional desire and capitalized with bogus product claims.
I don't have to answer whether or not Penis Enlarging Pills
work. The Arizona Attorney General's office took care of that
already. They shut down CP Direct, a company that sold massive
numbers of these pills. How massive was the windfall? The
state of Arizona seized $80,000 in cash, more than $30 million
in luxury real estate and a fleet of high end cars, Mercedes,
Roll Royces, and a Lambourghini.
So What Does Have
Remember what I said earlier. The
legitimate products, due to high production expenses, quality
control costs, and the limitations of ethical marketing overshadowed
by those willing to stretch the truth, rarely receive anywhere
near as much publicity as the low-cost bogus products. There
have been some definite innovations.
- This isn't exactly a "new" product, as it's been
in existence since 1989 when the first one was purchased by
the Miami Dolphins Training Camp. It has found its way into
physical therapy facilities, but is not yet found in health
clubs, personal training studios, or people's homes. The Orbiter
is marketed as a "treadmoline," a combination of
a treadmill and a trampoline. There isn't any deck to cause
impact strain when pounded by treadmill walkers. You walk
on a very pliant Kevlar belt and while your heart and lungs
are stimulated to improve, your hips, knees and ankles are
well preserved. No, this is not going to be the same price
as the treadmill you find in the Sears catalog, but a product
purchase, especially a piece of electronic exercise equipment,
shouldn't be judged by price as much as the quality and value.
If you buy a $1200 treadmill, expect the belt to wear quickly,
the bed to become worn, the impact force to be significant,
and in some cases those inexpensive treadmills have risk hazards
not usually seen by the fitness wanting consumer. Orbiter
runs at the high end of the commercial treadmill pricing,
but think about it, if you spend $8,000 on an Orbiter treadmoline
and use it four times a week for the next 20 years, you're
looking at roughly 2 cents per exercise session. Use a $1200
treadmill four times then use it to store clothing and you've
bought yourself a $300 per use clothing rack! If you decide
you'd like to contact the company, tell 'em Phil Kaplan sent
ya. Those magic words may result in a welcomed price break.
You can find info on the Treadmoline at the company's site
. . . www.orbitertreadmill.com
- Remember the situps you had to do in gym class?
Those are a thing of the past. Exercise physiologists have
been testing specific muscle stimulation in the abdominal
region in an attempt to sort through the various training
methodologies and identify the best options. For years people
have been fixated on "crunching" while lying prone
on a bench or on the floor. David Sloniegura has taken the
latest research and turned it into a very effective ab workout,
focusing not only on the rectus abdominus, but on the core
muscles as well, and if you've been listening to me for any
length of time, you know the value I place on "core"
or "functional" training. Get a glimpse at Abnatomy
- For those of you who have been to my office, you saw the
future of Personal Training studios! If you are a personal
trainer, you should know that Joe and Bob Piane of Vortex
have developed a truly innovative piece of resistance exercise
equipment ideally suited for the space efficient personal
training studio. Where normally an entire circuit of machines
can run upwards of $35,000, and the entire circuit is necessary
to adequately work every muscle group, Vortex does all the
work of an entire circuit for 1/3 the price . . . and it only
takes up a corner of your studio leaving plenty of room for
functional training equipment and aerobic pieces. It also
allows for limitless variations of exercise movements incorporating
core training principles. It's far more versatile than the
big name equipment company's knock offs, and has some really
unique advantages. The ingenious cable and pulley system allows
the trainer to perform "forced reps" without touching
the client. It's also wheelchair accessible which may open
up a whole new market for you. I've been using the Vortex
unit with my clients and it has proven to be a very worthwhile
investment. Find more info on Vortex at http://www.vortexfitness.com/
Blocks - for home, office, or in any small quarters
where exercise equipment might be limited, the Power Blocks
put the equivalent of an entire rack of dumbbells in a space
about the size of a standard dishwasher. Back in 1998 I moved
from my Sunrise office to new digs in Miramar, Florida. In
Sunrise I had a studio with about 1,000 pounds of Olympic
free weights, squat racks, benches, and a rack of dumbbells
with weights from 2 lbs. to 95 lbs. Today my studio is far
more versatile, far more efficient, and I don't have any conventional
weights at all! For the "machine" exercises I use
Vortex and for free weight movements . . . the Power Blocks!
While Vortex is more for studio owners than consumers, Power
Blocks are for anyone. I've recommended them to college students
with limited dorm space, to the U.S. Navy to put in tight
quarters, and to hundreds of people who trained with them
at my facility. Find info under Exercise Accessories at the
I'd have to also include Bowflex
and Total Gym as innovations in home exercise equipment. While
I still feel their ads are a little over the top, you can
definitely use these "machines" to safely and effectively
to the Realm of Supplements
While I began by talking about
the new supplements that fall short on their promises, there
are a few tried and tested compounds that have proven efficacy.
L-Glutamine and Creatine supplement
formulas, especially those with complete proteins and
a host of vitamins, and minerals, have stood the test of time
and indisputably have their place in a fitness or bodybuilding
lifestyle. L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in
muscle tissue. It's also heavily involved in digestive function
and immune function. If muscle preservation is a goal, you
don't want the other systems of your body competing for glutamine
supply with muscle. Supplemental L-Glutamine does appear to
have muscle preserving properties. I was so impressed by the
research, I added additional L-Glutamine to my EAT!
formula . . . and my GROW!
formula has both, L-Glutamine and Creatine. Creatine monohydrate
has been clearly demonstrated to increase storage of Phosphocreatine
(PC) in muscle tissue. PC is sort of a back up energy source
for muscle contraction, thus, increasing PC supply leads to
better muscle performance. In addition, creatine appears to
attract more water into every muscle cell. Since muscle tissue
is predominantly water, the end result is larger muscles!
There are many "new" formulas promising "enhanced
creatine delivery," or "innovative creatine uptake
systems," but in reality, if you have some protein, complex
carbs, essential fats, and some plan old L-Glutamine and Creatine,
you should see a positive result. Many of the "special
formulas" are actually charging a small fortune . . .
The final supplements I'll mention
as recently proven to be valuable are Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
While they were initially met with skepticism from the medical
community, these compounds have proven to alleviate joint
pain and perhaps aid connective tissue healing, at least as
effectively as the long prescribed NSAIDs (non steroidal anti
inflammatory drugs). They appear to work for arthritis as
well as for athletes who may have some wear and tear on the
shoulders, knees, and elbows. There are many good formulas
on the market and you don't have to spend a fortune. They're
available in every health food store! The only catch is .
. . it takes time to notice a result. It isn't actually like
an aspiring promising instant pain relief . . . but it's an
aid in healing. You have to allow some time for connective
tissue repair. For those of you who want to explore the research,
you can start by accessing these four studies:
Reginster JY, Gillot V, Bruyere
O, Henrotin Y. Evidence of nutriceutical effectiveness in
the treatment of osteoarthritis. Curr Rheumatol Rep 2000;
Constantz RB. Hyaluronan, glucosamine
and chondroitin sulfate: roles for therapy in arthritis? In:
Kelley WN, Harris ED, Ruddy S, Sledge CB, eds. Textbook
of rheumatology. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1998.
Deal CL, Moskowitz RW. Nutraceuticals
as therapeutic agents in osteoarthritis: the role of glucosamine,
chondroitin sulfate, and collagen hydrolysate. Rheum Dis Clin
North Am 1999; 25: 379-95.
McAlindon TE, LaValley MP, Gulin
JP, Felson DT. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treatment of
osteoarthritis: a systematic quality assessment and meta-analysis.
JAMA 2000; 283: 1469-75.
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If you want to consider the 17-week
program that helped me empower of 35,000 people to change
their bodies and lives . . . look into my TRANSFORM!
program. If you're a bit apprehensive, you can start with
ANSWER program. Whatever program you choose, I can
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Also be sure to check out the classic
Experts Round Table."
8/27/02 - The Promise and the Real Story Behind the
8/01/02 - Clearing up
Four Prevalent Myths
6/20/02 - Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Update 5/11/02 - Miracle
GH, What "Works"
Update 3/25/02 - Women on
Steroids and More on Core Training
2/15/02 - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Fitness
1/14/02 - Counting Calories
12/28 - 'Twas the Night Before New Years
12/8 - The New Electronic Ab Offerings
12/12 - The "Magic" is Within You
Update 11/20 - Holiday
11/3 - Weight Loss Bread and other Nonsense!
Update 10/29 - Supplement
10/3 - Getting Back to Doing What We Do
Update 9/19 - Tragedy and
Love, RE: Sept 11
Update 8/15 - Myths, Fallacies,
Update 8/1 - The Internet,
Leptin, Steroids, and more
7/9 - The New Supplements
Update 6/14 - Seminar
offerings and clarity on "Brownies"
Update 5/29 - Lose
Weight, Eat Brownies?!?!?
Update 5/1/01 - Pizza, Beer, and Fitness
Update 4/7/01 - "Phil-osophies"
and Rip-Off Realities!
Update 4/1/01 - Gourmet Recipes!
Update 3/15/01 - Research Has
Update 3/1/01 - Preparing for
The New Infomercial
Update 2/1/01 - Time, Space,
Matter, and Energy
Update 1/15/01 - Atkins hits
Update 10/7/00 - Supplements,
Update 7/27/00 - The Experts
Round Table, Almada, Colgan, Parillo
Update 7/3/00 - Core Training
& Metabolism Boosters
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