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The Difference is RESULTS

Finding Time to Live

The death of three ‘bigger than life’ celebrities this week made many of us pause and think of our own mortality. Each of us have 168 hours in a week. How well do you use yours? If we are fortunate enough to live to be 100, how much living have we actually accomplished? If we have balanced lives (most of us don’t) and we spend 8 hours a day sleeping and 8 hours a day at a job we don’t really like we have ‘lived’ only 33 years! If you subtract the time for chores we must do, mundane activities of daily living and trivial arguments along with other wasted moments, our sands of time are depleting quickly.

What can we do? I certainly don’t have your answer, but I do know we need to enjoy every moment, while striving to positively impact the lives around us. We need to find some enjoyment in everything we do, including work and exercise. We cannot save time by missing sleep and exercise and eating for convenience instead of nutrition. We will defeat our purpose by dying sooner or losing our muscles’  functional ability as we age. So, reflect on your life for just a moment then take action including devoting 5 of those 168 hours/week to exercise. Only by doing so, will you have the confidence, energy and ability to enjoy your borrowed time on this planet, whether that is 33 years or 100 years plus.

What’s Your Excuse?

Younger Every Year

He works hard at the gym. The workout is a comprehensive program that includes a treadmill warm-up followed by an intense strength training program. Just for fun when not in the gym, he likes to ride his bike in events up to 100 miles long. I’m talking the kind you have to pedal, not the bright yellow motorized version he likes to ride to the gym on nicer weather days.

Her weight training workouts are just as grueling. She lunges, pushes, pulls, and twists. For a cardio workout she likes the elliptical and Precor AMT machines. She also has a passion for riding a bike. As her warm-up she will bike to the gym and also likes to do the evening spin class.

Dr. Eugene Clark and Bettye McCraine have been two of our most diligent members over the years and an inspiration to all at PT Gym. Oh, and did I mention they both just celebrated their 80th birthday! Happy Birthday Doc and Bettye. Wishing you both many more happy, active years ahead.

Successful Losers

Does your diet take and keep weight off?

Most diets don’t work in keeping the weight off according to researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. An analysis of some of the more popular diets including Atkins and The Zone show they failed for the majority of dieters in the long run. In this blog we will lay out the principles of what has scientifically proved to work at losing weight and keeping it off.

Why do most people gain the weight back?

Simply put, people regain their original weight (and more) when they stop doing what made them successful in the first place. Research shows that people who regained more than five pounds reported exercising less, eating more fatty foods and allowing themselves to overeat more frequently. This explains why “fad” diets and programs may help lose weight quickly but eventually it is gained back. Most people are unable to maintain the drastic changes most fad diets require. Fad diets do work at losing weight, but they only work on a short term basis. Keeping the weight off requires the real challenge of making proper lifestyle and behavior changes.

Successful losers keep the weight off.

Annually, over 60 percent of Americans actively try to lose weight.  Is there any wonder we are bombarded with diet books and late night infomercial weight loss gadgets? Some “new and improved” system is readily available to take our money. Although many people do succeed at losing weight, few manage to keep the weight off for an extended time. Research studies of these “successful losers” reveal the keys to permanent weight loss.

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is the largest ongoing study on long-term weight loss. The NWCR was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss. To be included in the study, you must have lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off for at least one year. On average, the 5,000 participants have lost 66 pounds and maintained the weight loss for five and a half years. Consider the following findings from the NWCR:

  •        98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight.
  •        94% increased their physical activity.
  •        78% eat breakfast every day.
  •        75% weigh them self at least once a week.
  •        62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
  •        90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

And consider the following if you think you are an exception and are destined to be overweight. The majority have an obese parent and were obese as children. The range of weight loss is 30 to 300 pounds, so your weight loss goal is very possible.

Keys to permanent weight loss:

Most of the successful losers had low calorie/low fat balanced diets (3 or more servings vegetables, 2 or more fruit, 3 or more servings whole grains) and plenty of water as a beverage. So much for the low carb diets that make up many weight loss programs. Other research along with the findings of the NWCR identified  these behaviors of sustained weight loss.

  • Eat breakfast daily
  • Exercise approximately 60 minutes a day
  • Check weight at least once a week and log your progress
  • Measure your food and track fat and calories consumed
  • Watch less TV and cut out late night binging
  • Maintain a consistent diet on weekends and weekdays
  • Plan meals on most days of the week
  • To stay accountable find social support. Whether it’s a friend, coach, or health professional, it’s important to have someone who will listen and give feedback.

Why do these principles work and how can they work for YOU?

Weight loss can be achieved in many different ways as long as you consistently burn more calories than you consume.  The principles presented above are all ways to more easily and comfortably accomplish this. 

Checking your weight regularly helps you stay in tune with your body and allows you to adjust your intake or activity if your weight goes up. Limiting TV time will not only keep you from becoming a couch potato but will also keep you from mindlessly snacking. Planning your meals and eating consistently each day of the week, including weekends, helps prevent you from eating more than you need, which over time leads to weight gain. Finally, tracking what you eat keeps you aware of what and how much you eat. This is especially important in weight control since most of us underestimate how much we actually consume.

To achieve and sustain results, follow the examples of successful losers who selected behaviors they could maintain for life.  Keep in mind that you can start by making small changes. Exercise does not need to be painful or that intense to lose weight. Walking was the favored exercise for most. Find what works for you now and for the long term and  become a successful loser. 

Our next post will discuss one of the most important steps to success. Setting goals and being SMART about it is also the first step required for success. Stay tuned!

Progress Not Perfect

For fun I was browsing through photos, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia I have collected over 30 years.  As I was reminiscing, I came to the conclusion that the more I learn the less I know.  As a teenager and young adult I did a lot of things to get in shape that I now know were incorrect methods. Yet I was able to progress and achieve most of my personal fitness goals.

I’m always fighting the urge to be a perfectionist and I think that is where many of us fail. Fitness does not have to be that complicated. Just get moving, or as the Nike slogan goes,  just do it! There is not one perfect system so don’t get lost in the plethora of information out there and fall victim to paralysis of analysis. As you learn, definitely use scientific principles and methods of exercise that will keep you safe and produce results more efficiently. Remember, science doesn’t change. Only our knowledge of it changes. What worked 20 years ago will work 20 years later. You do need to alter your training as you learn better methods, but in the meantime just get moving and you’ll accomplish at least 80% of your potential. Strive for progress not perfection.

What I also find amusing, is trainers that have their clients doing all kinds of functional movements and the ‘latest’ exercise techniques, but will use outdated equipment or bizarre training methods like lifting boulders or doing other manual labor chores. Kind of the ‘wax on, wax off training philosophy’. At least Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid movie of 1984 was accomplishing a purpose. It is good to train for Activities of Daily Living, but ideally on state of the art equipment designed to exercise you appropriately so you will have less chance of incurring an injury when you do perform those activities. If you have no other means to exercise, then yes you should use common household items and your bodyweight resistance as exercise. If you need to condition for a specific sport or activity the law of specificity states you should indeed practice that activity but you still need proper conditioning to help prevent overuse injuries and compensate from potential muscle imbalances caused from doing any movement repetitively.

We get too many ideas from Hollywood. Sylvester Stallone in his portrayal of Rocky Balboa, felt he needed to get back to his roots and not use any sophisticated equipment and training methods. Yet in real life, he trains his body using the most sophisticated equipment and methods, including his own personal Kinesis equipment.

In the TV reality show series “Biggest Loser” we see people being whipped into shape by going from the extreme of inactivity to the extreme of  their physical limitations. Anything done in extremes will have a greater variance of success or failure in the short term. That’s why diets work great for 6 to 12 weeks but fail in the long run. Anytime you get sick exercising, you’ve done too much. Anytime you get extremely sore where it’s hard for you to function the next day, you’ve done too much. A little delayed onset muscle soreness is okay and can be expected if you’ve had a layoff or step up the intensity on your program. If we’re motivated enough, we can exercise under any condition, but if we have choices why would we want to? If you make exercise more painful than it needs to be you will find it hard to stay compliant and be more likely to fail.

In reality, the person that trains most consistently and progressively will get the best results. As much as I want to see you in our facility, as long as you’re active doing anything you will get results. A better training environment and equipment will ensure a more enjoyable and safer approach to getting those results.

If your sport happens to be like four times World Strongest Man winner Magnus ver Magnusson, then you may need to do some non traditional type training. For most of us, we can accomplish our goals in less extreme methods.

Stay tuned for our next blog post Does your diet take and keep weight off? Most diets don’t work in keeping the weight off according to researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. We’ll analyze some of the more popular diets including Atkins and The Zone and why they failed for 95%. So not to leave you in a a state of frustration, we’ll also lay out the principles of what has scientifically proved to work at losing weight and keeping it off.

Fun Random Tour of PT Gym

A little work... Lots of fun!