Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Garlic And Your Heart

A study released in the Oct. 16th , 2007 issue of the prestigious medical journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that garlic causes red blood cells to release hydrogen sulfide in the body thereby causing blood vessels to relax.

When blood vessels relax, they become larger and are able to carry more blood and more oxygen to the brain and other important parts of the body. Blood pressure also comes down when blood vessels relax. It is well known that high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, so this newly discovered health benefit of garlic, once again, is an example of modern day researchers confirming the wisdom of the ancients. Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes throughout all of recorded history.

The lead researcher is Biology professor David Kraus from the University of Alabama. He said that there is also another study in progress that shows "sulfide can protect from cardiovascular damage during a heart attack, it can alleviate various sorts of inflammation, and it can reduce platelet aggregation that would cause a blood clot to form".

When you eat garlic, your body metabolizes garlic's active ingredient, allicin, and produces hydrogen sulphide. The hydrogen sulphide then signals your blood vessels to relax, increasing blood flow, reducing blood pressure and supporting heart health.

Have you had a serving of garlic today?

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, February 22, 2010

Revolt, Resolve, and Evolve

First revolution
Then, resolution
Finally, evolution

What I mean to communicate is that to grow each of us must first revolt against expectation, against limitation, and against habit or routine. Then we must find somewhere within ourselves - because it cannot come from outside - the resolve and the commitment to create new habits, to enforce the behavior that will produce the result we imagined and expressed in the hope and violence of that first shot.

And somewhere, sometime, perhaps after having walked a circuitous path, the result of our resolve and persistence, or our consistent behavior will be evolution into the mindful, capable individual we imagined we might become if we shucked the chains and the weight - the burden. But by then, we will have seen another man or woman ahead of us, the new person we might become if only ... if we have the courage to start yet another revolution.

Because the thinking individual does not arrive. Life's 'answers' constantly evolve. And if we don't evolve, we die. Or we live lives that don't look much different than death.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Active Lifestyles and Slow Aging

Health researchers from King’s College in London have just concluded a study that suggests people who are physically active in their free time may be biologically younger than their less active peers. The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, January 28 th, 2008.

The researchers looked at the physical activity levels, smoking habits and socioeconomic status of 2,401 study participants. The researchers also collected DNA samples from participants and examined certain DNA characteristics that change as part of the aging process and therefore may serve as a marker of a person's biological age. Overall, the study participants had changes to the DNA characteristics that come with aging, but those who were more active in their leisure time showed less of a change.

"A sedentary lifestyle increases the propensity to aging-related diseases and premature death. Inactivity may diminish life expectancy not only by predisposing to aging-related diseases, but also because it may influence the aging process itself," study author Lynn F. Cherkas, of King's College London, said in a prepared statement.

"The U.S. guidelines recommend that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week can have significant health benefits," the researchers wrote. "Our results underscore the vital importance of these guidelines. They show that adults who partake in regular physical activity are biologically younger than sedentary individuals. This conclusion provides a powerful message that could be used by clinicians to promote the potential anti-aging effect of regular exercise."

Walking for 30 minutes a day is the easiest way to add more physical activity to your life. If you’ve been inactive lately, start off slowly with 5 minutes a day, and then gradually build up to 10 minutes, 15 minutes and on to 30 minutes. You’ll have more energy, you’ll feel better, you’ll sleep better and you’ll live longer. Add 5 servings of fruits and vegetables to your new active lifestyle and you’ll feel better than you have in years.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Finding Qaulified help.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I like analogies.
One area that continues to frustrate me is talking to trainers
about programming.

Often the conversation goes something like this:
“I use a little of your stuff, a little of Mark Verstegen’s stuff
and mix in a little of …”.

In trying to describe how this works or potentially
doesn’t work I’ve decided that a food analogy may
be the best route. Some people can really cook, others
need cookbooks and recipes. Some people write cookbooks,
others read cookbooks. Even in the restaurant world, there are
cooks and there are chefs. Cooks follow the recipes, chefs
create the recipes.

Those who know anything about cooking understand that
every ingredient in a recipe has a purpose. You wouldn’t
bake and simply leave out flour would you? The key is to
figure out if at this stage of your career are you are a cook
or a chef. Here are some basic guidelines.

If you are writing your first program, you are probably a
cook. You should find a recipe and follow it exactly.
Think about it this way. If you were making something for
the first time would you take two recipes from two different
cookbooks and combine them? Would you add ingredients
from one of the recipes while subtracting ingredients from
the other? If you did this, would you expect the end product
to taste good?

What if you took two pancake recipes and both called for
pancake mix and eggs but, you decided to double up on
the pancake mix and simply omit the eggs. The end result
would probably be pretty lousy pancakes, correct?
What if you said, “I don’t like water, I’ll just put the dry
powder in the pan and see if it will cook?”

All of this seems foolish doesn’t it.

Unfortunately, when it comes to program design, this is
exactly what many coaches do. I have athletes who have
trained with me for years and then become coaches themselves.
Instead of using the program that was so successful for them,
they alter it. Then they email me the program and say “can you
look this over?”. Invariably the program is a little of mine and a
little of theirs, with maybe a touch of third party. A combination
of recipes if you will. Also invariably the program is poor. These
are not experienced “chefs” yet they have chosen to alter the
recipe to suit their taste. The better choice is to choose a recipe
designed by a chef and then do a great job of making the meal.
In other words, coach the heck out of the program you have
successfully used.

If you have been writing programs for few years, perhaps
you are a sous-chef.

The sous-chef is the second in command in the kitchen. Many
third and fourth year coaches are sous-chefs. They have
developed the ability to alter the recipe without spoiling the
meal. They understand that ingredients can be altered but that
there should be a plan and it should be followed. The sous chef
also understands that the ratio of ingredients matters and that you
don’t simply cook to your own taste.

After five years of successful program design, you might
now qualify as a chef.

At this point you can contemplate bold changes to the recipe
because you have extensive experience “cooking”. One famous
coach used to say “it’s OK to break the rules, just make sure you
understand the rules first”. After five years you should no longer
be looking at a DVD and abandoning your whole program.
Chefs don’t abandon their chosen cooking style after watching
an episode of Hell’s Kitchen, instead you are now making small
changes to what should be a system.

Figure out if you are a cook or a chef. Don’t be afraid to copy
if you are a beginner. In fact, I would encourage you to copy
rather than to mix. I have said in previous writings that it is a
mistake to copy programs. I guess what I should have said is
it is a mistake to blindly copy programs. It is a mistake to
copy bad programs. However, it may be very beneficial to
copy good programs. I would rather you copy my program
than attempt to add bits of my recipe to the recipes of others.
If you are not confident yet in your ability to create a program, feel free to copy. I guess cookbooks were created for a reason.

The idea is that eventually we all can become chefs but, we
all start out as cooks.

-Mike Boyle

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moderate Exercises to Fitness!

Have you ever felt tired and stressed out from work and by the time you get home you see your three children running towards you asking you to play basketball with them? You refused and promised them that you will after you rest.

Instead of disappointing your children, why not say, "yes" after all? You will be surprised by the amount of energy you will have after that 30-minute activity.

Did you know that by exercising at a moderate pace for only 30 minutes, you would feel a lot better, mentally? It has been proven that this improves the appetite and sharpens your skills in problem solving. Not only that,you will also feel that it is easier to sleep at night if you do moderate exercises even for only 30 minutes every day.

What are the benefits of regular exercise? It promotes self-discipline and has a positive impact how you perceive life. Exercise helps in lifting your spirits and getting you out of any depression. For first timers, it can be done for 15 minutes 2 to 3 days a week. You can increase the time you spend once your body gets tuned up for it.

DON'T ever force your body! If you get hurt, then stop. You can take a break from exercising for a few days and then you can start again, but you need to start from day 1.

Here are some moderate exercises you can do and enjoy:

1. Walking. Make use of your surroundings. You can walk your dog, with your partner or child. Encourage your family to do the walking exercise daily and you will find yourself burning calories while enjoying the surroundings and getting enough sunlight that is also good for your body.

2. Discover the wonders of Yoga. Yoga is one effective exercise that energizes not only your body but also your soul. You may want to learn even the basic yoga positions that are not too complicated but proven effective. A five-minute yoga exercise can perk you up and recharge your body with the energy you lost for the whole day. You relax and at the same time you stretch!

3. Engage yourself into sports. Play basketball, football, baseball, tennis or badminton. Many doctors have recommended sports as an effective way to stay fit and healthy. Sports can also be done in moderation. Do not take it seriously. Shooting basketball with a friend is one moderate exercise that is also considered a sport.

4. Start an exercise programs regiment. If you still do not do a exercises regiment, then why not start it? You can start a workout regiment right in the comfort of your own home. Start it with family members or friends. You do not only burn calories but it is also one good way to spend qaulity time with ones you love. This can be done in as little as 30 minutes, 3 times a week.

5. Exercise while doing household chores. Gardening, raking leaves, lawn mowing, doing the laundry, vacuuming and car washing are effective moderate exercises at home. Make use of these chores to sweat and burn calories. Instead of using machines and gadgets to perform these chores, why not do it with your hands and lose some fats?

Making exercise part of your daily routine will surprise you of the amount of calories you can burn daily. Doing these moderate exercises every day can burn anywhere from 150 up to 1,000 calories a day!

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fighting Hormones with Hormones

Although this is not my article, I found it quite interesting so I thought I would share with you.

By John Romaniello

As I’ve covered previously, when you are breaking through a fat loss plateau or trying to get to the Final Phase of leanness, things get a bit murkier than they do with traditional fat loss.

Rather than dieting excessively in order to create a Calorie deficit, we seek to enter into energy debt by way of intelligently designed training protocols. In addition, keeping energy intake high ensures that leptin levels don’t drop and throw another hormonal monkey wrench into the machinery.

Because, as we know from yesterday’s article, when you’re getting very lean or you’ve hit a plateau, fat loss is not just about Calories in vs Calories out–it’s about your hormonal environment and the way that affects fat storage, and thereby fat loss.

When you’ve lost the first 20 or 30 or whatever pounds, you’ve lost the “easy” fat. What you’ll notice about your body is that you’re now holding fat specifically in your trouble areas; and those trouble areas are determined by your specific hormonal environment.

If you’ve been following along, by now you know that it’s not just about energy debt or cardio or to a lesser extent diet (although all of those things do factor in quite a bit, obviously).

When your fat loss has stalled and you’re trying to break through that wall, or when you’re trying to rid yourself of those last stubborn 5-10 pounds, it’s a hormonal battle.

And there is only one way to win: fight hormones with hormones.

We’ve established that there are three specific hormones that cause the three most common types of regional fat storage.

As a quick recap:

1. Estrogen - the female sex hormone responsible for lower body fat storage patterns.

2. Insulin - Or rather, insulin resistance; this nasty little dude heavily influences fat storage in the love handle and lower back area.

3. Cortisol - the appropriately dubbed stress hormone is part of the reason you’ve got more flab than ab.

Those are your enemies.

Now, I want to talk to you about how you can actually increase the production of other hormones that offset the above “bad” hormones–through the manipulation of training methods.

In this corner…

Estrogen vs. Testosterone

Now that we’ve established (again, with apologies to the ladies) that estrogen is the main reason lower body fat storage occurs, we need to know how to work around that.

Well, how else would you combat estrogen but with testosterone? In all honesty, when if comes to fat loss and muscle gain, testosterone good, estrogen bad.

It’s for that reason that professional athletes, bodybuilders and the juicers down at the Jersey Shore use illicit steroids that are derivatives of testosterone.

Of course, that’s not an option for us–and certainly not desirable.

Instead, we are going to increase testosterone levels naturally, through training. Not only will this increase the net fat-burning effect of all exercises, but more appropriate to our purposes here, it will also facilitate in getting rid of lower body fat.

I should mention something here to alleviate any concerns: it is NOT possible to produce a detrimental amount of testosterone through training. So ladies, you don’t have to worry about any masculinizing effects.

Instead, training produces what we would term a ‘high’ amount of testosterone from a physiological perspective, relative to what your body normally produces. For the guys, this means that such training will help you put on a bit more muscle–just not steroid muscle.

Got it?

Okay, moving on.

At this point, I know you’re thinking, ‘all right Roman, get to the point, what do I do?”

Great question. And the answer is Density Training.

Training in a way that seeks to increase training density is one of the best ways to spur your body to produce and release more testosterone, which will (obviously) help you lose that estrogen related fat storage.

Training density can be defined as the amount of work you do in a given amount of time during a training session. If you want to increase density, you can do more work (sets, reps, or both) in the same amount of time, or do the same amount of work and decrease the time in which you do it.

However, I’ve come up with a method of density training that is specific to radical fat loss, and this means that not only will you produce the testosterone necessary to mitigate your regional fat issue, but you’ll also lose more fat on the whole.

Pretty cool, eh?

So here is how we do it. As an example, let’s pick 3 exercises: the overhead press, the dumbbell row, and the squat.

Setting these up in a circuit fashion, you perform them one after another with little rest in between.

Sounds like just about any circuit training protocol, right?


Instead of having a set number of reps, we’re going to be forming each of these exercises for TIME–you simply have to do as many as you can in a given time period.

To make it easy, let’s say you did each of the above exercises for 30 seconds. In performing such a circuit, your results might look like this:

Overhead Press: 25 pound dumbbells for 20 reps
DB Row: 40 pound dumbbells for 18 reps
Squat: 100 pound barbell for 22 reps

Not too shabby. Now, HERE is where it gets crazy.

We’re going to take advantage of some cool things that happen in the body; triggers that happen which will make you more efficient and more capable.

To do that, we’re going to INCREASE the weight by 10-20% and try to do MORE reps.

Does that seem impossible? It isn’t. Due to neuromuscular junction and neural activation, in almost ALL cases, you’ll be able to do just that.

Your second attempt at that circuit might look like this:

Overhead Press: 30 pound dumbbells for 23 reps
DB Row: 50 pound dumbbells for 20 reps
Squat: 120 pound barbell for 25 reps

I know you’re having trouble believing that outcome is even possible, much less common, but I implore you–try it for yourself!

Density training is fun, challenge-based, burns a heck of a lot of fat, and–most importantly–is one of the best training modalities around for increasing testosterone production and release.

Training for increased workout density will help you shed stubborn lower body fat, and as we’ve mentioned more fat on the whole.

Insulin Resistance vs. IGF-1

As I mentioned in the video above, insulin resistance is combatted very nicely by a hormones called IGF-1, or Insulin-like Growth Factor one.

Producing extra IGF-1 via training will help you (and me!) improve insulin sensitivity and begin to rid ourselves of love handle and lower back fat.

We established yesterday that insulin resistance is very common, particular in people who were previously overweight; so if you have lost some fat and you’re now struggling to lose a bit more, and that fat happens to be in your love handles, I’m willing to bet you’re suffering from some degree of insulin resistance.

In order to get rid of that fat, we have to do fat burning workouts (obviously) and increase insulin sensitivity to the greatest degree that we can through the training effect. To that end, we need to employ what I call Dynamic Training.

Dynamic training is pretty much the over-arching concept of how I design fat loss training programs–it consists of using fast-paced movements to teach the body how to move more efficiently. Combination movements, like the squat-to-press I demonstrated in the above video are also brought to bare.

Because this style of training is extremely expensive in terms of energy (Calorie) demand, by and large dynamic training is excellent as a general fat loss modality.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is the fact that utilizing these types exercises and setting them up in a non-competing circuit fashion under the dynamic training umbrella is an incredible way to produce IGF-1–and that is one of the most effective methods to mitigate insulin sensitivity.

Take it from someone who knows; nothing is better for combating love handle fat than increasing insulin sensitivity–and one of the most effective ways to do that is to produce more IGF-1 through dynamic training.

Cortisol vs. Growth Hormone

And now we come to our final bout of the evening–the main event, as it were.

We have touched on cortisol a bit, so I won’t rehash that too much. Suffice it to say that the higher your cortisol levels are, the more fat you’re going to be storing on your belly. Given that fact, it stands to reason that if you store fat primarily in the abdominal region, you’re a victim of high cortisol.

Never fear, though: Growth Hormone is here.

Also known as the “fountain of youth”, growth hormone is the single most effective compound your body can produce to affect both fat loss and muscle gain. The more you produce, the faster you’ll lose fat and build muscle. It’s just as simple as that.

Now, in addition to that awesome little fact, growth hormone is going to whoop cortisol’s ass and help you burn belly fat.

Also, you’ve probably heard that one of the ways to reduce your cortisol levels is to get more sleep. That’s something you hear on nearly all the medical TV shows. What you don’t hear is the reason.

You see, sleeping is one of the main ways by which your body produces growth hormone. Or, saying it another way, while you’re asleep is your body’s primary opportunity to produce growth hormone.

And, as I stated previously, growth hormone is one of the main hormones that reduces the effects of cortisol.

Sleep more and you’ll produce more GH. Produce more GH and you’ll have less cortisol. Therefore, sleeping more results in lower cortisol levels. Got it?

Of course, I’m not suggesting you can just sleep your way past a fat loss plateau; although getting more sleep does help. I’m merely illustrating the relationship between cortisol and growth hormone.

Which leads us to the production of growth hormone as it relates to training.

While nearly all forms of exercise produce both growth hormone and cortisol, some types are better than others. Cortisol, as I mentioned in the previous article, is produced heavily in long duration cardio sessions–so let’s not do that.

Instead, we’re going to utilize a style of training that produces more growth hormone.

To do that, we’re going to employ a training method known as Lactic Acid Training.

In order to get to the growth hormone, you must first produce lactic acid.

Lactic acid, by way of a definition, is a byproduct of the chemical reactions that take place during exercise. This substance is wildly irritating to the nerves, and your body responds.

Think of lactic acid as sort of a type of oil igniting fires as it flows through you–your body will call the fire department to put those fires out. And your body will do that by dousing them with soothing, cooling growth hormone.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little simplistic with my metaphor, but it gives you a general idea.

In any event, we must structure training to produce the most lactic acid possible. And, because lactic acid is primarily produce in the concentric (positive) phase of anaerobic exercise, we extend that period, and decrease the eccentric period.

What that means is that we lift the weight very very slowly, and lower it very very quickly so that we can have a fast turn around.

As an example, if you’re doing a squat, you’ll descend to the bottom the squat very quickly (drop down fast, but still controlling the weight somewhat) and then lift the weight sloooowly, oh so sloooowly–over a period of 4-6 seconds.

This will create tremendous amounts of lactic acid, which will intern send GH production into overdrive.

I must mention that training in this way necessitates the use of lighter weights than you normally would on any given exercise. Therefore, if you’re interested in lactic acid training, I suggest you reduce the weight you’d use on any exercise by about 30% in order to be both safe and effective.

With traditional training methods, you’d lift the weight pretty quickly and lower it slowly. Here, we’re doing the opposite, in order to produce the most lactic acid possible, which will then lead to a corresponding increase in the production of growth hormone.

This will result in not only reducing cortisol, but also reducing cortisol related fat storage in your belly.

On top of it all, it’s great for fat loss in general!

Closing Thoughts

Although the battle against hormone-related fat storage can be a tough one, it’s certainly easier when you yourself have hormones on your side–tougher, stronger, better looking hormones!

Say goodbye to cortisol and belly fat with increase growth hormone production via lactic acid training.

Make lower-body fat (and man boobs) along with estrogen issues history through density training.

And combat the ol’ love handles and insulin resistance with dynamic training and IGF-1 production.

With Final Phase Fat Loss, stubborn becomes easy. Slow becomes fast. And it’s all because every single workout within the Final Phase system has been specifically created to combat the hormonal reasons you’re NOT losing fat.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I hate cardio

I hate being fat. Do I have to do cardio to get lean?

No you don't have to. But it makes the whole process a lot tougher. Nothing magical happens when doing cardiovascular exercise - it just burns calories. High intensity 'cardio' burns more calories than low intensity 'cardio'. And low intensity obviously burns more calories than no cardio.

But remember - cardio is really a generic term to describe exercise that targets the cardiovascular system. That covers a lot of different things from steady state aerobic work to interval training to barbell complexes and circuits.

I think most people don't like walking on a treadmill and being completely bored. I understand that. But if it's traditional cardio that you dislike - you can do some "non-traditional" cardio and burn even more calories.

If you are dieting down for a show or a photo-shoot and have a lot of time, I don't usually add in any type of energy system work in the beginning - we work on creating a caloric deficit through diet only - adding in more calorie burning in the later stages. However if you need to drop fat as fast as possible - some extra energy system work is nesessary (we currently use the metabolic acceleration programs, or kettlebells and TRX routines).

But at the end of the day -- is going for a walk for 30 mins each day really all that bad? Get your Ipod on, some good music or an audio book and head out the door.

Cardio is just a tool to burn calories when you're trying to get lean. It makes no real difference in terms of fat loss whether you burn the calories off, or don't eat them in the first place.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Becoming A Healthy Eater

Being a healthy eater requires you to become both
educated and smart about what healthy eating
actually is. Being food smart isn't about
learning to calculate grams or fat, or it isn't
about studying labels and counting calories.

Healthy eating is all about balanced and moderate
eating, consisting of a lean protein, a starchy
carbohydrate, and a fiberous carbohydrate at least
six times per day. Healthy eaters eat many
different types of foods, not limiting themselves
to one specific food type or food group.Remember
no one is perfect, so don't be to hard on yourselves.

Eating healthy requires quite a bit of leeway.You
might eat too much or not enough, consume
foods that are sometimes more or less nutritious.
However, you should always fuel your body and
your brain regularly with enough food to keep
both your mind and body strong and alert.

A healthy eater is a good problem solver. Healthy
eaters have learned to take care of themselves
and their eating with sound judgement and making
wise decisions. Healthy eaters are always aware
of what they eat, and know the effect that it
will have on their bodies.

When someone is unable to take control of their
eating, they are also likely to get out of control
with other aspects of life as well. They could
end up spending too much, talking too much, even
going to bed later and later.

You should always remember that restricting food
in any way is always a bad thing. Healthy eating
is a way of life, something that you can do to
enhance your body or your lifestyle. If you've
thought about making your life better, healthy
eating is just the place to start. You'll make
life easier for yourself, those around you, and
even your family

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Peanuts, contrary to their name, are not really nuts. They are a member of the legume family along with peas, lentils, chickpeas and other beans. Peanuts start growing as a ground flower - but because the peanut flower is very heavy - it bends towards the ground and eventually pushes it’s way underground where the peanut matures.

A University of Florida team says peanuts are rich in antioxidants which protect cells from damage linked to heart disease and cancer. Peanuts also contain high levels of protein and "good" monounsaturated fat.

The US researchers tested the antioxidant content of a dozen different varieties of peanuts. Antioxidants are the naturally occurring substances in plants that protect the body from free radicals - 'volatile' chemicals in the blood.

Although free radicals do play an important role in the immune system, they also alter cholesterol in a process known as oxidation, which is thought to speed up the hardening of the arteries.

Red and orange fruits and vegetables are already known to be particularly high in antioxidants. But the researchers found peanuts were also high in the beneficial chemicals. They found peanuts contain high levels of polyphenols, a family of chemicals commonly found in foods, which have strong antioxidant properties.

Steve Talcott of the University of Florida, who led the research, said: "When it comes to antioxidant content, peanuts are right up there with strawberries. We expected a fairly high antioxidant content in peanuts, but we were a bit shocked to find that they're as rich in antioxidants as many kinds of fruit."

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jump for Joy and Juice!

Juice can actually be considered a natural water source and provides the body with protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that can be absorbed quickly and efficiently. Fresh juice also contains necessary enzymes, and pigments such as carotenes, chlorophyll, and flavonoids.

Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables provides numerous nutritional advantages that are extremely important to weight loss. In addition, diets containing a high percentage of uncooked foods are significantly associated with weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and lower blood pressure.

Your appetite finds a raw foods diet more filling. Cooking can cause the loss of up to 97% of water-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Since uncooked foods such as juices contain more vitamins and other nutrients, they are more satisfying to the body, so it does not feel starved for nutrients. This means the metabolism will keep running efficiently and keep your weight loss efforts headed in the right direction

Juicing kick-starts your body's digestive process and enables quick absorption of high-quality nutrition, which can result in increased energy. This is one of the great advantages of achieving weight loss through improved nutrition. Fresh juices, combined with a well-balanced diet will provide you with the energy needed to burn more calories, fat, and provide you with the fuel you need for physical activity.

However, juicing does remove the fiber from these nutrient-dense foods. So be sure to include an appropriate amount of fiber-rich foods in your daily diet. Juicing should be a complement to a well-balanced healthy diet, not a substitute.

So with a little planning and creativity, juicing could enhance your well-balanced diet and add some zest. The internet is a great resource for juicing recipes and information, and with the realization that raw foods and juicing is a great health boost, books and magazine articles are touting the benefits and offering recipe ideas.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Food For Thought

Recent studies have found a link between physical fitness and academic performance in children. Studies have also shown that children, who eat breakfast daily, do better in school. But there's surprisingly little research focused on the link between a child's overall diet and his or her performance in school. Dr. Paul J. Veugelers of the University of Alberta in Edmonton and his colleagues have recently completed such a study. Their findings are published in the April, 2008, issue of the Journal of School Health. They studied the eating habits of 4,600 Nova Scotia 5th graders, noting that about 20% of them had failed the standard 5th grade reading test.

The findings indicate that healthy eating habits were associated with significantly better test scores. The healthy habits turned out to be a quality diet, adequate amounts of food, variety of food, plenty of fruits and vegetables, enough protein, enough fiber and getting fewer calories from fat. The results held even after adjusting the data for the effects of household income, parental education, school, and gender.

As parents, we all want our children to have the advantages and opportunities of a good education.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Does It Hurt?

This is from a good friend and mine and thought I
would share b/c it's so on point when it comes to people
not recognizing the difference between pain and soreness
during working out. Without further ado..

I get asked rehab questions all the time.

I have rehabilitated athletes in almost every major
sport who were told they were “all done” by a
doctor or a team trainer. Because people know
my background, they often ask for advice.
Most of the time they ignore the advice because
the advice does not contain the answer they
want. They say “it only hurts when I run”,
I say things like “don’t run”.

A famous coach I know once told me “people
don’t call for advice, they call for agreement or
consensus. If you don’t tell them what they want to
hear, they simply call someone else”. His advice to
me, don’t bother wasting your time with advice.

Here I go again wasting time.

If you have an injury and are wondering whether
or not a certain exercise is appropriate, ask yourself
a simple question. “Does it hurt”? The key here is
that the question ‘does it hurt?” can only be
answered yes or no. If you answer yes, then you are
not ready for that exercise, no matter how much
you like it.

Simple, right?

Not really. I tell everyone I speak with about rehab
that any equivocation is a yes. Things like “after
I warm-up it goes away” etc. are all yes answers.
It is amazing to me how many times I have asked
people this simple question only to have them
dance around it.

The reason they dance around the question is
that they don’t like my answer. They want to
know things like “what about the magic cure
that no one has told me about?”
What about a secret exercise? I have another
saying I like, “the secret is there is no secret”.
Another wise man, Ben Franklin I think, said
“Common sense is not so common”.

If you are injured and want to get better, use
your common sense. Exercise should not
cause pain. This seems simple but exercisers
ignore pain all the time and rationalize it.

Discomfort is common at the end of a set in
a strength exercise or at the end of an intense
cardiovascular workout. Additional discomfort,
delayed onset muscle soreness, often occurs the
two days following an intense session. This is
normal. This discomfort should only last two
days and should be limited to the muscles not
the joints or tendons. Pain at the onset of an
exercise is neither normal nor healthy and is
indicative of a problem. Progression in any
strength exercise should be based on a full,
pain-free range of motion that produces muscle
soreness without joint soreness.

If you need to change or reduce range of motion,
this is a problem. Progression in cardiovascular
exercise should also be pain free and should follow
the ten percent rule. Do not increase time or distance
more than ten percent from one session to the next.

I have used these simple rules in all of my strength
and conditioning programs and, have been able to
keep literally thousands of athletes healthy.

I’m sure the same concepts will help you.

-Mike Boyle

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, February 1, 2010

FIFTEEN Foods That Fight Off Belly Fat

I bet you didn't know that there is a specific class of vegetables that contain very specific phytonutrients that actually help to fight against stubborn belly fat.

Let me explain what these unique vegetables are and why they help to burn stomach fat...

Chemicals that force your body to hold onto belly fat

Something you may have never heard about is that certain chemicals in our food supply and our environment, such as pesticides, herbicides, and certain petrochemicals from air and water pollution, household cleaners, cosmetics, etc can react with your body and make your body store excess abdominal fat.

These chemicals are known as xenoestrogens.

Xenoestrogens are chemicals that you are exposed to (and are hard to avoid in the modern world) that have an estrogenic effect in your body. Excess exposure to these can cause hormone balance disruptions for both men and women. So these can wreak havoc in the body for both guys and gals.

These estrogenic chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis can stimulate your body to store belly fat, along with many other problems (including cancer risks in the long term).

So here's where this specific class of vegetables comes in handy...

One of those cool tricks that I teach my clients that hire me for nutritional counseling is the use of cruciferous vegetables to help fight against stomach fat.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, eggplant, cabbage, cucumbers, string beans, aparagus, spinach, onions, green peppers, contain very specific and unique phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that help to fight against these estrogenic compounds...

And by fighting against these belly fat stimulating estrogenic chemicals, this is just 1 more step in helping you to win the battle against abdominal fat!

So there you go... just another excuse to do what mom always told you and eat more broccoli!

I've really learned to like brussells sprouts in the last year too... Melt a little grass-fed cheese on them and some garlic and they're great!

To Your Health!