Monday, November 16, 2009


I was planning to write something on "how to pick an appropriate personal trainer" or "Top five greatest fitness myths," and I don't like to repeat subjects. But, lately there is something far more important to address.


Caitlin and I were at the Emmis Austin Radio's (owners of 101X and KGSR) yearly health fair and were astounded at how many people ran straight past our table, and made a B-line for their "free flu-shot." Also interesting were the conversations:
Radio guy 1: "Dude, aren't you going to get your flu shot?"
Radio guy 2: "No thanks, I don't believe in them, don't take them and I never get sick"
Radio guy 1: "What about the swine flu? Don't you watch the news. If everyone would get flu shots, we'd probably never get sick. How can you disagree with doctors?"

If you know me, and you know my father, you know we are very outspoken when it comes to vaccines. As a result, I am constantly asked to provide "SOLID PROOF" by the nay-sayers as to how vaccines are dangerous, why the CDC and FDA would allow such a dangerous practice, and ultimately who benefits.

I was reading through my Twitter account, and stumbled across this video. in which David Ayoub, M.D gives a pretty thorough breakdown, and cites just about everything he says.

To go to the full site with all of the slides from his presentation go to

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I get asked all the time by personal training and boot camp clients alike: "how can I get better results from my training?", or better yet "how can I eat better, to get better results from my training?"

Like it or not folks, you are walking chemistry labs. You have been misled by infomercials, and widely disseminated misinformation, into thinking you can eat whatever you want, sleep whenever you want, and do anything you want to your body, provided you just work out hard enough. Sorry to break it to you, but that's simply not true.

Think about this for a second: imagine you are a flask, and you need 4 ingredients + heat to facilitate a given reaction. The 4 ingredients can be viewed arbitrarily as key components of wellness (i.e. proper nutrition, balanced hormones, proper sleep, and absence of pathogens, heavy metals, and other poisonous substances). The heat can be viewed as the exercise. So, if any of these components are deficient or absent, does it really make sense that turning up the heat would produce the desired reaction? Not unless you are an alchemist!

As I said, one should consider all the aforementioned factors before embarking on an exercise plan, but this article, will focus only on nutrition. The other three: hormones, proper sleep, and management of pathogens/poisons all have their place in other articles. Nutrition, however, is widely considered to be the most important component of wellness. With many health and fitness professionals attributing 60%-80% of your results to food and drink intake.

We will start with how I prefer my clients to keep their food journals. Fitness is a science and there are a variety of opinions about what to focus on. I see way to many people focused only on how many calories they take in per day. But wait, didn't I say the body is a walking chemistry lab? Do you really think that eating 2,000 calories of angel food cake, and not worrying about eating anything else is a healthy way to live? Does it really seem logical, that when the body requires protein, we can live on a limited sugar-intake only? OF COURSE NOT!!! In the following example, you will notice 4 categories: time, intake, activity, and abnormal symptoms. It is concerned less with caloric intake, and more with patterns, behaviors, and types of food/drink/etc. .

4:00 AM WOKE ----- -----
4:45 AM ----- 1 cup of coffee, 2 eggs, bowl of cereal with milk-----
10:00 AM ----- ----- felt tired
10:30 AM ----- 1 Red Bull -----
12:30 AM ----- 3 grilled fish tacos with chips and queso -----
1:30 PM----- ----- felt nauseated
2:30 PM moved boxes for 2 hrs ----- -----
4:30 PM ----- ----- exhausted
6:00 PM ----- 8 oz. grilled chicken breast with broccoli -----
7:30 PM ----- ----- energized
8:30 PM elliptical 60 min HR=130-140 BPM ----- -----
10:30 PM bedtime ----- -----

is recorded whenever any entry is made. It should begin with when you wake, and end with when you go to bed.

ACTIVITY includes your wake-up time, bedtime, and any physically demanding activities (e.g. "moved boxes for 2 hrs" or "elliptical 60 min HR=130-140 BPM," NOT "studied for exam for 2 hrs."). There is a very important component of eating for your activity level, not just in terms of lifestyle, but in terms of specific events (e.g. Lance Armstrong probably doesn't starve himself the nights before or after the Tour de France). For more information about this subject I recommend Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition by Dr. John Ivy (University of Texas) and Dr. Robert Portman

INTAKE is any food, drink, drug, or nutritional supplement taken in any way. Below you will find 15 BASIC principles to consider in your dietary behaviors, written by Celeste Brinson, MS (nutritionist and very smart woman). These are in NO WAY COMPREHENSIVE. On the contrary, these principles are only the tip of the dietary iceberg. But, in my opinion, if you aren't doing these fundamental things, you're wasting your time by getting any more technical. However, you can and should hire a good nutritionist and/or read up more on the Mediterranean diet (be careful where you get your information). Taking better care of your body will continue to pay dividends until you take your last breath. NOTHING should be more important.

ABNORMAL SYMPTOMS is anything out of the ordinary, good or bad. This can often indicate a deficiency or allergy to the substance being taken. If you want to get more technical, I recommend the services of the Austin Wellness Clinic or something of the like. They can test your blood, saliva, ect. for all of this stuff, as well as pathogens, toxic metals, and hormonal imbalances.

The following is taken directly from a handout, authored by Celeste:


The following will help balance blood sugar and hormone levels, help with Adrenal Fatigue, prevent "ups and downs" in energy and mood, and promote weight loss. It is also the heart health diet plan.

  1. Eat every TWO hours. This relieves the stress handling glands from the job of maintaining normal blood sugar levels between meals (via epinephrine and cortisol).
  2. Do NOT eat carbohydrates alone; always add protein to your meals and snacks. It is especially important not to eat a carbohydrate-only breakfast.
  3. Avoid stimulants--caffeine, sugar, alcohol, etc.--simulants work by provoking the stress handling glands into releasing hormones to raise blood sugar and release energy.
  4. Avoid dead, devitalized and junk foods. These foods cannot rebuild a healthy body. They are also anti-nutrients--they rob any remaining nutrient stores from your body.
  5. Avoid trans fats and rancid fats. Cell membranes, nerve tissue, and steroid hormones (vitality hormones) all require healthy fats.
  6. Eat real, WHOLE, fresh food. Minimize fruits and juices.
  7. Salt your food liberally with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Stress handling glands need plenty of salt for normal function. Research has proven that eating salt does NOT cause high blood pressure or heart disease. Only people with organ damage, like kidney disease, need to be concerned with keeping a low salt diet. In fact, low salt contributes to adrenal fatigue.
  8. Drink plenty of water (filtered or spring, NOT TAP WATER). Tap water is BLEACHED and will compromise your internal ecosystem.


  1. Eat foods rich in Omega fatty acids such as fatty coldwater fish including salmon, trout, tuna, herring, and mackerel. Eat walnuts, flaxseeds, and green leafy vegetables. Or, if you prefer, take an Omega 3 supplement such as a high quality fish oil (there are also vegetarian options).
  2. Use monounsaturated oils, especially raw extra virgin olive oil, as your primary fat source. DO NOT USE CANOLA OIL.
  3. Eat seven or more servings of vegetables and fruits (remember to watch excessive fruit intake) every day. Vegetables and fruits should be fresh or frozen, NOT CANNED. Vegetables can be slightly cooked, steamed, or eaten raw.
  4. Eat natural sources of good protein, NOT MAN-MADE DELI MEATS, and preferably ORGANIC meat (raised without the use of estrogens or antibiotics).
  5. Eat more vegetable protein including: peas, beans, lentils, and nuts. Also, use QUINOA (keen-wah) as your main grain.
  6. Eat only organic whole grains (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, barley). No refined carbohydrates like white flour, white rice, white pasta, white sugar.
  7. Make simple carbohydrates (such as breads, pastas, and grains) your smallest food group

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Train With Jake boot camps are relocating indoors to the Austin Sports Center

Train With Jake--An Austin-based boot camp and personal training company, will be teaming up with the Austin Sports Center, located across Woodward street from St. Edwards University (view the google map here). We are proud to offer the residents of Austin an alternative to the everyday Austin boot camps. Our boot camps, will not only offer an indoor location at the Austin Sports Center, free of inclement weather and darkness, we will feature only the most sought-after personal trainers in Austin, offering a premium boot camp service. Our boot camps are open to anyone in the greater Austin area, ready to take absolute charge of their lives. We look forward to serving the Austin community, and encourage anyone and everyone to give the new Austin Sports Center location a try.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Austin-New Boot Camp Locations and Times

It's true, good people of Austin!!! Train With Jake is expanding it's boot camp operations with new times in Austin and new locations like Round Rock. Again, we understand that there are many Austin Boot camps, but how many are as awesome as Train With Jake? Also, the price is now only 99/month with options to TRAIN ENTIRELY FREE!!! So, "Won'tya be our neighbor" and come give our boot camp a try?

Friday, June 12, 2009

146 Reasons to Rethink Your Excessive Sugar Intake

1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.

2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.

3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).

6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.

7.. Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins.

8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.

9 Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.

10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.

11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.

12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

13. Sugar can weaken eyesight.

14. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

16. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.

17. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.

18. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.

19. Sugar can cause premature aging.

20. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.

21. Sugar can cause tooth decay.

22. Sugar contributes to obesity

23. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.

24. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.

25. Sugar can cause arthritis.

26. Sugar can cause asthma.

27. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).

28. Sugar can cause gallstones.

29. Sugar can cause heart disease.

30. Sugar can cause appendicitis.

31. Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.

32. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.

33. Sugar can cause varicose veins.

34. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.

35. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.

36. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

37. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.

38. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

39. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol in the blood.

40. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.

41. Sugar can increase cholesterol.

42. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.

43. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

44. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)

45. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.

46. Sugar causes food allergies.

47. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.

48. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

49. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

50. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.

51. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA

52. Sugar can change the structure of protein.

53. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.

54. Sugar can cause cataracts.

55. Sugar can cause emphysema.

56. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.

57. Sugar can promote an elevation of low density lipoproteins (LDL).

58. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.

59. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.

a60. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.

61. Sugar can cause a permanent altering the way the proteins act in the body.

62. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.

63. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.

64. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.

65. Sugar can damage the pancreas.

66. Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.

67. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.

68. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).

69. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.

70. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.

71. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.

72. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.

73. Sugar can adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.

74. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves.

75. Sugar can cause depression.

76. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.

77. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).

78. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.

79. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.

80. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.

81. High refined sugar diet reduces learning capacity.

82. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood proteins, albumin, and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.

83. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

84. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.

85. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.

86. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

87. Sugar can lead to the hypothalamus to become highly sensitive to a large variety of stimuli.

88. Sugar can lead to dizziness.

89. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.

90. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.

91. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.

92. Sugar feeds cancer.

93. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.

94. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.

95. Sugar slows food's travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.

96. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.

97. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.

98. Sugar combines and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.

99. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.

100. Sugar is an addictive substance.

101. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.

102. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.

103. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.

104. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.

105. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

106. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.

107. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

108. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.

109. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.

110. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.

111. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.

112. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.

113. Sugar increases the risk of polio.

114. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.

115. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.

116. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.

117. Sugar may induce cell death.

118. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.

119. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.

120. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.

121. Sugar dehydrates newborns.

122. Sugar increases the estradiol in young men.

123. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.

124. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia

125. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream.

126. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer.

127. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine.

128. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.

129. Sugar induces salt and water retention.

130. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.

131. As sugar increases in the diet of 10 years olds, there is a linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients.

132. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.

133. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.

134. Sugar causes constipation.

135. Sugar causes varicous veins.

136. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.

137. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

138. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.

139. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.

140. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.

141. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.

142. Sugar could affect central reward systems.

143. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.

144. Sugar can cause endometrial cancer. '

145. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.
146. Sugar can cause liver tumors.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why and how people in Austin should eat quinoa for health and weight loss


Some time ago I wrote an article about the four ways to cook quinoa. Well this little article has been published on numerous websites and has attracted a lot of attention. I think the reason is that it helps people understand that quinoa is actually quite easy to cook and eat.

When people first hear about quinoa they learn about its benefits but not how to include it in their diet. I have re-written the article this week and have put it on this page.

Background information

Quinoa is often thought of as a grain but in fact seeds from a plant. These quinoa seeds are small and come in a range of varieties. The most common variety is white which has now become readily available in the uk being stocked by Tesco, Sainsbury’s and numerous health food shops. Red quinoa has recently become available in the uk although I understand that it has been on sale in the U.S. for quite some time.

The truth about rinsing Quinoa

For most types you do not need to rinse it. This is because the large manufacturers realized that they would sell more if it was prewashed before going on sale. So I have not found quinoa on sale in Austin that has not been rinsed in the last few months. If it tastes bitter then you need to rinse it by running it under a cold tap for 2 - 3 minutes before cooking. Just occasionally you can taste a slight bitter twang to the quinoa but it is not enough to make the quinoa inedible

What does it taste like?

This superfood has a unique flavour and feel to it. It is compared to rice but it has a definite crunch to it. If you overcook it, it will become soft and fluffy like rice but it will not become sticky and stodgy like overcooked rice does. The flavour is unique but is similar to other grains which is probably why it gets confused with other grains. The best description I can think of is like a mildly crunchy porridge.

How do you cook it?

The simplest method is to boil it. You take one part of quinoa to two parts of cold water. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 - 20 minutes. There are 2 factors that effect the cooking time.

You can slightly under cook the grains for 8 - 10 minutes which gives a much nuttier and crunchy feel. This is the way I prefer it. When it is subsequently added to other ingredients for a bit more cooking it is better to undercook it. In fact one method of cooking (shown below) includes no pre-cooking at all.

How to microwave quinoa grains

It can be cooked in a microwave quite simply. Using the same ratio of 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water place them in a microwave dish and cook for 3 minutes. Then leave to stand. Stir for a moment and cook for a further 3 - 5 minutes. Allow to stand for 2 minutes. Any remaining liquid can be drained - it is important that the grains in a microwave are not allowed to go dry.

Cooking soups and casseroles with quinoa

This method simply includes quinoa in soup recipes and casseroles. There is no need to pre-cook the grains in the ways shown above. In soups it can add substance and flavour just by adding it to a favourite recipe. It really is a matter of trying out different soup recipes to find out what you like. Casseroles are very similar.

How to sprout quinoa

Quinoa sprouts are the least impressive sprouts you will ever see.It takes only 2 - 3 days to sprout and must be eaten straight away as it does not keep well. The sprouts are tiny. The benefit of preparing the grains this way is that you can eat it raw. A huge boost for those in Austin on a restrictive diet demanding raw food. The protein content is almost legendary and raw it really packs a punch as it is full of nutrients and vitamins. It is best combined with other salad vegetables as it can be quite bland on its own.

Monday, April 13, 2009

About your medical rights in Austin. Specifically regarding physical therapy

This is a re-post of an e-mail from my friend and collegue, Allan Besselink, an Austin physical therapist and fellow trainer in the Austin area. Please educate yourselves:

Hello everyone:

I just wanted to send out a quick note to you regarding an important issue in our health care system. Direct access to physical therapy is currently in front of the Texas and California legislatures. This is a huge consumer issue nationwide. In Texas, we are one of few remaining health care providers that require a referral from a "gatekeeper". A patient can't simply go to a physical therapist, regardless of the problem. Unfortunately, consumers do not realize this!

I have been posting information on this topic regularly on my website ( The direct access discussion thread on my website now has over 1700 hits - of which about 600 have come in the past 10 days!

With this in mind, I am dedicating tomorrow's episode of "Consumer's Guide to Health" on BlogTalkRadio specifically to the topic of direct access. This 30 min show is a call-in online talk radio format. You can find the show information at The call-in number is (646) 929-1567. The show begins at 8:00 pm central time and live streams for 30 minutes - but the discussion may go beyond this. Afterwards, a podcast is available for download from the website and from iTunes.

Please pass this along to your friends, your family, your colleagues, and to any consumers concerned about their access to health care, the cost of their health care, and the right to choose the providers of their health care!

I hope you can join me for the discussion.

All the best,


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Strength training in Austin builds strong bones


Bone density sharply enhanced by weight training, even in the elderly

Saturday, August 06, 2005 by: Dani Veracity, citizen journalist
Key concepts: Strength training, Bone density and Weight training

As people reach old age, osteoporosis is a major determining factor in quality of life. In Healing Moves, Dr. Mitchell and Carol Krucoff write, "Age-related declines in muscle and bone mass … can lead to frailty and fracture -- the primary reason older adults wind up in nursing homes." If you don't want to spend your later years resting in a nursing home, losing your independence and draining your or your family's financial resources, you need to do something to remain independent. According to numerous studies and aging manuals, that "something" is strength training, an activity known to increase bone mass and thus decrease the possibility of osteoporosis.

Postmenopausal women are especially prone to osteoporosis because they lack estrogen. Most women know this and begin to take calcium supplements to ward off the debilitating disease. Calcium supplements are important, but according to Kathy Keeton's book, Longevity, they are not enough. Not only does your body need magnesium and other nutrients to assimilate calcium into your bones, it also needs strength training to retain calcium. Keeton quotes nutritional biochemist Dr. Neil S. Orenstein: "Without consideration of these effects, no amount of calcium supplementation will prevent osteoporosis."

Numerous studies demonstrate strength training's ability to increase bone mass, especially spinal bone mass. According to Keeton, a research study by Ontario's McMaster University found that a year-long strength training program increased the spinal bone mass of postmenopausal women by nine percent. Furthermore, women who do not participate in strength training actually experience a decrease in bone density.

In Prescription Alternatives, Professor Earl Mindell and Virginia Hopkins detail these findings: "In a recent study on bone density and exercise, older women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by one percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent. The women who exercised also had improved muscle strength and better balance, while both decreased in the non-exercising group."

Increased bone density, improved muscle strength, better balance -- these three things will dramatically improve your later years and increase your longevity. Only these health improvements can help prevent a bad fall, which is often a turning point in an elderly person's life. One bad spill can result in a broken hip, an injury that can lead to an elderly person's immobility and dependence on others. Only strength training can provide these benefits, but what exactly does "strength training" or "weight training" mean?

A little training goes a long way

Strength training does not mean that you have to train for the Olympics or tediously do the same exercise over and over. According to Healing Moves, a variety of exercises will yield bone-building benefits: "Physical impact and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it.

The best bone builders are exercises that put force on the bone, such as weight-bearing activities like running and resistance exercises like strength training. In general, the greater the impact involved, the more it strengthens the bones." However, it is important to distinguish the exercises that will increase bone density from the ones that will not. "Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity … Dancing, stair-climbing and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote (good) mechanical stress in the skeletal system, contributing to the placement of calcium in bones. Aerobic exercises such as biking, rowing and swimming do not strengthen the bones," writes Gary Null in Power Aging.

Now, aerobic exercise is great for your cardiovascular system, so you still should do it along with strength training. You don't have to devote a lot of time to strength training to experience the benefits. Null believes that only 15 to 30 minutes of weight training, two to three times per week, can provide you with the bone density you need to prevent osteoporosis. Just make sure that you work all your different muscle groups and allow a 24-hour lapse between sessions.

For best results, women should start strength training long before menopause; however, women can experience the benefits at any age. "A 1994 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that women as old as 70 who lifted weights twice a week for a year avoided the expected loss of bone and even increased their bone density slightly," writes Robert Haas in Permanent Remissions. According to Dr. George Kessler's Bone Density Program, "One study of people in their 80s and 90s living in nursing homes who exercised with weight machines three times a week for just eight weeks showed improvements in strength, balance and walking speed." It's never too late to lift just a few light weights and increase your bone density.

The experts speak on strength training and bone density:

Without resistance exercises to strengthen muscles and bones, most people face a midlife slide into flabbiness and its associated ills. And as we age, strength training becomes even more important to offset age-related declines in muscle and bone mass that can lead to frailty and fracture— the primary reason older adults wind up in nursing homes.
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Osteoporosis. Bone-thinning osteoporosis can lead to fractures, especially hip fractures, a major medical problem for the elderly. One way to maintain strong, healthy bones is to get plenty of calcium. Certain kinds of exercise, including strength training, also help keep bones healthy. In addition, weight training helps prevent fractures by strengthening the leg muscles, contributing to improved balance and decreasing the likelihood of falls, the cause of most fractures in the elderly.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 452

Because nine out of 10 hip fractures result from falls, engaging in activities that increase strength and balance helps decrease the risk. strength training is one of the best ways to increase bone density in the spine naturally and prevent falls.
Overdosed America by John Abramson MD, page 219

Postmenopausal women are at the greatest risk for brittle bones

Men also can have brittle bones, but women — especially thin women who are past menopause — are at greater risk. If you're thin, you have less weight bearing down on your bones during normal activity, and that means your bones will weaken faster. It's particularly important for you to start a regular program of weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, or strength training. Studies have found gardening is also good at pumping up your bones so if you enjoy that activity, keep it up. The fresh air and sunshine are an added bonus.
Eat and Heal by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 278

Calcium suplements are not enough

Simply increasing your calcium intake doesn't guarantee that the calcium is going to get into your bones. To properly absorb calcium the body needs other nutrients as well—magnesium, for one, and other vitamins. Exercise, particularly weight training, helps the bone retain its calcium. "Without consideration of these effects," says the nutritional biochemist Dr. Neil S. Orenstein of Lenox, Massachusetts, "no amount of calcium supplementation will prevent osteoporosis."
Longevity by Kathy Keeton, page 120

Numerous studies demonstrate strength training's ability to increase bone mass, especially spinal bone mass

There's even some evidence that increasing muscle mass can increase bone mass. When researchers at McMaster University in Ontario put a group of postmenopausal women on a year-long program of anaerobic strength training, not only did their muscle size increase by 20 percent, but their spinal bone mass rose by 9 percent. It's possible, then, that strength training might help ward off osteoporosis.
Longevity by Kathy Keeton, page 160

In a recent study on bone density and exercise, older women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by 1.0 percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent. The women who exercised also had improved muscle strength and better balance, while both decreased in the nonexercising control group.
Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 20

We know that weight lifters have much denser bones in their back and legs than do runners, for example. Studies do show that walking prevents bone loss in the spine, but strength training has been proved to build bone mass in the spine and hip. One study that (deservedly) got a lot of media attention followed a group of postmenopausal women who were generally healthy—but sedentary. None were taking HRT, or any other bone-related medicines, or taking calcium supplements. Half performed a simple weight-lifting routine twice a week, while the other half stuck with their couch potato ways. After one year, the weight lifters built their bone mass 1 percent on average, at both the hip and spine. That compares favorably to what you'd see with HRT alone. To give you perspective, consider this: the women who did not lift weights lost up to 2.5 percent of their bone mass over the same time period— and also lost muscle mass and gained body fat and weight. The weight lifters became much more active in general (as the researchers calculated it, a 27 percent increase), while the sedentary group became less active. The weight lifters lowered their body fat, gained muscle, and had better balance and more strength. And here's a wonderful bonus: the researchers had the daughters of the women who lifted weights come in and do the tests their mothers were acing. In every case, the weight-lifting women outperformed their own daughters!
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 279 and 280

A Journal of the American Medical Association Article reported a Tufts University study in which forty postmenopausal women. 50 to 70 years of age, were tested and measured by their participation in different levels of exercise. The conclusion of this study was that high intensity strength training exercises are an important, effective and feasible means to preserve bone density. In other words, exercise prevented the onset of osteoporosis.
Milk The Deadly Poison by Robert Cohen, page 268

Still, we were confident that Ramona could do even better, so we told her to work harder and to try some strength training as well. When Ramona came back to see us one year later, her bone density was 10 percent higher. And she had become a fanatic about strength training, working out four times a week.
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 102

Strength training does not mean that you have to train for the Olympics or tediously do the same exercise over and over: A wide variety of weight-bearing exercises yields bone-building results

Physical impact and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it. The best bone builders are exercises that put force on the bone, such as weight-bearing activities like running and resistance exercises like strength training. In general, the greater the impact involved in an activity, the more it strengthens the bones. That's why the bones in the racket arms of tennis players are denser than the bones in their nondominant arms. When muscles and gravity aren't pulling on the bone, humans can lose bone mass rapidly. This is dramatically illustrated when people are forced by injury or ill health to undergo complete bed rest and, as a result, lose about 1 percent of their bone mass per week. This is similar to the devastating effects on bone mass seen in young, healthy male astronauts in outer space, due to the loss of gravity.
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Exercise for Skeletal Health. Weight-bearing exercises are very important to help avoid osteoporosis. Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity. Women should not resist going to gyms as they age. But even if you don't go to a gym, you can still profit from taking a little one-pound weight and curling it throughout the day. In fact, you can take a five-minute break every hour to do exercises. Dancing, stair-climbing, and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote mechanical stress in the skeletal system, contributing to the placement of calcium in the bones. Aerobic exercises such as biking, rowing, and swimming do not strengthen the bones.
Power Aging by Gary Null, page 363

Not only is weight training safe, it is important for preventing osteoporosis. As muscles are pulled directly against the bone, with gravity working against it, calcium is driven back into the bones. It also stimulates the manufacture of new bone. This adds up to a decrease in the effects of osteoporosis by 50—80 percent. Women need to do weight training two to three times per week for fifteen to thirty minutes. All the different muscle groups should be worked on. Twenty-four hours should lapse between sessions to rest muscles. For best results, an exercise program should be started long before the onset of menopause.
Womans Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Dr Gary Null, page 277

Walking may be the best all-around exercise, but as far as bone building goes, strength training is the cream of the crop. The pull of muscle against bone stresses a bone, and that kind of stress is what makes a bone become stronger. Impact also strengthens a bone, but the impact that comes from running or jumping, say, can be otherwise harmful to the body. Muscle working against gravity provides another kind of impact for the bones, stimulating bone formation and slowing loss. Strength training with free weights (including light hand and ankle weights) or weight machines is the most direct way to provide that stress and impact of muscle on bone, which is what makes it ideal for building and preserving bone density.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 279

Since stronger muscles do a better job of holding joints in their proper places, resistance training can lessen the joint wear and tear associated with osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis that most often afflicts older adults. What's more, studies find, weight training can strengthen your bones, offering added insurance against osteoporosis. That's because your bones and muscles are intimately connected. When you work your muscles against resistance, they pull on the bones they're attached to. In medical lingo, your muscles exert stress on your bones, and your bones, under stress, respond by laying down more calcium to reinforce themselves, explains Dr. Ades.
Healing with motion by the editors of-Prevention health books, page 332

Not only is weight training safe, it is important for preventing osteoporosis. As muscles are pulled directly against the bone, with gravity working against it, calcium is driven back into the bones. It also stimulates the manufacture of new bone. This adds up to a decrease in the effects of osteoporosis by 50 to 80 percent. People need to do weight training two to three times per week...
Get Healthy Now by Gary Null, page 15

Do strength-building exercises, such as weight lifting, three times a week for at least ten minutes. This is particularly important for women, since it helps maintain bone density.
The Real Age Diet by Michael F Roizen MD and John La Puma MD, page 39

Strength training is also one of the proven ways to reduce the risks associated with osteoporosis, because strong muscles can support the bones more effectively. Strength training also slows the aging process, improves posture and balance, and increases energy, strength, and stamina.
Active Wellness By Gayle Reichler MS RD CDN, page 151

Almost any type of vigorous exercise will maintain or build bone. Dr. Lee recommends walking, biking, tennis, or weight lifting.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 473

The physical stresses to which bones are subjected during exercise stimulate new bone growth. Get at least 30 minutes of walking, weight lifting or another weight-bearing exercise, three times a week.
Bottom Line Yearbook 2002 by Bottom Line Personnel, page 18

Exercises that put stress on your bones, such as jogging and weight training (even light weights), will also strengthen your bones, whereas exercises that do not stress your bones, such as swimming, will not improve bone strength.
Complementary Cancer Therapies by Dan Labriola ND, page 198

For best results, women should start strength training long before menopause; however, women can experience the benefits at any age.

Extensive research has shown that muscles and bones will get stronger in response to strength training regardless of your age. Some health experts call strength training "the closest we've come to a fountain of youth."
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Aerobic exercise has long been touted as a way to prevent or slow bone loss, but researchers increasingly emphasize the benefits of strength training, such as weight lifting, to prevent bone loss at any age. A 1994 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that women as old as 70 who lifted weights twice a week for a year avoided the expected loss of bone and even increased their bone density slightly.
Permanent Remissions by Robert Haas MS, page 205

One study of people in their 80s and 90s living in nursing homes who exercised with weight machines three times a week for just eight weeks showed improvements in strength, balance, and walking speed. Even people who are already frail can, with proper exercise using light weights, build up enough leg strength to walk without a cane. I've no doubt of the bone benefits that went along with these results, even though they weren't tracked by the researchers.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 281

Strengthening exercises such as weight training are as important as calcium for strong bones, and they can be started at any age. Even someone age 80 or older can be helped by weight training or isometrics—a form of exercise that involves contracting and releasing specific muscles. Your hospital, community recreation center, or senior center is likely to have more information on this exercise technique.
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B White MD, page 442

The more bone you build early in life, the better you will be able to withstand the bone loss that starts to occur by about age 35. Years later, the loss of bone mass can result in the debilitating disease called osteoporosis. To develop bone mass, you need to make weight-bearing exercise part of your daily life—with activities like walking, running, and weight lifting.
Wellness Self-Care Handbook by John Edward Swartzberg MD FACP and Sheldon Margen MD, page 41

Weight lifting is not just for the young. Gerontologists and others who study aging now know that muscles built when you are 40, 50 and 60 can help more than just your self-esteem. Developed leg, trunk and arm muscles help protect older bodies from injuries related to frailty. These muscles help keep bones, which peak in density between ages 21 and 30, stronger longer.
Uncommon Cures for Everyday Ailments by the editors of Bottom Line Health, page 112

As with every other strategy in this book, it is never too late to benefit from strength training. You know you should be getting 30 minutes of weight-bearing aerobic exercise three times a week. Strength training is a valuable addition because we know it builds bone more directly and efficiently than any other kind of exercise you can do.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 293

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Austin Boot Camp by Austin personal trainer doing boot camp in Austin

Hello Austin,

Yes, Austin, it's time for boot camp once again. Celeste Brinson, an award winning Austin nutritionist in Austin, who bases her cutting edge nutrition and weight loss programs on the latest research, and me, a "Austin Top Ten" personal trainer, who trains personal training clients at the South Congress Athletic Club, are teaming up to bring you the best boot camp in Austin.

There are so many Austin boot camps to choose from in Austin. I believe our Austin boot camp is the best for many reasons, but here are a couple in case you are on the fence.

-Our boot camp is the only boot camp in Austin that offers exercise combined with nutrition

-Most Austin boot camps make you run for about 80 percent of the time and then fill in the remaining 20 percent with poorly executed planks and lunges. Our boot camp uses, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands, and classical pilates methods to make our members into the fittest boot campers in Austin.

-Most boot camps in Austin are in excess of $200, while ours is only $189

-Celeste and I are totally accessable and encourage phone calls and e-mails

-Our boot camp offers an indoor location for bad weather

-Train with Jake is the coolest name for an Austin Personal Training and Boot Camp company in Austin

Best Austin Personal Trainers conducting Personal Training services in Austin, training boot camps in the following neighborhoods:
Central Austin NeighborhoodsAllandale, Brentwood, Bryker Woods, Clarksville/West End, Crestview, Downtown, Hancock, Heritage, Highland, Hyde Park, North University, Northfield, Old Enfield, Rosedale, Skyview, West CampusWest Austin NeighborhoodsFarwest, Highland Park West, Tarrytown, West Austin, Westlake HillsSouth Austin NeighborhoodsBarton Hills, Bartons Bluff - Spyglass, Battle Bend Springs, Bouldin Creek, Cherry Creek, Dawson, Galindo, Shady HollowSoCo (South Congress), South Lamar, Travis HeightsSouthwest Austin NeighborhoodsBee Cave, Barton Creek, Circle C Ranch, Lake Pointe, Rollingwood, WestcreekSoutheast Austin NeighborhoodsEast Riverside/Oltorf, Onion Creek, Southeast Austin, Willow CreekEast Austin NeighborhoodsEast Austin, Cherrywood, Del Valle, Delwood, French Place, Rosewood, SeabrookNorth Austin NeighborhoodsBalcones Wood, Cat Hollow, Copperfield, Gracywoods, Mesa Park, Milwood, River Oaks, River Place, Round Rock, Wells BranchNorthwest Austin NeighborhoodsArboretum, Canyon Creek, Cat Mountain, Great Hills, Laurel Oaks, Northwest Hills, NorthwoodNortheast Austin NeighborhoodsChimney Hills North, Copperfield, Harris Branch, Pflugerville

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Validity of Austin Sports Supplements for Austin personal trainers and clients in Austin

One question my Austin clients always ask me is: "what supplements can I buy in Austin to increase muscle power, size, and endurance, and decrease fat mass?"

Sorry to break it to you, folks, some supplements (e.g. whey protein isolate or creatine) may give the subject a slight advantage, but the real key is.....are you ready for this.......the suspense must be killing you.....HARD WORK, PROPER DIET, A SUITABLE AND SENSIBLE EXERCISE REGIMEN, AND ALMOST RELIGIOUSLY CONSISTENT ADHERENCE TO YOUR PROGRAM.

There are a couple of things I would like to point out about supplements:

-They are evaluated as a FOOD, not as a medication, meaning they undergo next to no scientific testing, or regulation.

-They make all sorts of insane (yet unscientific) claims. Ever wonder why a supplement can claim to "RIP FAT OFF YOUR BODY," but can't claim to "cure diabetes?" it gets back to that food/medicine thing. The latter claim would place them in a realm of medication and require far more strict regulation. This is why, on the back of the label, you will invariably find some sort of a disclaimer like "THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE."

-Often times, when tested by private agencies, certain products have often been shown to not contain the quantity of the ingredients specified. Some products have been shown not to contain any of the specified ingredients whatsoever (there is new legislation in the works to begin at least semi-legitimizing the authenticity of the products in supplements).

-Perhaps the most disconcerting prospect is that many of these products, OFTEN CONTAIN PRODUCTS NOT SPECIFIED ON THE LABEL. OFTEN THESE ARE ANABOLIC STEROIDS OR PRECURSORS. This is bad news for athletes especially, because some of them can be banned from competition for life, if they test positive for these supplements. These companies often do this, to feign effectiveness. If I tell you that my rare form of African tree bark will make you stronger, and you take it, and it works, do you ever question whether I added anything to it?

As some of you know, I recently returned home to Austin from the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Atlanta, and while I was there, Ellen Coleman, a world renowned sports nutritionist, provided us will several links (provided) to private companies who evaluate these supplements and compile data for the consumer. Her recommended three primary considerations for whether or not to use a product, were: safety and effectiveness, doping status (for athletes or others who will be tested for banned substances), and THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT (That's right, people. You get what you pay for. I can tell you how many of my clients come to me on Centrum or Sam's Club vitamins.)

HERE ARE THE LINKS TO HELP YOU EVALUATE SUPPLEMENTS (taken directly from Colemen's summary):

United States Pharmacopeia (

ConsumerLab ( Free information; not referenced. Access to Natural Products Encyclopedia by EBSCO for subscribers.

Natural Products Encyclopedia by EBSCO ( Free referenced monographs.

Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database ( Free referenced information.

Supplement Watch ( Free referenced information.

National library of Medicine database (

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Austin kids perform better on personal standardized exams after fitness training

AUSTIN - A first-of-its-kind study of more than 2.4 million Texas students found that students who are physically fit are more likely to do well on the state's standardized tests and have good school attendance. Fit students are also less likely to have disciplinary referrals.

The findings released today are based on the results of a battery of six FITNESSGRAM® tests taken by students in grades 3-12 during the 2007-2008 school year. The FITNESSGRAM® tool was created by The Cooper Institute of Dallas. The six types of assessment measure five areas - body composition, aerobic capacity, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. The assessments determine whether students are in a "healthy fitness zone" for their age and gender.
The study analyzed data from 6,532 schools, which represents about 75 percent of the schools in Texas and about 84 percent of the school districts.
"Our state and nation are struggling with obesity, thanks to the combination of increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the declining quality of diets," Gov. Rick Perry said. "We owe it to our children to take the appropriate steps to encourage fitness, steps that are made more clear by the information contained in this first round of testing. I am confident we are on our way to making a difference that will improve and even save lives."
Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said, "Texas is the first state to require an annual physical fitness assessment of public school students. Today's research results show that improving our children's physical fitness can have positive results not only for the children, but for the schools as well."

The study found that cardiovascular health, measured by a walking/running test, had a higher correlation to school success than did the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight, adjusted for age and gender.
"The impact exercise has on the growing brain is unparalleled, said "father of aerobics" Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., founder and chairman of The Cooper Institute. "Increased exercise improves cardiovascular health, and that helps the brain function more efficiently and enhances its ability to learn."

About 78 percent of fourth-grade students were in the healthy fitness zone for cardiovascular fitness, whereas only 20 percent of high school seniors reached the healthy fitness zone. As with the overall FITNESSGRAM® data, cardiovascular fitness levels declined with each passing grade.

About 70 percent of students in each of the grades 3-12 reached the healthy fitness zone for Body Mass Index. About 30 percent of the students were not able to achieve the healthy fitness zone for their age and gender.

Significant correlations were found between physical fitness and various indicators of academic achievement. The study shows that:· Higher levels of fitness are associated with better academic performance. At high performing schools that have earned the state's top rating of Exemplary, about 80 percent of the students have healthy levels of cardiovascular fitness.
· At schools that have received the state's lowest rating called Academically Unacceptable, slightly more than 40 percent of the students achieved cardiovascular fitness.
· Higher levels of fitness were associated with better school attendance.
· Higher levels of fitness at a school were also associated with fewer disciplinary incidents. The research looked at the number of incidents involving drugs, alcohol, violence and truancy.
· Counties with high levels of cardiovascular fitness tended to have high passing rates on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Regional and county data can be found at

"This data confirms what we have always thought to be true -- that there is a strong correlation between a student's fitness and their scholastic success. These results provide yet another incentive to reverse the health trends we are seeing among our youth. We need to move forward on this issue as if lives depend on it -- because they do!" said Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and author of the law establishing the assessments.

The physical fitness assessments are given annually to Texas students. The 2007-2008 school year was the first time students were assessed statewide using the FITNESSGRAM®. About 2.6 million students were tested. To ensure that results were representative of a school, test results were removed from the analysis if fewer than 25 percent of the students at a school were tested. Consequently, the research into the correlation between the cardiovascular health and BMI and academic success is based on the performance of 2.4 million students.
The original 2008 baseline data from 2.6 million youngsters, which was analyzed by researchers with The Cooper Institute, found that:· Students were most likely to achieve a healthy fitness zone level on all six FITNESSGRAM® tests at third grade;
· Of the 331,379 third-grade students who participated in the study, 33.25 percent of the girls and 28.60 percent of the boys were in the healthy fitness zone on all six tests;
· Fitness levels declined with each subsequent grade level, reaching a low at 12th grade. Of the 152,144 seniors tested, only 8.18 percent of the girls and 8.96 percent of the boys meet healthy standards on all six tests.
This spring students in grades 3-12 are undergoing a second round of FITNESSGRAM® testing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Combating Depression With Austin Personal Training

Newly-identified exercise gene could help with depression

Boosting an exercise-related gene in the brain works as a powerful anti-depressant in mice—a finding that could lead to a new anti-depressant drug target, according to a Yale School of Medicine report in Nature Medicine.

“The VGF exercise-related gene and target for drug development could be even better than chemical antidepressants because it is already present in the brain,” said Ronald Duman, professor of psychiatry and senior author of the study.
Depression affects 16 percent of the population in the United States, at a related cost of $83 billion each year. Currently available anti-depressants help 65 percent of patients and require weeks to months before the patients experience relief.
Duman said it is known that exercise improves brain function and mental health, and provides protective benefits in the event of a brain injury or disease, but how this all happens in the brain is not well understood. He said the fact that existing medications take so long to work indicates that some neuronal adaptation or plasticity is needed.
He and his colleagues designed a custom microarray that was optimized to show small changes in gene expression, particularly in the brain’s hippocampus, a limbic structure highly sensitive to stress hormones, depression, and anti-depressants.
They then compared the brain activity of sedentary mice to those who were given running wheels. The researchers observed that the mice with wheels within one week were running more than six miles each night. Four independent array analyses of the mice turned up 33 hippocampal exercise-regulated genes—27 of which had never been identified before.
The action of one gene in particular—VGF—was greatly enhanced by exercise. Moreover, administering VGF functioned like a powerful anti-depressant, while blocking VGF inhibited the effects of exercise and induced depressive-like behavior in the mice.
“Identification of VGF provides a mechanism by which exercise produces antidepressant effects,” Duman said. “This information further supports the benefits of exercise and provides a novel target for the development of new antidepressants with a completely different mechanism of action than existing medications.”

Source : Yale University

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How personal trainers in Austin calculate metabolism

Tim Richardson

What are basal and resting metabolic rates (RMR)?

These two terms are used interchangeably, although they are not technically the same. Resting metabolic rate is really what most lay people in Austin mean when they say basal metabolic rate, and I talk here only about resting metabolic rate (RMR). Basal metabolic rate is a precise calculation with a precise definition; RMR is close enough for practical purposes. Resting metabolic rate is the energy required by an animal to stay alive with no activity. Therefore, your real metabolic rate is always significantly higher than your RMR. Calculating RMR is a very useful first step in calculating your real metabolic rate.

Your metabolic rate = your resting metabolic rate (easy to calculate reasonably accurately) + energy consumed by your daily activities (must guestimate).

What determines Resting Metabolic Rate?

A very small number of people have physical conditions that give them strange resting metabolic rates. However, for the vast majority of people in Austin, resting metabolic rate can be calculated knowing a few key variables. They are age, sex, weight, height and fat-free body mass. Fat-free mass is a very important variable. Weight and height are used in one formula to determine body surface area.

When does the body change Resting Metabolic Rate? Does cutting your food intake reduce resting metabolic rate?

The body CAN NOT change resting metabolic rate per unit of fat-free body mass. Studies have shown this. For an article that is on-line in full text by a well-known researchers in the field, see Genetic Influences on the Response of Body Fat and Fat Distribution to Positive and Negative Energy Balances in Human Identical Twins, Claude Bouchard and Angelo Tremblay
Your resting metabolic rate will decrease if you lose muscle, and increase if you gain muscle. Losing fat alone will not lower your RMR (and note that you will need to follow a very sensible program probably including weight training to lose fat without losing muscle). You have probably heard that people who go on crash diets end up lowering their metabolic rate, which means when they go off the diet, they put on fat more easily than before they started. Because they have lost muscle, they have lowered their metabolic rate. However, the amount of energy burnt per unit of fat-free weight does not change; poor dieters end up with fewer units of fat-free weight, and that's where their vicious cycle comes from.

Are some people's digestive systems more efficient than others?

No (except perhaps some people with disorders). And your system does not become more or less efficient in response to changing food intake. See the above study. Even obese people rarely have more efficient bodies. Researchers inspect the energy value of faeces to determine this.

Given the same values for the variables, how much does resting metabolic rate vary between people?

In other words, what is the error in the formulas used to calculate RMR? The latest research indicates there is a low variance in RESTING metabolic rate between individuals who have the same values for the key variables. That is, given someone's age, their fat free mass, their height and their sex, the formulas are accurate.
"Recent evidence thus supports the conclusion that within-subject variations in BMR [more or less the same as RMR] are small and insignificant, even when energy intake and physical activity are uncontrolled, (Shetty & Soares, 1988). This effectively refutes the Sukhatme-Margen hypothesis." (See link at the end of this page).

Formulas for calculating metabolic rate

Apart from the formulas here, you can also use what is the best calculator on the web (that I've seen): Follow the link to the Healthy Body Calculator.You don't need to fill in all the information to get your metabolic rate. This is your total estimated daily metabolic rate, not your resting metabolic rate.

Formulas from "Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription", (4th ed) , Dr V. H. Heyward. pub Human Kinetics and available at Amazon (I own the third edition).
Their formulas only calculate Resting Metabolic Rate! There is a second step after this: calculating your energy use due to your daily activities.

Output is in kcal (1000 calories; nutritional information is nearly always given in kcal even when it says calories. It is often also shown in joules or kilojoules, which is different).

Harris-Benedict equations
BW = body weight in kilograms, HT = height in cm, Age in years
Men: RMR = 66.473 + 13.751*BW + 5.0033*HT - 6.755*Age
Women: RMR = 655.0955 + 9.463*BW + 1.8496*HT - 4.6756*Age

Fat Free Mass formula
This is the same for men and women.
RMR = 1.3 * FFM * 24
FFM is your body weight - your body fat in kg. You need to know your body fat percentage to work this out. If you weight 100kg and your body fat percentage is 10%, then your fat free mass is 100 - 100*10% = 90%. 10% is for a man pretty normal. If you are fat, then you should work with a number between 15% and 25% (better yet, measure it, don't guess).

Quick estimate formula
Men: BW (in kg) * 24.2
Women: BW (in kg) * 22.0

Note that only one formula uses fat free mass, even though this is a key determinant (so the other formulas are tuned. Calculate your RMR with all three methods, and take an average, unless you are obese. Then you should pay more attention to the Fat Free Mass equation. Work out a plus and minus amount using the three formulas. If the first method tells you 1720 kcal, the second 1750 kcal and the third 1760 kcal, then you would say that your RMR is about 1743 +- 20

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"But, Jake, I Don't Want to Bulk Up" Why women in Austin Won't Get Huge By Training With Heavy Resistance

Top 10 Reasons Heavy Weights Don’t Bulk Up the Female Athlete

By Tim Kontos, David Adamson, and Sarah Walls

David Adamson and I were driving to the IPA Nationals this past weekend talking training (yeah we’re pretty passionate about what we do) when the subject of training women with heavy weights came up. I’m in my ninth year at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as the head strength and conditioning coach, and David has been in strength and conditioning for three years. This is a subject we deal with every year regardless of how much training information is available to the public.

The best way to get information is to go to the source. So we asked Sarah Walls, another strength and conditioning coach at VCU. Sarah is also a writer for Muscle and Fitness Hers, a former figure competitor, and a women’s tri-fitness competitor—not to mention a strong female athlete who isn’t bulked up. Therefore, she has a great perspective on the subject.

We, being a good team, put our heads together to find a way to combat this never-ending dilemma. Our way of doing that is through education. And, only one answer to a question is never enough. If you know your job well, then you know that there is more than one way to skin a cat. So we came up with the following list:

  1. Women do not have nearly as much testosterone as men. In fact, according to Bill Kreamer in Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, women have about 15 to 20 times less testosterone than men. Testosterone is the reason men are men and women are women. After men hit puberty, they grow facial hair, their voice deepens, and they develop muscle mass. Because men have more testosterone, they are much more equipped to gain muscle. Because women do not have very much testosterone in their bodies, they will never be able to get as big as men.
  1. The perception that women will bulk up when they begin a strength training program comes from the chemically-altered women on the covers of bodybuilding magazines. These “grocery stand models” are most likely pumped full of some extra juice. This is why they look like men. If you take the missing link that separates men from women and add it back in, what do you have? A man!
  1. For women, toning is what happens when the muscle is developed through training. This is essentially bodybuilding without testosterone. Since the testosterone is not present in sufficient amounts, the muscle will develop, but it won’t gain a large amount of mass. The “toned” appearance comes from removing the fat that is covering a well-developed muscle.
  1. Muscle bulk comes from a high volume of work. The repetition range that most women would prefer to do (8–20 reps) promotes hypertrophy (muscle growth). For example, a bodybuilding program will have three exercises per body part. For the chest, they will do flat bench for three sets of 12, incline for three sets of 12, and decline bench for three sets of 12. This adds up to 108 total repetitions. A program geared towards strength will have one exercise for the chest—flat bench for six sets of three with progressively heavier weight. This equals 18 total repetitions. High volume (108 reps) causes considerable muscle damage, which in turn, results in hypertrophy. The considerably lower volume (18 reps) will build more strength and cause minimal bulking.
  1. Heavy weights will promote strength not size. This has been proven time and time again. When lifting weights over 85 percent, the primary stress imposed upon the body is placed on the nervous system, not on the muscles. Therefore, strength will improve by a neurological effect while not increasing the size of the muscles.

And, according to Zatsiorsky and Kreamer in Science and Practice of Strength Training, women need to train with heavy weights not only to strengthen the muscles but also to cause positive adaptations in the bones and connective tissues.

6. Bulking up is not an overnight process. Many women think they will start lifting weights, wake up one morning, and say “Holy sh__! I’m huge!” This doesn’t happen. The men that you see who have more muscle than the average person have worked hard for a long time (years) to get that way. If you bulk up overnight, contact us because we want to do what you’re doing.

7. What the personal trainer is prescribing is not working. Many female athletes come into a new program and say they want to do body weight step-ups, body weight lunges, and leg extensions because it’s what their personal trainer back home had them do. However, many of these girls need to look in a mirror and have a reality check because their trainer’s so-called magical toning exercises are not working. Trainers will hand out easy workouts and tell people they work because they know that if they make the program too hard the client will complain. And, if the client is complaining, there’s a good chance the trainer might lose that client (a client to a trainer equals money).

8. Bulking up is calorie dependant. This means if you eat more than you are burning, you will gain weight. If you eat less than you are burning, you will lose weight. Unfortunately, most female athletes perceive any weight gain as “bulking up” and do not give attention to the fact that they are simply getting fatter. As Todd Hamer, a strength and conditioning coach at George Mason University said, “Squats don’t bulk you up. It’s the ten beers a night that bulk you up.” This cannot be emphasized enough.

If you’re a female athlete and training with heavy weights (or not), you need to watch what you eat. Let’s be real—the main concern that female athletes have when coming to their coach about gaining weight is not their performance but aesthetics. If you choose to ignore this fact as a coach, you will lose your athletes!

9. The freshman 15 is not caused by strength training. It is physiologically impossible to gain 15 lbs of muscle in only a few weeks unless you are on performance enhancing drugs. Yes the freshman 15 can come on in only a few weeks. This becomes more complex when an athlete comes to a new school, starts a new training program, and also has a considerable change in her diet (i.e. only eating one or two times per day in addition to adding 6–8 beers per evening for 2–4 evenings per week). They gain fat weight, get slower, and then blame the strength program. Of course, strength training being the underlying cause is the only reasonable answer for weight gain. The fact that two meals per day has slowed the athlete’s metabolism down to almost zero and then the multiple beers added on top of that couldn’t have anything to do with weight must be the lifting.

10. Most of the so-called experts are only experts on how to sound like they know what they are talking about. The people who “educate” female athletes on training and nutrition have no idea what they’re talking about. Let’s face it—how many people do you know who claim to “know a thing or two about lifting and nutrition?” Now, how many people do you know who actually know what they’re talking about, have lived the life, dieted down to make a weight class requirement, or got on stage at single digit body fat? Invariably, these so-called experts are also the people who blame their gut on poor genetics.

These so-called experts are the reason you see so many women doing sets of 10 with a weight they could do 20 or 30 times. They are being told by the experts that this is what it takes to “tone” the muscles. Instead, they are only wasting their time doing an exercise with a weight that is making no contribution to the fitness levels or the development of the muscle.

In case you haven’t figured it out by this point in the article, what is currently being done in fitness clubs to help female athletes tone their bodies is not working. It’s not helping these women get toned, and it is definitely not helping improve athletic performance. Maybe it’s time for a change. Contrary to the ineffective light weights currently being used, heavy weights offer many benefits for women including improved body composition, stronger muscles, decreased injury rate, and stronger bones (which helps prevent osteoporosis). Let’s try lifting some heavy weights and controlling our diet and watch this logical, science-based solution make the difference we’ve been looking for.

Tim Kontos is in his ninth year as the strength and conditioning coach for Virginia Commonwealth University athletes. A certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Kontos designs, implements, and supervises all strength, speed, and agility programs for all the VCU athletic programs.

David Adamson is in his second year as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for VCU. He is directly responsible for program design and implementation for men’s and women’s track and field, women’s cross country, and field hockey. Prior to coming to VCU, David worked at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Arizona State University, and Winona State University. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and in 2006, he received his masters in sport leadership from VCU.

Sarah Walls is in her first year with the Rams’ strength and conditioning staff as a graduate assistant working with men’s and women’s soccer, golf, and men’s cross-country. Graduating magna cum laude, she earned a bachelor’s of science degree from Virginia Tech in 2003. Since graduation, she has spent time working at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in the strength department. While there, Sarah worked with women’s tennis, men’s tennis, men’s volleyball, and men’s soccer. At the same time, she also worked for LifeTime Fitness and helped manage and develop innovative training programs. In addition, she is a contributing writer for the magazine, Muscle and Fitness HERS.

Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at

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