Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Is That You In The Mirror?" Probably Not If You're Eating At Taco Bell

"Is That You In the Mirror?" 

That's the title I gave my nutrition/fitness seminar because it asks the right question -- is who you see when you look in the mirror really you?  I spent years avoiding mirrors so as not to have to answer that question.  Now, after having lost 55 pounds and putting on a lot of muscle over the last couple of years, I can say, "Yeah, that's me in the mirror, and I like what I see."

It is really not difficult to get to that point in life.  It is simply a matter of deciding to do it and having a fool-proof system to get it done, one that provides the accountability we all need to get anything done.  (I will be at Fitness International in San Miguel de Allende this Thursday from 2 - 4 p.m. talking about it.  If you're in the area, come by. More dates in other locations coming soon . . .)

One of the few "rules" we play by at plus50fitness.com is this:  "If you can't tell what it was, don't eat it."  What I mean by that is so much of our food is so processed that you cannot tell what it once was in the original form.  You can tell a peanut was a peanut.  But you can't tell what your Coco Puffs once were, now can you?  Nope, you can't.  

We learned this lesson (again) today reading the papers about the lawsuit filed against Taco Bell.  Seems their meat is (alleged to be) only 35 percent beef.  The rest (65%) is a mixture that contains binders and extenders that includes wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agents and modified corn starch.  The suit alleges that it doesn't even meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled "beef.” 

This is exactly the kind of "food," (to use that word loosely) that we should not eat -- ever.   Whether it meets the requirement to be called "beef" is an issue that will be decided by the courts.  The other issue -- "Can you tell what it once was?" has been resolved.  You can't.  You don't know what is in that taco.  You likely don't know how much fat, or how many calories, carbohydrates or protein is in it.  You don't know if those "binders" are genetically modified.  And, for sure you don't know what they mean to your health.

When people approach me and say, "I'm ready to make a lifestyle change . . .  but I still want to eat fast food," I smile knowingly.  They aren't ready to make a real change and they're not going to do it.  Sure, some will lose a few pounds only to put them back on and more.  

A lifestyle change means eating healthy and that means, first and foremost, knowing what you're eating.  

Train hard; diet harder.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Pain/Bad Pain: Know The Difference

Hi, Team.

Well, the good news is my hip/leg injury is finally getting better.  Went to a specialist earlier this week and he confirms that no surgery is needed.  That's always a relief and brings me to the point  . . .

If you work out hard long long enough you become immune to the pain.  In other words, you can go hard and heavy for an hour to an hour and a half and stay focused.  You feel the pain but you get used to it.  It is at that point you have to be careful because you can go too far -- your muscles can take what you're dishing out but your tendons and ligaments may not and they will give you little or no warning before being damaged. 

That is a key to success for those have been at it awhile and I notice that when I watch champions like Jay Cutler and Phil Heath train, they often engage in a "rest-pause" a couple of times each set.  A part of it is getting a little additional rest but another more important part is feeling where they are.  They want to completely exhaust the muscle but not tear anything else up. 

This dynamic is something Kelly and I are focusing on more as we begin shaving down for Spring.  You are especially vulnerable to injury when you are on a calorie-restricted diet and if you've worked for months with a few excess calories, you are bigger, stronger, a lot stronger than you were going into the bulking phase.  As you move into the cutting phase, however, you cannot handle as much weight and if you try you will injure yourself sooner or later, probably sooner.

Train hard; diet harder, but always consider where you are in each set -- are you maximizing muscle tension or are you going too far?  After you have trained a while, you will know the difference between "good pain" and "bad pain."  Unfortunately, for most of us we only learn that through injury, hopefully none too severe.  A good trainer can help in this regard, too, but make sure and get one who will take you far enough! 

We will be training at Gold's Gym in San Antonio, Texas this Saturday morning -- should be fun!



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Injuries - Part of the Game



It was a year and a half ago I went under the knife for an injury -- good news it was "fixable," bad news I was out 6 weeks.

Now I'm faced with another.  Not sure what the injury is exactly but I know it is taking too long to heal.  A doctor will give me the verdict on Monday.

I'm hoping and manifesting positive it is something that will self-correct over time but I am prepared for the worst which would be another surgery and time out of the gym.

Bottom line:  I'm not giving up.  Never will.  They can cut me until I'm just "parts," but I'll be in the gym and I'll be better than I was yesterday, regardless. 

There are no excuses.  There are only results.

Train hard; diet harder.