Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Decide What You Want to Exercise: Your Muscles Or Your Ego

I have the opportunity to work out in many different gyms in the United States and a few in Mexico and a dynamic I see more often than not is what I call "hero lifting."  It involves using heavy weight (much heavier than one can really handle) and handling it by lifting it (or more often than not) not lifting it properly.

A couple of examples:

Leg Press - The way this works your legs effectively is to put your feet low on the pad and bring your knees to your chest -- a full, long movement.  The "hero" move is to load a couple of extra plates on, put the feet high on the pad and drop it about 4 or 5 inches.  Or, even worse, drop it a few inches and then put the hands on the knees and help press it back up.  That's worthless to build leg strength but a great ego booster.  The same is true with squats and hack squats.  They are a cheater's paradise because the movement can be truncated easily so as to completely avoid working the quadriceps.

Bench Press - Same song, second verse.  A bench press involves bringing the weight to the chest, touching it lightly and then pushing it back to full extension.  The "hero" move is to load up the bar and drop it about 4 or 5 inches (sometimes even less than that) and then get up and make sure everyone in the gym has seen just how much weight you can (but really can't) handle.

Bottom line?  Decide what you want to work -- your muscles or your ego.  If the former, leave the latter outside the gym and just come in, work hard and do what you can do properly and effectively.

Train hard; diet harder.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Someone at McDonald's Didn't Get The Memo

As the U.S. Agriculture Department has recently Americans to "eat less."  Fast-food chain restaurants are ignoring the memo, adding menu items loaded with more calories, sodium and fat.

How about a footlong burger or a burrito stuffed with beef, cheese sauce and Fritos?


From the Los Angeles Times . . .

"A Big Mac without cheese has 540 calories, according to McDonald's Corp., twice as many as in one of the company's smallish regular hamburgers. By comparison, the company's new Angus Bacon Cheese Wrap has 790.

"Here are other recent or proposed items:

"• All-American Jack from Jack in the Box Inc. To debut during the Super Bowl, the sandwich will feature two jumbo beef patties and two kinds of cheese, with 840 calories. Make it a meal for $4.99 and the count goes up to 1,400.

"• Taco Bell Corp.'s Beefy Crunch Burrito meal: ground beef, rice, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream and spicy Fritos wrapped in a tortilla, plus cinnamon twists on the side and a medium soft drink, for a total of 1,390 calories. Now available.

"• Carl's Jr.'s Footlong Cheeseburger: Three cheeseburgers laid end to end on a 12-inch roll was a hit when the chain tested it at four Orange County restaurants last year. It has 850 calories and is under consideration to be a regular offering.

"• Burger King Holding Inc.'s Stuffed Steakhouse: a third of a pound of beef stuffed with jalapenos and cheese, at 600 calories. Fries and a drink make it 1,200 calories.  Now available."

Not surprising that many States now have more than 25% of their populations waddling around in the "obese" category.

Friends, this kind of eating is not just unhealthy.  It is dangerous.  This "food" (to use the term loosely) should come wrapped in your death certificate.  And, what's worse it increases the cravings for fat, salt, and sugar.

If you need a day where you forget about calories, no problem.  But even on those days, eat clean.  Eat more, but eat clean -- lots of lean chicken, turkey, plenty of vegetables and if you want something naughty make it nuts or peanut butter or even some ice cream. 

But not this.  Not now.  Not ever.

Train hard; diet harder.


(Original article:,0,4499158,full.story