May 2012

You are what you eat.  You are what you do.  It is the basic mantras that our parents have been teaching us since we were the smallest of the small.  If you lie, cheat and steal, you will be lied to, cheated on and stolen from.  Makes sense, right?  One of the things that peeves me the most is hearing people just simply ignore these simple truths.  In our current day and age, nothing is ever anybody’s fault.  Or better, everything is someone else’s fault.  No one is willing to stand up and take responsibility for their own actions or choices.  It’s not my fault that I spilled coffee and burned myself, it’s McDonald’s fault for making it too hot.  It’s not my kid’s fault that he/she gets bad grades, the teacher doesn’t like him/her.  It’s not my fault that I’m obese.  It’s the fast food industry, or commercials or my mom and dad, or whatever the excuse of the day is.  Stand up, people.  Take responsibility.  You are what you eat!  If you eat well, you will be healthy.  If you eat garbage, your body will respond like garbage.  You have to make conscious choices.  Ketchup is not a vegetable, and jello is not a fruit.  These are simple things.  You can’t get all of your vitamins from supplements and expect it to be the same.  Eat food….GOOD food.  Exercise.  Now, I know that choices are not the ONLY reason that people become overweight and obese.  But 1 out of 3 adults and 1 out of 5 kids (KIDS!) are not obese because of glandular issues, hormones or big bones. People have been searching for the fountain of youth since the days of the Spanish Armada.  This is it.  Eat and exercise.  Way too simple to make sense, but at the same time, way too hard for most people to adhere to.

See if you can find modern man in the diagram.  Kind of like a sad version of Where’s Waldo.  I can.  Can’t like the direction we are headed.  This is bad news.  According to everything that we learn and know, pre-historic man would have whipped our butts!  There is no way that that should be.  Let’s work on moving back towards evolution, as opposed to de-volution.

So, apparently, Kim Kardashian made another poor life choice based on money.  Last week, Skechers, the ultra popular shoe company agreed to a $40 million settlement in a class action suit against their Shape Up line of shoes.  For those of you readers who have heard me rail about this in the way past, it’s about time.  Last year, Reebok got hit with a $25 million fine for their version of the toning shoe.  Now, Skechers has had to follow suit to a bigger tune.  For those of you who don’t know, toning shoes (whoever makes their own version) were touted as the next best thing.  Activation of postural musculature and more calories burned and more weight loss than working out in regular shoes.  Their elliptical sole shape supposedly made all the difference.  Well, not so.  Not only is it silly and dumb to think that your shoe makes you burn more calories.  But it’s also counter intuitive.  Look at the bottom of your foot.  I’ll wait, go ahead…..OK, tell me which way the arch of your foot bends?  Up, right?  Away from the ground, in order to absorb force. Which way does the toning shoe bend?  Towards the ground.  Not allowing the foot to work in the way that it is designed to.  People are coming up with hamstring issues, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and back pain to just start a list.  Now, while I’m not condoning those who go for the latest fad, forget common sense and then bitch and moan when it doesn’t work, this is just another example.  Skechers is getting fined because their research was faulty to be nice, and outright deceptive to be honest.  Shady research done by a doctor who was married to a Sr. marketing rep at Skechers.  Conflict of interest?  Eh, no worries.  Tell us what we want to hear, and they’ll buy the shoes.  They were right, to the tune of over $1 billion in sales in 2011.  Yikes.  Did anyone ever stop to think that the extra weight loss and postural strength wasn’t due to the shoes, but simply to the fact that you had a bunch of out of shape people actually getting off their butts and walking.  Whether it was due to the shoes or not, is irrelevant.  They were up and moving.  THAT’S what made the difference.  I am still, and will always be a minimalist shoe fan.  The less the better, as far as I’m concerned.  But just getting all those people up and mobile.  It’s just too bad that they’re all injured and sueing now, or else they may stay active after turning in their Shape-ups or whatever other brand they had.  Here’s to hoping.

This one is from a reader (Thanks, Renee).  She asked me to opine about the Power Plate.  For those who don’t know, the Power Plate (name brand, but with knock offs) is a large apparatus that you stand on that gives whole body vibration while you work out.  The claim is increased muscular adaptation and further increase in strength and lean body mass as a result.  If you listen to the testimonials (Madonna, Sting, etc.  Apparently you can’t use it if you have a last name…), it is the most awesome piece of equipment in human history.  The Power Plate website has tons of legitimately published research backing their product.  Caveat Emptor, buyer beware.  Their research, like much other, is a little bit contrived.  Most gains were shown in untrained athletes.  Of course, if you do ANYTHING with someone who has done NOTHING, you’ll get benefit.  For trained athletes, benefits were seen to be much smaller, and really used as a form of passive warm-up.  But lets put aside the “research”.  Think about it.  If the power plate were as effective as it claims, there wouldn’t be knock-off products that you could get for under $300 (even though the name brand can still run upwards of $10k).  Also, if it really worked like that, what other method would there possibly  be?  If something works that well, why isn’t everyone doing it?  That wold lead us to believe that people who rode the subway (or the El) would be the fittest lot of people on the planet, or that you would never see a fat jack-hammer operator.  Have you been to the city lately?  Unfortunately, the power plate technology was something that has purpose (accelerating rehabilitation from injuries) that has since been misplaced.  It’s not harmful to use, but the extra benefit is minimal as well.  The claim that you could burn an EXTRA 300kcal in just 10 minutes is ludicrous at best.

So I’m sitting here trying to post.  Racking my brain about what I’m writing about for tomorrow.  Michelle, bless her heart, is trying to help me get a topic that I haven’t already written about or am just interested in.  So I’m sitting here and wondering why I can’t figure anything out, and it dawns on me.  I haven’t had any recovery this weekend.  Which sounds really weird since I was off from work all weekend (that’s right, kids, 4 days).  And it sounds nice, and don’t get me wrong, it was, but it was PACKED with stuff.  I’m pretty sure that my average bed time has been well after midnight and awakening around 7am every day (if not later/earlier, respectively).  I know, I know, world’s smallest violin, right?  Anyway, it gave me experimental data on myself.  Without the proper sleep and recovery, the body (mine or anyone else’s) just simply can’t properly function.  Yet people go through life at least partially sleep deprived every day.  With that lack of sleep, cognitive function ceases to be sharp, and therefore physical function is sure to follow.  So tonight, I’m getting to bed early(ish) and getting a solid night’s sleep on my brand new pillow (Thanks, Joe).  So we’ll see tomorrow if my is less foggy and I feel less like I was on the losing end of a bar-fight.  Good night, and good luck.

Update:  After a real full night’s sleep, we are feeling much better and much smarter today!!  Everything seems to be in working order, and we are ready to tackle an AWESOME day today!

Strong is the new sexy.  Girls, who have for generations been afraid of lifting weights for fear of “getting man muscles” are taking to the gym in record numbers.  We as trainers, applaud this.  Strong is hot.  Strong is pretty.  Strong is strong.  Not the weaker sex or second to anyone in the gym.  Girls are tough and tough is good.  Strong muscles make good athletes and sickness resistant women.  Now if we could just do something about the nagging, we’d be all set.  Just kidding!!  Ha, I’m funny.  Have a great day, and a terrific weekend.

OK, just a little fitness humor, today.  Like reading the funny pages in relation to exercise.  HA!

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