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Pet Peeves and Misconceptions, Pt II

When I first entered the health and fitness industry 20 years ago there were pet peeves and misconceptions but they were more of the gym etiquette variety--things like using the power rack for curls, putting a towel on a piece of equipment to 'hold it' while doing something else, or men wearing spandex pants and tank tops while working out.

Nowadays, there are newer, far more insidious pet peeves and misconceptions that do far more damage than simply irritating other gym users. If you missed it, Pt 1 is here:

Pet Peeve #4

The proliferation of experts who are experts at cross-promoting each other's products in order to rise to the top of google searches. I'm sure at one time these marketing experts actually trained people and got results but now all they do is create processes to e-market their products. Not that I'm against marketing, it's just that the internet is getting clogged up with websites that exist solely to cash in on the affiliate marketing boom. …

Why use a Personal Trainer?

The more I observe people at the gym the more I believe in the necessity of Personal Training for a vast majority of gym members. It's common to think of a Personal Trainer as a "luxury item" but is a Personal Trainer really a luxury?

A search online for a definition of the word "luxury" reveals, "something that is an indulgence rather than a necessity." Another definition describes "luxury" as "lavishness: the quality possessed by something that is excessively expensive." Certainly Hollywood stars parade their Personal Trainers in a manner that might be perceived as an indulgence but their ability to earn a living is tied to their appearance. Is it really a luxury or is an efficient use of their time? Isn't it reasonable that an entertainer should entrust the upkeep and improvement of their physical appearance to an expert?

What about the rest of us? Would any of us dare represent ourselves in a court of law based on our…

A resolution to my Nike warranty complaint

After getting nowhere with Nike directly, I forwarded my issue to Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star. Thanks to her help, my complaint was escalated at Nike and I eventually received a satisfactory resolution. I still have issues with a process that only attends to a very squeaky wheel but my hope is that Ms. Roseman's column in today's Toronto Star will cause Nike to think about how they might better administrate their warranty program.

TheStar.com
Business

Nike shoe warranty runs back to plant floor
March 28, 2009
Ellen Roseman

Craig Hirota, a personal trainer, owns two pairs of Nike Free 7.0 running shoes. One was purchased a year ago and the other three months ago.

Both started tearing at a crucial seam and one pair started shedding parts of its sole.

"Keep in mind that I walk a carpeted gym floor in these shoes. I have never used them for trail running or court sports," he says.

He went back to the store, which said he had to call Nike Canada.

That's when he found ou…

Pet Peeves and Misconceptions, Part 1

When I first entered the health and fitness industry 20 years ago there were pet peeves and misconceptions but they were more of the gym etiquette variety--things like using the power rack for curls, putting a towel on a piece of equipment to 'hold it' while doing something else, or men wearing spandex pants and tank tops while working out.

Nowadays, there are newer, far more insidious pet peeves and misconceptions that do far more damage than simply irritating other gym users.

Pet Peeve #1

Those that kneel at the altar of "the fat burning zone." Do these people who spend hours every week on the elliptical machine or the stairmaster realize the misinformation on "the fat burning zone" was created over 30 years ago? Study after study has proven that interval training is a far more effective modality for changing body composition than the old, "Fit or Fat" strategy that Covert Bailey prescribed back in 1978.

Pet Peeve #2

People with fat loss goals who d…

Nike Customer Service review--FAIL!!!

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Grade: Not Impressed. At all.

On the recommendation of many training websites I had read, I purchased a pair of Nike Free 7.0 shoes. The basic premise behind the Nike Free is a very flexible sole that is designed to allow your feet to move as if you were barefoot.

At first the shoes were very comfortable and because I work 6 days a week as a personal trainer, I decided to buy a second pair so I could alternate wearings.

Not long after obtaining my second pair, my original pair started to split at the seam between the forefoot strap and the leather upper. Then, not long after that, my second pair also started to split and started shedding sole pads. Keep in mind that I walk a carpeted gym floor in these shoes. I have never used them for trail running or court sports.

My first course of action was to go to my local Nike store and try to return the obviously defective shoes there. The store said that they don't handle warranty issues and forwarded me the phone number for Nike wa…

Changing gears a bit...

I've decided that my lower back isn't ready for the rigors of the type of strength workouts I'd need to perform in order to enter the planned powerlifting competition at the end of March. In the alternative, I've stepped up my kettlebell work as well as focusing more on hitting my bodyfat goals.

In the past week, I've worked up to 30 kettlebell snatches with each arm (60 total) performed with the 24kg kettlebell. My goal is to be able to do a sustained set of 100 kettlebell snatches, 50 with each arm, one switch, no putting the kettlebell down.

In addition to the kettlebell snatches, I've incorporated a much higher volume of kettlebell swings into my workout. The objective of the kettlebell programming is to increase core stability, improve shoulder flexibility, and increase cardiovascular fitness. The beneficial side effects should include increased bodyfat loss and increased grip strength.

I've started incorporating "strongman-specific" exercis…

An excerpt from Dr. John Berardi's ebook...

"Precision Nutrition--Strategies for Success"

-available for free at www.johnberardi.com/newsletter if you sign up for his newsletter

The Metabolism Advantages

The following tips are essential to maintaining a fast, youthful metabolism:

1. Build the muscle needed to speed up your resting metabolism, all day and all night. A gain of 5 to 10 pounds of lean mass muscle will rev up your resting metabolism—the number of calories your body burns to maintain life—by roughly 100 calories – each and every day.

2. Maximize something called the “afterburn.” Through targeted strength training and energy system work (a specific type of interval training), you can increase the number of calories you burn during your workouts (about 300 to 600 calories per day depending on your body size and workout duration). However, assuming you integrate these high intensity efforts, you can also blow through another 100 to 200 calories per day – a post-exercise energy burst that eats up calories even when…

Cuckoo for Coconut!

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"Healthy Fats" are a big buzz word and one of the tastiest ways to get some into your diet is through coconut.

Dr. Johnny Bowden describes the benefits here. Referencing Dr. Bowden's book "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth", T-Nation.com author Chris Shugart writes about the benefits of coconut here.

I like coconut because it tastes good. I put some organic coconut milk into my morning protein shake (a real breakfast would be better but I'm not much for cooking in the morning) and snack on Jennie's Macaroons.

I haven't tried coconut water but Dr. Bowden is a big fan.

It tastes good and it's good for you. To me, that's a win/win situation!

My upcoming goals with respect to bodyweight...

As I stood this morning, fasted, I weighed 247 lbs. My goal is to weigh 235 or less by March 18th, 2009. That date will be 10 days before my next planned powerlifting competition. I intend to lift in the 242 lb weight class and by getting my weight down to 235 in advance of the meet, I will be able to creatine load and still end up under the weight class limit after the inevitable and strength-giving water retention.

Twelve pounds minimum in 8 weeks shouldn't be very challenging but to ensure I hit my goal, I will be initiating a 20-30 minute cardio/kettlebell session in the morning. It's not a lot but it will be enough to jump start my daily metabolism, defer any fat-loss plateaus and give me the calorie deficit cushion I'll need to offset the required high-calorie days for proper recuperation in the final weeks before the meet.

After I complete that meet, my next fat-loss goal is to hit 215 or less by June 24, 2009. That day will be 10 days prior to the 8th Annual Fer…

Some "Before" and "During" pics

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The "before" pics are from the 299 lb phase of my life and the "during" pics were taken tonight at 250 lbs. I'm not quite at my "fighting weight" but I wanted to record my progress before I donate my "fat clothes" to a local drop-off station. The time period between the pics is approximately 14 months.