Monthly Archives: April 2007

Tight vs taught

A client came in yesterday and told me that she and her friend (a former Serious Strength client) were chewing the fat about diet and exercise. Her friend is a Pilates instructor.

I asked her if she knew why her friend no longer trained with us. Was is cost? Convenience? Our lack of handsome trainers?

None of the above. And we are all VERY handsome.

The answer – the former client felt that the strength training was making her tight.

The sad part about her answer is that it is untrue. She gave up the single greatest exercise modality known (strength training) because she was feeling taught and strong and her joints were becoming more stable.

But because she has spent so many years unknowingly feeling weak and living with unstable joints due to this weakness, she was unable to tell the difference.

Example: If an ex-ballerina starts to strength train properly she will, little by little begin to lose her turnout. What her turnout actually is an overstretched, unstable hip joint. Strengthening the hips and thighs will rectify this but at the same time make her less extendible.  This is better.

Muscular flexibility is a misnomer. There is no such thing as muscular flexibility. And it’s not semantics – it’s fact.

Muscles do not flex. I repeat – muscles do not flex. Joints flex. Muscle fibers contract and lengthen. When you stretch a muscle you do not increase its length. The length of a muscle is fixed, origin to insertion. It does not change by stretching.

When you stretch a muscle you simultaneously stretch the joint. What changes is the ligament if you stretch it long enough over time. And when this happens, it is essentially permanent. Ligaments have little blood flow so when it is stretched it stays that way. This is bad.

As our muscles get weaker and weaker with age, our joints become less and less stable due to the lengthened ligament and often is the cause of many orthopedic ailments.

Strength training creates stronger muscles and improves joint stability. This sometimes causes a person to feel tight and inflexible but this feeling is an illusion.

A question on kids and strength training…

This blog is admittedly a little selfish.

Rather than provide you with mind-bogglingly clairvoyant info on exercise and nutrition today, I want to ask you all a couple of questions on obesity and training in children. It’s the topic of my next book and I need honest and straight forward ideas, info, etc. from people who deal with these issues.

Q #1: How may of you know parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. who would be interested in purchasing a book that gives them the honest and scientific low down – the cure really – for adolescent obesity, diabetes, how to improve athletic performance in young athletes, how to minimize their injury rate in sports and many other topics?

Q #2: What would YOU like to see included in such a book?

Q #3: How would you like the book written? Simply or chock full of science and physio-talk?

A free copy of my book and DVD (and my undying gratitude) goes out to the most in depth answer (Don’t forget to include your email address).

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thought for the day…

I get this question a lot:

"I’m following your program and it’s working great. I feel stronger, tighter, looser, etc. But I’m not losing much weight. What am I doing wrong?"

In almost every case when I check on the person’s diet, they are eating far too many carbohydrates (sugar) to allow for their bodies to use body fat as its main source of fuel. And, as the person strength trains, they gain muscle mass and sometimes body weight.

People, if you really want to lose fat, you absolutely MUST get a handle on the total amount of sugar you are consuming on a daily basis. Not just junk food sugar – ALL sugar.

The bottom line is this – if you’re getting ready for summer, a wedding, a date or anything that requires fat loss, KEEP AWAY FROM SUGAR except for veggies and some seasonal fruit.

I don’t care how hard it is. I know how hard it is.

It is what it is. Feel free to email me for tips. No charge.

What weight training and eating right can and will do for you

John Stone has done the incredible. He has reinvented himself.

Look at what he was able to accomplish in just 6 months (click the picture for a larger image):

John_stone_before John_stone_after

He transforms himself from an out of shape middle-aged man to a college aged surfer jock.

My hat goes off to him for such a great show of will power and discipline.

Psst! – you can reinvent yourself too!

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