Monthly Archives: May 2007

The Exercise Myth

This is worth the read.

It is an online copy of a very hard to find book called The Exercise Myth by cardiologist Henry Solomon M.D.

If you think aerobics is good for you or think that you need to do cardio, take a look-see.

The Top 5 Worst Exercise Choices

Everyone has their personal idea of the type of exercise program they think is most beneficial.

It is common to hear a person say:

"Well, Pilates works for me."

When, in fact, that person’s body has changed very little if at all.


"I don’t care if it’s doing what they claim. I love it!"

Ah well. You can’t fault people for going with their gut. Humans are wont to do what they want to do almost no matter what so, that is how it goes.

BUT when the injury risk is high and the reward nill, this is where I (as a fitness expert) draw the line.

Here are my top 5, never-do-these-or-I’ll-find-your-home-address-and-scold-you exercise programs:

  1. Aerobics classes with added resistance (like jumping in place with a barbell on your back).
  2. Explosive weight lifting (lifting weight really fast).

So my friends, do what you will. Rejoice in life for its own sake. Play, laugh, de-stressify, feel happy, prance, dance and otherwise be gay.

But if I hear from my Serious Strength spies that you’re doing any of the above, remember, – I’m comin’ for ya!

Women have no fear!

Ladies if you fear that weight lifting or strength training will make you look like this:


Or this:


Don’t. It’s almost impossible. Even with muscle enhancing substances (steroids).

I mean, even if you BEGGED me to make you this muscular I couldn’t do it.

This is the most you can expect muscle-wise: (You can click on her pic to enlarge it.)


I’m am NOT suggesting that every woman can look like her or wants to look like her. Of course not.

I merely use her picture as an example of the most amount of muscle a woman can gain naturally.

And, because I know your thinking about it, she is as lean as she is because she cares about what she eats on a meal by meal basis, each and everyday without fail. 

Don’t fear muscles ladies. With them, you’ll be fearless.

The Series Circuit of Fitness

You remember 8th grade science class right? Learning about electricity, making models of circuits, motors, etc? Fun stuff.

If memory serves, in a series circuit the current that enters the circuit has to flow through every element in the circuit or the circuit will not work. If one element is disturbed or missing, the circuit is dead. 

It looks like this: Series

In this model, if one of the light bulbs is disconnected, none of them will light up.

Your fitness/exercise program works much in the same way.

Here’s how it works (I’d love to make a cool picture flow chart but I own a PC not a Mac so phooey):


EXERCISE: Your exercise program must be intense enough and of enough duration to stimulate a positive muscle/bone adaptation. If it’s not, it won’t. It does not matter, for example, that you like to walk. Walking (like many other low effort, low intensity activities) will NOT stimulate much if any positive tissue adaptation. It’s fun, but it isn’t very adaptive.

EAT: You must eat adequate amounts of high quality fats and proteins to allow your body to enhance your metabolic milieu. Think about it – if you exercise properly and don’t eat at all do you think you’ll grow muscle and bone? No way. So, do you think you’ll reap the benefits of your exercise program if you eat poorly? Nope. You really must eat nutritiously and adequately or you can expect far less than what is possible from your exercise program.

(Side note: I have a 58 year old female client who came in disappointed that her bone mineral density was down 1.7% from 5 years ago. She had been training with me for nearly 4 years and felt that her bone mass should be up. Truth be told, a 1.7% loss over 5 years ain’t that bad. Without the training, she’d more than likely have lost a lot more. But when I asked her what she has been eating, it turns out that she was hardly eating at all in order to lose fat. An egg in the morning. A piece of fruit at noon, etc. All my efforts at educating her on how to eat properly failed and failed because she is bombarded by misinformation everywhere she goes.)

REST: Sleep is more important than most people realize. REM sleep is vital for hormonal replenishment and healthy hormonal tone. Without adequate sleep, the body cannot build itself properly.

RECOVERY: The human body requires a certain amount of rest from exercise in order for the benefits to be obtained. Research indicates that this differs from person to person to a marked degree. Most of the evidence indicates that ~48-72 hours is adequate to obtain the benefits from adaptive exercise. This does not mean you cannot take a walk everyday. You absolutely can as walking is not a form of adaptive exercise.

Exercise adaptation/recovery is akin to getting a suntan. The summer sun acts as an intense stimulus (a winter sun will not tan most people). But you don’t want to stay in the sun for too long or you will burn. You need an adequate amount of sun and then you remove yourself from the stimulus for a time. But if you look in the mirror on the first day, you will not be tan yet. It takes time for the body to produce the adaptation and, little by little, you become tan. At a certain point you will become as tan as possible and then the job is to stay tan with the least amount of sun necessary. If you stay in the sun for too long or too often, you will burn and never tan. You need recovery.

ADAPTATION: If all the elements in the exercise circuit are connected, adaptation occurs. If even one is removed, adaptation will not occur.

You don’t get to vote.

If you need help on any of these issues, I’m here for you! Email away!

Contact Information

NYC Location
169 West 78th Street
New York, NY 10024

[email protected]

Montclair, NJ Location
25 Watchung Plaza
Montclair, NJ 07042

[email protected]

As Seen On

700 Club CNN Fox News