Monthly Archives: February 2008

Always be Positive

One of the things that will help your training is to think positive thoughts all the time.

The words we pick to say or think matter.

EX: Just the other day while training a veteran client as she was reaching a deep level of muscle fatigue I said: "Don’t quit, don’t quit!"

And lo and behold…she quit.

I said "How come you just stopped? You were about to finish that last rep and call upon those last few straggling fast twitch fibers!"

She replied: "You said to quit."

She’s right – I did.

Instead I should have said: "Keep at it, keep at it!" or "Squeeze those shoulders stronger." or something akin to this.

If you have a training partner or if you train yourself, always use a positive, active prose so that your semi-subconscious gets the correct message.

Say "Breathe" not "Don’t hold your breath."

Say "Shoulders down" not "Don’t shrug your shoulders"

You get the picture. Very The Secret-ish and very effective!

Colpo Continues His Nonsense

Anthony Colpo, the self proclaimed diet and training expert from Australia who I pulverized a few months ago with a post showing his inability to decipher simple exercise studies, is at it again. He never blasted me or addressed the post because he didn’t want anyone to read it and see that he doesn’t know much when it comes to reading exercise research.

Colpo appears so incensed with destroying the metabolic advantage of low carbohydrate/sugar diets in the paper that he has offered to pay to a charity of your choice $20,000 to anyone who can prove him wrong. (Does he HAVE $20,000 he has yet to prove.) Go here to read all about it.

I know I said I promised I would not write anymore on this guy, but I’m breaking my promise because I want to give you all the opportunity to win $20,000 for a charity of your choice – or to prove he’s a liar and shut his trap for good.

The man is prolific – you gotta give him that. He’s also clearly bonkers.

But it’s sort of fun to read his drivel. He makes his position sound so right – so compelling. You can almost see him tearing his hair out with anger and frustration save for the fact that he shaves his head. (As a balding man, I find it offensive when other men who otherwise would have a full head of thick hair fully expose their pates. It’s almost as if they mock us!)

History: Colpo used to be a strict low fat guy, trumpeting from on high that fat was bad, lean meats were good, ex-cetera, ex-cetera,ex-cetera.

Oops – wrong! But hey at least he admits it! What a guy.

After learning fat is good, he writes a book preaching that all of the doctors in the world who say cholesterol is the demon and statins are our savior are not only wrong, but are the reason why his dad died an untimely death. A book that had already been written several times, in whole or in part mind you, by other more credible sources.

At some point he became a low carb believer after his foray with low fat and still is a low carber, BUT he has now found another ring to fight in to gain popularity and prestige. I mean, what is the poor man going to do now that he has written his cholesterol book which didn’t make him rich or get him on Oprah and is now a mere personal trainer in Melbourne? He desperately needs something to do for fun right? He must have attended some personal trainer PR/marketing class which said: "If you can’t beat them, insult them!"

He even tries to malign the Eades by listing 14 different bad Amazon reviews of their NY Times bestselling book Protein Power. Yes – a NY Times bestseller.

He lists these bad reviews of Protein Power as if to somehow support his stance and help prove he’s right about the metabolic advantage. Of course, all this does is serve to undermine a low carb approach to eating – a regimen he himself undertakes. How utterly absurd is this?

He adamantly insists that tightly controlled ward studies are the only way to determine proof of anything but feels that subjective book reviews on Amazon are a valid means to prove the Eades are wrong. Astonishing. 

Colpo knows that most of these reviews are from people who more than likely did not follow the plan as is laid out in the book since there are far more positive reviews than non. In fact of the 439 reviews, 319 are 5 star, 62 are 4 star. So, 381 of the 439 reviews are 4 star or better. And if you look at the Protein Power Life-plan book, 56 out of the 65 reviews are 4 star or better. As an author myself there are always a few naysayers who bad mouth your book without even reading it.

"Nuff said on that. 

When you read his blatherings, you can feel the underlying seething that his book never reached the bestseller list and that he despises others who have made it rich writing about diet and exercise. He mentions fairly often that experts like the Eades and others have made ‘zillions of dollar’s off of the metabolic advantage idea never stopping to realize that experts like the Eades have been writing books, running clinics and piling up their professional degrees and helping gazillions of people improve their help before Mr. Colpo was in 3rd grade.

In a nutshell Colpo’s position is this: Calories in, calories out, is all that matters. Nothing else makes a difference.

In the paper I cited above, he lists several ward studies where no matter what the macronutrient makeup of the diet is, the subjects lost the same amount of weight and fat. Most of these studies had less than 20 people in them (some fewer than 10)which in and of itself invalidates these as credible research studies ward or not.

And if you think you can’t cheat during a ward study you are sorely mistaken. In fact one of the ward studies which did show an advantage favoring the low carb diet Colpo rips into by saying that the study was a ‘poorly controlled mess’ where researchers made the subjects feel bad because they were having food snuck into the ward and cheating left and right. He quotes the researchers as saying:

"The first and main hazard was that many of the patients had inadequate personalities. At worst they would cheat and lie, obtaining food from visitors, from trolleys touring the wards, and from neighbouring patients. (Some required almost complete isolation.)"

So much for your ward studies being pure. Do you think the other ward studies he cited might have been fraught with the same problems? And since we know that protein and to a lesser degree fat satiates the appetite and that high carb low protein/fat diets cause hunger, which group do you think cheated the most?

Fact is this: the more that you eat a diet full of sugar, grains and bad fats — like trans fats, the more you are mess with your brain’s ability to decipher the biochemical signals that tell it to stop eating and storing fat.

These signals come from your hormones insulin and leptin and one of their jobs is to control your metabolism.

Insulin tells the vast majority of your cells whether to burn or store fat and whether to utilize that energy for maintenance, repair or reproduction.

Leptin sends powerful signals that reduce your hunger, increase fat burning and reduce fat storage.

When you mainly eat carbs is causes your blood sugar to rise and depending on the carbs to spike after you eat and your body becomes resistant to these important messages.

The result? Major hormonal miscommunications that signals your body to eat more food usually sugar, and store more fat. When your insulin and leptin levels are increased, it becomes far more difficult for your body to use fat as a fuel as the enzymes required for doing this are significantly impaired.

That’s the metabolic advantage that a study with 11 people over a period of 6 weeks will never be seen.

If I start smoking today my lungs will not show signs of disease for quite some time. This does not mean that smoking is safe for my lungs. It’s one of the problems with statin studies. The drug companies conduct a study that lasts a year or so and conclude the drug has few side effects and is safe. BUT if that same study lasted 5 years we’d see a very different picture.

Colpo cannot see the wood for the trees.

Statins and Strength

A friend sent me this research paper Download riechman_jgms_2007.pdf titled:

"Statins and Dietary and Serum Cholesterol Are Associated With Increased Lean Mass Following Resistance Training"

The conclusion of this study was that people who ate more dietary cholesterol enjoyed greater gains in muscle mass following resistance training.

They speculated that since cholesterol is involved heavily in cellular repair and production it stands to reason that if a person had too little cholesterol they might not repair damaged muscle tissue well enough.

"Cholesterol may play a role as an essential building block to repair micro tears that occur in the skeletal muscle membrane with RET (resistance training)."

Makes sense to me.

But what they also found which they were shocked at was that folks who took statins which are known to cause muscle weakness and damage also experienced greater gains in muscle mass after following a resistance training program.

"We observed greater hypertrophy in participants using certain statins. This result was unexpected considering that several studies have reported adverse effects of statins on skeletal muscle."

This is cool.

It appears that the ‘damage’ that statins cause without resistance training leaves the muscles weaker and smaller. BUT when you toss weight lifting into the mix, the body sees fit to repair, rebuild and upregulate the muscles damaged by both modalities. Nifty, right?

So if your statinating yourself (which I DO NOT advise) you’d be wise to hit the weights once or twice a week.

(Pfizer and Merck would be smart to suggest this to their users.)

They also found that, contrary to popular belief, people who had higher intakes of cholesterol did NOT have increased cardiovascular health risk factors. (Resistance training also decreased body fat % and blood pressure significantly.)

Resistance training sure sounds like a better ‘statin’ than statins themselves, no?

In sum, having a higher cholesterol intake does NOT increase cardiovascular risk factors and aids muscle growth significanlty when strength training. Strength training increases muscle mass, strength, endurance, decreases body fat, body fat percentage and blood pressure.

So, why is it that you’re taking a statin again?

And if you are…

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