Monthly Archives: August 2008

Excessive Exercise Cont…

My friend Griff pointed out to me that in the article Regular Gym visits Can Wear Out Your Joints, the exercise physiologist in the article Gary O'Donovan disagreed with the doctor who said:

"'People are crippling themselves with impact exercise. It is particularly problematic for overweight people who go to the gym.' .

O'Donovan implies that it is a myth that exercise is bad for the joints. He is quoted as saying:

"The fitter you are, the better. We have evolved to be active."

Actually, we have evolved to be smart and cunning; to stand up and see what we want to eat, trick it and eat it with the least amount of effort possible. This reminds me of the time that a friend of mine haughtily said to me "Humans are designed for running" to which I 'matter-of-factly' replied "You mean like compared to a cheetah?"

So, on one hand we have a pioneering surgeon who actually opens people's bodies up, looks directly at the joints and flatly and boldly states that aerobic-type exercise (other than walking briskly 3 times a week) wears out the joints prematurely. It's not hard to visualize – imagine grinding an aspirin in a mortar and pestle. The pestle is your thigh bone, the aspirin is your knee cartilage and the mortar (your hip socket).

On the other hand, we have an exercise physiologist (the title sounds greater than the course work required BTW) who mindlessly spews forth quotes from fitness magazines. You'd think he would have said "I'll have to agree with the good doctor. I never thought of it quite this way before." But if he did, he'd need a new job.

Truth is, editors of most articles where opinions on subjects are made always need to put in a counterpoint which is fine when the counterpoint has merit. But in this case it's just loopy.

Statements like these are what makes the field of exercise so shoddy and why doctors often look down upon physiologists and trainers. Sad indeed. Not even the American Council on Exercise (who I am certified by) nor the American College of Sports Medicine have the guts to admit that aerobic exercise causes more harm than good.

Stick to the weights folks. Other than that, enjoy your favorite pastime activities with glee.

Excessive Exercise

My friend Bill alerted me to this article which discusses the dangers and perils of excessive exercise.

But the title is misleading or put more simply, dead wrong:

Regular gym visits can wear out your hips in middle age

Well, it kind of depends on what you do when you're at the gym, right? This is like saying regular visits to the liquor store can cause cirrhosis of the liver.

The title should be:

 Excessive Exercise Can Wear Out Your Joints By Middle Age

But we get the idea.

The sad thing is that the physician who is most often quoted in this article, Dr. Marston, believes that walking is the best form of exercise.

He says:

"The best exercise is a 30 minute brisk walk three times a week."

Yet he believes that too much activity is a cause of worn down joints. Though he does mention impact as a factor, clearly it can't be the only factor. Rubbing and grinding do their fair share of joint degradation. Why Dr. Marston evades this is curious.

And no where is strength training mentioned – a form of exercise known to improve joint function, bone density and functionality.

And to be maximally effective, strength training takes a mere 30 minutes a week, has zero impact and if done the Slow Burn way, causes very little joint articualtion.

Should I send Dr. Marston a free copy of my book?

I’m Back From France

And boy was it an eating and drinking experience.

I will not overly bore you with our travel log or how much I love my kids, or how great the Home Link Exchange experience was (the French family we swapped homes with was tremendously warm and caring) etc. No!

I DO want to share with you how we ate (and drank). But first a family shot to show you how much we loved it there:


This was a little brassiere called Le Petit Magot in Noisy Le Grand  a suburb near Paris where we stayed. The food was, I mean, c'mon!


Now I know you all see that little piece of bread up in the right hand corner. I admit I did eat some freshly made, pure ingredient laden baguettes. Ya gotta! But see the main content of the meal? Protein. Lot's of heart healthy, saturated fats too. The glass of wine you can't see is a house red that was always low in alcohol and ALWAYS perfect for the menu. The French do vin right!

Here's another scrumptious, heart healthy meal.


And the wine you ask?


See how light the wine is and can't you just taste how dry and gentle fruit forward it was? Below the wine bottle is my meal – duck confit – but it got axed out of the pic! Sorry!

And after dinner:


One thing the French do a lot of is eat raw or barely cooked foods. My meal near the Louvre was practically still breathing:


And may I say the Cote Du Rhone was dark and chocolaty! On the left sits a plate of creamy potatoes that were swimming in butter – I had a forkful and yes it was magnafique.

And the foie gras was to die for – everywhere you went. Even if you ate it at a rest stop on the highway (yep the French rest stops make most American restaurants look shabby) the meal was great. 

In fact, the foie gras were so incredibly scrumptious, I had to have more! More I tell you!


I know I look a little weary in this shot but we did do a little wine tasting down there under the duck. This place was, we were told, the 'be-all-and-end-all' of foie gras makers.

We were told about a local fair called the Fete Du Pain (festival of bread). Now, being a low-carber I was a bit leary of going to such a carb affair – perhaps they'd spot me, point and howl (like in the movie The Invasion of The Body Snatchers) but I figured I'd brave the shindig anyway. 

At most local American affairs like this the best thing you'd get to eat is a hot dog and the Frenchest thing you'd see is the mustard – but at the Fete Du Pain here's how we ate:


Melon, cheese, ham, duck and a slice of bread. Wine was on the table and you could have as much as you liked. And so I did.


And of course, Tower Eiffel:


And the girls. Sigh.

Georgia was dying to go up the tower. She cried the first day we were in Paris because we could not wait on a 3 hour long line as we'd miss dinner. So upon our return to Paris a week later, to circumvent such nonsense, we booked a table inside the tower and dined. No wait to get in this way!


There we are about to step in and chow!

Here we are about to enjoy our meals which for me was foie gras, raw beef and mixed salad. Sorry I forgot to snap a pic of it.


We didn't get the window table but pretty darn close.

Now, how much fat weight did I gain over the 17 day span eating all this fatty food? According to my trusty Bioanalogics body composition device (which we use for all our clients at Serious Strength) I lost 1.6 pounds of fat. Nifty eh?

I will say doing push ups and pullups didn't quite cut the mustard. I felt after about 10 days that my body was getting 'soft.' I really missed my workouts.

Here is a pic of the family we swapped with upon our return to NYC. We treated them to authentic Mexican food. I don't think they liked the sangria.

Hahn Constant

Just a great experience – save for the brakes failing on the car while I was driving on the highway but that's another story…

I’m in France

Bon Jour! I am deep in the south of France for 2 weeks with the family doing – nothing but having a peaceful

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