It’s Supposed to be Hard


To build or restore muscle and bone tissue requires hard work – intense effort.

No amount of easy, fluffy stuff is going to cause  positive tissue remodeling, or as the industry puts it, “make you look better naked.”

It doesn’t matter what you believe or what you think will do the trick. Your opinions on the issue do not supersede science.

In other words, you’re thrice weekly tennis game isn’t going to preserve or build muscle. Neither will your Yoga class or your morning speed walks with Mabel or your jog around the whatever it is you jog around.

So when you hear the industry experts say fluff like “Do what you will enjoy! Do what you will stick with!” ignore them. It’s a good recommendation when trying to figure out a hobby, but not for transforming and strengthening your body. Imagine if that same expert said that about diet?  Just eat what you enjoy! Uh huh.

You have to strength train and you have to do it properly, meaning, safely and with  a high enough degree of effort that your body gets the idea that you want more of what you already have. Then you rest, meaning, take days off from exercise, and this is when you build and strengthen.

The little dude at the top of this post is lifting his barbell way too fast. He’d get an earful from me if I was training him.

When you lift, count a minimum of 5 real seconds to lift a weight and the same or slower to lower. Lift and lower until you can’t lift the weight against your best effort to do so.  Choose a weight or a resistance level that allows for between 60-90 seconds of total effort until your muscles are pooped out. Add a small amount of weight each session – as little as one pound. 5-10 different exercises are plenty.Train your whole body each session. 2 sessions a week. Let me know how it goes.

Questions? Thoughts?





What Did You Feed Your Kids This Morning?


My daughters breakfast this morning. Took 5 minutes to make. Cost? Less than a buck.

Lunch given will be similar.

Supplements are: Multi vitamin/mineral, D, K, O3, and a probiotic. Filtered water.

May I ask, what did you feed your kids?

Life and Death

People say it’s cruel to kill animals to eat them. Well, as I see it, how you kill them is the most important issue. You can do it horribly or humanely. I opt for the latter.

I was talking to a client about this the other day. She agreed and understood that we need to eat animal matter, but still had trouble with the idea of killing them.

I said to her “Well, the animal is going to die someday, so, would you rather the animal grow old, became decrepit and live in discomfort and potential agony till it drops and then we eat it? Or, might it be better for the animal to kill it humanely before it suffers?

This made her smile.

So, if you have a beef with eating beef or any other animal because it has to be killed, remember that the animal has to die someday.

(Note: I realize that there are other issues like veal, piglets, and other animals that we eat that are not allowed to live a decent lifespan and are tortured while they live. I am against this.)

Fit in a Few


The book above is part of my collection of rare, first edition fitness books. It is also one of my favorites. It was written by Alan Calvert and published by the author  in 1911. The cost of this book was “$1.00 net”.

The book is full of gems. Phrases such as “Most lifters are of phlegmatic temperament” which means meek, thoughtful, reasonable, calm, patient, caring, and tolerant, make me chuckle.

On page 156/157 Calvert states:

Most professional lifters train only for a short time everyday. Some lifters only train three or four times a week. A total of 2 hours time each week is more than enough to keep a man in the highest possible condition, and it is also enough to develop a novice from a totally undeveloped condition into a perfect Hercules….the man who practices weight training scarcely has to train at all.

Smart man that Calvert.

In last Sunday’s New York Times there was an article by Gretchen Reynold’s titled: How to Get Fit in A Few Minutes a Week

Boiled down to the nitty gritty, researchers found that short, brief but intense bouts of cardio did as well or better than the traditional forms of cardio for improvements in fitness. In other words, long drawn out bouts of plodding on the treadmill or stepper is an inefficient use of your fitness time. You can get the same and better benefits training harder but briefer.

And no – you’re not losing more fat by plodding away for hours either. Most of the energy you use when doing cardio come from glycogen (sugar) stored in your muscles – not from the fat on your hips, thighs and belly. What…you didn’t know that?

As many of you are aware, I have been a staunch advocate of brief, intense strength workouts long before my first book The SlowBurn Fitness Revolution: The Slow Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body In 30 Minutes A Week. was published. Short, intense and brief strength workouts work and they work well – if you are willing to put a solid effort into each and every set you do.

Here is my daughter Georgia, who is 6 years old in this video, doing some serious work at my gym Serious Strength Personal Training.

Strongmen, you got nuthin’ on this kid:

I am not the person who invented the concept of less is more when it comes to exercise by any stretch of the imagination. I am just one of the many who have helped to popularize the concept. If any contemporary fitness individual should get the credit for inventing the concept, it would be Arthur Jones, the tough talking, pistol wielding, renaissance man who invented Nautilus and MedX exercise equipment.

Take a looksee:

Interesting fella eh?

At any rate, while it is true that HIIT cardio training (as mentioned in the NY Times article) is different from HIT weight training, the type of stimulation to the muscles is very similar.

Intense muscular effort calls upon the higher threshold (the so-called fast twitch) motor units to engage (as in sprinting or lifting a very heavy object) and results in increased total mitochondria (not mitochondrial density – two different things which researchers often goof up on) thus improving endurance and aerobic capacity. Mitochondria are the energy producing cellular power plants of the cells.

Intense efforts are the key to producing the results you require – if time is something you value that is. You don’t need a lot of total work.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, to improve your physique or figure, what and how you eat is 99% of that battle. Productive exercise, meaning, exercise that produces positive tissue remodeling (denser bones and more muscle) requires very little time per week to achieve. As little as 15-30 minutes a week. Even less.

In the time it took you to read this post, you could have stimulated every muscle in your body to become stronger.  And the time you’ll now save at the gym will allow you to learn a foreign language. Or paint the house. Or…

Can You Afford To Eat Well?

I saw this on the Let Fat Be Thy Medicine. I hope they won’t mind my shameless promotion of their movie by using this pic.


And…you won’t be buying nearly as many (if any) antacids, acne cream, arthritis meds, cholesterol meds, insulin (if you’re type 2), dry skin salves, eye drops, ear wax removal liquids, cough drops, NyQuil, sleeping pills, Advil, Tylenol, GasX, you’ll make fewer trips to the dentist for cavities, root canals, fewer doctor visits…

Shall I go on????

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