Counting Calories Doesn't Work… Really?

This is just a short rant on something I've seen a few times and it bugs me. To say that counting calories doesn't work is akin to saying Charlie Sheen doesn't use drugs. It's just not true! I've seen people say that counting calories is only a short-term solution. I have to say that I agree on this point, IF you are counting calories incorrectly. Let's go over two examples, one example of someone counting calories incorrectly and one counting them correctly. Let's say Jane has a BF% of 30%. She ways 140 pounds. She's pretty happy with the way she looks, but she's going on vacation soon and she wants trim down to around 133. Why 133 do you ask? Well she used to way 133 a few years…
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Water Preloads and Weightloss

I'm sure you've heard the health benefits of water. I most definitely don't dispute that water is an absolute necessity in everyday life. I do seem to see a lot of fitness experts espouse water as an integral part of a weight loss plan. This little tid bit has always interested me. So I decided to dive into some research and show you what I found. Here we go! I will begin by saying that I don't personally think that water is as important as many make it out to be. Yes, we need it to live. Yes, you should be drinking it multiple times per day. However, saying it's an absolute necessity while on a hypocaloric diet seems a little far fetched for me. I suppose the reasoning I…
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Dark Chocolate: What The Research Says

A new study published at the end of August by the British Medical Journal made news recently in the NYT. The study discussed the health benefits of chocolate consumption on the risk of development of cardiometabolic disorders. I'm sure you can guess this studies' conclusion. This study was a review of cohorts and a cross sectional study. Note the absence of randomized control trials! 5 of the 7 studies showed a beneficial association between higher levels of chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders. That's ~70% association. That's something, but it doesn't exactly make you run to the nearest 7/11 to stock up on Jersey Milk now, does it? I didn't read the full study so I don't know precisely what chocolate they were referring to that gave a health benefit. Was…
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More Research on Abdominal Exercises and Abdominal Fat

I know I've hammered this home before on this blog but screw it, I still see people who seem devote entire workouts to abdominal exercises. So if this can reach their eyes, I hope they will learn to focus their efforts elsewhere. This research comes from the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. The purpose of this study was to research the effects of abdominal exercises on abdominal fat. The study participants were sedentary and aged 18 to 40 years old. There were 14 men and 10 women in total. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups; control group (CG) or abdominal exercise group (AG). The study lasted six weeks. The AG performed 7 types abdominal exercises for 2 sets of 10, 5x/week. This is a crap load of…
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Cookie Cutter Nutrition Sucks!

I've seen cookie cutter training programs, so I guess it shouldn't surprise me that there are also cookie cutter diet plans. I will admit that cookie cutter diets might work, for a matter of months. However, for the most part they only work for a matter of weeks or even days! As Dr's Arya Sharma and Yoni Freedhoff say, the best weight is the whichever weight you can sustain while enjoying your lifestyle. I completely agree with their statement. When you pick up a magazine and see a diet plan written by "Who Knows," you are on a diet that is the authors 'best weight.' It's not your best weight! You may be able to go on their cookie cutter diet for a month or so, you may even see…
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A Note On Creatine Use for Novice Trainees

You may have read my blog post on how to properly dose creatine a few days ago. If you do take creatine, I suggest you check it out over here. This isn't article isn't aimed directly at creatine, but at supplements in general. If you are brand new at lifting weights, you have no right to use supplements. Why? You will progress at the beginning no matter what. You will gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. No supplement in the world (that's legal) will do this for you at any point in your training life. So why would you waste money on shit you don't need when you begin training? Unless you have a decent amount of strength or have plateaued, you simply don't need to use creatine or other…
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How to Use Creatine Properly

Everyone and their dog knows what creatine is, but I think there is often confusion on how to properly dose this excellent supplement. I won't be going over what creatine is, or how it works though. Most bottles of creatine tell you to take a certain amount per day, or load for 5-6 days then go on a maintenance dosage. I'd like to go over both these methods to clarify what might work best for you. First off I will get this out of the way for people who think creatine is cheating: Cr is produced endogenously by the liver or ingested from exogenous sources such as meat and fish. So that's enough of that bullshit. I remember 5 years ago, a lot of people seemed to be against the…
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The Top 5 Lifts For a Fat Burning Resistance Program

Everyone loves "lists." So here is my favourite 5 lifts that should be incorporated into any program where melting bodyfat is the goal. 1. Deadlifts. Preferably with a barbell, but dumbbells are a reasonable substitute if you are a novice. A lot of coaches also love single leg barbell or dumbbell deadlifts (DL's). For athletes single leg DL's are great. For the regular 40-50 year old client who works behind a desk all day, they will be more a nuisance. If you have a competent trainer, then yes, you can do single leg DL's. I've seen far too many people doing them with a round back though. Start bilaterally, and progress to unilateral if you wish. Remember, if you're doing it bilaterally, unilaterally, with a barbell or dumbbell, keep your…
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A Rant on Correlational Studies

This is something that has been on my mind often lately. I've been reading a book called 'The China Study.' I've been quite annoyed at much of what I have read so far. The main reason it vexes me is that the author relies far too much on correlations from uncontrolled/observational research. Let me first say, that uncontrolled/observational research isn't useless. It's just that in many cases, it has fooled individuals into making choices about food that are flat our wrong. If you look at many of the topics I write about that mention nutrition, you may notice I dispel a lot of myths. Many, but not all these fitness myths were created from individuals who misinterpret epidemiological research. Let's go over a few examples. You may have heard that…
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