Archive for the ‘Fit Over 40’ Category

March 23

“Fat-and-Happy”… Is It True? Study Tells All…

Ever heard the phrase, “Fat-n-Happy?”…

Of course you have. We used to refer to obese guys as a “jolly fat-man”… or perhaps someone who is overweight as “fat-n-happy”.

Is it true? Can (gasp) being overweight actually make you happy?

Rather than giving you my opinion on the matter, I take a look at three national studies on this page.

The presentation is only 5 minutes long… and I reveal the number one case for alarm in the United States and Canada.

Read that again:  The Number 1 Cause For Alarm.

And I’m NOT an alarmist… I’m a rationalist. But stats like these do not lie.

They cannot lie.

And this deals with our children.

Please… go see:

click.here—>  Fat-n-Happy Study

P.S.  I can tell you from my own first-hand experience, which I document in “Fit Over 40″, that my personal 10-year-journey through the muck of obesity was ANYTHING but happy.

I was depressed, to the point of suicide at times (thankfully I never went that far.) I was socially hidden. I wore “fat-clothes” all the time. The few times I HAD to wear jeans or dress pants I rushed home to change into sweats because they were just too damn uncomfortable to tolerate.

Bottom line:  I was “fat-n-miserable”.

I think most people who are overweight or obese feel more despair, sadness, or perhaps just really frustrated than “happy”. Of course you can be happy and be any size, color, shape, etc. But I’ll tell you from my experience that I am MUCH happier now that I’m fit and trim.

Part of that is just because I feel better. The other part is how the brain functions. When you’re more active, you release more “feel-good” hormones… and these are powerful anti-blues hormones… they really make you feel like a champ. At least that’s been my experience.

But go watch the 5-min video and see what you think…

click.here—>  Fat-n-Happy Study

March 18

My Medical Emergency; This Happened Today

Sometimes you have to nearly lose it all to realize what you truly have.

I can honestly say that I have come close to death several times in my life. I’ve had my share of accidents, medical emergencies, and a near-fatal accident while driving.

But there was something about just laying on the gym floor today with two doctors hovering over me that gave me serious pause.

Time for some major reflection.

Now, before you get too alarmed (for those who know me, or just think I’m a pretty good guy… ; )… fear not. I did not have a stroke or anything like that, thank goodness.

What I did have was a major drop in blood pressure… so much that I came dangerously close to entering the “coma” zone.

I kid you not.

And trust me… I felt like I was slipping fast.

My girlfriend was there with me. I had her kneel down and, just like Spock in an old episode of “Star Trek”, I had her slap me several times in the face. Hard!

“If my eyes roll back, hit me harder.”

The doctor probably thought I was nuts… but I know that’s one way to elevate my blood pressure.

So, what happened? Am I falling apart at the relatively young age of 46? Is my dietary and exercise advise dangerous after all?

No… and here’s why:

     I actually VOLUNTEERED for this.

Before you think I’ve totally lost my marbles, hear me out. If you listen to the rest of the story, you’ll see that not only has my advice been of great value when it comes to exercise and dietary strategy… it actually ended up saving my butt!

—————————————–
Really Bad Genetics Meets
The Cath Lab:  A Wild Encounter
—————————————–

First, the “volunteered for this” bit needs explaining… right? Right.

If you read my first book, published in 2004, called “Fit Over 40″ (read more at www.fitover40.com) then you may recall that I went into great detail about my poor genetics and horrible health in my early and mid-30s.

Since then, and knowing exactly how bad my genetics are for such things as high blood pressure (oh, the irony!), heart disease, and stroke, I adopted the dietary plan and exercise routine I use to  this very day. The very ones I cover in “The Every Other Day Dietplan” and “7 Minute Body.”

(If you don’t have these books and want them, you can get both here… The Every Other Day Dietplan Revealed — oh, and I have a short video up on this page if you have not seen on a 1-minute fatloss tip… )

Now, let’s get real folks:  Dietary power and exercise MAY not be enough to overcome really bad genetics when it comes to certain diseases. And being ever curious, I wanted to know exactly how my own health was doing on my plan. So a month or so ago I paid a visit to the hospital to have some tests ran. All my yearly check-ups were okay, but I wanted a closer look at my heart… and I mean “literally”.

I wanted to be “cathed”… this is where they insert a camera into your heart, going up the femoral artery in your right leg, and take a look around. If they find anything dangerous, like a clogged artery, they can fix it right then and there with a stent. A stent is a metal device that presses plaque against the artery wall and opens up a clogged artery.

Of course I hoped I would not find such a thing… and certainly nothing worse. I mean, can you imagine?  “Mr. Benson, you need a quadruple bypass!”

I could not, that’s for sure… and I was fortunate because, as you probably guessed, I didn’t hear those words from my doc.

It’s hard to get a cath done as it’s a risky procedure. I can’t even tell you how I managed to pull it off … that’s how touchy the hospitals are when it comes to this kind of stuff. Afterwards, I volunteered to do 5-10 workouts at their heart care facility so I could hook myself up to some nifty gadgets. I get to watch my EKG (how my heart is functioning during cardio and weights… and it works like a charm!) and really nice doctor folks come by to check my blood pressure (which is always low) during the workout.

Yep… the doc and I wanted to put my workout plan to the test, I guess you could say. I wanted to do it just to make sure I was 100% healthy during my training. You never really “know” I suppose, so I was up for it. And my doctor wanted me to do it just in case what he found during the cath was serious. There’s a lot to this process, and there’s some details I don’t wish to cover for privacy sake… but anyway, back to my story.

It’s long, but it may save your life too. : )

—————————————–
The Good News… The Bad News…
And The Stupid Jon News!
—————————————–

Turns to find out I made a few mistakes… some pretty costly mistakes… but (get this) none of them had to do with my dietary or exercise plan.

During the cath, here’s what the doc said:

“Jon, your heart’s two primary arteries look good… hardly any obstruction at all. And they are nice and thick from exercise.” For a guy who has had a cholesterol level of over 400 before, and a history of heart disease in the family, this was really good news.

“However, your genetics are catching up to you in one of your arteries…. and you need to be more aggressive with your drug treatment to make sure we don’t have to go back in here one day!”

Er… what??

Yep… turns out that the only thing that saved me from a BYPASS (that’s right) was what the doctor called “an enormous amount of peripheral arteries formed from years and years of weight training and exercise.”

Wow.

“Look right here Jon…”  (He showed me my beating heart on camera… freaky…) “See all these arteries? Well the average person doesn’t have them. You do. Congratulations… you earned them.”

Wow again. And remember, I only workout with weights 3-4 times per week and my workouts are rarely over 21 minutes (time under the weight.)

—————————————–
What I Did Right… And What
I Did Wrong… And Why This
Could Save Your Life
—————————————–

So, listen up folks as I’m about to tell you everything I did wrong for the past several years… how it ALMOST cost me dearly (a bypass?… no thanks!)… how I managed to prevent it… and how I ended up on the gym floor today with doctors all around me.

It’s all related. And again, sorry for the novel-like email, but (again) this may save your life.

First, here’s what my excellent cardiologist said I did RIGHT:

1. Exercise:  “Jon, your exercise plan, to put it bluntly, saved you from a great deal of pain… in fact it probably saved your life as these blockages would have been far worse without it.” With it, I had only one artery with enough blockage to warrant the drug therapy that I should have been on for years… more on that in a second…

2. Dietary plan:  “Jon, your diet is perfect for this condition… low in carbs, high in protein and healthy fats is all anyone can do in order to help fight this genetic killer.”  Yep… again… prevention in the form of dietplan saved my butt. Or rather my heart. : )  But it wasn’t enough… at least for one artery. However, it WAS enough to prevent them from having to do surgery on me.

“Jon, the take-away here is simple:  Exercise and dietary plans, even the very best, may not be enough for super high-risk people… but in your case your lifestyle saved your life. And it certainly prevented you from having to have any serious surgery to correct a truly broken heart.”

Talk about EXCITING news… yep… you CAN beat this killer, even when you have MY horrible family genetics. However, like me, you may need some help… more on that in a second.

3. Blood pressure:  “Jon, your blood pressure is excellent. Your lifestyle and very low-dose diuretic has kept your formerly sky-high blood pressure (it was 200/110 when I was 32!) to an excellent 118/78.”  But you know doctors… even “excellent” isn’t enough and they recommended a stronger BP med for “my intense weight training.”

So, I listened… and ended up on the floor today. You see, many doctors do not realize the POWER of weight training compared to cardio. My blood pressure never budges during cardio, but less than 3 minutes into a resistance (weight-training) session it goes down like the stock market after a bad news day.

I mean SHOOTS down. I tried to explain this by letting the doctor see the veins in my legs… “Doc, my veins are MUCH larger than the average person’s… trust me, my pressure is fine.”  “Jon, just try it for a few weeks.”

Bad mistake…. like I said, I ended up on the gym floor today with a blood pressure of 72/45. If I hit 40, I’m literally in a coma. 5 points away… very scary. Needless to say the doc took me OFF these meds and let me do it my way:  With my Every Other Day Dietplan (low-carb most of the days) and good-old exercise.

If you have high blood pressure, I URGE you to take up weight training or resistance (body-weight or band) training. Of course, ask your doc about it first… but I’ve seen first hand for three weeks now how powerful my weight training sessions are compared to intense cardio sessions.

They are night and day folks… weights RULE. Cardio is good, but weights are best. Both of course would be the best course for ultimate health, but most people do far too much cardio and far too little resistance training.

—————————————–
Oops…
—————————————–

Now, here’s what I did WRONG:

1. Cigars:  “Jon, you cannot afford to smoke cigars… ever. They have lowered your protective HDL to a dangerous level. Stop NOW!” That’s all it took folks. Yes, I smoked cigars for many years, but fortunately I was never an addict. I quit that very day.

Guess what? 10 days later my HDL DOUBLED (no kidding)… and without drugs. Of course that’s not all I did…

2. Fat too LOW:  “Jon, you’ve lowered your dietary fat too low… this affects your HDL.”  Yep, I normally eat about 35% dietary fat… and I cut it down to 20% to help me get ready for a photoshoot. Now that I put it back to where it belongs, I still have my abs (yep!) and my HDL is raising as I type.

3. Stress:  “Jon, you are simply working too hard not to do some form of meditation or de-stressing.”  So I dove back into my meditation CDs. (I’ll tell you more about Holosync and my hypnosis CDs in my next email… very cool stuff.)

4. Advil:  “Jon, you take 4 Advil before you train? You’re nuts! That stuff can cause sticky plaque formations!!”  You know, I may never even had an issue if I had known this (and not smoked cigars) a few years ago. Live and learn!

5. And finally… oh, this hurt to hear… no drugs!  “Jon, if you want to make sure you beat this thing, you simply must take some meds to help.”  Okay, I resisted any form of statin drug for the past 15 years (drugs to lower cholesterol.) I opted to try natural stuff… but unfortunately for me I was never too consistent. And I paid the price.

So the doc and I came to a compromise:  I would take the LOWEST dose of statin along with 400 mg of CoQ10 (scary, but this was my idea, not his, and statins deplete this heart-friendly enzyme!) But I wanted a natural solution to the real issue:  small particle LDL. You see, I’ve known for years that I carry the gene that makes LDL “small”. LDL is not dangerous unless it is small… that’s why “total cholesterol” means nothing to me. I’ve seen folks have heart attacks with a cholesterol level of 130. No joke. But their LDL was super-small… like mine.

And guess what?  Dietplans cannot really help this. Well, they can HURT it (too many carbs, too many toxic fats, etc.) but they cannot shift the LDL from small to large.

For that, you need plain old niacin. Just a simple B vitamin… but in not-so-simple doses. In fact it’s considered a drug at the dose you have to take, and you should NEVER take niacin over 50 mg without a doctor’s supervision as it can be very toxic to the liver.

—————————————–
The Conclusion:  The Power
Is In Your Hands
—————————————–

In conclusion, I’m A-Okay… my heart pumps and functions “like that of a strong 20-year-old” (my doctor’s quote) thanks to the extra arteries I developed from my exercise program (how cool!) … but in order to keep that one artery in check, I’m taking his advice and taking much better care of myself than I have been.

Today I learned that this does NOT mean taking blood pressure meds…thankfully… : ) But I had to make some changes. Some of them were “stupid” changes… sure, I know cigars are not good for you. I know you need good fats in your dietplan. I could have used common sense and figured out that 4-8 Advil on workout days was… well, stupid.

But the good news, which is what I choose to focus on, is this:  In the areas that 95% of people NEVER change, I didn’t have to change much at all.

Dietary plan and exercise.

Turns to find out that what I was doing works great… and it did, in fact, save my heart and quite possibly my life.

For more on my dietplan and exercise routine, go here:

The Every Other Day Dietplan Revealed

Thanks for reading, and I wish all of you good health!

P.S.   I got lucky in many ways, but especially so when it came to my doctors. Both of my doctors are young and savvy enough to be up on the latest research on nutrition. They know NOT to buy into this “low-fat” nonsense for heart health. (I’d use a harsher word, but kiddos may be reading… : ) That only works for about 10-15% of the population. The rest of us need to lower our CARBS, not our fats… but the way I do it I get to keep my favorite carbs in my dietplan every week.

The little that I do eat keeps me happy as a clam, and keeps my heart nice and healthy too. A little bit of bad food will not hurt most people… but eating it every day can flat-out kill you.

Please… take this seriously. I promise, my dietplan and exercise routine is a PLEASURE to follow… but if you don’t follow it then find one that IS enjoyable for you to follow… and do it.

Life is too short, you know?

February 28

Issue 56: Got Arm Flab?

Got arm flab?

Know someone who does?

Some women I know with a healthy sense of humor refer to it as “their wings” because their arm flab flaps when they walk or jog.

It’s time to get rid of your wings ladies…

… and guys, listen up: You are not immune to arm flab. Even if your don’t have any, the tips I’m about to give will help you build stronger arms.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you about Marty Web.

Marty looked like … well, your typical 59-year-old housewife. Actually she looked a bit worse.

She was a good 80 pounds over her ideal bodyweight. And she had her wings…

… big time wings. Loads of arm flab.

That was at age 59.

At age 61… wow. Different story.

Marty transformed her body to such a degree that even I could have never guessed she was an OUNCE overweight!

Her story and 52 others just like her, male and female, are in my first book — and my best-seller Fit Over 40.

I’d like you to read more about it here –

Fit Over 40 The Cure For Arm Flab!

Marty replaced her “wings” with toned, beautiful arms. And you can too.

She has two pages in Fit Over 40… too much to cover in an email… but here’s the basics to get you started:

  1. You have to get your nutrition down pat.

Most people think that the flab on their arms (or anywhere for that matter) can be solved by “turning it into muscle.”

This is not true folks. Fat does not turn into “anything”. It is used for energy. Period.

Muscle is muscle. Fat is fat.

You must use low-insulin nutrition like I recommend in all my books, including Fit Over 40, to lower your bodyfat. For ladies, the back-of-the-arm bodyfat is often the last bit to go.

But I promise — it will go. I can go for anyone. Marty Web and dozens of other ladies in Fit Over 40 prove that in living color… and they share how they did it.

Low-insulin nutrition means eating more protein-rich foods, foods that are not processed, and plenty of tasty veggies. But it does not mean you cannot have your pizza and burgers here and there. I do every week and my bodyfat is low.

  1. You must train your triceps.

The back of the arm is made of three muscles called the “triceps”. You have a long head, a medial head and a lateral head that form the triceps muscle group.

If you cannot access a gym, you can do plain-old pushups to work all three heads of the triceps.

Here’s a few tips. First, if you cannot do a pushup with your legs straight, start by doing them on your knees. Work up to straight-legged pushups.

Second, do one third of your reps with your hands facing away from your body, one third with your hands facing toward your body (fingers pointing toward you) and the final third with your hands in the “normal” pushup position, facing the same direction as your body. This will work the various heads nicely.

If you have access to a gym, see the exercises for the triceps found in my book Fit Over 40:

Fit Over 40 Say Good-bye to Arm Flab

  1. You have to have a role model.

Find someone like Marty who has lost their wings and use their success to inspire you.

Put these three things together and you too will be “grounded” — wingless, but with a lovely pair of arms that never jiggle and look fantastic.

April 7

Quiz, Day 6

Resistance training, especially weight training, is more beneficial for men than for women.





Resistance training increases...








Decreasing bone density is solved primarily through supplemental calcium.




On average women produces about ___ % of the amount of testosterone as compared to men.






Muscle mass is often falsely associated with...






The difference between building a "toned" physique and one that is overly muscle-bound is...








At what point can muscle tissue re-metabolize into fat?






It is possible to feel "fatter" when beginning resistance training.




Type 1 muscle fibers...









When it comes to shaping the body and adding muscle size, which fiber is the most important?






What part of the muscle showed dramatic reversal of the aging process in a 2008 landmark study on anti-aging?






What biochemical benefit does muscle NOT provide?










April 7

Personal Fat Loss Certification, Day 6

Free: Radical Fat Loss Blueprint

Miss A Day? Just Click On The Preceding Days Below…

Day 1: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-1
Password: kcal

Day 2: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-2
Password: hydrate

Day 3: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-3
Password: eodd

Day 4: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-4
Password: ergo

Day 5: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-5
Password: 7mm

Myths And Facts About Muscle

Welcome to Day 6 of your 7-Day Personal Fat Loss Certification Course! Today we’ll cover some of the popular myths about muscle. Believe me, there are plenty floating about, many of which has discouraged people from wanting to engage in resistance training. We will expose and expel these fears today.

We will also cover some of the science behind why resistance training and muscle is absolutely crucial to your life-long pursuit of a leaner, healthier body.

Muscle Myths

Myth: “Resistance training for muscle is for guys”.

FACT: Resistance training is by far the most important form of exercise that anyone can do at any age to improve their health and their physique. The old notion of becoming “muscle-bound” by training with weights or resistance is for the most part an old fairy tale that needs to be buried along with the Easter Bunny and Bigfoot.

Muscle burns more calories at rest than any other tissue in the body. Therefore the more you carry, the more calories you burn. But this does not need to be a substantial amount of muscle to get the job done. In other words you do not have to become a “bodybuilder” to reap the rewards. Just ten pounds of muscle can help you burn up to 500 additional calories per day doing the same exact amount of work. At rest, these 10 pounds burn anywhere from 150 to 250 calories… that’s just sitting around watching television. However, in motion this added muscle cranks up thermogenesis and fat-burning to a whole new level.

Muscle is also the only tissue responsible for one thing we all want: better shape to our bodies.

Take a look at the pictures below…

Maxine vs Angelina

The woman on the left is the beautiful Angelina Jolie. To say she has superb genetics is an understatement. And no one is saying it is “bad” to want to look like her.

But look at the woman on the right. This is Maxine Johnson, one of my Role Models in my book Fit Over 40. Maxine’s physique is far superior in many ways. She’s carrying a good 20 pounds more muscle and (believe it or not) 10-15 pounds less bodyfat. Look at the arms: Angelina’s arms are soft and without tone or definition. Maxine’s arms are toned; not overly large, but well-developed. Her abs are incredibly superior — defined and leaner. And trust me — the rest of her is just as incredible.

But folks… Maxine is thirty years older than Angelina in these pictures. And she is a mother (a natural mother) of three. The difference in her body and Angelina’s, other than thirty years and three kiddos, is about 15-20 pounds of lean muscle and about 10-15 pounds less fat. She probably weighs about 15 pounds more, but really… does it matter? She’s still a size 2 and looks like an absolute BOMB at 55.

Fit Over 40

Are you beginning to see the power of resistance training when it comes to defying age? I will promise you this: At 55, Angelina will look nothing like Maxine unless she takes up resistance training. And that has more to do with just looks. Weight training in women bone density. The leading cause of ostereoporosis is not calcium depletion — it’s a weakening of bone density. Calcium plays a role in this of course, but if you think taking Tums with calcium (what a joke) or even your typical calcium supplement can have half the effect of resistance training, it’s time to think again. Training against resistance builds stronger bones and increases testosterone levels. Bone density is directly related to declining testosterone levels in men and women. Want to protect your spine and your posture as you age? Resistance train. Want to prevent bone loss and those frequent fractures that happen over the age of 60? Resistance train.

Bottom line: If anything, resistance training is more important for women than men!

Myth: “Weight training builds bulk. I’m afraid I’ll end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

FACT: YOU are in control as to how much or how little muscle you put on your frame. The magical muscle fairy is not going to visit you in your bedroom one night and presto — you wake up with 19 inch arms. If only it were so for those of us who want that kind of development.

I usually laugh when I hear this one, as I’ve busted my tail in the gym for a decades to build the moderate amount of muscle that I carry. How I wish it were so easy to just train and wake up looking like Arnold.

Men have about ten times the level of testosterone as women. Testosterone is the key muscle-building hormone. The women you may have seen with overly-developed muscles are either taking male hormones (very common in bodybuilding) or one of the very, very few genetically gifted individuals who have higher amounts of testosterone. Even then, they can stop any time they choose.

Muscle mass — the amount you want and where you want it — is utterly within your control.

And without muscle mass you will look “skinny” but never look “toned.” It simply will not happen.

Myth: “Muscle makes you inflexible.”

FACT: Hardly. The legendary bodybuilder Tom Platz, known for his freakishly-developed leg muscles (still considered today to be overkill, even by bodybuilders) could do the splits and touch his toes. I bet you cannot even do that. I know I cannot. Mass and flexibility have nothing to do with one another. The important thing to do is simply stretch, as covered in yesterday’s lesson. Do that and you’ll have no problems.

Myth: “You have to take steroids to build muscle.”

FACT: This is not only false, it’s absurd. This myth of “rampant steroid use” with anyone possessing so much as a 16-inch biceps (a bit larger than average for a male) is just plain silly. Besides myself, I know thousands of natural bodybuilders who have built far more impressive physiques than I using nothing but smart training, diet, and supplements. Tom Venuto is one such athlete. Tom doesn’t even take aspirin. Personally I think Tom would have far more gains if he DID include specific supplements. Most natural bodybuilders do take supplements, although most of them are junk. The good ones were covered in my previous day’s Course.

Here’s another fact: The majority of steroids are actually safer than aspirin. This is NOT an endorsement of steroids at all. In fact they can be deadly. But my point is simply this: The media has blown steroid use out of proportion to sell media time and newspapers. Our diets, our OTC drugs, and our stress levels are killing us much faster than the average steroid-user’s cycle. Let’s just keep things in perspective, shall we?

Again, to reiterate, I do NOT endorse steroid use. This is for many reasons: Practical, ethical, logistical, and safety reasons. Plus you simply do not need them. Proper diet, training, and supplementation will give 95% of you all the muscle you will ever need.

Myth: “Muscle is gross!”

FACT: We’ve already seen Maxine. If she’s ‘gross’ then I’m the Prince of Wales.

But what about the guys? When it comes to “bodybuilders”, as in competitive high-level bodybuilders, I could not agree more (same for female bodybuilders.) I think their physiques are grotesque for the most part. But again, this is an issue of time scale and desire. They trained longer, harder, and wanted more muscle. Plus almost all of them take steroids. It simply is not a concern for most of us real-world trainees.

Hugh JackmanLadies: Like Hugh Jackman? A lot of you do, as he was voted “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine in 2008. Hugh is an avid body-shaper. Just take a look at his pics for his X-Men movies. He plays the character “Wolverine”. Hugh is carrying about 25 pounds of added muscle to play the part and his body fat is below 10%. Oh… and he’s also 45 years old.

So much for “gross”, eh?

Myth: “Muscle workouts take too long.”

FACT: My bombshell book 7 Minute Muscle blew the lid off that theory. I have hundreds of clients putting on muscle in just 7 minute a day, 5 days a week. That’s 35 minutes a week folks. I bet you spend more time than that looking for a pencil you lost on your desk. The irony of that last statement is that it’s true: Over a year of your life will be spent looking for something you lost. That’s downright scary… and it’s a call to action to get your desk organized. Point being, time is NOT a factor when it comes to fitness any longer.

7 Minute Muscle created a way for people to get into shape in no less than two hours per week (that includes cardio) and into competition shape in about five hours per week. Again, this is far less than people spend watching television… a DAY.

Myth: “I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing and people are staring at me in the gym.”

FACT: The gym is one of the most self-centered places you will ever visit. Frankly, unless you’re someone who a gym member finds attractive (guy or girl) no one gives you a second glance in a gym. This is especially true for beginners.

Beginners in the gym are often viewed as heroes, not as people to scoff at. Personally I always compliment beginners when I see them and offer to help in any way I can… and I’ve seen this response from dozens of other advanced trainees. It’s a fun place where we go to work on our self — not to stare at other people (sexual stares aside… but that happens everywhere.)

Myth: “Muscle turns to fat when you stop working out.”

FACT: Muscle can no more turn to fat than I can turn into a tomato. In fact the latter is more probable.

Muscle and fat are biochemically different tissues. They do not “ever” change into one another, and that includes vice-versa: Fat does not, unfortunately, turn into muscle. You can add muscle and burn body fat and give the illusion that this is happening, but it is not. Likewise, if you stop training with resistance, your muscles will atrophy (shrink) and they will look softer than normal…but they will not be fat.

That said, what if this same attitude was taken with showering… or investing? “I better not start a savings plan because when I stop my accounts will stop earning money.” “I better not wash my hair because it will just get dirty tomorrow.”

Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

Myth: “I feel fatter when I train with resistance.”

FACT: You are not fatter. You are gaining muscle underneath the layer of fat that you still need to burn off. This is a valid point, however, and one that should be addressed. When you start resistance training, your body responds fairly quickly — much more so than it responds to average fat loss. (Radical Fat Loss is another story.) So, for a few weeks or months, you may feel as if you are gaining size in your thighs or in your arms. And you are… but eventually your fat loss kicks in and then your thighs and arms look completely different. They take on that sleek, toned look we all want.

I highly encourage you to get past this point of more rapid gains in muscle and slower fat loss for the first month or so in order that you can see the wonderful results afterwards.

Muscle Facts

We covered many facts about muscle above, so this section is dedicated to the science behind muscle and why it is absolutely vital for anyone who wants to change their body and keep weight off for life.

Muscle Fibers

We covered the three primary types of muscle fibers yesterday: Type 1, Type 2a and Type 2b. What we did not cover is how each of them function, and why resistance training is so important when it comes to muscle fiber composition.

Type 1 muscle fibers compose about 45% of the sedentary person’s muscle structure. This widely varies per individual, but the statistic is valid for the population as a whole. Most of the time Type 1 fibers use aerobic metabolism to produce ATP. They are composed of a highly developed mitochondrial reticulum (fancy talk for the dense network of interworking components in the energy-producing section of a cell) which helps make them resistant to fatigue. It is no wonder then that we see higher levels of Type 1 fibers in marathoners and endurance athletes.

Type 2a muscle fibers are where the action is when it comes to muscle size and shape. They are moderately resistant to fatigue, therefore respond very well to mid-range repetition and resistance training. This is why most muscle-building plans call for repetitions within the 5-15 range,as this is ideal for tapping the resources of the Type 2 fibers. What’s even more interesting is the larger amount of contractile proteins found in Type 2 muscle fibers. This means the muscle can contract at a much greater force.

If you will recall yesterday’s lesson, contraction is key to muscle development. It only makes sense why training with resistance in the 5-15 repetition range produces greater gains in muscle and does so at a faster rate. But there’s more to the story. Several recent studies have shed light on the possibility of fiber conversion — that is Type 1 fibers transforming into Type 2a fibers. Considering the make-up of the body (55% Type 2, 45% Type 1) it makes even that much more sense to train the entire body with resistance and increase these faster-contracting Type 2 fibers. They are the fibers associated with more shapely and larger muscle mass.

Type 2b muscle fibers are used in heavy strength training — in the 1-5 repetition range — and fatigue very quickly. Like Type 1 fibers, Type 2 fibers have been shown to “transform” into Type 2a, and 2a into 2b.

What this means is that you can literally transform the shape and look of your body through resistance training — but only through resistance training. Any other form of exercise does not have this level of dramatic impact on muscle fibers.

Anti-aging Properties of Muscle

I never thought my muscles were literally turning back the genetic clock. But this new research proves this is exactly what is going on when you exercise with resistance, according to a national study published on PlosOne.

The mitochondria is the energy factory of the human cell. As we age our muscles begin to show what researchers call “mitochondrial dysfunction”. This is what causes all the bad stuff associated with “sarcopenia.”

Sarcopenia is just the wasting away of muscle due to age and under-use. As we age most of us will experience a gradual loss of muscle.

The problem? Muscle is active tissue. It is responsible for most of the calories we use during the day. The less muscle you have, the more bodyfat you will gain if you eat the same amount of food.

Muscle loss is also related to the onset of many bone diseases. The muscle that holds our spine in alignment can deteriorate as we age and cause major back problems. The same is true for the muscle and tendons around the knee and hip joints.

Can you see why muscle loss is a major deal? Is it any wonder researchers wanted to see if there was something we could do about it?

Resistance training obviously builds muscle. And it does so at any age as we’ve already covered. But that is not the real find in this study. We have numerous studies that show you can gain lean muscle at any age. This study revealed something extraordinary: after just six months of resistance training test subjects showed a reversal of most of the genes affected by age in muscle tissue.

Wow. Age reversal at the cellular level. This is not hype or science fiction, this is science FACT — and the reason I am so adamant about you taking on resistance training.

With age and no resistance training, researchers found 596 genes expressing themselves with “aging”, or decreased mitochondrial function. But when subjects engaged in resistance training, in this case simple weight training, their strength increased by over 20%… and their genes literally reverted back to the same markers as younger genes after only six months of exercise.

This is staggering.

There were older and younger folks involved in this study. When the older folks in the study began, they were almost 60% weaker than the younger members of the study. In just six months, they were only 38% weaker.

I can tell you from personal experience that in a few more months they would be even stronger. In some cases their strength would surpass the younger test subjects. I am much stronger now than when I was 23, or 33, into my 40s.

Convinced?

Biochemistry-friendly Muscle

Want to add an arsenal of fat-burning weapons to your daily life? Add ten pounds of lean muscle to your frame.

Muscle…

  1. Increases free testosterone, making you feel younger and more energetic.

  2. Increases gH (growth hormone), helping you burn more body fat.

  3. Increases LPL (lipoprotein lipase), a fat-diverting and oxidizing hormone found in lean people.

  4. Increases thermogenesis and calorie-burning around the clock.

  5. Increases the amount of food you can eat without gaining fat.

  6. Muscle-building exercise produces positive changes in HDL, total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and reduces the chances of contracting most of the top 5 killer diseases.

  7. Increases insulin sensitivity, making blood sugar control and insulin management far easier on the body

I could go on and on, but I think the point is clear:

Muscle rules.

Tomorrow we will conclude our 7-Day Personal Fat Loss Certification Course with perhaps the most vital lesson of them all.

It deals with a three-pound part of your body that, if exercised correctly, will absolutely ensure your success in fitness and in life.

: : THIS CONCLUDES DAY SIX   |   TAKE THE QUIZ BELOW TO PROCEED : :

Click Here Now To Take The Quiz For Day 6