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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lap Band Procedures: The New Weight Loss Fad

There has been a resurgence of popularity with lap bands for weight loss in the last few years. I have done numerous posts, audios and videos about lap bands and gastric bypass procedures. In my opinion, unless you have a life threatening condition, that requires such drastic methods, you should use the safe, healthy methods of proper nutrition and exercise to change your body composition. But in today's immediate satisfaction world, lap bands have become the new weight loss fad. People who don't want to exercise and eat good take the easy way out and get the lap band done for a quick fix nowadays. I think it's absolutely horrible to have this done without medical necessity. If you haven't exhausted all natural, healthy means of body composition change, I feel that you are doing more harm than good by having a lap band procedure done.

I have trained numerous men and woman who have had gastric bypass, liposuction and lap bands. There are common problems with each. First off, none of these people, who I have experience with, were overeating. Let me say that again - like I always do- none of these people were overeating. Just the opposite, they were all undereating and what they did eat was wrong and their metabolisms were slow at best. Once you have a calorie restricting procedure done, and you were undereating to begin with-you are hosed!

Sure they all lose a zillion pounds overnight and they fit into clothes 14 sizes smaller the next week. It looks good from a distance. But it is classic weight loss which is comprised of mostly lean body mass loss. That is always unhealthy. Remember that heart tissue, bone density and organ tissue as well as muscle and fluid are all victims of weight loss. Very unhealthy!

Then you have the new you after the 1000lb weight loss. Excess sagging nasty skin, lots of bodyfat, jello consistency in your body and weakness are common after effects. It is impossible to eat properly, your metabolism is worse off than it was, with no hope of making it better. Muscle, strength, energy and any real endurance are things of the past. The people who I have trained with these procedures, struggled to make any progress at all. They had no strength or energy and motivation was minimal. But they fit into size 4's so they didn't care. The look good naked drill ain't gonna happen after one of these procedures - more like nasty and scary. Very attractive - Not!

In order to fix the sagging excess skin, you must have a whole body tuck - gross! Then of course, many actually gain the weight back and they are worse off years later than when they started. I say don't do it. If you have had the procedure done and by some miracle, you are looking good, healthy and happy, then more power to you. But you are the exception-not the norm. If you tried everything under the sun and nothing worked and then you had this done and it worked well for you-then good for you. Once again-not the norm.

There are also the new group of lap banders who get the procedure done and then take some lame exercise class like zumba and credit their disciplined die hard training in their aerobic class with their massive transformation - all without mentioning that they had the procedure done. Bottom of the barrel!

I will never recommend any of those procedures or any program that promotes weight loss to anyone. It's a money making quick fix that promotes bad stuff and misinformation about health and fitness. I hope you will think twice and work on your meal plan and exercise before you give in to this new expensive quick fix fad.

Burn fat and build muscle the healthy way. Change your body, increase your energy and performance and change your lifestyle with hard exercise and good food. That's what I recommend.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How Do You Know That You Are Making Progress?

  Many clients ask me how to tell if they are making progress during their fitness program. Of course, there are the standard measurements, scale, calipers and performance to assess progress. But those don't always reflect actual body changes that are ongoing week to week. Sometimes the numbers don't reflect what you see. So you have to add other assessments to that previous analytical list. Here are some other things to track and acknowledge.   
1. Are you fitting back into your old clothes (that haven't been fitting up until this point)?
2. Are people asking you what you are doing because you look so good all of a sudden?
3. Can you see changes in how you look in the mirror and do you like the changes?
4. Is your spouse commenting on how you look and is your spouse giving you more physical attention than usual?
5. Are you doing things more easily than you used to? Like walking across the parking lot, going up stairs, carrying the baby or groceries, moving things around during housecleaning or at work?
6. How is your jewelry fitting? Rings and bracelets loose or still tight?  

This list can go on and on. I recommend keeping a journal -logging your workouts, cardio, nutrition plan and general comments or thoughts. Everytime something happens or someone comments about how you look, write it down. When you are feeling down and doubting yourself, bust out the journal and read all of the wonderful things that you have been working hard at to earn. That will get you fired up to make more progress so you can have more awesome journal entries. Reward yourself with a cheat meal or drink when you earn a good journal entry. Most of the fat loss battle is in your head! You can do it! You will do it! Now get out there and make it happen!

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Insanity Of Appetite Suppressants

Everyone has seen, heard of and maybe used a variety of appetite suppressants. Because everyone is overeating and that's why they have body composition issues - right? I am still waiting to meet a person who has gained weight because they exceed their daily calorie requirement constantly. It is possible to do, if you go to burger king or the like, every single day for 2 or more meals a day. More than likely, you don't do that. Or maybe all of my clients and others have lied to me - probably not.  

There is a 33 billion dollar a year weight loss industry that makes alot of that money from appetite suppressants. There are all sorts out there, more than one can imagine. The sad part is that 99.99% of people don't need it at all. In fact they need just the opposite - more calories and more frequent meals to activate or ramp up their metabolism. I have been involved in weight management training with soldiers and civilian clients for the last 25 years. I have never seen a single person who has consistently been overeating every day and as a result, had weight issues. Maybe I'll meet a client who fits that alleged profile someday.

The social influence backed by western medical incompetence perpetuates the sale and use of appetite suppressants. After all, when you go to the doctor with a weight issue, they say "eat less, exercise more", which is assuming that you are overeating, but they never check to analyze the data. Then they prescribe appetite suppressants and then try to up the game to a lap band or gastric bypass procedure for a cool 10k. Then you are really screwed!

Appetite suppressants promote lean body mass loss, weaken your organs, heart and bones and have a bunch of other nasty things that help kill you. Ulcers, acid reflux and heartburn are common when you keep your shrunken stomach empty and just full of acid. Then you have the body's starvation response and all its healthy benefits (sarcasm).

Then add in the stimulants that are in most appetite suppressants. They say that high doses of caffeine, sugar and other herbs stimulate your metabolism promoting weight loss. You are continually energized (artificially) and don't have to worry about getting tired, eating, sleeping right. Think of the health benefits = none! But in today's busy world, it's an appealing thought - social influence. But if it's the magic pill, why does the obesity rate continue to rise to epidemic levels. It doesn't work long term cause you get sick, fat and dead.

You will lose weight and shrink down into a skeleton, with gelatin (fat) wrapped, unhealthy, brittle bones and unhealthy organs. You will pour your flabby, gelatin ass into size zero jeans and tell yourself that you look great until you take the size zero sausage wrap off and look in the mirror. Then it's scary time! If that is what people think is cool - I'm not on board with the concept. It's gross and unattractive. It's unhealthy and leads to many health problems. But society and your doctor will tell you it's the way to go. I say hell no, don't do it.

I teach people the exact opposite of everything to do with appetite suppressants. Learn about nutrition, proper calorie intake for your current situation, macro and micro nutrients, how to raise your metabolism with good, real food, through meal frequency and timing and exercise properly. Be healthy and do things the natural way. Get stronger, increase your energy levels and endurance, lose fat, stabilize your blood sugar and hormone levels, look better naked and do it all with natural, whole food and exercise. That's what I support and teach. It takes longer, is more difficult and tests your patience but the long term results are worth it.
People count on you. Your health and wellness are important. You are worth it. Do it right.  

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Columbus Day Quickie - Kettlebell Squats

Knocked out another quick workout using kettlebells and squats. Progressed up through the weight doing deep squats from the rack position and finished with a high pull to goblet squat. Short but intense. Didn't look like much but it did the trick.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday Night Workout - Bench Press & Hex Bar Deadlifts

Quick workout on Saturday night. Bench press and hex bar deadlifts. 4 sets each, back to back, with no rest. I am really weak after riding a desk for the last 8 months. That will change soon, as it's back to killer workouts from now on. The desk will go away soon, to be replaced with heavy barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hunting Crocodiles: The Technician Usually Wins Over The Brute

Just as David beat Goliath, the technician usually beats the brute- time and time again. This applies to all aspects of life. I say usually because everything works once and nothing is an absolute. So I have an old story for you from my Father, (a WWII Vet who passed in 2006): In Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, around 1944, my Dad was on the canal with the 25th ID, occupying the island, during the island hopping campaign. One day a villager came to the soldiers and said a boy had gone missing down by the lagoon and they thought the Old Croc got him. There was a zillion year old Crocodile in the lagoon that was at least 20 feet long and must have weighed over 2000lbs. It was huge and feared by all the islanders. The elders said it was there as long as they can remember. Many animals and children as well as numerous adults became hot chow for the granddaddy Croc. The commander on the ground said it was time to put an end to such terror and swore to the village chief that it would be handled swiftly. So my Dad's platoon was tasked with going down to the lagoon and dispatching the great beast. They loaded up on guns and ammo and grenades and headed down to the lagoon loaded for bear.

Problem was there wasn't a bear down there but a gigantic old crocodile who didn't get old by being weak and stupid. The soldiers lined up on the embankments of the lagoon and began systematically lobbing hand grenades into the lagoon to flush the big croc out. The crocodile had just finished his meal- the missing village boy and wasn't pleased with his post dinner disturbance. With no fear, he swam straight out into the center of the lagoon and faced the platoon of soldiers. The platoon leader was quite annoyed by the "Bring It" attitude of the old Croc. He ordered the soldiers to open fire at once and to unleash hell. Every type of weapon opened up on the croc in a salvo of destruction that would have killed off the Mongolian hoard.

One little problem, big croc was still sitting there smiling at them unharmed. So they opened fire again. Water gushed up as bullets tore up the lagoon from all sorts of rifles, machine guns and pistols. As they stopped to reload, they looked in amazement to see, that the big croc was still there silently laughing at these buffoons, who thought they could defeat the eternal lagoon master. Most of the weapons were low on or out of ammo. The platoon leader was commanded to cease fire cause there wasn't any more ammo o the island and if the Japs attacked, they would be screwed.

 As they grumbled about how ineffective their shooting was, a little boy walked out of the bushes and approached the soldiers. He must have been around 9 or 10 yrs old  and was from the local village-son of a tribal hunter/warrior. He explained that they were doing it all wrong and that the bullets would not penetrate the thick armor of the croc's back and head. The croc's weak spot was the soft white underbelly and throat. The platoon leader said that they couldn't get to it cause the croc was out in the water belly down. The boy said exactly - that's why he was going to have to take care of it for them. Before the platoon leader could protest -the boy stuck his large knife in his teeth and dove off the bank into the lagoon. He swam out to the croc, approaching the croc from his blind spot. Once he was close, the boy reached up and grabbed the croc around the neck with a knife in one hand.

Needless to say the croc was not pleased and began his death spiral in an attempt to knock the boy free. The boy hung on for dear life with his legs and one hand and stabbed the big croc in the neck and belly when he rolled over. The boy stayed on the croc for a sick amount of time and continually kept stabbing the big croc over and over. The water was red with the croc's blood. After awhile the croc began to bleed out. The spiralling finally slowed and then stopped.

Once the boy was convinced that the big croc was dead, he slid off the croc and swam to shore. The soldiers were amazed and speechless. They cheered the boys return to shore and treated him like the hero of the day. Later they winched the big croc in and took pictures. It was longer than two jeeps and wider than a jeep. It was monsterous. They asked the boy, how he knew to do that and he said his Dad taught him that. That's how they hunted croc's for food and skins. The boy had been doing it for several years by then.
So a platoon of soldiers with high powered weapons (the brute) couldn't bring the beast down but a small boy with a big knife and surgical placement of the blade (the technician) killed the giant. The boy was awarded a citation for bravery from the commander and became the local legend.

So when you see the "meatheads" or "wanna be" tough guys slinging weight or doing stupid crap in the gym. Remember the technique lessons that you were taught. Do it right and get the results. Poor form and muscling through a drill doesn't mean you are tough or in shape. It means that you are an amateur and probably a soon to be injured amateur at that. Keep it simple and use good form and proper technique. Go down in weight until you get it right, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Head and back straight, core tight, drive on the heels and FIRE THE GLUTES BABY! Remember that and you can never go wrong.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Monday, October 4, 2010

Preparing For Fitness Training In The Cooler / Cold Weather

With October upon us, the weather is changing. You have to prepare for the seasonal changes so that your fitness training continues without a hitch. Cold weather doesn't mean that going outside is out of the question. It means that changes have to be made to how you operate in the environment. Here are some simple steps to take to ensure you continue training hard yet safely, regardless of the weather.

Clothing: You can't continue to train in a tank top and shorts when the temp drops and the wind picks up. You need to layer your clothes and cover extremities. The easiest way to determine what you need for any particular day is to stand outside for awhile and assess the environment and weather. It's always better to have too much clothing available and to strip off a layer at a time as needed rather than show up too lightly dressed and then freeze with nothing to put on. This is part of planning. Hat and gloves are crucial. So bust out your cold weather clothes and make layered options to wear to your workouts. Keep in mind the wind chill factor regardless of the temp. Choose the right type of material for cold weather training. Being soaked by sweat and being hot, with too many layers on will cause you to freeze when you take layers off. Moisture wicking material like polypro and outer insulators like fleece work great when used properly. 

Hydration: Many people don't drink as much water in the cooler months as they do in the summer. This can be an issue if your workouts are just as hard. The water is still needed. Continue to maintain your water intake.

Nutrition: This is a year round necessity for continued success. You have to stay on top of your food intake regardless of the weather. Eat a little a lot! Keep your body fueled and your metabolism high. The cold weather causes you to burn more energy by shivering and you still sweat, especially with layers on. Proper nutrition is essential.

Daylight: It gets darker, earlier, in the cooler months so reflective clothing or reflective bands are important for safety. Running in the dark is fine if your smart. Don't assume a driver can see you- make sure they can see you.

Flexibility: You must warm up and stretch in cooler weather. Warmup first and then do active flexibility drills. Never stretch cold. Cooler weather can keep you tight and injuries are common. Don't allow yourself to cool down until it's cool down time - stay moving. Jog in place or do jumping jacks in between sets or rounds to stay warm and limber. Don't forget a good post workout stretch. Stay limber and keep your range of motion and mobility levels high to avoid injury.

These are some simple steps to follow that will allow you to train in cooler / cold weather. The fat loss / muscle building battle continues regardless of the weather. So make a smart plan, be safe and continue to excel.