Proven, Effective Fitness and Nutrition Advice Without All of the Hype and Pseudo-Science

This website is about one thing... giving people access to the proper fitness and nutrition habits that lead to living a fit and healthy lifestyle. You'll find articles on dieting myths, proper training techniques, recipes, custom workouts, and even video how-tos and tips from yours truly and other experts in the industry.

If you're frustrated with the lack of progress you've been making towards your fitness goals, whether it's because of a lack of direction or a lack of motivation, then look around this site, come back often and apply the fitness and nutrition concepts you discover in your own efforts.

Avoid Anyone Who Preaches Nutritional Extremism

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The fitness industry has been in an uproar the past year about not only whether strict dieting is the best approach to health and fitness, but if it’s an approach that has any advantages or relevance at all. This is in large part thanks to a series of video logs put out by Dr. Layne Norton last year, in which he lambasted “fitness gurus” who preach about “clean eating” and overly-oppressive, dogmatic diets.

The videos were mainly geared toward those prepping for fitness competitions and some of the voodoo-type myths that persist in that particular area of nutrition. As a side note, and somewhat ironically, his own concepts of “metabolic damage” and “metabolic capacity” that were one of the main subjects of these videos have been argued to potentially fall into the very category he was criticizing, which can be read about in this article.

A few months after Dr. Norton’s video series came out, another game-changing event took place in the form of a retrospective analysis of a large collection of prior studies that had supported the idea of a narrow “window of opportunity” post-workout. Essentially during this “window,” an athlete could allegedly maximize muscle gain by ingesting fast-absorbing protein (like whey protein supplements) as quickly as possible following their workout.

After controlling for important variables, such as the total daily volume of protein ingested (something that hadn’t previously been equated in the test and control groups, nor had been compared between individual studies), it was shown that the statistically-significant results that had previously been attributed to this narrow window of opportunity were in fact, related to total protein intake rather than the immediacy of ingestion post workout. In other words, eating MORE protein in general each day is much more important when it comes to muscle gain than how quickly after your workout you eat that protein.

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 5

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Welcome to the 5th installment of our 6 part series on troubleshooting stalling fat loss efforts. Just a warning, this one is pretty long… but hopefully it will educate you a lot about one of the most popular “diagnoses” in the fitness industry these days.

In parts 1 through 4, we took a look at some of the most common reasons that a fat-loss program would not be providing you the results you were expecting—namely, that either:

  1. You’re not really in a deficit (for a variety of possible reasons)
  2. You’re unintentionally sneaking in calories (thus, causing point 1)
  3. You’re “gettin’ DEM GAINZ” (in non-idiot speak, gaining some muscle mass and/or water retention which is masking your simultaneous fat loss)
  4. Your workout and/or nutrition program is an embarrassment to mankind and is worthy of a slow, painful death for whoever came up with it

All joking aside, sometimes we find ourselves doing everything correctly for a long enough time that lean mass/water weight gains continuing to mask fat loss is unlikely—particularly when the stall in weight loss is combined with a lack of change in inches or what we look like in the mirror.

The final two parts of this series will delve into these potential snagging points and how to address them.

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 4

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In part 1 we talked about how it’s crucial to actually be in a calorie deficit in order to see weight loss of any sort, and why many people are unknowingly not eating fewer calories than they burn each day.

In part 2, we talked about the concept of “sneaking calories”, which really is just an adjunct to part 1 because it allows people to inadvertently overeat calories, erasing any deficit they had planned for.

Part 3 was all about learning the difference between muscle/water gain and fat loss, as the former can often mask the latter.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I have been going through these concepts in order of likelihood. The vast majority of you will solve your issues by focusing on one of the first three issues I already went over.

With that being said, there are still a small portion of you who might have all their ducks in a row, yet are still not seeing the results they want. Which brings us to the fourth potential reason behind your lack of results…

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 3

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In part 1 we talked about how it’s crucial to actually be in a calorie deficit in order to see weight loss of any sort, and why many people are unknowingly not eating fewer calories than they burn each day.

In part 2, we talked about the concept of “sneaking calories”, which really is just an adjunct to part 1 because it allows people to inadvertently overeat calories, erasing any deficit they had planned for.

There are times where you’re doing everything correctly, working out hard and yet, the scale doesn’t budge, or worse yet, goes UP… what is the deal???

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 2

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Last week I talked about one of the major reasons people don’t see the weight loss that they’re expecting: the seemingly-obvious-yet-vastly-underestimated fact that often they’re not in a caloric deficit.

As I explained, no matter what you do, if you’re not eating fewer calories than you’re burning, you WILL NOT lose weight (well, unless you have some sort of tape worm infestation or flesh-eating disease, but that’s another story).

But how about for those of us who have taken the time to figure out our daily calorie expenditure and created a meal plan that is less than the previously-mentioned expenditure, yet we’re still not seeing movement on the scale?

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 1

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Let’s talk about why when it comes to weight loss, some people can seem to do everything right and still not see results when they step on the scale.

After all, nothing is more annoying than busting your ass for weeks at a time with the goal of losing weight, only to be rewarded with a measly pound or less of weight loss, or even worse yet, weight GAIN over that period of time, am I right?

Unfortunately, most people take that as a sign that “weight loss isn’t for me” or that their program is wrong… but as you’ll see, this is only ONE of the possibilities—and as for the “I can’t” crowd, EVERYONE can lose weight, no matter who they are, so don’t even go there.

Over the next 6 installments I am going to analyze each of the potential reasons that you’re not seeing the fruits of your efforts, and hopefully this will help you troubleshoot your situation and allow you to reach your goal instead of losing motivation along the way.

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Starvation Mode: What It Is and Why You Want to Avoid It at All Costs

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This may come as a surprise to you, but a large percentage of folks who are overweight and have trouble achieving weight loss actually eat to few calories as opposed to eating too many calories. This can be a confusing concept to grasp, particularly with the media constantly telling us to eat less to lose more. The truth is, effective, permanent fat loss demands a delicate balance of just the right amount of calories—not to few and not too many.

As you may know, if you eat too many calories, that which your body doesn’t use (for repair, day-to-day functioning and for energy replacement), it stores as body fat. Folks who have a food addiction or who don’t watch their portion sizes tend to have this problem, and can certainly have a hard time managing their weight for obvious reasons. In this case, the best solution is to lower the amount of calories they’re eating on a daily basis.

However, many people are on the other end of the spectrum—a situation that can be completely frustrating when you feel like you’re doing everything in your power to reduce your body fat but seeing no (or even negative) results. How is it possible that eating too few calories could halt fat loss? The answer is starvation mode.

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Perfect Posture Series: Forward Head Syndrome

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Over the next couple of blog posts I’m going to be discussing an issue that is largely ignored by people looking to build more aesthetic physiques, even though it’s one of the most critical components. I’m talking about the issue of posture—or how you naturally hold your body, both through movements and at rest.  I don’t care how much muscle you build, or how much fat you burn from your body—if you have the posture of a caveman, then at best you’re going to look like a muscular, lean Hunchback of Notre Dame.

When talking about posture, it’s important to understand that it’s not as simple as looking at the area (in particular, the joint or joints) in question and making a superficial assessment based on what is seen.

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Bikram Yoga is Idiotic and Dangerous, Pt. 3

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This is the third and final article in my critical series focused on Bikram or hot yoga. In the first part of this article series, I talked about the flawed logic behind the purported benefits of “loosened muscles” and “deeper stretching,” while in the second article I discussed how spinal flexibility isn’t necessarily a desired outcome and that the main premise behind hot yoga—that it burns more calories than exercise in a room of normal temperature—is completely false.

To wrap this series up, today I’m going to finish by touching on the subjects of joint lubrication and body detoxification. In order to discuss my issue with the claim that Bikram yoga significantly increases joint lubrication, first it’s important that we discuss what joint lubrication specifically entails. Joints are made up of many different kinds of tissues, both hard and soft.

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Bikram Yoga is Idiotic and Dangerous, Pt. 2

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This article series contains a collection of criticisms I have for one of the newest fads to hit the fitness industry in general, and the yoga scene in particular—Bikram or hot yoga. In the first part of this article series, I talked about how the entire premise of “loosening muscles” was misinformed, and that the purported benefits of “deeper stretching” were in fact not benefits at all, but risk factors for the development of joint instability and/or hypermobility.

In part 2 of this series, I’m going continue down the list of supposed benefits to Bikram yoga by refuting the claims that Bikram yoga benefits practitioners by strengthening the spine and increasing lumbar flexibility, and that it burns more calories than exercise performed in a room of normal temperature.

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