Still doing cardio to burn calories? Part 2

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Exercices d'aérobic

Image via Wikipedia

Most people focus on aerobic exercise.  That’s a mistake.

The effectiveness of a workout should really be defined by the intensity.  The more difficult something is, or demanding it is, the greater the benefits.   Anaerobic is intense.

Advantages of short/ intense workouts.

  • Better hormonal response
  • Less time duration
  • Increased caloric burn after exercise
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Direct use of mid-section fat.

Aerobic exercise improves body composition by lowering body fat.  However, aerobic exercise does not improve muscle composition.  In fact, it may even decrease muscle!  So percentage of body fat remains largely unchanged!

Fortunately, anaerobic exercise decreases body fat, and at the same time increases muscle mass.

I know what you’re thinking ladies, don’t worry.  Unless you are on a bunch of steroids, you are not going to look like a meathead.

What are examples of anaerobic exercise?

In general, any type of exercise or movement that cannot be completed or continued for longer than 30 seconds due to fatigue.

What about heart health and overall health?

Anaerobics works just as good.

What about total calories burnt in a session?

It’s what happens the other 23 hours of the day! More intense training burns more calories the rest of the day.  Even up to 72 hours later.

(Please take the proper precautions before starting, or modifying any training program)

Brad Gatens, CSCS

My profiles: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Tumblr WordPress


Still doing cardio to burn calories?

May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

You spend a lot of time and energy trying to burn calories.  Shouldn’t you be doing what is most effective?

Let’s break down the caloric requirements of steady state cardio, or aerobic exercise.

Running or jogging requires around 100 calories per mile. The body also requires around 100 calories an hour just to be alive.

If that runner ran four miles in an hour that’s 400 calories.

Let’s subtract that from the one hundred, the standard hourly caloric burn.

We are at a deficit of 300 calories.

But what happens after an hour of cardio ?  You are going to be hungry, and tired.

Throw down a PowerBar and bottle of Gatorade will put back that three hundred calories instantly.

Because you are now pretty tired, you may consciously or sub-consciously chose activities that burn less calories.

Studies show that non-exercise physical activity (moving around, fidgeting, standing, ext.) can play an important role in maintaining healthy body compositions.

So now you put back all your calories, and may be burning less calories throughout the day.

So what’s the solution to all this?  What can you do to maximize caloric burn through exercise.  Check back for part 2.

Brad Gatens, CSCS

My profiles: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Tumblr WordPress
Baker, E. J., and T. T. Gleeson. EPOC and the energetics of brief locomotor activity in Mus domesticus. J. Exp. Zool. 280: 114–120, 1998.

Schmidt, Wilfred Daniel (1992). The effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of a meal, and excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Ph.D. dissertation, Purdue University, United States — Indiana. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text.(Publication No. AAT 9301378).p

Strength Training for Apperance….And Health ?

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Proponents of cardiovascular exercise often claim that cardio is the superior type of exercise to improve health.  It is widely believed that cardio exercise improves circulatory system to a large degree, and thus overall health.

Strength training on the other hand is unfairly viewed as a narcissistic activity suitable for meat-head and bodybuilders.  Sure strength training makes you look great, but benefits stretch past aesthetics.  In fact, strength training may be more effective than cardiovascular training in terms of health and wellness.

One of the most disturbing trends in America is the prevalence and development of the metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Obviously, prevention of this syndrome is a necessity.

Resistance training has a clinically and statistically significant effect on metabolic syndrome risk factors such as obesity, HbA(1c) levels and systolic blood pressure, and therefore should be recommended in the management of type 2 diabetes and metabolic disorders. (1)

One’s body composition can accurately predict future and immediate health. Body composition analysis is one of the best indicators of overall health as determined by a person’s percentage of fat and lean tissue. (2)

Recent findings  also demonstrate that RT (resistance training) may be an effective alternative to improve body composition and maintain reduced fat mass in obese patients after exercise training or energy intake restriction. Furthermore, it has been shown that RT preferentially mobilizes the visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue in the abdominal region.

Resistance training  is considered a potential adjunct in the treatment of metabolic disorders by decreasing known major risk factors for metabolic syndromes.

Besides being an eye sore, why is visceral fat extremely harmful ?

Visceral fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat because it often surrounds vital organs. The more visceral fat one has, the greater is the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Strength training hits another home run here.

Further, strength training is an effective means to prevent insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance has the potential to create type II diabetes. Type II diabetes prevalence has doubled in the last decade.  Strength training is an effective preventative measure against insulin resistance and diabetes. (3)

Although the effects of strength training on blood pressure have been studied less than cardiovascular exercise, recent evidence looks good.  It was concluded that progressive resistance exercise is efficacious for reducing resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.

Again, strength training is flexing its muscle here.

Findings suggest that resistance training has a favorable effect on lipid profile and body fat percentage in healthy, sedentary, premenopausal women.

In summary, recent evidence suggests that strength training is as effective or more effective than frequently prescribed aerobic exercise in terms of prevention of metabolic syndrome and maintenance of proper body composition.

Brad Gatens, CSCS

My profiles: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Tumblr WordPress

1. Resistance training in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of resistance training on metabolic clustering in patients with abnormal glucose metabolism.
Barbara Strasser, Uwe Siebert, and Wolfgang Schobersberger
Sports Med. 2010 May 1; 40(5): 397–415.


3. Dynamic Strength Training Improves Insulin Sensitivity without Altering Plasma Levels and Gene Expression of Adipokines in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in Obese Men. E. Klimcakova, J. Polak, C. Moro, J. Hejnova, M. Majercik, N. Viguerie, M. Berlan, D. Langin and V. Stich

What makes us eat more?

April 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Looking at overweight people makes us want to eat more

You would think the site of watching large individuals stuff themselves would ruin our appetitive. It may be in fact, the opposite. This goes against our own logic a bit, but can be explained by a natural human tendency; rationalization.

And it can be a physique killer.

Rationalization is responsible for making yourself feel less guilty about something.

This can be useful at times, but is terribly disadvantageous most other times.

“It’s only one cookie.”

“I just went to the gym yesterday, I can take off.”

Or the poster, “Hey, at least it’s not crack.”

Consciously or sub-consciously, we take on the traits of those that we associate most with. If most of your friends are healthy and lean, chances are greater that you will be as well.

Not sure about this? Go to Las Vegas. The obesity rates of the tourists and residents has got to be double that of any other major city. If you are feeling low about your physique, one day in this desert will make you feel much better.

How can we avoid rationalization? Consciously be aware of what we want to achieve and act according to these desires. If something does not help us toward our pursuit, avoid it.

Brad Gatens, CSCS

Healthiest fast food ?

April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Chipotle.  Only question is what to order.

This Mexican style restaurant uses quality, fresh  ingredients and tastes good. Most of our meat supply has been tainted with unethical treatment of the animals, using very questionable nutritional procedures, and as a result treating our animals with antibiotics and growth hormones.  It appears as though Chipotle is doing their best to use quality, organic meat from local farms. ( A link has been provided referring to these methods)  Plus, ordering and paying for a take-out meal on your iphone is pretty cool.

What I recommend is a chicken or beef bowl with sour creme, black beans, and guacamole.

Calories 624 Sodium 1380 mg
Total Fat 36 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 34 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 14 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 41 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 0%

All the carbs here are slow digesting/ complex carbs,healthy fats, and protein, which is always good.

Cheese and lettuce can also be thrown in for an extra 120 calories of fat or so.  (Don’t be afraid of fat!!)

Now don’t ruin it by grabbing chips or regular soda.


Brad Gatens, CSCS

My profiles: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Tumblr WordPress

Is sugar poisonous?

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

You can save yourself the hour of viewing time required to finish this lecture.  Here are the main points from this presentation by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF.

Debunking the last 30 years of nutritional information

We all weigh 25 more pounds than we did 25 years ago

The calories in-calories out formula blames humans for being glutenous and sloths.  The belief that this is the only reason is pretty ignorant.

We now have an epidemic of obese six month old children, around the world.  Are we going to blame diet and exercise here as well?

We are eating about 275 more calories per day than decades ago.  Where are all these calories coming from ? Protein? No.  Fat? No. Carbs, yes !

In 1982: American Heart Association, and department of agriculture advised everyone to lower fat in their diet from 40 % to 30 %.  Result? Increase in obesity, non alcoholic disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke prevelance, and metabolic syndrome.

Where are we getting these excess carbs from? Sodas and fruit drinks.

Leptin, which is released when your body consumes food, tells your brain that it is full.  No need to eat anymore.  Sugar, particularly;  fructose, does not effect leptin.  So these excess calories do nothing for our hunger.

63 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per person per year. Humans have never consumed HFCS up until  1965.

Its not about eating more, its about eating more sugar.

Today, adolescence consume 15 percent of their daily calories from fructose.

Why did we ever increase fructose and carb consumption in the first place? The perfect set-up.

1. To stabilize food prices back in 1973.

2. Introduction to high fructose corn syrup in 1975. Price of sugar decreased tremendously, thus food prices. HFCS is half the price of sugar. It’s so cheap, it has found its way into everything.

3. USDA, AMA, and AHA call for reduced fat intake. Partially based on faulty evidence.

Japanese diet is high in rice/ carbs.  Wouldn’t they be a fat nation? They are not a fat nation because they consume very little sugar.

Cholesterol and heart disease is very misunderstood.  Even LDL cholesterol should not be considered bad.  Some LDL’s like small dense ldl, is dangerous to the arteries.  What increases this bad type of LDL? Carbs.

Triglyceride to HDl level is a better predictor of heart disease than LDL cholesterol.

We went on a low fat diet, but sugar just changes to fat once its in the liver anyway.  Specifically, in the liver.  Fatty liver can also be caused by high carb/sugar diets.

We have stubbornly yet to “right the ship,” in terms of our dietary mistakes and misinformation.

Fruit contains fructose.  Is fruit bad? Fruit contains an ample amount of fiber which negates damage of fructose.

Definition of fast food? Fiber-less food.

Fructose is metabolized differently than glucose.  Glucose/glycogen (storage form of glucose)  can be used by cells in the body.  Fructose cannot.

You are not what you eat.  You are what you do with what you eat.

I believe Americans have been set up to over-consume sugar and carbohydrates.  Our environment is largely to blame for our obesity levels.  Don’t expect the FDA to step in any time soon though to correct our horrific health and nutrition status.

I’d like to compare fructose intake to tobacco/ cigarette use.  The more one smokes, the more unhealthy he becomes and more likely he will acquire some type of disease.  Same with fructose.  The more one consumes, the more unhealthy he will become.

My profiles: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Tumblr WordPress

The Secrets Behind What You Eat

April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Shocking revelations about our food sources and the corruption in the food industry.

These are the main points taken from the book, The Omnivores Dilema

Corn covers more acres of the country than any other living species, including humans.

The supply for corn is far greater than the demand for corn, so new uses must be found for it.

A new business emerged cattle, pigs, and chickens started being stuffed full of corn in large factory-type operations.

Processed food ingredients: modified starch, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, ascorbic acid, crystalline fructose, lactic acid, msg, caramel color, xanthan gum are all derived from corn.

If you count all the corn we eat, directly and indirectly, the average American eats a ton of corn every year.  We don’t recognize it as corn because it’s been turned into something else.

In 1984 Pepsi and Coke switched to HFCS from regular sugar because it’s cheaper.  Instead of lowering the cost of their beverage they dropped the price per ounce, and sold bigger bottles

In a typical supermarket, one dollar could buy 1,200 calories of potato chips and cookies.  The same dollar could only buy 250 calories of carrots and other whole vegetables.

The U.S. government encourages the production of corn as they help pay farmers to grow corn and soybeans, but not other vegetables.

How much corn in a typical McDonald’s meal?

Hamburger: corn fed  to cow = 2 pounds

6 nuggets: corn fed to chicken : ½ pound

High fructose corn syrup in 3 drinks= 1 pound

Subtotal: 3 ½ pounds of corn

Rules: 1. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients or with ingredients you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce

3. Don’t eat anything containing high-fructose corn syrup.

Brad Gatens, CSCS

My profiles: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Tumblr WordPress