More Questions, Round 2.
Q: Danny, what’s the deal with fasting?
A: Fasting is one tool I use with select clients that are metabolically resistant to weight loss with more conventional nutrition methods. Remember, I take on the hardest cases- people that have tried basically everything and not succeeded. In most cases, it is an insulin problem. Simply put there is too much sugar in the body, and in the presence of elevated insulin the body won’t release its fat for energy. About one of three of my clients implement intermittent and extended fasts- with very impressive results.
Q: Are Kettlebells the only exercise method you use?
A: Not at all. I have an extensive background in Barbell training and body-weight/calisthenics training. My strength programs are different in programming, loading parameters and the exercises themselves. That being said, the nutrition plans for my barbell folks are focused on increasing calories to support lean tissue production and strength acquisition- a slightly different focus than most of my weight loss focused clients have. But whether the goal is to lose fat or gain muscle mass, we always strive to keep or add as much muscle as possible.
Q: How does your program differ from what I would get at Lifetime or Planet Fitness?
A: Planet Fitness and its many brothers are in the sales business, that is, acquire as many bodies as possible to pay X dollars per month. I am in the results business, and anything that doesn’t deliver gets discarded immediately. I don’t have to play it safe- they do. Big commercial gyms are forced to decorate the workout floor with new and expensive machines. When you look closely, you’ll find that the commercial gyms are there to entertain and pacify. This is why the gym looks like a resort and has a sea of TV’s everywhere. Additionally, most gyms, behind the scenes, are actually in the real estate business. They’ll buy a piece of land and a building, then create a gym to have members pay the note off. Perfectly OK, but keep in mind these motivations when you consider joining.
Q: If a trainer is certified, they must be competent, right?
A: There is a vast spectrum of trainer competence. It’s shocking, actually. For a time years ago I was in charge of certifying trainers for a large commercial chain. This was an exercise in futility as these “trainers” already knew everything. And that is the problem with most of them- they are not interested in learning more because they already know what works. Even if what they know is dead wrong and counterproductive to your goals. They already “know” that a low fat diet is a must, that squats are bad for your knees, and that a treadmill is the best way to get lean. They don’t change their minds in light of new evidence because such evidence must be searched for and discovered. Unfortunately, most trainers are uninterested in this process.
Q: I don’t know Danny, I have seen some awfully attractive bodies at Planet Fitness and Lifetime. It must work right?
A: Be careful not to confuse cause and effect. A good physique can be the result of genetic luck, and you should use caution to not hire the most attractive trainer you meet. Their “results” likely have nothing to do with their exercise and nutrition knowledge. In many cases, they became trainers because they looked good- not because they are competent to instruct others. In fact, let me say that some of the absolute worst workout advice is doled out in gyms everyday by fitness bunnies and meatheads that “must” know what works. Tread cautiously.
Q: What’s more important, exercise or nutrition?
A: The age old question. How about this analogy: Exercise loads the gun- diet pulls the trigger. Both work better in unison. They “feed” off each other. Charles Staley pointed out years ago that diet compliance is way higher when you do some exercise. This has been my experience in 20 years of fitness coaching.
Q: OK Danny, how about a free fitness tip?
A: Sure thing. Here’s one- Do not fear heavy weights. Heavy KB and Barbell work creates near miracles. I say that without hesitation. You will not get big. Show me someone that eats a low or no sugar diet and swings or squats hard during the week and I’ll show you a way above average body. Want to be Sexier? Squat. Swing. Lift heavy things. Let everyone else watch TV and jog down at Gym America. Not for you.