Here some recent email questions that I have received. The questions were good so I thought they would be good to share with you all.
I have read a lot about PX90 and Crossfit and wanted to know what you thought of these programs before I invest in one of them.
There is no real secret to the success of the PX90 program. It is an eclectic program that incorporates a variety of different training methods. From what I have seen of it, it is nothing more than a controlled intensity program that uses your own body weight, some weights and cardiovascular equipment. It is designed to be done at home. There is nothing wrong with the program design. Again, there is no real magic to the program. It is a simple formula of great marketing, good motivating instructing and goal setting. For some guys they don’t have the ability to design their own program or have the motivation to exercise on their own, so they resort to these types of complete “all in one” programs. If you aren’t interested in bodybuilding and aren’t concerned with symmetry then this sounds like a good program for you. I have found that when you train in a functional manner, doing many different exercises during a workout, symmetry and overall muscle size is affected. But if that is not a concern and you just want to exercise at a high intensity just to “lose weight”, like the ad suggests, then it is a good fit for you.
Crossfit is another fancy high intensity fitness class. Again there is no real magic or “secret formula” to this program. It is basically a room filled with all the different tools, medicine balls, kettle bells, ropes, weights, etc.. The program design is much like the PX90 program, it is high intensity with many different methodics. For some guys this type of training is great for them. They get a great workout and are in a motivating class– if you are in to that type of class. Like PX90, some folks need the added motivation to achieve their goals. Crossfit and classes like this are great for developing overall muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance and strength, and fat loss. I offer classes like this at my gym and have seen some great progress among the participants. It is not a bodybuilding program, so if you are interested in packing on quality muscle size then this type of class might not get you that. I still believe that pure isolated bodybuilding exercises are the best for developing overall muscle size and definition. Unfortunately, many people get bored with pure bodybuilding techniques so they need something different to stay motivated.
Overall, both of these non-bodybuilding type programs are good for improving overall fitness. Good luck!
I have been weight training for over two years now and have made some good progress. However, my biceps are lacking in size compared to all the other parts of my physique. Is there anything I can do to balance out my arms?
You can specialize in the biceps to help balance them out. To do this you must train a little differently. I suggest that you try this for the next 3 weeks. Mon, Wed, Fri, Arms; Tuesday, Thursday; Legs; Saturday, Chest and Back. Sunday off
Monday / Wednesday / Friday
Kneeling Tricep Extension 5 Sets 5 Reps
Power Pushdowns 5 Sets 5 Reps
Overhead bent bar Extension 5 Sets 5 Reps
Body Drag 5 Sets 5 Reps
Low Preacher Curl (wide grip) 5 Sets 5 Reps
Incline Dumbbell Alternating Curl 4 Sets 12 Reps
The cadence of each rep is 6 seconds concentric, 6 seconds eccentric. Use a weight that you can perform all the sets with. The weight will be easier for the first couple of sets, but should be a struggle by the last set. You must go slow and controlled to achieve maximum myofibral tension. You don’t want the stretch reflex to relax.
Add two pounds to the bar once a week.
Squats 5 Sets 5 Reps
Prone Hamstring Push Up Curl 5 Sets 5 Reps
Neck Press 4 Sets 12 Reps (65% max)
Latpulldown 4 Sets 12 Reps (65% max)
NO ABDOMINALS! over stimulating abdominals can decrease bicep size. Perhaps this is the reason why your biceps are small. Many guys overwork abdominals.
Nutrition: Take plenty of Aminos and livers. Eat red meat!
You should see a change in a your arms by the end of the three weeks. If you don’t then you might have a higher concentration of slow twitch muscle fibers in the arms than fast twitch fibers. But try this program for three weeks then get back to me with your results.
I am having trouble losing weight. I have done many different programs, some of which worked for a little weight loss, but when I stopped the program I gained more weight back. Is there anything I can do or am I just doomed to be fat forever.
P.S. I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for posting.
I have written many blogs discussing my annoyance about the idea of “weight loss.” This is the first concern. You mentioned that you can’t lose weight. You can’t lose weight because the body is not designed to lose weight. Losing weight simply means “cell death.” Our DNA is coded to help protect against the premature death of cells. The physiological systems all have a certain amount of cells that are required to sustain life. Hormones are used to help support the activation and balance of the cells. When the cells are being destroyed and not replicated the physiological systems and hormones are altered. This altercation causes the body to defend against the loss of cells. This defense mechanism is set in our DNA. The body is a great machine and is the most efficient organism on the planet. The reason why the human species has survived for so many years is because of the innate protective coding in our DNA. Without this defense mode, the human species would not survive.
The body is not designed to lose weight, it is designed to metabolize nutrients and to have efficient physiological systems to help maintain body composition. The organs are designed to work synergistically to help keep the body operating. When an organ system is compromised ill effects occur within and out of the body. If your organs are healthy and clean of toxins and harmful free radicals then your body can metabolize off extra fat. The muscles are the engines that burn the fuel. If you exercise and utilize muscle tissue effectively you can maintain a proper body composition. Fat can only be metabolized through the muscle tissue. If you are not activating enough muscle tissue then you will not be able to metabolize fat effectively. You must increase the size and activation of the aerobic and anaerobic enzymes to be able to burn more fat. You also have to increase the number of mitochondria in the muscle cells. The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and is where ATP is manufactured. ATP is a high energy compound that is essential in producing energy for the body. The more ATP you produce the more energy you have. The more energy the greater the output of muscle can be. The greater the output of muscle the more fat can be burned.
Losing weight is not good because it usually means that you are losing muscle tissue. If you lose muscle then you lose the ability to metabolize fat. You where seeing results while you were on the weight loss program, but then gained it back once you stopped the program. You gained the weight back, and a little more, because you lost muscle tissue in the process. So when you went back eating “normal.” your body held onto the fat because the muscle was not active enough to metabolize off the excess fat.
Depending on the inflammatory damage you have inflicted upon your physiological systems will depend on how much you can get your body back to a healthy body composition. Unfortunately, it sounds like you have been battling with your body composition for many years. Once the physiological system becomes damaged it is very difficult to maintain a healthy body composition. I don’t want to be a downer or make it seem hopeless but I speak the truth and facts. You will have to be very disciplined with your nutrition and exercise.
Here is an example of what I am saying. If you have ever watched that show “The Biggest Loser” then you can understand my point. That show is about taking grossly obese people and transforming them into half their size. The main focus is losing large amounts of weight. Many of the contestants lose a tremendous amount of weight. They exercise vigorously throughout the duration of the show and gain muscle in the process, which is good. However, the problem is that when they return back to their normal lifestyle and don’t have the ranch hands to keep them on track, they end up resorting back to their bad habits and gaining all the weight back. Some of the people stick with the vigorous regime of diet and exercise and continue to keep the weight off, but this is rare. As long as they stay extremely disciplined they will succeed, but it is a struggle every day. The struggle is within the hormone structure of their body.
Chronic fluctuations of fat gain and loss will damage the hunger hormone regulatory system. Hunger hormones are important and help balance satiety and hunger. However, when these hormones get out of balance they can cause problems. Unlike other hormones that decrease as we age, hunger hormones can increase and remain in our bloodstream as we age. What this means is that the brain doesn’t have the balance to regulate hunger. The person who has a damaged hunger hormone regulatory system will suffer from intense hunger cravings. They will have to continuously eat to satisfy the cravings. In my opinion I believe that this is the reason why obesity is so high in our country. Hunger hormones are to blame.
So my advice to you is to clean out your system of toxic chemicals and to re-establish a healthy nutrition plan loaded with dense useable nutrients. Then once have a good nutritional plan in place, you should start to exercise.
I highly recommend that you purchase my book “diet EARTH.” In this book I discuss in detail how food works in your body, why you need to eat, how to eat, what to eat and when to eat. You can go to my website and order it or go to amazon.com
Once you establish a plan. Contact me so that I can help guide you further with your exercise program.
Don’t get discouraged! You reverse the inflammatory processes. How much you can reverse, I can’t answer that. But I know that you will feel better once you get a handle on a healthy meal plan and stop worrying about the silly weight loss concept. Good luck!
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
Tags: Vince Gironda, Ron Kosloff, bodybuilding, muscle, increase muscle size, nutrition, obesity, fat loss, muscle gain