Unconventional Bodybuilding (Pt.2)

Continuing on with our look at the misinformation and misunderstandings tied to conventional bodybuilding wisdom and offering better (unconventional) alternatives.

#2 – You Should Not Eat too Many Carbs, But Should Consume a lot of Protein.


Despite being disproved time and time again, the belief that carbs make you fat has stuck around like gum under a middle-schoolers desk.

carbohydrates, high carb, low protein, low fat, diet

In my favorite aisle in the supermarket…the cereal aisle!

This is a deep topic that deserves its own attention so I am going to avoid going into extensive detail.  I’ll just summarize why if anything you want to be carb heavy for the purpose of achieving the lean muscular look of a bodybuilder.  But first, let’s address protein.

Based on an extensive amount of research protein intake for someone who resistance trains or performs high intensity exercise need to only be 1.6 – 2.4g/kg of fat free mass.(1-6)   Or for those of you that eschew the metric system, around 1 gram per pound of lean body mass.  That means a 180lb. male with 10% body-fat would only need approximately 162g protein per day (even if in a caloric deficit).

Why high carb?

  • Because carbs are protein sparing.  In the absence of carbohydrates or low glycogen levels amino acids are called upon to do “double-duty” and supply energy needs.  This is very inefficient and leaves fewer to perform their primary job of repairing and building muscle tissue.
  • They along with ATP are the muscles primary source of energy for forceful muscle contractions.  Low carb diets leave little immediate energy available for intense anaerobic exercise.7
  • Carbs combined with water is what gives our muscles their fullness and hard appearance (more on this in Pt.3).

#3 – You Must do Cardio to get Shredded

I’ll do anything but cardio!


I am not saying to avoid it if you enjoy it. Or that it can’t assist in fat-loss—especially if you do HIIT or some form of high intensity cardio.8, 9  But the notion that 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise several times a week to get bodybuilder lean is nonsense.

Thermogenesis is the name of the game and the caloric expenditure needed to trigger can be achieved through exercise or nutrition.  But really, it’s all about nutrition.  You can do cardio to help put you in a caloric deficit or you can choose to consume less calories.  Skip on the four Oreo cookies and you just saved yourself 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I know which option I’m going with!

There’s only a few reasons I’ve come across why some people must absolutely implement cardio to assist with fat-loss:

  1. Flat Ass Syndrome – Nope, it has nothing to do with developing glutes to rival Jen Selter. This is all about the terrible scenario that plagues millions of people which is extreme inactivity and sedentary work.  Put another way, people basically sit on their ass allllllllllll day.  They go to work by sitting on their ass in a car or on a train.  They get to work and sit on their ass in front of a computer for 8-10 hours.  They go home the same way came into work…sitting on their ass.  And then when they get home they sit their ass in front of a television while checking Twitter updates on a tablet. If this resembles your life in some way, shape or form then a little cardio might be necessary to.
  2. Diet is inadequate – Meaning they just have not touched on the proper distribution of calories and macronutrients to make fat-loss consistent or they have not allotted enough TIME to lose the necessary amount of BF.  The latter is very problematic for those competing in bodybuilding or any type of physique contest because the harder one needs to push their diet and exercise to meet a deadline the more susceptible they become to muscle loss.The negative impact is twofold. First, even if you reach your desired weight or degree of leanness you will not look your best.  Second, you will have suppressed your metabolism making it harder to lose more body-fat and easier to regain body-fat.
  3. Metabolic Kick-start – Sometimes you can do everything right and the G.A.S. (General Adaptation Syndrome) goes and spoils it all.  The more easily your body adapts to your diet the tougher it becomes to keep your metabolism elevated.  Adding some HIIT or any form of higher intensity cardio can help provide a different stimulus to cause a metabolic response.

#4 – You Need to Use a lot of Supplements

That depends on what you define as “a lot”.  I personally use protein powder, Shaklee Vitalizer, and creatine and some BCAA’s during competition prep.  That’s pretty much it.

My pre-workout is typically a cup of black coffee or if Rich Fitter hooks me up with some pre-workout samples I might use that for a shot of energy instead.

The truth is, while natural bodybuilders are probably the largest consumer of supplements many of the top natural bodybuilders in the world don’t take all that many.  Things such as protein powders, multi-vitamins, Omega’s, creatine, and BCAA’s are pretty standard but beyond that most everything else tends to be unnecessary if your nutrition and training is on point.


  1. Garthe I, Raastad T, Refsnes PE, Koivisto A, Sundgot-Borgen J. Effect of two different weight-loss rates on body composition and strength and power-related performance in elite athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Apr;21(2):97-104.
  2. Mettler S, Mitchell N, Tipton KD. Increased protein intake reduces lean body
    mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010; 42(2), 326-337.
  3. Pasiakos SM, Cao JJ, Margolis LM, Sauter ER, Whigham LD, McClung JP, Rood JC, Carbone JW, Combs GF Jr, Young AJ. Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. FASEB J. 2013 Jun 5.
  4. Phillips SM, Moore DR, Tang JE. A critical examination of dietary protein requirements, benefits, and excesses in athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007 Aug;17 Suppl:S58-76.
  5. Helms ER, Zinn C, Rowlands DS, Brown SR A systematic review of dietary protein during caloric restriction in resistance trained lean athletes: a case for higher intakes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2014 Apr;24(2):127-38. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2013-0054. Epub 2013 Oct 2.
  6. http://suppversity.blogspot.de/2013/06/evidence-from-metabolic-ward-16-24gkg.html
  7. Couto PG, Bertuzzi R, de Souza CC, Lima HM, Kiss MA, de Oliveira FR, Lima-Silva AE. High-CHO Diet Induces Faster Final Sprint and Overall 10,000 m Times of Young Runners. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2015 Apr 22. [Epub ahead of print]
  8. Falcone PH, Tai CY, Carson LR, Joy JM, Mosman MM, McCann TR, Crona KP, Kim MP, Moon JR. Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Mar;29(3):779-85. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000661.
  9. Greer BK, Sirithienthad P, Moffatt RJ, Marcello RT, Panton LB. EPOC Comparison Between Isocaloric Bouts of Steady-State Aerobic, Intermittent Aerobic, and Resistance Training. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2015 Feb 12:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]

The Least Understood Stage of Fat-Loss

fat-loss, body-fat, natural bodybuildingWe all recognize that on some level fat-loss is more of a mental challenge than a physical one.  Typically, if you follow a plan you lose body-fat.  The trouble is following the plan.

One of the stumbling blocks that I haven’t heard any coaches or nutritionists talk about (which doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been talked about) that is common among nearly every individual—natural bodybuilder or every day Jane—is best summarized by a recent conversation I had with a female client who is prepping for her first natural bodybuilding contest.

She’s made incredible strides with fat-loss in the past 5 months.  But despite being her all-time leanest and extremely well defined by competition standards she said, “My body looked better when I was a few pounds heavier.” 

Similarly I’ve been told the same from non-bodybuilding clients who although overweight, reached a certain point in their fat-loss where their body looked—for lack of a better term—“awkward”, compared to being just a few pounds heavier.  Mind you they were still overweight at this point.

And I’ve noticed the same of myself during competition prep.  There typically comes a time early on in my prep when despite being leaner I’m not lean in the areas I need it most resulting in that “awkward” appearance.

This is a critical juncture for anyone losing weight because when you’re at this stage it is very easy to abandon what you’re doing.

I mean heck, if you don’t look as good as you did just a couple of pounds heavier, why keep pushing to lose more, right?

However this is the time when you have to ignore the mirror and keep pushing forward.  It’s an unfortunate fact that we lose body-fat indiscriminately.

You don’t get to pick and choose where fat comes off first.  And even more unfortunately, where you want it to come off most is usually where it comes off last.  This is the real culprit and reason for the disproportionate appearance being discussed.

So what’s the point?

The point is, don’t quit!

Don’t allow a momentary inconvenience or displeasure with your appearance prevent you from attaining the physique you desire most.  Celebrate this stage in your fat-loss because it indicates what you really want is right around the corner.

Making Sure Your Fitness Results Last…Forever

You and I, we do it for the results.  Why else would we do it?  Some people think about being fit.  We hunt fitness down and capture it like prey.

And when we do there is nothing better than when…

Fat has been lost…

Muscle has been built…

Strength has been gained…

And a new attitude rules the day.

Getting to Where You Want to Go

We know that not a single small improvement is made without a tremendous amount of work.  The fact is, if you want good results your training, nutrition, and lifestyle choices have to be great.

If you want great results they need to be outstanding.  If you want outstanding results you need to crush your self-limiting beliefs and be relentlessly consistent with your outstanding actions.

When you’ve worked your way from where you were to where you are—assuming where you are is better than where you were—then there is only one thing that can bring you down.  Regression.

When You Arrive, ‘Burn the Boats’

The only way to ensure you never sink back to the place you once were, the place you worked so hard to get away from, is by cutting off all ties to that place.

The phrase ‘Burn the Boats’ is one of my favorites.  (I’m pretty sure it, along with an image will wind up a future tattoo somewhere on my body.)  It stems from the legend of Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes who in the early 1500’s defeated the Aztecs in Mexico.

He and his men made a commitment to do what no one before them was able to do.  As legend goes Cortes got his men to commit by burning their ships.

Victory, the Only Option

 Cortes made it so there was no turning back.  It was either win or die.

Commitment is nothing more than a decision.  You have to decide in your mind to the ‘Burn the Boats’ and eliminate any prospect of retreating back to where you came from.  You need to leave the old you behind.

Even if you’re not yet where you want to be.  Burning the boats means you can only move forward.

It’s a Mindset

Though it might not be a life or death situation like it was for Cortes and his men. Implanting the idea that it is (and it very well could be for some) can have a significant impact on your subconscious.

You’d be surprised what you can do.

And if burning the boats in your mind doesn’t work then try burning your clothes!  If you have no larger sizes to fall back on then you’ll always have to find a way to stay in the smaller ones you’ve got on now.

Why You Should Train Like a Bodybuilder Even Though You Don’t Want to Look Like One

I’m writing this for you, the mom, dad, man, woman, busy professional, student, and slacker (J/k I know you’re not a slacker. Slackers don’t read my stuff) who seek out the help of personal trainers and to my personal training brethren who routinely have to talk people off the ledge when it comes to training heavy and hard…like a bodybuilder.  The statement: “I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder” drives me crazy.  I understand where it comes from which drives me even crazier than when my wife insists on plucking my eyebrows.  (I don’t care what women say, that shit hurts.  I’d rather sit through 6 hours of tattooing.)

The conversation when a new client comes in—especially the ladies—typically goes like this after I’ve explained our inclination for training heavy and hard relative to their abilities (I’ll skip on all the niceties and small talk):

Client:  But I don’t want look like a bodybuilder.

Me:  You won’t…you can’t.

Client: Yeah but I see those women/guys on the magazines and I don’t to get that.

Me: Let me ask you.  Are you currently taking steroids, testosterone, or growth hormone that you obtained from a black market dealer?

Client: No

Me: Then I think you’re safe.  Genetically speaking 99.6% of people don’t have the genetic aptitude to get huge.  They don’t have the muscle fiber make up, muscle length, or in the case of women, the testosterone levels needed to pack on mass. Just look at all the teenage and twenty-something guys whose testosterone levels are shooting through that are TRYING to look like the guys in the mags never get there without PED’s.

(I point to a picture of me in bodybuilding competition shape)


Client:  That’s you!

Me:  Geez, don’t act so surprised.  Yes, that’s me about 10 pounds lighter than I am right now. 

Client: You’d never know you’re a bodybuilder.

Me:  (Think to myself: “Thanks again for reinforcing my bodybuilding inferiority complex,)  If you walked down the street and ran into one natural bodybuilder or physique competitor after another at best you would say they look like they’re in really good shape and that’s how you want to look.  Nothing freakish or unusual about them, just extremely shredded when it’s time to step on stage. 

Bodybuilding is an illusion.  Exceptionally low body fat levels and bright lights shining down on the body help muscles stand out and appear more pronounced.  Once the shirt and pants go back on they look like “normal” people (but we know even natural competitors are anything but normal).  Even the biggest and baddest natural competitors look like they could be your exceptionally fit co-worker or friend. 


The purpose of Bodybuilding

While people might not want to look like bodybuilders, training like one—from the standpoint of heavy loads and high intensity—is what results in the toned (I freakin’ hate that buzz word), and fit look they are aiming for and developing greater functional strength (dammit that’s two buzz words in one sentence, I’m going to have to take a shower after I’m done writing this).  So long as exercises are performed under controlled conditions with exceptional execution, minimizing ballistic movements, then training like a bodybuilder will do more to prevent injuries than cause them.  (If you want increase your chance of injury from lifting just do some of that silly shit people do on the Bosu and fit ball.)  The increased strength, muscular endurance and muscle development you achieve through “bodybuilding” will have a greater impact on more aspects of health and fitness than any other form of exercise.

In a nutshell, bodybuilding is all about improving your quality of life.  And besides if you’re not actively trying to “build” your “body” what the heck are you exercising for?

[Poof!] My Shape…Gone in an Instant

You create your fitness plan, you stick to it for 3 months, and then you piss it all away in two weeks. That’s my story and I’m not ashamed of it.  It’s a story that will deliver a massive dose of reality and teach you a lesson if you’re willing to sit here and read it for the next 4 minutes.  As I sit here typing away on my laptop I have to laugh at how quickly I was able to reverse three months of hard work.  Seriously, three months of tracking my food intake and gradually getting my body near competition form, GONE after just 2 weeks of indulgence.

poofThe two weeks were comprised of my wedding and honeymoon so by no means do I kick myself over all the eating and drinking I did.  Heck, Corrie-Beth and I spent 7 of our 10 day honeymoon in Napa Valley and Sonoma so you better believe we were drank a lot of wine!  And the meals were pretty damn good too.

So what was the damage?  A nine pound increase in body weight and all the definition in my abs and arms had disappeared.  Granted at least 3 of the 9 lbs. is retained water which can be eliminated within a week by pushing my water intake up to around a gallon per day but unfortunately the rest of the weight (fat) will take a lot longer to get back off.


I can already hear some of you saying, “But you’re already in good shape it’s not that big of a deal”.  To which I say, “It’s all relative”.  I have certain expectations and standards which if not met or maintained have the same emotional impact as anyone else who looks at them self and is disgusted with how out of shape they’ve become.

I knew it would happen, I’ve been here before.  In the early years of my bodybuilding career I would spend six months prepping for a show only to binge my way out of competition shape in less than a week.  Over more recent years I’ve learned that if I (as well as most people) can keep from letting one day of binging or cheat meals turn into 2, 3, 4, 5 days or more then maintaining that ideal condition that I worked long and hard to achieve is easy and doesn’t require being on point all the time.  But once you start rolling downhill it’s very difficult to stop and the unfortunate consequence is having to start all over.

Fitness PlanThe idea of starting over can be a little demoralizing if you don’t have the proper mindset.  As I said, I would never give up all the great breakfast, lunch, dinners, wine, beer, and spirits I indulged in over the two week wedding/honeymoon period.  In fact I had planned for it.  All the dieting I had done over those three prior months was in anticipation of all I would do and was a way of mitigating the damage.  I knew from the very beginning that at some point I was going to have to “start over”.  Since it is exactly what I expected it eliminates the pain of feeling like “I blew it”.

The situation—and the emotions that accompany it—is similar to saving thousands of dollars over the course of several months or a year for a vacation you’ve always wanted to go on.  When the time comes to actually pay for the vacation the money suddenly disappears from your account, or the envelope of cash you’ve been saving it in.  You knew it was going to happen, and you would never give up the vacation just to hang onto the cash, but you’re still left with that slight bit of sadness that all you saved is gone in an instant.  It doesn’t make the vacation any less enjoyable it’s just an unavoidable feeling…just like putting weight back on that you worked hard to lose. But the great thing is, if you’ve done it once you can do it again and if you’re committed, the next time should be much easier since you already know what to expect.

Fit to Lead

I’ve heard countless definitions of leadership and descriptions of what makes a good leader and most of them, in some way shape or form refer to influencing, motivating and inspiring others to realize their full potential, accomplish a task, or work towards a common goal.  We find leaders in all areas of our lives.  They occupy the boardroom, work place, classroom, home, church, synagogue, and every other place we look for guidance or direction.

However one of the most overlooked aspects of being a great leader and the part which pertains to all of us is that great leaders demonstrate the ability to lead themselves.  They set an example as well as the standard.  The results you achieve through exercise and nutrition and your ability to remain disciplined about your fitness is a good measure of your ability to lead yourself.

Certainly there are many ways and other arenas in which you can demonstrate leadership but few have as big an impact on your personal well-being and those around you like fitness.  When people see you living a higher standard it inspires them to do the same.  If you’re a parent you know exactly what I mean.  Kids don’t listen they observe.  And whatever it is they see you doing is what they will adopt as their own behavior.

Whether you realize it or not–to some degree–you have the same type of influence on those around you; be it co-workers, friends, or family.  Show that you are fit to lead by leading yourself to be fit.

Competition Shape…Minus the Competion (Lisa’s journey) – Entry 7


[Lisa]  This past week many either went back to school or have children who went back to school.  In my case I added teaching 3 college courses to my schedule.  As I sat at my computer, all day last Sunday, preparing lessons I felt the familiar tug of sweets calling my name.  I was not hungry, but eating has always been the way I have dealt with the stress of a deadline or the stress of anything for that matter.  The blog saved me once again.  I admit, even knowing I was going to be writing an entry for the blog, I was still tempted.  Two months in and 9 lbs. down I worry that I won’t be able to stay motivated for the long haul.  Years ago I lost 50 lbs. in a little less than a year.  I remember the excitement as the numbers went down.  I was able to stay focused and get to my goal.  Since then I have attempted to lose the weight I had gradually let creep back on numerous times.  I would last a few weeks maybe a month or so and then it was over.  I’m thinking I need some additional ideas.  Mike, I know competing is the motivator for you but is there anything else that keeps you on track?

[Mike]  It’s not important what motivates me, what’s important is discovering what motivates you.  In my book, PURE PHYSIQUE: How to Maximize Fat-loss & Muscular Development I wrote about this topic at length.  In short, everything we do—everything—is to achieve pleasure or avoid pain.

Nothing is more gratifying than looking in the mirror and knowing your present condition is a result of your own doing.  Conversely nothing can make you feel worse than looking in the mirror and admitting your present condition is your own doing.  You see there comes a point when external motivators (like fitting into a certain dress or winning a contest) are not enough and it is your values and standards that move you towards your goal or keep you from slipping backwards.

If you’ve been accepting sub-standards for yourself then it becomes easy to justify eating things you know you shouldn’t or when you shouldn’t, as well as skipping workouts or avoiding activities that are critical to your success.  Raising your standards and holding yourself to them is the key to staving off temptation.  If the thought of not achieving your goal does not elicit negative feelings that you would do anything to avoid rather than harbor inside then it might be time to assess what you value most.  Similarly, if achieving your goal does not elicit excitement and make you want to take proper action then it might be time to assess your values.  Namely your value of self.

Competition Shape…Minus the Competition (Lisa’s Journey) – Entry 4

[Lisa] The sun has set on July and I, therefore, have completed one full month of my journey through hell, I mean to health, towards competition shape.  Although I am convinced my scale snickers as I walk by, I decided to step on board, with my eyes open for a change, and see if I could smack the smugness out of my digital friendHmmm, down 5.2 lbs.  Not the 50 I had hoped for but progress nonetheless.  Further, I did wear apair of jeans that prompted the following text message to Mike:

“For the blog!!!!! Just zipped a pair of jeans that I bought months ago with the intention of fitting into them.  Understand I could not pull them up when purchased.  I still hate u but I kinda love you too.”

One must remember to make sure Mike knows he is still causing pain during and after workouts, hence the hate.  If you let on that your workouts are not challenging you will suffer the wrath.  Besides, you would not get away with faking it anyway.

Looking back on July, I have incorporated some positive changes into my eating and exercise program.  While I did eat out about 5 or 6 times, I had grilled chicken or Tuna and stayed away from the bread.  I continue to workout at PURE PHYSIQUE 2-3 times per week.  I have, for the most part, kept my fat and carbohydrate intake to “prescribed by Mike” levels.

My concern is that a little over 5 lbs. just does not seem like very much.  How do I lose at least that much this month?  What do you plan on doing about this Mike?

[Mike]  It’s true, if I feel (or any trainer at PURE PHYSIQUE feels) that your workouts are not challenging then you will feel the wrath.  But contrary to popular belief it is not because we’re sadists.  We simply recognize that the level of effort most people put into their workout is not enough to improve their fitness no matter how long they exercise for or how many days a week they exercise.  Effort is the single most important factor for productive exercise and if you are not being challenged you are not changing.

A loss of 5 lbs. in a month might not seem like much but it is, especially if it is 5 lbs. of body-fat.  Considering that a pound of fat is slightly larger than a can of soup dropping five of them is no small accomplishment and is the reason why in just one month Lisa could fit into pants she could not fit into previously.

When the objective is fat-loss it is best to aim for a loss of 1-2 lbs. per week.  Attempting to lose more than this—unless you are morbidly obese—can result in the loss of muscle tissue which will negatively impact your strength, muscle tone, functional ability, and your metabolism to small degree.  This is the reason why people who lose weight very quickly tend to regain it twice as fast.

If Lisa is able to lose another 5-8 lbs. in the next month and the month after that and continue at this pace then she will undoubtedly reach her goal.  It will not be easy and will require that she continue to make good choices when eating out as well as tightening the screws on her diet by eliminating another 50-100 calories per day.  We will also look to address her activity level by adding 10-20 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise on 1-2 non-training days.

Competition Shape…Minus the Competition (Lisa’s Journey) – Entry 3


[Lisa]  I will be having five ounces of steak tonight as part of my dinner.  It has 12.7 grams of fat.  This is more than half of what Mike has allotted me daily for fat intake.   Nevertheless, I want it and am going to have it.  I have planned for it and logged it in my food diary.  Why is it I have to keep a food diary in order for me to lose weight?  I watch naturally thin people go about their lives without writing down what they eat or what they plan on eating.  Yet, they remain at an ideal body weight.  Whether I am seriously focusing on losing weight or not I am very much aware of the caloric make-up of foods that I eat.  Further, I also know and/or look up how many calories are burned for any exercise I do.  For example, a half gallon of plain vanilla ice cream (one serving in my world, I mean my OLD world) is 1200 calories.  This translates to jogging for 2 hours at about 5 mph.  Not gonna happen!  I guarantee you my naturally thin husband has no idea how many calories he eats and burns in a day, week, month EVER!  This is not fair and I demand to know why this is.  Mike?

[Mike]  Why keep a food diary?  Why have limits on your food/caloric intake? Why worry about what others can eat and you can’t?

Here’s the deal, by definition a calorie is a measure of energy expenditure.  You require food for one reason and one reason only and that is to supply your body with the energy (calories) it needs to sustain proper function and support your daily activity. Whether you like it or not or, think it’s unfair, there are limits to how many calories you can consume regardless of how “healthy” you eat.  Because your body only needs so many calories to do its job as soon as those needs are met any additional calories, whether from ice cream or Cream of Wheat, get stored as fat.

The only time fat gets used for energy is when your body is in a caloric deficit.  Meaning you are not taking enough calories to support your energy requirements so now your body goes scrounging for them.

The reason why keeping a food journal and tracking your calories–as well as your carbs, proteins, and fats–is necessary is so you know precisely how much you can eat instead of taking a guess or being erratic. It’s a scorecard.  Just like in golf the way you win the fat-loss gam is by shooting under par.

If your baseline requirement is 1200 calories a day, then you need to take in less than that in order to start using the calories stored as fat to fill the gap.  If you haven’t read it yet check out my blog on how to figure out your caloric needs for fat-loss at: http://yorktown-somers.patch.com/blog_posts/fat-loss-its-a-numbers-game

Now regarding your husband and other naturally thin people who don’t have to track their food intake, who can eat whatever they want, who have metabolisms like race cars…GET OVER IT.  Sometimes life just isn’t fair, boo-hoo.  Why don’t we just throw a pity party because others seem to have it easier in one small area of life than the rest of us.

The fact is some people inherently have fast metabolisms—it’s genetic.  You can blame your parents (and they are the ones to blame) or you can make the necessary adjustments to your diet and do proper weight training to increase your metabolic rate.  Just stop whining about it, whining does not have a positive effect on your metabolism.

Competition Shape…Minus the Competition (Lisa’s Journey) – Entry 2

[Lisa] The numbers, they don’t lie or do they?  Maybe you are like me; you begin a fitness/diet program and expect because you weigh xxx (fill in your own number) the weight should come flying off in the beginning.  You prepare for your first weigh-in; it should go without saying that you only get on the scale, naked, first-thing-in the morning, having shaved, removed all jewelry and having trimmed your nails.  You certainly don’t want any of those things weighing you down.  You gingerly step on the scale, if you see a number you are happy with, “Woo-Hoo,” if not – throw scale out the window, buy a new one and repeat weigh-in steps in seven days.   Losing weight has never been easy for me.  No matter what I do, it comes off painfully slow.  The scale, for many of us, is the measure of success.  Are there other things that even matter?

[Mike]  There are certainly many ways aside from the scale to measure your success.  I’ll get to that in moment but before I do I want to share the following text message I received from Lisa the other night just before going to bed (yes, I do field messages from clients at all times of the day because like a doctor, I’m always on call).

If I weren’t doing this f***ing blog I so would have had ice cream right now.

That’s what I call leverage!  Having something hanging over your head—a consequence—that forces you to stay on track.  I cannot stress the importance of having leverage which is why I dedicated a huge section to it in my book.

Back to the scale…or backing off if you can’t handle the truth.  What we’re talking about here is measuring progress. You need an objective means of determining whether or not the the actions you are taking are moving you towards your goals. There are numerous ways to measure progress.  You can go by how your clothes fit, a tape measure, pictures, the mirror, skin fold calipers or a body composition (bioimpedence) testing machine.  You don’t necessarily need to use the scale but it is a quick and easy way to track your progress.

What you need to know about stepping on the scale is that your weight can fluctuate day to day even if your caloric intake is the same due to changes in your total body water.  These changes in water weight are influenced by your sodium, carb and water intake.  With that in mind, take your daily weight changes with a grain of salt and use your average weekly weight to track to your progress.