Metabolism Probably Isn’t The Culprit

You can find a good article on metabolism here:

https://www.vox.com/2018/9/4/17486110/metabolism-diet-fast-weight-loss

"Metabolism" is one of those terms thrown around recklessly without most people understanding what it means. There are lots of products, books, posts, diets, systems, etc., that claim they'll help people lose weight by "speeding up" or "boosting" metabolism. Most of this is nonsense (often from people who should know better). Any "boost" is minuscule and transitory.

People can sometimes blame a slower metabolism for extra caloric intake. We're really bad at estimating how much we eat and tend to overlook lots of little things (like sauces) that add up and lead to increased body fat. It's not that we're lying about it; it's just one of those human foibles.

As the author of the article found, "slow metabolism" is rarely a thing. Yes, it does slow down as we get older (which surprises no one over 40). And dieting--particularly extreme dieting--can slow it down too. But while such things can make it more challenging to shed unwanted pounds, it's not even close to impossible (although it can seem that way).

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Editorializing Studies: An Example

side view of scientists looking at a colorful grapefruit in a laboratoryThe internet is jam-packed with sources of "news." Most of these sources don't produce news themselves; rather they re-post articles, press releases, etc. And so it came to pass that a post I saw this week referenced a press release from March that prompted this post. End backstory.

The post from March (which showed up in lots of places...see previous paragraph) looked like this one: http://www.sciencenewsline.com/news/2017030718000015.html . It's about a study that showed exercise--especially High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)--"...caused cells to make more proteins for their energy-producing mitochondria and their protein-building ribosomes, effectively stopping aging at the cellular level."

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RPE For Resistance Training

Determining the intensity of a workout can help make it more effective and easier to scale. For example, asking someone to run for five minutes is physically different than asking them to run hard for five minutes. The same concept applies to strength training.

But while there are some straightforward ways to measure intensity of cardiovascular or aerobic training, strength training is a bit more challenging. Yet knowing how hard you’re lifting can help you structure your workout programs more effectively. For example, you can vary workout intensity to prevent overtraining while still getting sufficient volume and working hard enough to get results.

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Live Long, Travel Strong: Costa Rica Edition

Whether you're retired, nearing retirement, or decades away, recreational travel should be on your mind. Exploring the world has been a time-honored tradition since...forever. While some people might prefer to see the world from a bus or deck chair, there are plenty of adventurous things to do while you travel.

Being fit opens more recreational travel opportunities. Here are some examples from a recent trip to Costa Rica.

Zip-lining is fun, but it's also easy. You don't need to be great (or even good) shape to do it. But it does involve climbing stairs. Being fit makes that part easier.

Ziplining travel in Costa Rica

Ziplining

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Precision Nutrition Studies

nutrition lab study

As you may know, I have mixed feelings about Precision Nutrition (PN). On the one hand, I'm certified with them (PN1). On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of the way they run their online coaching (which differs from what they tell you in their certification manual). And while they sometimes post useful and informative articles, they sometimes write misleading ones. This post is about the latest example I've seen, and will hopefully help you with evaluating results of studies. Continue reading

Secret to Fitness Success

(This article originally appeared in the October 9, 2012 issue of The StrongFast Planet newsletter.)

old training treadmillLots of people go to the gym. Lots of people have exercise equipment at home. Lots of people buy fitness videos, books, clothes, and junk. Lots of people don't get any fitter.

Why do some people have success with a fitness or nutrition program while others don't? While there are several possible factors, there is one "secret" that every success story shares:

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Recovery, Rest, Repair, and Rebuilding

recovery walk on the beachThere's an adage that strength gains aren't made in the gym; they're made during the recovery from workouts when muscles repair and rebuild (making you "better, stronger, faster..."). This has led (not "lead" ... words have meaning!) to the concept of the "off" day or "rest" day.

We can do better. "Recovery" day is a start. Or how about "muscle repair" day? That can change the way we approach our training schedule.

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