Sunday 29 December 2013

The world is round

           Make 2014 the happiest, healthiest year yet. If you have ever tried to lose weight or just improve your overall health and well being and feel like you've failed again and again,maybe it's not you. Maybe it's what your doing. What if what your doing does'nt work? What if you're being given the wrong information? Suppose what you are being told to do is wrong? It does'nt work.
           Never has,never will. I'm here to tell you today the earth is round. Get what i'm saying. They're telling you the world is flat. I'm telling you the world is round. Think about it.
Stay Focused

Saturday 21 December 2013

Protein:the forgotten food

             Most people associate protein with bodybuilding or building big muscles. Nothing could be further from the truth. As you will learn, protein is essential for a strong and healthy body.    Volumes have been written about protein. I am going to make this complicated subject as easy to understand as possible. The protein you eat is broken down into molecules called amino acids. There are 24 amino acids. 16 of these are called non-essential, meaning that your body can produce them. The remaining 8 are called essential, meaning that you must get them from external sources. In less than 6 months, every protein molecule in your body is broken down and rebuilt. Foods that contain all 8 essential amino acids are called complete proteins. Foods that are low or lack one or more of the 6 essential amino acids are incomplete protein. All 8 essential amino acids must be present and in proper proportion for full protein synthesis to occur. If just one is missing or low, protein synthesis will drop or stop altogether. Hormones which control your growth, sexual development and your metabolic rate are constructed from protein. Protein is necessary for the creation of enzymes that are necessary for basic life functions and anti-bodies that fight off foreign substances in the body.
            Protein is also necessary for the formation of milk during lactation. Severe protein loss occurs as a result of particular bodily stress such as surgery, wounds, prolonged illness or even exercise. If your protein intake is too low, you can expect the following:

(i) poor tissue development
(ii) mental depression
(iii) tiredness
(iv) weakness
(v) lowered resistance to disease and infection
(vi) slow healing of injuries and recovery from exercise

              Too much protein can create its own set of problems. Excessive protein intake can create carbamide (also known as urea) which is highly toxic. Urea is also responsible for a form of arthritis known as gout. Regardless of whether you're trying to lose body fat or add a little muscle, if your protein intake is inadequate, you're fighting a losing battle.

Friday 20 December 2013

Dont do these exercises Part 2

Dumbbell flyes
Remember that gravity always pulls straight down.Because of that this exercise puts an extreme amount of tension on your biceps and your shoulders.Dumbbell flys takes the biceps and the shoulders deep into their point of "insertion" and this is always a high risk movement. Add to that,it causes very little chest activation, its just not worth the risk. Your much better off doing cable flyes or the pec dec.

Lying leg press
This exercise is very popular because it allows you to load up a ton of weight and give the appearance of being incredibly strong. The leg press is an extremely dangerous exercise for your back. As your knee's come down to your chest , your back begins to round out or flatten. It will actually bubble out. At that point the lower part of your spine ,the lumbar vertebra's, begin to separate and pull apart. This is never a good thing. Also, because your hips don't lower you use very little hamstrings. I recommend giving this one a miss.

Squats with plates under your heel's
People put little plates under their heels for one of two reasons. 1.lack of ankle flexibility or 2.they believe it hits the quadriceps harder. Lets deal with number 1 first. You would be much better off improving the range of motion in your ankles first. This way there would no need to use the plates. Number 2. There is no evidence that squatting this way recruits more quad muscles. Here are the problems with using plates under your heels. The biggest and most serious problem is that it cause a sheering on your knee cap and your ACL in the knee joint. This over time can lead to serious knee problems. In some cases ,surgery. If you look closely, there is a small gap between the plate and the balls of the foot. What this means is the centre part of the foot has virtually no support.

Helicopter twist or rotary torso twist
I'm sure we have seen somebody with a bar or broom stick across their back twisting from side to side. Your disk's and your spine are not designed to twist. It will,but its not made for that. The disk in your spine and the vertebrae that make up your spine are designed to compress. Like a tire. Let me add. It does not work your stomach and it will not get rid of your lovehandles.

There you have it. I hope this has helped you in some way. My final reccomendation to you is to avoid all of the exercise's i have discussed.
Stay Focused

Thursday 12 December 2013

Dont do these exercises!

Upright Rows
The problem with this exercise is in the positioning of your arms.This position creates what is called an "internal rotation". Every time you raise the weight a small tendon in your shoulder gets pinched(known as impingement) by the bones in the shoulder.Over time the tendon will gradually become worn down and damaged. It's not a matter of if it will eventually wear out but when.  

Behind the neck shoulder press or behind the neck lat pull down
These are the two that will wreck your shoulders. This time it's the "external rotation"that will cause the damage. With your elbows or hands behind your ears the rotator cuff can no longer stabilise the shoulder joint. This action will cause the joint itself to "grind" every time you do a rep. Over time this can cause serious damage to your shoulders.Never do any type of exercise where you need to place your hands or your elbows, what i call the high five position, behind your ears.

The bent knee sit up
Walk into any gym and you will see people lying on their back,knee's bent, doing dozens of sit ups. This type of action causes the hip flexor's to pull directly on your spine creating a tremendous amount of strain on your lower back. This exercise will certainly make any bad back worse or create a back problem.

Next week I'll tell you why ,dumbbell flyes can damage your shoulders. The leg press can do some serious damage to your back and why you never, ever want to do "Helicopter twist or Torso rotators".

Stay Focused

Thursday 5 December 2013

Birth control causes weight gain

Studies confirm this connection,but there are ways to minimise this common side effect. Both shots and oral contraceptives have been linked to weight gain. High levels of oestrogen affects the kidneys and stimulates a hormone system called renin-angioten.Specifically when the oral contraceptive contains more than 20mcg of oestrogen.

The newer types of oral contraceptives also affect insulin resistance. This causes the body to use less sugar during exercise and allows the blood sugar to be stored as fat. This type of contraceptive is also an appetite stimulant.Your constantly fighting off cravings,which also increase's your stress levels,resulting in higher levels of cortisol. Cortisol is known as the "belly fat hormone".

There are things you can do to help prevent this from happening. Talk to your GP about using a contraceptive with less than 20mcg or use an IUD. Another option is to try an oral contraceptive that is progesterone based.However,side effects of this type of birth control can often be mood swings or physical changes just before menstruation each month.Alcohol and smoking also effects birth control and weight gain dramatically.

Most women start birth control to help with uncontrolled or heavy bleeding,endometriosis,cramping or acne.Weight control has to be taken into stride with the other concerns that any female is faced with. Please remember that your form of birth control is a drug.All prescriptions should be discussed with your GP or your gynaecologist.

Of course the best way to minimise weight gain from birth control is to eat sensibly and get in some form or regular exercise.

There is nothing more difficult than losing wieght

Losing weight is the single hardest thing that a person can do. More difficult that giving up tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Think about that . You don’t need to smoke , drink or do drugs. You do need to eat. The very thing that is contributing to the problem you must continue to do three or four times a day! The National Weight Control Registry states that if you need to lose two stone or more you have a 1% chance of accomplishing this by exercise alone, 10% chance by dieting alone or an 89% chance if you combine exercise and dieting together.

If you throw into the mix all of the misinformation and in some cases out right lies, is it really any wonder as to why as a nation we are losing the battle of the bulge? The fact is losing fat is hard.If it were easy then everybody would be doing it. But there is a right way and a wrong way.

That’s where a Professional Personal Trainer (PPT) can makes all the difference. If you have made the decision that its time to get the weight off and keep it off then get yourself a Professional Personal Trainer. To learn more about what to look for in PPT and how to go about hiring a PPT, click on usefull info and read "Hiring a personal trainer".

Thursday 28 November 2013

My top 10 myths that wont go away

10. Myth: a calorie is a calorie. Based on this theory,100 cal's from fresh  strawberry's is the same as 100 cal's from a Snickers bar

9. Myth: Women can bulk up when training with weights. Cant happen. To much estrogen, not enough testosterone. Unless your Serena Williams.

8. Myth: Eat less + exercise more = weight loss. This formula can actually lead to an increase in body fat percentage.

7. Myth: Bodybuilding is a sport. No it's not. Need i say more.

6. Myth: Once you start weight training,you must do it for the rest of your life or the muscle will turn to fat. This is biologically impossble.

5. Myth: Eating fat will make you fat. Eating certain fats with specific type's of food can make you fat. Fat itself cannot.

4. Myth:Eating carbohydrates will make you fat. Only very specific types of carbs will put weight on

3. Myth:To lose weight cut down on your carb intake. Any weight you do lose will be water. 1 gram of carbohydrate hold 4 grams of water. Cut the carbs,lose the water. Also carbohydrate depletion can lead to protein depletion.

2. Myth: I dont need a personal trainer. I've got YouTube !

The best myth of all time is...............................................................

1. Myth: Elvis and MJ are living on an island somewhere.

Friday 22 November 2013

What is a calorie ?

If you read "The truth about dieting" you know that calorie restriction does not work. Dropping extra pounds is not a simple matter of eating less. It isn't the amount of calories you consume that makes a difference in terms of how much you weigh or how healthy you are.

A calorie is simply a unit of energy. It is defined as the quantity of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree centigrade at sea-level atmospheric pressure. We consume calories so that we will have something to burn. When calories are burned in a laboratory they are all equal and release the same amount of energy. Under these conditions a calorie is a calorie. But herein lays the problem. The calories you eat are absorbed at different rates and have different amounts of fibre, carbohydrates, protein, fat and nutrients – all of which translate into difference complex metabolic signals that control your weight and your health. It's called your 'metabolism'.

The conclusion here is that the kinds of calories you consume have a big impact on how much weight you gain because different types of food are metabolised in different ways. The type of food you eat directly affects what your genes tell your metabolism to do. This means that the type of calories you consume have a dual impact on the way you metabolise food (1) as a source of energy and (2) as a source of information or instructions to your genes that control your metabolism.

Thursday 21 November 2013


Secondly only to oxygen, water is the most necessary compound for life. We can go weeks without food but only days without water. Consider the following: blood is 83% water, kidneys 82%, muscles 75%, brain 74% and bones 22% water. It is much easier to become dehydrated than you think. The average person will lose about 1 litre of water per hour of exercise. When you exhale you lose water. When you blink, a watery solution is passed to the upper eyelid to lubricate the eyes and is then passed down to the nose where it will evaporate. Not to mention the more than 2 million sweat glands you have that excrete perspiration, which is 99% water.

Dehydration will also result in thicker blood, making the heart work harder and delivering less blood and oxygen to the brain. Kidney dehydration forces the liver to remove toxins, making the liver less effective in the metabolism of food. Water is also stored alongside your glycogen stores. When your water levels are low, the glycogen will remain in the blood until it reaches the liver and is then stored as fat. Dehydration will make you fat. Dehydration will cause your body to retain water, causing you to feel bloated and giving you a "soft" or "puffy" look.

A 2% loss of body water will result in a 30% reduction in performance. An 8% loss of body water will result in a 30% reduction in performance along with nausea, diarrhoea, weakness and confusion. Generally, you should be drinking between 1.5-2 litres a day. Buy your water in 2 litre bottles and drink from that. Trying to count small bottles of water or glasses of water throughout the day just doesn't work. Don't be alarmed if you find yourself going to the bathroom a lot or if you have discoloured urine, this will all subside in good time. It's more a reflection of just how dehydrated you are.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Breast cancer study from Duke University Medical Center

Results from the largest ever observational study of women with early breast cancer suggest that early stage breast cancer survival may be better with lumpectomy plus radiation than with mastectomy

Researchers at Duke University Medical Centre examined over 112,000 cases of stage 1 and stage 2 breast cancers. These case were diagnosed between 1990 and 2004, each resulted in either mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation therapy. The scientists found that in the first three years following surgery, women who had mastectomies were more likely to die from heart disease and other diseases compared with women who had lumpectomies. The overall survival rate was slightly higher for woman who had lumpectomy plus radiation than women who had a mastectomy.

The biggest effect was seen in women over 50 with hormone-sensitive cancer. Their risk of dying from breast cancer was 14% lower than woman in similar circumstances.

Stay Focused
Eric Hartzell

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Interesterified fat:Different from:yet the same as trans fat's

Before you run out buy your next box of biscuits or crisp labelled “zero trans fats” or “trans fat free” you better take a look at the ingredients list. Many companies have eliminated partially hydrogenated oils from their products, the replacement, interesterified fats, may not be much better. Since 2006 nutrition labels have been required to list the amount of trans fat in the product. This led food companies to look for ways to remove hydrogenated oils from their products. Their answer was interesterified fats. Interesterified fat is made by combining a solid fat(containing saturated fatty acids) with a liquid fat (vegetable oil containing unsaturated fatty acids) to create a fat that behaves like saturated fat in food preparation, but lacks the “bad” effects of saturated fats or trans fat once it’s consumed.

Is it safe ?
It is to early to tell for sure. Most research suggest that they are no better trans fats, having the same effects on blood cholesterol(lowering the good and increasing the bad), as well as raising blood sugar and lowering insulin levels which could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Where Would I Find Interesterified Fats ?
The same places we used to find partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats- processed baked goods,spreads and frozen convenience foods. There is no specific labelling requirements for interesterified fats, so you will not see them on the nutrition facts label. Instead, review the ingredients list for “interesterified” fats or oil. If “fully hydrogenated vegetable oil , palm oil” and/ or “palm kernel oil” are listed, the product may or may not contain interesterified fats. And of course, be wary of “no trans fat “ or “trans fat free” statements on the package.

The Bottom Line
Common sense will tell you that you that any foods that can last longer than their homemade versions need additives in order to delay their “extinction”. These same types of foods tend to be high in total fat, salt and sugar as well as other food additives. Why risk your health by eating things we have a hard time pronouncing. Avoid processed foods whenever possible . Keep it natural.

Stay Focused Eric

Saturday 16 November 2013

Preservation of health is a duty

Preservation of health is a duty.However, few people seem conscious of such a concept as physical morality.

These words were spoken long before the birth of Christ by a Greek physician named "Hippocrates" the Father of Medicine. Hippocrates felt that every member of society had an obligation to practice this principal of physical morality.. He believed that individuals had an ethical responsibility to take charge of their own health. Those who didn't were shirking their duties as citizen and, therefore , were guilty of immoral behaviour. This may seem to be an unfair and harsh judgement in our democratic society where we cherish our freedom. Including the freedom to neglect our health. But do we really have that right ?

We have failed to adapt to the age of automation by programming physical activity and healthy eating into our lifestyles.We are suffering due to our technological success. Labor-saving machines have created not only more leisure time but also the sedentary lifestyle.The motovation of hard times has given way to laziness.the abundance of food has made every day a feast day. Even modern medicine cannot prevent heart attacks and strokes caused by a diet to rich in fat and calories and a lifestyle lacking in excercise and physical activity. This self-neglect has led to an unprecedented rise in the cost of health care. Therefore,some would argue,the unhealthy are a "burden to the healthy",who find themselves having to subsidize the self-abuse of most of the population. As Hippocrates stated so long ago, we have a moral obligation to good health.

People may say that there is nothing they value more than their health;yet in reality ,the statistics indicate that there is nothing they abuse more than their health and well-being. Typically,people concern thenselves with their health only when it is in jeopardy.It is a tragedythat most people emphasize not dying rather than optimal health.For many people ,health is defined as being just the absence of disease or infirmity. Many of our health care crises are not brought on by a disease disorder but rather by lifestyle choices. Just look at the typical A&E on any Friday or Saturday night. In England,it is estimated that more than 50% of all visits to the GP or A&E are the direct results of our lifestye choices.So i put it to you; "do we have a moral obligation to take better care of ourselves ?"

Stay Focused
Eric Hartzell

Friday 15 November 2013

The truth about dieting!

          Have you ever looked at the first three letters in the word DIET? The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies a diet containing less than 2100 calories for a man and 1800 for a woman as a starvation diet. People who diet eat less than 1500 calories a day. The single most important principle of weight management is to never starve you. We are wired to eat, you must eat. It’s not natural not to. If you don’t give your body what it needs it will fight back.

          Even if you do manage to lose weight when dieting, as much as 60% can of the weight loss can be metabolically active muscle. Muscle burns 70% more calories than fat. Anything you regain will be all fat. You cannot regain muscle. You must build muscle. Lose too much weight to fast and you will release a fat storing hormone called lipoprotein lipase. The very act of losing weight strengthens and makes more potent the very hormone that is in great measure responsible for you being overweight to begin with. Here’s an example of what happens when you diet.

         You weigh yourself and at 240lbs decide its time to do something about it. You’re body fat percentage is 33% or 79lbs of fat. After two months of strict dieting you weigh in at 200lbs at 28% body fat.

         However, over the next ten months you regain 30 lbs of fat and now weigh in at 230lbs. Yes you are 10 lbs lighter than when you started. Now the bad news. You weigh 230lbs at 35% body fat. That’s 82lbs of fat compared to 79lbs when you started.

        Body fat percentage up , body fat up, lean tissue down. One year later you’re heavier and unhealthier than when you started.

      Of greater concern is a type of fat you can’t get rid of by dieting alone. That fat is called visceral adipose tissue or VAT. VAT lies deep within the abdominal cavity. VAT has been linked to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and high total cholesterol. Alcohol is a major contributor to VAT. Dieting alone will not reduce the amount of VAT you have but healthy eating and exercise will.
Stay Focused

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