Monday, December 28, 2015

Most Popular Fitness Articles of 2015, 7 Individuals Not to Rely on for Fitness Advice, 8 More Sources Not to Listen to for Fitness Advice

December 27, 2015


I hope your had a wonderful holiday and are making plans for 2016.

The New Year is upon us and the fitness scammers and charlatans will be out in force to take advantage of the “New Years Resolutionist”.

It’s a good time to review some of the articles of 2015 on this subject and some of the most popular articles on subjects that are appropriate for making plans and setting goals for this time of year.

I’ll re-post some of these articles each day over the next week or so. You can also go to any of the articles of 2015 at the bottom of the right hand column of the website.

Thank you all for helping making 2015 a very good year for Alpha Edge Fitness. 2016 promises to be even better.


(Most popular article of 2015)


Almost everyone in any given gym has their own way of doing things. Experienced gym goers have found things that work for them by trial and error. That doesn’t mean it will work for you

I started writing this post some time ago but it kept getting longer and longer and longer. When it comes to the media, the list of what and who you should not rely on seems to get longer every day.
So I had to decide how to divide the subject into more than one post. So here’s the first installment.

The largest health problems for American people, and people of most other developed nations, are obesity and chronic diseases associated with obesity. (Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer) And individuals suffering from these issues have become a marketing and/or scam artist’s dream. (Sometimes they are one and the same).

We are constantly bombarded with weight loss “breakthroughs”. Whether diet plans, meal plans, exercise “guru’s to the stars”, exercise equipment, or long lost “secret formulas” that guarantee you weight loss or muscle gain by drinking “Bohemian Koo-Koo Berry Juice”.

They “guarantee” you’ll lose 10 pounds the first week or 100 pounds in 3 months or whatever you want to hear. And we, as a population, are so desperate for quick and easy solution that we fall for it.  
Want to lose 50 pounds, “buy our revolutionary new machine that works in only 10 minutes a day” or “our revolutionary new diet pill” or “our complete meal plan in microwavable bowls, delivered right to your door”. 

So, who or what should you watch out for?

Professional bodybuilder’s workouts

You can learn a lot from magazines if you read the articles written by trainers and coaches. But don’t get caught up in all the workouts of the pros. Many of the pros have been at this for decades. Their workouts work for them. They probably won’t work for you. Their workouts and their nutrition plans are generally for a specific goal. Getting “show ready”, bulking up in the off season, targeting specific muscles that that are “lagging”.

They typically have coaches (plural), and nutrition experts. They may spend several hours a day in the gym. It’s their job!

And they don’t look like the pictures in the magazine. Oh, they are big. And many of them are strong. But every photo you see is professionally shot with special lighting, makeup, spray tan and stylists. They may take days to shoot. And they are usually shot when the lifter is “stage ready”.

Most competitors at that level have a genetic makeup only a handful of people in the world can match. And the odds are that you aren’t one of them.

The biggest guy in the gym

You’d naturally thing that the biggest, strongest guy would know what he’s talking about. But if he’s that good, he’s probably been at it for years if not decades. He knows exactly what works for him. He’s learned the hard way what works. He’s progressed way beyond where you most likely are. His goals are going to be very, very different from yours and his program is going to reflect that fact. And, if he is that big, chances are genetics are involved.

Any guy who wears a weight belt for every exercise

He’s a tool…..

Anyone with a pink dumbbell in their hand

She’s probably skinny but probably not in good physical condition. There is a huge difference between skinny and fit. If her arms are only slightly larger than her wrist and elbow, and her muscles are “flat” with little definition, she’s doing it wrong!

 Her lack of muscle and fat means she was probably born with the genes.(Ectomorph) She’s wasting her time and will waste yours. There is a condition known as “skinny-fat”. There will be many more discussions about this term but, in short, it means skinny on the outside but carrying visceral, unhealthy fat on the inside.

She’s pretending or she’s terribly misinformed about fitness and probably reads too many women’s health magazines and has “drunk the kool-aid."


They’ve been in the gym less than 6 to 12 months. They may have tried dozens of different approaches in that short period; never sticking with one long enough to find out if it really works. But they love to espouse to anyone who’ll listen about their latest and greatest program. Though they’ve only been using it 2 weeks.

The person on the treadmill for 90 minutes every day

Steady state cardio makes you god at one thing…..stead state cardio. Let me begin by saying I have no objections to steady state cardio. “Cardio” refers to your cardiovascular system which begins (and ends) with the heart. Cardio is good for the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system. Do cardio to your heart’s content (pun intended). Will it help you lose fat? As a rule, for the first 30 minutes of steady state cardio you will burn no fat.

Why doesn’t it work? The short answer: “Adaptive Response”. The body is one of the most efficient and adaptive “machines” in existence. It responds to mechanical stress extremely fast and finds the most efficient way to deal with it. In this case, steady state cardio, being fairly low on the physical stress scale, is not much of a challenge for the body. It simply adjusts quickly to steady and predictable.  Lower heart rate, very, very minor hormone adjustment (if any) and Boom! Your body says “I’ve got this”. So quickly, in fact, you may actually gain weight doing steady state.
Remember, too, your body fights very hard to not use fat stores-its fuel of last resort.

Anyone offering unsolicited advice

Unless they are a trainer or an employee. Or unless you are doing something dangerous to yourself or others and they are trying to save your hide, they’re likely a “Newbie”. They’ve been in the gym for a month and have been reading “Muscle and Strength” or “Flex” and want to show off their new found knowledge, such as it is.

 Who should you listen to? Your trainer, your coach, but mostly, your own body.
 “You are different, just like everybody else”. In the beginning, it’s a game of trial and error. Set specific goals and educate yourself on what works for your goals. Getting fit and staying fit should be a long term goal. It might not be easy, but it’s worth it.

SEND YOU QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS TO: or leave a comment below


(4th Most Popular article of 2015)


Packaged weight loss programs

You know their names. Some have been around for decades. Many of you may have used their products or systems. They promise you that you can lose 5 pounds or 10 pounds in the first week. That’s probably true. And if you need to lose 5 pounds for a special occasion they will probably work for you. What if you want to lose 25 pounds and keep it off?  Their system or their meals will probably work. What then? Can you eat out of those plastic microwavable bowls for the rest of your life?

These are big for profit companies with shareholders looking for profits. How many new customers do you think they can attract? Their continued profits depend on repeat business!.  You lose the weight, (or your family can’t stand that awful smell any longer), you come off the plan, you gain the weight back and you become that repeat customer. Statistics indicate the up to 97% of people fail on the plans in the long term. 

Ever wonder why even their paid spokes persons can’t keep the weight off?

Anything seen on the “Biggest Loser”

The “Biggest Loser” implies to viewers that exercise must be dangerous and agonizing to work. Otherwise there’s no point in trying. They have morbidly obese contestants running sand hills and slip-and –slides. But what’s a torn ACL or two as long as the ratings are good? Former contestants have said producers and editors conveniently leave out most of the medevac rescues, stress fractures and bone and joint trauma.

They teach people that scale weight is all that matters. If you gain five pounds of muscle and lose five pounds of fat what does the scale say? On the show, if the scale doesn’t go down all that work was a waste.

The show overemphasizes cardio making the contestants injury prone and metabolically weak. How much impact can a foot or knee or hip handle with 300 to 500 pounds coming down on it repeatedly?

Any fitness advice from Opra

If you have followed Opra Winfrey for very long on TV do you really want to follow her fitness advice?
Talk about a weight loss/gain yoyo!

Popular women’s or men’s fitness/health magazines

If you want to try the latest receipt for Christmas cookies or pecan pie or learn “74 ways to improve your sex life” go for it. But don’t expect to learn how to get fit.

You’ll find lots of headlines about “Walking your way to fitness in 10 minutes a day” or “Eat whatever you want and lose 20 pounds the first week”….. Immediately followed by a caramel cake recipe.  Come on people! They are in the business to sell magazines and they do so by telling you what you want to hear. Which do you think sells magazines “Losing weight is easy and painless” or “You’ve got to work at losing weight and getting fit”?

Frankly, a lot of my future posts will be about debunking the cover stories on these magazines. They make my job easy!

Any “fitness guru to the stars”.

Yep. Just like the ones Opra uses…..

Most people who actually train celebrities don’t talk about it or use it in their marketing. The one’s who do probably trained one time with some star’s doctor’s secretary’s brother.

Any TV ad trying to sell you equipment or weight loss programs

An overweight and obese, unfit population is the biggest health issue of our time. Our existing population and the one that follows (your kids and grandkids) may be the first generation in recorded history to have a shorter lifespan than the one before.

Do you think the scammers and con-artists somehow overlooked this fact?

Get 6-pack abs by wearing the equivalent of saran wrap? Or by “shocking” you muscles with a 1.5 volt battery? A recently discovered secret plant from the Amazon?


Food labels

Do you think the FDA has your back? Think again.

“Whole wheat” or “whole grain” bread can contain as much seventy percent refined flour. “Heart Healthy” cereals like Raisin Bran or Cheerios can contain as much sugar as Fruity Pebbles.  Fruit juice has as much sugar as a soft drink. “Free range “chicken can mean there is a small hole the chickens are free to go out onto a concrete pad.

Much of the problem lies in the fact that we, as consumers, look at the fancy packaging and end up eating more of what we believe to be healthy. We see “fat free” or “low carb” and think we can eat all we want. Or we think “I had a low fat meal for lunch so I can eat more of this ice cream after dinner”.

Bottom line; read the nutrition label. Not just the flashy packaging.

Lots more about this in future posts….

Dr. OZ

Dr. Oz has been accused by many other doctors (over 1000 of them, as a matter of fact.) of promoting numerous products whose benefits have no scientific evidence regarding those benefits. He defends himself by saying the show is, in fact, not a medical show. Here’s just one of the news stories:



  1. I don't do gyms. Rather, when I started out on my fitness journey, I jumpstarted with the 3 Day Military diet in which I lost a couple of pounds. I read in an authentic medical report that diet makes you lose weight faster than exercise BUT diet plus exercise is the best since you will be losing weight more. That being said, after the military diet, I was able to exercise regularly, practice portion control and be more aware of what I'm eating. Needless to say, losing weigh is no walk in the park, but it shouldn't deter you from taking the first steps. For more

  2. I don't do gyms. Rather, when I started out on my fitness journey, I jumpstarted with the 3 Day Military diet in which I lost a couple of pounds. I read in an authentic medical report that diet makes you lose weight faster than exercise BUT diet plus exercise is the best since you will be losing weight more. That being said, after the military diet, I was able to exercise regularly, practice portion control and be more aware of what I'm eating. Needless to say, losing weigh is no walk in the park, but it shouldn't deter you from taking the first steps. For more.


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