Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: The New Rules of Lifting for Life, Bully, Are (Some) Doctors Shady?

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1.  A few weeks ago while Lisa and I were doing out grocery shopping in Trader Joe’s, one of their employees – a cool dude – approached me and asked a few questions on working out. It was a small chat, really, but at the same time he was genuinely interested to hear what it is that I do to look the way I do.

Note:  I’m not saying this to sound conceited, so hope it doesn’t come across as such.  My GF will the first one to tell you that I’m always embarrassed whenever this happens, and that I’m probably the worst person when it comes to accepting compliments.

“I’ve been working out for a while, but I’m just not seeing the results I want,” he noted.

“Well, what do you do?” I replied.

“You know, I run a little, do some yoga, and I have a few dumbbells at home I use throughout the week.”

“Do you lift anything heavy?” I said.

“I read Men’s Health, and I do a few of their ab routines.”

“Okay cool, but do you lift anything heavy?”

[Crickets Chirping]

This is where I want take the time to thank both Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove and possibly name my first born after them, because their New Rules of Lifting series has literally saved me countless hours of talking over people’s heads.

New Rules of Lifting

New Rules of Lifting for Women

New Rules of Lifting for Abs

Rather than stand there and try to explain to people why performing endless hours of steady state cardio may be making them fatter, I can just tell them to go buy the book.

Don’t believe me that crunches are probably the least effective ab exercise?  Go buy the book.

Still think you’re going to get big and bulky if you lift anything over 10 lbs?  Get the book.

You’re lost when it comes to setting up a beginner workout routine?  Get the book.

Need a can opener in a pinch?  Get the book!

These books have done more for fitness and have helped improve the quality of information available to the lay public more than anything I can think of at the moment.

And with that, in case you missed it last week, their new book in the series, The New Rules of Lifting for Life is now available, and it’s awesome.


2.  I’m a huge fan of documentaries.  Recently, I’ve been streaming The War, Ken Burn’s opus to the greatest generation, on Netflix, and it’s absolutely fascinating.  My grandfather – who sadly died when I was young – was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed back in 1941.  I remember my mother showing me old pictures of him in uniform, and just being in awe that someone who played a role in making me was involved in such an historic event, and was a hero.

I’ve always been drawn to WWII.  In fact, I was a history major at one point in college and took classes like Hitler and Nazi Germany. Totally not kidding.  As you can imagine, I was a major hit with the ladies. Don’t even ask me what would happen when I started talking about the Maginot Line.

Anyways, I’m getting off track. Suffice it to say, I like documentaries because I feel it’s an opportunity to learn something I otherwise never would have in the first place.

I mean, who knew penguins marched!?!

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about the documentary, Bully

I have to say, this one really hit home for me.  Not that I was bullied back in the day or anything, but it definitely resonated with me in the sense that it was heart wrenching to watch. If it were up to me, Bully would be required viewing for any kid in middle and high school.  Do yourself a favor and go see it.

3.  My buddy Sirena Birnal – a fantastic personal trainer here in Boston – recently wrote about the merits of sprinting and badonkadonk shaping (my words, not hers). Check it out HERE.

Feeling motivated after reading it, Lisa and I returned to our hold stomping grounds – Harvard stadium – to do some sprinting ourselves.  We kept it simple yesterday, only performing 10 total sprints with about 60 seconds rest in between, but it was awesome to get outside and move around a little.

I’ve been feeling pretty frustrated with my training as of late, and I chalk it up to the fact that I’m just not moving as much as I used to.  Sure, I’m still training upwards of four times per week, and I’m on my feet most days coaching clients, but I’m definitely not as active as I used to be, which is completely my fault

It’s something I want to discuss more down the road – even I’m not impervious to getting into a training rut – but for now, it’s a great feeling to have a fire under my ass again.  Literally and figuratively.

4.  A few weeks ago, Adam Bornstein wrote an eye-opener titled The Most Dangerous Diets Ever.  Predictably, it caused quite a stir and some people went out of their way to defend specific ones that he threw under the bus. One diet in particular – the HCG Diet – was of particular interest and seemed to get the most play.

Now, I’ve noted in the past how I’m not a fan of this diet.  Call me crazy, but I find it ludicrous that anyone would think that injecting themselves with hormones (very expensive hormones, no less) while following a 500-800 kcal per day regimen – even if it’s under the supervision of a physician – is a “healthy” endeavor.

What I found interesting was that there were several people who claimed it was perfectly healthy because their doctor said it was.

This prompted me to post a Tweet where I said, “I’m sorry, but just because ‘your doctor said so’ doesn’t mean you’re right.”

I mean, there was a time where doctors advocated that people smoke for the health benefits.  True story.

I’m not saying that ALL fall under this umbrella – there are undoubtedly many superb primary care personnel out there – but I find it hard to believe that any doctor would advocate this diet without some monetary kickback or incentive.  It’s a lot easier to tell someone to drop $1500 on hormone injections than teach them proper eating and lifestyle habits, I suppose.

Then again, doctors don’t necessarily practice health and wellness, they practice medicine. If you present with a symptom, they’re going to treat that symptom with medicine. So, I guess I can’t fault those who do advocate this diet. Most get two weeks of course work in nutrition – max – during medical school.  Many think apple juice is the same thing as an apple!

So, just to throw a “feeler” out there: what does everyone else think on this matter?  Am I off base?

Waits for the hate mail……..

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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