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……..

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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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.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

Comments for This Entry

  • Brendanhayden

     Tony, Timely link Boyle posted today about a heart surgeon who admits that pretty much everything we've said about heart disease is, well, wrong.  http://coconutoil.com/heart-surgeon-admits-he-was-wrong-about-low-fat-diet-and-heart-disease/

    April 30, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply to this comment

    • Braden

      It's a shame that "Dr." Lundell is a complete charlatan, which doesn't help the cause at all. He might be presenting some valid information, but his past is riddled with questionable activity. http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/lundell.html

      April 30, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply to this comment

      • Jeff Lagemann

        While that is eye opening this guy is not the only one saying this.  There is a mounting pile of evidence to show that low fat high carb diets, like the Government pyramid, is making people fatter and sicker.  

        May 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply to this comment

        • Braden

          I fully agree, that the evidence is clear that saturated fats are not the issue at all. It's just that Lundell's stuff has been syndicated on many websites, such as Livin La Vi Da Lo Carb; which is quite a high traffic site. Unfortunately, I think giving such men the limelight, leaves valid and important information on a contentious issue, up to easy dismissal and really weakens the position of a good argument. I wish people such as Dr. Andreas Enfeldt were given more credence as they, provide further solid evidence in support of the LCHF diet. http://youtu.be/FSeSTq-N4U4 Yes, I agree, Quack Watch is biased to say the least, especially of anything that goes against the conventional wisdom. Ultimately, I'm trying to say if we want anything to change, we need people with "untainted" pasts who turn up in their Sunday best and can give policy makers etc. a damn good run for their money. Otherwise, we run the risk of perpetuating the myth that anything that goes against the grain is wrong.

          May 5, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks for the link Brendan - I'll be sure to check it out. I remember Boyle saying something in a similar fashion not too long ago. It's crazy to think that "some" doctors out there are so archaic in their thinking. Always nice to see when someone admits they were wrong, and at least is open to change.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Meredith Bartolomei

    I think the HCG diet is absolute insanity. 500 calories a day? For some peope, that should be one meal. I don't see how this is healthy and wouldn't your metabolism drop like a rock, which, correct me if I am wrong, is NOT what you want when trying to lose weight. It's just another "quick fix" because people dont want to put in the time and/or work it requires to lose weight the natural way

    April 30, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mike A.

    Tony, Did you happen to remind this TJ's employee that there was a great gym with amazing trainers just next door?

    April 30, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply to this comment

  • Dr Maxine99

    As a gynecologist who Provides advice to lots of women regarding diet and exercise. I also love the New Rules series as a reference for those interested and lots of other resources for others. It takes time and effort! That being said I know not all providers do this. Sadly physicians are human and some may either through ignorance or financial reasons endorse this dangerous diet. We need better education but another helpful solution would be better access and health coverage for nutritionists and exercise professionals to give these people the advice they really need!

    April 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Dr. Maxine - Thank you so much for chiming in and sharing your thoughts. I made it a point of not throwing ALL primary care physicians under the bus, as I know there are a lot out there who go the extra mile and try to educate their clients AND themselves. Glad to know that I wasn't too off-base with my comment.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply to this comment

  • Eric Lagoy

    Somewhat related topic Tony, I just started reading the book "Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health" and it's been a good read so far.  Check it out if your looking for a new read I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

    April 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply to this comment

  • jungledoc

    I'm a doctor.  I don't see any reason why doctors would be right any more often than anyone else!  You'd hope that your doctor would be thoughtful, smart and well-read, but alas, it's not always true.  If your doctor has told you at least once that he or she doesn't know something, or if he or she has told you that they have realized that previously-given advice is wrong, and they they have changed their advice, stick with them, they are one of the good ones!

    April 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kiadams

    Tony, I'm a PT and see many patients from general practitioners.  Not only are their musculoskeletal assessments awful most of the time, but advice on nutrition is often wrong and almost never a focus.  Your physician is just a person who has devoted a great deal of time and effort to get through medical school, it doesn't make them a wizard.  I know many young MDs who are very aware of their shortcomings and gladly will refer to others when necessary, but this is rare as most docs seem more comfortable with reciting pop culture myths with no regard for evidence based practice.  Be a smart consumer!

    April 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      So true. I'm happy to hear that there are more and more younger MDs coming into the mix that are willing to refer out when necessary Sign of good things coming, perhaps?

      May 1, 2012 at 8:21 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kylee

     I love NROL, Alwyn and Lou! I first got into lifting by randomly picking NROL for women in the library and once I started reading it I couldnt put it down! It has changed my life. I used to think weightlifting was boring and repetitive but now it is one of my passions three years later! I then purchased the book after I renewed it 3 times at the library. I seriously want to tell all the ladies at my gym to buy it (best 17 dollars ever spent!) and the trainers training these ladies! What great gateway books!

    April 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Awesome, Kylee! Glad to hear that you've turned to the dark side and you're loving it! Keep spreading the word. We need more women like you out there fighting the good fight.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:22 am | Reply to this comment

  • Roland Denzel

    People "allow" themselves to believe in the magic of HCG. They believe they will lose more fat than they would if they didn't have the urine of pregnant women dripped under their tongues. They believe it will keep them from being hungry, so they ARE less hungry. It doesn't hurt that the diet is extremely bland and regimented AND that when someone pays for something ($50-100 a month for HCG) they stick to the diet so they don't waste the money. I remember how awesome I did with those $50 Hot Rox Extreme...  mmmm... raspberry ketones...

    May 1, 2012 at 2:26 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      That's a good point Roland. When you're paying for something, you're more apt to actually follow through. Too, I feel there's a little bit of a placebo effect - particularly with regards to the hunger factor.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • Sirena Bernal

    Thanks for the shout out Tony, that's super cool that you were inspired, I think I'll have a little crowd coming with us next time just from that post.  Even though we're getting rained out today, gonna hit up the treadmills for some sprinty sprints lata! Maybe I'll run into you at TJ's :) Sirena

    May 1, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lars Krogstad

    I think you are pretty close about the doctor thingy. A lot of people rely too much on authority when deciding things, and whats scary is that the people who shout the loudest, get the most attention. I'm a believer in the kind of wisdom Socrates advocated: The truly wise only know how little they know. A diet trend form the States was actually featured here in Norway in a tabloid a few days ago. The diet? Feeding through a tube (is this the HCG diet?). Women actually had a doctor stick a tube up their nose and down their stomach, so they could control every calorie. They then don't eat for 10 days.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Unfortunately, Lars, that's NOT the same thing as the HCG Diet. It's something else completely different (and equally as stupid). The one you're alluding to is a new trend by soon-to-be-brides who want to diet down for their wedding. Yet another example of an EXTREME approach advocated by a lot of "doctors" who, clearly, have their patients best interests in mind. (note sarcasm).

      May 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • hooch turner

    There was an article on T-Nation where the author almost promoted the health benefits of chewing nicorette (lower resting heart rate once the drug has run its course). I wonder if the health benefits of smoking might be emphasised once again, now that e-cigarettes are becoming mainstream

    May 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Brett

    Great stuff Tony. When I think of these drastic diets, I think of Dave Tate putting on something like 60 pounds in a few weeks after an intense diet. I think when people try diets there so focused in on calories and macros that they forget about nutrient rich food. Also, I think people just have way to much stress from working themselves into the ground. Tony, just out of curiousity, when you get a few minutes between clients during the day what do you usually do? Would you do some mobility work or a few sets of something or do you just relax. Thanks

    May 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Wednesday Good Reads: Edition 1 | LaVack Fitness

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    May 2, 2012 at 5:37 am | Reply to this comment

  • Rick

    I have a client who is a world renowned Dr in his field (cancer reserach) who knows zero about anatomy and nutiriton and claims so. Says that there is not 1 but zero classes on nutrition in med school

    May 2, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • Raeesa Samizdat

    I been dabbling my feet in the weightlifting area and finally started

    June 5, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply to this comment

  • Wednesday Good Reads: Edition 1

    […] to Spur New Growth – John Meadows Bruised Ribs: What You Need to Know – Jim Brown Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday – Tony Gentilcore Do Sprint Intervals to Lose Fat Fast and Be Lean for Summer – Charles Poliquin Best Ways to […]

    September 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Reply to this comment

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