PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.
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I’ve Been Just as Wrong as Everybody Else

8014abddab2342799315a1205db2a034-800In my journey through exercise science and research since 1987, I have been “wrong” more times than most people, but I end up being “right,” sooner than most people as well because of all the research I do.

I fell for the “calorie – calorie out” myth just like everyone else.

I was duped into believing that the US government’s food pyramid was a healthy way of eating along with the masses.

The low-fat myth suckered me, just like billions of other people.

My original personal training clients, back in the late 80’s. were subjected to traditional training, using sets and reps because I didn’t know any better. I have since apologized to them for wasting so much of their time, now that I do know better.

Heck, I really have pretty much tried it all over the years I have been developing my own system for exercise, brain training and nutrition because I want to know what doesn’t work as well as what does work. Sometimes I’m surprised, because what I think will work doesn’t work, and what I think won’t work sometimes does work.

I do pride myself however, on my ability to find the stuff that does work better before most people do, because I’m spending at least two hours every day on average, studying the latest research and exercise, brain and nutrition science, and constantly trying those ideas and concepts on myself, friends, family and X Gym members.

This is what makes me “right” sooner than other people I know in my industry. Most of them usually fall in line with what I’m telling my peeps, but they are typically at least 15 years behind me.

What is “right” anyway? It’s not actually 100% “right” because there’s probably something better just around the corner that I haven’t discovered yet, but at least at the moment, it’s the “best” advice available for exercise, the brain and nutrition. The things I’m telling people today, might be “wrong” tomorrow, but at least my “wrong” is vastly more effective than most other people’s advice they currently think is “right.”

I love when I’m wrong because that always means I’ve just found something even better and I get to tell people about it!

This is why I’m thrilled every time somebody subscribes to this blog or signs up for my email list through xgym.com because I get to help one more person with the current “right” information at the time.

Thanks for being here and I will continue to remain passionate about delivering the most current and effective information to you until the day God takes me home (at around 119 years young or so).

Got “Text Neck?”

“Text Neck” is a specific posture pandemic problem that has popped up since “smart phones” have come on the scene. These modern, first-world  gizmos are even more powerful than the computers of 5 years ago in many ways.  They’re drastically more convenient too, so people end up surfing the web on their smart phone even more than on their computer nowadays.

Because of this convenience, we can’t seem to spend more than a few seconds standing around anymore, without pulling out our smart phone to check emails, Facebook status updates, Instagram, other social media, and the list goes on.

The video below shows a couple tips on preventing and reversing this modern day posture syndrome, so enjoy and pass the information forward to your friends, family and loved ones!

Source: http://www.king5.com/entertainment/television/programs/new-day-northwest/perfect-your-posture/286700574

Do You See the Light?

21128a8b31f5b40def1ca574da13e1b3Many of the principles I teach are pretty much opposite from what mainstream health and fitness espouses. The reasons for that are myriad, but don’t get me started because that could be another whole big, long post itself.

Here’s the bottom line. We need sunlight and every one if its wonderful, beneficial wavelengths to get inside our eyes and to hit our skin for optimal health. It’s really quite simple: We were designed for sunlight and if we don’t get it, we become unhealthy.

Sure, too much sunlight is bad for you, especially if you let your skin burn. Too much direct sunlight in your eyeballs can blind you too, but this doesn’t mean the sun deserves the bad rap it’s been given by mainstream “health” information.

Vitamin D is vital to your health. In fact, most progressive health practitioners have deemed it the most important vitamin. Some experts even claim that it should be reclassified as a hormone because of how important it is to our health and biological functions. Recently it has been shown to prevent multiple sclerosis, depression and especially skin cancer! Surprised? I’m not.

Taking vitamin D as a supplement is all fine and dandy, but there’s no more bioavailable source of this vital nutrient than the kind manufactured by your own skin. Since the skin can only manufacture vitamin D when sunlight hits it, it makes sense to get some amount of sun as often as you can. How much is enough? It doesn’t take much. In fact, for most skin types, 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight 3-4 times a week on the skin is enough. How much skin? About as much as would be exposed on your face, neck and arms if you were wearing short sleeves.

Most of the cells in your body have light sensors and when those light sensors get a dose of sunlight, with all its various beneficial wavelengths, they get happy, increase activity, promote healing, reduce inflammation and even change your mood and attitude. Letting sun hit your skin, the photoreceptors in your cells, and the receptors in your eyes also help improve your sleep quality because that type of light is a big part of setting your natural circadian rhythms. When you get quality sleep, you are better able to burn off body fat and build muscle, so it also contributes to being fit and lean.

As I said above though, too much can be a bad thing, so if you are out in the sun long enough to get a burn (even a slight pink color), by all means, use shade and sunscreen to prevent that.

This brings us to another important topic: Sunscreen. Most sunscreens are highly toxic and the higher the SPF, the more poisonous chemicals it contains. These toxins have been found to increase the chances of cancer, so doesn’t that seem like the purposes being defeated? Besides, sunscreens with a higher SPF are a waste of money anyways. SPF 8 block 87% of UVB rays (the ones that burn your skin). SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93%. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 100 sunscreens block 99%. And despite that high SPF, you’re still not protected against UVA rays, which reach deeper levels of skin and increase your risk of developing certain types of skin cancer.

With my skin type, I typically start to get pink within about 45 minutes at my current latitude in Seattle Washington, but when I’m in the tropics, I start to pink up in about half that time. Because I know this, I am great at finding shade when I need it, but I also use organic sunscreens. They work just as well, if not better, but without the poisons. You can find organic sunscreens at places like Whole Foods, PCC and other natural food stores. You can also easily order it on Amazon or through high quality health sites like Mercola.com. Yes, orgainc sunscreen about twice as expensive as the mainstream brands, but I hear getting a major disease is REALLY expensive…

Lastly, the latitude you live in makes a big difference. If you are close enough to the equator where the seasons and lengths of daylight don’t change more than a couple hours, then you will get enough quality sunlight all year round. If you are in a higher latitude like I am, you won’t be able to get enough quality sunlight for optimal health benefits about half the year, namely, from the end of October to the end of April. During those months, vitamin D3 supplement with vitamin K2 is vital and necessary.

Bottom line: The worst thing you could do is to be afraid of the sun and keep yourself out of it. Doing that will increase your chances for many different kinds of disease and depression. So my recommendation is to seek out the sun and enjoy it as often as you can but know your limits.

7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

metabolism-imageDid you have a faster metabolism when you were younger? Do you know people who seem to be able to “eat anything” and never gain weight? Would you like to crank up your metabolism or turn back your metabolic clock? Here are my 7 favorite personal methods that keep my body fat percentage in the single digits 24/7/365.

1.) Detox/Eat clean. Eating clean is actually a detox of sorts, but even clean eating, militant Nazis like me still need to detox from time to time. There are simply too many environmental toxins nowadays and the body’s natural detox ability just can’t keep up with all of them. There are some effective, organic detox kits you can get at your local supplement store, but that’s only the half of it. The other half is getting those toxins out of you, once the detox kit has released them from your cells.

The best way to do that is through colon hydrotherapy, but most people would rather not go down that road, so the next best way is through sweating it out. Just make sure you are doing both at the same time, because using a detox kit without a way to get those toxins out will just make you feel crappy and then those toxins will mostly get reabsorbed back into the tissues they came from. Eating clean is the biggest part though because most people think they can detox and then get away with the standard American diet, but that’s just not the case because the standard American diet introduces even more toxins into your body than the environment.

2.) Drink enough filtered water. How much is enough? Just take your body weight in pounds, divide that by two and that’s how many ounces you should be drinking per day (as long as you weigh between 100 – 250 lbs.). The liver has over 500 huge metabolic functions, so it has to be happy and healthy in order to do all of those huge metabolic jobs for you. When you’re dehydrated, it’s not happy or healthy because it has to help out your kidneys, which is an even bigger job, so while it’s doing that, guess what it’s not doing?

The reason for drinking filtered water is to avoid drinking tap water, which can be fattening, due to all the chemicals and toxins it contains. The best filters I have found are the Zero brand filter and the Berkey filter. I actually have both because I use the Berkey filter first (with the fluoride filter canisters) and then I pour that water through the Zero filter in my fridge for the taste I enjoy.

3.) Mind your mitochondria. The more mitochondria you have, the higher your metabolism will be. The mitochondria are the little energy engines and your cells and the best way to increase their number is with exercise, namely HIT like we do at the X Gym.

4.) Get up off your butt. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that, “sitting is the new smoking” as far as your health is concerned, but it’s also true in regards to your metabolic rate. Just changing from a sitting desk to a standing desk can raise your metabolism by at least 10%, so you would be remiss to not consider a stand up desk! I have one at home and both X Gyms. I even have a treadmill underneath my standup desk at the Alki X Gym, so I can walk at 1 mph while I work, which can boost my metabolism another 30%!

5.) Eat your fat, veggies and protein (in that order). If you’re eating clean, organic food, you won’t really have to worry much about what kind of fat, veggies and protein you’re eating, just that you do and that you eat enough – especially fat. If you’re still eating a low fat diet, you’re still misinformed and that’s why you’re having a hard time with your metabolism. 70% of my calories every day come from fat, mostly in the form of coconut oil, butter from grass fed cows and avocados. Most of the coconut oil I eat is from my fitness chocolate recipe, as I eat about half a pound every day!

6.) Check your attitude. If you believe you can and will increase your metabolism, you will be more likely to make the big and small changes necessary to make that happen (conscious and unconscious). If you don’t, or your are doubtful, your subconscious will sabotage you and make failure your reality instead. It’s actually this simple: If you can’t believe it, you won’t achieve it!

The quickest way to improving your attitude is to practice gratitude. This also helps get you out of chronic stress states, which when left unchecked, increase levels of a hormone called cortisol. That hormone is just too powerful to fight and it’s the primary fat-storing hormone, so reducing its levels in your body will go a long way towards boosting your metabolism and increasing your ability to burn body fat.

7.) Get quality sleep. Sleep deprivation, or simply just not getting enough sleep (because of poor lifestyle habits or choices) will sabotage your metabolism every time because of the buildup of cortisol in your system. Other fattening hormones and chemicals will also contribute to reducing your metabolic rate as you deprive yourself of valuable sleep, but cortisol is certainly the biggest problem. Most people need 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night. Getting a sleep app to track the quality of sleep can also be quite helpful because that will show you the effect of adjusting factors like light, EMFs, etc. to maximize your sleep time and quality.



Letting it “All Hang Out” on the Weekends May Get You More of That…

994daa574291e2561e5da17cdbca0246If part of your body seem to be “hanging out” of places more than usual, it could be your weekend that is the cause. Many people tend to relax their healthy habits on the weekends as their routines are disrupted from the normal weekly schedules.

Research shows that “lazy weekends” may boost body fat and reduce overall health even faster than sedentary habits during the week. “We know that, on average, people consume less or eat healthier diets on weekdays,” explained study author Clemens Drenowatz, an assistant professor of exercise science at University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. “So, they may be able to get by with less activity on weekdays because their diet makes up for it. On weekends, they’re eating more, which requires more activity or less sedentary behavior to offset,” Drenowatz said.

Researchers found that adding just 20 minutes of activity to the weekend has significant benefits to body fat and health, as well as inspiration for more activity beyond that 20 minutes. It seems that once the “lazy weekend” cycle has started, it tends to snowball unless interrupted with some purposeful activity.

And as for the work week, research also shows that a standing desk makes a huge difference over sitting at a desk, so consider purchasing a Varidesk or something similar. Your health is worth it!

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