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.

Use Thanksgiving to Train Your Brain

turkey_cartoonMost people think of food when the word Thanksgiving is uttered. Their next thought is usually about family and who they will be with. Unfortunately, most people surveyed have negative associations with holiday family gatherings and focus mostly on what they can do to avoid conflicts, uneasy dynamics and tension. These associations are also tied to food patterns, so family gatherings can cause an unhealthy emotional chain of events that result in unhealthy eating and overindulgence.

The reason for such a reaction is because food is medicine. We medicate our brains with food. Certain foods (i.e fast carbs, sugar and starches) do make us feel better in the moment, but cause us to feel worse soon after. Food is the most powerful drug there is, and some foods are even more addictive than cocaine.

The good news is that food addictions have a physical component that last only 3 days or less, so as far as your cells are concerned, they don’t crave it for long after they stop getting a certain food. The psychological component on the other hand, takes longer to break, especially if it is tied to patterns associated with family, established over long periods of time.

This psychological aspect can easily be overcome though. One extremely effective technique is to crowd your mind with (more…)

X Gym Schools Chicago Stair Climbers

SearsX Gym’s the three man Delta Force stair squad definitely left their mark on the Sears tower in Chicago today (11/15/09). As you may remember, X Gym members and trainers typically dominate any and all athletic events we enter, and stair competitions are certainly no exception.

The 103 story Sears tower climb is the second largest turnout of any stair race in the country with 1,800 participants showing up this year. It is surpassed only by the “Big Climb” up the Columbia center in Seattle. The Sears tower is 34 floors more than the Big Climb however, and since each floor is longer and taller, it is much harder and more competitive.

It is in fact, the hardest and highest climb in America, with the nation’s top climbers showing up to strut their stuff each year. Despite this incredible talent pool, The X Gym ended up owning two age categories to prove once again that we are the most successful training studio in the northwest as well as the most intense and effective training system on the planet.

Kevin Crossman, an X Gym member, along with his twin brother Brian, took 4th and 3rd in the 20-29 age bracket. Placing 11th overall out of 1,800 racers was amazing for Kevin since this was only his 2nd race ever. Brian’s 9th place finish overall was simply miraculous, considering this was his first ever stair race! The twin assassins blew away the stair climbing “veterans” with their astounding performance. No one could believe how well these newcomers did!

I competed in the 40-49 age bracket, and took 3rd place in that division. Since I am still relatively new to this sport as well, my dream was to place in the top 20 overall. Had I not invited the Crossmans, (more…)

A Look Inside Obesity

In a recent study, 2/3 of the subjects in an alcohol treatment group who saw physical damage in a scan of their brain and body, stopped drinking. This was more than double the standard success rate of the control group.

Our society is more obese than ever. When I was in grade school, there was usually one token fat kid in each grade, and they got their fare share of teasing. Now it seems that being fat is the norm, and the skinny kids are the ones getting teased.  This shift took only about 35 years to happen, and there is no sign of it letting up.

If you are fat, you’re eating sugar (see my last post for the different forms of sugar). Eating fat doesn’t make you fat, and eating protein actually makes you leaner. It’s the sugar that is killing you, and I mean that both figuratively and literally. For an interesting study on that, click here: http://bit.ly/37PIWR

The picture below shows what fat looks like under the dark winter clothes people wear to hide it this time of year, which also provides another way to ignore it, and to add to it through the sugar-fest we call the holiday season. A picture really does speak 10,000 words (or 100,000 sugar calories) doesn’t it?

fat trouble