Biggest Loser Feedback

This piece was run several years ago and I’m re-running it today for a few reasons.  The first reason is that it’s still as relevant now as it was before; I can’t claim to have watched The Biggest Loser of late but I know nothing has changed.  They are still doing the same stupid crap (and, in my opinion causing far more harm than good for people wanting to get into shape) and injuring their contestants for the sake of ratings.

The second reason is to make it look like I’m updating the and Google loves that.  Third and more importantly is as a lead-in to another article series I want to re-run that, unless my laziness takes hold, will ramp into a new article/video at the end of the month.

And with that said, here are some comments sent to me by a guy several years back who was on the Biggest Loser show along with my comments thrown in throughout.  I think what he sent me is interesting for at least two reasons:

  1. What can be accomplished in a short period when you put your mind to it.
  2. How unrealistic some of the changes on the show actually are relative to normal people.

BL: I know that obese people are not your target audience but for anyon who cares, we worked out 4 hours per day 6 days per week. That started on day 2. Day 1 we worked out 2.5 hours. That is from sedentary to 2.5 hours.

We did 1 hour cardio in the morning and 1 in the evening by ourselves and the trainer came in every afternoon for two hours to put us through a circuit resistance based routine for an hour and sometimes her own crazy cardio routine for an hour or we did that third cardio hour on our own also. We never worked out intensely for more than 2 hours at a time.

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Information vs. Application

This little article is being driven a bit by someone who is either trolling my comments (badly) or just really really really dumb.  His comments have basically been ‘reading about ur dogs is boring, pls post more information about fat loss’.  I also got one that said ‘pls post more fat loss info, I gained weight over X-mas’.

Like I said, trolling or stupid as hell; it doesn’t matter which and often the line between the two is very very thin.  You can imagine what responses he got from me regarding his criticism of my dog articles was (hint: it wasn’t appropriate for mixed company) but I’m getting off track.

But it brings me to a point/slightly ranty piece about another common mistake trainees and dieters make.  It’s something I talked a bit about before in Fundamental Principles vs. Minor Details.  That piece was more about folks who get so wrapped up in the minor (and generally irrelevant) details of their training or diet that they miss the big picture.  What I want to talk about today is similar.

What my troll/idiot above is doing, and what many do is this: they keep flailing about for that perfect program, the secret program, the magic program.  They continually look for that new and ideal program; and in doing so they never ever get around to acting.  Or if they do act, they do it in such a haphazard/half-assed way that nothing good comes out of it anyhow.

Basically, they are focusing on information rather than application.  Case in point, there are over 300+ articles on this website.  Let’s assume that 1/3rd of them are dedicated to losing body fat.  Keep in mind that at least one series is called Fundamentals of Fat Loss Diets Part 1 and Fundamentals of Fat Loss Diets Part 2 which lays out the real basics of what any fat loss diet should be about.  With that series alone, anybody should be able to get started on their fat loss goals.

And even while training isn’t quite as well laid out on the site (mainly because I haven’t written the articles yet), a similar case exists.  There are endless programs available which are time tested and have been proven to work.  I talked about three of them in A Look at Some Popular Hypertrophy Programs.  And that just scratches the surface.

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Does the Training Determine the Diet or the Diet Determing the Training?

As much as I would rather continue talking about my dogs and the Austin Humane Shelter, I suppose it’s time to get back to writing about nutrition, training, fat loss and all of the rest. I’ll note that I do have a surprise coming up and I’ve added a permanent page for the Austin Humane Shelter to the site.

But between writing about my own training in Methods of Endurance Training: Results Part 5 and Methods of Endurance Training: Results Part 6 before the series on Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter, it seems like utterly forever since I’ve written about anything related to fat loss.  And since I always gotta move that product, that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

And since I’m a bit emotionally exhausted from the last week and a half of updates about the dogs, I’m actually going to try to keep this a bit short.  The question I want to address today is this: Does the diet determine the training or does the training determine the diet?  This isn’t really a direct question that comes up anywhere, but it is ultimately an issue that needs addressing as I hope you’ll soon see.

This is a situation that I usually refer to as square peg/round hole problems.  And by ‘I refer’ I mean this: I stole this concept from someone years ago and want to sound impressive by making it sound like I invented it.  Anyhow.  The basic issue is when you try to force an, err, issue.  That is, when you try to ‘make’ something work in a situation that it’s not suited for.  There are lots of these but here I’m focusing on diet.
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When Does the Training Determine the Diet?

Many readers are familiar with my own Ultimate Diet 2.0 (UD2).  It’s a very specific, meticulously laid out diet incorporating three types of training (depletion, tension, power as discussed in Categories of Weight Training) and which is synched with three types of eating (low carb, very high carb, moderate carb).

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Tom Venuto’s Holy Grail Body Transformation Program – Product Review

Tom Venuto's Holy Grail Body Transformation Program

I would be surprised if most on the Internet or who were involved in training and nutrition weren’t familiar with the name Tom Venuto.   I’ve known Tom (via email correspondence anyhow) for over a decade and he’s always been one of the good guys in the field.  I may not always agree with him, but I’ll always listen to what he has to say.

For those who have been living under a rock and have managed to avoid hearing about him, Tom is not only a successful natural bodybuilder, he is the author of perhaps one of the best books ever written about fat loss which is Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle.

In a field where most of the information ranges from bad to downright awful, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle stands out as being filled with excellent information on the how-to’s of shedding fat.

From diet to training to everything in-between, it’s all covered and all quality information (even if a few bits of the information are a bit out of date/incorrect; such as the old saw that eating many small meals stokes the metabolism).

Tom is also the author of a book that I’ve been meaning to review for months called The Body Fat Solution which deals more with behavioral issues related to losing fat and keeping it off.  Also, a highly recommended read.

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Fasted Cardio and Fat Loss – Q&A

Question: I’ve long seen it claimed that cardio has to be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach for optimal fat loss, is this true?

Answer: This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions which is why it’s worth addressing. It’s worth keeping in mind that this idea usually comes out of the bodybuilding subculture, usually contest bodybuilders who, assuming their diet is working properly, are getting towards the low-end of body fat levels.  And the short-answer to your question is that the body fat of the person is going to be the main determinant of whether doing cardio fasted in the morning is important or not.

To understand that, I need to cover a bit of background physiology, I’d mention that this is discussed in much more detail in both my Ultimate Diet 2.0 and The Stubborn Fat Solution for anybody who is truly interested in the topic.  But simply, there are three primary steps involved in ‘losing’ fat, they are:

  1. Mobilization
  2. Transport
  3. Oxidation (burning)

Mobilization refers to actually getting stored fat (specifically fatty acids) out of the fat cell; this process is under the primary control of insulin and the catecholamines although hormones such as growth hormone, cortisol and others play secondary or tertiary roles.  Transport refers to the actual transport of fatty acids (bound to albumin) within the bloodstream; this step can be an issue when folks are dealing with stubborn body fat (such as lower ab/low back fat in men and hip/thigh fat in women); blood flow is impaired in those areas.  Finally is oxidation which is the actual burning of fatty acids within tissues such as skeletal muscle, liver and heart.

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