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.


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.

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).


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.


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.


The Bodybugg and GoWear Fit

I’ve always loved training related gadgets and hope to look at some of those over the coming months in future articles.  While most of what I’ve been interested in related to training (e.g. heart rate monitors or what have you) some gadgets help with fat loss and body recomposition.  Digital scales and such are part and parcel of many people’s diets of course but here I’m talking about slightly higher tech-stuff.

And today I want to look at something that, while not exactly ‘new’ (it’s been around for a few years at least) certainly has a lot of interest and questions about it.  And that is the Bodybugg/GoWearFit.  Now strictly speaking, both of these devices are different, but they are both made by the same company.  And are essentially the same device.  So far as I can tell the biggest difference is that the GoWearFit (hereafter GWF) uses slightly different software than the Bodybugg but, for all practical purposes, I’m going to consider them the same device.  This is what it looks like.

.Go Wear Fit







The device is worn on the left arm, around the middle of the triceps with the bit shown above facing backwards.   If you can’t picture that, I’m sure you can Google an image up.