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DEXA vs Calipers for Body Fat Estimation

Since the beginning of my career I’ve emphasized the importance of paying attention to body composition over body weight alone.  In most of my books I tend to base diet set up on body fat percentage as well as that determines a lot about someone’s physiology.  But my numbers are generally based on older methods, primarily caliper measurement.  And in that DEXA is becoming more common, I want to look at DEXA vs calipers for body composition measurement.

DEXA vs Calipers, etc.

One of the more recent approaches to measuring body composition is DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorbitometry) which does a full-body scan and can measure things like bone density (critical for women) and other tissues.  And it gives what is proposed to be a more accurate estimate of BF% than older methods.  It can even do something where it gives you one value for upper body and one for lower body.… Keep Reading

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What is The Best Diet?

Having revealed the Final Secrets of the Illuminatty last week, I want to switch gears and present an excerpt from a new book that I may or may not be in the process of writing.  Yes, the reference list is tweaked numerically and this hasn’t been edited (it’s barely spell checked).  Deal with it.

What is the Best Diet?

One of the most common questions I see/get is “What is the best diet?” as if there could be any single dietary approach that can possibly be appropriate for all people, all situations, all contexts and all environments.

It would be like asking “What’s the best car?” without the understanding that the answer depends on the situation. The best car for a family with kids is not the same best car for a male trying to impress women.

And the same is true of dieting. Best can only be defined relative to the specific context.… Keep Reading

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Training the Obese Beginner: Part 6

So my meticulously planned schedule managed to get messed up which is why this is a day late and you’ll have to wait for my next video until next week.  So it goes.  In any case, today I’m going to finish up the republication of this series (with a couple of added sections).  And this piece if very long for which I apologize, when I originally wrote this I was forced into 6 parts for some reason.

In Training the Obese Beginner: Part 5, I made a case for the inclusion of both weight training and cardiovascular training for the obese beginner, despite having listed some initial limitations to both in earlier parts of the series.  I also gave a general overview of what I did in the first session with those clients.

Today I want to look specifically at how I approached that first day/weeks of training (again noting that there are obviously more ways to approach the situation than just this one). … Keep Reading

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Training the Obese Beginner: Part 5

Ok, almost to the end.  Continuing from Training the Obese Beginner: Part 4 today I want to start start to bring together everything I’ve talked about in this series.  First I want to address why I think the inclusion of both weight training and cardiovascular/aerobic training of some sort is important for the obese beginner along with why I think both should be done from Day 1 of the training program.

Then, I’m going to describe how I personally approached the first workout with the obese (and usually the non-obese) beginner in terms of structure along with talking about some generalities of training.  I’ll finish up in Part 6 (next week) and talk about progressions in the weight room, on the cardio deck, etc.

Let me note up front that some of what I’m going to write simply represents what I did/found to work in this population when I was working as a personal trainer all those years ago; some of it will be more what I would do now were I still working with that population.… Keep Reading