Strong Lifts 5x5

Started April 28 on Stronglifts 5x5. Old school strength training that gets results.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts on the Weight loss industry.

Gym was a bit busier again now that spring break is over but not to bad. Almost 4 months since the influx of New Years resolutioners back in Jan. Like most people, best of intentions but lost interest or motivation pretty shortly. So, overall the gym is getting back to normal levels.

I often wonder how many of the people that flood gyms each Jan in the best intentions of getting in shape are still going 3 months later. I know in the past I have been one of those people. I also wonder how many gyms would be able to stay in business without those people. Every year thousands and thousands of people join a gym, go for a month or two, then end up continuing to pay monthly fees for a service they no longer use. We all know how gyms set up memberships and how hard and costly it can be to cancel, especially if you signed for a multi year program to get a better monthly rate.

They play on our own mind tricks. You want to get in shape, but stop going to the gym after a month or two. At the same time, keep paying in the weird hope that by maintaining and paying for a gym membership it will motivate you to go.

In many ways it makes me mad. There are so many ways various companies prey on overweight people's desire to lose weight. Those infomercials with the latest "ab roller" gadget guaranteed to give you the rock hard 6 pack of the model in 20 easy mins 3x a week. The magic pills, fad diets etc etc. Weight loss is a mutli billion dollar business and for all those billions of dollars spent, North America gets fatter and fatter every year.

The problem with these weight loss companies is that it is not in their financial interest for you to be successful long term. They are structured in such a way that you can lose weight on them, but once you are "done" the weight comes right back over a period of time. Prompting you to go back on their program and pay to lose the same 20lbs over and over and over.

I know I shouldn't be, but I am amazed at the comments and questions I get about my own weight loss. Many friends,customers and acquaintances have asked me how I lost the weight that I have. Weight watchers or Atkins they ask me. Or what pill,/drug etc I used. It seriously astounds me that almost to a one, none of their first thoughts was simply exercise and proper nutrition. It is such a testament to our culture. Quick fixes please, the less effort the better.

So, I find myself in a position of being a outspoken fitness advocate. Which coming from where I was not even a year ago is surreal. I explain no magic pill gave me an 100% increase in strength, no diet plan increased my cardio to the levels it is at today. I of course tell them about the BFL challenge, but also things like PX90 or Tom Venuto's "Burn the fat feed the muscle program".

Along with the fitness I explain you can't out exercise poor eating habits. Encourage them to really educate themselves on proper nutrition. It's funny, I have a friends wife who lost a significant amount of weight on Atkins last year, which while good for her only made my buddy increasingly cranky from carb withdrawl. I talk to her about Atkins and ask her if it helped her fitness at all. Can she run a continuous mile? Well no, but look how much weight I lost. That's great, but physically you are not in much better shape than you were 40lbs heavier. Already she is putting on the weight she lost.Long term a low carb diet is almost impossible to maintain when you add to that the fact that she probably lost a significant amount of lean muscle, it makes keeping the weight off even harder. She is firmly in the clutches of YO YO dieting.

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