abdominals, balance, Body shape, bodyweight, choices, diet, Energy, fat, shape, waist

How to get a 30” (77cm) WAIST.

Less abdominal fat is not only poses less health risks for you, it gives you a more aesthetically pleasing physique.

Maybe not every man desires a good ‘set of wheels (gym lingo for leg muscles).

Maybe.

Maybe not every man desires big pecs (gym lingo for Pectorals or the Chest Muscles).

Maybe.

Maybe, just maybe, not every man desires manly shoulders and massive guns (gym lingo for biceps/triceps or arms).

Maybe.

Maybe not every man desires a massive back.

Maybe.

However, I’m pretty sure every guy reading this, dreams of or at least dreamt of having a small, chiselled waist. What society commonly refers to as the “6-pack!”.

Even before we discovered that specific exercises could give you a small waist, there were some men but mostly women trying to make their waists smaller by diet alone. People today, still do. Look around you, what do you see? Men (of all ages) are afflicted with a big gut with waists in excess of 36″ because of lifestyle choices. This not exclusive to men as a lot of women tend to accumulate fat around the hips and thighs.

Women reading this can recall that their Great Great Grandmothers were squeezing themselves into reinforced corsets resembling straight-jackets. All for the purpose of getting that ‘hour-glass’ figure.

That way of doing things did achieve the desired effect in clothes. But, what happened when off came the beautiful dresses and corsets?

BLURP! Let it all hang out!

Gone was the beautiful, small, tight waist and … in place was a spare tyre that Michelin Tyres would be impressed with.

It is the same for a lot of men.

Unfortunately, with our gluttonous lifestyles in the modern world, where every person is ‘hungry for more’ in every aspect of their lives, walking around with an extra spare tyre is the norm. This usually affected men after 30 but these days we see younger men and women suffering from this phenomenon.

The “love handles’ as they are affectionately referred to is lugged around with them. Usually deposited around the waist-line.

If you’re a man, do you like carrying this extra weight around with you every single day? Be honest now? Apart from the increased health risks you become increasingly self-conscious of the layers of ‘smoothness’ accumulating around your waist. Not a desired look, I would imagine.

I’ve always said it is body-shape, not body-weight that matters. Are you an apple or a pear shape? You see, although being fat is an important health risk, where you carry your fat is even more important!

A smaller waist improves your shoulder-to-waist ratio and so gives you more of the elusive “x-frame”

Men and women need to be more concerned with the ‘waist-to-hip’ ratio. Excess abdominal fat carries with it a higher risk of insulin-related metabolic problems: high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes amongst others.

One other great thing about getting a tighter mid-section is that you improve your overall body-shape, moving towards the elusive “x-frame”. Smaller waist makes a man’s shoulders appear bigger and overall appearance more aesthetically pleasing.

So, you can see, by shooting for a slimmer, tighter waist, you are improving reducing your waist:hip ratio and hence reducing your overall life risks but also making yourself look more attractive. Full-stop! Aiming for a 30” waist is very important, don’t you think?

Here’s are a few of my 30” Waist 101 tips for getting started. The tips here should help men aim for a 30″ waist and women a 23″ waist. Possible? Of course it is! :

Steve Reeves – the Hollywood “Arnold before Arnold” came along. The original muscle movie-star.
Steve Reeves, a Mr America & Mr Universe winner.
He had coat-hanger-straight-shoulders, trim waistline and diamond-shaped calves and topped it off with rugged good looks and perfect hair do.
He went on to start in Hollywood blockbusters like Hercules and Morgan, the Pirate.
To this day, Reeves is held as the archetype for the aesthetic physique.

 Who can get abs?

Almost anyone can get rid of their spare tyre around their waist if they had a strong desire to do so and acted on a good quality body re-engineering plan. I’ve had abdominals and a tight mid-section even before I set foot in the gym

Obviously, some people will find it more difficult than others. Of the three body types – ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorphs, the endomorphs find this task more difficult than the other two. I fall smack-bang in the middle, I’m a mesomorph and then the guys and girls on the other end of the spectrum, have a skinnier, more lighter frame – the ectomorphs.

So, to put simply, anyone and everyone can have a tight mid-section if they really desired one.

 

Do you need to do a thousands of sit-ups to get a 6-pack and 30” waist?

Short answer: No, you don’t.

However, remember, abdominals are muscles, just like triceps, biceps, pecs and lats. As such, they have to be developed with just as high an intensity in your training as you do the others.

Sure, I may have been blessed with a narrow waist, but that never stopped me from giving 100% effort to perfect my mid-section.

I do two exercises and 3 sets of each of them for 10 reps each. A total of 60 very focused, quality reps. So here it is for those of you that like numbers:

Exercise Sets Reps Alternative Exercises
Hanging leg raises 2-3 20 – 30 Twists
Bench crunches 2-3 20 – 30 Hanging knee raises
 

 

It is a good idea to change exercises as often as possible. As the great 8 x Mr Olympia would say, “Don’t whip a tried horse!” meaning, you can’t make progress if you are pushing your body too hard or too fast.

 

What type of exercises is suitable to have a small waist?

Right from day one, I have always done two abdominal/waist exercises as main-stay: the bench crunches and the hanging leg raises. I’ve always split my abdominal workout into two distinct phases – the upper abs and the lower-part.

I like to keep things simple. Steve Reeves found the crunch as his best exercise for a good mid-section as well. The best results are gained when you perform the crunches with focused attention.

Another very important thing that I do to keep my waist small and tight is that I do not add any additional weight when working my mid-section. Why would anyone do that? Adding weight would increase your waist width, as abdominals, like any other muscle group would increase in size, wouldn’t it?

Steve Reeves had such a tiny waist that he would look great from every angle.
I just love this pose from the Master Poser.

What’s the best time of day to work your mid-section?

Any time of day is ok.

However, I find the mornings to be the best time when you are on an empty stomach (before breakfast).

What equipment would a beginner require?

You don’t need any special equipment as on a more basic level, you can do the exercises I have always done on the floor or on a bench.

Most gyms have a chin-up machine where you could hang from while doing leg raises.

How long will it take to get a 6-pack and a 30” waist?

That would depend on two things:

  1. How much fat or spare tyre you’re carrying around your mid-section at the beginning of your journey.
  2. How strict you are on your nutritional plan

What diet will give me a 30” waist?

By now, every Tom, Dick & Harry out there is a personal trainer and/or some so-called ‘Expert’ could tell you a little bit about losing fat. One of the popular paths people go down is that of ‘low-carb’ diets.

Admittedly, these are quite effective.

They virtually guarantee to help you get lean, however, they can backfire if you don’t understand the right way to apply the low-carb format to training, protein intake and other important variables that will help determine your success in getting rid of the beer gut and keeping it off.

Another angle of the tiny waist of the Amazing Legend that is Steve Reeves.
Steve Reeves had a 29″waist. He also had amazing proportions and was “Mr Balance & Symmetry”. His neck, calves and arms all had the same measurements: 17 1/4″ exactly.
He was the original Sultan of Beauty (Balance & Symmetry)

Here are my Top Five Diet Tips to losing your gut:

  1. Reduce your carbs by half. This would allow you to lose between half a kilogram and 1 kilogram per week.
  2. Reduce portion size. This is a good one especially if you are fuzzy on how many grams of carbs you are currently taking. Take the path of least resistance and simply cut your portions of carbs in half.
  1. Bump up your protein. That will be good for muscle fuel during your workouts.
  1. Cheat with vegetables. Great way to offset the cravings and feelings of deprivation.
  1. Drink adequate water every day. Water helps you lose fat. Period!

Learn patience.

One thing I have learned about building muscle and about many things in life – you can’t rush it. You need patience. You’ve got to put in the work, the effort. Hard YAKA … eat … rest … recover… Grow.

Repeat.

There is no reason for you to over-train in pursuit of a 30” or ripped abs. Leave your ego at the door if you want to build muscle and a balanced aesthetic body.

I’ve always believed in patience and doing things right, from the start and doing it right, not some of the time – but, ALL THE TIME!

Follow my advice and you’ll walk a straight-and-narrow path towards a 30” waist but more importantly, a physique-building success. Right now, I boast a <32″ waist, on a good day, <31″. This does not happen by chance. I put in the hard work, the hard YAKA. Just like you need to as well.

Change your way of thinking. Adopt the new habits necessary on a daily basis and stay focused on your end goal whilst enjoying the journey there. You will get there. Believe.

Make that decision today.

Make the decision to help the most important person in the world to you: YOU.

Don’t just get fit, get a physique!

 

Ahoy until next time,

The old Captain Viking Pirate … & his thoughts on getting a 30” waist or 6-pack!

My number 1 body builder/body engineer ever!
Mr Bob Paris.
Simply wow!
For more than 30 years, the public waited for the second coming of Steve Reeves.
It came in the form of Bob Paris.
No one has carried that torch in recent years. Flex Wheeler has come close but even his physique has flaws.
My pick is Shawn Ray.

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Eating and drinking in excess this Christmas and New Year can help you lose weight – a lot of weight!

Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.

Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.

Don’t believe the headline – eating and drinking in excess this Christmas will not help you lose weight!

But I am making a point as to how we can become needlessly fearful (because of all the conflicting views out there) of exercising with weights or eating certain foods or doing just about anything.

Everyone seems to have an ‘opinion’ these days with the proliferation of social media and a lot of these views have insufficient and inappropriate evidence (scientific) to back them up. This applies to almost everything, but especially, weight/fat loss and exercise and eating and drinking, because well, we all do these activities, more or less.

It seems that everyone is suddenly an expert.

Anyone can show how, by selectively citing some scientific research and blowing it all out of context, you can build a case for any argument, including the subject heading that I have used.

If you have a small amount of scientific nous, it is super easy for someone to give an opinion and by selectively citing some scientific research (based on some ridiculously small sample) and blowing it all out of context. You see this quite regularly on mainstream media as the ‘sensationalism’ of these stories sells ratings.

Below is the start of my view on fat loss and body re-engineering …

If you need to lose fat leading up to the festive season and summer (in some parts of the world – like Sydney, Australia) – build muscle. Naturally. Full stop!

There are countless weight-loss programs on the net and every where you go and read. Terrific for increasing awareness. However, fat-loss plans and weight-loss plans that don’t include strength training, fundamentally, rob the body of muscle.

Now, you don’t want to do something that robs the body of muscle because the process of ageing does this anyway. Ageing, is partly, by definition, the deterioration of muscles due to the reduction in protein synthesis.

Weight-training to build muscle ‘off-sets the on-set of ageing’. It is the potion of youth. It keeps people younger, longer. I know, because I have witnessed these people who seem to look and act five, ten, fifteen and twenty years younger.

The common denominator: they build muscle!

I’ve always told everyone I have ever helped over the last two decades that every kilogram of muscle is a fat burning dynamo! Yep, a fat-burning dynamo.

If you compare your body’s metabolism (the rate at which it ‘burns’ calories) to that of an engine of a car, when you build lean body mass (muscle), you increase the engine size and power of your body. Your car engine (metabolism) goes from, say, a 1.8l engine to a 4.0l or even an 8.0l engine over time.

Muscle loss reduces calorie requirements, makes fat loss more difficult, and creates increased obstacles to the maintenance of a lean body, once the excess fat has been lost.

Fundamentally, your ‘life-force’ (or vitality) will be sucked out of you and you will literally feel like cr&p! Every single minute of every single day. Now, why would you or anyone for that matter want to feel like that every single day. I could and still can’t understand why people still do this to themselves. Instead of doing ‘life-affirming’ actions, they instead do ‘life destroying’ actions.

Not smart. Not sustainable.

Put simply, and to sum up – always remember, to help maintain a lean body, build muscle.

It is as simple as that!

However, like some philosopher once said, “the easy things are also the hardest things to do”.

So, don’t think. Do!

If you can dream and imagine a much more improved physical version of you and believe in executing a plan to get you there, by all means go for it!

With 8 x Mr Olympia - "The King", Ronnie Coleman. Now, this man built and carried on his frame an unbelievable amount of muscle - 300lbs worth of it!

With 8 x Mr Olympia – “The King”, Ronnie Coleman. Now, this man built and carried on his frame an unbelievable amount of muscle – 300lbs worth of it!

And don’t worry if you have never entered a gym in your life or you haven’t done anything since your late teens or early twenties. It is never too late to start.

Regardless of your age, or how out of condition you may think you are at present, I believe it is never too late to start an exercise program. The power to decide rests in your hands (literally when you start lifting weights in a gym to help the person in the mirror – YOU).

You can transform your fitness and muscle strength at any age, along with your appearance, and health. I believe this is important because from my observations as a coach over the years, when people’s image improves, their performances improves too. Feeling good about yourself is an important part of being a well-balanced human being.

Make that choice – for you or a loved one. Make that choice to help you so that you can enjoy not just a long life but a good quality life by lowering the risks of early on-set of age-related physical and mental diseases. Respect and love the most important person in the world to you – YOU, first.

That way, by default, everyone gets the best of you, too.

You have one life, make the most of it all the best in the choices you make. No one else can make them for you, so choose well.

To assist in the quality of your life right now, consider improving on these:

  1. Eat – well composed, portioned meals, more frequently. If it is green leaf (and not a frog), include it in your meals.
  2. Water – drink adequate levels of water daily. An average adult should aim for 3L per day.
  3. Move – a combination of weight training, cardio and stretching done two to three times per week.
  4. Enjoy yourself – don’t forget to have fun and laugh at least once a day.
  5. Socially engage with your community in person.
  6. Get, learn and apply the basics (of life) right so that YOU can ….

Muscle is precious. Build muscle, then do everything you can possibly to do to preserve what you have. You will thank your lucky and wise stars as you age.

Don’t accelerate the ageing process as age does it for you anyway. Build muscle, as if your life depended on it (and it does). Build muscle as it is your personal preventative insurance against age-related diseases as your life ticks on … tick, tock, tick, tock!

Then, watch your energy, mental state and vitality soar to new heights and ….

Live, really live.

Until next time,

Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you. Vv.

Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you.
Vv.

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Do you have a sweet tooth?

Keep it simple.

Keep it simple.

I have helped hundreds, even thousands of people re-engineer their bodies towards what they imagine themselves to be for over two decades now. I have learned many things about human beings.

One observation that stands out is that every individual is unique and what may work for someone, may not work for another. They journey with me through the various programs adopting my unique framework as I customize each program for each student.

Body re-engineering is about many things but I believe it is fundamentally about hormonal management. We are all hormonal creatures after all and I believe we are not ‘in control’ of ourselves as much as we think we are.

What do you think? Do you think you have full control over you? Can you hide your sadness when you’re sad? Can you resist laughing when you recognise the humour in something someone said? Can you resist food cravings when you start thinking about them?

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & optimal performance

Do you have a sweet tooth?

There are quite a few variables that directly affect how well you manage your hormones, in particular, the amount of insulin circulating in your blood. When you get better control of this, you move towards achieving metabolic control. And this is KEY. The quickest – and actually the only – way to achieve metabolic control is to restrict the amount of metabolically active carbohydrate you put in to the system.

It is as simple as that!

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder. Plan the work - to work the plan. Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby - Phil Waugh.

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder.
Plan the work – to work the plan.
Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby – Phil Waugh.

However, knowing is one thing and doing is another.

If you’re like most people, you probably have a sweet tooth or you don’t mind having chocolate every now and then. Unfortunately, for many, one sweet treat begs another and the unhealthy devotion to sugar can and does last a lifetime for the majority of people.

I believe we’re all sugar addicts, it is just a matter of the degree to which we indulge in this habit.

What I have found is that the craving can quickly disappear if the temptation is ignored. It is probably the most difficult habit to break, because it is everywhere and in almost everything edible. Our body and our brain craves it!

So, taking in to consideration the difficulty of ridding sugar and sweet from your diet and going ‘cold turkey’, I have listed a few possible choices and the relative grams. I have also indicated ‘how’ to consume these so as to lessen the impact on insulin receptors in your cells.

Abdominal/thigh pose with the top 2 Natural Bodybuilders in the world in 2007.
I achieved a 4.2% bodyfat level. I didn’t win the World Title because the other 3 guys were leaner than me (<4%).
Having a good understanding of sugar , the different sources and the effect these sources have on your blood is one of the keys to sustainability in sugar consumption

You can have sweets or chocolate if you must. I have listed only two examples of ‘snacks’ to give you some idea of quantity and approximate carbohydrate content (you can add to it with your choices). The important thing here is the steps I have listed after the short list below:

Sweet/chocolate

  • 1 milky way (miniature) – approx. 5g of carbs
  • 1 mars bar (miniature) – approx. 8g of carbs

As you want to lessen the insulin response to sugar, try doing this prior to enjoying your treat:

  • Drink a large glass of cold water 15 to 20 minutes before. Some research has shown that it reduces hunger which could mean you eat less.
  • Have a bowl of greens (long beans, broccoli, spinach)
  • Have it with coffee (if you’re having it after dinner)
  • Have it with some protein (if you’re indulging between meals)

Bodybuilding Pose: “Hands on hips – Most muscular”.
My formula for Abs/6-pack:
ABS = diet (the Right diet)

Before I go, my best advice to you is to drink ‘til you drown (but don’t drown). Drink water when you wake up, drink before meals, in between meals.

Drink, drink, drink! But, don’t drink while you eat as it hinders optimal digestion. If you do drink – sip, don’t gulp and limit it to less than a glass!

So, don’t just think about your sweet and mentally punish yourself. If you’re honest enough to accept that just like me and the majority of humans, that you have a sweet tooth, go ahead and have a treat or two and keep the pointers I have listed above in mind prior to eating them.

Sweets/sugar/carbohydrates/snacks is not the enemy, the mis-management of it, is!

You don’t need to torture yourself any more than what is already dished out to you by the world. Have your sweet in moderation and enjoy it … simply because you love yourself and you love the feeling you get when the hormones are released when you consume them and … well, you deserve it.

Best of vitality to you!

 

Until next time,

Setting his own standards through - Mind-muscle connection. 'flexing the muscles' in a "most-muscular' pose. Chris is an A+ student and the results show for a 47 year old man. On his way to realizing a physique and mind-set he imagines himself having. ... adopting my framework to body/mind re-engineering. No risk, no belief - no nothing! Chris also enjoyed weekly 'snacks' along his journey. Vv

Setting his own standards through –
Mind-muscle connection. ‘flexing the muscles’ in a “most-muscular’ pose.
Here, Chris, a very busy and successful businessman working towards achieving his goals. An A+ student and the results show for a 47 year old man who looks fantastic in a business suit. 
… adopting my framework to body/mind re-engineering.
Chris achieved his goals in 5 months in one of my uniquely tailored programs just for him.
Chris also enjoyed weekly ‘snacks’ along his journey.
Vv

 

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Brains eat books.

_MG_9765

I love children and I love my kids.

There’s not a day that goes by where they don’t make me aware or more aware of aspects of life. There is no doubt in my mind that having children is a blessing. No doubt at all.

I love telling my kids imaginary stories and get lost in them with them. They have story time every night just before bed, part of their bed-time routine. They have been born in to a home of books like many children all over the world, a rich source of knowledge.

Sometimes, they can get lazy and mis-treat books – theirs, Cathy’s or mine in a less-than desirable manner. For example, they would throw it on the floor or walk over books or leave them strewn all over their bed-room.

I have constantly reminded them of the importance of looking after their books and treating them with respect, likening books to food. I would say things like –

“Kids, please take good care of your books, they are nutrition for your mind – food for your brain”.

Or something along the lines of –

“You wouldn’t eat food off the ground that is dirty, would you? You would get an up-set stomach if you did, just like books for your mind.”

Now, I know my daughter who is two years older than Zachary, fully understands my messages but my son, Zachary has not given me any inclination in the last year that he was getting this message, until last week.

Well, his mother – Cathy, was asked a question by Zachary at the dinner table about a week ago (I was at work) relating to nutrition. This is how it kind of unfolded –

Zachary asked his mum, Cathy how the brain gets its food.

Cathy proceeded to start explaining the process of digestion, that is – when you eat the food is chewed and then makes its way done the oesophagus down to the stomach and then enters the intestines. It passes through the linings in to the blood and then is pumped to the brain and so forth. Both my children just love the processes of the human body explained to them. They never seem to grow tired of this topic at this stage.

Before Cathy could finish her answer, Zachary interrupted and said –

“No, mum!”

“… Brains eat books!”

When Cathy relayed the story to me, I was surprised. But I was also content that my son had not only been listening to my ranting about the importance of books and taking better care of them, he was making conversation regarding this topic.

I was particularly impressed that he had summed up my messages better than I ever did. He used less words. I had never said “brains eat books” but I did say many other statements that meant the same thing.

You would be hard pressed to get much better than “Brains eat books”. I know I never said it that way.

So simple. So true. So beautiful said.

He took everything I said in over a year and filtered it and got to the essence and spat out a 3-word summary. That was just brilliant, I simply love the intelligence behind the thinking.

So, keep feeding your brains … with books. The right books. The right nutrition.

After all, they do say – you are what you eat (for the mind and body).

Eat well.

 

Until next time,

VVc_logo_cropped

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7.5 Diet Tips that may help ease your bloating.

Was there ever a time where you’ve grudgingly complained? –

“what’s the point with all the exercising?!” when the minute you try to slip into a tight skirt or your favourite pair of jeans, your stomach blows up like an inflated balloon.

I find that it has been a common point of disappointment with quite a few people I have helped over the years. And it can be quite de-motivating for those who put in all the hard work in the gym and still suffer from excessive bloating.

So, if you’re one of these people who suffer from this condition, maybe your diet (for the body) needs a little assistance.

Here are a few tips that may help:

1. Eat small, well-compositioned meals

  • Eat them more frequently – ideally, ‘split’ over 5 or 6 meals throughout each day.

2. Take your time –

  • Try eating slowly or slower.
  •  Observe the speed at which you consume your food. Do you inhale it or do you take your time and try chewing it thoroughly before swallowing? Don’t rush the mush.

3. Reduce salt intake –

  •  The sodium in salt holds water in your body so watch your salt intake. For you women out there, ‘that time of the month’ may play a part in that bloated feeling.
  • So, try reading the labels of the foods you eat so you can have a miss on the high sodium-content foods.

4. Say no to refined (very processed) foods –

  • Choose complex carbohydrates (like sweet potato, brown rice, whole-grain pasta or breads).
  • Highly refined products can leave you feeling quite bloated (especially white, wheat-based products).

5. An aversion to milk and milk products –

  • Your bloating can be significantly influenced by lactose. From the lactose in milk and milk products.
  • Try replacing all dairy items with rice milk or soy etc.

6. Limit your fizzy drink consumption –

  • Limit it to non-calorie/zero sugar varieties.

7.5 Eat some yoghurt –

  • Eating some yoghurt with active acidophilous culture could deflate you down to your normal size.

I hope these tips help you reduce your bloating or even reverse it.

Now, don’t stop going to the gym and exercising just because your bloating doesn’t seem to get any better no matter how hard you work-out. Keep up your training with consistency and persistence. Keep up your investment in your health and fitness.

Your health (physical and mental) is literally your wealth. It is only when it is taken away from you, that you realize the value of it so put aside some time towards this every single day.

And don’t be too worried about the bloated stomach. There are many cultures in the world that find a rounded belly more sexier and fulfilling than a flat stomach. The middle-East and Pacific Island countries love a well-rounded tummy.

Keep up your daily crunches and other tummy exercises but you don’t need to do a thousand sit-ups. No,these exercises don’t actually get rid of fat. They only tighten and strengthen the muscles (abdominal wall) on top of your stomach. Its the extent of body-fat you have that determines whether or not you can ‘see’ your abdominals. For example, you will begin to see your abs at or under 9% of body-fat, so excessive amounts of abdominal work will not reveal your abs until you work on losing fat.

On a more serious note, although being overfat is an important health risk, I believe where you carry your fat is even more important. Don’t be too concerned with how much you weigh! Be concerned with what your body-shape is: is it an ‘apple shape’ (with most of your weight around your tummy) or a ‘pear shape'(weight mostly around your hips and thighs)?

Now don’t confuse feeling ‘bloated’ to carrying excess visceral fat around the mid-section (typical area of deposit for middle-aged men). The greater the discrepancy between your waist and your hips (your waist:Hip ratio), the greater your health and life risk. These risks stem from insulin-related metabolic problems like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. NOTE: as a guide, men should strive to have a waist-to-hip ratio less than or equal to 1 and women should aim for 0.8 or less.

Recognize that storing fat in the tummy area does not cause your health risk to rise – it is simply another symptom of the underlying metabolic disorder: insulin resistance. So, it is in your best interest to you and your life to do all that you can to manage the accumulation of fat in this area so that your risk is lowered to an acceptable level. The gym is a good place to start to complement a good diet and stretching program.

If all else fails, try practising holding it in. Yep, There are some products out there (some undies for you ladies) that may assist with tummy bulges. Men, you could probably try wearing a weight-training belt around your waist.

See how this goes.

All the best in your journey towards a tighter-tummy. I will leave you with one summary: manage your tummy, manage your life risks.

 

Until next time,

Paul V2 (1)

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We all stink.

A variation of the 'back single biceps" pose ... on the beach.

A variation of the ‘back single biceps” pose … on the beach.

I don’t know about you but my tolerance for stench is pretty high.

It probably was harnessed over the last 23 years of being in and around gym floors working out among other gym enthusiasts. Yep, I can handle pretty awful smells now and I am very happy about that.

A lot of times my family would complain of a smell but it wouldn’t even affect my nostrils. It doesn’t even register on the Odour Richter scale. That’s how tolerant my nose is to stench.

Now, I know this is quite an embarrassing topic to talk about but I am going to just let’er rip and talk about gas, flatulence, cutting the cheese, wind, anal acoustics … well, you get my drift. In all my years in the gym my nose has smelled them all.

All and every kind of fart there is, I think.

Lifters and potential lifters beware: everyone’s farting up a storm in the weights room. It makes sense doesn’t it – when you’re squeezing, grimacing and grunting and pushing, the occasional gas leak is bound to happen.

This still is far better than the smells people must endure in those closed up, very small group cycling/machine/cardio rooms. That is just wrong and unhealthy. Anything you experience (in terms of smell) in the weights areas of gyms is nothing compared to the stench these claustrophobic classes enthusiasts experience.

However, there are people who love it and god bless them.

When (and not if) you experience this sometimes nauseous gas in the weights room, you will know.

But don’t panic, here’s a few tips to help you get through the experience relatively unscathed:

  • Switch to ‘mouth breathing’ when you’re in the weights room
  • Bury your nose in your own shirt/towel. Your own stink tends to be more acceptable than the other person next to you
  • Keep it quick, efficient and effective. No dillydallying!
  • Now I don’t always say this but don’t forget, there is always tomorrow.

There you go, now if you smell the occasional fart emitted by your partner (husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriend), remind yourself of how much more awful the smells (combinations of farts and body odour) it is for most people that go to a gym. Far worse than what you periodically inhale in the comfort of home.

My point is: Don’t get mad at him/her!

Look at it from another perspective. I think, tell him or her that they need to work on their diet and make it smell more. Yep, that’s right – they should improve their stink!

Why?

Now, I am going to make a bold statement now – because the stinker your fart is, the better your diet is. Your fart is closely related to your diet. Yep, I know sounds crazy right – no, it doesn’t! The output (farts) is a direct result of the input in to your system. You see, protein stinks or rather nitrogen gas which is protein by-product from your gut, smells.

So, it follows that if your fart does not stink enough, then, your protein intake is inadequate. And what did I say about the importance of protein in your diet? The more, the better.

Your goal: Increase your daily protein intake to adequate levels for your lean body mass. This creates an anabolic environment that helps you stay younger – longer. It is part of the fountain of youth – aids in muscle retention.

And your farts will smell even worse. Why would you want this?

Well, simply that the more impressive your fart stench, the healthier you are. I know, I know, there could be several reasons for having very stink farts but let’s keep it simple. So, we can all agree, that it is highly likely that:

Increased protein consumption = increased fart stench.

Use the stink as an indicator of how healthy your diet is. And you don’t need no fancy gadget or app to monitor how stink you are.

Just use what the good Lord gave you: your nose.

So, there you have it – we all stink! And you thought …. You didn’t right? Admittedly, to varying degrees. Most people go see specialists out of concern for their bad fart stench. I think you’ve got to seriously consider the risk of having low-stench farts and its implications. It is something to take heed.

Hypothesis: if your fart does not stink, then I think you’ve got something seriously wrong with your diet and digestive system. Go get it looked at or use it as a sign to bump up your protein intake. So, here’s an interesting formula:

More (adequate) protein ==> Healthier diet==> Stinker farts ==> longer life ==> Better ‘life’ in your years.

So, there you go, enjoy the next fart you have and assess the intensity of your stench. Don’t hide away in the corner. Let it out and get feedback from people around you. If they make for the nearest door, take it as a good sign. If they hang around then it could be smelling you something to be concerned about.

Remember: The worse the smell, the better.

Until next time,

Slight variation of side chest pose.

Slight variation of side chest pose.

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action, ageing, awareness, body, diet, eating, life

Muscle: the REAL potion of youth.

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Remember this: the older you get, the more important muscle becomes.

Believe me, I have seen the anti-ageing effects of continuous muscle-training in all ages, particularly the aged. Muscle is the real potion of youth, the real anti-ageing substance.

It is very important that you factor this in to your life now: build muscle and preserve it with everything you have got. You don’t need to look try to build so much muscle to try to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was younger or the current Mr Olympia, nor do you need to look like Ms Figure Olympia either.

However, the more muscle you have and keep will lower the risk that your last 20 years of your life isn’t the most unpleasant experience of your life.

It is your ‘preventative insurance’ for the quality of life you will have in the last quarter of your life.

Plan now. Act now.

If you’ve noticed, most of today’s messages in the health industry focuses on us doing everything we can to reduce our risks of heart attack other heart-related illnesses and the benefits in the short-term (ie. Weight-loss, muscle building etc). Well and good.

But it is the long-term that we should all be focused on. Don’t get me wrong, these messages are important but I believe they lose their relevance as we move in to the second half of our lives, particularly after 60 years. I have concluded this in my observations of men and women past 50 years in the gym over the last 23 years.

As we move through our 50s and then 60s, one of our main focuses in life is about thwarting the natural progression of ageing towards, which is ‘slowing down’. When the body ‘slows down’, it fundamentally means that the body’s systems won’t work as well as they once did, and you don’t have to look very far to observe examples of this. Look at your own family or extended family. Are your perceptions of your older parents and grandparents changed? Are they showing symptoms of ageing already? What about you?

This is where your ‘muscles’ are able to assist you. But first you have to be willing to help them.

The deterioration of self, due to ageing is inevitable and some ‘rust’ will form and illness can set you back. However, the potion of youth – your muscles can ‘off-set’ the on-set of ageing. Specifically, it is what you eat and do to support them that can slow down the deterioration rate (like the depreciation rate of a car).

This, my friends, is the ultimate benefit of all those hours of sweating with the weights in the gym – it is more of a long term strategy, like superannuation. You will have the POWER to make the most of the 20 or 30 or so years ahead.

Why?

Well, people use to ‘kick-the-bucket’ naturally much younger in the recent past. Now, medical advances has meant we are living much longer than our forefathers did. Living longer is important but it is not the most important thing. Why would you want to live out the rest of your life not being able to carry out normal daily activities pain-free. I think it is more important to make the most of the extra 20 to 30 years.

This, however, is dependent on you finding ways to keep your body (especially your muscles) and brain going.

From what I have deduced from helping hundreds of elderly people in the gym over the last 20 + years is: that the key to living long and having a quality life after 60 is not just to avoid illnesses. No, the key is mostly – your muscles.

Yes, your muscles!

They do more than just move you around and ‘flex’ and extend when you need them to. They hold the keys to your anti-ageing formula but the important thing to remember is your muscles are more vulnerable than you think. If you don’t already know, apart from the aesthetic benefits of muscle, it does much more for you. After water, protein is the 2nd most abundant substance in your body and protein is the building blocks of your precious potion: muscles.

Muscle helps every one of your body’s cells and organs. It helps reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and ensures that your brain gets the fuel it needs to function optimally to ensure that the body’s functions operates optimally too.

So, if your body is to have any chance at all of enduring the retirement plans you’ve made for the years ahead, it needs your help. NOW.

You need to treat the investment you make in your muscles now and in to your old age as you would your financial security in old age.

How, you may be asking yourself?

Here are my top pointers:

  1. Ensure you consume adequate daily protein levels.
    1. I have concluded that most adults consume less than adequate levels of daily protein for their age and lifestyles. Understand this, just like a car, your body amasses normal wear and tear as the years pile up. Your body needs protein for repair and muscle re-building. You need more of some things when you’re older than you did when you were younger and PROTEIN is one of them.
  2. Your muscles have memory and need a re-minder
    1. We all need some reminder in life that we are ‘needed’ and the same goes for muscles. You have muscles everywhere and it is vital that you focus on working your ‘whole body’ when you train with weighted resistance.
  3. Design a program that includes: resistance training, relevant cardio exercises and flexibility and balance routines to help stave off the debilitating effects of ageing.

It is vital that you remember that your immune system ‘steals’ from your muscles every single day, just to function normally, but particularly when you’re ill or it notices a ‘foreign’ substance in the body. You can start to lose a lot of muscle if you have more than 3 days of immobility and being bed-rested.

Don’t speed up the process of ageing by resting more than you should. Lying around robs you of muscle which you cannot afford to lose. Stay active as much as you possibly can.

“See” the nexus between the effort you invest in your muscles now and the quality of your daily life in your old age.

Save yourself first – NOW for a better quality life in your future. Invest in your muscles today for a better life tomorrow. It would certainly make your mobility during your travel plans in old age much more enjoyable.

All the best in your decision.

Until next time,

Most muscular pose.  World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, NY USA. Represented: Australia. Placing: 4th.

Most muscular pose.
World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, NY USA.
Represented: Australia.
Placing: 4th.

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