RR 3, Box 384
THE NUTRI-SPEC LETTER
Guy R. Schenker, D.C.
HOW “RESOLUTE” ARE YOUR PATIENTS?
FOUR WEEKS FROM NOW
You know exactly what I mean. Every year at this time you see countless patients, friends, and family members, who resolve to “turn over a new leaf.” Nearly all of those fantasy wishes relate to ...
DIET AND EXERCISE.
“I resolve to ________!” --- Fill in the blank with:
The reason I refer to these “resolutioneers” as fantasy wishers is because their good intentions almost never bear fruit in the long run. Sadly, after a noble effort, these people will give up in failure only to come back three years from now and make the same New Year’s Resolution again. What is the problem? Are people just not resolute enough? Perhaps, but I think the main reason most people ultimately give up is because their ignorance destines them to failure from the start. Yes, ignorance. As you have learned from these Letters, almost all readily available information on diet and exercise is actually mis-information.
It is time for you, the NUTRI-SPEC practitioner, to don your superman cape, swooping in to rescue these misguided people from frustration and failure. You may be the only one smart enough to understand that being lean and fit is the automatic consequence of being healthy -- not something that can be achieved as an end in itself, separate from a life-long health-enhancing eating and exercise plan.
So --- when someone bubbles all over you with enthusiastic resolutions of weight loss or fitness goals, give that person your most emphatic positive reinforcement. But --- immediately follow with the statement, “I would love to see you achieve your goals, both quickly and permanently. There is so much mis-information regarding diet and exercise, I would hate to have you lead down a path to disappointment, and perhaps even a path that damages your health. What you are telling me is you are committed to doing whatever it takes to look and feel your best for a long, healthy life. Would you like to learn what scientific research shows is the most effective long-range way to achieve your optimal weight and your highest possible level of fitness?”
You will invariably get a point of agreement from the person, but you are not yet home free. Before you can offer the specific eating and exercise plan this person needs, you will first likely need to refute some nonsense that has been accepted as truth. A woman says, for example, “I’ve decided to lose this extra 20 pounds once and for all. But, no more fad diets for me --- I am going to do it sensibly. I am going to skip breakfast, eat a salad for lunch, and then a regular meal in the evening.” When that person responds affirmatively to your offer of a scientific approach to looking and feeling good for a lifetime, you will need to make it clear to her that her chosen diet is self-defeating. You must explain to her that skipping meals very quickly begins to slow the metabolism, so that less and less calories are burned every day. Pretty soon the caloric intake that at first yielded nice weight loss will no longer do the trick. You will tell her that the way to lose weight and keep it off for a lifetime is not to sabotage her efforts with methods that slow the metabolism. Rather, she needs to increase the metabolic rate through ...
AN EMPOWERING EATING AND EXERCISE REGIMEN.
Yes, you know what no one else seems to have figured out --- that the trick to losing weight is realizing that there are no tricks to lose weight. There is an eating plan that facilitates weight loss, and there is an exercise plan that facilitates weight loss. You --- superman --- can offer both. You can offer the diet plan and exercise plan quickest to yield a permanently lean healthy body and razor sharp mind. MAKE YOUR OFFER! This is no time for reticence. Is there some more valuable service you can provide? I think not.
The eating plan for all your patients who desire weight loss is so absolutely simple it is a crime that countless thousands of people --- people who would follow through with the required eating plan if they only knew what it was --- suffer the effects of being overweight. Here is an outline of the plan:
Simple --- and effective. We have taken a health empowering diet and modified it for weight loss. There is no one who cannot reach maximum potential on this diet. Will people stick to it? Some (those who fail at everything they attempt) will give it up. But my observation is that most who give up on diets do so because either they see insufficient results, or, they just feel plain miserable and deprived on the diet. Skipping meals and other fad diets create such extreme cravings and metabolic imbalances that compliance over the long term is virtually impossible. The physiological eating plan just outlined revs up the metabolism, supplies all essential nutrients, and maintains metabolic balance indefinitely. SERVE YOUR PATIENTS!
The exercise component of a happy, healthy life is even simpler than the eating plan. Not long ago we devoted several issues of this Letter to exposing many exercise myths, and educating you on the scientifically undeniable benefits of combining Grizzly Bear Intervals with Grunt and Growl Strength Training. The many, many thoughtful questions stimulated by those exercise Letters, I chose to answer on an individual basis, rather than taking up more NUTRI-SPEC Letter space with the topic of exercise. Let me now just touch on a few of the questions that came up repeatedly --- so that you can make exercise work for your patients.
First, inform your patients on the frequency of exercise. There must be a mix of both Grizzly Bear Intervals and Grunt and Growl Strength Training with at least three and no more than five workouts each week. Three workouts borders on being insufficient; five high intensity workouts pushes many of us over the line into over-training. There must be at least one of each of the two workout types. There must be 48 hours minimum between workouts of the same type. Remember that the reason these workouts are so effective is because of their ...
No other workout types juice up the hormone system and stoke the metabolic fires as these do. If weight loss is a goal, I would include at least two Grizzlies each week.
Let us clear up some of your questions regarding Grunt and Growl Strength Training. As you recall the regimen is simple:
Grunt and Growl Strength Training gives the maximum muscular hypertrophy and the maximum metabolic effects achievable with strength training, with the least time and energy invested.
Many of your questions regarding strength training derive from interests other than using exercise as an essential component of living longer stronger. To those with goals other than health, yes, there are two other types of strength training workouts --- power workouts for competitive athletes, and pump workouts for body builders. The means to achieve goals in those areas are beyond the scope of this Letter.
“What about the 20 other machines at my health club? If I’m only doing a few exercises Grunt and Growl, haven’t I wasted my money?” --- Not necessarily. While most of those machines are of no value to you, you do have the option of doing two exercises in addition to the three fundamental exercises listed above. [A surprisingly high number of “fully equipped” health clubs do not have a leg press machine. Go elsewhere. And, while I am on the topic, make sure you do your leg press exercise full range of motion --- your knees should come almost to your chest on the negative phase.]
“Shouldn’t I stretch before I do Grunt and Growls? Won’t I risk injury if I just go right into the workout?” There two parts to the answer. Never, never, never stretch before your workout. Do your stretching after your workout when muscles are fully warmed up. That is not only the most effective time to stretch but the safest. Before you do your Grunt and Growl exercises you should do a warm up consisting of nothing more than range of motion movements for arms and legs and torso.
“I don’t belong to a gym --- Can I do Grunt and Growl strength training at home with free weights?” --- It is pretty tough to achieve your goals with free weights. The biggest problem is that without a leg press machine you would need to do squats, and it is difficult to use enough weight on squats at home alone. Doing squats at home can also increase your risk of injury. Can you do squats by simply holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand? Maybe, but it is tough to get enough weight to do the job. Using barbells for your upper body press and upper body pull can be done by lying on a bench for the press exercise and by doing bent over rows for the pull exercise. When I cannot get to a gym (which is more often than I like) I will do a substitute workout consisting of power jumps, along with chin ups and dips on the swing set in the back yard.
Intensity, intensity, INTENSITY --- not volume, volume, and more wearisome volume. Plodders and flingers make very limited progress with all their time and energy invested, then soon plateau. The intensity of Grunt and Growl Strength Training gives you more metabolic gain in a month than you would get in a lifetime of leg and arm flinging exercises. It also avoids the devastating effects of overtraining suffered by those who pump iron according to the multiple sets and reps approach.
Even more profound are the almost incomprehensible benefits of Grizzly Bear Intervals. You have seen the scientific evidence that recreationally active adults can literally double their cardiovascular capacity in 2-3 weeks with less than ½ hour of actual exercise. Yes, I know there is multi-billion dollar industry devoting tremendous resources to the sales pitch for treadmills, exercise bikes, jogging shoes, exercising in your “fat burning zone,” and all sorts of other nonsense. Yet all their low intensity, long duration exercise produces is fatigue and a sluggish metabolism. Yes, of course, there are those who have persevered long enough to lose significant weight on a low intensity, long duration exercise plan, but I can guarantee you they have lost as much health as they have weight.
The rules of Grizzly Bear Interval training are every bit as simple as those for Grunt and Growl Strength Training:
Most of the questions on Grizzlies derive from misunderstanding that the intensity (speed) of each interval has to be constant for every interval. One doctor reported that she ran a workout of 12 intervals and never did see the change in her recovery pulse that she was looking for. Whoa! Nobody can run away from 12 Grizzly Bears in one day! I am sure she was running as fast as she could on her 12th run, but it was no where near as fast as she had run on her first. That maintenance of speed throughout every run is the key. A typical Grizzly Bear workout involves between 4 and 7 intervals --- depending on temperature, humidity, degree of recovery from the previous workout, etc. By far the most convenient method of doing Grizzlies is with a 10-step shuttle run. For me, 9 lengths of that 10-step shuttle run give me exactly a 30 second workout. If I am sprinting all out and hit the finish of my 9th length in 31 seconds, I am done for the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s my 6th, 5th, or even only my 4th interval.
The other questions on Grizzlies concern what constitutes a definitive break in the recovery pulse trend line. Here are examples: You will see that any time a recovery pulse differential exceeds the previous recovery pulse differential it is time to go home.
You see the exercise regimen is the same for those who are overweight as it is for those who are underweight. Only the NUTRI-SPEC Fundamental Diet needs to be altered for weight loss purposes --- and in a very neat kind of way the weight loss diet evolves into a happy-ever-after weight maintenance diet. The procedures are all quite simple. --- Perhaps your patients will turn out to be more resolute than you imagined --- if you will only shine your light on the road to success.