Episode 88.  Ask Me Anything: An Open Discussion with the Coach

Episode 88. Ask Me Anything: An Open Discussion with the Coach

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Scott takes questions from his audience about workout program design, food and eating issues, fat loss, and other fitness-related topics.

 

Highlights from the Discussion

 

  • Workout journals: People tend to record the wrong things, often just in numerical values. It’s better to record qualitative biofeedback, not quantitative such as weights, reps and sets, because these numbers won’t be meaningful six months from now.
  • Treat your workout journal like a diary. Record things like energy level, workout felt easy, workout felt hard, etc. Workout journals including just reps and sets would be like a diary that includes facts only, such as got up at 6, brushed teeth, went to work, etc, thus lacking substantial info.
  • Don’t think about what you’re not supposed to think about. Telling yourself “don’t think about zebras” only makes you think about zebras. Likewise, thinking about dealing with a food issue only makes you think about the food issue. This causes your brain to focus indirectly on the thought, so, to focus on what not to think about only makes you think about it.
  • Supplements aren’t necessary if you’re eating healthy. This is well documented in many medical [and nutrition] research papers.
  • Appetite suppressants are a bad idea. They interrupt your body’s biofeedback.
  • The scale doesn’t tell you what’s actually going on with your body. For instance, scale weight loss could be from water weight loss, and not from a sustained weight loss. The mirror doesn’t lie [neither does time].
  • When training for physique, designing a program around what produces the best pump makes sense.
  • “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”
  • There’s no need to go to the gym twice a day. More is not always better.
  • Fitness lifestyle should be fun. Ask yourself, “what is this lifestyle doing for my life, or what is it doing to my life?” Fitness should be a lifestyle, not a life.
  • Motivation is like an unseen muscle: it requires exercise [and discipline].
  • Caffeine pre-workout is a good idea and well documented in the literature.
  • The Hardgainer Solution is an excellent program for physique trainees who travel, as well as trainees over 50.
  • Getting ripped isn’t a result of a workout program; it’s a result of diet strategy. But you have to feed metabolism. You can’t out-train a poor diet.
  • Accept challenge instead of fighting it. How you meet resistance determines your outcome. Think about resistance as life; the pressure of it getting to you and how you interact back can change you forever, but you can always transform for the better and even life (your perspective of it) while preserving your essence.

 

LINKS & RESOURCES

 

Scott’s Featured e-Books (Find hard copies at Amazon)

The Abel Approach

The Hardgainer Solution

Physique After 50

Beyond Metabolism

Understanding Metabolism

Metabolic Damage

The Cycle Diet

 

Follow Coach Scott Abel

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The Cycle Diet Program

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Episode 87.  Metabolism in Relation to Biochemical and Hormonal Reality

Episode 87. Metabolism in Relation to Biochemical and Hormonal Reality

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Scott explores blind spots in exercise and training, particularly the over-emphasis on calorie burning. Observations into strategies that actually work and “yield dividends”.

 

Training and Diet Strategies: a Financial Analogy

 

  • When you think about exercise classes, what’s your first observation? Scott and his audience make general observations.
  • Why are exercise classes mostly attended by women? Appeal in being a part of a group? Fear of the weight room? Fear of “bulking up”? Something else?
  • Overall biochemical and hormonal health are a lot like a bank account. Calorie burning is like spending only, but a good diet and training strategy should be an investment in overall health. A wise approach strikes a balance.
  • Focus on boot camps or cardio won’t pay dividends. Cardio only pays dividends when performed short term and if returning from a long lay-off.
  • Similarly, metabolic training needs to be balanced with sound hypertrophy training. Training for mass stimulates an optimized metabolism, however, women often resist this because the activity isn’t continuous like most “calorie burning” exercises, and they fear it will develop bulky muscles.
  • Fitness classes over-emphasize burning calories. Calorie burning is not the same as burning off body fat. Metabolism must be fed, not starved.
  • Healthy whole foods and the right kind of workouts are crucial investments.
  • Following the analogy, diet by deprivation is like a tax cut that could be expensive long-term if tax-related benefits are reduced later.
  • Success leaves clues. Physiques provide evidence of what type of approach actually works and yields dividends.
  • Observe and compare people who maintain enviable physiques year-round: those who do mostly cardio or fitness classes and others who do only resistance training.
  • Observe quality and physique improvement. Scott provides examples of women from his own gym who do no cardio and attend no boot camps and who look better than any in the fitness classes.
  • Being observant to what works and what doesn’t is vital to learning and improvement.

 

Episode 86. Optimizing Metabolism

Episode 86. Optimizing Metabolism

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Scott presents some insights on the importance of whole foods to weight control, using a study originally published in ‘Food and Nutrition Research’, 2010, by Barr SB, Wright JC. Postprandial energy expenditure in whole-food and processed-food meals: implications for daily energy expenditure.”

 

Whole Foods Aid in Optimizing Metabolism

 

  • The study compares how fast the body burns whole foods and processed foods.
  • Researchers used cheese sandwiches, equivalent in every way except one was whole foods (WF), the other processed foods (PF). Both meals satisfied hunger.
  • A processed food meal has 50% less thermic effect than a whole food meal, meaning it burns much more slowly and is more likely to get stored as fat. Therefore, processed foods have a likelihood of making you fatter.
  • Conclusion: “Ingestion of the particular PF meal tested in this study decreases postprandial energy expenditure by nearly 50% compared with the isoenergetic WF meal.”
  • Quality of food intake is more important than caloric equivalents.
  • The study does not support “If It Fits Your Macros”. You can still get fat even if the foods you eat “fit your macros”.
  • A calorie is not a calorie. Whole foods do dozens of things once inside our bodies that we can’t even begin to calculate and put into numbers. The body knows!
  • Food companies create hyper-palatable foods that make you want them. They aim for the “bliss point”, which triggers a desire for more of the food product.
  • Taste buds can be trained to enjoy whole foods over processed foods, which assists in weight loss efforts.
  • A healthy, whole, unprocessed, plant-based diet makes the most sense.
  • “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”  – Michael Pollan

 

Episode 85. More Real-World Support for Carb-Based Diets

Episode 85. More Real-World Support for Carb-Based Diets

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Scott takes on a study published in The Lancet in April 17, Kaplan H, et al. “Coronary atherosclerosis in indigenous South American Tsimane: a cross-sectional cohort study.”

 

The Tsimane Tribe: The Healthiest Hearts in the World

 

  • The Tsimane lead a holistic healthy lifestyle.
  • The study finds that coronary artery disease can be avoided in most people through a lifetime of very low LDL, low BP, low glucose, normal BMI, not smoking, and lots of physical activity.
  • The Tsimane are a true hunter-gatherer culture. They hunt, fish and farm on the Maniqui River in the Amazon rainforest in the Bolivian lowlands. Researchers admit that the rest of the world cannot revert to a hunter-gathering and early farming existence, but there are lessons for all of us.
  • The Tsimane diet consists of 72% carb sources like rice, maize, and manioc root, 14% – 17% protein from lean meat and fish sources. Their fat intake is 14% as compared to 34% in the US.
  • They are far more physically active than most Americans. Men average 17,000 steps a day, and women average 16,000. Even the over-60s have a step count over 15,000. This is not an endorsement for quantitative step counting devices. It points to the benefits of a high degree of physical activity.
  • Profesor Naveed Sattar, University of Glasgow, said, “Simply put, eating a healthy diet very low in saturated fat and full of unprocessed products, not smoking and being active life long, is associated with the lowest risk of [blood vessel blockage].”
  • Few Tsimane had signs of clogged arteries—even well into old age.
  • Dr. Gavin Sandercock: “The fact that they have the best indicators of cardiovascular health ever reported is the exact opposite to many recent suggestions that carbohydrates are unhealthy.”

 

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