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  • How to make sure anyone can do a proper plank

    Most of us know planks are a great exercise, but few are performing them correctly. Sometimes this is because they aren't aware of what proper technique looks like. But there is another reason why people aren’t performing them's simply too hard for them. Fortunately, there is research that shows what proper technique looks like. And I’ve found a unique way to modify the plank so that nearly anyone who can get down to the ground can do the plank correctly. If you have questions about this or any other exercise, click here to meet with us so we can help you take control of your health and fitness. ....

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  • Is your stiff low back really stiff?

    If you are like 80% of the human race, you’ve likely complained of back stiffness. That would seem to indicate that your back is need of stretching. This seems to make sense on the surface, but recent research calls this into question. As I often say, however, just because it’s logical, it doesn’t mean it’s physiological. Just because you feel stiff, doesn’t mean you should stretch. For years I’ve advised against always stretching your spine when it’s stiff based on spine anatomy and seeing the results in the clinic. Some excellent recent research refutes the correlation to feeling tight, and actually having tightness in the back. ....

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  • Why you should NOT stretch your spine

    Ever hear someone telling you to lengthen your spine? Been advised to stretch your tight back muscles? Don’t listen. The science tells us otherwise. Stretching your spine will at best waste your time, and cause you to bark up the wrong tree looking for a fix or cure. It can make back problems worse, which leads many people to come see me in the clinic. Stretching your back might feel good, but it's not good for your spine I’m not suggesting you hold your spine rigid, all of the time, in fear of movement. Not at all. In the meantime, here are some basic reasons why you should avoid stretching your spine, regardless if your goals are for fitness, performance, or pain ....

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  • Anyone can do pushups, no matter how weak you are

    Years back we did a really cool study at spectrum about pushups. We never published it, except for alluding to it during my seminars and on a random FB post. It’s high time we share it, because it has some big implications. The biggest are that I can show you how nearly everyone, no matter how weak you are can do pushups, making this very versatile an effective exercise that can be done anywhere available to almost anyone. What’s more interesting, and I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been done before, is that we quantified how much weight you are lifting during a pushup. I explain it in the video above. Specifically, ....

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  • What Men's Health Wanted To Ask Me About Fat Loss and Cardio Machines

    What Men's Health Wanted To Ask Me About Fat Loss and Cardio Machines
    A few years ago, I received an email from a writer for Men's Health. She was on a very tight timeline for a writing assignment, and needed a response to a common question, but unfortunately poorly understood topic by those seeking health and fat loss. Many readers often write in requesting a response on this. And I'm sure you have had the same questions as well, but haven't quite figured out how to address it. The questions involve the mythical nature of the fat burn zone and the best programs to choose on the cardio machines. I've tackled these issues before, and was more than happy to do so again. What follows ....

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  • 10 Ways Your Environment Influences What You Eat

    The people and things around you have proven to have a huge affect on your health and fitness behaviors, which I refer to as the environ Mental
    matrix. This environ Mental matrix affects you in ways you aren’t aware of, from how much you eat to how food tastes. The research on this is incredibly strong, and serves as the basis upon which the food and advertising industries are built upon. If you understand these factors and employ strategies to counteract them, you will have a huge influence on changing behaviors.If you choose to ignore the impact this behavior has upon you, you will be at the mercy of the constant influence of advertising, marketing, and your work/home ....

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  • How Maddy expanded my heart…

    Although it’s been over 9 years ago, it’s only recently since I wrapped my head around something that happened to me when we were about to have our second daughter Madeline. Getting some much needed downtime with family over the last few weeks helped. (At the Cape... a rare moment with everyone cooperating for a family pic) Now that I feel I can articulate it, I think there’s a chance it can help you with how you look at your health and fitness capacities as well. Those who know me well understand that my three little girls, and wife Danielle, are the center of my life. When my first, Isabella, arrived, I felt the intensity of a love that I ....

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  • A critical component of athleticism - the speed myth

    Many athletes and their parents/coaches are concerned about getting faster. And for good reason, because it is the athletic quality that is important for almost any sport if you want to excel. Getting faster is not too complex, however it is certainly hard work . The reason getting faster seems so complex is because of the misinterpretation of what speed really means, and how to train for it. So before I discuss the simple solution to getting faster, let's clarify some things about what speed really is. When most refer to speed in sports, they are actually talking about acceleration (and accordingly, deceleration is equally important). Most are confusing speed in sports with speed ....

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  • How to change our habits

    Habits can be powerful, and that power is a double edge sword. Of course a habit of exercise can be a great thing. It often stays beyond the reach of many, making sustainable fitness results so allusive. However, I see strong exercise habits as a source of some big problems. Try getting a yoga fanatic to avoid excessive stretching contributing to their excessive joint instability, or a runner to curtail road work for some much needed power training, or a power-lifter to embrace corrective exercise in lieu of heavy dead-lifts. Habits are a force to reckon with, yet if you learn the secret to forming and breaking habits, you will have a profound ability to affect your quality of life. ....

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  • Does sweating mean you're getting a good workout?

    You might think that sweating is a sign of a good workout. But there is a big problem with that reasoning. If that were true, then I certainly would not own a fitness studio. Instead, I’d be a pilot, or at least a travel agent or tour guide. I’d promote trips flying people to tropical beaches where the blazing sun is guaranteed to induce a nice sweat while we bask in the sun sipping fruity drinks (organic, protein infused of course). Surely that would be an easier and more lucrative way to get folks healthy, right? Or perhaps for the time restricted or travel phobic, I’d be dealing saunas. A sure fire way to sweat, and get in great shape, right? The ....

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  • Our Solutions to the Top 10 Fitness Excuses

    When you’ve been in the business of helping people lose weight, conquer pain, and get strong as long as I have, you’re bound to hear your share of excuses. Before I share my top 10 excuses list, I need to clarify something about the term “excuse”. Many deride the word excuse, implying the “complainer” possesses negative traits such as laziness, lack of discipline, or willpower. There are far too many knuckle dragging bone heads in this industry who think that way, believing that yelling and shaming people is the missing link to their success. This is Jillian being an ass, which got her famous.
    Not me. Here’s why:


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  • Why We're the Strongest We've Been

    Since the beginning, Spectrum was always strong, but today, we are at the peak of our strength. I’ve been working hard for over a decade building Spectrum to help people feel better, move better, and be healthy. This required a different approach than what was being offered. The healthcare and fitness industry was not fulfilling these benefits for too many; specifically in three situations. People were only given health care when they were sick and injured. Once the most basic function was established, they were sent off on their own, where they would struggle to fully recover. For many, this would lead them to get sick or injured again, and the vicious cycle would continue. ....

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  • Our Solutions to Solving the Health Care Crisis

    I’m sure you are painfully aware of the dismal state of our country’s health and the significant economic impact it has on our country. Everyone is jumping on this with vague and general solutions, well everyone except those who are actually involved in providing the solution. I find it odd how little fitness professionals are featured on the talk show circuits or newspaper columns on how to get people healthier. If you think about it, this is one profession that seems to be actually getting significant results in improving health, but we really aren’t doing much in the broad scheme of things if we don’t go beyond our little studios and gyms and share our ....

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  • The latest and greatest research

    One of my favorite things to do is to scour the research to either validate or change our current approaches, and motivate our clients to pursue optimal health. Here are some highlights of my most recent research reviews.

    Should older women use the same weight each set, or different weights?
    Researchers wanted to see if increasing the weight over each set (ie: 3 sets of 12 using the same weight) vs sets of progressively heavier weight and less reps (3 x, 12,10,8) had different effects on strength and muscle gain. Of particular interest, the picked women with the average age of 68 as subjects. The results showed that there was no difference in strength or muscle gained between ....

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  • The worst exercises for women over 45

    Few people have seen more people exercise than I. My seminar tour takes me to gyms all over the country. Over 2 decades as a fitness professional has given me a front row seat to some interesting ways people exercise. Unfortunately, much of what I see outside the Spectrum studio makes me cringe. I’ve always taken a mental note about things people should just stop doing at gyms. Since that list is exceedingly long and that many of my clients are middle aged women, I’d thought I’d start there by telling you the 10 worst exercises for women over 45. Not a woman over 45? Me neither; but I’m sure you know someone who is. Do your good deed for the day and ....

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  • Why isn't the scale moving?

    While sitting at the airport on the way to St Louis for another seminar tour, I decided to depart from my usual routine of listening to my music, head down checking emails, and unplug. You hear some interesting things when you just listen and observe people in settings like airports. Of course, I seem to have ultra-sonic hearing to pick up on conversations about weight loss and fitness. A question disguised as a complaint that I just heard one lady ask of another is “why isn’t the scale moving?” Everyone who attempts to lose weight will ponder this frustrating observation. In spite of your valiant efforts, you may suffer the disappointment to see no changes on the ....

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  • Why your metabolism is slowing down

    A slow metabolism is the common culprit for gaining fat. A host of factors have been blamed, and most claim it’s part of getting older, rendering fat gain inevitable. Others claim that’s nonsense, and we can increase metabolism at any age. Add muscle, and that will fire up our metabolism. Neither would be entirely correct. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know what it is, so I’m going to quickly tell you the truth about your metabolism, why it’s slowing down, and what you can do about it if your goal is to control, or lose fat. The short answer is that, yes, unless you are Benjamin Button, Your metabolism is slowing down. But ....

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  • The most important muscle?

    If asked to pick the most important skeletal muscle for health and fitness, I would have to nominate the gluteals. Many may know the glutes better as your bum, backside, derriere, - you get the idea. A firm, toned pair of glutes is an asset (couldn't resist) that many covet from an aesthetics point. However, the role of the glutes in producing high verticals, speedy runners, and injury free knees and low backs is well established as well. Unfortunately, developing this critical muscle group remains elusive for many, and there are several reasons for this. Few are doing exercises that will target these muscles, and those who are doing these exercises are doing them incorrectly. The ....

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  • Proper Ab exercises

    Below are some examples of abdominal exercises that challenge the anterior core musculature in a way that facilitates neutral spine (not the dangerous flexed spine). Furthermore, these exercises are mostly isometric, which better corresponds to the function of the abdominal musculature. The lower level exercises impart low levels of spinal compression despite high levels of muscular activation. The more advanced exercises to impose more of a compressive load, however far below the limits of disc damage that is often produced with spine flexion based exercises such as inclined sit-ups. I want to emphasize that you need to be qualified to perform these movements. A trained professionals ....

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  • How much weight do you lift performing pushups?

    I've always wondered how much weight is being lifted when performing push ups. I knew it wasn't equal to your body weight, because your feet are touching the floor distributing a significant amount of weight away from your arms. So how much of your weight are you actually lifting? During some downtime, the question entered my head, and I began pondering how to actually measure the weight lift for a push-up. I grabbed a few colleagues from Spectrum and Orthopaedics plus, a wobble board, and a weight scale and began the experiment. This is how we did it. Dave, our eager test subject, got on the scale and we recorded his weight. Then we placed a wobble board (essentially just the piece of ....

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  • The Magic Cure And A Rant On Preventative Medicine

    The Magic Cure and a Rant on Preventative Medicine
    Imagine if scientists discovered a cure for the most common causes of death, disease, disability, and pain. This cure would greatly improve the quality of your life, make you look and feel younger, and help you perform various daily tasks with easy. It would relieve the financial health care burdens that plague the U.S. economy. It would also make you smarter, enhance your mood, improve your sex life, and increase your productivity at work. The cure I’m referring to does exist. It has been discovered, and research validates its effects. What would you be willing to do to attain this cure? How far would you travel, how ....

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  • Nutritional Supplements: Crock, Crutch, or Cure?

    Are Nutritional Supplements Helpful?
    The supplement industry is a multi billion-dollar industry, and growing by the day. It is largely unregulated, thus the object of strong skepticism from many, especially professionals like myself. The industry’s history of unscrupulous marketing hawking several useless and some potentially harmful products further perpetuates the aura of suspicion. But, admittedly, there is something enticing about taking supplements. This is obvious, due to the success of the industry, not to mention the fact that just about everyone reading this newsletter has taken supplements. Perhaps it all boils down to our desire for a passive fix, a pill that will ....

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  • Does personal training work?

    Does Personal training work?
    Knowing that I am a fitness professional, you might be inclined to think that I’m an exercise guy. That I’m married to the notion that all life’s problems are prevented and cured by exercise. That the path to all that is good runs through a gym filled with iron, free space to move, and knowledgeable professionals to guide you along. The truth is, I’m not an “exercise guy”. Nor am I a nutrition guy, a rehab guy, or an interval guy. Rather, I’m a results guy, and secondarily a research guy and real world guy. That means I follow what works, what is substantiated by the rigors of the scientific method, and its ....

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  • Can Zinc treat Depression and Colds?

    The winter brings a couple common problems: feeling down and colds. And runny noses, little kids, hospitals, and frequent get-togethers are great ways to catch a cold this time as well. Is it possible that a simple nutrient can treat both depression and the common colds? Some recent research on zinc suggests that this micro-nutrient may play a roll. Higher zinc intake buffers the impact of stress on depressive symptoms in pregnancy
    A. Roy et al. / Nutrition Research 30 (2010) 695–704

    Researchers found a link between low zinc intake and increased depression. Although this link does not mean low zinc causes depression, it does raise the question whether ....

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  • Is Exercise Necessary For Weight Loss?

    When seeking weight loss, most assume that copious amounts of work on the treadmill, dieting, and maybe resistance training are needed. However, it makes a lot of sense to question which is most effective: Diet or Exercise? If we don’t have time, are injured, or simply don’t want to exercise, can we lose weight? I have plenty of empirical data to tell you what works from seeing hundreds of people achieve results with our approach at Spectrum. But empirical data is not enough to achieve the highest levels of understanding. That’s where some good ‘ole research comes in. First, let’s answer the question of whether exercise is needed at all to ....

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  • Sunshine and Vitamin D

    Although we certainly have some warm, sunny weather around here in New England, the winter can be long, cold, and people don’t get out in the sun as much. This sparked a question I received about vitamin D, so I thought I’d share my response based on some of the research. Do we need to supplement with Vitamin D?
    There are several studies showing Vit D deficiencies are common, and are associated with many diseases and disorders. What is considered a Vit D deficiency?
    Deficiencies are determined by blood tests. Testing blood levels (25 hydroxy vit D) are not usually covered by most insurances for a typical blood panel (unless you complain of fatigue or ....

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  • Should you exercise when you are sick?

    It’s inevitable that we will get a cold or some sort of sickness, especially this time of year. In addition to the uncomfortablesymptoms, the stress andguilt about skipping a workout makes you feel worse. This is a real dilemma, especially for those who:
    are preparing for an event (like a 10 k charity race)
    have finally found their groove with their training routine
    Really need to lose fat
    Simply don’t feel right mentally if they don’t exercise So what do we do? Take time off, risk getting out of shape and struggling to regain fitness- again? Suck it up and exercise – which we know helps so many aspects of health? What about theclaims that exercise ....

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  • Lose the cardio, lose the fat?

    A few years back, Jim Karas, personal trainer, dropped a bomb on the health and fitness world with his formal denouncement of “cardio” for weight loss. While promoting his new book, Lose the Cardio, Lose the Fat, on Good Morning America, Karas challenged the conventional wisdom that cardio training is the key solution to weight loss. Rather than provide a clear solution backed by logic, evidence, and experience, Karas instead contributed to the murkiness that clouds most people’s understanding of effective weight loss. I agree with the general premise of Karas’ claim. However, I have two big problems with how he delivered and defended his ....

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  • The New Year Cure for the Holiday Binge

    Around this time of year, I feel a bit like I imagine a priest would after Mardi Gras. People have been airing their dirty laundry to me, revealing their holiday desert gorging followed by the need to “repent”and await their fitness penance that they expect me to handout! Well no punitive cookie-tossing workouts were dispensed by me upon hearing of their dietary sins. Instead, I provided them with this quote: “It is not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s,
    It is what you eat between New Years and Christmas” - unknown
    Although I did not gorge myself the last few weeks,I was no nutritional saint over the holiday. That was by design ....

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  • Why Fitness Programs Fail

    Why Fitness Programs Fail
    Funny how a treadmill serves as the best metaphor for what so many people experience in their health and fitness pursuits; pushing to go forward, but really going nowhere. This reminds me of the movie “Ground Hog Day” with Bill Murray. Murray’s character wakes up every day, realizing that he is experiencing the same events, day after day, like some sort of a metaphysical treadmill. This reminds me of the common plight, repeated year after year around this time, for those seeking improved health and fitness. Research tells us that 90% of people will have given up on their fitness resolutions by this time. And research continues ....

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  • Holiday Overindulgence, Nutrition and Brain Health

    Happy New Years! I think this is a perfect time for me to share my favorite post holiday nutrition quote:
    “It’s not what you eat between Christmas and New Years, it’s what you eat between New Years and Christmas.”
    Stop feeling guilty about eating too much around the holidays. Instead, start changing your nutrition habits. No matter what “insane” workout, how many miles you walk or classes you attend, or what the infomercials tell you, you won’t be able to out-exercise a bad diet. So you will need to make some smart nutritional changes if you want results. I came across some amazing research that shows how nutrition hasa significant impact ....

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  • Top 13 Reasons You're Not Losing Fat

    Top 13 Reasons You are not Losing Fat

    ...and what to do about it.
    In our years of experience, we've found that although the holidays are one of the hardest time to lose fat and keep your health in the forefront, our clients that have made the most dramatic changes and have sustained those changes, started their journey in November. Below are some major reasons why you may have failed to meet your goals in the past, but starting to change some of these thing now can make your holiday season a lot less stressful.
    1. You aren’t even trying
    Wanting to lose weight isn’t enough. You have to do something. Anyone can start eating healthy and moving more, no mater what. Solution: ....

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  • Fat Loss Checklist

    Fat Loss Checklist
    The Holidays can be a tough time on your waistline. While the research shows that the average person reaches their peak weight around Christmas and New Year's, you can combat this by having a good strategy in place.There’s nothing like a good checklist to reduce a complex task to a series of manageable steps. So here’s my checklist to ensure fat loss
    Learn to differentiate a good meal from a bad meal, and eat accordingly.
    Do a thorough assessment: This includes body fat, a before picture, a movement screen, daily caloric needs estimation, 7 day meal plan, needs analysis, risk analysis, and goal determination.
    Perform resistance training regularly ....

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  • Cycling your training and diet: My favorite success tip

    Among the many myths and misconceptions about health and fitness, the one that surprises me the most is the myth that consistent and steady healthy lifestyle changes are best to optimize your health and fitness. Fitness folks and health professionals love this idea. This sounds perfectly reasonable. However, in talking to hundreds of people about changing their fitness, this notion of slow, steady, gradual change means boring , insufferable, unrewarding and tedious
    ! To some, it is daunting, painful, and even impossible. I see this in the eyes of the skinny guy who wants to put on 20 pounds of muscle, the obese person who needs to lose 60 pounds of fat, and the weekend warrior that ....

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  • Childhood Obesity: Treat the kids or parents?

    Most of us are aware of the severity of the childhood obesity epidemic. But I think this issue escapes the consciousness of many parents, especially those who don’t have obese children. Bear in mind, treating obesity is not a matter of targeting children who are overweight or already obese. We should widen our scope, as behaviors and attitudes about nutrition and activity are shaped in childhood, thus affecting not only the short term, but also the long term risk for obesity. But the question remains: how do we best address this issue? Should we focus on providing education and physical education to kids? Or should we focus on the parents? Or both? Although I’ve ....

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  • Can we reverse strength loss due to aging?

    In conversations with hundreds of people on the topic of aging, it seems that the consensus among those not in the fitness industry is that people inherently become weak as they age. Some recent research calls into question whether this is true. It is true that people will tend to lose approximately 5-10% of their muscle mass every decade after the age of 40, and that rate significantly increases after 65 years old. Countless studies have proven that much of this muscle and strength loss can be prevented with resistance training. This is true of all types of older adults, whether they are master athletes or previously sedentary. So How Much Strength Can Older Adults Regain?

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  • Are injuries in young athletes really preventable?

    It seems that there still exists some confusion about injuries in young athletes. Some think that injuries are due to bad luck, or just the inherent stress of sports. Others believe that poor training or a lack of conditioning is to blame, while others believe this is simply a problem for older or more elite athletes to deal with, as kids don’t have to worry about serious injuries. So what is the deal? Let’s get to the bottom of this, so we can focus on the overall objective, which is to allow kids to maximize their potential, be safe, and have a blast playing the games we all love! My clinical and training experience tells me clearly that injuries are ....

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  • Exercise as an anti-inflammatory

    The list of benefits of exercise is staggering. Reducing inflammation is yet another one you can add to the list. Inflammation is not just something that happens when you sprain your ankle. Inflammation is the response your body takes to heal any tissue in our body that is damaged; bones, skin, muscles, nerves, cartilage, organs, blood vessels. Although a normal reaction to damage, if inflammation is chronic it can be a big problem. Chronic inflammation is linked to a host of diseases. There is a well-known link between chronic inflammation and Cardiovascular disease. When blood vessels are damaged, the inflammatory process begins. There are markers in our blood that ....

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  • Are eggs related to heart disease?

    If you ask most health professionals or even the somewhat health conscious lay person about the nutrition properties of eggs, you could be certain you’d hear the following responses: “Eggs are a good source of protein, but they are high in cholesterol, so have them only once in a while or avoid them to keep your heart healthy.” Some may even go a step further, and offer the following advice: “Just eat the egg whites to get the protein, because the fat and cholesterol are in the yolk.” On principle, whenever I hear someone say some food is bad, I want to know why, who said so, and what the proof is. Let’s apply that principle here and see ....

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  • Is late night eating really bad?

    Last week after having a late dinner following my travels to NYC for another seminar tour, I was reminded of a nutrition myth that tends to create some undue anxiety for many striving to be healthier. I’ll dispel that quickly with some research. Also, I’ll briefly share some success secrets from someone who has “been there and done that”. Never eat after 7pm?
    Many people adhere to the strict “rule” – eating nothing after 7pm. It is often mentioned by experts as a key to losing weight. The reasoning goes something like this – when you eat at night, your body is in shut down mode, so all the nutrients you eat get ....

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  • Blown diets and cookouts: Stop worrying - do this instead

    Ever get stressed about sticking with a diet while going to events and cookouts? Feel guilty and want to know what to do if you blow your diet over the weekend? Let’s reduce the stress of the perceived incompatibility between eating healthy and enjoying cookouts. These are two of my favorite things and they can coexist without issue – if you do it right. Here’s a typical question I receive that illustrates the issue: “Mike- I really screwed up this weekend. I had pizza, some beer, and a hot dog at this event I went to Sunday. How do I get back on track? What should I eat at these things in the future?” This happens all of the time. There are multiple ....

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  • Cheat Meals: Friend or Foe?

    Many people who are dieting for the sake of losing fat, increasing muscle, or simply improving their health (decreasing cholesterol, inflammatory markers, etc) have debated about the merits of sticking to a rigid diet versus a flexible diet. Central to this debate is the concept of a cheat meal or even a cheat day. Some swear by using cheat meals/cheat days to be able to stick to their diets. Others feel that cheat meals derail them into a state of prolonged overeating causing them to “fall off the wagon”. We use cheat meals and variations of the concept extensively in our highly successful Body Balance Challenge . These techniques are the major reason why clients get dramatic ....

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  • Is weight training unsafe for kids?

    I’m often asked by concerned parents, grandparents or anyone who has young athletes in their life whether weight training is safe for young athletes. Especially around this time of year, as some are feeling the injuries from 9 months or more of continuous sports participation, and others are contemplating whether it is time to start training and conditioning in the summer. This is a common concern, as I’ve repeatedly heard people make claims that weight training will stunt growth, reduce flexibility, increase injuries, decrease “touch” (usually referring to skills such as shooting a basketball) and other negative claims. Some simply question whether young athletes can even ....

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  • The truth about abdominal exercises

    Many people spend inordinate amounts of time doing ab exercises, with the misguided notion that they will flatten their belly and protect their back. Training the abdominals is one of the most misunderstood component of fitness. I’ll cut to the chase and list 5 cold hard facts about the core: 1. Training the abs won’t lead to a ripped or flat midsection.
    It will do nothing to get rid of that “stubborn body fat”. These muscles are small. Small muscles have a limited capacity to oxidize (burn) fat. These muscles also don’t grow well, so they won’t become big muscles. 2. Doing several abdominal exercises makes fat loss more difficult.
    The most common reason why people ....

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  • Why getting rid of back pain is easy

    It is estimated that at any given time, about 65% of the population is experiencing back pain. 85% of the population will experience significant back pain at some point in their life. Back pain is the second most common reason that patients seek medical treatment behind the common cold. The economic consequence of low back pain total nearly 20 billion dollars a year. It might seem implausible to suggest that getting rid of back pain is easy, given the severity of this epidemic. But when you consider thatsome studies show that most episodes of low back pain will resolve in less than 4 weeks regardless of what treatment you receive, it should make more sense. Getting rid of acute low back ....

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  • Pain and Exercise: Go or no go?

    Pain is a powerful force. It is feared and respected. It is the most common reason for which we seek medical advice. Learning how to manage it, prevent it, and eliminate it is incredibly empowering. That’s why I’m excited to share some thoughts about pain and exercise. It is not uncommon to suffer pain unrelated to exercise, and wonder if exerciseor certain activities will help or irritate the cause of pain. Accordingly, I want to pass along some perspectives about managing, treating, and preventing pain as it relates to exercise. 2 Pain Disclaimers
    1. Don’t ignore it or trivialize it
    . The bravado about ignoring pain is mostly B.S. Pain is not to be ignored, it to be ....

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  • Fixing your back pain can reverse brain shrinkage!

    Perhaps the most interesting thing about low back pain I’ve come acrossis that there is much more than just the static and dynamic structures of the spineinvolved in the pain process. In fact, it seems clear that the nervous system, including the brain, are huge players in low back pain. I’m big into simple analogies – itis theway thatI learn, and it seems others do as well. So consider this analogy to grasp why knowing that the central nervous system is a big player in low back pain is so important: Let’s think of the spine and the nervous system like the lights in the room you are in. In the spine, we have bones, joints, discs, ligaments that are commonly source of pain. Exiting from ....

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  • BTN Workout

    Time is the biggest reason why people can have trouble getting workouts in during the week. This is where a "better than nothing" or BTN workout comes into play. With only 15-30 minutes needed, a BTN can be the perfect tool to keep you successful in keeping yourself fit and healthy. ....

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  • Training for PUC 2016

    Since our annual Pushups for Charity event is being held at the end of June, this would be a perfect time to start training for it. Even if you aren't participating, you can use this to help you get stronger and improve your pushup. Click the video below for a great program on how to increase the amount of pushups you can do no matter what you are training for. ....

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  • Rapid vs Slow Weight Loss: What Works Best?

    As the temperature approaches 90 degrees today here in New England, and Memorial Day is quickly approaching, it is hard not to start thinking about going to the beach, the pool, and yes putting on the bathing suit. Around this time of the year, I hear many people asking me if it’s too late to start losing weight to get “beach ready”. Most ask this expecting me to shake my head and say – “no, slow and steady is the way to go”. This leads to another question: “Is it really best to lose weight slowly?” It is always assumed that losing weight quickly leads to poor long term results, and a more gradual approach is most effective for the long term. Fortunately, research ....

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  • Eating behaviors and intellegence

    You’ve probably heard of nutrition and health professionals saying that your environment effects your eating behaviors. If you are around people who eat unhealthy, you will eat unhealthy. If you see commercials about certain foods, you will start craving those foods. You may have even heard that certain colors on food packaging or restaurant decor can influence attraction to food. Well I used to think that this was a bunch of B.S. How could intelligent, self-aware people be influence by such trivial things? Certainly, it seems a well-informed person would be less vulnerable to such influences about something as important as what and how much you put in your mouth. Some amazing ....

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  • Is the “8 glass a day” rule for water intake legit?

    Is the “8 glass a day” rule for water intake legit?

    I just returned from another great speaking tour. Prior to leaving I received a great question from a client about water intake: Question:
    “How much water should I be drinking? It seems recommended levels are always changing.”
    The typical answer given is 8 glasses a day. But this isn’t really accurate? Here is my response based on the available evidence: Answer:
    “Great question. The recommended values have changed, and there is no clear science that tells us exactly how much, only rough indicators. I’ll give you my thoughts for your consumption based on physiology and the best research, and ....

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  • 10 “Secrets” every trainer, athlete, or average Joe should know

    10 “Secrets” every trainer, athlete, or average Joe should know

    The sciatic nerve is often the source of your chronic posterior thigh pain, not your hamstrings.
    It is alarming how often people are encouraged to stretch their hamstrings in response to an insidious onset of posterior thigh and buttock pain, often coupled with a nagging low back problem. 90% of the time the problem is not the hamstrings at all, but rather the sciatic nerve. So if you have pain in the back of your leg and it wasn’t in the course of coming up lame after a sudden sprint, consider performing the following simple test before stretching your hamstrings: Sit in a slouched position, head looking down ....

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  • T.H.E. glute exercise

    The glutes are regarded as one of the most crucial muscles to develop. From aesthetics, to injury prevention, to performance, the ability to recruit and develop a strong pair of glutes is essential. In addition to a liberal use of cheesy puns about glutes, I demonstrated several exercises that I believe (and are supported by research) to be best for strengthening the glutes. However, I’m quite sure I’ve found something more effective. You won’t find any research on this, mostly because to my knowledge it has not be described or studied. We’ve been using this with our clients, and our own workouts, at Spectrum with a lot of success. Here’s why it is such a great ....

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  • Neutral Spine and Brace Technique

    Motor control is a crucial part of low back health. You could be a very fit, strong person, but if you don't know how to activate certain core muscles and find neutral spine during different activities, you are making yourself more susceptible to low back injury. Click on the video below to learn more. ....

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  • Thoracic Spine Mobilization

    When shoulder range of motion is impaired, the most common response is to address the shoulder joint. While this seems to make sense, it is not usually the best solution. Shoulder range of motion is intimately related to thoracic mobility, or the mobility of the middle of your back. Full shoulder range of motion is possible only if there is adequate thoracic extension. Accordingly, in many cases thoracic mobility is a significant contributor to a lack of shoulder range of motion. Most people have stiff thoracic spines because of poor training habits and poor posture. The best way to improve thoracic mobility is through manual mobilization at the hands of a skilled ....

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  • Death to the anti-aging movement

    Anti-aging is a weird term. It’s like anti-air, or anti-water. How can you be against it? Why do we think we can fight aging? The anti-aging logic is flawed, and preventing aging is futile. That won’t stop researchers and product developers from aggressively pursuing “anti-aging” genes or pills. Certainly the appetite for such cures will remain strong and ready to be exploited. Instead, I think it is much more productive to focus on improving the quality of life. We need to focus on adding life to years, not just years to life.
    This mindset shift leads us to proven solutions to living a better life. 90yr old Effie Nielson squats 80lbs, deadlifts ....

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  • Top 10 Nutrition Lies

    I’m sure you’ve heard of many nutrition diets, fads, and solutions. They can sound convincing, both with so much conflicting information, it can be confusing at the least. Unfortunately, many simply don’t work and are based on misinformation or outrightlies. I can’t possibly compete with the marketing budgets that can pump the airwaves and TV screens with “solutions” that scientifically appeal to your emotions that trigger a purchase. But I can reveal the truth about what works and what doesn’t. So from amidst the roars of the misinformed and deceitful shucksters, I’ll squeak out some nutrition truth that hopefully will help you and those you care about. Here is my list of the top 10 ....

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  • Women who are satified with their bodies: the 12%

    I just came across a study that revealed some sad news…it appears that only 12% of women 50 and over are happy with their body shape and size…12%!!!! Being uncomfortable everyday about how you look in your clothes, not feeling confident, happy, or proud about your health and function…that can’t be a good place to be. The study in Journal of woman and Aging earlier this year looked at 1789 females and asked them about how satisfied with their size and shaped. Given that only a paltry 12% were actually satisfied, it seems to make sense to look at the differences between those who were satisfied with how their bodies and those that were not. This fortunately reveals some good news too. ....

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  • Abs and Low back Pain

    Abs and Low Back Pain: In this video, Dr. Stare discusses why some exercises actually increase low back pain risk, and what we should do instead. ....

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  • Does alcohol really make you eat more?

    It might seem odd to see me write a blog on alcohol and weight gain, especially as a nutritionist and fitness coach. But I think it is ridiculous to not discuss the impact that alcohol might play in your plan to control or lose body fat. I know many professionals would rather suggest that you not drink alcohol, as it has no place in nutrition and only impedes weight loss. But I think if you look at the evidence, you will be empowered by the knowledge, and allow you to be more comfortable with the choices you make . The “don’t do this because it’s bad” approach doesn’t work, especially when it might not be true, or at least not well understood. When you consider that moderate ....

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  • Mid Back Muscles: Why Technique is Crucial


    We often hear about the best exercises for blasting out abs, shaping your glutes, or toning your arms. However, little attention is given to the mid-back, which is very unfortunate, seeing as these exercises can be pivotal in reducing low back, shoulder, and neck pain, not to mention physique, osteoporosis, and performance benefits. That is, if you choose the right exercises, and if they are done correctly. Our clients know that we are very particular in regards to exercise selection and technique, and recent research validates why this is so important, especially as it pertains to mid-low back exercises. McGill, et al, in a ....

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  • Hip weakness causes foot and knee pain

    Hip weakness causes foot and knee pain
    Many people are not aware that a weakness in one area can cause pain and problems somewhere else. Perhaps the most common area of weakness is the hips, and the consequences are many. Be sure to check out the video below to see an example of how hip weakness leads to a common problem, resulting in foot and knee pain, and how to correct it. For a thorough assessment of your weaknesses, and a specific plan that details exactly how to solve it, click here . ....

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  • Group exercise Classes: the good and the bad

    Group exercise classes: the good and the bad
    Group exercise classes have been quite popular for some time. There are definitely some great things about group exercise classes, some bad things, and some downright horrible things about group classes. I’m going to steer clear of bashing the horrible things about group exercise, as they are quite obvious. What might not be so apparent are the good and bad things about such classes you should consider. I won’t give you my thoughts based on just the physiological principles, but also the perspectives that hundreds of non-fitness folks share with me every day. Another often overlooked point is how you can determine ....

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  • Why Fitness Programs Fail

    Why Fitness Programs Fail

    Funny how a treadmill serves as the best metaphor for what so many people experience in their health and fitness pursuits; pushing to go forward, but really going nowhere. It was fitting that the other day was Ground Hog Day, which conjures up memories of Bill Murray in the movie named for the holiday. Murray’s character wakes up everyday, realizing that he is experiencing the same events, day after day, like some sort of a metaphysical treadmill. This reminds me of the common plight, repeated year after year around this time, for those seeking improved health and fitness. Research tells us that 90% of people will have given up on their fitness ....

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  • The Effects of Weight Loss on your Relationship

    The Effects Of Weight Loss on your Relationship In my early years of guiding people through the fat loss journey, I naively focused on simply the individual in front of me, as an isolated system so to speak. If I prescribed the right stimulus to affect the individual I was working with, success would be guaranteed. Although I enjoyed much success with this approach, I certainly had a few failures. As I’ve begun to learn to not only focus on the individual, but to also include the social network and environment intimately connected to the individual, I have witnessed an even greater success rate. Today’s blog presents research supporting an example of utilizing this ....

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  • The Proven Power Of The Food Log And Why People Are Afraid Of It

    The Proven Power Of The Food Log And Why People Are Afraid Of It
    When folks come to us with various fitness goals, the most common is fat loss, nutrition is an obvious issue to investigate. That investigation is best initiated with reviewing a food log. The reasons why are many. Some more obvious, some less obvious: Top Reasons Why You Need to Do a Food Log
    1. It works. A study by Hollis, et al (American Journal of Preventive Medicine Aug 2008) showed that those who kept a food log lost twice as much weight as those who did not. Another study by McTeirnan, et al (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics July 2013) showed that women who kept a food log lost 6 ....

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  • This Guy CARES - Do you?

    Ever wonder why you agree to do something that makes perfect sense and is immensely beneficial, but fail to follow through? This happens all the time – in finance, fitness, business, school, getting stuff around the house, etc. This phenomenon has been studied extensively, especially as it relates to behavior and economics. Agreeing to do something that is logical and beneficial today, yet failing to act accordingly tomorrow has been termed “dynamic Inconsistency”(Laibson 1997). For example, if a group of people are educated about the benefits of investing only say $10 a week yielding thousands in returns in the future, most everyone would agree that this makes ....

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  • Exercise Technique Disasters Part 5

    Technique Disasters Part 5: External Rotation and Planks Early this winter and last fall I began the technique disasters series. Several people have let me know how helpful it has been for them. After a brief hiatus I finally got around to the last installment of technique disasters. For part 5, we’ll focus on shoulder external rotation rotator cuff exercises and the very popular front plank exercise. Like the exercises featured in the earlier series, there are many common mistakes that will be exposed, along with the suggestions for how to improve them. Before we go on, if you want to check out the earlier installments of technique disasters, click here . Part one in ....

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  • Exercise Technique Disasters Part 4

    Exercise Technique Disasters Part 4
    I’ve received some great feedback from the Technique Disasters series, so I thought I’d squeeze out another edition before I head out to Florida today for another speaking tour. Fitting, as I will undoubtedly encounter more technique disasters first hand as I get in some “guest” workouts in Fort Meyers, Tampa, and Orlando. In case you’ve missed the past editions, you can check them out by clicking below. These are some really meaty posts, with in depth descriptions, pictures, and even videos: Technique disasters Part 1: Lat Pulls and Rows Technique disasters Part 2: Squats and Push-ups Technique ....

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  • Exercise Technique Disasters Part 3

    Exercise Technique Disasters: Part 3
    The gluteal muscles get much attention for their impact on aesthetics, yet their impact on your function and pain is huge. If you want to reduce knee pain with squatting or stairs, be able to lift and carry things with less back pain, or improve your speed and performance, improving your ability to use you glutes will have the biggest impact. And many of the exercises that work your glutes happen to be the ones that will also have a huge impact on fat loss and conditioning due to the high calorie expenditure with the exercises. Accordingly, these exercises are some of the most rewarding ones you can do, young or ....

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  • Exercise Technique Disasters Part 2

    Exercise Technique Disasters: Part 2
    Last week I focused on why exercise technique is so important, highlighting the biggest problems with poor technique. We then kicked off the series addressing lat pull down and row disasters, which are quite common. To check out the first article in the series, click here
    . Today, let’s focus on the pushup and squat: two exercises that are usually feared because of their difficulty and high injury potential, or abused with reckless abandon, leaving nothing but lack luster results and injuries in their wake. Keep in mind that there are rarely any bad exercises, just bad execution.
    Push Ups

    So let’s start with ....

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  • Top Exercise Technique Disasters

    Top Exercise Technique Disasters
    Whether I’m working out at the commercial gym I belong to or at gyms across the country that I visit when I’m on a speaking tour, I am startled by the horrible exercise routinely displayed. More astonishing is when it is under the “watchful” eye of a paid trainer! Ugh! Before I get into the top most butchered exercises, I want to briefly share with you the reasons why poor exercise technique is so problematic: Why bad exercise technique is such a big deal: There are a few less appreciated yet important reasons why bad exercise technique is such a problem. 1. Engraining bad motor programs
    Most people ....

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  • The 2 Biggest Exercise Mistakes

    The 2 Biggest Exercise Mistakes

    My job can be boiled down to accomplishing 2 basic things: 1. Get people who don’t exercise to exercise, and 2. Get people who do exercise to achieve optimal results. My team and I specialize on the most difficult cases. In the past I addressed the big reasons why people don’t exercise. Today, I’ll address a bigger concern… The 2 biggest mistakes people who are exercising make.

    1. They are doing the wrong program for them.

    The types of exercises, the frequency,and the dosage (sets, reps, intensity, etc) are just not suited for their body and needs. There are several reasons ....

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  • Sleep, alternate sets for fat loss: some research findings

    Sleep, alternate sets for fat loss: some research findings The more experiences I accumulate in the fitness industry, the more I’m aware of the rampant confusion about fat loss. Many conflicting opinions are out there but few are credible, however. Accordingly, it would be refreshing to see some evidence about what really works for fat loss, without the hype. That’s where quality research can help. Here are some recent research studies I’ve found that describe specific strategies for fat loss. Not surprisingly, what you see below are suggestions and strategies we provide that help our clients experience dramatic fat loss. Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary ....

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  • Holiday Weight Gain Myths and Controversial Turkey Day Tips

    Holiday Weight Gain Myth and Controversial Turkey Day Tips I hope this finds you well a midst the excitement, and perhaps the chaos of preparing for Thanksgiving! As I head out for our annual Turkey Bowl football game on Stare Field (these neighborhood kids are getting huge!) I thought I would share a few tips that might make your holiday more enjoyable and even healthy. These tips might seem a bit controversial, but they work! But let’s start by dispelling a major myth about holiday weight gain. 7-10 pounds gained during the holidays?
    You have probably heard this figure touted in the media as the average weight gained during the holidays. However, research shows ....

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  • The Science Behind Rapid Fat Loss

    The Science Behind Rapid Fat Loss If you have any interest in losing fat, this is likely to be the most important thing you read on the topic. You’ve been told that rapid fat loss is ineffective for the long term. I was told that as well. But as a clinician…I care about helping my clients, and the science and the evidence I see in the real world. So I’m not going to give you my opinion – not just yet. I’m just going to give you the facts succinctly. Years ago I searched for evidence regarding the benefits of slow vs rapid fat loss. I found two interesting conclusions: those who lost fat rapidly either did just as well or often did better than those who lost fat ....

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  • Protein shakes for fat loss?

    Protein shakes for fat loss? There seems to be some controversy regarding the role of protein shakes in a healthy diet, especially when it comes to fat loss. Most accept that protein isn’t just for skinny football players trying to bulk up. However, does consuming extra protein via a shake really help for fat loss? What type is best? Can’t we just get protein from whole foods? These are the issues I’ll address with today’s blog.
    Do Protein Shakes Help For Fat Loss?
    Most studies agree that high protein diets do increase fat loss, maintain muscle mass, and prevent regaining weight long term after initial weight loss. In studies comparing high protein versus low protein diets with ....

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  • Life is Short....Live a Little?

    Here’s the truth.... life isn’t short. If we are talking about 1893, yup, life was quite short. The average life expectancy was under 48-years-old. But it’s 2015. Odds are that you are going to live to your late 70s, and if you are relatively educated and affluent, add another decade to that. Having spent a significant part of my life working with older adults, I can tell you that exactly 0 times has an older adult told me that they did not regret taking better care of themselves when they were younger. Rates of morbidity, defined as the inability to do normal age appropriate functions, have actually increased in the US in the last couple of ....

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  • Is Food Addictive?

    Is Food Addictive? We have all heard people, often in jest, saying they are addicted to food. Many will profess that they are “chocoholics”, or “sugar addicts”. So is this true? Is there evidence that our brains really respond to food in similar ways that they respond to other addictive drugs and substances? The answer to this has huge implications. A new study gives us some answers: Neural Correlates of Food Addiction
    Ashley N. Gearhardt, MS, MPhil; Sonja Yokum, PhD; Patrick T. Orr, MS, MPhil; Eric Stice, PhD; William R. Corbin, PhD; Kelly D. Brownell, PhD . Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online April 4, 2011 Researches explored the responses of ....

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  • 4 Questions To Diagnose A Motivation Problem

    Many folks claim they aren’t motivated to exercise or eat right. There are many cases where this is true. But we must truly understand what motivation is in order to fix it. In contrast, there are many cases where people are falsely claiming a lack of motivation as the main issue. I want to help you distinguish whether or not motivation is the biggest problem. Knowing this will help you focus on the right game plan to get results. Let’s start by asking yourself the 4 most important questions to diagnose a motivation problem.
    Do You Believe You Can?
    Many folks do not believe they are capable of doing what it takes to exercise. They believe they lack the ability because ....

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  • Why Your Joints Crack - Is It Bad

    The sounds of a popping, cracking, clunking or grinding joint can be a powerful force. For some, it may signal potential doom, fearing they just broke something or that they put a joint “out of alignment”. For others, it is a welcome sign of relief, signaling that they “put their joint back in place”. Most of us simply want to know ‘what the heck was that, and is it bad? This is important because the fear and uncertainty these sounds evoke will often keep people from exercising. Others will seek dangerous or ineffective methods to provoke the “crack” in search of a false hope for solving what ails them. Hopefully what follows will clear up any confusion and give you the confidence to ....

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  • Cracking the Commitment Code

    Succeeding with fitness goals comes down to 2 basic things: consistently exercising/eating well and doing the proper exercise program correctly. As simple as this sounds, it seems like people have been baffled about how to solve these issues. I’m proud to say that feel quite sure we’ve “cracked the commitment code” at Spectrum. There are many people that exercise, but fail to get results because they aren’t doing the proper program, performing their program properly, or both. These people that are simply misinformed because of bogus fads and solutions spewed all over. With some knowledge and guidance, they learn a proper program best suited to their needs and how to perform it properly ....

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  • The 2 Biggest Exercise Mistakes

    My job can be boiled down to accomplishing 2 basic things:
    1. get people who don’t exercise to exercise, and 2. get people who do exercise to achieve optimal results. My team and I specialize on the most difficult cases. In the past I addressed the big reasons why people don’t exercise. Today, I’ll address a bigger concern… The 2 Biggest Mistakes People Who Are Exercising Make.

    1. They are doing the wrong program for them.
    The types of exercises, the frequency, and the dosage (sets, reps, intensity, etc) are just not suited for their body and needs. There are several reasons why folks are doing the wrong program:
    They are copying someone else’s program.
    The girl at the gym might ....

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  • Calories In vs Calories Out

    It may be tempting to rationalize eating more than usual because of all the calories you are burning with exercise or activity. As we are digging out of snow storm after snow storm here in the northeast, I hear this quite a bit.
    Can We Afford To Eat More If We Are Being More Active?
    In theory, yes, but in the real world this rarely works how we would expect. Most people have the fat loss formula backwards. They first focus on intense exercise to burn excess fuel. As I explain below, this is backwards. Those who have always been lean and are very athletic tend to be the ones who can seem eat without restriction and stay lean. Most others can’t. Shoveling tons of snow, skiing, and ....

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  • Spectrum Client of the Year - Carol Doucette

    There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t draw some inspiration from our clients at Spectrum Fitness Consulting. That inspiration fuels me, and because of what Spectrum is today, I clearly have a constant supply of inspiration. It doesn’t make sense to hold back such a resource for those beyond the walls of our studio. Also, those who are making big changes in their health, in spite of obstacles, should be acknowledged. If you are like me and most everyone I know, you probably don’t take much time to reflect on what you accomplished, how you got there, and simply acknowledge that you did some good. That’s why I decided to begin a new tradition at Spectrum Fitness Consulting, and used ....

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  • The Fat Truth

    Several years ago I became aware of some convincing research showing a surprising lack of correlation between fat intake and risk of heart disease or stroke. This defies the commonly held notion that “fat is evil” mantra drilled into our heads by various health experts. While it can be easy to dismiss research on accounts of flawed design, low statistical power, or limited relation to a specific population, that could not be said about the studies I wrote about a few years ago. These were meta-analysis, deemed to be the most robust of studies, as they increase the power by combining the results of multiple smaller studies into one large study. Now, there is yet another meta-analysis that ....

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  • Pushups - The King of All Exercises

    When it comes to the best exercises, I think one stands above the rest as the king of all exercises:
    The Pushup
    Unfortunately, many don’t do pushups because they are too hard, and some don’t do them because they are too easy. Several struggle to do them with proper technique. I’m going to address all of these issues today. First, let me explain why I think Pushups are the best exercise. There are many reasons which I get into on my blog, but consider the following most important ones: 1. You can help veterans. By doing pushups or supporting someone who participates in Pushup For Charity, you can help those who served our country get the support they need as they return from serving our ....

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  • A Weird Quick Fix For Muscle Cramps - Q and A

    I received from my uncle about my younger cousin who was experiencing muscle cramps as she was preparing for her state track meets. I’ve come across this issue with dozens of folks from all walks of life, and few things consistently work. Although runners seem to be more prone, many non-runners get muscle cramps quite a bit as well. This could be a very simple solution for those suffering from muscle cramps. Here’s the exchange, minus the familiar pleasantries: Q:
    I am reaching out to you for some professional help (your Aunt tells me I need a lot of professional help all of the time). It is getting to be that time of year in track season that your cousin will be running her ....

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  • The Fat Gene - Myth or Fact

    Many wonder if being fat is a product of your genes, and if so, is there anything to do about it? Are those with obesity genes doomed to struggle with excess fat and fighting an uphill battle? The factors surrounding environment versus genetics – the “nature versus nurture issue” – are always complex. Whether we are talking about intelligence, athleticism, artistic abilities, violent tendencies, or fat loss – it is a fascinating issue. In fact, the field of epigenetics (how our current lifestyle or environment may actually cause changes in our genes that we can pass on to our children) is challenging what we were taught about Darwinian genetics. This will have massive implications on ....

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  • 10 Secrets Every Trainer or Athlete or Average Joe Should Know

    The Sciatic Nerve Is Often The Source Of Your Chronic Posterior Thigh Pain, Not Your Hamstrings.
    It is alarming how often people are encouraged to stretch their hamstrings in response to an insidious onset of posterior thigh and buttock pain, often coupled with a nagging low back problem. 90% of the time the problem is not the hamstrings at all, but rather the sciatic nerve. So if you have pain in the back of your leg and it wasn’t in the course of coming up lame after a sudden sprint, consider performing the following simple test before stretching your hamstrings: Sit in a slouched position, head looking down to your lap. If this is pain-free, proceed to the next step. Dorsiflex the ankle ....

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  • Do Diets Work - The 7 Crucial Factors For Diet Success

    You will hear people say that diets don’t work.
    If the intent is simply to lose weight, and the diet involves taking in less calories that you spend, then yes, diets do in fact work.

    But there is a big problem with this. Most people aren’t really interested in weight loss, even if they say they are (mostly because that’s what we are all told we need to do). The reality is we want more, or at least we should. In talking with hundreds of clients over the years most people want to reduce their risk of suffering from disease, feel proud and confident in their appearance, have more energy to do what they want to do…once and for all, not for a few weeks here and there. We may think ....

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  • The Proven Power of the Food Log and Why People are Afraid of it

    When folks come to us with various fitness goals, the most common is fat loss, nutrition is an obvious issue to investigate. That investigation is best initiated with reviewing a food log. The reasons why are many, some more obvious, some less obvious:
    Top Reasons Why You Need to Do a Food Log
    1. It works.
    A study by Hollis, et al (American Journal of Preventive Medicine Aug 2008) showed that those who kept a food log lost twice as much weight as those who did not. Another study by McTeirnan, et al (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics July 2013) showed that women who kept a food log lost 6 more pounds that those who did not. Our experience in the studio shows the same. ....

    Read more
  • Taking a Break From Your Workouts - Will You Lose or Gain

    During times like the holidays, taking a break from working out is common. Sometimes its a planned thing because of a vacation. Other times, it just happens because commitments and entertaining family gets in the way of your gym plan. What effects does taking this time off really have on your progress? Is there evidence that you will lose muscle, strength, endurance, or regain body fat? I’ll review some evidence, as well as my observations from training hundreds dealing with these circumstances.

    How fast did you lose your progress?
    When you take time off, as a general rule you will likely lose these qualities in the following order: high intensity aerobic conditioning, aerobic ....

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  • Why Choose Spectrum

    OUR PURPOSE at Spectrum Fitness Consulting is to make you feel better, look better, and perform to your optimal potential so you can live the life you want. When I speak nationally, locally, or to people in the clinic and gym, I consistently hear about common health and fitness obstacles:
    Injuries, pain, and disease
    Not knowing what to do because of the myths, misinformation, and conflicting information
    Time! Hectic lives and chaotic schedules
    Motivation, a lack of direction, support and accountability. At Spectrum Fitness Consulting, we understand these limitations, and have a proven system for addressing these issues to give you the results you want. Our ....

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  • Resources

    Orthopaedics Plus Physical Therapy
    This clinic is home of some of the best physical therapists and people you’ll ever meet. Most are doctorate, residency, and fellowship trained, with advanced skills in manual therapy. OP is affiliated with the IOMT fellowship program, regarded as one of the top fellowship programs in the world. The Beverly clinic is adjacent to our training studio, and many of our clients were former patients their . Rob Herron and Mike Stare treat patients in the Beverly clinic in addition to their roles at Spectrum Fitness Consulting.
    Counseling of the Northshore
    Deana Bacon is a very successful psychotherapist and the owner ....

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  • Positioning Statement and Brand Promise

    Company Positioning Statement
    Spectrum Fitness Consulting has been awarded Beverly’s Small business of the Year for providing comprehensive, results guaranteed fitness and nutrition services through expert assessments, coaching, and accountability in a supportive environment that you will love. ?Unlike gyms and other studios lacking credible professionals, our services are designed and provided by Doctorate trained Physical Therapists, board certified nutritionists, and expert fitness professionals you can trust.
    Company brand promise:
    The smartest, most efficient way to achieve the body transformation results you want in a supportive environment with expert professionals you can trust. ....

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  • Free Reports


    Learn TheSecrets To Their Success

    The Real Cause Of Low Back Pain...
    And How To Eliminate It For Good!
    I reveal the causes of back pain and the solutions that I teach to both patients and clinicians from across the nation to eliminate and prevent back pain.
    The Truth About Fat Loss

    Finally, solutions based in science, proven in the real world to burn fat. ....

    Read more
  • Videos

    1. Abdominal Training and Low Back Pain: Preventing or Causing Low Back Pain?
    Dr. Stare discusses why some exercises actually increase low back pain risk, and what we should do instead.
    2. Weak Hip Cause Knee and Foot Pain
    Dr. Stare demonstrates how weak hips often result in poor technique with lunges, resulting in compensatory increased weight distribution upon the contralateral knee and foot, causing pain.
    3. The Physiology of Fat Loss
    Dr. Stare reveals a brief account of the physiology of fat loss that few appreciate in making fat loss successful. ....

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  • holiday overindulgence, nutrition and brain health

    Happy New Years! I think this is a perfect time for me to share my favorite post holiday nutrition quote:
    "It's not what you eat between Christmas and New Years, it's what you eat between New Years and Christmas."
    Stop feeling guilty about eating too much around the holidays. Instead, start changing your nutrition habits. No matter what "insane" workout, how many miles you walk or classes you attend, or what the infomercials tell you, you won't be able to out-exercise a bad diet. So you will need to make some smart nutritional changes if you want results. I came across some amazing research that shows how nutrition hasa significant impact on brain function. This will certainly serve as ....

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  • Personal Training in Beverly - Spectrum Fitness Consulting - Egg Phobia Running Rampant

    Egg Phobia Running Rampant

    The following will be very good news to many who feel bad about enjoying the “guilty pleasure” of indulging in a (gasp) EGG! FEAR THE EGG!

    Ovophobia - yes, it's a real thing.
    We all have been taught at some point in our life to fear the egg, for it possess cholesterol and fat, and thus leads to an increased of risk of heart disease. The common perception among registered dieticians and medical practitioners is that eggs are to be avoided, fearing that it will increase your cholesterol. Yet there has been little research to support the notion that consuming eggs actually has any negative side effects. Some scientists and nutrition experts believe, with good ....

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