Precision Nutritional Technology Combined with High Performance Exercise Physiology
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Somatopause

Healthy Aging in the human adult is associated with a decline in physical function (strength, flexibility, cardiopulmonary endurance) including neurological (reflexes, balance, coordination, sensory memory, and cognition), body composition (loss of lean body mass, increased body fat), reproductive (sexual performance, libido, etc.), and immune function (increased susceptibility to illnesses from auto immune disorders, viral and bacterial infections, and the increased incidence of cancer).

This decline is believed to be partially related to changes in the body’s homeostatic mechanisms for neuroendocrine function (hormonal balance), along with environmental factors such as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. Stimulation of cellular metabolic functions through careful and appropriate hormone replacement has shown that it is possible to reverse some of these effects of the decline in aging.

However, it is important to emphasize that optimum results cannot be achieved by hormone therapy alone. It is essential to incorporate a regular routine of physical exercise and a balanced nutritional regimen, as well as other appropriate lifestyle modifications. In regard to the above, there has been a great deal of misinformation absorbed and fervently practiced by the public through its exposure to pseudoscientific and otherwise misguided self-help books, infomercials, promotional literature from unprincipled opportunists, and ethically-challenged health-field entrepreneurs.

This is to say that whatever you may believe is the correct way to conduct your body, both physically and nutritionally, is probably wrong. Also, you may be doing more harm to yourself by following these false ideas than if you just did nothing at all! Certainly, you will find that among the longest living individuals that have been interviewed, none of them did anything at all that was particularly different or special from anyone else of their generation. Clearly, their longevity was due to some obscure genetic influence, or perhaps, dare I say, simply to chance.

You would not be reading this if you were content to leave your future health and hopes for longevity to chance. So, let me tell you that there have been great advances, in high performance exercise training and there are precisional nutritional techniques which you can learn to use to increase the likelihood of obtaining the maximum benefit in managing your aging process. These proven methods are made available to you, and are individually supervised and reinforced by Dr. Lee-Benner while you are on the Lee-Benner Method. You won’t get any better than you are now without them. So, why wait any longer to get started?

Here Are Some of The Expected Results From The Lee-Benner Method:

        •   Individualized meal plan to attain and maintain a healthy weight.
        •   Lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of, and even prevent, various diseases including cancer and heart diseases, reverse diabetes and heart disease
        •   Speed healing, restore bone loss and rid cellulite
        •   Add quality to your life
        •   Lose fat, Gain muscles, Improve body tone
        •   Gain strength, Restore youthful physique, Improve energy & stamina, as well as peace of mind
        •   Look and Feel Younger by 10 to 20 years or even more

Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and function, is an important consequence of aging.  The prevalence of sarcopenia, depending on the definition used, varies from 10% to 30% in men over the age of 60, and women over the age of 30. The principle component of the decrease in fat-free mass is in the loss of muscle mass; there is little change in non-muscle lean mass.

Between 20 and 80 years of age, the cumulative decline in skeletal muscle mass amounts to 35%-40%. The depletion of muscle mass does not result in weight loss because of the corresponding accumulation of body fat.

The loss of muscle mass results from a decrease in the number as well as a cross-sectional area of muscle fibers. There is a preferential atrophy of fast twitch, type II fibers. There is an increase in intramuscular fat and connective tissue. These changes reduce the contractile tissue volume available for locomotion and metabolic functions. Aging is associated with decreased synthesis of skeletal muscle proteins, and attenuated myosin heavy chain and actin synthesis rates, which are important also for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation of high-energy phosphate bonds for mechanical energy.

The loss of muscle mass that occurs with aging is associated with a reduction in muscle strength and power between 50 and 70 years of age, due primarily to muscle fiber loss and selective atrophy of type II fibers. Loss of muscle strength is even greater after the age of 70; 28% of men over the age of 74 can not lift objects weighing more than ten pounds over their heads. With increasing age, there is a progressive reduction in muscle power, the speed of strength generation, and fatigability: the ability to persist in a task.

Loss of muscle mass and strength leads to impairment of physical function, as indicated by the impaired ability to arise from a chair, climb stairs, generate gait speed, and maintain balance. The impairment of physical function contributes to loss of independence, depression, dependency, and increased risk of falls and fracture in the elderly.

For further details on sarcopenia go to:
Newsletter No. 14 -- Sarcopenia -- The Loss of Muscle Mass and Function 
Newsletter No. 40 -- Sarcopenia-The Role of Mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) Deletion Mutation
Newsletter No. 41 -- Myoplex® Effectiveness For Sarcopenia of Aging

The Best Way To Burn Fat, Period.

For the last few years, we’ve been telling you that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a much more efficient and effective way to burn body fat than prolonged bouts of low-intensity aerobics. Yet, despite the fact (and it is a scientific fact) that "slow-go" cardio just can’t keep pace with its high-intensity counterpart when it comes to burning fat, we still get letters from more than a few "fitness experts" who wish to debate the issue. To support their theory that "slow-go" cardio is the way to go for optimal fat-burning, they point to studies such as one published in a 1996 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology. On the surface, this study seems to suggest that low-intensity, long duration aerobic exercise burns more fat than HIIT.

You see, most of the benefit (i.e., fat loss) derived from high-intensity interval training-such as maintaining your target heart rate in the 70 to 80% range of maximum intensity for your age, comes in the hours following exercise, not during the 20 minutes of exercise itself. Research presented in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows that when you work out using high-intensity intervals, the total amount of calories your body burns during the hour after your workout is elevated to 107% more than with low-intensity, short-duration exercise, and 142% more than with low-intensity, long-duration exercise. That’s because interval exercise peaking at levels above a 70% maximum-intensity effort speeds up your metabolism (the rates at which your body burns calories) for up to three hours after exercise, a benefit not found with low-intensity exercise.

Another recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition further illustrates the potent effects of this post-exercise "burn." Researchers measured the effects of low-and-high-intensity aerobic exercise on fat burning during exercise and the three hours following it. The researchers found that although fat oxidation was slightly greater in the low-intensity exercise group during the time spent exercising, total fat loss was appreciably greater among those in the high-intensity-exercise group at the end of the three-hour-recovery period. According to the study’s authors, "these data indicate that the recovery period should also be considered when determining the impact of different exercise intensities on fat utilization."

Do Away with Fat-Fighting Falsehood

There is a lot of false information being given by faddists about how to lose fat just on the midsection, or how to lose cellulite, or firm up in a certain area. The myth is that if you exercise those areas more, you’re going to lose fat in that area. That is not the way it works.

People need to exercise their entire body in order to stimulate the fat burning process. Women can get rid of the cellulite and men can get rid of their beer belly and love handles, but it doesn’t happen by training only those particular areas. It comes from following a complete program…an integrated, balanced approach…that brings the body back to where it is supposed to be.

Weight Lifting Reduces Blood Pressure

We now know that aerobic exercise and resistance training work hand-in-hand to prevent, reduce, or even eliminate heart disease by preventing or controlling diabetes (a major risk factor for heart disease), high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Both forms of exercise also strengthen the heart muscle, making it work much more efficiently.

It’s been long known that aerobic exercise does a great job at lowering systolic blood pressure (the top number) and help reduce diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). Now, more recent research suggests that a regular program of resistance exercise may actually lower a person’s blood pressure at rest as well. Earlier this year, Dr. George A. Kelly, a researcher in the department of kinesiology and physical education at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, conducted a meta-analysis of 11 studies that were published last March in the journal Hypertension. He found that people who participated in a program of regular weight training experienced about a three-point reduction in both their resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure. While these reductions may seem small, decreases of as little as two points have been shown to reduce mortality from stroke and coronary heart disease.

Now, doctors are encouraging their patients with healthy hearts (no matter what their age or gender) and those with unhealthy hearts to use resistance training and aerobic training as part of their heart-disease prevention and/or treatment program.

Once again, there’s reason to keep on lifting weights not only for the fun of it, but also for the health of it.

Energy Is Everything

"Metabolism" is the energy we expend to maintain all physical and chemical changes in our body. Our "metabolic rate" reflects how rapidly we use energy stores. This rate is influenced by many factors, including genetics, gender, natural hormonal activity, body composition, our size and age.

Now certain factors, like age, we can’t control. But really, age has a minimal effect on our metabolic rate. I have calculated the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) of a 20-year-old male weighting 154 lbs. and compared that to a 60-year-old male weighting the same, using age-adjusted formulas. The 20-year-old’s resting energy expenditure is 1,750 calories per day, and the 60-year-old’s is 1,691 calories per day-only 59 fewer calories!

But the good news is that we CAN control may other factors, including our body composition. The more lean body mass (muscle) we have, the greater the number of calories we will burn throughout the day. We can improve our body composition through exercise (both resistance training and aerobic exercise), which can dramatically increase our daily energy expenditure and burn off excess energy stores (fat). This happens while we are exercising and, if the exercise is intense, as the day goes on we continue to burn extra calories. Also, many cutting-edge supplements, such as the exclusive Lee-Benner Institute’s proprietary "Leptin Analogues", an oral supplement [Click Here for an Article on Leptin Analogues], and prescription drugs to treat insulin resistance have been shown to be "fat burners" and calorie consumers. Physician’s supervision is required to monitor the dosage of the above supplements and prescription drugs.

We can also control our nutrition, or the ratio of protein, carbs, and fats in our diet. You see, it takes energy (calories) for our bodies to metabolize the foods we eat, and it takes a lot more energy to metabolize protein than fats, sugar and carbohydrates.

In a recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology, people who exercised and ate a high-protein diet (a little more than one gram per pound of bodyweight per day) burned more fat than people who ate a protein diet near equal to the RDA. The researchers said this was partly due to the increased "thermic" effect, or the increase in metabolism after eating. In the high-protein group, the thermic effect was elevated 42% after eating, compared to only 16% in the lower protein group. Since this so-called thermic or calorigenic effect of food reaches its maximum one hour after a meal, eating six meals a day takes advantage of the increased metabolic rate that accompanies eating.

So, we can raise our metabolic rate and become "fat-burning machines." It’s possible through exercise, supplements, muscle mass, and frequent small meals.

Exercise Can Be a Potent Antidepressant

According to a study released in 2002 by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center, exercise can be beneficial in helping to eliminate symptoms of depression.

In this study, 156 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) were assigned to three groups: exercise, medication, or a combination of medication and exercise. Results showed that after 16 weeks, all groups show similar-and significant-improvement in measurements of their depression, including the group that exercised without the benefit of prescribed medication.

"One of the conclusions we can draw from this is that exercise may be just as effective as medication and may be a better alternative for certain patients, "says psychologist and study leader Dr. James Bluementhal. "These findings could change the way some depressed patients are treated, especially those who are not interested in taking antidepressants. Although these medications have been proven to be effective, many people want to avoid the side effects or are looking for more "natural" way of feeling better."

While the researchers don’t yet know precisely why exercise confers such a benefit, Dr. Blumenthal suggests that intense workouts may be beneficial because patients are actually taking an active role in trying to get better.


What Do I Need to Know to Start Weight Training?

Weight training works on the principle that if you gradually overload your muscles, they will adapt to the loading and get stronger. You can do this through weight machines, free weights and your own body weight (push-ups and chin-ups). But don't try to overload your muscles too soon. Set up a gradual program that meets your needs. Schedule two or three workouts a week with at least three days off in between to allow your muscles to recover. (They actually get stronger when recovering, not during your workouts.) You can exercise your upper body one day and your legs the next. Here are some more tips:

Warm up with some cardio exercises (walking, cycling) until you break a sweat. And start  with a light set.

Never hold your breath. Lift the weights slowly and smoothly, and exhale during the difficult part of exercise.

Using good form. Injuries often occur when you try to lift too much weight. Focus on using proper form. Increase the weight  when you can do 12 to 15 reps easily and smoothly.

 
Working up to Bigger, Stronger Muscles


Is it possible to increase muscle mass by doing more repetitions with lighter weights, or do you need to be lifting heavier weights?

It depends on your intensity level. You can increase your strength with heavier weights, but let’s say you’re capable of squatting 225 pounds for ten repetitions and that, physically, you can do no more.

If you reduce the weight to 125 pounds, but increase the reps to 20 – and then complete another rep on top of that – you’ll have stimulated your body to respond with increases in strength and muscle mass.

Providing you have proper rest and nutrition, you muscles will be stronger and bigger next time you train.

Of course, there are genetic limits of this, but the general rule applies to everyone.

So the answer is less about the number of reps but how much effort you put into your set.

Basic rules to follow are:

  • Maintain proper form
  • Gradually increase the weight or reps
  • Do most sets to – or almost to – muscular failure; in other words, until you simply can do no more.

Also, keep in mind that the upper body generally responds well to 10-12 reps; the lower body responds to 10 to 20 reps.

Training Intensity High Point is the Key to Successful Transformation

If your are dissatisfied with your progress, you are most likely not achieving "true intensity high points" during your training. What is a ‘true intensity high point? It is pushing yourself hard enough to cause your body to adapt to the physical stress of training by growing stronger. And that means you must reach momentary muscular failure.

Intensity Defined

If this is your first attempt at fitness training, then the whole concept of intensity may seen a little mystical. Intensity may be defined as "a measure of how much force or energy is put forth during a task." Here are two additional definitions of maximum intensity in training:

  • Maximum physical effort or 100% momentary exertion
  • Temporary exhaustion/ failure of a muscle or a group of muscles

One great thing about maximum intensity is that it is the same for everyone. No matter what your condition. When you cannot do one more rep, you have reached it. It doesn’t matter whether you can lift 4lbs or 400lbs, when your muscle fails, you have achieved maximum intensity and a "true high point.’ The better you become at hitting those intensity peaks, the better your results.

The key to success is the intensity high point! If you train for 45 minutes, how much of that time will be spent at maximum intensity? Probably less than a minute. That’s right…less than a minute! That minute is comprised of intensity high points; the last few reps of the final set for each body part. That is why you are in the weight room in the first place. That crucial minute makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary, between small changes and dramatic transformations.

Mental Imaging Builds Inner Strength

Maximum intensity is built on inner strength. To consistently call on that energy source in order to break out of your comfort zone, you need to be inspired. Powerful mental imagery helps to inspire you. That vision carries you to peaks that mountain goats avoid! Have I got more inner strength than you? I doubt it. Everyone has vast inner strength that will only reveal itself when the stakes are high.

Where do you find the inspiration to consistently tap into this well of inner strength? You must identify what inspires you the most. Your spouse? Your children? Accomplishment? What would you be willing to endure to add an extra few years (vital, youthful years) to your life. What about ten years? You need to identify your reasons for working out in the first place, and use those reasons as a source of inspiration. The more inspired you are, the more focused and intense your efforts will be.

Quality vs. Quantity

The whole program resolves around this key point: "for each workout, I am going to ask you to perform only a few bursts of maximally intense exercise. These sets will be challenging. Each week I will ask you to raise the bar another notch and to push yourself to a higher point. I’m not asking you for your "best effort." I want more than that. I believe your perception of what your best effort is may be a self-imposed limitation. I believe you are capable of much more than you realize, and now is the time to shatter those false barriers and discover your true potential.

Working with a Partner

So how do you discover your true intensity threshold? It helps to have a partner or coach who is unwilling to accept your "best effort." The positive pressure of having someone encourages you to dig deep inside yourself for something extra is empowering! Tell your partner before you reach your High Point, that when it appears you can do no more, you want him or her to help you get three more reps with perfect form.

The Right Kind of Pain

Don’t confuse discomfort with pain. Pain signals injury, and it usually continues to hurt even after you complete your exercise. By contrast, a true level 10 High Point is marked by a burning sensation in the muscles that is extremely uncomfortable, but that subsides when the exercise is completed. That burning sensation represents either an impediment or an opportunity, and your response to it determines which one it becomes. In fact, as you become more in tune with your body, that miserable burning sensation actually becomes your primary objective, your reason for training. You come to realize that if you are not pushing hard enough to make your muscles scream in agony, you are not pushing hard enough to get dramatic results. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it!

If you don’t push yourself through the physical burning and mental anguish, you waste an incredible opportunity to grow physically, mentally and even spiritually. Those final reps are the ones that count! Everything you do up to that point is really just a well-structured warm-up to prepare your body for the true test. And if you don’t give every last ounce to achieve maximum intensity, then you will have to wait another four or five days for the opportunity to reshape your body and mind into more powerful tools.

Why wait? Waiting is procrastinating. Stop wasting time letting your potential slowly leak down the drain. Take action now. Resolve now to start with your next workout.

Experiencing Intensity High Points Transforms Your Life

Before you know it, you will begin to experience intensity’s impact on other areas of your life. The mental fortitude gained from consistently exceeding your perceived limits is what makes transformation so life-altering. This discomfort felt from exerting maximum effort is only momentary. Your new physique and sense of accomplishment, however, will not only endure, but it will also develop into healthy confidence in all areas of your life.

It boils down to this: the further you learn to push yourself, the greater your opportunity for growth. Each workout you take on is an opportunity. Each Intensity High Point is an opportunity. How much you make of these opportunities depends solely on the intensity of your efforts.

The Right Moves

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about core training, but do you really know what this type of training is? In simple terms, core training refers to conditioning the large and small muscles of your abdominals, hips, and back.

These muscles need to be strong as well as flexible. When your torso muscles are strong, they stabilize your spine so your legs and arms can move with speed, power and agility. Rock climbers, ballet dancers and gymnasts, for example, rely on core strength to perform a variety of movements.

The next time you do push-ups, try to concentrate on pushing your navel in toward the spine and use the muscles in your torso to keep your back from sagging. As you lower yourself down and push up, continue to engage your "core" to maintain a straight back. Notice how your chest, shoulders and arms get a much better workout.

Think of core muscles as supporting cast in a movie. When the supporting cast is strong, the main actors can really shine and put out their best performance. The same is true when it comes to your body. As you move, there should be a team of multiple muscles contributing to the effort instead of a few large muscles doing all the work. Training your body to move this way will help make you less susceptible to injuries and your overall movements will become much more efficient.

When it comes to training your core, heavy weights and large movements are not necessary; awareness is. Core conditioning goes beyond basic ab crunches and back extensions. While these exercises will make you good at flexing your body forward or bending backward, they don’t address another important aspect of core training called spinal rotation. This is when your torso muscles are flexible enough to twist to the right or left with a normal range of motion.

Many people who weight train or play sports have strong but inflexible core muscles. It happens when muscles are constantly being used for their strength and not enough attention is given to stretching them. Golfers and racket sports players often develop muscular imbalances from repeatedly twisting their body in one direction. Eventually one side of their torso gets strong and tight while the other side gets weak and overly flexible.

Consistently stretching your core muscles will give both sides of your body equal strength and flexibility. Everyday motions, such as reaching behind your car seat to get something in the back seat, will become easier.

First, begin with the easier version of the stretch.

 
  • Sit on the floor with both legs extended forward. Bend your right knee and cross it over your left leg so your foot is close to your left knee. Bring your left hand behind you and inhale as you lift your torso upward creating more length to your spine. Exhale as you revolve your torso to the right and bend the left elbow in front of the right knee. Keep your forearm vertical, contract your inner thighs and feel the stretch in your outer hip and across your back. Inhale again and really lift your chest as you exhale to twist deeper into the pose. Continue breathing and twisting for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. By changing the position of your legs you can increase the intensity of the twist. If you felt comfortable with the first version, then try this next variation.

 

 
  • Sit upright, bend your left leg and bring your foot toward your buttock. Cross your right leg over your left. Inhale as you extend your spine placing your right hand behind you and your left hand on your raised thigh. Exhale as you rotate your torso to the right. Focus your attention on using the strength of your mid-back to lift your chest and to pull your shoulders back. Feel the stretch in your outer hips and across your lower back. Continue to breath fully for 20 to 30 seconds, try to twist a little farther on each exhale. Unwind and repeat on the other side.

 

You can enhance the effect of these twists by turning your head to follow the directions of the twist. Be sure to strengthen your neck before you turn your head, keeping both shoulders level. Often twists are not held long enough to get their full benefit, so don’t rush in and out of these positions. Stay in the pose long enough to take at least 12 slow, deep breaths before you unwind to do the other side. If one side of your body is more difficult to twist than the other, then give extra time to your tighter side. Never force the stretch. By doing these twisting poses, you’ll discover their tension-relieving benefits. Soon you’ll see how the power of your "core" can improve your performance and make you feel more relaxed.

Practice doing these two twisting poses after you’ve warmed up. They are a good start to relieving stress and will improve the quality of your exercise. As a precaution, do not do twists soon after surgery or if you suffer from disk problems anywhere in your spine.

The Sad Bottom Line: There is No Easy Way to Get Fit

Many fitness experts have been saying that electrical stimulation devices don’t strengthen and tone muscles while you work at your computer or read a book. Now there’s scientific evidence to support their statements. Researches at the University of Wisconsins-La Crosse were unable to document claims that the machines can give you rock-hard abs or firmer thighs.

Researchers compared people who used electrical muscle stimulating __ or EMS __ devices three times a week for 45 minutes to those who used fake treatment. After eight weeks, the 16 college students whose upper arm, thigh, and abdominal muscles were treated with an EMS device had no change in skin fold measures, muscle girths or strength.

Eleven students in the group with the ineffective treatment did just as poorly, though the researchers acknowledged that the men and women could probably tell that they weren’t getting a real treatment.

Also telling was the fact that most of the volunteers said that they would rather go to the gym and lift weights for the average 45-minutes session.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does require that EMS devices meet federal safety standards. The agency has not approved such devices for weight loss. (The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: 16[2]; 165-172)

Got Water?

Americans, by their excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages, may be drinking themselves straight into a state of dehydration. And by doing so, say researchers, they are likely sabotaging the effectiveness of their exercise and nutrition program.

According to a new survey conducted by the Nutrition Information Center, Americans drink an average of only 4.6 cups of water a day- a far cry from the 10 recommended for optimal hydration and muscle function. Worse yet, results of another survey conducted earlier this year in 14 major U.S. cities showed that most Americans are countering the positive effects of the little water they are getting by drinking an average of 5.9 servings daily of diuretic and dehydration-promoting beverages, such as coffee and soft drinks.

And when you couple that with the fact that it’s common for individuals to dehydrate by 2% to 6% of their body weight during exercise, the result, as you can imagine, isn’t good. Often, this can mean sluggishness, dulled senses, stalled muscle growth, a general sense of fatigue and an all-around lack of peak performance.

What’s more, research has shown that dehydration can cause a significant drop in an individual’s resting metabolic rate and result in the body using a higher percentage of energy from carbohydrates as opposed to fat. Thus, people who inadvertently dehydrate may be reducing the effectiveness of their nutrition and exercise programs by lowering their metabolic rates and altering the types of fuel their bodies use for energy.

It’s no wonder then that the survey’s researchers say you’ll be doing your body a big favor by drinking an additional glass of water for each cup of coffee or tea you consume. For instance, if, during the course of a day, you have two cups of coffee, simply be sure to drink 12 cups of water that day, instead of 10.

The bottom line is, maintain fluid intake-drink at lease 10 glasses of water a day! In fact, during aerobic exercise, it may be a good idea to hang onto a water bottle and drink often. This will maintain proper hydration and ensure that your body’s burning what you want it to burn-fat!

If water is not replaced in the body during exercise, total blood volume will drop and oxygen delivery will be hindered because blood is more than 50% water. Both the heart and the brain need water to maintain balanced electrolytes for proper function. "Even a 1% to 2% drop in water in the body will cause problems in performance," says Kristen Clark, Ph.D., R.D., director of sports nutrition at the Center for Sports Medicine at Penn State University. "The earliest symptoms are loss of concentration and fatigue."

The more dehydrated you are, the more your performance suffers. A 3% to 5% drop in water level can create headaches, cramping, dizziness, and nausea. That 3% dehydration in the body also causes a 10% drop in contractile strength, and an 8% drop in speed. Severe dehydration can lead to heat stroke, and even, in extreme cases, death.

Proper hydration also protects internal organs and tissues and improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system. A lack of water sends the cardiovascular system into a panic, especially during exercise. For every 2 lbs of water lost through exercise, your heart rate elevates about eight beats per minute; cardiac output declines about one liter of blood per minute; and your body temperature rises about 0.3o Celsius. Water reduces this heat buildup and helps remove the waste material generated by cells as they process water, oxygen, and nutrients.

Staying well hydrated offers a psychological boost as well. Water makes you feel better, which increases the chances that you’ll finish your planned workout. "With the average person, performance, per se, isn’t the issue: enjoyment is," points out Clark. "And if you don’t feel well because you’re tired or losing concentration, it increases the chances that you’ll stop the activity sooner, whether you’re riding your bike, jogging, or lifting weights."

More on Water . . .

Are You Drinking Enough Water??

We all know that water is important but I've never seen it written down like this before.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) A University of Washington study indicates that 8 to 10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

bullet.jpg (1516 bytes) Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?

(No kidding, all of the above is true.)


How Sweet It Is: If You're Eating Carbs, Check an Index

Everyone's training table needs carbohydrates; there's no argument about that. Our bodies convert carbohydrates to glycogen, which serves as our main fuel in muscles.

The hottest debate about carbs focuses on how many you need in your diet compared with amounts of protein and fat.  For most active people, consuming 40-50% of the diet with high fiber complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, plus 30-40% of the diet with high quality proteins like casein, whey, chicken, beef, fish, dairy and eggs, and 20% fat from olive, nut, fish and flax oils, are ideal ranges.

Nonetheless, more than a few nutritionists say Americans are missing a more fundamental question about carbohydrates: Just which ones are best for feeling good and increasing energy? In the 1970s, carbohydrates were divided into simple or complex groups. Nutritionists suggested eating mostly complex carbs, such as produce and beans, while avoiding the simple sugars in table sugar and sweets. Then in the early 1980s, University of Toronto researcher David Jenkins discovered some complex carbohydrate foods actually rushed their way into the bloodstream. Foods such as potatoes and rice led to a fast rise in blood sugar or blood glucose, followed by the matching rapid drop in glucose levels. Jenkins' intention was to discover the best foods for people with diabetes.

He created the glycemic index, which measures how fast carbohydrates in a certain food convert to glucose, which then enters the bloodstream and muscles (as glycogen). The glycemic index basically tracks how fast your blood sugar rises after eating carbohydrate-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and processed foods (pasta, bread, cereals, crackers and cookies are measured most often).

In his first study, Jenkins listed values for a variety of foods. The value of glucose (a simple sugar) was 100. All other foods were matched against it and slotted as low-, medium- or high-glycemic foods. More than 300 foods have been cataloged.

Other glycemic indexes were produced, using white bread as the 100 value because it is a common food among Americans. If you are ever confused about why certain foods have different glycemic index values, that's why. Other times you may see a food higher in one listing than another. Whether the food is cooked or raw can change values; the same goes for ripeness. An unripe banana is about 30 points lower in glycemic effect than a ripe one.

Proponents of the glycemic index recommend eating carbohydrate foods lower on this scale for optimal health. Some champions of the index, including nationally known authors, contend that using the rating system is the best way to lose weight and feel healthy. Janet Rankin, a professor in the human nutrition, foods and exercise department at Virginia Tech, isn't that enthralled with the glycemic index.

"People tend to overuse the glycemic index," she said. "It is more valuable at snack time, since that is when we tend to eat single food items."

In general, Rankin said, Americans consume lots of high glycemic foods, such as white bread and bagels. Recognizing high-glycemic foods can help you make better choices. Or you can alter the food's sugar effect by combining it with low-glycemic foods. For example, Rankin said drinking a glass of nonfat milk with your bagel "significantly lowers the glycemic value."

Rankin said high-glycemic foods are most valuable during exercise: "Research shows these foods do their job by getting glucose into the bloodstream quickly when you need it."

The studies are less clear about consuming high-glycemic foods after a workout, though some nutritionists suggest this is about as good a time as any to munch on a sugary treat because your body needs the carbs for recovery.

Dan Benardot, associate dean of nutrition research at Georgia State University, said the glycemic index is a clearly designed instrument but can be confusing in "how to apply it" to everyday eating.

Benardot said the single best change you can make in your daily diet is reducing the size of meals. He proposes eating six small meals rather than three larger ones. This matches up best with the typical blood-glucose cycle of rise, level out and fall.

If you eat more frequently, your body has a more controlled response to foods. Going too long between meals or snacks causes your body to pump out more insulin when you do eat, Benardot said, a condition that causes too much flux in blood glucose.

Nutritionists generally recommend eating more foods low or moderate on the index (less than 50) and selecting more healthy foods among those high on the index. Here are some sample glycemic values, using glucose as the 100-point comparison value.

Breakfast: Cornflakes, 83; Rice Krispies, 82; doughnuts, 76; waffles, 76; Total, 76; Cheerios, 74; bagel, 72; oatmeal, 49; yogurt, sweetened, 33; soy milk, 30.

Lunch: White bread, 71; whole wheat bread, 69; taco shells, 68; cheese pizza, 60; white pita bread, 57; green peas, 48; baked beans, 43.

Dinner: Instant rice, 91; white rice, 88 (some versions as low as 55); baked potato, 83; spaghetti, 40; black beans, 30.

Snacks: Vanilla wafers, 77; orange soda, 68; angel food cake, 67; raisins, 64; ice cream, 61; grapes, 52; orange, 43; Snickers bar, 41; apple, 38.


Glycemic Index by Percentage Groups

110%

62 Bananas 36 Chick peas
105 Maltose

60%

36 Butter beans
100 Glucose 59 Sweet corn 34 Pears

100%

59 Sucrose 34 Milk (whole)
97 Parsnips 59 Digestive biscuits 33 Peas (dried blackeye)
92 Carrots 55 Rich tea biscuits 32 Milk (skim)

90%

54 Oatmeal biscuits 31 Haricot beans
87 Honey 51 Yams 30%
80 Potatoes (inst, mashed) 51 Potato chips 29 Peaches (fresh)
80 Corn flakes 51 Peas (frozen) 29 Lentils

80%

51 Buckwheat 29 Kidney beans
79 Broad beans (fresh) 51 All-bran 26 Grapefruit
75 Wheetabix 50 Spaghetti White 23 Cherries
72 Swede

50%

20 Frutose
72 Rice (white) 49 Porridge oats

20%

72 Bread (wholemeal) 48 Potato (sweet) 14 Soya beans (canned)
71 Millet 48 Potato (baked russet) 13 Peanuts
70 Potato (new, white 46 Orange juice

10%

70%

45 Grapes Note: Only 25gm carbohydrate
69 Ryvita 42 Spaghetti portion given.
69 Bread (white) 40 Oranges Source Jenkins et al, Am J Clin Nutr 1981.
68 Mars bar 40 Beans (canned navy)
67 Shredded wheat

40%

66 Rice (brown) 39 Apples (golden del.)
66 Muesli 38 Tomato soup
64 Raisins 36 Yogurt
64 Beetroot 36 Lima beans
63 Water biscuits 36 Ice cream

Note:  Foods like ice cream have a low glycemic index, but they also have a high fat content. Therefore, their caloric value has to be considered in addition to their possible effect on insulin response.


Insulin Index

Science journalist William Harryman advises that newer research has indicated that an insulin index is more appropriate than the antiquated glycemic index. For example, rice was thought to produce a large insulin surge due to how quickly its carbohydrates enter the bloodstream, but research indicates that it actually produces a very small insulin response. Some foods thought to be low on the glycemic index, such as milk and yogurt, are actually quite high in their insulin production. The suggestion of drinking a glass of non-fat milk with a bagel might reduce the glycemic index, but the insulin surge would be enormous. Other examples include almost all combinations of carbohydrates and fats, unless there is a significant quantity of fiber present. After all, the enemy is the frequent or constant presence of high levels of insulin in the blood.

Comparisons leave out many specific complex carbohydrate foods, like different kinds of vegetables, that are important -- but these are low on the insulin index scale.

Consumption of large volumes of food with a high insulin index may play a role in the development of insulin resistance, although the link has yet to be conclusively established.

Some of the over-simplistic concepts being circulated run along these lines: 

Foods high in carbohydrate have higher glycemic indexes than protein rich foods... and therefore high protein foods (meat/fish) are safer 

Fruits are high in sugar... and therefore have higher glycemic indexes 

A higher glycemic index means the body must produce more insulin... and therefore low glycemic index foods are safer 

A better attempt at understanding how diet affects insulin levels has been proposed by Susanne HA Holt, Janette C Brand Miller and Peter Petocz in their paper entitled "An insulin index of foods: the insulin demand generated by 1000-kJ portions of common foods" (Am. J. Clin. Nutr., Nov 1997, Vol.66, Iss.5, p.1264-76). The authors point out that their results are "preliminary", and it must also be noted that only a few foods (38) have been studied. Even so, their food choice method is more realistic, and their method more thorough than the Glucose Index (GI) method. Their conclusions challenge some previous beliefs based on GI findings. 

In this paper, the researchers identify a number of problems with the GI method. The most obvious problems are that GI uses a 50g carbohydrate serving of foods, which is not representative of how people really eat, and also that although protein rich foods produce a low blood glucose response, it does not follow that there is a correspondingly low insulin response. In short, the GI method is inaccurate, incomplete and unrealistic, although perhaps better than nothing. The researchers state that the GI concept does not consider concurrent insulin responses, and that little research reports both a GI value and accompanying insulin responses. Real diets do not consist of meals where single food items are eaten to 50g carbohydrate levels, in addition when foods with different qualities are mixed; the insulin response can be unpredictable. The GI method is not an accurate predictor of insulin response, and the new paper proposes a method for obtaining a more realistic assessment of dietary factors to insulin response, based on a more realistic isoenergetic basis. 

There are a number of factors other than carbohydrate content that mediate in stimulation of insulin secretion, for example it is stated that protein-rich foods or the addition of protein to a carbohydrate-rich meal can stimulate a modest rise in insulin secretion, without increasing blood glucose concentration. Similarly adding fat to a carbohydrate-rich meal also increases insulin secretion even though plasma glucose response is reduced. Several insulinotropic factors have been found to potentiate the stimulatory effect of glucose and mediate posprandial insulin secretion. These factors include fructose, some amino acids and fatty acids, and gastrointestinal hormones. So protein and fat rich foods also induce substantial insulin secretion despite producing relatively small blood glucose responses. 

The GI is a ratio of the measure of blood glucose levels found after eating a 50g portion of white bread (or sugar), to a 50g carbohydrate portion of the test food. White bread is often taken as the reference food, and given a score of 100%, so a food that produces half of the blood glucose response over the same test period would be given a score of 50%. In contrast, the Insulin Score (IS) is a ratio based on insulin levels found over 2 hours after consuming a 1000kJ meal of the test food, to a 1000kJ meal of white bread. The equation is similar to that developed for the GI value. The glycemic score measures blood glucose levels in a similar fashion. 

Although personal variations in response to identical meals occurred in the study, the researches found a stable correspondence between foods and insulin and glucose scores across the group. On average the snack foods produced the highest food group IS, followed by bakery products, carbohydrate-rich foods, fruit, protein rich foods and then breakfast cereals respectively (see figure). The researchers found significant variations in foods of the same food group, so food group alone is not a good predictor of insulin or glucose scores. Furthermore, at the food group level, variations are not as dramatic as between specific foods, so that generalization about food groups and insulin or glucose scores are inaccurate. The above graph adapted from the study results, shows the mean glucose and insulin scores of the food groups. 

The researchers did find that jellybeans (made of sugar and animal protein) produced the highest mean IS, whereas peanuts (an oily legume) had the lowest IS. The reference food, white bread, consistently had the highest glucose and insulin responses, and had a higher insulin score than most of the other foods. On average fish produced twice as much insulin secretion as did the equivalent portion of eggs. Amongst the few fruits examined, oranges and apples produced significantly lower scores than grapes and bananas, despite similar carbohydrate content. Potatoes had significantly higher scores than all of the other carbohydrate-rich foods. White and brown rice have similar scores, as do white and brown pasta. Despite containing similar amounts of carbohydrate, jellybeans induced double the insulin secretion as any of the four fruits. These findings are presented in the figure below, showing both scores for all 38 foods, in their food groups. 

From the above data, we can conclude at least, that some fruits do not produce insulin responses much greater than protein rich foods such as beef or fish. Perhaps surprisingly, the insulin scores for cheese, beef and fish are greater than those for starchy foods such as porridge. This will lay rest to the claim that protein rich foods are somehow insulin safe when compared to carbohydrate rich foods. Each food must be evaluated individually, and more realistically, each meal. 

Overall, although GS is a good predictor of IS, the researchers found that the nutrient levels analyzed, only explain 33% of the variation of the insulin response for the foods studied. It seems then, that the individual properties of a food, other than those studied here, account for two-thirds of the remaining insulin response. 

In the authors discussion they conclude that important Western staples, bread and potato were among the most insulinogenic foods. Highly refined bakery and confection also induce substantially more insulin secretion per kilojoule or per gram of food than did other test foods. If any of these high carbohydrate foods were eaten with either fat or protein rich foods, say bread and cheese or meat, or pizza, then the scores would be far higher. The authors also note, as above, that some protein-rich foods induce as much insulin secretion as some carbohydrate-rich foods. Fiber was not found to predict the magnitude of insulin response. Their conclusion is that the findings imply that typical Western diets are likely to be significantly more insulinogenic than traditional whole food diets. The research method is not ideal, because some of the serving sizes, for apples, oranges, fish and potatoes were felt to be unrealistic, presumably due to excess. However, the method is still superior to the crude 50g carbohydrate portions found in GI study meals. The researchers have found that increased insulin secretion did not account for the low glycemic responses produced by low-GI foods such as pasta and porridge. These findings challenge the scientific basis of carbohydrate exchange tables, which are now clearly making invalid assumptions. 

Other important factors such as the rate of gastric emptying, rate of starch digestion, the amount of rapidly available glucose and resistant starch, the degree of osmolarity and the viscosity of the gut's content, must be significant factors in influencing the degree of postprandial insulin secretion. As a cautionary note, the researchers suggest that additional studies are needed to determine whether the IS concept is useful, and reproducible, and more importantly whether it is predictable in a mixed-meal context. When these questions are answered the role of IS in the treatment of diabetes, hyperlipidemia and overweight will be better known. Until then, we can at least dispatch with the some of the urban diet myths that were presented at the top of this article. We can conclude that protein-rich foods are not necessarily some insulinogenic panacea, and that fruits are not some kind of sweet bogeyman. We also find that food refining and mixing is potentially problematic. 

Another related set of pop myths, being circulated again by similar nutri-babble factions, concern the claim that fruits contain so much sugar that they are "addictive", and also that sugar is itself addictive. While it is true that the taste of sugars on the tongue does promote release of satiety chemicals in the brain within seconds (an adaptive feeding reflex common in mammals - perhaps more so in frugivorous primates?), a thorough examination of all Medline papers revealed no relevant papers concerning fruit or sugar consumption and addiction. Intriguingly, although the reporters of these anecdotes identify "cravings" for fruit as suggestive of "addictive" properties, reported cravings for animal foods are somehow seen as adaptive survival reflexes. Should we be concerned about fruit addiction stories? In another light scan of the entire Medline record at Healthgate, I found over 3,500 articles concerning the healthful effects of fruit consumption, but only a handful concerning a few special problems induced by fruit eating in some cases, such as workers at citrus farms suffering tooth erosion. Obviously if fruit really is addictive, then we would expect to find fruit sales soaring above those of cheese and beef, with cattle farmers queuing to buy fruit trees and profit from the new market in addiction - but the cold facts of the matter say otherwise. 

While not wishing to add to the surfeit of dietary anecdotes by peddling more patent absurdities, observations of cycles of bingeing and withdrawal while adding more sweet fruits to the diet have been found. Eventually though, over a period of 1 to 2 years, in all cases I have seen, these "cravings" remedy themselves, and one adopts a more varied diet. Perhaps these "cravings" are in fact some part of a healing and then balancing process, as the body realigns feeding behavior to maintain homeostasis.  As they often say, "more research is needed".

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Dr. Lee-Benner's Personal Workout Routine

For those with only a very limited amount of time available for exercise, here is a condensed program consisting of:

  • 1 Work-out with weights every fourth day, aerobics 4-5 days on the other days of the week that you are not working with weights.

Aerobics—20-30 minutes in target heart rate zone (THR), followed by 5 minutes cool down.

Target Heart Rate (THR) Calculation:

      • 220 - (your age) = Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
      • MHR x 0.8 = 80% of MHR
      • MHR x 0.7 = 70% of MHR
      • It is important that you keep your heart rate within your THR zone at all times for optimal efficiency (i.e., to maximize fat burning & to minimize protein loss).

Thursday: Legs Warm up—analyze seat of leg extension bench.

  1. Counter balance
  2. Fulcrum point—sharper angle of seat to fulcrum moves force higher upon thigh secondary moment—pushing vs pulling.


Primary Movements:

I Leg Press

Warm-up 150lbs x 9 times; 600lbs X 13 times to failure

II Hack Squat

No warm-up 250lbs x 14 times to failure

III Split Squats

40lbs x 11 to failure (L)

In between sets, rest interval to decrease Pulse 102→85

40lbs x 11 to failure (R)


Secondary Movements

I Adductors 150lbs x 12 to failure

II Adductors 170lbs x 12 to failure

III Leg Curl 120lbs x 9 to failure


Monday

Chest & Back

  • Close grip pull down
  • Warm up at 60lbs x 8
  • Set at 195lbs x 11 to failure (pulse 126)
  • Rest interval to decrease pulse to 95
  • Set wide grip pull down at 200lbs x 11 to failure (pulse 130)
  • Rest interval to decrease pulse to 95
  • Lateral Rows 180lbs x 8 with help to failure (pulse 120)
  • Rest interval to decrease pulse to 100
  • Horizontal Bench 100lbs plus extra push x 11 to failure (pulse 120)
  • Rest interval to decrease pulse to 95
  • Iso-Lateral Bench Press 130lbs with help x 8 to failure (pulse 105)
  • Pec Deck:
    • 110lbs x 12 to failure, super set
    • 80lbs x 8 to failure, super set

Alternately, if you have time for working out 3 times a week:

  • 3 work-outs every 7 days (Aerobics & weights together on the same days)

Sunday

Aerobics (20-30 minutes target heart rate (THR) zone) & Shoulders & Arms

W-Presses

Warm up 20 reps (light to medium weights)

2 Super Sets

  • Intensity Level-stop 3 reps before failure
  • 2 sets of W-Presses: 8-12 reps 40lbs followed each time without rest—Dumbell side lateral raises 10 lbs each.

Super Sets x 2

  • Triceps push downs—(elbows straight)
  • Bar light warm –up 25 reps
  • Then go to 40 lbs [go by feel]
  • Triceps—follow by Biceps Hammer Curl
  • Triceps extension—elbows in/elbows out.


 Wednesday

Aerobics (20-30 minutes target heart rate (THR) zone)

  • Legs-Thigh extensions to warm-up knees
  • Thigh Curls & Lunges

Friday

Aerobics (20-30 minutes target heart rate (THR) zone)

Chest & Back

  • Warm up shoulders—sitting up & do W presses
  • Flat Bench, Dumbell Presses 25lbs
  • 2 Sets: set of 15, follow by another set of 10-12 with 40 lbs.
  • Inclined Dumbell Press—Adjust the back all the way—use 35 lbs12 reps to 15 reps plus super sets with Flat & Inclined

[Increased Intensity = Increase weight and increase reps and decrease rest interval]


Super sets

  • Wide grip pull downs—in front!
  • 120 lbs—10-15 reps
  • Rowing—pulls (low cable pulls-10-15)

Alternately on Friday do Arms & Back, Dorsiflex & Cable Curls

Aerobics (20-30 minutes target heart rate (THR) zone)

  • Shoulder-W- warm-up with 20lbs then 55lbs plus 40lbs super sets
  1. Bench 55lbs plus
  2. Flat Press 40lbs super sets
  3. then repeat 1 & 2

Shoulder Lateral raises one set 60lbs to failure (10-12 reps)


Arms & Back

  • Wide grip pull-downs
  • 135lbs x 5 warm-ups
  • 195lbs x 5 to failure
  • Narrow grip pull downs 195lbs x 7 to failure


Dorsiflex

  • 165lbs x 7 to failure
  • Cable bicep curls—super set with tricep bar push downs to failure


For Body Building

  • Max Nitrogen (N2) uptake (1-1˝ grams of protein/lb divided into 6 portions=one portion per feeding)
  • 3˝—4 oz. protein 4 to 6 times a day, (whey protein drinks balanced with an equivalent amount of carbohydrates (CHO) in grams of CHO to grams of protein as alternative substitute for a meal or a "feeding").
  • Pasta/ brown rice= 3˝ oz = 120 calories
  • 25-30 grams fiber—Keep up high fluid intake between meals
    • Or here are other choices for your carbohydrate portions for each of your six feedings per day:
      • 4 oz of Rice or other grains
      • 4 oz of pasta
      • 4 oz of mixed vegetables

For Recovery

  • 4 high quality protein meals a day plus whey protein powder mix every 2-3 hours in between
  • Total: (for 150-200lbs individual)
    • 150-200 cal protein
    • 130-150 Complex Carbohydrates
    • 50 cal Vegetables
    • 40 cal olive oil—use lemon juice and rice vinegar vs Balsamic vinegar
    • Maintain high intake of water during the day (minimum 2 liters)
    • N2 sparing state immediately after exercise (1hr), Feeding essential to begin muscle repair!
    • Symptoms of low protein, or even low water are: yawning, hungry, tired, O2 debt, poor concentration, irritable, depressed.

[Click here to see his before and after results]

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