Monthly Archives: February 2017

How to Find the Right Weight loss Program

If you’re currently on the search for weight loss programs, you’ll need to consider a variety of things. All weight loss programs are not created equally; some will have a much higher rate of success than others.

Knowing exactly what to look for when searching for weight loss exercise programs will help enable you to make a decision that will get you the results you’re looking for.

First, if you’re like many people, you probably want a free weight loss program. The thing to keep in mind though is that these are free for a reason. They are targeted towards the general public and as such, give such broad suggestions that while it may work for one person, it will not work for you. For example, if you are a 200 pound man and the free weight loss programs you are finding are more geared towards a 140 pound woman; you can see why this would obviously be problematic.

The first thing to ask yourself when you see a weight loss diet program is how personalized is it. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “General programs produce general results,” which is very true. The more personalized and targeted the solution is to your individual situation, the higher your chance of consistent weight loss.

Next, ask whether it allows for enough calories to keep you from completely starving. While it may be tempting to try a very low calorie approach to get the weight loss process over and done with, usually these end up backfiring on you, leaving you gaining more weight back after you go off them than you had when you first started. Your goal is to burn the fat, not starve the fat and the majority of weight loss programs force your metabolism to shut down which leads to muscle loss – a doubled edged sword contributing to greater fat storage on your body.

Another component that you’ll want to factor in is exercise. A good weight loss exercise program will combine both cardiovascular training along with weight training. Those weight loss exercise programs that have you doing hours of cardio on end are not going to be all that beneficial at retaining your lean muscle tissue mass, nor time efficiency. Since, your lean muscle tissue is what keeps your metabolism the highest; it’s what you really want to focus on the most. Neglecting this aspect of your workout is a huge mistake and does not maximize the 24 hours in a day you have to burn fat.

Finally, keep in mind that any weight loss program you go on you should be maintainable in the long run. A program that you’re only able to maintain in the very short term is likely to not be overly beneficial as if lifestyle changes are not made with regards to how you’re eating; chances are that the weight will be back at some point in the near future. Your ultimate goal is a lifestyle change, not a temporary change.

So, if you want to get on a weight loss program that works, be sure to check out Your Six-Pack Quest. As you’ll discover when you sign up for this plan you’ll get 9 balanced meal plans, 84 days each, ranging from 1200 to 2800 calories. You have literally zero guess work because these plans include grocery lists, a wide variety of meals, tasty meals, and exact times to eat. Follow the plans to the letter and you’ll have a ripped and sexy six pack 6 months tops.
About the Author:
Vince DelMonte is the author of Your Six Pack Quest found at
He specializes in helping chubby guys and gals how to lose weight without gimmicks, supplements or dieting.

Essential Fats for Optimal Health

There are two primary types of essential fats: Omega-6 and Omega-3
fatty acids.
Our body is unable to make them and the only way to get them is from
our diet or via supplementation.

Essential fats or essential fatty acids are necessary nutrients for the
body to produce key hormones called eicasinoids.
They have been referred to as the body’s super hormones and are
made by every cell in our body.

There are several different eicasinoids that have the opposite effect
on the body’s functions and either increase or decrease inflammation.
Both of these functions are critical for optimal health.

In general, the Omega-3 fatty acids become eicasinoids that decrease
inflammation in our bodies (natural anti-inflammatories) and Omega-6
fatty acids become eicasinoids that cause inflammation.

When you are injured you need an inflammatory reaction in order to
heal this injury, but once the wound is healed, this inflammatory process
has to stop. That’s why eicasinoids have the ability to either intensify
or diminish inflammation in our body.
They can also increase or decrease the clotting tendency of the blood.
It is critical that these two potentials are well balanced.

Consequently,the balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 we take in,
becomes critical for our optimal health and has to be in the right ratio,
preferably 1 : 1 or 1 : 2 at least.

In our modern society, this ratio is out of balance and we have too much
Omega-6 in our body, which causes to much inflammation.
There is plenty of Omega-6 in our diet, it is present in chicken,dairy
products, processed carbohydrates, peanut oil and safflower oil.

This is the underlying cause of numerous diseases, like heart disease,
asthma, arthritis, major depression, autoimmune disease, inflammatory
bowel disease etc.

Heart Disease
Dr Terry Jacobson reviewed over a dozen large clinical trials that
looked at the health benefits of supplementing Omega-3 fatty acids in
over 20,000 participants who had coronary artery disease.
These clinical trials showed that the group who consumed the Omega-3
fatty acids in the form of fish oil capsules , had nearly a 20% decreased
incidence of cardiovascular events.

Adding Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet not only lower inflammation,
but also lower one’s total and LDL or bad cholesterol.
This health benefit shows even more in those people that are not
consuming much in the way of cold-water fish or other sources of
Omega-3 fatty acids.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are thirteen clinical trials that show benefits of Omega-3
supplementation for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
There was improvement in all their symptoms, like early morning
stiffness, pain, and in the number of tender joints.
One important result was a measurable decrease in the inflammatory
products being produced by the body and a stabilization in the course
of their disease.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
Many clinical studies have measured the body’s increased production
of inflammatory products.
When fish oil supplements where given to these patients,not only where
these products reduced but the patients experienced significant
clinical improvements.

The most exciting thing they found was the fact that many patients were
be able to reduce their dependence on steroid medication
Also their bowel pattern showed significant improvement when these
patients received repeat biopsies.

Asthma is mainly an inflammatory disease of the lungs.
This inflammation sets off the bronchospasm which is characteristic
for this disease. These patients have a significant increase in
inflammatory products, which are found in the lungs.
After supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids, many responded
positive and the results were definitely encouraging.

Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Psychological stress has proved to be the cause of a significant
increase in these inflammatory products, triggered by an unbalance
of Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids.

The medical community believes this to be the main reason for the
development of depression.
Studies are already showing prolonged remission with the reduction
of relapse in patients with bipolar disorder in those who supplement
with Omega-3 fatty acids.

It is a proven fact that the general population has too much inflammation
in their body as a result of too much consumption of Omega-6 fatty acids,
which is the root cause of many chronic degenerative diseases.

Because most people have a problem with increasing the Omega-3
to take in, everyone should start with supplementing their diet with
high-quality , filtered, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil capsules.
As an alternative , taking in flaxseed or cold-pressed flaxseed oil will
also do the job

This additional Omega-3 intake will offer the building blocks of
our natural anti-inflammatory products.
As we bring inflammation back into normal balance,significant health
improvements and decrease in risk of heart attacks and sudden death
can be the result.

Facts about the Glycemic Index

One important factor when trying to lose weight is to choose
foods that keep your insulin levels fairly constant.
This is especially true in regards to carbohydrates.
When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates, the carbohydrates
are digested in the stomach and intestines and are absorbed
into the bloodstream, generally in the form of glucose.

When the carbohydrates we eat cause the blood sugar to quickly
rise to high levels,excess insulin can cause to much sugar
to be absorbed by the cells.This results in a condition of
low blood sugar. The subsequent stress on the body stimulates
the adrena glands to secrete hormones into the blood.
Metabolism rises, glucose is manufactured from stores in
the liver and the entire body may be activated in what is
called “fight-or-flight response.”

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a classification of ranking of carbohydrates,
based on their potential for raising blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates that are broken down slowly and cause only a moderate
increase in blood sugar, have a low Glycemic Index.
Some carbohydrates fall in between.

Specifically, the Glycemic Index measures how much a 50-gram portion
of carbohydrates raises your blood sugar levels compared with a control.
The control is either white bread or pure glucose.
Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than any other
carbohydrate and is thus given the value of 100.
Other carbohydrates are given a number relative to glucose.
Foods with low GI indices are released into the bloodstream at a slower
rate than high GI foods.

All carbohydrates cause some temporary rise in your blood glucose level.
This is called the glycemic response. A number of factors influence
this response: the amount of food eaten, the digestion and absorption
rate of food, including the physical structure, ripeness, particle seize,
the degree of processing and preparation, the commercial brand, the
nature of the starch, acidity and the characteristics of the diabetic
patient. These factors naturally effect each food’s glycemic index
position or rank.

The slower your body processes the food, the slower the insulin is
released and the healthier the overall effect is on your body.
In addition, differences exist in the glycemic indexes due to the choice
of reference food, the timing of blood sampling or the computational
method used to calculate the glycemic index.

When you desire to lose weight, you choose the foods that raise your
blood sugar level slowly. You’ll discover that many of those foods are
high in fiber and will keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
And if you have been on a diet, you will be thankful for this.
The longer you feel satisfied, the less temptation you will have to eat
something in between your meals that will spike your blood sugar.

As fructose is a slow moving sugar, almost all fruits, except bananas
and dried fruits, have a low GI. Also, all vegetables that contain
lots of fiber, except carrot and corn. Whole grains, starches and pasta
have a higher GI. On top of the list are white bread, refined grains
and some potatoes.

The Glycemic Load (GL) is a relatively new way to assess the impact of
carbohydrate consumption that takes the glycemic index into account,
but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone.
A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate
turns into sugar. It doesn’t tell you how much of that carbohydrate
is in a serving of a particular food. You need to know both things
to understand a food’s effect on blood sugar.
That is where glycemic load comes in. The carbohydrate in watermelon
for example, has a high GI, but there isn’t a lot of it, so watermelon
glycemic load is relatively low. A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of
11 to 19 is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low.

Following the latest research it appears that women experience cravings
about 10 times during the day. The most common times for these cravings
to appear are at 10 am and 4 pm. Interesting enough, these cravings
correspond almost exactly to your low blood sugar levels as well as
your low levels of serotonin. This is a chemical that drives women to
start eating. And because the drive is so strong, it’s quite difficult
to overcome.

Research performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s
Clinical Research Center uncovered this truth when it found a
relationship between carbohydrates in the brain and weight loss.
Dr. J. Wurtman, lead researcher of the study, demonstrated, that
eating carbohydrates high on the GI raised the levels of serotonin
in the brain.

The results also showed that women suffering from premenstrual syndrome
eat to many carbohydrates and as a result gain weight.
Others overeat when they are depressed, stressed or angry in an effort
to balance these serotonin levels.

The objectives of diet management in diabetic patients are to reduce
hyperglycemia, prevent hyperglycemic episodes, and reduce the risk of
complications. For people with diabetes, the GI is a useful tool in
planning to achieve and maintain glycemic control.
High GI foods are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, causing an
escalation in blood glucose levels and increasing the possibility
of hyperglycemia. The body compensates for the rise in blood sugar
levels with an accompanying increase in insulin, which within a few
hours can cause hypoglycemia. As a result, awareness of the
glycemic indices of food assists in preventing large variances in
blood glucose levels.

A low GI pre-event meal may be beneficial for athletes who respond
negatively to carbohydrate-rich foods prior to exercise or who
can’t consume carbohydrates during competition. Athletes are advised
to consume carbohydrates of moderate to high GI during prolonged
exercise to maximize performance, approximately 1 gram per minute of
exercise. Following exercise, moderate to high GI foods enhance
glycogen storage.

The fat content of food is one of the components that affect the GI.
Like fiber, fat acts like a brake on the absorption process.
Apart from this fact, fat just make food to taste better.
Fats also play an important role of signaling your body to stop eating.
This is vital to any weight-management program. The fat that you eat
causes the body to release a hormone called cholecystokinin.
This hormone is stored in the stomach until notified by the presence of
fat and is responsible for informing the brain that you’re satisfied.
It really is a marvellous thing and it means you don’t have to
deprive yourself.

Another factor that influence the absorption rate of glucose is
the protein content of the food. Protein seems to have the greatest
effect when it comes down to satisfying those hunger pangs,especially
for a long period of time and makes you feel fuller.
Protein also helps you to stay alert. However, we have to be aware of
the good and the bad protein. Always make sure you choose the lean
protein in either beef, fish, chicken or plant-based protein.

Protein itself rates zero on the GI scale, this means you don’t have
to be sparingly by adding it to your diet, only watch the calorie content.
It slows down the rise in insulin that happens when you eat any form of
carbohydrate. This means, if you add some protein to a food that ranks
high on the GI scale, you will counteract the spiking effect in insulin
rise. Another benefit of protein is, that it keeps you feeling full
longer after you eat it.It is therefore a good idea to add some protein
to your breakfast. And if you take a snack, make sure it contains some
form of protein.

If you like fish, you are doing yourself a favor. Fish not only
slows down the spiking in your insulin level, it also contains a rich
source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eat fish at least twice a week.

The Glycemic Index is an excellent tool. It provide you with a
weight-management system that puts you in control of the foods you eat
how much you eat, the way you eat and when you like to eat.
When you have a good variety of foods from which to choose, it makes
it easier to stay with the system.

Try eating according to the Glycemic Index, you will be pleasantly
surprised how easy it is to keep your weight under control and
you’ll also find that your energy level will rise as a bonus!

You can find the Revised International Table of Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic
Load (GL) Values—2008 By David Mendosa by

Built for Life: Motto for a New You

Built for Life.” Kind of an interesting title, if you think about it, because it has two meanings. The first is staying in attention-grabbing muscular shape for as long as you’re alive and able to exercise—you will remain “built” your entire life, never embarrassed to peel off your shirt at the beach, lake or pool. And as my colleague 60-plus-year-old bodybuilder Tony DiCosta so aptly put it, “You’ll usually be the best built guy in the room.” (Talk about a conversation piece!)

The second meaning is that you’re mentally and physically tough, prepared for whatever life throws at you. You’re “built” to withstand the stress, pressures and problems that come your way throughout your time on this planet—almost like you’ve created a bulletproof mental and physical fortress, able to deflect any negatives, that attitude-altering artillery shot at all of us every day.

Proper weight training can give you both of those—and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take joint-busting, spine-crushing poundages to make it happen.

In fact, training with max weights can be a negative, especially as you get older. Sure, if you’re a young ego-driven dude looking for a monster bench press, training heavy is where it’s at. Low reps and lots of sets will build your strength to the extreme—but not necessarily lots of muscle, as I’ll explain in future blogs—just be careful. There’s a cumulative cost. I’m still dealing with injuries I sustained during my power lifting years.

I’m not saying power lifting or power bodybuilding are bad training models—just that throwing around mega weights is NOT necessary for you to build an impressive bodybuilder-type physique, a body so muscular that people comment on the size of your arms or the width of your back or the vascularity streaking down your forearms. You can have a muscular look for a lifetime, and it doesn’t take soft-tissue damage or as much work as you think—if you train smart.

Whether you’re 18 (that’s Jonathan Lawson, my former training partner, in his 20s in the photo above with us) and just starting the muscle-building journey or a 50-something trainee who’s been lifting for decades (like me), lifting smart means training in the most efficient, safest and fastest ways to build muscle and burn fat.

I promise you that Old School New Body is a no-B.S. program—that’s because my sole goal is for you to have all the ammunition you need to own a physique that turns heads and raises eyebrows and one that supports your health and well being. I want you to be able to keep that attention-grabbing, muscular look—and feel healthy doing it—for the rest of your days.

Stay tuned, train smart and be Built For Life.

Steve Holman


Revving Your Lean Machine: The Truth about Soreness

When you first started working out, you probably hated it. Soreness hurts! But as you progressed, you no doubt embraced it—most of us consider it a signal that we’ve done our diligence and stimulated plenty of muscle growth. But is that true?

The fact is, there are no studies connecting muscle soreness to hypertrophy. Okay, don’t stop reading yet; you will get some good stuff from being a bit sore–and you’ll probably even want to strive for it. But first you need to know what causes muscle soreness.

It’s believed that the pain is caused by microtrauma in muscle fibers—and it’s primarily triggered by the negative, or eccentric, stroke of an exercise—like when you lower a bench press, squat or curl rep.

Once your body repairs those microtears, it follows that the muscle should grow larger; however, that trauma is in the myofibrils, the force-generating actin and myosin strands in the fiber. Those strands grab onto and pull across one another to cause muscular contraction. When you control the negative stroke of a rep, there is friction as those strands drag across each other in an attempt to slow movement speed to prevent injury—and that dragging, it’s believed, is what inflicts the microtrauma.

That’s a simplification, but you get the idea. So it appears that some growth can occur after muscle soreness is repaired, but it’s in the myofibrils. More and more research is beginning to show that those force-generating strands do not contribute the majority of muscle size; serious mass comes via sarcoplasmic expansion. That’s the “energy fluid” in the fibers that’s filled with glycogen (from carbs), ATP, calcium, noncontractile proteins, etc.

So if soreness is an indication of only small amounts of muscle growth, why strive for it? Well, even small amounts of growth contribute to overall mass. Most of us want every fraction we can scrape up. But the real reason to seek some soreness is to burn more fat.

When the myofibrils are damaged by emphasizing the eccentric, the body attempts to repair them as quickly as possible. That repair process takes energy, a lot of which comes from body fat. The process usually takes many days, so your metabolism is stoked to a higher level for 48 hours or more, helping you get leaner faster. (Note: High-intensity interval training, like sprints alternated with slow jogs, damages muscle fibers during the intense intervals, the sprints, which is why HIIT burns more fat in the long run than steady-state cardio where no muscle damage occurs.)

Do you need heavy negative-only sets to get that extra bit of size and metabolic momentum? That’s one way, but negative-accentuated, or X-centric, sets may be a better, safer way.

For an X-centric set you take a somewhat lighter poundage than your 10RM and raise the weight in one second and lower it in six. That one-second-positive/six-second-negative cadence does some great things, starting with myofibrillar trauma for some soreness. While you’re coping with that extra post workout muscle pain, remember that it can build the myofibrils and that it’s stoking your metabolism during the repair process for more fat burning.

The second BIG advantage is sarcoplasmic expansion. At seven seconds per rep and eight reps per set, you get almost an entire minute of tension time (seven times eight is 56 seconds). A TUT of 50 to 60 seconds is something most bodybuilders never get—which is a shame because that’s optimal stress for an anabolic cascade and this is the perfect way to train as you age. I call it Old School New Body!

You can do an X-centric set after your heavy pyramid—if you’re into heavy training. In other words, use it as a backoff set.

If you’re more into moderate-poundage, high-fatigue mass building, as I am with the F4X method featured in the Old School New Body method, you can use X-centric as the last set of the sequence. Reduce the weight and do a one-up-six-down cadence. You’ll get sore, build some extra size and—bonus—burn for fat. How great is that?

Till next time, stay tuned, train smart and be Built for Life.

Steve Holman


Fat Burning: A Different Approach

No more cardio? Well, not quite—but if you train with weights correctly, you won’t need to visit that boring treadmill quite as often to keep your abs sharp.

And I’m not talking about interval cardio, although the weight-training method I’ve been preaching has an HIIT feel to it. That’s the F4X method, (featured in Old School New Body) which is moderate-weight, high-fatigue training with short rests between sets. It burns more fat and pumps up your muscles like crazy too. Here’s the drill:

You take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 30 seconds, then do it again—and so on for four sets. On the fourth set, you go to failure, and if you get 10 reps, you increase the weight on the exercise at your next workout. Notice how those sets are like intervals with short breaks between—you can even pace between sets to burn extra calories, but there’s more.

Fat-burning pathway 1: While that training style does great things for muscle growth, via myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic expansion, you also get loads of muscle burn. That lactic acid pooling has a spiking effect on your growth hormone output—and GH is a potent fat burner. Fire up muscle burning to get your GH churning. (GH also amplifies other anabolic hormones, so it effects both muscle and rippedness.)

Fat-burning pathway 2: If you do the reps correctly on every set, you’ll also get myofibrillar trauma. The myofibrils are the force-generating strands in muscle fibers. By “damaging” them with slower, controlled negative strokes, you force the need for extra energy during recovery. In other words, your body runs hotter while you’re out of the gym as it revs to repair the microtears.

To attain that extra fat-burning trauma, use one-second positives and three-second negatives on all 10 reps of all four sets. On a bench press that’s one second up and three seconds down. It’s the slow lowering that will produce the metabolic momentum after your workout. (That rep speed will also give you 40 seconds of tension time on every set, an ideal hypertrophic TUT.)

Fat-burning pathway 3: Now if you really want to get some blubber-busting microtrauma, try your last set of a F4X sequence in X-centric style. That’s one-second positives and six-second negatives. You may have to reduce the weight, but it will be worth it. Try for eight of those, 56 seconds of tension time, and you should feel the results the next day. Your muscles will be aching, but it’s a good indication that fat is baking.

F4X for a GH surge, slower negatives for fat-burning micro trauma and X-centric for even more time under tension and fat extinction. It all adds up to faster leanness with less meanness—because you’ll need less cardio. Prepare for acid-etched abs! Yes!! Even as you age this system works, in fact it is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth.

Stay tuned, train smart and be Built for Life.

Steve Holman

Editor in Chief Iron Man Magazine and co-creator of the Old School New Body program