Is "Fat Acceptance" a Good Thing?

Why the fuck are we supposed to accept obesity? Do we accept cancer, or diabetes? Fuck no, we organize runs and get off our asses and do something about it. Obesity is a disease, and it's preventable and reversible. But instead of organizing anti-obesity runs (or maybe leisurely strolls to fit the demographic) we have decided we need to borderline glorify it by sharing articles about a 200lbs overweight "model" who is supposed to be inspirational and will likely die 20 years early due to her gluttony. Things like that are revolting and quite frankly counterproductive to the fucking human race.

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Fitness Isn't All or Nothing!!!! Balance is Important!

There's a post floating around facebook that's got a lot of traction. 89k likes, about 33k shares since it was posted July 1st. It's a "feel good" post with very wide appeal but I wanted to discuss it, because I feel like it sends an absolutely terrible message. The poster obviously meant well and made some very good points I completely agree with, but the post is very damaging to what people think about being fit. She portrays fitness as an all or nothing endeavor, either you make fitness your life or you have a life and give up fitness. That's the polar opposite of what we should be telling people, and the fact this has gotten so many shares is legitimately saddening.

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Fat Shaming/Obesity Stigma: Research and Opinions

However due to the relation between anti-fat attitudes and negative psychological effects of stigmatization maybe we should just not give a fuck what society and others think. I mean come on, with society in the state it's in now you really give a fuck if people don't like that you have extra fat on your body? Fuck those that don't like it, don't let it hold you back from bettering yourself.

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In Response to Erica Suter and Her "Shots Fired"

In conclusion, awesome physiques will always inspire people because people want one. This isn't a bad thing. I'll never be inspired by looking at pics of Alan Aragon or Lyle McDonald, and can be by looking at pics of people that have way less knowledge. This isn't inherently a bad thing, and shouldn't be discouraged. While getting people away from taking advice based on physique is important, this article completely misses the mark, and is written in a way that's likely to insult quite a few people. The author needs to take a step back and look at her own biases if you ask me. She should also be careful "firing shots." I have been very nice in this article, but I could have been much less so since she wants to be arrogantly combative in her writing.

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A Few Problems with IIFYM and the "Fitpro" Community

 It's like the IIFYM community has decided they're in an ongoing competition to see who can post the most ridiculous calorie dense, hyper-palatable concoction just for the sake of doing it. We're to the point we have fitness professionals posting pics of shakes with brownies in them next to bowls of 4 different kinds of cereal mixed with 5 different kinds of candy. Wtf is so impressive about eating like a drunk 10 year old?

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A Quick Few Words on Low Carb Diets

Low carb diets are usually most effective for those with a lot of weight to lose. These people are often sedentary, and likely insulin resistant. There are some that are leaner and more active that do best on low carbs too, but it's more rare. Those who are lifting heavy or doing other high intensity exercise methods usually suffer performance decreases due to the glycogen needed for high intensity efforts, however some are ok with that or don't see much of a decrease. In the end, dietary adherence is the biggest factor in weight loss/gain so if someone adheres significantly better to low carbs than higher carbs it is usually going to be the best method.

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Steroids: Do They Do the Work for You? A Response to Anders Nedergaard

This post just seems REALLY out of touch with reality. He looks at 2 studies and draws sweeping conclusions. Because test didn't stop working after 20 weeks it will never stop? That's insane to think. As you gain muscle, it gets harder to gain muscle. You don't see researchers pointing at 20wk training programs and thinking the gains will continue on pace to infinity and beyond. We don't look at studies done on the untrained and apply them to advanced or elite trainees, so why is that ok with gear?

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Peaking for a Show; Clearing Up Misconceptions

How often have you heard this scenario? Competitor is getting ready for a show and fast forward to the day after the show. “But I looked so much better the day after” or “I looked my best 1 week out. I don’t know what happened”. It’s all too common to hear these from competitors due to archaic peaking practices that go against basic human physiology. So what’s one to do? What’s the secret? In all honesty, there is no secret. It’s a balance of 3 factors:

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Ego Depletion; Is Willpower a Finite Resource?

Ego depletion is a very well known theory. It says that willpower is limited, and the more you use the less self control you'll have. If you are stuck eating radishes while smelling freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, you might get frustrated and give up on your next task easier (as one of the most frequently cited studies on the topic showed). If you diet on too low of calories, you'll eventually binge. Makes sense right? Turns out it seems it's not so simple.

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Introduction To Matt Hines

l have a client I've been working with for almost 6 months now who I've learned more from than any other client I've had. His story is amazing, and is only going to keep getting better. He's gonna inspire and help a lot of people and I've been talking to him about starting a project soon. I asked him to send me an intro to himself to post and this is what he sent. Stay tuned for more of him.

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Are You Ready for Your First Powerlifting Meet? How to Drop the Stress and Lift the Weights!

So you’ve been lifting for a while and you’ve really begun to get into a groove

with it. You feel strong, you feel powerful and you’re thinking about taking things to

the next level. You’ve seen photos and videos of these strong confident women

throwing weights around at powerlifting meets and you think that this might be just

the thing for you! But then, doubt creeps in. Am I strong enough? Do I even belong at

a powerlifting meet? What will people think of me in a singlet? And then the passion

you once had for a new goal begins to dim into a flicker of self-doubt. 

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Are Low Calories For Fast Weight Loss Bad? Part 2.

Follow up to my last article: Are Low Calories for Fast Weight Loss Really That Bad? If you didn't read it I suggest reading it first.

A discussion on my post yesterday in a group inspired me to write a follow up, so here we go. This productivity shit is getting out of hand...

Yesterday in a supposedly "research based" group I had a woman say that my post was wrong. She said cutting should be done on as many calories as possible and used reasons like adherence, energy, standard things that most would have issues with when on low calories. She said cutting on as high as possible is "optimal," and low calories can be dangerous. She said yoyo dieting isn't how to do it. She finished by saying low calories are NEVER an option and my post didn't help anyone, and could hurt people.

(Edit: She also pointed out Lyle says in the RFL handbook that nobody should ever do a crash diet but he wrote it to show them how to if they decide to anyways, which isn't exactly true. He also wrote this great article on whether it's right for you or not, and also I wanna stress again how good the RFL handbook is. Buy it.)

This was very sad to see, because it ignores the very most important aspect of fitness and coaching. Specificity.

Let me repeat that. Specificity. Fucking specificity (I realize I'm using this in a slightly different context than often used for programming, but it fits). People do well on different things, and stating that everyone should cut on as many calories as possible (or any other method) is ignorant. Some people do best on low carbs, even though they aren't ideal for performance. Some do best on paleo even though it's something some random guy pulled out of his ass with no scientific backing at all. And some do best on very low calories even though it's disastrous for the majority. Every individual is different.

Not everyone will yoyo on low calories, not everyone will feel like shit and plummet their NEAT, and not everyone will have hormonal issues. And guess what, if they do by choice who the fuck cares? Without adherence no plan will work, and without specificity adherence is unlikely. If someone who needs to lose 50-100lbs likes the fast results of low calories which helps adherence are we really gonna sit here and tell him he should eat more to avoid running into issues? If that's what works for him does the risk of running into issues really outweigh the benefits of his weight loss? There have been many posts recently about dietary superiority and telling everyone else your method is best so I won't go too deep into that, but come the fuck on, what somebody will adhere to is almost always best (maybe not in super extreme circumstances), and what someone will adhere to varies drastically between people.

The other thing i want to address that she mentioned is the word optimal. I actually have been meaning to write about this for awhile as nobody has really talked about it the way I see it. I try to avoid using the word as there is now a stigma attached to it, but I think it's a great word. In my opinion, optimal in this context means what would work best physiologically without context. For example, low carbing isn't optimal as it will affect performance. Low calories aren't optimal due to lbm retention, energy/performance decline, and a plethora of other things. Those methods aren't optimal.

However, optimal doesn't trump specificity. No matter how optimal a plan is in theory it's not optimal for the person unless they adhere. "Optimal" in general training or nutrition discussions is irrelevant when context is added. What is optimal for the individual is what they do best on, regardless of how optimal that is in general. So I don't think we need to dismiss the word as something only "dyel abstract warriors" refer to, we just need to keep it in perspective and understand that once you add individual context what is optimal in general doesn't matter if the person can't adhere to it.

Another edit: Lyle made a very good point about low calories I never thought to mention on either post. Losing 1-1.5lbs a week when you're obese can be very difficult, and those that haven't been obese don't always understand that. I can personally vouch for that, and if i had been forced to only lose 1-1.5lbs a week when i first got into fitness and lost 100lbs in a year there's no way i would've succeeded, I would've given up and would still be fat today.

To sum everything up, specificity is most important and ignoring it is very stupid. Optimal does exist in a general sense and shouldn't be ignored, but has to be kept in perspective.Optimal to an individual is as optimal as possible while adhering, and without adherence it means nothing.

If you think you might be one of the minority who does well on low calories, or just need some guidance feel free to fill out the form on the contact us page.

Here are some studies on vlcd's since apparently there are people out there that think they're too dangerous for anyone to use. The last one is a medically supervised year long fast, very interesting read. Remember vlcd's in the literature also are far from optimal compared to a proper low calorie diet like Lyle's RFL, so issues would be even less in practice when done right.

Very-low-calorie diets and sustained weight loss.
The evolution of very-low-calorie diets: an update and meta-analysis.
What are the long-term benefits of weight reducing diets in adults? A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.
Use of very-low-calorie diets in the treatment of obese persons with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Benefits and limitations of very-low-calorie diet therapy in obese NIDDM.
[Very-low-calorie-diets: is there a place for them in the management of the obese diabetic?].
Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days' duration

Contest Prep Priorities Part Three: Training

We covered mindset in the first one and nutrition in the previous one. The next topic to cover is training. As a disclaimer, if you have come here expecting some new fangled method, strategy, technique to implement into training to improve size or condition during a prep, you’ve come to the wrong place. But I will dispel some myths often associated with training during prep. 

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Fitness Industry Pendulum

"It's like the industry has adhd and can't stick to one philosophy for long. We've went from putting research before everything to saying well, research has massive limitations and experience and anecdotes are just as valuable.

As with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle in my opinion."

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