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Friday, May 23rd, 2014 - Shane Doll

If I had to pick my top five exercises for developing core strength and stability for men and women over 40, planks would be right up there at the top.

In my book, the regular old school stationary plank is an awesome core exercise that’s often overlooked.

I’ll admit I was leaving them out of my workout routines for a minute, but I’ve gotten back to doing them and have picked up a little tip for you. It’s a training technique that will improve your planks significantly in a short period of time. Using a jump rope is also an ideal aerobic exercise that will help you to build proper cardio.

More after the jump..

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Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 - Shane Doll

Have you ever found yourself completely stuck with not seeing fat loss even though you ramped up additional cardio and stayed strict to a low-calorie diet?

If so you’re far from being alone.

While it may seem to defy logic that more calorie burning from additional cardiovascular exercise wouldn’t lead to increased fat loss, you may be surprised.

The idea that “more is better” when it comes to calorie cutting and cardio isn’t always true, and I’ve got a perfect example to share with you today that demonstrates it.

I’m going to share with you an actual account from a client of mine that experienced a frustrating plateau when she elected to increase cardio in attempts to speed up fat loss. As not to reveal the identity of my client and we’ll just refer to her as “Annie” from here on out.

You may be able to relate her story as there are a lot of “Annie’s” out there trying to painstakingly grind their way to a better body with little food and lots of exercise. You guys pay attention to this as well since the same thing can happen to you, although females tend to bog down the most from this practice. However, you should watch the best commercial tradmill 2020 to keep motivated.

Annie’s story, the backdrop…

Annie, as we’ll call her, came to me for coaching in attempts to lose some excess body fat and tone up. She’s a perfect example of a woman in her late forties who’s by no means “overweight,” but would like to see a flat stomach and a more toned physique.

Like a lot of women over forty she simply started noticing a change in her body over the years that she wasn’t happy about.

I think it’s important to reiterate that we’re not talking about an individual with a significant amount of body fat to lose in the first place.

This is an important detail because the closer one is to their ideal body weight, the less likely it is that really low calories and lots of cardio will work very effectively.

We all know of someone who lost a lot of weight, 30, 50, 100 pounds or more by drastically cutting calories and exercising vigorously. There’s no denying this can work, but understand there are distinct metabolic differences between someone with an extra 30-50 lbs of fat or more to lose and someone with 10-20 lbs or less.

I’m not going to go into all the details on these differences in this post, but let me just say for now that the more weight someone has to lose the more leeway they have with calorie restriction and doing lots of exercise.

You see there’s always going to be some degree of metabolic down-regulation that occurs any time there’s prolonged caloric restriction or excessive expenditure with exercise. The difference is with someone who’s really overweight, their rate of fat loss is faster than the rate of metabolism down-regulation.

The opposite can be true when someone closer to their ideal body weight tries to use the same strategy.

Ok, let’s get back to “Annie’s” story.

So Annie, started training with me 2 x week doing burst training resistance workouts and also completing a couple of strength training workouts on her own. So we’ve got 3-4 x per week with resistance training, more than enough to promote lean muscle development and fat loss with the right supportive nutrition.

I had her complete a resting metabolic rate assessment and created a nutrition strategy to meet her unique caloric requirements.

Progress was made early on and then fat loss was stopped cold.

After talking with Annie and reviewing her food journals, here’s what I found…

She was regularly eating under the calorie range we initially established after her metabolic profile assessment and had started to do some additional exercise at calisthenics gym Melbourne with their  fitness classes during the week.

The rationale was simple enough, eat less and exercise more, that’s got to be better right?

We’ll the numbers from her InBody body composition assessment told a different story.

For the record, I think that body composition assessments are one of the most valuable tools at a coach’s disposal. Regardless of the current belief system the individual has regarding what “should” work, the numbers don’t lie.

Bottom line, eating less and exercising more wasn’t working.

We had a heart to heart talk and I explained to her why it wasn’t working. That her body had adjusted to the increased restriction/expenditure and responded in the only way it knew how. To preserve life, conserve energy, avoid starvation.

In short, down-regulate metabolism, decrease thyroid production, lower body temperature, and hold on to body fat reserves.

The following was my exact suggestion that I provided her…Exercise less and eat more!

What are you nuts? This is somehow going to trigger the body to start burning fat again? Yep, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

I told her to cut out the cardio classes and just focus on her resistance training ONLY. Not that cardio can’t be effective for fat loss, it most certainly is, but when there’s metabolic slowdown the first thing I throw out is the cardio.

Secondly, I wanted her to slowly begin increasing calorie consumption, in particular focusing on eating more protein and starch carbohydrates with post-workout meals.

I won’t get into all the details on the numbers and specifics, but as you can probably imagine there was some initial doubt on Annie’s part all this would work.

Well I’ll let you see for yourself. There are two screen captures below of the actual InBody body composition reports that were completed almost exactly one month apart.

The first one is from when my client was doing the extra cardio classes and keeping calories and carbs low. The second one is a month later after discontinuing the cardio, focusing on resistance training, and eating more calories and carbs.

Date: 2-27-14
Weight: 139.6
Lean Body Mass: 101.4
Body Fat Mass: 38.11
Total Body Water: 74.5

Date: 3-25-14
Weight: 139.6
Lean Body Mass: 105.6
Body Fat Mass: 34.1
Total Body Water: 77.6

One thing you’ll notice right off the bat is that the scale weight is EXACTLY the same. If the only thing she had to go off of was the scale, she would’ve assumed nothing was different. This is one of the reasons why I believe your bathroom scale should be thrown in the trash. Let’s not get me started on that rant.

Now let’s look a little closer, although the scale weight was exactly the same, she had lost over 4 lbs of body fat from the previous month! That’s about a pound a week, which I’ll take any day for someone with less than 20 lbs to lose.

Lean body mass was up, albeit a large portion of that was coming from short-term water retention occurring during the time of the assessment, but none-the-less she wasn’t losing lean muscle, she was adding it.

So we’ve got some lean muscle development and body fat loss all from doing the following:

  • Eating slightly more calories and carbs
  • Hitting the weights hard, but ditching the cardio

What’s the explanation for why this worked? It’s pretty simple actually. By decreasing the amount of cardio, she was in essence reducing the amount of caloric deficiency. The slightly higher calories and carbs in her diet worked to reset hormonal balances and ramp back up metabolism.

By focusing on the resistance training, which I’ll say it again for the thousandth time…this is the most beneficial type of exercise a woman over forty can do to change her shape, my client started to tap into body fat stores while building lean muscle.

The big take-a-way lesson in all of this is that, yes while calorie and carb cutting with lots of exercise may work for periods of time, it’s not for everyone. The closer you are to your ideal shape, the more you’re going to want to focus on feeding the muscle and supporting metabolism.

You simply can’t be afraid of eating more and bumping up carbs when fat loss comes to a standstill. This may be exactly what you need to break out of a plateau.

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a plateau like this I’m here to help. I’ve got several coaching options available, including remote diet coaching for those outside of the Charleston area. Don’t hesitate to let me know if I can be of assistance.

On a final note, just remember the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. A supportive nutrition diet and physical activity is paramount to fat loss and body composition changes, but your unique needs will change over time.

When a particular approach is no longer working, you’ve got to switch things up. Best wishes and talk soon. – S

Shane Doll CPT, CSCS is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He specializes in body transformation coaching for middle age adults. Learn more and then sign up for a free no-obligations consultation.


Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - Shane Doll

If I had to point to perhaps the biggest mistake I’ve seen over the years with those just starting out or returning to a body transformation regiment, it’s attempting to do too many things at once.

In the majority of cases this is a sure-fire recipe for frustration, discouragement, and unmet expectations.

An example would be the individual who goes from being on a poor diet and doing little to no exercise, to an attempt of hitting the gym five times a week and following a strict diet. While a small minority of individuals will have the discipline to jump right in with massive lifestyle changes, the majority of folks will find this overwhelming. Thankfully the gym owners are making it easier for us to join them with their great qualities among the system. If you run a gym then you are going to need some effective gym management software like this so that you can easily run the business and not have to worry about billing.

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Saturday, April 19th, 2014 - Shane Doll

Ask most anyone off the street what’s the best diet strategy to lose body fat and you’ll likely hear something along the lines of going low-carb.

Fitness trainers have been providing the same run of the mill advice for years, and while there are certainly some benefits with carb reduction at times, the use of low-carb dieting for fat loss does have its limitations.

In fact, with some individuals low-carb dieting may be the underlying reason why they’re dead stuck in a fat loss plateau and no longer seeing the body composition changes they desire. We recommend sleeping well with ultrasonic humidifiers and essential oils and get fit.

It’s the dark, dirty little secret with low-carb diets that nobody wants to talk about, but I will. The truth needs to be told as this is a subject full of misconceptions that’s leaving a lot of people frustrated. You may be thinking, “but hey wait a minute Shane I know lots of people who have lost weight on a low-carb diet.”

There’s no question about it and I’m not denying that a low-carb diet can be a viable option (with some individuals under certain conditions), but hear me out as I can point you to cases where not getting enough carbs becomes part of the problem and not the solution.

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Friday, January 24th, 2014 - Shane Doll

I received a question this morning from one of my readers regarding what could she do to help with hot flashes. Since I specialize in coaching middle age men and women this is a subject I’ve spent considerable more time researching than your typical fitness trainer.

While I don’t pretend to be an endocrinologist and steer clear of providing direct protocol for menopausal treatment, I can share with you some recommendations.

At the root of hot flashes we’re dealing with hormonal fluctuations in the body so there are some things women can do that may help their situation.

Again talk with your health care provider about hormone regulation, but here are some exercise and nutrition related suggestions that may help with hot flashes.

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 - Shane Doll

I sat down this morning with a cup of coffee and a notepad to brain dump some ideas for topics I’d like to discuss on this blog for 2014.

As I sat and pondered different ideas it occurred to me that I really need to do a better job with connecting on the mental aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

Sure I love discussing the latest research, training tips, diet strategies, etc, but this is my passion so it’s relatively easy for me to write about these subjects.

But then I started thinking, what about the person who’s currently doing very little for their fitness and health?

The more in-depth discussions don’t connect with these folks because they’re stuck in unhealthy habits.

Now granted there are some individuals who really don’t care and have no problem telling you that. It’s like they’re proud of their unhealthy habits and avoidance of anything that even resembles physical activity.

While I understand not everyone is going to be a health nut or workout fanatic, it’s always seemed silly to me that some people  would choose to totally neglect the most precious gift they have, their health.

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Thursday, December 19th, 2013 - Shane Doll

I’ve long been a proponent of ditching sodas from your diet since they provide zero nutritional value to the body. It’s no secret that regular soft drinks contain empty calories from lots of sugar which contributes to weight gain.

However, what’s confusing to a lot of folks is how “diet” sodas, with no sugar or calories, could actually trigger weight gain and type 2 diabetes as well, if you are already suffering from sugar related diseases you may find intestesting this article where you can find out more in this pure health blood sugar formula review

Believe it, because there’s nothing “diet” about a a diet soda. New research is shedding some light on how diet sodas can wreck your metabolism and sabotage weight loss in ways that might surprise you. Artificial sweeteners certainly play a role, but it goes deeper than that as it appears the carbonation may also be in the mix.

If you’re a diet soda drinker you’ll want to put some serious thought into what these drinks are doing to your body. Alright, I’ve done some homework and dug into some of the research studies and this is what I’ve found…

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Thursday, December 5th, 2013 - Shane Doll

In this third and final post of my mini-series on fitness training tips for the middle age and older adult, I’m going to briefly cover some of the more efficient and effective ways to exercise.

This is a subject that I’ll be going into extensive detail on in my upcoming book, “The Lean Code Method – Body Transformation For The Middle Age Adult.”

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to create a fitness routine that matches up with individual needs and goals. While all types of exercise in general can be beneficial from a health standpoint, some routines will be more effective and appropriate than others depending on a person’s age. A FitnessTrainer is really good at making sure you are doing the right motions for your level of fitness, over training is dangerous but even just a little training done improperly can also be dangerous.

In short, what you did in your twenties and early thirties for exercise and fitness may not be a good fit when you get older. Things change, your body has changed, therefore your fitness routines should be changing with it.

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Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 - Shane Doll

No this won’t be another post on the number of calories in a typical Thanksgiving meal or anything like that. Most of us don’t really want to know how long it will take to walk off the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie anyways.

I’m sure that information is out there somewhere, but I wanted to share a slightly different message about indulging over the holidays. After all, I don’t know about you but I’m going to be watching football after Thanksgiving dinner and not doing laps around the block.

When I sat down to think about what to write for this week’s blog post, I pondered on what I could share from a bigger picture perspective.

What popped into my head was a unique saying that my father used to tell me.

This was a line I typically heard as I was headed out the door in my younger years on a Friday or Saturday night when he knew I’d probably be up to no good.

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Thursday, November 21st, 2013 - Shane Doll

In part two of this mini-series on fitness training tips for the middle age and older adult, I’m going to be addressing the subject of fueling your body prior to workouts.

This is a topic where you’ll find a lot of different advice depending on who you ask.

Pre-workout nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all matter. Again, nutrition strategies will vary with an individual’s age, their unique needs, and the type of physical activity being performed.

What I’m about to share with you are recommendations for middle age and older adults who are performing resistance training and/or cardiovascular workouts which are typically 45 minutes or less in duration. Many people have been switching to badminton for a cardiovascular workout, if you are interested in trying it out, then make sure to get the right gear to have a better time playing. Yonex produce quality badminton rackets to make the experience of playing the game way better than any other brand of rackets.

Obviously, these recommendations may be somewhat different for a younger athlete or those completing longer duration workouts or endurance events which last 60-90 minutes or more.

Lastly, let me preface this discussion by saying that I fully recognize the fact that each person, regardless of age, will find experimentation to be helpful in finding what works best for them.

I’m simply going to be sharing what I’ve found to work best for myself along with a large portion of my middle age and older clientele.

More after the jump…

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