Read for your needs:
You can give us your thoughts about this site and/or advertise here via email:
* When this picture was taken, the almost 70-year old model was
curling (biceps) up to 75 lbs; legs (hamstrings) 190 lbs; sitting leg
pressing 450 lbs; back extension at 220 lbs and swimming 30 minutes once a
week with three butterfly laps and one underwater in a 25 meter pool.
(Details by permission)
We are accepting photos that exemplify fitness in all ages and genders. Send
us yours via the email link above along with your name, age, exercise
schedule, weight levels and anything else that pertains to maintaining your
fitness. Your data will be edited to conform to our design.
It's understood that your submission includes your permission to use your
photo in this context but please add the phrase, "My permission is hereby
granted to variagate.com to use the attached photo," and your full name. Use
of any submission and the duration of use is at the sole discretion of
variagate.com. And, thanks.
DENY YOUR DENTIST
Give him or her no cavities for a very long time! Here's how.
an article by Jules Brenner
The Fat Burning Diet
by Jay Robb
The Right Protein for Muscle & Strength
by Michael Colgan
Amino Acids and Proteins for the Athlete: The Anabolic Edge
by Mauro DiPasquale
Strength Training for Seniors
by Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, Thomas R. Baechle
Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism
by Maria C. Linder
Hold It! You're Exercising Wrong
by Edward J. Jackowski
Welcome to our Fitness Room
Where you'll be invited to exercise enough discipline
to make a difference in your stamina, strength, immune system and
We assume that if you're here reading this you are interested in improvement.
Our point of encouragement for you is the undeniable fact that people who
attain their optimal weight and level of fitness are respected more -- by
others and by themselves! So, come on in, and stay for a few sets.
What kind of training is best?|
Training can be broken down into two categories: aerobic ("with air") and
anaerobic ("without air"). Aerobics are, then, exercise that can be
done for a continuous period of time because your muscles' demand for oxygen
doesn't exhaust the body's supply. This would include jogging, swimming,
dancing, light weight or no weight repetitions of a body movement. Weight
training, on the other hand, requires so much oxygen for the muscles being
worked that it must be done in limited duration, hence the concept of
"without air" or, rather, without a sufficient supply of air for sustained
Which gets us to the question of what kind of exercise is best. Is it better
to jog or to lift? To swim or to pump iron? Once you understand how your
body is affected by each you'll see that the question is a bit disingenuous,
often asked in order to justify personal choices.
The answer is to exercise in each category. No training program is adequate
or balanced if it doesn't include weight training and aerobics. Here's one
reason why: There are two chambers in the heart, one larger than the other.
The heart is a muscle. Anaerobic exercise strengthens the large heart
muscle; aerobics strengthens the smaller one. Should one be trained while
the other is not? One would hardly think so.
Ultimate fitness, that is, reaching your true physical potential, can only be
realized by training in both categories.
If you haven't ever worked out with weights, the time to start is NOW!
Benefits of training with weights (aka, resistance training)|
- Gains in:
- Lean Muscle Mass
- Immune system
- Health & more healthful choices
- Circulatory efficiency
- Dietary discipline
- Self esteem
- Quality of life
- Losses in:
- Dependence on others
- Weight from fat
- Cholesterol buildup
- Doctor visits
Weight training has a beneficial effect on all organs in the body.
What kind of diet is best?|
The kind that keeps the fat off and supports the building of muscle
Everyone's genetic profile is a bit different but that should never be used
as an excuse for maintaining body fat. We're coming from a place where fat
in any form is ugly, useless and unhealthy. Get rid of it!
We don't believe in a 10-day diet, a 90-day diet, or any such marketing
concept. If your goal is fitness you have only one way to go: a lifetime
training diet. High in proteins. Extremely low in fats (especially
saturated) and complex carbohydrates.
All carbohydrates are not the same from a dietary standpoint. Some
researchers have developed a "glycemic index" of carbos, which is a measure
of how quickly a food can spike blood sugar. On the low end of this scale
are vegetables and fruit. On the high end, besides the obvious, are many
In this life approach of maintaining a training diet, you read every label
and reject saturated fat content above 2% daily average wherever possible.
You reject butter, cream, fatty meats. You run like hell when you see the
Well, okay, we love pizza, too. But, we're down to 11% body fat so guess
what? Our metabolism can handle that rare tomato and cheese pie with
toppings. Even the occasional chocolate desert. Once you achieve your
minimum healthy weight and body fat percentage and are maintaining it, let
your scale tell you how far you can go outside your normal lifetime
Non trainers and beginning trainers: Replacing the fatty foods in your diet
with lean meats and vegetables is only part of the training diet story. If
you're heavier than you should be you're eating too much. It's largely about
quantity. You're getting older (we all are) -- you no longer have the
metabolism of a teenager (unless you are a teenager). The sad fact is that
you don't need as much food. It may be painful to accept but as you
grow older you simply have to cut down on how much you eat.
Keep in mind that when you lose body fat you will have more blood, oxygen,
vitamins and other nutrients for the remaining parts of your body. You'll
feel the difference.
Weight trainers: Losing fat reveals muscle. Let the world see that six-pack
under the belly fat. Be lean.
In weight training you gain the most the first year but you never stop
How do you lose weight?|
Dropping those pounds of fat you've been carrying around is mostly mental and
part a matter of knowledge of food and nutrition.
The hardest feat to accomplish is the mental part. It's in the mind-set. If
your mind is not truly set to reaching your ideal weight you won't do it.
You'll try. You'll do something in bits and spurts. Then that craving takes
over. It's only a solid mind-set that can defeat the constant enemy that is
temptation. You'll constantly recall the pleasure behind your favorite
sweets, cheeses, deserts. You'll resist... but for how long? If you succumb
you'll be determining the weakness of your mind-set.
You can do it. The reason other people with normal metabolism can do it is
not that they have less appetite than you, or a weaker set of temptations.
It's because they have developed the necessary mind-set. With that and only
with that they can get used to the necessary new regimen. Hungry? Go to
chicken and vegetables? Got the munchies? Grab a chunk of carrot. You'll
be amazed at how totally a person can become devoted to healthy intake. In
fact, it's not uncommon in the training community to develop an abhorrence
for sweets and fats. When you reach that stage you'll have solidified the
most important mind set for a life of fitness and health.
Developing a mind set can be a learning process. Start by figuring out what
foods you like that have little fat, cholesterol and calories. There must be
something in your current diet that fits that category. To add to that list,
see if you can find foods in that category that you can shift to and still
enjoy. This is your training diet list. The key to this is to not even
try to eat foods you don't enjoy. Then, little by little, start
replacing the high-fat foods you're used to with these. Fill up with them so
you don't even think about the fatty foods, and, once you find and establish
that formula, gradually diminish the sheer quantity of your intake. How far
you need to go depends on how far you are from your ideal weight. If you do
this and stick with it you are developing that fitness mind-set. Add regular
workouts to it and you'll soon be that person you want to be.
Your first year of weight training will produce changes in your body that will
amaze you (and your friends).
How do protein and carbohydrates relate to weight training?|
We keep hearing about how bad carbohydrates are and how they should be
eliminated from your diet. But, we can't figure out how to do that. Why
would we want to cut vegetables out of our diets? Right, we wouldn't. It's
the difference between simple carbos like sugars and fat, and complex carbos
like veggies. Simple is bad; complex is good. You can't, after all, have an
entire diet of protein.
Ah, that protein. To a weight trainer, protein is gold. Protein is what
allows the muscle tissue that is broken down during training to rebuild into
greater and stronger fibers. It gives us the bulk and/or the strength... in
short, the results of our training. The more the better. Lean, lean meat.
Egg, chicken, fish. Veggies.
The closest thing to a fountain of youth is a steady regime of repetitions.
What about supplements?|
Yes, they do try to sell you supplements, and among the most popular are
protein powders. Are they good? Do they work? We hesitate to do without
them. But, we've got a big revelation and if you read this and try it, we
want to know how it works for you.
In my personal training, no supplement I've ever tried is as effective as one
egg about 90 minutes before my workout! The reason, of course, is that it
supplies the protein I need during the workout. Having it there, being
processed and available for the muscle work, ensures my peak performance.
It's a powerhouse of a supplement, if you will.
The fact that it makes so much difference even though I'm
using protein powder puts the efficacy of the powder into question. Be that
as it may, I'm using both. And, more and more people are remarking on my
'condition'. Fitness is apparent. Try it; you'll like it.
Weight trainers: We hope you'll try the one-egg supplement idea if (1) you
work out in the mornings and (2) either don't have breakfast or don't normally
include some form of protein in it. See if it makes the kind of difference
in your power and control that it does for me. Just one egg, prepared any
way you like it.
If you try it, let's say for 5-10 workouts, please participate in the email
survey by telling us with how it worked for you. If you've gotten anything
from any of this you owe us at least one message. Use the email link above
(left column) or the handier one below. Let us know if it made a difference
or not, how much difference in terms of an increase in weights, control
and/or power. Also include what other supplements you're taking. If enough
people participate in this survey, we'll see if there's a consensus and post
the results. Thanks.
Muscle is the friend; fat is the enemy.
The hidden benefit of developing muscle|
There are obvious benefits to developing muscle mass: greater strength,
better looks, more confidence, etc. But there's a less obvious connection
between your muscle mass and your body's ability to control foreign invaders.
Yes, the immune system is directly related to your muscle mass. The more
muscle, the stronger your immune system. There can hardly be a better reason
to take up weight training! And, this effect gets more important as you
age. Do not think weight training is not for you when you're in your
sixties, or seventies. That's just when you need it most. If you do it
seriously, you'll be doing it into your eighties and nineties. There's no
physical reason why you can't and it's the best way to keep your health up to
its highest potential.
Starting at around age 30, muscle mass in sedentary individuals declines by
about 2% to 5% per decade. Caloric requirements and metabolic rate decline
accordingly. (see also, Metabolism) The big point
is that as we get older we need less food to sustain a healthy life -- and
certainly, less consumption of fatty foods. The biggest single problem
overweight people have (60% of our population) is paying no attention to this
process and not adjusting their intake. It's as though they insist on eating
like they did when they were teenagers -- a sort of "hanging on to youth"
formula. And, it's a slippery slope that leads to weakness and
susceptability to pathogens.
A good training diet is essential to any training regime
Methodology: Train for your goal|
If you're a woman and you think weight training is for those guys and gals
you see on the covers of body building magazines, forget it. So, you're not
interested in a body like Maclish. But, you would like to firm up a bit
here, a bit there. You'd like to be in condition, feel better, increase your
confidence, keep your boobs tuned. There's no reason not to.
The methods of training are goal specific, breaking down essentially into two
categories: training for maximum muscle growth and training for general
conditioning. In the first you use the maximum amount of weight for a given
exercise that you can repeat 4-15 times and keep increasing that amount as
your strength develops. In the latter, you use light weights with many more
repetitions. Not so it becomes an aerobic exercise, so you want to become
exhausted at 30 or 40 reps.
This second method may not be only for women, but can include the young and
The important thing here is to enjoy doing it. That means not pushing
yourself to a point that it becomes work. It may look like work, but
only to the uninitiated.
Weight training should put you in exactly the right mind set to eat properly.
Selective Reduction (can you remold your body?)|
Sorry, it ain't gonna happen. But it's the myth that you can spot reduce
(lose fat in a specific area) that keeps the health clubs in business. Most
people think they can take down their stomach fat by working on their abs.
Oh, what a misconception. Or, reduce that cellulite on your thigh with deep
leg presses. What a failure to understand. This faulty logic is so
ingrained that we know the truth (as we are about to reveal it) will be denied
so vehemently you'd think we were trying to get you to change your religion.
The prevailing belief in "spot reduction" is a faith. But the sooner you get
over it the sooner you'll be dealing with the reality of body dynamics.
Fat goes on your body and comes off in a genetically controlled way. That's
why our bodies look so different. Some have a tendency to carry extra weight
at the stomach, others on the hips, others on the arms. Your genetics are
handed down to you from your ancestors to your parents, which is why
ethnic origin and nationality seems to produce a common body type.
Genetics are like a computer algorithm that determines the order of a set of
commands. The gene that controls your body development determines where your
body fat is stored, or not. The lucky ones are those whose body fat is
equalized proportionately. Unlucky are those whose genes cause fat tissue to
build up in an unbalanced way. The unlucky are numerous, indeed.
So, some come to the gym to work on that part of the body that they think
needs remolding. In working on that one area, they aren't controlling the
fat-accumulation there... but they might be taking overall fat off,
especially if they combine weight training with a reduction in food quantity
and saturated fat. The fat rolls off in the order determined by that gene.
Eventually, if you lose enough weight, you'll lose it where you want to and,
what do you know? You might start seeing some muscle. So, the big point is,
combine your weight training with a proper training diet!
and don't--for your health's sake--fall back.
Weight training without a high protein, low fat diet and eating only as much
as you need to is throwing away a lot of effort and energy.
Defining your muscles|
Some people lift weights and get stronger but see little muscle growth or
definition. It's fair to say that all resistance trainers have the common
goal of being "cut", that is, developing well defined muscles. Becoming
stronger is fine, and so are the beneficial health benefits. But, why oh
why, these people moan (mostly to themselves), can't I show muscle like others
It is a genetic matter to a great extent, but another, very common
factor, is fat control. Besides all the obvious implications of fat, it has a
tendency in many people to hide muscle. Your inability to define your
muscles may simply be a thick layer of fat over them. If you fall into this
category and you don't think you're overweight, you think your diet is a
healthy one, better start thinking of cutting back on the quantity of food
As you cut back, be especially careful about maintaining a balanced
diet. Be sure, in your limited quantity you continue to include plenty of
protein, complex carbohydrates like fruits, nuts, vegetables. Do your best
to cut out anything with high fat content; go to fat-free milk and cheese, if
you have milk and cheese at all; and remember that, as we get older, we burn
fat at a slower rate and therefore survive --in fact, sustain better
health-- with a smaller quantity of food.
If you're really working out properly, 3-5 days a week, enhancing your
metabolism and cut back on quantity, you're likely to start seeing a
difference quickly. Watch your muscles become more defined. You may
discover, as I did early in my training and diet adjustment, that you have a
Weight training not only makes your muscles stronger, it's been found to
increase bone density, lowering your risk of osteoporosis.
Steroids: the tradeoff|
Steroids are the synthetically developed derivatives of testosterone,
collectively known as "Anabolics" or "anabolic steroids". Steroids were
first developed in the 1930's by German scientists and used on POW's.
Testosterone is perhaps the most important of the male sex hormones
collectively called "androgens."
Using cholesterol as a base, the male gonads (testes) produce between 4 and
10 mg of testosterone per day. Testosterone is responsible for the
development of secondary male sex characteristics also called androgenic
functions. Some examples of these characteristics are increased growth of
body hair, beard growth, deep voice, increased production of sebaceous
glands, development of the penis, aggressiveness, sexual behavior, libido,
and the maturation of sperm.
But, the function of testosterone and steroids that is of particular interest
to weight trainers is the promotion of the protein biosynthesis which
accelerates muscle buildup. Further, it increases the formation of red blood
cells, speeds up regeneration, and speeds up recovery time after injuries or
illness. It also stimulates metabolism which results in the burning of
Pretty good stuff, right? Well, besides legal issues, some of us are either
affected adversely by a self-imposed rebalancing of our natural hormones,
or are turned off merely by the thought of it. We'd rather not risk unwanted
effects and compromises to our health which, often, are not immediately
known. The use of steroids is a time bomb.
Targetted weight training can help reduce the incidence and severity of lower
back pain by strengthening both your abdominal and lower back muscles.
Metabolism, Muscle Mass & Your Weight|
The more lean tissue you have the higher your metabolic rate. Muscle mass
boosts metabolism because muscle is active tissue that helps convert food
into water, heat and energy. Fat tissue, on the other hand, is a passive,
stored form of body energy -- something to be burned off when the body is
not getting its usual amount of food.
The more muscle you have, the more calories it can send to muscle cells to be
burned, leaving fewer calories to go to fat cells to be stored -- usually
where you don't want it.
Several new studies suggest that formerly sedentary adults who do a program
of strength training for three months gain about 3 pounds of muscle, or a
pound of muscle a month. This increase in muscle mass boosts the metabolic
rate by about 7%. The person who does this is reversing decades of the aging
Slow metabolism is not a curse. It's a behavioral consequence. Weight
training is the method for improving your metabolic rate, as well as the
benefits of blood circulation.
Muscle Mass and Common Drugs|
In an unusual development, researchers have found that the daily recommended
doses of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) and acetaminophen (aspirin) produced a
significant increase in muscle mass and strength during three months of
regular weight treaining compared with a placebo. The study was reported at
a meeting of the American Physiological Society. The drugs apparently
produced intramuscular changes that enhance the metabolic response to
resistance training, according to the report. Previous short-term studies
showed detrimental results. (from the L.A. Times, April, 2008)
Slow metabolism is not a curse. It's a behavioral consequence. Weight
training is the method for improving your metabolic rate.
The Effect of Exercise on Cholesterol|
It has been noted that exercise, while appearing to be beneficial for
cholesterol, doesn't really lower it. That paradox seems to be explained in a
new study (11/02) by Dr. William E. Kraus of Duke University, who found a
heretofore unexpected way that exercise affects cholesterol by turning his
attention to the physical structure of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Cholesterol is an essential fat, or lipid. It circulates through the body by
attaching to protein particles. It appears more likely to clog the arteries
when it is carried by small, dense protein particles than when it is moved by
relatively large, fluffy ones. The study finds that people who exercise
develop these bigger particles, even if their total amount of cholesterol stays
A higher amount of exercise improved the effect.
Kraus expects the tests for measuring protein particle size may become more
frequently done in standard cholesterol testing. If you're into fitness, you
should ask for it.
Weight training will lessen the dangers of cholesterol.
DVD: "Carmen Electra's Aerobic Sriptease: In The Bedroom"
This babe gives you a body-sculpting workout using a bed. The idea is to
burn calories, work all your muscle sets and, ladies, if you set your guy on
fire doing it, all the more reason to practice it and get it right.
The Matrix Principle: A Revolutionary Approach to
Muscle Development by Ronald S. Laura, Kenneth R. Dutton
Body Sculpting for Women
by Rachel Larkin
Supervixen : Secrets for Building a Lean and Sexy Body
by Negrita Jayde