Archive for biggest loser opinions
I have a question for you. If you watch a handful of boxing matches on television does that mean you to be a coach for it? What about if you watch a youtube video on martial arts does that mean you should open up a martial arts school? Well somehow the laws of fitness are different in this case at least if you are a “celebrity”.
You know there are two ways to get my blood pressure up. One is to make a pass at my wife (for your own safety do not attempt.) and the other is to teach dangerous form with the kettlebell (for the safety of everyone else do not attempt.)
So you can imagine how annoyed I got when Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper decided he wanted to teach that which I hold dear. I used to think that Bob Harper was the lesser of 2 evils since he wasn’t as much of a bully as Jillian Micheals (who I have nicknamed the Nazi princess). I thought Jillian was the more dangeouse of the two when she invented the “kiss your own ass goodbye swings”. (I was going to show you the video but they thankfully have taken it down).
Bob Harper has suddenly taken a swing at kettlebell training but once again like so many before him didn’t take the time to figure out how to do it right and if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. So first let’s compare his swing to my swing. Notice my swing is safe and effective while his is unsafe and ineffective. He says the right things but does it all wrong.
His swing was taken down before I was able to post this but read on and you can get the gist of it.
Notice he says it’s in the hips and yet both of them muscle it up with their back? You swing like that you aren’t going to get the same effects that others have gotten from swings. What you’ll get instead of tree swinging traps and an android work capacity is a back injury. You might lose some fat but you’ll probably just lose your money to your chiropractor as they try to undue the damage that an “expert” taught you on a youtube video.
Now the turkish getup
I have a special place in my heart for a properly performed turkish getup since I had sustained shoulder injuries from martial arts that never quite healed properly and the getup was the best thing I ever did to them. After doing turkish getups for maybe a month and just getting to know the exercise I would actually have to think for a second to figure out which shoulder I injured. Notice however I said a “properly performed turkish getup”. At the time when I was doing this proper meant “standing up with a kettlebell locked out overhead anyway you safely can”. Well the video was taken down to people that aren’t friends with him on youtube so I actually had to go to Josh Hillis’ blog and steal his pictures (thanks Josh). Hell Josh saved me a lot of time because I couldn’t have done a better job myself.
I was ranting about this in that animated way I tend to be when I am in front of a group of people and I couldn’t even bring myself to demonstrate it for them. That and I didn’t want to corrupt my class’ minds by demonstrating shit form. So the best I can describe Harper’s turkish getup is take one of our RKC foundational movements. One that has been known to fix many shoulder injuries including yours truly, restore primitive movement patterns and just a cool looking exercise all together. Just take the way it is currently taught and do every single thing that could be done ass backwards. Seriously the only way I could make this exercise worse would be to do a face plant or maybe have someone soccer kick you in the head when you are at the bottom.
Alright Bob Harper knock it the hell off. Yeah I appreciate what you are trying to do but what you are actually doing is going to create a mess. Yes I am aware that anytime some uber famous dude does anything with a kettlebell it raises awareness but the fact of the matter is that you are going to make the kettlebell not famous for fixing people… but for breaking people. You have a lot of money Bob just retire and leave the trench work to people like me that know what is going on with the swing and the getup. I am still trying to fix someone that injured their back with the crossfit kettlebell swing and I don’t need you entering the mix as well. You have the money just go buy an island, live there and quit trying to train people because they are better off without you.
Now if you don’t think he is doing damage then stay tuned for a post I have coming up because one of my clients just told me something today that earns it’s own blog post. I’ll post it later this week.
I can’t believe that I am actually about to do this, that I am actually about to defend Jillian Micheals. Alright first let me give you a little bit of background before I begin. I’ve always thought that her form was atrocious and the way she treats the contestants on the Biggest Loser is insane. I have questioned her programming and why she felt she needed to have overweight people do plyometrics (an Eastern Bloc technique used for developing explosive power in highly trained athletes) and why on earth she felt they needed to run a marathon.
I even had a running series on this here blog about everything I thought they were doing wrong. If I were the trainer on the Biggest Loser you bet I would do things way way different. It would be a lot more conservative, very boring and wouldn’t make good tv (maybe that’s why I am not making the big bucks but hey, I’ve kept my soul). Boring but I haven’t killed anybody yet and I plan on keeping a good track record.
DO NOT DO THE SWING THROUGH WHATEVER YOU DO
Well anyways the whole thing with that show is it would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. The fat loss and fitness industry is littered with snake oil salesmen and she isn’t exactly helping the cause. She goes and says that all you need is diet and exercise (good on her!), and then goes and promotes some kind of piece of crap diet pills (bad on her). The thing is a lot of these overweight people are victim’s of false advertising and unscrupulous people who would lend their name to anything that can make them a quick buck. She’s been sued for it before.
In the LA Times article about her dvd he goes and attacks the claim on the package where in the advertising it says you can drop 5lbs a week. He goes and breaks down how many calories are in a pound of fat (3500kcals btw) and points out that you can’t possibly lose 5lbs a week, and that’s actually the point I take issue with because it isn’t true.
From the article
“Part of this massive caloric deficit can result from dietary restriction — but not too much or it could cause her metabolism to slow down and she would experience intense hunger. A minimum intake for our hypothetical woman is around 1,400 calories a day, which is about 500 less than her typical weight-maintenance diet. Over the course of a week, she could lose 1 pound this way. So just 4 pounds — or 14,000 calories — left to account for.”
You want to pick on her form then fine because it’s dangerous and it makes it more difficult for me to convince people that this is safe and effective. If you read my last post I interviewed Geoff Neupert Master RKC and in it I asked him what kind of results his clients were getting from Kettlebell Burn. One of his clients dropped 40lbs in 7 weeks from his Kettlebell Burn program, and their metabolism was soaring.
If you itemize it so to speak then 40lbs divided by 7 weeks = 5.7lbs per week which is actually even higher then what Jillian Micheals’ dvd claimed. Now admittedly not every user is going to get that kind of results that that dude got but at least you can see that it is in fact possible to do it and to do it using kettlebells (safely too I might add) and I think one of the big factors is that Geoff’s Kettlebell Burn program also contains a section regarding nutrition where Jillian’s doesn’t. My test group though only followed the training portion and had a different source for their nutrition so to me it’s the actual training in this case that counts.
I guess in the end I am not actually defending her but I am defending our system of kettlebell training (which is very different from hers because it is uhm how shall I say this…safe and effective.
I guess that’s it for now but I would love to hear your thoughts.
So a little less then a week ago former Biggest Loser contestant and runner up Kai Hibbard spoke out against the show The Biggest Loser. Now if you have been following my blog for even a little bit of time you probably know that I am not a fan of the Biggest Loser and think that what they do as inspirational as it is it is at the same time terrible. In the following video Kai Hibbard brought to light what many of us in the fitness industry already know. Things like having them eat next to nothing, that they are getting a poor body image, that they were encouraged to dehydrate faster then many wrestlers and mma competitors, getting eating disorders, encouraging unrealistic expectations for viewers (10+ lbs per week!?!?), that they were put into dangerous situations etc. Here just watch the video for yourself.
Now when I first watched the video I applauded her for standing up to the dangerous ways of the Biggest Loser and the things they promote.
And then I learned the whole truth..
You see as dangerous as the trainers on the Biggest Loser are the one good thing that comes out from them is that there is no magic pill. Well with the exception of their shameless ads. When I did a little digging to see why she would suddenly come out against them I discovered that she has become a paid spokesperson for the Livea weight loss supplement company which she was promoting on her blog and if I am not mistaken she is promoting her diet book.
So basically it was a publicity stunt.
Does she still believe in hard training and sound nutrition? I don’t know. I have been denied access to her blog but one thing is for sure and that is she did in fact have a vested interest.
So what do you think of this whole thing?
So today I was sitting on my bed jammin a little bit on my guitar because I couldn’t think of anything to write about on this here blog you are reading. As I am playing I am also glancing around the room searching for my muse and noticed that my t-shirt drawer was open. Standing out of my shirts was a shirt that some of my friends had given me as a present/joke which I sometimes where to fitness seminars just for a laugh. It said “I workout everyday” and has a picture of a WiiMote.
Then I realized “Wii have a problem.”
You see just as I saw that I had a bit of a flash back to when I was Christmas Shopping at Best Buy and found an ingenious item for sale called The Biggest Loser Strength Kit for the Nintendo Wii.
Are you kidding me? First thing, if you want to be strong you have to do things that require strength. 5lb dumbbells won’t require strength unless you are just waking up from a hospital bed after a long time in a coma or are just getting out of a full body cast. Hopefully you aren’t.
Now second if you want to change your fitness levels and change your body don’t use video games to do that. Chances are video games are what got you there in the first place so don’t expect them to get you out no matter how bad you want them to. Get up off your ass and get outside train hard and train consistent and do things that require strength (even if strength isn’t your goal).
Now I know you got some thoughts floating around your head. Let me hear them.
Warning there are UFC spoilers below the video.
So this past Wednesday I got a call on my cell phone from one of my clients at the Montville Sports Center telling me Frank Mir was going to be in my gym for some last minute preparation before his fight against Shane Carwin. For me this was huge. Frank was rated I think 3rd in the world for the most brutal sport that exists…mixed martial arts. Him coming to my gym was a rare opportunity to see how one of the best actually trains.
I was hesitant to blog about it until now because with this blog you never really know who is watching and I didn’t want to give away any of his tactics. I was asked to keep everything hush hush and wasn’t allowed to film anything until he had actually finished training. That’s because youtube allows anybody to see anyone that gets seen with a flip cam (or Kodak Zi6 which is what I use). Totally understandable.
Now I really wanted Frank Mir to win. Frank Mir in person is about as cool as it gets and yeah I have met a few fighters since in my profession you over hear a lot of things and news comes my way pretty often. Him training in the mma gym where I run kettlebell classes almost makes it feel like he is a teammate as well.
Having observed him one of the things I noticed was how fast his hands moved when throwing punches and kicks and how loud the pads were. Frank wasn’t practicing fancy footwork or what the creator of Krav Maga Imi Lichtenfeld called “cavaliers” (because he thought that sounded fancy). Frank Mir practiced the basics. His groundwork was practicing the basics of escaping the mount and defending from the bottom because he knew that Shane Carwin is an aggressive and opponent.
Now here is where the spoiler comes in.
It didn’t do him much good. Shane Carwin was too much for him to handle that night. As dialed in as Frank was when I was watching him and as dialed in as he was that night Shane Carwin was also dialed in. Shane Carwin didn’t defeat Frank Mir with anything fancy. Just basic punches to the chin that came in through the tiny opening that Frank Mir had.
Now try and think about that for a second. Frank Mir practiced the basics. Shane Carwin practiced the basics. Shane Carwin’s won with basic punches. That night his basics happened to be the better of the two. If you watch mixed martial arts like I do you might notice that they use the same moves over and over again. That is because they have to master the basics. like Bruce Lee once said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Whoever has Bruce Lee’s fear got it through mastery of the basics.
When it comes to being the best one quote comes to mind.
“The best are better at the basics then everybody else.”