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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #121, Losing fat with the 70-30 rule..
September 01, 2013

September 1, 2013

In this newsletter . . .

The 70/30 Rule

Finding the Perfect Workout

The 70/30 Rule

You hear it a lot: Achieving normal bodyweight is 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. I don’t know if there is actual science to backup the exact 70/30 ratio, or who came up with the percentages, but it would not surprise me at all to learn that it is 100% accurate.

Look around the gym or in your exercise class and you’ll see some people who come regularly and put in a decent effort — yet their body shape doesn’t change much. And almost all of the time, it is because they simply eat too much. The cliché that "you can’t out exercise a bad diet" may not be carved in stone, but it ought to be written in big letters somewhere in every gym.

I have heard people say the reason they run or lift weights is so they can eat as much and whatever they want. You’ve probably heard it, too. Well, guess what? I’m sure the exercise is beneficial to them, but they’re never going to be really trim. Oh, maybe you can find a few fast burners that defy the rule. But you sure won’t find many. The vast majority of us must gain control over what and especially how much we put in our mouths, or we are destined to carry too much fat.

When I taught cardio kickboxing, I watched the students who came regularly. Everyone’s fitness and endurance improved. But without exception, the ones who really shed the excess fat also cut back on how much they ate. Some went to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Others followed the Zone or various other programs. Some of the programs were balanced and healthy, and some not so healthy, long term. But the common denominator was that whatever program they followed it resulted in their taking in fewer calories.

Naturally, I prefer my own way of healthful eating, which I explain here and in more detail in my books. But regardless of what program people follow, to lose weight you must take in fewer calories daily than your body needs to maintain your current weight and stored fat. It is true: You cannot out exercise a bad diet. I don’t know if success is exactly 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. But I’d guess the ratio is pretty close.

Find my nutrition guidelines here.

Finding the Perfect Workout

The following is from a Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter written two years ago.

Don T. (age 59) opened his e-mail the other day and discovered five different offers, each claiming to provide him with the "perfect workout." One promoted kettlebells. Power lifting with barbells is the way to go, said another. Bodyweight calisthenics are all that's needed, a third one chimed in. Even Chuck Norris invited Don to take a Total Gym for a trial run. Wow! And who can resist Christie Brinkley?

Don T. lives in the Midwestern U.S. He says he is a little overweight but is in reasonably decent shape. He does a little jogging and has at various times worked out in commercial gyms. He doesn't see himself as a novice. But he wants to get more serious about his fitness, and he wants to workout at home. He e-mailed me to ask which device(s) or method(s) I thought would provide perfect workouts.

To start with, the method or equipment that is most likely to hold his interest over time, not just for a month or two, is his best bet. That much is certain. But it is Don's expectations and preferences that are the key.

If competitive power lifting or the Olympic lifts are his reason for working out, he must have an Olympic bar and plates. Nothing else will suffice. He'll need some coaching, too, from a competent trainer. But for all around fitness training, practically any one of the offered equipment and methods will serve him well - if he enjoys it.

But let's not overlook that Don's age must also be taken into account. At 59, certain kinds of training may begin to put too much stress on his senior tendons and ligaments. Resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, or devices like the Total Gym can be easier on aging joints. If he decides to stay with standard barbells and dumbbells, he probably ought to apply abbreviated workouts. Heck, even most young people who workout probably over-train.

And this is critical: All the talk and promises in the world from sellers of specific products won't mean a thing unless he gets pleasure out of his workouts. Training should be challenging, but at the same time there has to be a workout likability factor. Without it, even the latest and greatest training apparatus he can find will end up stored in a dusty corner of the garage.

My advice: If possible, he should buy weights, bands, or other devices that he has actually tried out. Or if he's had no experience with the equipment, he should make sure the company he buys from offers a return policy. And last, no matter what equipment or method of training, his comprehensive program should have three components: 1) Resistance training; 2) cardiovascular exercise; and 3) some flexibility movements.

There are several ways, such as circuit workouts, to combine all three components in a single format. Or many people prefer keeping them separate, such as working with weights one day, cardio the next, and staying limber by stretching a bit after each session.

Now is a good time to mention my book, too: Living the Fitness Lifestyle. It provides enough workout formats to keep him interested for a very long time.

Kettlebell Boomer DVD

You've probably heard about the tremendous benefits of weight training and how you can retain -- or even reclaim -- the attributes of youth . . . Discover the way with . . .

Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women

Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines and television, this newsletter and my web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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