In today's Sept. 15, 2010 newsletter . . .

  • It is your life. Don't blow it!

  • Do You Want a Home Gym?

It is your life. Don't blow it !

“You control more than 70 percent of how well and how long you will live. By the time you reach 50, your lifestyle diet makes up 80 percent of how you age; the rest is controlled by inherited genetics.” —YOU: The Owner’s Manual, by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

America is a fat nation. I know we aren’t the only ones; other modern nations are fat, too. But that’s little consolation. As your mother probably said to you (I know mine did): "Just because someone jumps off a bridge, would you do it too?" Of course not. And there’s no good reason to hasten your own demise just because others eat themselves into obesity and illness. You are stronger than that. You are smarter than that.

But what if you are overweight and out of shape? First, be honest with yourself. Be courageous. Strip down all the way and stand before a mirror. Do you see a fat person? Grab the flesh around your waist. If you can grab a handful, you’ve got problems. Denial is dangerous. Jack LaLanne said, "Your waistline is your lifeline." He is so right. That tape measure you wrap around your middle is a better indicator of your health and fitness than the scale. That's because belly fat is the most dangerous kind. Your doctor will confirm it.

Make a vow to get rid of it. Do it now, today. But how? Here is how. You’ve got to start moving more and eating less. And the eating less part is the big kahuna. By all means, find exercise you enjoy and do it regularly. But you won’t lose blubber unless you eat less. I know, Michael Phelps consumes a gazillion calories a day and carries not an ounce of extra fat. He also works out harder and longer than 99.99 percent of the people on earth. We mortals could not afford to do that and probably wouldn't want to if we could. Be realistic. You won’t lose weight unless you eat less.

Can’t seem to do it on your own? Then join a group like Weight Watchers. Or work with a nutritionist. Or get a trainer. But get it done. It’s your life we’re talking about.

I’m personally not a calorie-counter. It would drive me nuts. I like using a hand measurement method for portion control. Do it right and proper calorie intake is automatic. It’s explained in detail in my books, or it’s summarized on my nutrition page. But if calorie counting works for you, do it. Or if Jenny Craig or similar plans are more to your liking, then that’s the way to go.

The only caveat regarding calorie counting or plans that involve pre-mixed meals is this: Eventually you have to return to real world eating. If what you practice while dieting doesn’t work in the real world, your fat will return. It's guaranteed. That’s why I like my hand measurement method. It’s easy to follow, it works anywhere, and once you get the portion size pictures in your mind, they never go away.

If you are overweight and out of shape, today is your day to turn things around. You can do it.

Do You Want a Home Gym?

Having a home gym is convenient. You don't have to drive anywhere. You never have to wait to use a piece of equipment, and you can workout at any time, day or night. The equipment you need for a home gym does not have to be expensive either (though it can be, depending on the type you decide on).

You can get good workouts with a few simple options, such as a set of dumbbells and an adjustable bench, or kettlebells, or resistance bands. Add some bodyweight calisthenics and a stability ball and you’re covered. You don’t have to break the bank. If you want more equipment later on, you can always add to what you have.

Check out George Boedecker’s home gym for an example of a complete facility where strength athletes at the highest level would find everything they need. I think you’ll agree, it is a well thought out home gym.

Terry Overstreet’s gym is another good example to look at. He bought his equipment second hand, designed it around Cross Fit training concepts, and he trains outdoors.

Bob White mixes free weight dumbbells with a Total Trainer, expanders and various other exercise options. Seeing what other dedicated trainees have designed is a great way to gather ideas for your own home gym.

In the next newsletter, I’ll show you an example of a minimalist approach that works well in the tiniest spaces and requires almost zero set-up time. It’s a method I often use myself.

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, the newsletter and web site contain advertising and marketing links. I receive payment for ads or commissions when people buy advertised products or services.

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.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter