In today's June 1, 2009 newsletter . . .

  • Pectoral Madness

  • Fish Oil & Omega-3

Pectoral Madness

I have never understood our current obsession with pectorals. (I’m talking about guys’ pectorals, of course.) I think it all got started when we began measuring a man's self-worth by how much he can "bench" (i.e. the bench or chest press exercise). I just don't get it. Of course, I don't get covering one’s body in tattoos, either.” I'm an ancient.

So an article in the Sunday paper last week told about men actually having chest implants to give them magnificent Pecs. Don't get me wrong. A strong, well developed chest looks fine on a balanced weight trained body. But paste a set of massive pectorals on a guy who is otherwise either too skinny or fat and flabby and you've created a pretty weird looking dude.

Guess I'm way out of step. I think bench pressing is over-rated anyway. For too many people it raises hell with their shoulders and they end up with a lot of aches and pains. Moderation, of course, is the answer. But try preaching that message to a guy with pectoral fixation. Weird.

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Fish Oil & Omega-3

The value claims about some vitamins, minerals, and food sources have been called into question recently. However, there seems to be little debate in the medical field about the value of eating wild cold-water fish, or, if you don’t like fish, supplementing your diet with high quality fish oil.

In fact, health authorities worldwide recommend fatty fish and fish oil to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the benefits don’t stop there. Fish oil and its omega-3 are beneficial to joints, hair, skin ... and the list goes on.

I take a fish oil supplement. So does my wife, Patty. And we give it to our dog, Tyra, on the recommendation of her veterinarian.

But not just any fish oil. We want to be certain the fish oil we take is pure and mercury free. Several very well-known physicians take the Vital Choice brand and recommend it to their patients. So we buy ours from Vital Choice too. Their fish oil comes from wild Sockeye Salmon from pristine Alaskan waters.

If you aren’t eating wild, cold-water fish regularly, ask your physician about supplementing your diet with fish oil capsules. To learn more about Vital Choice and fish oil benefits, click on the line below. They really publish excellent science-backed dietary information.

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Exercise or Diet: Which is More Important?

For as long as I can remember, fitness experts and trainers have been telling their overweight clients that weight loss depends on regular exercise and a proper diet. It’s a 50/50 deal, they’d say.

But I always wondered about the ratio. Is it really 50/50? Or is one, diet or exercise, more important than the other? Just this week I read something by Craig Ballantyne in which he said diet accounts for 70 percent of fat loss program success.

I’m guessing, but his 70/30 ratio seems about right to me. Yet I’d hate to be pinned down to be exact. Does anyone really know?

Professor Boyd Swinburn, chair of population health and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, said the following:

"To return to the average weights of the 1970s, we would need to reverse the increased food intake of about 350 calories a day for children (about one can of fizzy drink and a small portion of French fries) and 500 calories a day for adults (about one large hamburger).

"Alternatively, we could achieve similar results by increasing physical activity by about 150 minutes a day of extra walking for children and 110 minutes for adults, but realistically, although a combination of both is needed, the focus would have to be on reducing calorie intake."

It is not uncommon to find “successful” dieters who finally weigh what they should also to be weak, flabby and saggy. That is what happens when they lose weight through diet alone. You need proper exercise, too. You need to build muscle.

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

Always consult with your physician before making dietary changes or starting an exercise program.

Your comments or questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter