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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #220. The 70/30 Rule
February 01, 2018
February 1, 2018
In this newsletter . . .
The 70/30 Rule
Some years ago, I wrote that I thought achieving normal bodyweight is 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. The 70/30 ratios get tossed around a lot in the fitness world, but I really don’t know if there is actual science to back them up, or who came up with such exact percentages. Still it would not surprise me at all to learn that it is accurate, or at the very least close to being 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. 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 should be written in giant letters somewhere in every gym and health club.
I’ve 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 led cardio kickboxing classes, I watched the students who came regularly. Everyone’s fitness and endurance improved. No question about it. But without exception, the ones who really shed the excess fat and changed body shape also cut back on how much they ate. Some went to Weight Watchers, or Jenny Craig, 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. 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. So it’s emphatically true: You cannot out exercise a bad diet. I can’t prove that success is exactly 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. But I’d guess the ratio is pretty darned close.
You can find my own nutrition guidelines here.
Let’s move on to . . .
The Schwarzenegger Legacy
Poor Arnold. Just kidding. I probably shouldn’t use the word poor. Financially, he must be quite comfortable. No, poor he is not.
Following his career as “Mr. Everything,” he became California’s governor, with high poll numbers, but was unpopular upon leaving office. Then there was the marriage “difficulties.” Oh, boy! Still, I remember his famous line from The Terminator: "I’ll be back."
I think most people today still regard him as an iconic figure.
A part of his bodybuilding legacy includes a nice upper-body exercise adaptation known as the Arnold Press. It’s a good one and I’ve added something to it that (I think) makes it even better: the dumbbell curl. Give it a try. A lot of people like it.
Watch a brief demo here: the Arnold Press & Dumbbell Curl Combo.
Beginners please start here.
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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.
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