Health & Fitness Is Not A 12 Week Program

Written by Tom Venuto

Copyright 2005 Tom Venuto

Not long ago, one ofrepparttar members of my health club poked her head in my office for some advice. Linda was a 46 year old mother of two, and she had been a member for over a year. She had been working out sporadically, with (not surprisingly) sporadic results. On that particular day, she seemed to have enthusiasm and a twinkle in her eye that I hadn’t seen before.

"I want to enter a before and after fitness contest calledrepparttar 139699 “12 week body transformation challenge." I could win money and prizes and even get my picture in a magazine."

“I want to lose THIS”, she continued, as she grabbedrepparttar 139700 body fat on her stomach. “Do you think it’s a good idea?”

Linda was not “obese,” she just hadrepparttar 139701 typical “moderate roll” of abdominal fat and a little bit of thigh/hip fat that many forty-something females struggle with.

“I think it’s a great idea” I reassured her. “Competitions are great for motivation. When you have a deadline and you dangle a “carrot” like that prize money in front of you, it can keep you focused and more motivated than ever.”

Linda was eager and rarin’ to go. “Will you help me? I have this enrollment kit and I need my body fat measured.”

“No problem,” I said as I pulled out my Skyndex fat caliper, which is used to measure body fat percentage with a “pinch an inch” test.

When I finished, I readrepparttar 139702 results fromrepparttar 139703 caliper display: “Twenty-seven percent. Room for improvement, but not bad; it’s about average for your age group.”

She wasn’t overjoyed at being ‘average’. “Yeah, but it's not good either. Look at THIS,” she complained as again she grabbed a handful of stomach fat. “I want to get my body fat down to 19%, I heard that was a good level.”

I agreed that 19% was a great goal, but it would take a lot of work because average fat loss is usually about a half a percent a week, or six percent in twelve weeks. Her goal, to lose eight percent in twelve weeks was ambitious.

She smiled and insisted, “I’m a hard worker. I can do it”

Well, indeed she was and indeed she did. She was a machine! Not only did she never miss a day inrepparttar 139704 gym, she trained HARD. Whenever I left my office and took a stroll throughrepparttar 139705 gym, she was up there pumping away with everything she had. She told me her diet wasrepparttar 139706 strictest it had ever been in her life and she didn't cheat at all. I believed her. And it started to show, quickly.

Each week she popped into my office to have her body fat measured again, and each week it went down, down, down. Consistently she lost three quarters of a percent per week – well aboverepparttar 139707 average rate of fat loss – and on two separate occasions, I recall her losing a full one percent body fat in just seven days.

Someone conservative might have said she was overtraining, but when we weighed her and calculated her lean body mass, we saw that she hadn’t lost ANY muscle – only fat. Her results were simply exceptional!

She was ecstatic, and needless to say, her success bred more success and she kept after it like a hungry tiger forrepparttar 139708 full twelve weeks.

On week twelve, day seven, she showed up in my office for her final weigh-in and body fat measurement. She was wearing a pair of formerly tight blue jeans and they were FALLING OFF HER! “Look, look, look,” she repeated giddily as she tugged at her waistband, which was now several inches too large.

As I took her body fat, I have to say, I was impressed. She hadn’t just lost a little fat, she was “RIPPED!”

During week twelve she dropped from 18% to 17% body fat, for a grand total of 10% body fat lost. She surpassed her goal of 19% by two percent. I was now even more impressed, because I had only seen a handful of people lose that much body fat in three months.

You should have seen her! She started hopping up and down for joy like she was on a pogo stick! She was beaming… grinning from ear to ear! She practically knocked me over as she jumped up and gave me a hug – “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“Don’t thank me,” I said, “You did it, I just measured your body fat.”

She thanked me again anyway and then said she had to go have her “after” pictures taken. Then something very, very strange happened. She stopped coming torepparttar 139709 gym. Her "disappearance" was so abrupt, I was worried and I called her. She never picked up, so I just left messages.

No return phone call.

It was about four months later when I finally saw Linda again. The giddy smile was gone, replaced with a sullen face, a droopy posture and a big sigh when I said hello and asked where she’d been.

“I stopped working out afterrepparttar 139710 contest... and I didn’t even win.”

“You looked like a winner to me, no matter what place you came in” I insisted, “but why did you stop, you were doing so well!”

“I don’t know, I blew my diet and then just completely lost my motivation. Now look at me, my weight is right back where I started and I don’t even want to know my body fat.”

“Well, I'm glad to see you back in here again. Write down some new goals for yourself and remember to think long term too. Fitness isn’t a just 12 week program you know, it’s a lifestyle - you have to do it every day - like... forever.”

She nodded her head and finished her workout, still with that defeated look on her face. Unfortunately, she never again come anywhere nearrepparttar 139711 condition she achieved for that competition, and forrepparttar 139712 rest ofrepparttar 139713 time she was a member at our club, she slipped right back intorepparttar 139714 sporadic workout pattern.

Linda was not an isolated case. I’ve seenrepparttar 139715 same thing happen with countless men and women of all ages and fitness levels from beginners to competitive bodybuilders. In fact, it happens to millions of people who “go on” diets, lose a lot of weight, then “go off”repparttar 139716 diet and gainrepparttar 139717 weight right back.

Before and After Photos in the Fitness Magazines

Written by Brian D. Johnston

You may publish this article in your newsletter, on your web site, or other publications, so long asrepparttar article’s content is not altered andrepparttar 139491 resource box is included. Add byline and active link. Notification ofrepparttar 139492 use of this article is appreciated, but not required. Total word count included resource box is 930.

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Some supplement companies will go to any lengths to prove their products’ effectiveness. But sometimesrepparttar 139493 evidence isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. Before and after photos arerepparttar 139494 most compelling means by which to convince a person of steroid-like gains.

Oftenrepparttar 139495 before photos showrepparttar 139496 bodybuilder in off-season condition; fat, bloated, with pale skin. Hardly inspirational, but true to life. And photos are sometimes reversed. In one instance a supplement company presented a photo of a fitness model in top condition, declaring itrepparttar 139497 ‘after’ photo. Beside it,repparttar 139498 apparent ‘before’ photo showedrepparttar 139499 model in her last trimester of pregnancy. Anyone who is familiar withrepparttar 139500 model’s history is aware thatrepparttar 139501 before photo was, in fact,repparttar 139502 after photo.

The same trick was used by an ex-professional bodybuilder fromrepparttar 139503 1960s. Interestingly, his jowls sagged more and his face looked older inrepparttar 139504 before photo. Apparently his supplement line not only increases muscle, it may berepparttar 139505 proverbial fountain of youth!

Before and after photos from every day individuals sell a product best. They represent people like you and me... average weight trainees hoping to make dramatic changes in short order. But these photos are also highly dubious. In order to look as bad and as good as possible,repparttar 139506 models employ several tricks.

The before photos nearly always haverepparttar 139507 subject slouching, frowning, pale skin, dull lighting, gut extended, and with no muscle pump. The after photos use harsh lighting with good shadow contrast, tanned skin, upright posture with lats and shoulders spread wide, muscles tensed, smiling with well-groomed facial and head hair, and a muscle pump. It also is known that duct tape has been used to pull back obliques/love handles in order to make waists appear even smaller and shoulders even wider. The same trick works under their arm pits, to makerepparttar 139508 pec line more pronounced and sharp.

And so, are you truly seeing whatrepparttar 139509 person has accomplished and while on supplement ‘x’? Hardly; what you are witnessing is an illusion of posing and photography skills ofrepparttar 139510 model.

One winning competitor inrepparttar 139511 EAS Physique Transformation contest in 1999 did look good if contrasting his before and after photos, losing twelve pounds of fat. He also, however, lost six pounds of lean tissue! Ignoringrepparttar 139512 fact that he won, it could be said that his program was a failure and that he didrepparttar 139513 opposite of what exercise was originally intended to do, e.g., increase lean tissue/function.

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