fit 2 fat 2 fit 2… face palm.

Posted on November 23, 2011. Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , , , |

Hey Coach!


What do you think of this ‘fit 2 fat 2 fit’ guy?


*confused expression*


The good thing about being a fitness nerd is a passion for knowledge.  The problem with being a fitness nerd, is you have no idea what is going on in popular media half the time.

I don’t even have cable.  And I’m happy about that

Any way for those who don’t know, which seems to be a group consisting of myself and the Amish, there is a trainer who has  chosen to spend six months eating unhealthy food and not exercising, then he will take six more months to get fit again.

My first reaction to this was, “well, that’s just stupid.”

Second reaction.   “What a blatant publicity stunt!”

Third reaction.  “Wait.  Haven’t I heard of this being done before?!”

Fourth.  “Yes, I have!  2 years ago!!  –

As you can guess I had a variety of reactions which I had to process in my head before I responded toward the member.

And since I told him, I will tell you, this is nothing more than marketing.  Plain and simple.

Granted it is inventive marketing, I will even say it’s marketing with a positive vibe to it.  But it’s still, just marketing.  I categorize this type of thinking in the same realm as the ‘Biggest Loser.’  It shows what is possible, not what is actually applicable.  The whole process is itself flawed.

Why do I say this well let’s just look at it logically.

1) Environment

It is far easier to gain and lose when you come from a fitness background as opposed to if you don’t.  It is a different social dynamic, different patterns reinforced both mentally and emotionally.   And a greater task to make changes.  Remember the rider and the elephant from my previous post.  Again, love the book, Switch.  Every coach should read it.

If a person’s elephant has been trained to follow the fitness path for a period of time it is easier to guide it back to it, then to get it to start a whole new path from junk food.

2)  Set point

First there is the recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (1), along with a similar study in 1992(2), which clues us to the same thing that bodybuilders have known for decades.  Your body has a setting point for itself based on your habits.

Think of a thermostat.  Your body weight is  set on this ‘internal thermostat’ which establishes itself at a pre-set weight and body fat ratio.

We can overeat or under eat, and our body will naturally try to bring it’s weight and composition back to that set point.   It takes work (diet and exercise) to keep it at a different point for very long.  And this is a good thing.

If our bodies didn’t do this our ancestors would never survive famines, droughts, etc.

Now bodybuilders  realized something via trial and error.  It becomes increasingly hard to gain muscle after a certain point, depending on your genetics.  Reason being your body is not a pure machine it compensates (3,4).  It reacts slowly to change and fights to establish a balance.  Which again is good, otherwise our species never would have survived.

Thus came what is now called the ‘dirty bulk.’

A bodybuilder will eat in order to gain mass, recognizing they will gain some fat.  Then they will maintain their fluffier body for a period of months until the ‘internal thermostat’ is reset.  Next time around, when they diet down for a contest they are that much bigger and maintaining a larger amount of muscle mass, thanks to the body’s new set point.

Now, resetting your set point can take months. The rule of thumb for hardgainers is when they have gained the weight, hold that new weight for six months or longer.  It helps you hold on to the new muscle when you they eventually diet down.  A good example of this is UFC champ George St Pierre.

There has been talk by fans wanting to see him move up in weight class to challenge Anderson Silva.  GSP has said on more than one occasion, he would need to take a year off from fighting in order to gain the needed weight.  AND if he did, he would not be able to fight at his old weight ever again.  Sound familiar.

3)  Genetics

Don’t get me wrong this is not an excuse.  It is however a factor and should be recognized.  Maybe back in the day it was as simple as eat less, move more.  And for a good majority it still is, but not for everyone.

Here’s a fun genetic survey you can do on your own.  Look up past Biggest Loser contest winners.  Count how many are male, and how many are female.  I think the ratio may surprise you.  And that’s just between genders, we haven’t even touched on ethnicity, family history, etc.

We all have different metabolisms and genetic profiles, and one should then expect, different dietary needs. These differences play a major role in how fast we gain muscle and lose fat.  Take the following photo for example:

Each one of these ladies will respond differently to the same diet and routine.

The truly sad part is when this guy loses the weight,he (or others who read about him)  could make the mistake, of actually thinking he now completely understands what weight loss clients go through.  Which will be just not true.

If he truly wanted to understand what it means to go through the experience of weight loss not only does he need to gain the weight. He needs to keep it on for 6 months minimum.

Allowing his body to truly accept being at the heavier weight.  Then try to lose the pounds.

When someone does this, then I will be impressed.  Till then, this is just a marketing ploy.  Nothing more.

I will say, like any other aspect of fitness there are Pros along with the cons of this ‘experiment.’  To be fair, I will comment on those in my next blog

Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W

1. Long-Term Persistence of Hormonal Adaptations to Weight Loss.   N Engl J Med 2011; 365:1597-1604 October 27, 2011

2. Metabolic response to experimental overfeeding in lean and overweight healthy volunteers.  Am J Clin Nutr October 1992 vol. 56 no. 4 641-655

3. Metabolic response to weight loss.  Am J  Clin Nutr, Vol. 73, No. 3, 655-657, March 2001

4. Changes in Energy Expenditure Resulting from Altered Body Weight.   N Engl J Med 1995; 332:621-628March 9, 1995


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2 Responses to “fit 2 fat 2 fit 2… face palm.”

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Great write-up. At first I really felt he was trying to see things from the perspective of people who were obese; however now he just keeps pushing some products that his mother has created. I was so hoping he was really doing this to understand. Alas, you are correct and it was nothing more then a publicity stunt.

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