Here is the Framework upon which Solutions Are Found!

by Phil Kaplan

This Three-Part Article is the Follow Up to an article titled, "What's Going On?"




Part I - Eat Right and Exercise - The Solutions

Eat right and exercise.  Let's start with Eat Right.

Eat Right means eat in a manner supportive of health, body composition, and metabolism. Too many people, thanks to product marketers, believe there's some inherent magic in single compounds such as green tea or foods with high levels of bioflavanoids. While there clearly may be some virtue to some of these compounds, they cannot significantly contribute to "eating right."

Imagine going to a fine restaurant, ordering the filet au poivre with a fancy sauce you can't pronounce and they give you a few sprinkles of pepper on a plate. You'd first look at the waiter as if he were suffering with Sudden Onset Insanity (an ailment I just gave a name to . . . but in all honesty I witness quite frequently) and then you'd confusedly ask, "where's the food?" When someone tells you a "green drink" or a packet of capsules make for healthy eating, you have to ask the same question. "Where's the food?"

Macronutrients, proteins, carbs, and fats, provide calories for energy, for metabolic function, and provide material for tissue growth. A supportive eating program, therefore, must be grounded in a sense of "what you eat," not "what you take." Of course exercise increases caloric demand and also increases the need for "building material" since you'll be breaking down tissue in need of repair.

Eat Right, for an exerciser (and shouldn't we all be exercisers?), translates to "put fuel and building material into the body at regular intervals allowing your body to optimally use the macronutrient substrates . . . and then . . . refuel."

Translate that into English - eat frequently, and in every meal get a mix of natural complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and essential fats.

Want to take it a step further? Consume meals that are "thermic," meals that raise the metabolic thermostat.

I've learned to make it simple. Consume a lean protein, a starchy complex natural carbohydrate, and a fibrous carbohydrate every 3 - 3 1/2 hours, or as close to that as is comfortably possible, avoid or minimize simple sugars and hydrogenated fats, and get your meals from a variety of sources all found in the perimeter of the supermarket.

There isn't anything in a bottle that will make up for the absence of supportive meals. If you can't get to a meal, you can use a meal replacement powder that contains those components I just suggested be contained in supportive meals.

Now onto the next part . . . Exercise.

As far as the exercise, first of all recognize that your body has access to two energy systems, the aerobic energy system (which is the key energy system when you are meeting oxygen demand and can continue whatever activity you're doing for an extended period of time) and the anaerobic energy system, which kicks in during an all-out exhaustive effort. In order to receive the optimal benefit from exercise, you want to incorporate both types of exercise, aerobic and anaerobic.

There are infinite ways of integrating both types of exercises, and not a one of them is "right" or "wrong." The trick lies in matching the exercise program with the goal, with the level of exercise acceptance (willingness to adhere to a consistent and repetitive challenge), and the level of adaptation (how acquainted your body is with a given workload). An effective exercise program will challenge you, but will not exhaust you.

I think one of the elements that makes my programs successful is the consideration of individuals' belief systems, individual commitments to adherence, and individual levels of adaptation.

My programs incorporate the "if this . . . then that" approach. In other words, if you're already used to exercising at least four days a week at a high level intensity, perform three sets gradually increasing the challenge so the first set brings you to a point of momentary muscle failure at 20 reps, the second at 15, the third at 8. If you aren't accustomed to exercise, I'll ask you to simply choose a resistance level that allows you 12 repetitions comfortably.

The underlying strategy is consistent, as we are all biochemically made of the same stuff. What "works" in concept, to help a 300 pound man who begins a program at 30% bodyfat access fatty acids to burn as fuel is the same thing, in concept, that "works" to help a 130 pound woman lose "that stubborn five."

Another vital element of my programs is, I change the routine frequently driven by an underlying strategy built around the concept of "shifting the focus." I teach clients to find linear progress over time (ongoing improvement) by taking them through "cycles" where they periodically rotate regimens aimed at "adding lean body mass," "shaping muscle," and then 'burning fat." Before the body "adapts" to any given routine, a new stimulus is introduced to bring about additional positive change.

Here are the questions that must be considered when examining a routine:

Can I increase the challenge without making the workout overly burdensome? My 21 day program increases the challenge in various ways . . . by introducing new movements, by incorporating greater numbers of muscles, by increasing the distance the resistance challenges, by increasing the speed of the repetitions, etc. This allows clients to consistently add challenge without a need to increase exercise volume or to overtax joints and connective tissue by increasing poundages. Overtraining is one of the most common mistakes "committed exercisers" make, and it's a sure-fire way to ensure a negative outcome (fatigue, muscle loss, metabolic slowdown, injury).

Am I performing resistance training movements, tapping the anaerobic energy system, at least three times per week?
There isn't any set-in-stone rule for how often you should constructively challenge muscle, but if you want to see a payoff from your resistance training, a minimum of three-times-per-week seems to be a generalization that applies in most cases. There are strategies that allow you to use resistance more often, and there are others that allow for extreme challenge where people may find progress with a twice-per-week challenge for short periods of time, but I'd feel confident saying if you're not challenging the muscular system beyond its comfort level at least three-times-per-week, you're expending energy without much hope of a significant result.

Am I performing aerobic movement, not as fat burning exercise, but as a stimulus to increase cardiorespiratory efficiency moderately at least four times per week? People make the mistake of thinking the purpose of aerobic movement is "fat burning." If you recall that any time you're meeting oxygen demand you're calling upon the aerobic energy system, you'll revel in knowing that when the aerobic energy system is engaged, you are capable of burning fat. You can burn fat literally all day long. Fat is carried from adipose cells and transported into the muscle cell to be burned by the circulatory system. Think of aerobic exercise and exercise that optimizes the efficiency of the heart and lungs, and with that optimizes virtually all metabolic processes. Just as I offered a generality for resistance training, aerobic improvement is difficult to bring about once you're beyond the beginner level unless you get some sort of aerobic challenge four-days-per-week or more.

Am I incorporating movements that integrate "the core muscles," the deep lying muscles activated in virtually every human movement performed on your feet (you'll learn, in my 21 Day Journey, why the chair is our worst enemy, at least in terms of maintaining optimal function)?

Is my resistance:cardio strategy in line with my goal? If fat loss is the goal, you may be sabotaging your potential by performing aerobic exercise immediately followed by resistance exercise. If you seek to trim down, it's best to perform resistance exercise first. If endurance is a primary goal, you might find virtue in performing aerobic exercise first.

Whoever you are, if you seek positive physical change, the concept I've been sharing for over 20 years, the concept of "Synergy," is a necessity. It is the essence of "what works."

1. The Right Nutrition

2. Moderate Aerobic Exercise

3. A Concern for Muscle (Resistance Exercise)

There is one more element that's vital and often ignored. Recovery. Think of the formula, in terms of exercise, as being "positive stress" balanced by "positive downtime," otherwise phrased as "exercise balanced by sleep, relaxation, and rest.


PART II - The 21 Day Journey to Excellence

There are many things inherent in my 21 day journey that are not typical of any conventional program. Here's what you have to recognize. Convention isn't working. America wouldn't have obesity challenges if conventional wisdom were truly result oriented.

I've traveled quite a bit. I know what others think of our population. Want a few adjectives? OK.

Lazy. Wealthy. Spoiled. Fat.

I'd say in many cases the "fat" part is accurate, but it isn't for lack of effort. Speak to people. Ask them if they've tried to find fitness. They have. I assure you. Sitting on the couch and eating ice cream at the expense of exercising and eating right isn't "convention" as much as "resignation." When you try to change and fail, and then you try again and fail, and try again and again and again and again, it's human nature to return to a place of comfort.

When people attempt to find fitness, it's usually, at least at the onset, with an attachment to conventional methods. Diets. Aerobic exercise. They believe the age-old equation of calories in vs. calories out is the key to positive change. It isn't. It's simply conventional thinking.

The 21 Day Journey allows you to choose a program based on both your present level of exercise acceptance and level of adaptation (in other words, based on your beliefs related to exercise and your present level of fitness). The better shape you're in when you begin, the more challenging the program will be. The more resistant you are to exercise, the simpler the program will be.

You use movements that challenge the muscles precisely the way the muscles are called upon in daily activity. You work the body as an entire unit, challenging muscle, increasing blood flow, balancing workloads, and strengthening the core muscles. The aerobic exercises are modest and every minute of movement is extremely valuable.

While conventional wisdom tells you not to eat at night, not to ever exercise on an empty stomach, not to work the same muscles two days in a row, to "isolate" muscles using machines, and to eat less if you want to weight less, the 21 Day Journey shatters convention and proves it to be not only flawed but glaringly wrong. You'll devote one day per week to "learning" and on those learning days you'll listen to / view a presentation and learn some facts vital to the phase of the program about to come. With each learning day you'll feel a distinctive sense of empowerment. The transition from a mindset of doubt to a mindset of absolute buy-in is guaranteed, not because I'll convince you, but because you'll understand, you'll apply, and you'll see, feel, and experience the outcome you're hoping for.

Already the program is being imitated, and imitated poorly. Two health clubs in the Northeast have implemented "a 21 Day Program." A Personal Trainer in Maryland claims to have "a 21 Day Body Transformation." They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I'd suggest that in this case it's greed. They mistakenly believe I have a "new" program and it's successful because of some inherent marketing strategy. Infomercial companies and book publishers have already approached me with generous offers, not because they understood the strategy, but rather because they "liked the appeal of 21 days."

"New" and "21 Days" can be used as marketing buzzwords, but I won't venture into that arena. I want you to understand. I want the approvval of "the little horse." *

The program isn't actually new. It's a part of the evolutionary process of my ongoing commitment to help people find the health benefits and fitness results they're looking for. It's built upon the same solid foundation as any program I've ever used with any client.

It isn't successful because it's 21 days. It's successful because everything I've come to learn about the synergistic relationship between muscles, aerobic movement, and supportive nutrition has been condensed and consolidated into a fail-proof strategy. If you haven't yet checked out the First Glance presentation, now's the time to do so.


PART III - Replacing "Shortcuts" With a Direct Line to the Little Horse

This is a third part of a 3-part article. Scroll up or click here to read it from the beginning.

* In a previous article I described "the two horses" that drive the human mind just as horses drive a chariot (an analogy borrowed from Plato). The "little horse" follows a chosen course driven by intellect. Marketers have learned to bypass intellect, to access "the big horse," the horse prone to jump when tempted, the horse tuned in to impulse. The impulsive decisions consumers make related to "exercising and eating right" are often those that lead to flawed attempts and disappointment.

DRUGS are often opted for by "the big horse."

There are drugs that have virtue. I'd go as far as to say, every drug that hits the marketplace is brought to our awareness with a medicinal purpose in mind.

Even the Phen-Fen drugs had application for the tiny segment of the obese population who failed to experience satiety due to a misfiring of neurotransmitters in their brains. The problem is, when there's money to be made, pharmaceutical companies capitalize by reeling in big horses.

If you have trouble sleeping, there's an entirely new array of drugs that can force necessary downtime. If you have blood sugar bordering on a diagnosed condition of hyperglycemia, there may be some drugs that can work to control blood sugar levels as you work to . . . well . . . to eat right and exercise.

Then there's the other side of the coin.

When I meet high school athletes who are lured into using stimulants by day and buying those "sleep drugs" on the black market so they can offset the CNS stimulation and actually get some REM, that's a clear indication of misuse. When those same athletes tell me they take blood sugar control drugs to "regulate insulin" so they "burn more fat," that's another blatant example of misuse, and that's when medicinal compounds become dangerous.

I would suggest you steer away from seeking a drug that will make you fit, make you lean, or make you metabolically more efficient. The little horse knows. You have to find a program, a result-oriented program, and stick to it!

Are there supplements that play a role in achieving an optimal result? There very well may be, but remember, no supplement is a substitute for supportive eating.

If you're tempted to try a supplement because you were told it "works," trace the source. If a friend tells you it "works," how does that friend know, and has there been a fair gauge of risk:reward.

Ephedrine and caffeine are two stimulants that for years generated well over a billion dollars in sales as fat burners. Did they work? No, not to burn fat healthfully, not to result in increases in long term metabolic efficiency, not to increase health. Caffeine is diuretic, caffeine and ephedrine alter neurotransmission in the brain, and together they create an addictive blend. "Friends" who tell friends the "fat burners work," may not fully understand the mechanisms by which weight was lost or appetites were reduced.

There are some supplements that I find have virtue for those seeking muscle increase and I feel an absolute comfort level, based both on personal use and an established body of research. Creatine monohydrate powder has its place. Supplemental L-Glutamine has virtue as a muscle preservation aid. Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic acid may be two aids to optimizing body composition, but none of these are solutions!!!!

Phosphatidylserine may aid those who are producing high levels of cortisol due to stress, as might Holy Basil and L-theanine, but they are not solutions. They are "extras."

Vitamin C, a B-complex capsule, and a multi-mineral can be important as supplemental aids . . . but they do not replace a concern for micronutrition.

If you're not seeing results from your exercise and eating program, don't be pulled by "the big horse." Use intellect, at least enough to realize your existing program needs tweaking. Supplements don't "work." Synergy does. The little horse knows that. Sometimes you just have to tame the impulse and listen to that little voice that already knows!

If you haven't read it yet, read the predecessor to this article, an article titled, "What's Going On?"

The Brand New 21-Day Journey to Excellence - "Remote!"

Anyone, Anywhere Can Now Experience the Journey!

View a PowerPoint presentation sharing the finer points of the 21 Days!

Call 1 800 552-1998 to register or register online NOW!

Also be sure to visit the following pages:

[ Home ] [ Site Menu ] [ For Fitness Professionals ] [ Superstore ] [ Update Menu ] [ Ask Phil ]
[ Small Group Workshops ] [ Programs ]

This site is designed and operated by Phil Kaplan
Phil Kaplan's Fitness is located at
3132 Fortune Way, #D1
Wellington, Florida 33414
The TOLL-FREE Product Order Line is 1 800 552-1998
The Direct Office Number is 561 204-2014
The Fax Number is 561 204-2184