Phil Kaplan's "Conversations"

There are many true experts within the fitness field who agree in terms of the "macro" (eat right and exercise) but disagree in regard to the specifics. Phil Kaplan will host a series of interviews for the American Association of Personal Trainers (AAPT) where experts express their opinions, at times in contradiction of each other's views. The intention is to put both sides of an issue out there so further discussion can lead to further clarity.

A Note From Phil: When we first initiated this project the idea was to get spirited debates between competent professionals on topical subjects related to fitness professionals. We were surprised to find out that many of the experts, while they remained glued to their positions on a variety of controversial subjects, were not comfortable in a debate forum. The original name for this series was "Butting Heads" but to accommodate the reluctance, I changed it to simply, "Conversations." Beginning in November of 2004, each month I'll post a new Conversation with a renowned expert sharing one side of a topical issue. In months to come those issues will be discussed by other experts, often with conflicting points of view. The available conversations are listed below:

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Interview #1 - Released July, 2004
Guests: Wayne Westcott and Juan Carlos Santana

Comments From Phil: When I interviewed Wayne for an article in Personal Fitness Professional he was very opposed to trainers performing unsafe "functional training" movements. He specifically referenced "The Reaching Lunge." The Reaching Lunge is a mainstay at Juan Carlos' facility, so I thought it would make for a heated conversation. Interestingly, each expert held the other in such high regard, the "debate" became more of a conversation, a very insightful and valuable conversation for trainers to eavesdrop on.

Interview #2 - Released November 2004
Guest: John Parrillo

Comments from Phil: John Parrillo has long been revered as the training and nutritional guru to the highest level bodybuilders and physique athletes. His nutritional strategies involve what might be considered extreme super-high caloric intake and his clients and athletes show up ripped on contest day. There is an opposing school of thought suggesting a low-calorie diet is "healthier." In this interview John makes his educated opinions very very clear.

Interview #3 - Released November 2004
Guest: Dr. Jose Antonio

Comments from Phil: Dr. Antonio, author of Sports Supplements is one of the few time tested researchers in the area of sports nutrition and supplementation who have gained the respect both of their peers and of fitness professionals. He can be controversial at times, but when the dust settles, Dr. Antonio stands firmly on the science. The interview will help you understand why. He speaks the language of research in understandable terms and his grasp on the actual research is glaringly apparent.

Interview #4 - Released November 2004
Guest: David Landau, Exercise Trainer

(, email:

Comment from Phil: This interview was prompted by David emailing me in regard to some statements I made on my show. After I responded, he sent a follow-up suggesting that I may be misleading people by emphasizing the importance of aerobic exercise. I thought it would be valuable for personal trainers to hear the perspective of someone committed to the principles of High Intensity Training (H.I.T.). This will offer a stark contrast when compared with similar interviews with Dr. Anthony Abbott and Dr. Wayne Westcott. In these interviews I attempted to remain impartial, although at times my opinions leaked through. David welcomes your feedback at

Interview #5 - Released November 2004
Guest: Dr. Wayne Westcott

Comment from Phil: Dr. Westcott has always been a reliable resource and when I received the emails from David Landau, I pulled up some old similar criticisms I had received from trainers committed to Superslow. I think Wayne does a very nice job of presenting, in a manner that is extremely simple to comprehend, the absolute value of resistance exercise (trainers - ask your clients who are apprehensive about weight training to listen to this interview). We segue into a discussed about whether or not there is virtue in incorporating aerobic exercise as a part of any client's regimen.

Interview #6 - Released November 2004
Guest: Dr. Anthony Abbott


Comment from Phil: I believe Dr. Abbott is one of the most noteworthy people in the world of Personal Training. He is the founder of Fitness Institute, a certification preparation program that raises aspiring and existing trainers up to a level of excellence. In this discussion Dr. Abbott shares his take on whether or not there is in fact a need for aerobic exercise.

Interview #7 - Released December 2004
Guest: Dr. Mark Rosenberg


Comment from Phil: Dr. Rosenberg is a physician specializing in anti-aging medicine. He's also an accomplished and well credentialed personal fitness trainer. In contrast to John Parrillo's strategy of eating frequent calorie intensive meals, Dr. Rosenberg discusses his perception of the virtues of a low calorie diet. He also addresses Growth Hormone as it relates to the most recent research. Dr. Rosenberg will be both a force and a role model in creating complementary relationships between medical practitioners and Personal Fitness Professionals.

Note: If you have topics or guests you believe would be ideal for the Conversations series, please email with your suggestions.


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