Volume 1, Number 18

March 30, 2006

Newsletter Archive

Subjects: Do you have down days? Strength Training-Aerobics-Abdominals; Tom Venuto's New Blog; Cosmetic Tip for Men; Lipstick Tip for Women; Elegant Fingernails; Of Mice and Men: Calorie Restriction and Longevity; Psycho-Cybernetics and Weight-loss; Blogs you may have missed; What's RSS? Lower Cholesterol Naturally.

From my Diary

  • Do you have down days?

    Yes, I even have a down week, like this week. I'm not exactly sick, but I've got an ear and throat infection. So how do I deal with it? First, as soon as I suspect it's an infection, I visit a doctor. Infections are where modern medicine excels. Tell me about it! Listen, I'm old enough that I was a teenager before antibiotics were invented—before most vaccines too. I remember what it was like when people died from diseases that are treated routinely today. So I don't hesitate to take advantage of modern medicine for acute conditions. Where I try to avoid modern medicine is in treating chronic diseases that result from poor nutrition and lack of physical activity.

    'Twas not always so. Not much more than a year ago, I had a lot of down days and did not make the connection between feeling poorly and my poor lifestyle. Stands to reason, doesn't it—a 73-year-old couch-potato shaped like a penguin is going to feel crappy most of the time. I guarantee it. So nowadays, when I have a down day or a down week, I think back to when I had down years and remember what it was like looking forward to a down decade.

    Yeah, it's great when you're taking a shower and look down, unable to see your belly because it's sort of "caved-in" like it was when you were a kid. It's great when you get on the scales and know your weight is the same as when you were 18 years old. But these cosmetic changes pale into insignificance when day after day you feel the bounce you felt fifty years before, when in the morning you spring out of bed raring to go.

    Entering your "second childhood" need not mean just losing your mind. If you want, and if you are determined, you can have a new lease on life. All you have to do is REACH OUT AND GRAB IT!

    These thoughts were inspired by an e-mail I received from Tom Venuto one of my heroes, at an age when I have grown sceptical about heroes. Tom wrote to say that his new site has a link to, which explains why so many new subscribers have joined us.

    To old and new subscribers alike, a request: Please use the COMMENTS page to let me know what topics you would like me to emphasise more and which topics less.

    Free E-Book from Tom Venuto

    Tom Venuto is giving away a mini-ebook, Big Fat Lies. The free version is just a "taster" so you get an idea about what's in the full version of Burn the Fat.

    Why even after a year do I still use Tom Venuto's book? The basics are easy, but I am still fine tuning. FOLLOW IT LONG ENOUGH AND IT WILL BECOME SECOND NATURE.
    Tom Venuto's book
    When you read Tom's description of himself as an "outlaw bodybuilder", keep in mind what this means: Tom is unique among bodybuilders in his approach to nutrition. How he has discovered what he knows, I can't guess.

    Somehow, Tom discovered the benefits of a diet with 20% fat, when many nutritionists were pushing low-fat diets.

    Somehow, Tom discovered the benefits of a 30% protein diet, when many nutritionists were telling us that all we need is one gram per kilogram (0.5 gm per pound) of bodyweight and when many bodybuilders were promoting absurdly high levels of protein.

    Somehow, Tom avoided the low-carbohydrate craze.

    So, although Tom may be an "outlaw" among bodybuilders, he is no outlaw among professional nutritionists. My own research convinces me that Tom has been promoting for years a macronutrient ratio that is only now being confirmed by researchers as both heart healthy and appropriate for avoiding insulin resistance, an early sign of diabetes.

    Before you click on the cover of Tom's book, let your mouse hover over it to read my comment.

    Tom's New Blog

    Like me, you will want to visit Tom's new Burn the Fat Blog where you can not only read the comments and questions of subscribers, but post your own comments and questions. Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat Blog

  • Strength Training/Aerobics/Abdominals: Last week was the eighth week of my sixth cycle of Hypertrophy Specific Training (HST). I had intended to do one more week with heavy weights before taking a deconditioning break, but decided to take the break this week to recover from an ear and throat infection. Stressing the body is essential to maintain fitness and grow muscle. The key is to find a middle-way between too much and too little stress, what is called "listening to your body".

    Bryan Haycock designed HST as a rational system for building muscle, thus HST fits the needs of anyone who has lost muscle mass through aging, practically everyone over the age of 40. For more details about this style of training, see Hypertrophy Specific Training (HST).

    Recap of the Last HST Cycle Just when I thought I had hit a plateau and was not making progress, guess what? A breakthrough—several breakthroughs.

    • Strength training: I expected to travel in early April. To postpone the deconditioning break until my departure, I added an extra week for the medium weights and one extra week for the heavy weights. Also, I eliminated resting between exercises, embracing more heartily circuit training. I cannot measure the effects, but I can see and feel the difference, not easy when you have been training for more than six months because gains come more slowly. I can feel the increase in strength and can see the increase in muscle definition.

      This experience suggests a new schedule for Cycle 7:
      • Light weights, two weeks of one circuit, 15 repetitions per set.
      • Medium weights, three-weeks of 1.5 circuits, 10 repetitions per set.
      • Heavy weights, three weeks of two circuits, 5 repetitions per set.

      This schedule increases the stress on the body over time. The first two weeks seem light, but this can be made more strenuous by adding high intensity aerobics.

    • Aerobics: I read about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and thought I would give it a try. Wow! Within a week, I was able to run for the first time in 30 years. When we went walking in the park, I ran up a 100-meter hill three times.

      Still don't know how far I'm going to take this, but it should be interesting.

    • Abdominals: When writing the previous two sections, I keep trying to avoid saying, "This is where I made most progress," because I knew that the big breakthrough came with the abs.

      Everwhere you read, "The way to see your abs is to lose fat." Well this is certainly true, up to a point, but you don't have to get to 10% body fat to see your abs. I am now around 20% to 22% body fat and I am delighted with the progress of the last eight weeks. Let me tell you what happened.

      Back in mid-2003, when I started walking to lose weight, my waistline was around 37 inches (93 cm) and now is around 30 inches (75 cm). Almost 30% of the decline in my waistline came during the last eight weeks when I lost only about 2 pounds (one kg) of fat.

      What happened, I added weights when doing my abs exercises. With crunches and reverse situps, I started with 11 pounds (5 kgs) and 30 repetitions and built up to 60 repetitions. After two weeks, I increased the weights to 16 pounds (7.5 kg) and 30 reps and built back up to 60 reps. After another three weeks, I increased to 22 pounds (10 kg) and 30 reps and built back up to 65 reps. With the 22 pound weights, once I got above 40 reps or so, I split the reps into two sets.

      Knee raises are a lot more difficult than crunches, so I did two weeks without weights, working up to one set of 30 reps and two sets of 15 reps. Then I strapped 5-pound weights to each ankle and gradually increased to one set of 30 reps and two sets of 15 reps over three weeks. The last three weeks, I used 10-pounds of weights strapped to each ankle for 60 reps divided into sets of 2X20 reps and 2X10 reps.

      The result? My abs are now so tight that I can stand perfectly relaxed and not see my gut sticking out. Eight weeks ago, before starting Cycle 6, my 31 inch trousers were snug. Size 30 trousers were tight. Now the size 31 is loose and the 30 not even snug. Hard to say for sure, but by the end of 2006, I may get down to 28 inches, the waist measurement I had at age 18.

      Until you try, there is no way of knowing what you can achieve.

    What are you trying to prove?

    I started this experiment with a hunch and little more than that. My hunch (or hypothesis)?

    What we commonly call aging is not aging at all, but decline and decrepitude caused by faulty lifestyle choices. Just say, "NO" to aging. Determine that you will follow a different path. Just do It!

    • With crunches, you lie on your back and raise your head and shoulders no more than 30 degrees.
    • With reverse situps, you sit upright, secure your feet and lean back about 30 to 45 degrees.
    • With leg raises, you suspend your body between bars with your legs hanging below, and raise your knees as high as you can.

    Tips and Comments on the News

      Seiko Ear-Nose Clipper
    • Cosmetic Tip for Men

      No, I'm not going to advise makeup for men. I'm thinking of removing something, not adding something. Like long teeth in a horse, protruding nose hair and ear hair is a marker for age. Unlike wrinkles and gray hair, bushy nose and ear hair have no redeeming social qualities. Trimming once or twice a month should do the trick.

    • Cosmetic Tip for Women

      You may have a friend who still uses brightly colored lipstick well into middle age when the bright colors come across as harsh. You might be able to find a gentle way to suggest she use pastel colors that will soften her face.

    • Tip for Elegant Fingernails

      Nail polish looks good for such a short time. But there is another way that's so elegant! Simply buff your nails—no nail paint or other coating needed.

      For your manicure, use a four-sided buffer to get a smooth, high-shine finish. There are many brands of buffers with four grades of abrasive. Start with the side labeled #1 (coarse) to shape the tip of your nail. Then, with sides #2 (fine) and #3 (finer), gently dust the flat surface of your nail. This will smooth your nails, removing any ridges. Finish by dusting with side #4 (super-fine) for a high gloss.

      Source: Get a Buff Manicure: A step-by-step guide by celebrity nail expert Deborah Lippmann

      How to do it:
      • You can use the super-fine side as often as you like and side #3 weekly.
      • Go easy with side #2. Otherwise, the nail will become too thin and you will have to use a translucent coating to strengthen it.
      • If you do have to coat the nail, wait until the coating is bone dry and buff with side #4 to reduce the hard shine to a smooth gloss.
      • Best to practice with the nails on both little fingers first, working up to the index fingers and thumbs.

      Buffed nails without nail polish not only look elegant but also save time and money.

    • Of Mice and Men: Calorie Restriction and Longevity

      John Phelan and Michael Rose are biologists at the University of California who are experts in calorie restriction and longevity.

      Scientists have known for generations that rodents live longer if you cut their calorie intake in half. Dr. Phelan says,
      "You can practically double their life span.... The same result has been found in fish, spiders and many other species. If it works for them, some thought, it should work for us; I'm here to tell you it doesn't."
      Rodents reproduce, rabbits. Cut calorie intake in half and they shut down reproduction. Not so humans, who reproduce more slowly. Cut calorie intake by 50% and humans live about 3% longer, maybe one or two years. Okinawans, famous for their longevity, consume about 10% fewer calories than mainland Japanese but live only about one year longer.

      While reducing calories below normal maintenance levels does not increase lifespan much, increasing calories does have a gigantic impact. Sumo wrestlers, who eat more than twice as much as mainland Japanese, die 20 years sooner.

      About trying to restrict calories, Dr. Phelan says,
      "I think about food all the time.... I'm not going to be so extreme that I become the mouse that bites anyone who touches me. My advice about food is be sensible, and don't be a fanatic about it because the payoffs are not worth it."

      Source: Phelan JP, Rose MR. Why dietary restriction substantially increases longevity in animal models but won't in humans. Ageing Research Reviews, 2005 Aug;4(3):339-50.

      My Comment

      Some people find it easier to count calories. I don't. When I did, I thought about food all the time, like Dr. Phelan.

      What I do when I want to lose fat?
      • I burn off the fat with aerobics.

      • I chew gum.

      • I eat an apple or pear. I munch on raw carrots, celery, Japanese radish, raw cabbage, semi-raw broccoli and cauliflower.

      • Protein is an appetite-killer. I make a protein shake, blending whey power and a whole navel orange. (They're seedless.)

      • I weigh myself at least two or three times a week, every day when I am trying to lose fat.

      • I cycle calories, trying not to cut calories much for long, maybe weekdays and then eat normally or a bit above normal on the weekend. This prevents the starvation response from cranking down the metabolic rate, a survival response that conserves energy.

      The key to achieving any goal is to implant the goal into your subconscious mind.

      Cybernetics is the science of self-regulating systems from the thermostat in your refrigerator and the homing device in a guided missile, to the systems of the human body.

      Psycho-cybernetics is the art and science of implanting goals into the unconscious mind. Over 20 years ago, I used psycho-cybernetics to stop smoking. More recently, I used psycho-cybernetics to lose fat. Now I weigh the same as at age 18, down from around 40% bodyfat to 20% bodyfat.

      This article reveals the way psycho-cybernetics works and how I used psycho-cybernetics to cure addiction to tobacco. Reach Your Goals with Psycho-Cybernetics: Harness the Power of the Subconscious Mind. You will discover the power of the unconscious mind to sabotage your efforts or to guide you automatically to your goals like a missile.

      This article reveals how I used psycho-cybernetics to cure myself of "addiction" to food and drink. How I succeeded with weight loss after I stopped dieting

      Psycho-cybernetic products: Others have products to help you implement psycho-cybernetics. Some of these products may be useful, but I cannot recommend any because I have never used them. If there are gaps in my presentation, please write and I will try to improve my articles and perhaps add more articles.

    • Check out these blogs that you might have missed:


    • What's RSS? I have added a second way for readers to subscribe. Not only do you not have to provide your email address, but you can access all your favorite sites using the same method. Discover why RSS is truly the easiest way to keep up-to-date with all your interests in less time.

      To be fair to readers who wish to use RSS, I have made the free e-book immediately available without asking for names and email addresses.

    • Blogging: The Anti-Aging Blog is my mini-journal about I add items whenever I see something that might be interesting to readers.

    • Blog Archive: The Blog Archive compiles only those blogs that are not also Web pages on

      How to Reduce Cholesterol Naturally, Without Drugs

      Download your free e-book here. (A new window will open with the request box at the bottom of the page.)

    Coming Soon

    • Sarcopenia, age-related muscle loss, may be the main cause of decline in metabolic rate with age. Thus, muscle loss with age may be sufficient to make middle-aged people overweight.

      Promises, promises! I haven't forgotten, just side-tracked by the bloglets I'm doing every day or so.

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    Bye until next week...
    Fred Colbourne, It's never too late!
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