blog archive


Increasing bone density at age 60

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Recently one of our clients brought in a cookie cake in gratitude for John Shafer, one of our trainers, and a card shown here that says it all.  It is results like these that really make our work rewarding. Debra was more than two standard deviations of away from the ideal bone density of a 25 year old.  In the time she began training her bone density went from being more than two standard deviations away from ideal to slightly more than one standard deviation away from ideal. While she still slightly in osteopenia, she is going against the trend of decreasing bone density that is common for people her age.  

Debra will be 60 soon.  Her regimen: she takes calcium supplements and vitamin D3, strength trains one a week for 30 minutes, and walks daily. She has lost 20 pounds. 

Our bones adapt to physical stress and are constantly remodeling themselves. If you expose the body and the bones to weight-bearing exercise the body and bones will adapt and become stronger.


Is yoga sufficient strength exercise for optimal health?

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

From this NY Times article, Does Yoga Build Strength? The question in the title is asked and their answer is:

“In general, the few available experiments involving yoga suggest that it leads to measurable but limited and patchy strength gains.”

Is yoga sufficient strength exercise for optimal health?   The question is a straw man.    In the yoga classes I have attended increasing flexibility and mobility, not strength, was the central purpose.

The six factors of fitness are strength, flexibility, body leanness, resistance to injury and illness, enhanced bone density, and increased cardiovascular efficiency.  The degree to which yoga helped me improve strength or the other factors of fitness, I don’t know or care; I simply felt better afterwards. I tell my clients to do something they enjoy and they will be more likely to stick to it.  For many, that is yoga.   I tell them to strength train too.  


A Quarter Million Training Sessions

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Some years back I was having a conversation with a fellow gym owner from another city. He wanted to know how many clients came through our doors. I told him we conduct a bit more than 500 personal training sessions a week. He responded, "You mean 500 clients a month". I said, "No, we do 500 clients a week". We had one location at the time.

We have two locations now and a loyal clientele. Doing a rough estimate of just about how many clients have worked out over the years, it comes out that by a conservative estimate we've done over a quarter of million training sessions since we first opened our doors.

The reason people patronize any business is because of the value that is offered. That quarter million is a vote of confidence and a validation of what we are doing.

The average stay with a personal trainer is less than six months. The average stay at our facilities is measured in years - another validation.


Is exercising to lose weight a losing proposition?

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Sorry about the pun. According to Wikipedia: A human being traveling on a bicycle at 16–24 km/h (10–15 mph), using only the power required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of human transport generally available.  Just how energy efficient is the bicycle?

The LiveStrong web site has an article, Calories Burned Biking One Mile detailing how many calories one burns riding a bike. Looking at the numbers from that source and others sources as well, you can get a rough estimate of number of calories burned riding a bike. Depending how much you weigh and how fast you ride you are going to expend anywhere from @ 30 to 60 calories per mile riding a bike. For ease of computation let’s use an average of 45 calories per mile of bike riding.

Add two other factoids:  There are 31,500 food calories in a gallon of gas, and there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.


Strength training seniors live longer and better lives

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Our clients at  Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers cover a wide spectrum of ages not least of which are those who are older.  Our oldest client was 95, and one of our trainers has four clients over eighty.  People in this cohort of the population have the most to gain in quality and length of life.

Increased strength will result in increased gait speed, and that will result in better balance. Strength training will result in stronger muscles yes, but bones become stronger as well.  Elderly that are stronger are less likely to fall, and if they do they are more likely to walk away unscathed.


One study says exercise targets visceral fat

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Belly fat is visceral deep fat, while subcutaneous fat settles just beneath your skin.  Visceral fat potentially increases the risk for many diseases; it produces biochemical signals that promote inflammation in the body. 

According to a NYT article, Ask Well: Reducing Belly Fat  sit-ups are useless for losing belly fat, and you would be better off taking a walk. That I knew.  What didn’t know was that exercise might actually target visceral fat more than subcutaneous fat.

One study showed that exercise disproportionately targets visceral fat,and a meta study concluded:

“A comprehensive 2013 review concluded that programs combining aerobic exercise and occasional sessions of weight training were superior to either type of exercise alone at reducing belly fat.”


Gum disease will shorten your life.

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

The title of this article pretty much says it all: Not brushing your teeth can trigger dementia and heart disease: A unique experiment shows how bad dental hygiene wrecks your entire body’s immune system 

A doctor conducted an experiment using himself as a guinea pig. He is an infectious diseases specialist and admits to knowing almost nothing about teeth. As he said, “It’s not something you learn about at medical school”.  He only brushed half of his teeth for two weeks.  He wore a guard on the un-brushed teeth just to make sure he did not receive the positive results of the ½ brushing.

Result: bleeding gums, mild gum disease, a compromised immune system.

A quote:

“Lab tests using my white blood cells — the soldiers of the immune system — showed they had become less effective at moving towards an infectious invader when it was introduced to them.