Bodybuilding & Fitness Secrets Newsletter: Issue #55 - October-November 2006
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Fitness & Fat Loss - The Natural Way...
Issue #55: October-November 2006
In This Issue:
- Editorial: The Law Of Attraction And Weight Loss: Can You "Think Yourself Thin?" By Tom Venuto
- Ask Tom Q & A of The Month: HMB: Have there been any new findings? Is this supplement worth the money?
- Article of the month: Tom’s Top 10 travel fitness secrets
- Monthly Motivator: Living Without Limits by Brian Tracy
- Motivational Quotes of the month
Turn Your Body Into A
FAT BURNING MACHINE!
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As a member of the Burn The Fat Inner Circle, you will gain access to hundreds of exclusive articles and Q & A columns, workout programs, downloadable journals, logs, checklists, reports, and other workout and diet planning tools, plus online audio MP3 interviews, Tom Venuto’s members-only MP3 audio podcast, The Burn The Fat Show, and a whole lot more.
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The Law Of Attraction And Weight Loss: Can You “Think Yourself Thin?”
By Tom Venuto
Metaphysics & Brain science merge and prove that positive thinking and goal setting literally create your body and your entire life experience...
On recently broadcast special edition of CNN's Larry King Live, Mr. King interviewed a panel of "mind experts" about how the thoughts you think literally turn into the events you experience, the material things you possess... AND even the health of your body.
For years, "positive thinking" and goal-setting were often criticized as "pollyanna" and "the law of attraction" was relegated into the category of "new age" fluff.
On the recent Larry King show, panel experts Bob Proctor, John Assaraf and others who were featured in the movie 'The Secret' explained that recent breakthroughs in neuroscience along with understanding mental laws, reveal why goal setting, the "law of attraction" and "positive thinking" all work, regardless of whether you look at them from a metaphysical or a scientific perspective.
Scientists have even identified specific parts of the brain, such as the reticular activating system (RAS), which works with the visual parts of our brain to call our conscious attention to things that are important to reaching our goals and to filter out those things that are unimportant.
The RAS is activated by "programming" goals into our sub-conscious minds. Our sub concscious mind is the "power center" and THIS is the mechanism that explains why goal setting and positive thinking are now being accepted as scientific methods for change.
We are discovering that our brain is cybernetic in nature, which means that it is literally like a computer, waiting for a program to be installed.
Here's the kicker - the subconcsious is completely neutral and impartial - it will carry out any instructions you give it.
Unfortunately, many of us are still running negative programs we picked up from others as children when our non-conscious minds were totally open and impressionable, or which we developed over the years as a result of repetition of our own negative thinking.
As it turns out, our own thoughts, repeated daily, are one of the primary ways that our "mental computer" is programmed on a sub-conscious level, which is the level of beliefs, habits and automatic behavior.
To change your results, you must overwrite old negative programming and install positive new programming into your subconscious.
This can be achived through such techniques as written goal setting, positive self-talk (affirmations), and mental imagery (visualization).
In the 1970's, the Soviets and East Germans were the first to formally use structured mental rehearsal, and at that time, they dominated in several olympic sports. This was reported in great detail in Charles Garfield's landmark book, "Peak Performance." Today, virtually all elite athletes use visualization extensively, as we now know that the brain cannot differentiate between real practice and practice that is vividly imagined.
If you are getting more of the same negative results in your life - such as the same health problems, or the same body fat continues to return even after you lose it, then you have probably been un-consciously running old negative programs and re-inforcing them with negative thought patterns.
You can begin the positive mental reprogramming process by writing down your goals, changing your internal dialogue and taking a few minutes to relax, quiet your mind and perform a session of visualization or mental rehearsal every day (seeing yourself in your "mind's eye" not as you currently are, but as you ideally would like to be).
These methods, repeated often enough, will begin to program the non- conscious portion of the mind, which is the same part of the mind that controls your heart beat, digestion and new cell production, all on "automatic pilot."
In the last decade, neuroscientists discovered that you have the capacity to create an almost infinite number of new neural connections in your brain when you run new thought patterns.
The Old neural pathways are like grooves in a record, and if you are struggling with your health related behaviors or behaviors in any other area of your life, you have been playing the "old records" over and over again.
If you were to carve a new groove into that record, it would never play the same way again. the old pattern would weaken and the new one would take over. Brand new, positive thoughts, feelings and images begin to create new neural patterns.
Psychologists estimate that it takes 21 to 30 days to establish a new pattern in your brain. During this time, the focus on sticking with your practice and repeating your new thought patterns is critical.
Is this easy? For most people, no it's not. In fact, controlling your thinking and keeping it constructive may be one of the most difficult challenges you have ever faced. Fortunately, writing goals and reading affirmations can help get you started.
You can take some of the pressure off yourself by simply accepting that negative thoughts and self criticisms will pop up from time to time. Just observe them, without mulling over them or adding to them, and change the polarity of the thought by quickly repeating one of your positive affirmations or by changing your mental pictures.
So is there something to this whole "positive thinking" thing?
The philosophers and theologians have been saying yes for the entire span of recorded history: "As you think, so shall you be." Variations on this proverb can be found in every spiritual and philosophical tradition.
But... if you are the left-brained, "prove-it-to-me" type, you dont have to go on faith anymore. Scientists are beginning to prove more and more convincingly that thoughts are powerful things. Even Larry King seemed impressed with what his panel of "mind mentors" had to say.
So how soon are you going to begin your mental training right alongside your physical training? When are you going to learn how to harness this power locked up inside your mind?
Guess what? You're already using this force every day because you cannot turn it off. Whatever you are thinking and picturing in your mind repeatedly on a daily basis is already on it's way to you, so it's simply a matter of HOW you are using it, not IF you are using it.
What do you say to yourself every day? Do you say, "I am becoming leaner, healthier and more muscular every day?"... or do you say "I am a fat person - Ive tried everything, nothing ever works?"
The fact is - you can think yourself thin and healthy or you can think yourself obese and ill. Maybe not in the literal sense...but most certainly as the critical part in the chain of causation...
You see, there's a lot of talk these days in the personal improvement world about law of attraction, manifesting, intention, visualization, affirmations and of course, positive thinking.
Without understanding that there is an orderly, scientific basis underneath all of these things, many people will simply remain skeptics, while on the opposite extreme, others may get the idea that you can sit around meditating and visualizing, then expect a mystical "law of attraction" to kick in and then "poof!" a great body materializes out of thin air... along with the perfect relationship, a nice bank account and fantastic career success.
What really happens is "Positive thinking" and related methods quite literally re-program your brain, which in turn creates new behaviors that move you physically toward whatever you have been thinking about and focusing on.
So success is achieved through positive thinking + positive doing.... attraction + action. There are two sides to the coin. Without paying attention to both, you may continue to struggle... often against nothing but yourself.
If you want to transform your body or any other aspect of your life, then you have to change on the inside (the mind) first and then everything else will follow.
This process of *scientific* goal setting and mental reconditioning through emotionally charged mental imagery (visualization) and internal mental dialogue (affirmations) is the very first thing I have always taught my clients and the first thing I wrote about in my book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle You can learn all of these techniques in detail in chapter 1. Learn more about the psychology of body transformation inside the Burn The Fat ebook: www.burnthefat.com
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
HMB: Have there been any new findings? Is this supplement worth the money?
In the late 1990's HMB was hyped in the magazines as one of the hottest muscle building supplements to hit the bodybuilding and fitness scene.There were even some studies that looked promising. Although it looked good on paper, most people who tried it found that it didn't live up to the claims, so it lost a lot of popularity points. Nevertheless, HMB still sells to this day and we continue to hear about new studies from time to time. Has anything changed or is HMB still a question mark at best
FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE MONTH
Tom’s Top 10 travel fitness secrets:
By Tom Venuto
I recently read two articles about travel fitness. One said that while you're traveling, you should keep up with 50% of your normal training and the other said you should keep up with only one-third. Both were written by well known fitness professionals and both said that you should NOT expect to keep up your regular exercise program while you are traveling. That struck me as kind of "lame" and I said to myself, “Why the heck not? Why do people have such low standards and demand so little of themselves? Why do they let themselves off the hook and scale back?”
Sometimes, of course, traveling is purely for a vacation – including a vacation from training. Occasional time off from intense training is beneficial and necessary to let your body recover and rejuvenate completely from chronic training stress, just as time off from the office is needed to disengage your mind for a while. It’s also true that it really doesn’t take much to maintain fitness once it is developed, and an abbreviated, but still effective, workout routine could certainly be used, if you choose, when you’re on the road.
However, you still have healthy eating to think about and just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t follow your regular exercise regimen. Why settle? If you want to continue to improve your physique while on the road, you can! Here are 10 ways that I did it on my last extended business trip that you may find helpful as well. It begins with a simple decision.
1. Decide to improve while you’re traveling and to come home in better shape than when you left
Nearly every time I travel (the exception being if it’s a complete rest and relaxation vacation), I set a goal to come home in better shape than when I left. The only reason most people usually come home with lower fitness and a few extra pounds than when they left is because they didn’t make a decision to do otherwise. In fact, many people hold a belief that it’s “impossible” to stay on their eating and exercise program while they are traveling! Why not get in better shape no matter where you are? The truth is, all it takes is a decision and some planning. I find it a fun and exhilarating challenge to improve myself no matter where I am in the world.
2. Write out your workout schedule in advance
There’s nothing like writing your goals down on paper to keep your mind focused and keep yourself motivated. In addition to writing out goals regularly, preferably every day, you should also commit your training schedule to paper and especially when you are traveling. Write down the days, the time of the day and the exact workout you plan to do and you will be amazed at how easy you will find it is to get to the gym and have great workouts.
3. Get a hotel with a kitchen
The single most important part of my travel arrangements was to book a hotel with a kitchen. For me, not having a kitchen is not an option. If you don’t have kitchen, you will be much more likely to skip meals, it’s very difficult to eat 5 or 6 times a day (as required by any good fat burning or muscle building nutrition program), and you may end up at the mercy of restaurant, hotel or convenience store food. For my most recent trip, I stayed at Homestead Studio Suites, one of several national hotel chains in the USA which includes a full kitchen including a refrigerator, microwave, stove – the whole works. Exteneded Stay America and Marriot Residence Inn offer similar accomodations
On previous trips, if there wasn’t such a hotel with a kitchen in the vicinity, I searched the internet for apartments for short term rental. You may be surprised at the type of lodging you can find and often you will be pleased with price as compared to hotels. I once booked a luxury condo for 7 days and it ended up costing less than the hotel I was first considering, and the hotel didn’t even have a kitchen. Nothing beats a full kitchen, but you may also find that many hotels will provide you with a microwave and mini-refrigerator if you ask for them.
4. Go food shopping immediately after checking in
The FIRST thing I did after checking in was to make a beeline straight to the local grocery store. I took a shopping list with me because on past trips I found that I nearly always seemed to forget one or two small items if I didn’t have the written grocery list. Once you have a fully stocked refrigerator and kitchen, your meal planning and preparation is NO DIFFERENT than it is when you are home.
5. check the local restaurant locations and menus and commit in advance to making healthy choices when dining out
Since I had a kitchen at my disposal, the majority of my meals were just business as usual. I cooked them right in my hotel room and brought them along with me wherever I went. However, when traveling, it’s likely that you will probably be having quite a few restaurant meals.
I make it a habit to scope out the local restaurants in advance and even check their websites. Most have their menus online these days. I make a decision in advance whether it will be a regular meal or a “cheat meal.” If it’s a cheat meal, I enjoy whatever I want, but I always keep portion sizes in mind. For example, last time, I split a slice of cheesecake with a friend. Was I guilty? Heck no, it was my planned cheat day, I only ate half a slice and it was the first cheesecake I had in 12 months!
If you walk into a restaurant without having made a decision in advance whether you are staying on your regular meals or having a cheat meal, you are much more likely to have a “diet accident” and make a poor choice on impulse, especially if you’re influenced by non-healthy-eating companions (don’t under estimate the negative peer pressure factor). All it takes is one unplanned cheat meal and that can often lead to guilt. Then “all or none thinking” tends to set in and you may tell yourself, “Well, I blew it,” so the next meal and then the rest of the week tends to completely fall apart as well.
6. Cook portable foods and bring meal replacements or healthy snacks for drives, flights and day trips
I love to drive, so for my trip last month I packed everything up in my car and hit the road. Naturally, I cooked for the road trip and my food came with me! I’ve learned how to make a variety of portable foods including several different types of oatmeal pancakes, tuna burgers and healthy sandwiches. Some of these “portable foods” can be even eaten with your hands while you are in a car, on a plane or sitting in a seminar room.
On my recent trip, I knew I had a long drive, so I calculated the number of hours on the road and the number of meals I would need and simply brought them all with me. For two of my on-the-road meals I had oatmeal-egg white-apple-cinnamon pancakes and one of my “meals” was simply a high protein meal replacement shake and fresh fruit. It’s not difficult at all when you plan and pack food in advance.
7. Choose your gym or check your hotel fitness facilities in advance
Many people work out right in their hotel rooms with a body weight exercise program or even portable equipment. Since I’m a bodybuilder, I refuse to go without a fully equipped gym. Unfortunately, on-site Hotel gyms are notorious for sounding great in the advertisements and then when you arrive, you find that the “gym” is a room about the size of a walk in closet, with a few pieces of (mostly broken) archaic equipment from the 1970’s. There are a few exceptions, but having learned my lesson a couple times, I now use the Internet to locate a gym prior to my trip. Call in advance and ask if there are daily or weekly rates.
You can also ask if your hotel has an affiliation with a local health club. During my last trip, the hotel was affiliated with a Bally Total Fitness Center that was just a 10 minute drive away and use of the Bally’s was included with the price of my room. It turned out to be an excellent club, so I was a happy camper.
8. Pack your workout gear and plenty of workout clothes
When you pack hastily at the last minute, things can easily be forgotten and left behind, so be sure to pack plenty of workout clothes with you and bring any other gym gear you might need (belt, lifting straps, etc). For extended trips, inquire with your hotel to see if they have laundry facilities. (The hotel where I recently stayed had an onsite laundry room, which came in handy with my 2.5 week stay).
9. Change up your workouts as you change up your gym
Some people get accustomed to their hometown gym and they’re upset or disappointed when they don’t have access to the same equipment when they travel. They feel that it cramps their style or hinders their results. However, this can really be a blessing in disguise. Your body adapts to any workout, often in just a matter of weeks. We tend to be victims of our own habit patterns in life and that includes our workouts. You might want to take advantage of it when you have new and different equipment at your disposal.
After “scoping out” the gym’s facilities, design an entirely new workout program for a change. Do something 100% different. Sometimes a simple change of exercises is enough to stimulate new progress. The club I trained at during my last trip had a full line of “Strive” machines which are not available at my hometown gym. These machines allow you to choose three different resistance curves on each exercise. Very cool. Since I had access to this equipment, I did a totally new routine and used more machines than usual. Although most fitness experts these days generally advise you to use more free weights than machines (and I agree for the most part), using these machines was a great change up and I could feel and see the difference.
10. Walk, bike or make physical recreation part of your travel plans
Personally, as I am already in very good shape, I usually don’t count casual walking as part of my “formal” workout (cardio) program, although it certainly might count for other people. However, it never hurts to get some extra activity and all physical activity burns calories and provides some health benefits. I’ve found that more often than not, when I am on the road, whether for business or pleasure, there are plenty of opportunities to get some physical recreation and see the sights by foot.
On a trip last year, I spent an entire afternoon hiking in the hills of a beautiful national park. On another trip, I rented a bike and rode for miles along a beachside bike path. On my recent trip, I spent an entire day walking through museums and then sightseeing. I walked for hours. I also couldn’t help but notice other people (mostly conspicuously unfit people), tooling around outside on those stand-up scooters. Funny thing too, because right next door to the motorized scooter rental was a bike rental. Which would you choose – foot, bike, or “lazy-person’s chariot?”
- Tom Venuto
Living Without Limits
By Brian Tracy
The starting point of great success and achievement has always been the same. It is for you to dream big dreams. There is nothing more important, and nothing that works faster than for you to cast off your own limitations than for you to begin dreaming and fantasizing about the wonderful things that you can become, have, and do.
As a wise man once said, "You must dream big dreams, for only big dreams have the power to move the minds of men." When you begin to dream big dreams, your levels of self-esteem and self-confidence will go up immediately. You will feel more powerful about yourself and your ability to deal with what happens to you. The reason so many people accomplish so little is because they never allow themselves to lean back and imagine the kind of life that is possible for them.
A powerful principle that you can use to dream big dreams and live without limits is contained in what Elihu Goldratt calls the "Theory of Constraints." This is one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern thinking. What Goldratt has found is that in every process, in accomplishing any goal, there is a bottleneck or choke cord that serves as a constraint on the process. This constraint then sets the speed at which you achieve any particular goal.
What Goldratt found is that if you concentrate all of your creative energies and attention on alleviating the constraint, you can speed up the process faster than by doing any other single thing.
Let me give you an example. Let us say that you want to double your income. What is the critical constraint or the limiting factor that holds you back? Well, you know that your income is a direct reward for the quality and quantity of the services you render to your world. Whatever field you are in, if you want to double your income, you simply have to double the quality and quantity of what you do for that income. Or you have to change activities and occupations so that what you are doing is worth twice as much. But you must always ask yourself, "What is the critical constraint that holds me back or sets the speed on how fast I double my income?"
A friend of mine is one of the highest-paid commission professionals in the United States. One of his goals was to double his income over the next three to five years.
He applied the 80/20 rule to his client base. He found that 20 percent of his clients contributed 80 percent of his profits, and that the amount of time spent on a high-profit client was pretty much the same amount of time spent on a low-profit client. In other words, he was dividing his time equally over the number of tasks that he does while only 20 percent of those items contributes 80 percent of his results.
So he drew a line on his list of clients under those who represented the top 20 percent and then called in other professionals in his industry and very carefully, politely, and strategically handed off the 80 percent of his clients that only represented 20 percent of his business. He then put together a profile of his top clients and began looking in the marketplace exclusively for the type of client who fit the profile; in other words, one who could become a major profit contributor to his organization, and whom he in turn could serve with the level of excellence that his clients were accustomed to. And instead of doubling his income in three to five years, he doubled it in the first year!
So what is holding you back? Is it your level of education or skill? Is it your current occupation or job? Is it your current environment or level of health? Is it the situations that you are in today? What is setting the speed for you achieving your goal?
Remember, whatever you have learned, you can unlearn. Whatever situation you have gotten yourself into, you can probably get yourself out of. If your real goal is to dream big dreams and to live without limits, you can set this as your standard and compare everything that you do against it.
The three keys to living without limits have always been the same. They are clarity, competence, and concentration.
Clarity means that you are absolutely clear about who you are, what you want, and where you're going. You write down your goals and you make plans to accomplish them. You set very careful priorities and you do something every day to move you toward your goals. And the more progress you make toward accomplishing things that are important to you, the greater self-confidence and self-belief you have, and the more convinced you become that there are no limits on what you can achieve.
Competence means that you begin to become very, very good in the key result areas of your chosen field. You apply the 80/20 rule to everything you do and you focus on becoming outstanding in the 20 percent of tasks that contribute to 80 percent of your results. You dedicate yourself to continuous learning. You never stop growing. You realize that excellence is a moving target. And you commit yourself to doing something every day that enables you to become better and better at doing the most important things in your field. Concentration is having the self-discipline to force yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing, the most important thing, and stay with it until it's complete.
The two key words for success have always been focus and concentration. Focus is knowing exactly what you want to be, have, and do. Concentration is persevering, without diversion or distraction, in a straight line toward accomplishing the things that can make a real difference in your life.
When you allow yourself to begin to dream big dreams, creatively abandon the activities that are taking up too much of your time, and focus your inward energies on alleviating your main constraints, you start to feel an incredible sense of power and confidence. As you focus on doing what you love to do and becoming excellent in those few areas that can make a real difference in your life, you begin to think in terms of possibilities rather than impossibilities, and you move ever closer toward the realization of your full potential.
About Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy is a leading authority on personal and business success. As Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, he is the best-selling author of 17 books and over 300 audio and video learning programs. Join Brian's Free Email Newsletters at www.briantracy.com. This article was reprinted with permission from Brian Tracy International. Copyright © Brian Tracy International. All Rights Reserved.
HOW TO GAIN MORE MUSCLE AND BURN MORE FAT IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS
THAN MOST PEOPLE DO IN 90 DAYS OR EVEN 6 MONTHS!
Lewis Wolk of A to Z Fitness.Com recently came up with a great idea. He decided to ask 15 of the internet’s top trainers and bodybuilding experts for their best kept secrets of gaining muscle and losing body fat and to compile the answers into a brand new book.
When Lewis asked me to be a part of this project, he confronted me with the big question on which the entire book is based: “What is the best way to gain maximum muscle and lose maximum fat in only 30 days?” When I first heard it, I have to admit, I didn’t like the question.
You see, I’ve always believed in a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of philosophy, not an “overnight muscle” or “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” type of mentality (which usually reeks of fads, gimmicks and scams).
However, everybody wants results as quickly as possible and no one wants to waste time on diet and training methods that don’t produce. Although you can only achieve so much in a single month, the truth is, the first 30 days on a properly designed training program, supported by sound nutrition in an optimally “primed” (and not over-trained) body, will always be the period with the greatest results. After that, your results start to level off as your body becomes accustomed to the old routine.
So I decided that this was a question that deserved an answer and I agreed to write one of the chapters in Lewis’s book. I racked my brains for weeks to come up with a program that would produce the most muscle growth in only 30 days. What I developed, I named the “30 day growth spurt program.” Why did I call it a “growth spurt” program? I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out.
Thousands of people have lost body fat using my fat loss diet methods, and now you can get a chance, in this new book, to see my nutrition and training methods for maximum muscle growth - including the secrets to gaining muscle as quickly as humanly possible, without resorting to dangerous steroids. (By the way, my chapter focuses on muscle growth, but some of the other trainers in the book focus on fat loss and there is advice for women as well as men)
Will this program turn you into Mr. Olympia or pack 20 pounds of muscle on you in a month? Of course not. In fact, I confront - head on - the issue of false muscle growth claims and I teach you how to set a realistic, but ambitious goal for gaining muscle. Although I'm not promising miracles, I’m confident that if you follow the nutrition and training protocol to a T, you will experience some of the best progress you’ve ever achieved in such a short period of time.
For all the details, click here:
Trainer's Secrets to Maximum Muscle Gain and Maximum Fat Loss
QUOTES OF THE MONTH
“The mental toughness process is not about going from good to very good, it’s about going from good to great. Anyone who settles for good is destined to spend their golden years bathed in a sea of regret, wondering why.”
- Steve Siebold
“The law of attraction says that you are a living magnet, and yhou inevitably attract into your life the people, circumstances, ideas, and resources in harmony with your dominant thoughts. People who think and talk continually about what they want seem to attract more and more of those things into their lives. People who talk about what they don’t want, the things they fear or worry about, continually attract negative and unhappy experiences into their lives as well.”
- Brian Tracy
“If you spend too much time learning the ‘tricks’ of the trade, you may not learn the trade. There are no shortcuts. If you’re working on finding a short cut, the easy way, you’re not working hard enough on the fundamentals. You may get a way with it for a spell, but there is no substitute for the basics. And the first basic is good, old fashioned hard work."
“As soon as an error is corrected, it is important that the error be forgotten and only the successful attempts be remembered. Errors, mistakes, and humiliations are all necessary steps in the learning process. Once they have served their purpose, they should be forgotten. If we constantly dwell upon the errors, then the error of failure becomes the goal.”
- Vince Lombardi
“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.”
H. Ross Perot
“You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.”
- Jim Rohn
"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it I say. What ever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows”
- Michael Landon
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