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From HCG Diet to Shake Weights: Fitness Trends in Review

Lizard King

Lizard King

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 9, 2010
11,384
3,137
#1
LOL, Shake Weight!

From tapeworms and Thighmasters to fad diets and blubber-shaking machinery, the only sure thing in the fitness world is that there will always be a new trend claiming to be the secret to quick and easy weightloss or eternal youth. Often, these fads make unrealistic promises or are downright unhealthy. Sometimes, though, trends bubble up for a reason- because they work. Here’s a look at five current fitness trends, some of which you’ve written in asking about, and my suggestions on whether you should “hit it” or “quit it.”

HCG Diet- Fad diets are a dime a dozen. All the ones that “work” use the same trick- They have some loosely-tested medical theory that distracts you from the fact that you are just doing good ol’ calorie cutting. This is true of most low-carb and non-medically-indicated gluten free diets, and it’s certainly true with the HCG diet. In its truest form, the HCG diet requires daily injections of a hormone found in pregnant women that is supposed to help release fat stores. Of course, the internet has sprung up with sites offering to sell you HCG in pill form, but HCG is not active in an oral form, so whatever you find on the internet are pure placebos. In either case, the HCG is more or less a red herring anyway. The real way the HCG diet “works”—you are only allowed 500 calories per day! Yes, you read that right—500 calories. Of course you are going to lose weight in the near-term, but a 500-calorie diet is something one should never undertake without the strictest of doctor’s supervision.

The Verdict: Quit It. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn by creating a sustainable deficit- which can be done by anyone, anywhere, for free! If you must, you can take a few twenty dollar bills out of your wallet and flush them down the toilet for motivation- which would be better than sending your hard-earned cash to these internet shysters.

Shake Weight- Due to a so-bad-its-good advertising campaign, the Shake Weight has become a viral video darling and even landed a starring role on an episode of South Park. But, is it any good as a workout tool? Hardly. I purchased the Shake Weight in the “for men” size and ran through the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it enclosed workout DVD. For starters, I can think of very little that would actually “get you ripped in only 6 minutes per day” aside from deadlifting a small SUV repeatedly. And, while I did have difficulty shaking the weight for the specified period, I’m chalking that up to a slippery handle and biomechanically-wonky moves-- I felt no delayed muscle soreness that would indicate that the workout had done anything different from my usual weight regime. Plus, it works only three muscle groups, and there’s certainly not enough weight involved in any case to “get you ripped.” In fact, I’d argue good ol’ pushups, dips, and pull-ups would do a much better job of that than this noisy gizmo.

The Verdict: Quit It. Spend your thirty bucks on a pair of 20ish pound dumbells that you can use for curls, presses, squats, and lunges to get a full-body workout. Bonus tip: If you want to get the whole Shake Weight experience with your dumbells, just stop your curl or press mid-way through the rep and do micropulses or hold the isometric contraction for 30 seconds. Oh, and make funny faces. That’s the important part.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) High Intensity Interval Training is the talk of the gym, promising to burn the most calories in the least amount of time and keeping post-exercise calorie burn elevated for up to 24 hours after the session. HIIT is a great addition to most workout programs, and all these claims are backed by solid research, but here’s the thing—most people don’t do HIIT right. It’s more than just hitting the “Interval” button on the elliptical and picking up the latest copy of Cosmo. A true HIIT workout session involves a warm-up followed by one minute of all-out intensity and one minute of recovery, repeated no more than 10 times, and a cool down. To be true HIIT, the all-out bursts must be lung-searing, vomit-inducing, panting, can’t-go-for-a-second-longer intervals, and at the end of the 20-30 minute session, you should be absolutely beat.

The Verdict: Hit it! High intensity Interval Training is a great way to get the most out of your workout time. Remember, though, that a true HIIT will leave you uterly depleted and require proper recovery, so don’t do them on back-to-back days or make them your only workout. Also, don’t put too much weight on the claims of increased post-exercise burn—any workout program will do this. Just focus on blasting through those calories in the workout timeframe and let the rest be gravy. Like I tell clients—“with HIIT, if you don’t feel like a flailing idiot in the gym, you probably aren’t doing it right.”

High-Antioxidant Drinks and Supplements (Acai Berry, Pomegranite, etc.) It seems the food-i-ceudical people are trying to cram anti-oxidants down our throats left and right these days, promising everything from better heart health to eternal youth. Notably, the beverage aisle is jam-packed full of high-antioxidant drinks, but most of these drinks are nothing more than expensive fruit punch, with little to offer but laughable quantities of sugar and some vitamins tossed in to make for better marketing. Yes, a diet sufficiently high in anti-oxidants is important for good health, but a well-rounded diet full of multi-colored foods will not only provide more than enough, it will contain other important phytonutrients, fiber, etc. I am always wary of any push to artificially add a nutrient to our foods outside the ratio of what you’d find in a healthy, well-balanced diet. There is even some evidence that too many anti-oxidants might reduce the positive adaptations to exercise.

The Verdict: Quit it! Don’t go reaching for a pricy, sugary, calorie-bomb just because it claims to have anti-oxidants or other health benefits. If you are eating a well-rounded, colorful diet, you are probably doing fine on the anti-oxidant front. Try as we might, we really can’t improve on good ol’ water for drinking.

P90X They used to say “At any given time, there is an eposiode of I Love Lucy playing somewhere in the world.” I think the same is probably true of the P90X infomercial—possibly twofold. The parade of jaw-dropping transformations and well-oiled “after shots” just reek of scam. But, you know what…? The hype machine of the infomercial doesn’t change the fact that P90X is a really solid, well-rounded, old-school weight and cardio program that will deliver great results to anyone who has the dedication to push themselves through the workouts and, most importantly, reel in their diet. It delivers the same kind of solid workout experience you can get taking several classes at a gym, which makes it ideal for parents and people who like the flexibility of working out at home. (One caveat- if you are a woman looking to lose weight, it’s likely the nutrition guide that comes with the program will suggest far too many calories. Here are some suggestions for alterations.)

The Verdict: Hit it! Just don’t expect that something magical will happen when the UPS man drops the package at the door that will make you suddenly sprout abs. As with any workout program, you’ll need the commitment to hit the workouts hard and change your diet to see results.
 
O

OldPLer

VIP Member
Nov 29, 2010
143
18
#2
gotta love the shake weights, never tried one but someone makes big money selling them.
 
ITAWOLF

ITAWOLF

VIP Member
Dec 9, 2010
1,008
422
#3
nice post LK ----I will say this about the HCG diet--I've had a few ladies that have used it and yes its low cal--and way to low ---but it seems they dont have the munchies while on it ---but that could just be the body and low cals....the 2 guys that i know that have tried it say it doesnt work for them because 500 is just too dame low
 
JackD

JackD

Senior Moderators
Staff Member
Sep 16, 2010
4,993
505
#4
LOL...My GF just brought up that stupid HCG pill diet crap thing to me this past weekend...lol I told her true HCG gets injected, all others are fakes.

Then my mom bought the stupid shake weight...lol I asked her to let me know when it started working....lol
 
Get Some

Get Some

MuscleHead
Sep 9, 2010
3,441
640
#5
Right on with P90x! The cardio workouts and yoga are intense... most people can't just step up to the plate and do it. I know I find myself gasng for air and taking a few extra breaks during the video. It's worth it to buy the DVDs even if you don't do the weight training program.
 
usa

usa

MuscleHead
Dec 24, 2010
272
32
#6
It just comes down to pure will power and discipline. If you want to drop the weight and shred yourself up, start training harder. If you want a true weight lose drug go for the big guns and try some dnp.
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,069
4,627
#7
nice post LK ----I will say this about the HCG diet--I've had a few ladies that have used it and yes its low cal--and way to low ---but it seems they dont have the munchies while on it ---but that could just be the body and low cals....the 2 guys that i know that have tried it say it doesnt work for them because 500 is just too dame low
Wouldn't your munchies disappear at 500kcal per day cause your metabolism is crushed? To put it another way, I thought that the reason we eat with such frequency is to keep pouring gas on the fire?
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,069
4,627
#8
It just comes down to pure will power and discipline. If you want to drop the weight and shred yourself up, start training harder. If you want a true weight lose drug go for the big guns and try some dnp.
I've been reading non-stop on DNP... Fascinating stuff and I hope I will be trying that at some point this year. Definitely the kind of thing you need to be fully aware of what you're doing.
 
Mindlesswork

Mindlesswork

Crusty Poo Butt
Sep 21, 2010
1,395
33
#9
gotta love the shake weights, never tried one but someone makes big money selling them.
LOL...my brother's GF got the shake weight and it's amusing to even watch her using it. I might show her this post and get her reaction haha

All these fads are just a waste of money not to mention time....great post LK and thanks for sharing this with us.

As for p90x it's an intense program and not for everyone
 
Last edited:
ITAWOLF

ITAWOLF

VIP Member
Dec 9, 2010
1,008
422
#10
dnp and t3 are not for noobs ..neither is tren......so just bwcause u can get it doesnt
mean it will work ....get diet and workouts to a T and u may find u dont need any of them...i didnt use them until i wanted to get below 7%..... as for 500cals...that low ur still eating muscle
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,069
4,627
#11
dnp and t3 are not for noobs ..neither is tren......so just bwcause u can get it doesnt
mean it will work ....get diet and workouts to a T and u may find u dont need any of them...i didnt use them until i wanted to get below 7%..... as for 500cals...that low ur still eating muscle
I hear you on the DNP and the sides from tren scare the shit out of me... Titty milk? For real lol??? Believe me when I say I have a healthy respect for all of the chemicals we discuss here. Thanks for looking out though :)
 
jdjack

jdjack

MuscleHead
Sep 22, 2010
568
32
#12
I saw an MD prescribing the HCG diet a few weeks ago. I wanted to scream, and laugh, but just ignored it lol.
 
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