AMA FDA misrepresentation, weight training tempo, muscle weight gain

Q&A with Mike Furci

Furci Home / Fitness Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Q: Wut up, Mike?

I liked your article on “Everything in Moderation, Right?” Most of the information in there was pretty good. Most, but not all. A lot of the stuff you got from the web site is OK I guess, but a lot of it is also made up. Some of the things on fructose metabolism are just flat out wrong, and contrary to a lot of biochemistry crap that I have to read in medical school. And yeah, his web site also says MDs get no training in metabolism and nutrition in med school. That's flat out wrong too. I've had to learn this crap since undergraduate school and they're making us relearn it again in med school. I mean some of the information is true, but presented in a way that would make an uneducated reader jump to incorrect conclusions. Anyway, fructose isn't that bad. The crap is in table sugar too, and although it is converted to triglycerides and fats faster than glucose, it's only because it gets to skip a couple of metabolic steps; it ends up being converted the same way as most sugars. Bottom line, any sugar and calories you don't burn off through daily activity or exercise is going to be converted to fat.

I haven't had a chance to research the stuff on soy yet, but the parts of your article on trans fats and hydrogenated oils were pretty good. My guess is that up to half of that article is based on bogus science or at least science that is misrepresented, which is pretty much bogus science if you ask me. Anyway, I gotta get back to studying.


A: Most of what you read and are learning in school is exactly that -- misrepresentation. Get your degree and then move on. This country has been taken down a path of "misrepresentation" for decades, and two of the biggest contributors are the AMA and the FDA. You'd better start looking at who's contributing financially to schools across the country. The people teaching you, as well as the vast majority of practicing docs, haven't a clue when it comes to nutrition. If you consider the classes you've taken as training in metabolism and nutrition, you live in a vacuum. Instead of regurgitating what you’re told as the truth, start venturing out and really start to learn. The food and drug industries own the medical profession. This problem is so pervasive that groups of docs are now starting to get together to try and change it.

The remarks you make about fructose prove my point. Anyone making the claims you do about fructose is making them out of ignorance. Fructose doesn't just skip a few metabolic steps when compared to other sugars; it's a completely different pathway. There is a reason why fructose has such a low glycemic index. Fructose is metabolized in the liver, as opposed to being transformed to glucose like other sugars in the small intestine. The glucose is then shuttled in the blood and is used and stored.

I like the fact that you’re skeptical. More people need to be. However, be skeptical across the board. It's obvious you need to start looking at sources that have no financial ties to the industries you defend. And by the way, you mention but none of the other citations...interesting.

My article on trans fats and hydrogenated oils was OK? I suppose you think cholesterol causes heart disease? You are probably a good guy, but you are speaking about subjects with information you've been told. Like I said, stop regurgitating. It's people like you who become docs and continue this endless cycle of misinformation.

Q: Mike,

What does 3030 or 4030 tempo mean? I am very new at this.


A: Tempo is a component of weight training that is commonly overlooked. It's the least-used tool among people who weight train, including bodybuilders and strength athletes. It's widely accepted among athletes that you should lift weights under control. Most of them, however, haven't a clue as to what that really means, or how it can affect their training.

To understand tempo you need to understand "time under tension;" simply, the amount of time a muscle is under tension. To develop muscle mass, the appropriate amount of time a set should last is between 20 and 60 seconds.

Tempo is the speed of your reps. It is expressed and recorded by four-digit numbers representing the seconds required to complete a rep, for example: 50X0 (five, zero, explosive, zero). Using the bench press, the first digit is the speed in which the weight is lowered (negative). The second digit is the amount of time paused once the weights reach the chest. The third digit is the amount of time it takes to raise the weight. The fourth digit is the amount of time you pause before beginning another rep.

Q: Hey, Mike,

I’m 15 years old and I weigh only 53 kgs (about 117 lbs). I play rugby so it would help a lot to put on a little weight. I have been trying to do this for a while now, but it seems no matter how much I eat I don't put on any weight, or if so, very little. What do you think I should do?


A: Unfortunately, this is a concern of many kids your age (including myself 25 years ago). When I was in the second grade, I decided I wanted to be strong and muscular. I was watching Johnny Carson on TV (which you know now as the Tonight Show with Jay Leno), and Arnold Schwarzenegger was a guest. I was not only impressed by the way he looked, but also at his confidence and the way he presented himself. I knew right then that I wanted to be a body builder.

It wasn't until the end of my junior year in high school that I started to weight train at the Lorain (Ohio) Family YMCA. I was doing the full body Nautilus workouts two to three times per week. I didn't really make any progress, outside of strength, that first six to eight months of training. I knew I had genetic potential because of my muscularity and strength, but was baffled as to why I couldn't gain weight.

I remember the first day of my senior year of high school, weighing myself at the Y before training. I weighed an astounding 149 pounds at 5-foot-10. I was so frustrated! I decided to go seek help from the powerlifters in the next room. I had never gone over there before because they were so intimidating. However, the frustration after weighing myself was just too much, and I forced myself to approach Joe Matos.

Joe was a well-know powerlifter. He was one of the best lifters in Ohio and one of the best dead-lifters in the country. Add to this the fact that he was huge, had traps coming out of his ears, and he looked like he would smash you at the drop of a hat. That day set me on a course of winning several shows and becoming the best bodybuilder in Ohio in 1999. To cut to the chase: what I thought at the time was eating a lot was really nothing. After taking Joe's advice and doing reading on my own, below is an example of what I ate almost every day.

Breakfast: two to three buckwheat pancakes the size of the pan, one cup of cottage cheese, and one glass of orange juice.

Lunch: two cheeseburgers, fries, and 16 ounces of milk.

First dinner: A can of tuna in mac and cheese, or leftovers from yesterday’s dinner.

Dinner: Whatever Mom made, which was always beef, chicken, potatoes, rice, pasta, veggies, etc.

Snacks at night and during the day: Natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread.

Toward the end of my senior year I was 185 lbs with abs. It turns out, I was wasting my training efforts for the first six months by not taking in enough nutrients to recover and facilitate muscular growth. How does the above diet compare with what you're eating?

My recommendation for you would be to start adding food over a period of time. It is imperative the food you eat is not fast food. That type of food not only lacks nutrient value, it is literally loaded with toxic ingredients, the worst being hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. I would also recommend a quality protein powder like Metabolic Drive, taken two to three times per day.

The key is to add lean weight and to avoid becoming a fat ass. If you start gaining fat, just cut back a little on your carbohydrates like cereal, bread and pasta. Simple sugars should only be included in your diet once in a while.

I also recommend you read the following articles: "Fats, Cholesterol and the lipid hypothesis", "Everything in Moderation, Right?", "Every Journey begins with one Step" and "A No-nonsense Guide to Design your Workouts parts I, II and III.

Good luck

Got a question for Mike? Send it to 

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

Around the Web