cardio, training body parts, veganism, golfers, protein diets, chest workouts

Q & A with Mike Furci

Furci Home / Fitness Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

The following email contained three parts. I thought it might be advantageous to answer them within the email.

Q: Mike,

I just finished reading your article on Fitness Myth Busters. Although I agree with pretty much everything you said I do have a couple of comments on some things you wrote.

1. "Screw cardio!"

Are you serious? I think it's a known AND proven fact that a good mix of cardio and weight training will provide a better fat loss program than just weight or cardio training alone. ESPECIALLY if we consider HIT cardio training.

Weight LifterA: It is true, HIT cardio (I assume you're referring to interval training) is the best way to go if you're going to put the time in. However, sorry to inform you, it is not a “proven fact” that a mix of cardio and weight training is the best way to go. Show me the evidence of long term success. There is NONE. Visit any gym and you'll see what I mean. The majority of people who perform cardio regularly don't make permanent gains. Cardio is vastly overrated as a means of losing body fat. In fact, if a person who is overweight embarks on a cardio program and doesn’t change their eating habits, they are doomed to failure. Adding muscle is the key, combined with a diet lower in refined foods, especially carbs.

 

Q2: "Vegans must resort to eating garbage soy protein powders and tofu. To each his own."

There are positive reasons for taking soy protein. If you are lactose intolerant, soy is the way to go. Also, studies have shown soy protein is a better antioxidant than whey. I personally am not vegan or vegetarian and take whey protein with soy milk. Skim milk has a high insulinemic index; that is, milk spikes insulin, which is a big inhibitor of fat oxidation. However, soy milk has both a low glycemic and insulinemic index which allows one to be in a fat burning mode longer. So, soy does have its benefits.

A: There is not one reliable, valid study to show the benefits of soy protein over milk-derived proteins. The Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) and the Biological Value (BV) which evaluate protein quality give soy a rating of 70 and 74 respectively. Whey and egg score over 100, and beef is over 80. The soy industry has set up a protein rating called the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). The catch is, no protein can score above 100. And soy was set as the standard at, you guessed it, 100. This way soy can never be outdone. Just a couple of little tidbits the researchers, who are funded by the soy industry, don't reveal. In other rating systems soy always falls short because of such low amounts of the essential sulfur amino methionone and because of extreme processing methods to enable humans to digest it.

In order to get it to be digestible, and I'm sure you know that soy beans aren't digestible, they are treated with heat, oxidizing agents, alkalis, acids and solvents. The quality of soy protein, which is low to start with, is compromised because it is one of the most processed foods there is. What these scores also do not tell is the amount of anti-nutrients naturally contained in soy that negatively affect our bodies.

There is a voluminous amount of evidence showing the deleterious effects of soy products. You can see some of it for yourself if you go to the FDA's site and look up soy in the Poisonous Plant Database. It shows 288 studies illuminating the dangers of soy. I encourage you to read "The Whole Soy Story" by Kaayla Daniel , and to visit westonaprice.com to start educating yourself. Entire countries are putting out warnings to their citizens including Germany, Israel and France.

 

Q3: "Why in the world should a person who plays golf weight train?"

Ask Tiger Woods. He weight trains religiously. Now I'm not saying Tiger would be a lot worse if he didn't weight train, but by your comment on golf you seem to come off with a "golf is fat people playing a lazy game" attitude. Ever see pictures of longest drive competitors? They all don't look like John Daily and the best ones are pretty big.

Anyway, I did like your article and I hope you write more.

Regards,

Michael

A: You obviously weren't paying attention when you read the “Myths” article. I ask, "Why in the world would a person who plays golf weight train?" And then I explain why.

I invite you to read my previous articles pertaining to golf: Strength Training: The newest edge for golf; and Golf: Reducing your risk of injury and improving your game.

 

Q: Hey Mike,

I loved that article! “Myth Busters”

I’m glad I read it, I’ll change my ways today. But one question, if you don’t mind.

I want to shape my chest to show muscle. I’m 27 now, but even when I was 20 and in the best shape, I could not really make it look right.

When I say “look,” I mean it has a weird shape to it. It’s not round, like somebody who has been working out their chest should look. The front (nipple and the area around it) sticks out.

On the side, it looks firm and muscular, but the front just looks blah!

What type of chest exercise should I be doing? I bought a Bowflex a while back, but I also use weights.

Any suggestions?

Thanks again for the article!

A: Marvin,

Thanks for visiting Bullz-Eye.com and reading my articles.

Weight LifterThis may be a condition called gynecomastia. It is fairly common and many experts think it’s because of estrogen-like substances in our environment and our food. Pesticides, herbicides, soy and plastic containers are all implicated in raising our estrogen levels. There is also major concern that environmental estrogens are responsible for the low sperm counts that they’re finding in so many American males.

With that said, gynecomastia is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Men who have this condition have estrogen levels that are too high. This can be caused by your body producing too much, or, as stated above, by environmental substances. In any event, elevated estrogen can result in the development of breast tissue and fatty deposits around the nipple area. It can be taken care of through cosmetic surgery and/or sometimes through medication.

Unfortunately if you do have this condition, no amount of exercise will take care of it.

Mike

 

Q: This link goes to an article titled “High-protein diets: Safe if you have kidney or liver disease?” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-protein-diets/AN00847

I'm just assuming that kidney stones and osteoporosis are "unhealthy." But what do I know, I'm a bigot who uses the internet and thinks for herself :D

Ashley

A: There is not one valid study that shows an increased risk of kidney stones or osteoporosis in healthy people who eat large amounts of protein -- NOT ONE. Regurgitating a column that isn't referenced is not thinking for yourself. I'm sure you also believe cholesterol causes heart disease, which is not your fault, but it's never, ever been a proven hypothesis. Yet, it shows the power of industry and ad campaigns. You probably also believe raw milk is bad for you and that pasteurized/homogenized milk is healthy. Another myth.

The benefits of high protein, high fat diets are indisputable. If you want to think for yourself and not just regurgitate, look at the referenced material. Find and read the "studies" for yourself.

Here are a few books that you may find interesting: “Nutritional and Physical Degeneration” by: Weston A. Price; “Good Calories Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes; “The Cholesterol Myths” by Uffe Ravnskov; and “Know Your Fats” by May Enig. These books, and there are more, get to the nuts and bolts of the diet mess that America has been plagued with. The U.S. population has been told what to think about health and diet, not through exhaustive and valid research, but by big business. Industries that mass-produce cheap man-made foods have spent billions on brain washing Americans (and increasingly those in other industrialized nations), that their foods and their diet recommendations are healthy. These large corporations have pushed out the local farmer who produced whole, natural, unadulterated foods and replaced them with products that border on substances that are being called food.

In the days when the average American diet consisted of beef, eggs, pork, fowl, fish, raw butter, lard, beef tallow, raw milk, very little sugar and other foods that were preserved with tropical oils like coconut oil, there was almost no heart disease. During this same time period, vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fats) were unheard of. Does it surprise you that during the first quarter of the 1900s a higher percentage of people lived to be 100 than do now?

In 1920 if you lived to be 60 you could expect to live 15.54 more years.  In 2002 you could expect to live another 22 years.  In 8 decades with all the advances in medicine and the 100's of billions spent on health care; reducing our meat and saturated fat consumption and increasing our polyunsaturated fats according to the AMA and dietary guidelines; all we get is 6.46 years more? 

What a crock!!  Guess what science has known for decades? 

Polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils) are pro-inflammatory and contribute to a whole host of health problems including auto-immune disorders like arthritis.

Anyway, my point is I used to believe without skepticism what the government and the medical community would tell us.  In the early eighties when I started in the fitness industry I always advocated low to moderate protein, low fat, moderate to high carb diets.  That's what we were told was the most healthy and beneficial.  The reason I started to question it all was because after training 100\u0026#39;s of clients and competitors in the first years of my business, I noticed the ones that made the best gains were the ones who ate higher protein, higher fat, and lower carb diets consisting of whole natural foods. This observation made me very curious, and so I started to read everything from books to medical journals.  I have stacks of this stuff that you would be shocked at.  What I found was disheartening and enraged me.  All the information I took as gospel on diet and health was a bunch of bullshit!  And this crap is still spewed to this day.

As a whole our country has changed it's eating habits according to guidlines set in the Lipid Hypothesis.  We eat less saturated fat and less animal products.  And, just like we're supposed to, we have increased our consumption of vegetable oil to the tune of over 400%.  Now you tell me what is causing the epidemics of different diseases in this country.  It sure in the hell isn't protein or animal fat."

In 1920, if you lived to be 60, you could expect to live 15.54 more years. In 2002 you could expect to live another 22 years. In eight decades, with all the advances in medicine and the hundreds of billions spent on health care, when Americans reduced our meat and saturated fat consumption and increased our polyunsaturated fats according to the USDA, AMA and ADAs dietary guidelines, all we get is 6.46 more years. What a crock! Guess what science has known for decades? Polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils) are pro-inflammatory and contribute to a whole host of health problems including cancer and auto-immune disorders like arthritis. Look at what the feed, used to feed livestock on these multimillion dollar farms, is made of: soy and corn, which are huge sources of polyunsaturated fats. Now look at how sickly these animals are.

Anyway, my point is, I used to believe without skepticism what the government and the medical community would tell us. Why would they tell us something that wasn’t true? In the early 80s, when I started in the fitness industry, I always advocated low to moderate protein, low fat, moderate to high carb diets. That's what we were told was the most healthy and beneficial. I started to question it all because after training 100s of clients and competitors in the first years of my business, I noticed the ones who made the best gains were the ones who ate higher protein, higher fat and lower carb diets consisting of whole natural foods.

This observation made me very curious, and so I started to read everything from books to medical journals. I have stacks of this stuff that you would be shocked at. What I found was disheartening and enraged me. All the information I took as gospel on diet and health was a bunch of bullshit! And this crap is still spewed to this day. Another thing to keep in mind is there has never been a consensus on the politically correct Lipid Hypothesis that Ansel Keys and the industry started in the 1950s.

As a whole, our country has changed its eating habits according to guidelines set in the Lipid Hypothesis. We eat less saturated fat and less animal products. And, just like we're supposed to, we have increased our consumption of vegetable oil (polyunsaturated fat) to the tune of over 400 percent. Now, you tell me, what is causing the epidemics of different diseases in this country? It sure in the hell isn't protein or animal fat.

Many primitive societies around the world untouched by modern man subsist almost solely as carnivores, and have literally no heart disease, cancer, diabetes or other diseases that plague Americans. In fact, it’s interesting to note, primitive cultures that do not consume modern foods have almost no dental caries, which scientists also attribute to their diet.

Ashley, I encourage you for your own benefit and the benefit of your family and friends to start questioning and reading. I think you'll be shocked at what you discover.

 

Q: Mike,

Being a longtime reader, I got a lot of mileage from the two-part arms workout that you printed. Great stuff, but I was wondering: since you see arm workouts all over the place, why you don’t see the same number of column inches devoted to a proper chest workout? Or maybe the better question is, could you put together something like your two part arm workout for the chest? Some days I think I have it right and I get a great pump right away, other days it’s just not there, even if I try a similar workout. Anyway, thanks for the great articles and keep up the good work.

Geoff from Ohio

A: Thanks for visiting Bullz-Eye.com and taking the time to write. I do have a chest workout posted at http://www.bullz-eye.com/furci/2002/041701.htm. You should give it a try. Make sure you follow the article’s parameters exactly. Make sure you’re warmed up properly and take your sets to positive failure performing one all-out set per exercise.

Use the tempo given in the first four weeks. Is it really necessary to count each rep in order to make size and strength gains? No. Is it necessary to lift under control while focusing on the muscle being worked? Yes. When you perform an exercise under control, the muscles you're targeting are actually doing the work. "Slower," not "slow" speed training makes the muscle work harder by eliminating momentum and bouncing. However, if you read my articles and columns you'll see that I do advocate incorporating explosiveness. There is a place for this type of training, that's indisputable. Just remember, variation is key.

You'll rarely see or talk to somebody who uses tempo, mainly out of ignorance, but for some it's ego. This is because as you start to lift under control the weight you use initially drops. This is especially true for boneheads whose only concern is the amount of weight they lift, and they do whatever is necessary to complete the rep. It amazes me more people don't blow out their backs, pecs, tris and bis in the gym. What guys like this don't understand, is if they would leave their ego at the door and take the time to lift properly, they would be shocked at their gains.

Another aspect of a proper training program I want you to use, if you're not already, is a training journal. Make sure you keep detailed records of exercises, sets, reps and tempo. Also keep track of how you felt during and after your workout. This information after a few cycles will be very important in determining the direction your training should go in the future.

As far as the workout in the “Perfect Pecs” article goes, use the following:

The second four-week period, use:
 flys 3030/iso press3020, iso-incline3020,
Cable X-overs4020/pushups4030

The third four-week period, use:
flys30X0/iso-press30X0, iso-incline30X0,
cable X-overs3020/pushups3020

Thanks again Geoff. I'm going to take you up on your request and get started on a new chest workout.

 

Questions or comments? Send them to mike@bullz-eye.com.

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