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Scott Abel Fitness Podcast
59 minutes | Mar 9, 2020
16 – What’s the Big Deal with the Biggest Loser?
We discuss recent as well as some older articles and studies about The Biggest Loser, including issues with metabolism, the framing of how weight loss happens, and some of the more pervasive effects of representing weight loss in the media. Scott also discusses some of the things he knows athletes would do to lose weight from his experiences in the competition. Articles “Forget the pounds. ‘The Biggest Loser’ tries to shed critics of its weight-loss plan,” Los Angeles Times, Jan 28, 2020 “Authorities Probe ‘Biggest Loser' Over Doping Allegations,” New York Post, May 31, 2016 “Report: ‘Biggest Loser' Contestants Provided Illicit Drugs to Lose Weight,” Philly Voice, May 22, 2016 “After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight,” New York Times, May 2, 2016 Studies “Audience Responses to Physical Activity in the Biggest Loser Australia” in Journal of Health Communication “Losing Weight on Reality TV: A Content Analysis of the Weight Loss Behaviors and Practices Portrayed on The Biggest Loser” Lori A. Klos et al. “Metabolic slowing with massive weight loss despite preservation of fat-free mass” In J Clin Endocrinol Metab. “No Clear Winner: Effects of The Biggest Loser on the Stigmatization of Obese Person” in Health Communication “Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition” in Obesity Other Why Diets Make Us Fat by Sandra Aamodt
41 minutes | Mar 2, 2020
15 – Training and Traveling? Enter “Programmus Interruptus”
Scott and Mike discuss a strategy for training and traveling: “Programmus Interruptus” Visit scottabelfitness.com/interrupt for a detailed written breakdown of what we’re talking about, plus a video demo. The main idea is, if you're traveling and need to substitute in a workout in your hotel room (or what-have-you), you can stay flexible by mixing whole body training with some bodypart emphasis. This way, you might, for example, replace your shoulder workout with a whole body workout that has a shoulder emphasis… but if you miss a day or two (because you're traveling and things are up in the air) it's not as though you've neglected the rest of your body. You've still kept things “stimulated.”
63 minutes | Feb 24, 2020
14 – Lou Schuler on Fitness & Writing
Mike is joined by Lou Schuler to discuss some of the larger trends in fitness, as well as how to avoid saying the same things over again in fitness writing. Mike wanted to talk to Lou to talk about fitness writing because Lou — an award-wining journalist — has been fitness editor of Men’s Fitness, and, later, Men’s Health, and he’s written a bunch of well-known books in the industry, including the New Rules of Lifting Series with Alwyn Cosgrove, as well as a bunch of others you’d recognize. Mike and Lou also discussed Ruth Engs' Clean Living Movements (read more in this New York Times discussion of Engs' book (http://bit.ly/cln_living) as as well as some relevant history of the Graham cracker at Refinery29 (http://bit.ly/grm_crkr)). – – – If you do have a career in fitness and are looking to grow, be sure to check out the KC Fitness Summit (http://kcfitnesssummit.com/) during the first weekend in May. (Check out the speakers.) Links & Resources The New Rules of Lifting for Life – (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0074VTHIY) theptdc.com – (http://theptdc.com/) kcfitnesssummit.com (http://kcfitnesssummit.com/) louschuler.com
58 minutes | Feb 17, 2020
13 – Baywatch’s Alexandra Paul
Scott is joined by Alexandra Paul of Baywatch. They discuss Alexandra's work as a health coach, her remarkable activism (and even her arrests), her work for animal rights and how that has changed her, her career development after Baywatch, and much more. Books & Resources Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe Animal Liberation by Peter Singer Learn more about Alexandra… Alexandra Paul's Website Alexandra Paul's IMDB Alexandra's Coaching
59 minutes | Feb 10, 2020
12 – Anatomy of a Perfect Workout
We discuss what goes into an actual, solid workout: what to focus on, tempo vs cadence, pumping reps vs explosive reps, myths, warmups. Some Quick Notes: “The muscles work the weights; the weights don't work the muscles.” *Most* of what we talked about is related to using the inside/out approach instead of an (exclusive) outside/in approach. I.e., yes, your weights go up, but you should pay attention to how the reps feel. To paraphrase Fred Hatfield: Are you getting very inch of every rep of every set? Scott recommends watching the workout sections in Pumping Iron: Scott's Warmup Videos: General Preparation Phase Integrated Warmup and Physical Rehearsal
56 minutes | Feb 3, 2020
11 – How to Design a Workout Program
How much customization is needed for a workout program? Ideally, does every program you do need to be custom-designed from scratch? The answer is obviously not. Any good coach will have their own library of programs that are useful for a variety of different contexts: First, these programs are structured around sound principles Then, after doing a client assessment, a program can be assigned to a client based on their current individual ‘needs state’ among other factors. Then, “tweakology” can be used for minor adjustments, either to the program itself or just int terms of application. In Scott's Program Design Masterclass, designing new programs can be broken down into figuring out the following elements: Theme, goal and/or purpose Structure Context Then… Strategy and tactics Variables and constants Scott and Mike then discussed some of the different themes Scott might use, different contexts, and how these are then applied to the individual trainee in different situations.
52 minutes | Jan 27, 2020
10 – Dotsie Bausch, Plant-Based Olympian
Scott talks with Dotsie Bausch, a seven-time USA cycling champion and a medal-winning athlete with team USA's cycling team. Dotsie was named by VegNews in 2019 as one of the top 20 most influential vegans in the world. She was featured in the 2017 documentary The Game Changers and the 2015 documentary, Personal Gold An Underdog Story. Topics Covered The spiritual element of training and health, and its relation to sustainability and success in training and health; The ways in which the end-goals themselves are not what'll make you happy; Dotsie's training and health regimen now, which is very relaxed and includes mountain biking, yoga, and power walking; Dotsie's movement towards plant-based nutrition; The corporate influence on a lot of health studies and the myths it creates (e.g., chocolate milk for recovery); The food industry and its horrific treatment of animals; The so-called “debunking” of The Game Changers, and James Wilk's response on Joe Rogan. Dotsie's TED Talk, Olympic Level Compassion Links Mentioned Dotsie's Website Bio Switch4Good website Personal Gold: An Underdog Story (2015) The Game Changers (2018)
29 minutes | Jan 20, 2020
9 – “Once I Start Eating, I Can’t Stop!”
Scott and Mike discuss what to do when you struggle with cravings. So, you open the bag, and find you just can't stop until the whole bag's finished; or, you try to have a handful, but you then need to reach for more. Topics covered The importance of wondering “what if?” I.e., if you're always thinking “mmm, oh, should I or shouldn't I?” then even if you don't snack then and there, the fact that you're constantly wondering is going to drain you, and at some point you will. The goal is to get to the point where you don't even thinking about it. You want to find a way to incorporate bright lines. So for example, don't just eat roughly half the bag from the bag; instead, pour out the portion you need, then put the bag away. Then, once you've finished the amount, that's it. It's clear. The difficulty of taking response-ability without wrapping it up with blame game connotations that do come wrapped up with the concept of “responsibility.” The importance of who you want to be and how that influences your decisions and habits. How to deal with this stuff by spending only a bit of time analyzing the problem, and then shifting the focus to what you can do about the problem. The use of implementation intentions (“if this, then that”-type plans to deal with challenges) to help cut off the “oh what the hell” thoughts after a minor screw-up.
52 minutes | Jan 13, 2020
8 – What Progress Looks Like
This episode was based on a coaching client email Scott received that indicated what progress looks like. It's not just a before and after photo. It's about letting go of JOMO, not worrying at all about the scale, not being shamed based on what the weight scale says, and things like that. Most of the discussion was about unpacking the hows and whys of these four main indicators of progress from the email: 1. the writer understands that worrying about the 0.4 lbs on the weight scale was silly, and that what [popular diet program] was doing was actually wrong and damaging; 2. they understand the corollary to the first point, i.e., that losing too much scale weight can actually be bad and lead to rebounds; 3. they don’t experience JOMO; 4. they seem to enjoy their plan and feel as though they’re in a good place.
60 minutes | Jan 6, 2020
7 – How to Start a New Diet or Workout Program Off Right
How do you start a program off on the right foot? If you've tried multiple diets and “failed” in the past, and you still, y'know, have weight to lose, how do you actually change things so that this time it really is different, and you're not just doing different versions of the same thing, over and over again? This episode was all about how to do that, and how to start a new diet or program off on the right foot, in a way that you'll actually make a real change. Some key themes: Focus on strength and what you want to move towards, instead of fear and what you're trying to avoid. Consistency builds confidence… Consistency plus confidence builds competence… and consistency plus confidence plus competence builds a sustainable lifestyle without struggle! Create a strong enough “why.” Beyond these, Scott and Mike offered 3 ideas each for creating an actual, substantial shift in your approach: Mike's 3 ideas: Stop, pause, and carve out the time (i.e. book it in your calendar) to deal with some of the stuff we talked about. (This will also help wit hthe next two ideas.) Grab a journal and write some of this stuff down. If you're thinking about change, write out how not changing has hurt you in the past, how it is hurting you in the present, and how — if you continue to not change — it'll hurt you in the future. Now do the same for if you do change. What benefits will you enjoy 5 years from now? 10 years from now? (Etc.). (Pssst: See also Mike's Book on Journaling.) Figure out specific implementation intentions (and write them down). These are “if/then” scenarios. For example, *if* you get caught in a meeting, what will you do? What's your if this happens, then I will do this strategy? Scott's 3 ideas: Figure out powerful clichés that you can turn back to when things get challenging. Scott's example was telling himself “a champion wouldn't do _______” whenever he was tempted to do something he knew didn't serve his goals (e.g., take the bus instead of talking home with his groceries). Try the “and then what?” journaling exercise. Write out your goal and pretend you achieved it. Now ask, “and then what?” Write the answer down. Then write “and then what?” again, and answer again. Keep going for a total of five times. Embrace that you can either be a person of your own power and style or you can be a person of your own fears and impotence. Closing idea: Have fun! Don't make it harder than it needs to be. Figure out ways to enjoy the journey.
51 minutes | Dec 30, 2019
6 – Is the Fitness Industry Evil?
Unrealistic images of bodies. Supplements. Mental and emotional issues. Orthorexia. Is the fitness industry actually doing "good" in the world? In this episode we dig into that question.
62 minutes | Dec 23, 2019
5 – Five Fitness “Cornerstone Concepts”
The idea with these five cornerstone concepts is that once you "get" a given concept like one of these, there's no going back. Things just “click.” There was also a discussion about meal timing and meal frequency.
25 minutes | Dec 16, 2019
4 – When the Weight Scale Lies
In this episode we discuss how the weight scale can by deceiving, and why relying on it too much can mess with your mind. Scott was reminded of this topic by a client check-in from Melissa S. Melissa lost "only" 10 lbs, but the difference in how she looks — and feels — is much more profound.
52 minutes | Dec 12, 2019
3 – Dieting and Feeling JOMO (Jealous of Missing Out)
We discuss dieting and the feelings of jealousy and resentment that can arise as a result of (1) your own feelings towards your diet, and (2) pressure from other people.
56 minutes | Dec 6, 2019
2 – “Sticking to Your Diet” and the Holidays
In this episode we covered five emails Scott received from coaching clients about sticking to training and diet during the holiday season. Two important themes were (1) the importance of context, and (2) being honest with yourself.
56 minutes | Dec 2, 2019
1 – Using Resistance Bands for Fitness: Advantages and Disadvantages
Today we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using resistance bands for your weight training. Are resistance bands just another fad? A tool in the toolbox? How do you get the most out of them? Be sure to checkout Scott's YouTube Playlist for Resistance Bands Exercises. 3 Main Advantages of Resistance Bands Versatility and travel […]
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