Since Sept. 11, 2001, I have seen an unprecedented number of exhausted clients in my practice. Worried about their personal futures, the national economy and the prospect of war, they arrive at my doorstep without the vitality necessary to complete a vigorous workout. In the past, uninformed fitness trainers would try to mold their clients’ bodies into shape by working them out until they literally dropped. However, those of us familiar with natural health and nutrition recognize this approach does not usually work—either in the short term or long term. On the one extreme end, you can take the case of my friend George Hyder, who operated boot camps three times a week until he dropped dead of a stroke at age 37. On the other, I can relate countless cases of clients who have worked out like dogs with other trainers, only to become more exhausted, more frustrated with eating disorders, more hormonally imbalanced—without having lost an ounce of flab. Here is a summary of the intelligent approach we take at Total Fitness:
Test your adrenals.
Total Fitness has set up a new association with a laboratory company in California used by other Chek Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaches. Frankly, I was fed up with my clients being ripped off. Adrenal tests are available through doctors in Atlanta who mark up the tests 100 percent, and on the internet at considerable cost. All Total Fitness clients may get their adrenals tested through BioHealth Diagnostics of San Diego, California—at my cost. The money goes directly to the lab, and includes a consultation with a doctor to go over the results. I decided to implement this association after a discussion with my friend and colleague, Joseph Collins, a naturopath, expert on women’s hormones and alternative doctor of extreme integrity. Dr. Collins pointed out that in the state of Florida, it is not only unethical but also a crime for doctors to order tests for their patients and then mark up the price. At Total Fitness, we are not doctors—we link our clients with the best practitioners who can really help.
Know your stress picture.
Once your adrenals are scientifically tested, you can find out if you are in a CATABOLIC or ANABOLIC state. In order to build muscle and prevent premature aging, you must be anabolic. If you are breaking down—physiologically and emotionally—you can still exercise, but we at Total Fitness can guide you to a program that will enable you to restore your health, boost your metabolic rate and become the toned, cut person you want to be. Failure to deal with the biochemical reality of your health may lead to failure to build muscle or lose weight.
Schedule more vigorous workouts in the morning, more restorative exercise in the afternoon and evening.
The usual pattern of the stress hormone cortisol is higher in the morning, with a significant dip corresponding to a drop or crash in your energy level after 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Most people who lift weights or perform high intensity exercise such as running do best before noon. I recommend lighter exercise after work—Tai Chi, Qi Gong, yoga and walking in particular. If you are trying to force yourself to push the pedal to the metal when you have no gas in your tank, so to speak, you will further imbalance your hormones, aggravate existing addictions like eating disorders and alcoholism and further disrupt your brain chemistry.Total Fitness Weight Loss Class: Join us for four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 15. Cost: $225, or $200 with early registration. Learn the best way to eat for you to maximize your metabolism, uncover hidden blocks to your weight loss, join a supportive group! This class will be held at the Total Fitness office at 1951 Northside Drive, Atlanta, Ga. For directions and a map, please visit our website, www.totalfitness.net. Time: 7-8:30 p.m