Fitness and Nutrition Advice from a World Class Personal Trainer!


Fitness and Nutrition Advice

Monsanto’s Micro-Monster Could Kill Us All

Tell Sec. Vilsack to Heed Dr. Huber’s Warning!

Monsanto has unleashed a micro-monster that could kill us all.

That’s according to Dr. Don Huber, an agricultural scientist and expert in microbial ecology, who’s convinced that Monsanto’s genetically engineered “RoundUp Ready” crops are responsible for a new micro-monster that’s causing an outbreak of new plant, animal and human diseases.

Please read or watch (part1 & part 2) Dr. Mercola’s interview with Dr. Huber and then write USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, as Dr. Huber has, and urge him to place a moratorium on Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready crops until scientists learn more about this deadly micro-monster.

Learn more at Food Democracy Now.

Learn more at Food Democracy Now.

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Are You A Fat Idiot?

The brains of obese individuals may be shrinking. According to a recent study completed at Boston University Medical Center the brain volume of overweight and obese individuals is significantly less than that of their normal weight counterparts.
Researchers tested over 700 individuals who were previously enrolled in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Visceral and subcutaneous body fat was assessed via abdominal CT scan, while brain volume was measured using MRI. Total brain volume was then compared to the above body composition factors, in addition to Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference.
Interestingly the data indicated an inverse relationship between body fat and brain size. The most significant link was between visceral body fat and total brain volume. Simply, the higher the fat the smaller the brain.
Scientists are expecting to explore the underlying mechanisms and speculate hormones such as adiponectin, leptin, resistin or ghrelin may be responsible in part for the brain atrophy noted.
Why is this study important? Researchers have previously uncovered links between obesity and a greater risk for early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease and/or dementia. Until now, the underlying mechanisms behind such a relationship were only speculative. Although there is limited evidence to indicate cognitive impairment resulting from brain shrinkage, scientists hope to find a link that will allow them to understand the obesity-disease relationship.

Study Finds Fat Around the Abdomen Associated with Smaller, Older Brains in middle-aged Adults. Boston Medical Center. May 24, 2010.

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The Irony of Health and Fitness

Why is it that undoubtedly the most valuable thing in the world to us all is more often than not, met with so much hesitation? I can even go so far as to say that we are even afraid of it in a lot of ways. We make every excuse in the book to justify why we can’t and don’t want to do it, and as a personal trainer and fitness professional I can say with confidence that this statement is not an exaggeration. We accept very excuse and every opportunity that enables us not to go to the gym, or not to get on that treadmill, and not to physically exert ourselves to work hard knowing full well that this is what needs to be done to maintain and improve our health and well being. So, why in the world are we so eager to avoid what we know is and will always be THE single most important thing in our lives? The answer in just one simple word is competitiveness.
That single most important thing in our lives is fitness and we are just flat out unwilling to COMPETE for it. We do it fairly easily for most other aspects of our lives, so why don’t we want to do it for our own health? We grow from being small children aware of the fact that if we want to get through school we need to listen, understand what we need to learn, and of course work as hard as we can to accomplish it. The same is true by the time we have to decide what’s best in terms of supporting ourselves as adults. We seek out and understand what has to be done to get the right job that will provide us with enough money so we can live up to the standards that we set for ourselves. And again, most of us are generally very willing to work hard enough at the necessary tasks to accomplish our goals. Sound familiar? Goals. Tasks. Hard work. These things are just as appropriate when talking about health and fitness! Just as they are with creating that good life with that great education, great job, comfortable lifestyle, and great social life, they are the foundation for building and maintaining what is supposed to be second to none on our priority list. Our health. All those other things are great and can definitely make our lives wonderful. But, our fitness IS our life whether we think so or not! I ask again why it is that we won’t compete the same way towards our fitness goals. The answer is in the difference between fitness and the other situations in which we are much more capable of self motivating. Fitness involves and requires PHYSICAL effort to a much larger degree than any of those other aspects of our lives. This is the key to it all. Other than that there are no differences. Any goal in life, no matter what it is, requires its own appropriate path of actions put together in a way necessary to achieve its end result. We have to know WHAT to do and HOW to do it, and if done correctly, the WHAT leads to success. This is the exact same principle necessary to achieve success in the world of fitness but we have nowhere near the same DRIVE to succeed as we do with so many other areas of our lives! We can’t afford to be so intimidated by a little bit of physical effort. That’s the only thing standing in our way! When I say COMPETE I don’t mean anything other than being more tough on yourself! Don’t think you have to be the most athletic, most fit, strongest, or anything like that. The beautiful thing about health and fitness is that it has nothing to do with ability or how you compare with anyone else. All it is is how you feel about challenging YOURSELF! And at YOUR own pace and ability level! As a personal trainer and strength coach with Posh Fitness, it is my passion to inspire any and everybody looking to improve, feel great about themselves, and be healthy because we ALL should want that for ourselves! Fitness should not be a chore and definitely should never be intimidating. It’s a challenge no different than the ones you’ve already been accepting. Reach to be great in whatever it means to YOU!

by: Jason Spencer
Celebrity In Home Personal Training

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Check out my short yoga video!

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Review of Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred

If you are a “Biggest Loser” fan then you know all about Jillian Michaels, the tough little women with a hear of gold, who really does care about the health of individuals. Jillian has a series of DVDs to help whip you into shape and one that is a must have for those a little more advanced when it comes to fitness is Jillian’s 30 Day Shred. And even if you are not advanced, you can definitely benefit from this DVD.

There are three workouts that combine toning and aerobics together and run about 20 minutes per work out. With each workout you are able to burn fat and tone muscles at the same time. Again, it is a challenging yet fun and effective workout.

With Jillian’s 30 Day Shred you will get:

- Workouts based on the 3-2-1 method: 3 mins strength, 2 mins cardio, 1 min abs.
- Ability to work the upper and lower body simultaneously
- A lot of cardio
- Modification for beginner and lower impact)
- A superb abs workout

It is a great DVD for working out alone or with a group of friends as Jill makes it fun and exciting with her motivating and encouraging words. Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

You want to be sure to start at the lower level because Jillian gives you a serious exercise punch in about 20 minutes. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will be okay starting at the highest level, because you won’t.

If you really want to get a good workout and to jumpstart your weight loss get this DVD you will not be disappointed. Click here to buy Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred

By Peter Marino

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Are You Making Your Kids Fat?

As a parent, you have many obligations and responsibilities to juggle, all centered on your kids. You constantly serve as an example, not just when they are little, but throughout their lives. These obligations and burdens mean that you are a constant role model; you are the person that your kids look up to.

This means that how you take care of yourself will have an impact in shaping your children’s health over the course of their lives, too. If you are overweight, and do not take the time to exercise and manage your health, how can you expect your children to do so? If you see exercise as a chore or a burden, how long before your kids pick up that attitude from you and carry it forward throughout their lives?

Obesity is something that is determined in part by genetics, but is mediated by several other factors as well, among them diet, exercise, and activity level. Kids are, by nature, high energy. They are always running and shrieking when they are little, and burn off lots of energy by playing.

Make that your focus. Take the time to play with them. Do not make exercise ‘trudge on the treadmill’. Make it, “OK, let’s go to the park and play ultimate Frisbee”. Do things together as a family. Plan family hikes, walks, and bike rides. Use them as an excuse to get some exercise together and talk about the day. If the weather is really cold and your time is limited you may consider buying the Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board which can be utilized by the whole family.

How much exercise is enough? In general, try to get 30 to 60 minutes of low-level exercise per day, whether it is walking through the park at a brisk pace, running with the dog, or chasing your kids around the playground with a super soaker. Whatever you do, make it fun.

Give your kids some input into what activities you will do as a family. Some kids get into competition and sports, while some would rather do something fun that does not involve proving that they are better than anyone else. In particular, pay attention to your introverted children and let them know that what they want to do matters and that they will not get bullied by their older, more assertive siblings.

Since your kids will learn from your example, make sure you are setting the right one. If you are not taking the time to run around and play, they will emulate you and, once a child becomes obese, they can get ‘stuck’ in that health problem for the rest of their lives.

By Peter Marino

Celebrity Personal Trainer in NYC

800. 577. 2989

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Importance of Protein for Athletes

Doctors, trainers and various other sports medicine professionals are all sure to tell you that eating healthy is part of being a successful athlete. What is not always mentioned is the need and requirement that you actually put forth the time and effort to create a very balanced diet. This includes the use of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, three components that are typically considered bad nutrients.

weight training on ballThe thinking that is required of athletes not only in training but in nutritional situations is to consider food as a form of energy. Eating the right food can provide benefits to the body in extended energy and better muscle mass, while omitting the vital components can result in muscle fatigue, weakened muscles, deteriorating muscles, and even exhaustion to just mention a few problems. This leaves athletes with the responsibility of working closely with their doctors and coaches to develop an appropriate diet based upon their individual athletic abilities.

In order to be successful, especially when doing endurance or strength intensive sports, it is important to have the necessary muscle strength to perform the activity in an optimal fashion. If you are not consuming the correct nutrients, you are harming your body. However, there is more to proper nutrition than simply eating a small amount of the nutrients.

For example, protein is a nutrient that many people have tried omitting in recent fad diets. The bad news for athletes is that protein is a requirement in order to help build and maintain muscle mass. This results in athletes who cut protein from their diet losing muscle strength as well as mass, which can ultimately alter their performance, strength, and even health in the long term. Because of the benefits of consuming protein for athletes, it is vital that enough protein be consumed to keep the muscles in proper shape.

A rough guideline that is standard to use is you need to consume .08 grams of protein for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight each and every day for inactive adults. For people trying to lose weight it is recommended that they take in a minimum of 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight due to their decreased caloric intake.(1) For athletes who are involved in endurance sports the number increases to 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram per day, and for those athletes who are involved in intense strength training activities the number jumps to as much as 1.7 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. (2)

In addition to the general guidelines that are set forth there are also times when it may be beneficial to increase protein consumption to assist in a muscle injury healing. When this is a consideration, you should talk to your sports medicine doctor and get their exact recommendation on the amount and timing of protein consumption in accordance with your over-all routine. Usually the key times to consume more protein are first thing in the morning and immediately after a workout.

It is essential that you always carefully discuss your exact protein requirements with your sports medicine doctor as well as your coach/trainer anytime you start a new athletic activity, and especially if you are enduring a rigorous training routine. Doing so will ensure that your body continues to develop and maintain the muscle mass that is needed to sustain the athletic activity of your choice.
If you plan to modify your protein consumption, it is vital that you first discuss the risks with your sports medicine doctor and consult to see if any other dietary changes could help you achieve the results you wish to achieve. Remember, protein is a necessary component to help you ensure that you are creating and maintaining muscle mass, which is a requirement for all athletic activities, but protein is only one piece of the puzzle and a complete nutritional plan is necessary for optimal performance and muscle gains.

Peter MarinoBy Peter Marino

1. K. C Maki, T. M Rains, V. N Kaden, K. R Raneri, and M. H Davidson
March 1, 2007; Effects of a reduced-glycemic-load diet on body weight, body composition, and cardiovascular disease risk markers in overweight and obese adults, Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, 85(3): 724 – 734.
2. Lemon, Peter. (1996). Is Increased Dietary Protein Necessary or Beneficial for Individuals with a Physically Active Lifestyle? Nutrition Reviews, 54, S169-S173.

The information, including opinions and recommendations, contained in this website is for educational purposes only. Such information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. No one should act upon any information provided in this website without first seeking medical advice from a qualified medical physician.

Filed under: Nutrition, , , , , ,

Dieting to Lose Bodyfat… not just weight!

Peter Marino, New York Personal Trainer You’ve probably read numerous articles on dieting for a bodybuilding competition. Too many of these articles use unconventional techniques with no scientific basis. This is a solid explanation of basic fundamentals for effectively dieting your body fat down in preparation for a contest. It’s scientifically based and it’s specific for contest preparation.
Assessing Body Composition

You need an accurate assessment of your body composition. Have your body fat percentage measured at a health club, a local university (by the exercise physiology department), or a local hospital. You should aim for a body fat percentage between 2-4% by contest time; so you must determine how much fat you have to lose. For example, a bodybuilder weighs 200 pounds with 10% body fat, so he has 20 pounds of fat (200 x .10). To get down to 2% body fat, he would need to lose 16 pounds of fat.

Basic Nutrition

You must have a basic understanding of nutrition. Here is a quick run down of the most important things you need to know in order to make a pre contest diet. A pre contest diet is very restrictive and potentially unhealthy. Therefore, the diet should be done in the shortest time possible. In fact, your off season body fat should not exceed 8-10%. If your body fat is within this range it should take 12-16 weeks to get it down to 2-4% body fat, which is usually the body fat of a bodybuilder on the day of the contest.

  • There are 9 calories per gram of fat, 4 calories per gram of protein and 4
    calories per gram of carbohydrate;
  • Complex carbohydrates should be the only carbohydrates eaten; except after a work-out when simple sugars can be eaten (a list below will show the best carbohydrate sources);
  • Only extra lean sources of protein are to be eaten (a list below will show
    the best protein sources);
  • A moderate consumption of fiber should be eaten at each meal;
  • All grams should be counted for each meal to keep you on the right

Calories Needed For Your Weight

Peter Marino, NYNumber of Calories Per Day

In order to find out how many calories you need in a day you must use a precise measurement. This is done by using the same method registered dietitians use, the Harris Benedict Equation. To make this equation easier:

  • Convert your weight from pounds to kilograms. Take your weight in pounds
    and divide it by 2.2. For example: 190 lb / 2.2 = 86.3 kg;
  • Convert your height from inches to centimeters. Take your height in inches
    and multiply it by 2.54. For example: 67 in. x 2.54 = 170.1 cm.

Listed below are the equations, for both men and women, in order to calculate your Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE). Your BEE is the amount of energy you need in order to maintain your weight with no activity level. Therefore, your BEE is also equal to your total calories needed when you are active and trying to lose weight.

  • Males:

    66 + [13.7 x (weight in kg)] + [5.0 x (height in cm)] -
    [6.8 x (age in yrs)] = BEE (in calories);
  • Females:

    655 + [9.6 x (weight in kg)] + [1.8 x (height in cm)]
    – [4.7 x (age in yrs)] = BEE (in calories);

Number of Calories Per Meal

After calculating your BEE (Basal Energy Expenditure, or target daily caloric intake for fat loss), you have to break up your calories into at least 6 meals a day. This is simple enough. For example, if your BEE is 1300, then 1300 calories divided by 6 meals = 216 calories per meal.

Converting Calories Into
Grams of Protein, Carbohydrate, and Fat

We now have to figure out how many grams of protein, carbohydrate, and fat to eat in each meal by dividing the calories among the macro nutrients, i.e. protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The following distribution is for pre contest dieting only. These percentages should not be followed for more than 16 weeks at a time:


(*A minimum of 10% is required or a serious essential fatty acid deficiency can develop. Note: These percentages happen to work well for me but everybody is different and you may have to modify these percentages slightly.)

Let us assume that the person dieting needs 216 calories per meal, 40% protein, 50% carbohydrate, and 10% fat. The following formulas would be used:  



 x   %   =   CALORIES* 

 x  .40   =


 x .50 nbsp;=


 x .10  =

(*Convert these calories into grams by dividing each one by its caloric content as stated earlier






The final step:  




 =   GRAMS 
Protein 86 <div align=”center”/









Now you know the exact number of grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat
that should be eaten at each meal.

Preparing the Right Meal

Okay, now you know the grams for each macronutrient for each meal, but you need to know what the best foods are for losing body fat.  Listed below are the best sources of each macronutrient excluding fat because it is in lean meats and protein powders you are eating.

Combine any three, one from each column, and you have a pre-contest meal.  Portion size will depend on the amount of grams you are permitted at each meal.

Turkey Breast Oatmeal Broccoli
Designer Protein Powder  Rice Kale
Chicken Breast Whole Wheat Bread  Spinach
Tuna Baked Potato Bell Peppers
Sole or Flounder Rice Cake Cauliflower
Red Snapper Grits Brocco-flower
Perch Cream of Wheat Green Leafy Lettuce 
Halibut Farina Romaine Lettuce
Egg Whites Pasta Collard Greens

Fiber has various benefits for bodybuilders:

  • Fiber aids to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates which has a direct
    effect on insulin.  A bodybuilder wants stable insulin levels as insulin spiking can cause the deposition of fat into adipose (fatty) tissue;

  • Fiber from vegetables releases medium chain triglycerides in the intestines which act as a good source of fuel without the worry of fat deposition.  This is especially good when carbohydrate and fat levels are extremely low;
  • The kind of fiber I recommend is from cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower, bell peppers, and green leafy vegetables) which are nutrient dense with little to no calories;

  • Last but not least, fiber prevents constipation.

Monitoring Your Progress

Peter Marino, NY It is very important to monitor your progress accurately. Track your weight with a scale, your measurements with a tape measure, and your body fat percentage with skinfold calipers or another accurate body-fat measure.  Of course the most accurate measure is the mirror.  If you are looking defined you will know it. However, always get another critical opinion that will tell you the truth regardless of how cruel it is… for me it is my brother.

Even if you are doing everything right, your body doesn’t always respond like you want it to.  This is the purpose for continually monitoring your progress.  If you are not losing body-fat as quickly as you’d like add aerobic exercise to your routine doing 20 minutes per workout separate from your weight training.  Initially do the aerobic exercise 2-3 times per week; if your body-fat still has not decreased increase the aerobics to 4-5 times per week.  As a natural bodybuilder your body is prone to catabolism which can result from extended aerobic work-outs and lead to loss of hard earned muscle.

On the other hand, you may lose weight too rapidly which can accompany muscle loss.  In this case you would slightly increase your protein and carbohydrate intake.  Any alterations should be done in small increments and recorded carefully.

Every pre-contest diet is a learning experience.  In order to learn from each experience you must accurately record every detail; what you eat, how you train, your body weight, your body composition, your measurements, and how you feel.

If this process seems a little complex, it is!  Dieting is a science and each body has slightly different laws by which they function.  However, we are all alike in how we gain and lose body-fat.  It is merely a question of how much or how little we need to obtain the desired result.

Peter Marino President of in New YorkPeter Marino can be contacted at:
For info, calorie calculators and diet planning go to and click on free health services icon for calculators page.

To see the originally formatted article (no big spaces like on this page) click here: Pre-Contest Dieting

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Whey Protein – Nature’s Amazing Muscle Builder and Immunity Enhancer

Peter Marino when he competed as a bodybuilder used whey protein 2-3 times per dayAre you concerned about taking care of your body before and after strenuous activities or workouts? Do you try to avoid supplements that contain additives and possible side effects?

If you are interested in better health and improved physical fitness you have surely heard that bodybuilders and other athletes are turning to a simple, natural supplement called whey protein.


Protein levels are depleted through exercise. Muscles require amino acids to prevent deterioration, give endurance and build mass. Proteins supply these amino acids to the muscles which is why athletes use whey protein.


Commercial whey protein comes from cow’s milk. Whey is the by-product of making cheese and was usually thrown away as a waste product. Now researchers know that whey protein is high quality, natural protein that is rich with amino acids essential for good health and muscle building. It is naturally found in mother’s milk and also used in baby formula. It is being considered for use as a fortifier of grain products because of its considerable health benefits and bland flavor.
Although protein is also found in other foods such as meat, soy and vegetables, whey protein is proven to have the highest absorption (digestion) levels in comparison to all others.


Whey protein has many health benefits including immune support, bone health, sports recovery, weight management and overall well-being.
Because amino acids are ‘building blocks’ for the human body it is sometimes used by patients to speed up the healing of wounds or burns especially because of its high glutamine content.
The high quality protein that comes from whey makes it a recommended choice for those who need optimal benefits from restricted diets including diabetics, those on weight management diets and even ill patients not able to consume enough protein in their diet to assist with healing.


Whey protein is a food and so it does not have the risks associated with other supplements. That said, too much of anything carries risks. Extremely high use of whey protein can overload the liver which can cause serious problems. Moderation is always recommended. Also, be wary of your total magnesium intake as many whey powders have high magnesium content and too much can cause diarrhea and/or upset stomach.
If you are lactose intolerant you might try whey protein isolate which has less than 1% lactose and should be tolerable for most users.
Whey protein is a natural and healthy way to bring protein into your diet and increase well being.

Peter Marino By Peter Marino

President of

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A New Domain for the Fantastically Fit Kids Workout DVD

Kids Fitness VideoI have just made a new website for my kids workout video called: Fantastically Fit Kids Workout DVD. Keep coming to this new domain as I may be pricing to sell this holiday season. It’s now $15.95, but how low will it go? We’ll have to see!

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