By Mike Starks
CEO Personal Trainer Food
Mike talks exercise tips for men AND women!
It is week 4 of the RECON challenge and our 10 competitors have lost an impressive average of 20 pounds each—without killing themselves at the gym!
Would you like to know how they did it?
Get the insider’s scoop from Mike Starks, CEO of Personal Trainer food. Find out what works—and what doesn’t—for both guys and girls.
Hi, I’m Mike Starks, CEO Personal Trainer Food
When I was 33 I weighed 225 pounds. I was pretty built because I spent a lot of time in the gym. But in 2005, I had to have back surgery. During my recovery, I couldn’t work out …and everything I had worked so hard for turned to fat.
Once I was cleared to exercise again, I tried hitting the gym like I did in high school and college, but it just didn’t work. I was no longer young enough to work out like a gym rat. I would get so sore that I couldn’t recover quickly enough to be able to work out again.
So it was back to the drawing board. I had to come up with something that would help me to lose fat. In this process, I learned that what we have been taught about getting in shape and losing weight is all wrong! You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get ripped. I certainly don’t!
Today, I’m going to debunk five common exercise myths so you can learn the right way to exercise to lose fat. I use these strategies every day, and they will work for you too.
Myth 1: Marathons Are a Sure Way to Get Skinny
A few years ago, one of my female employees came to me and said, “Mike, I want to lose weight.” I said “that’s great!” So I told her “walk every day; start out slow, and eat the Personal Trainer Food way.” The following week, she came in and announced “I’m starting to train for a half marathon!”
Concerned, I gently said, “you don’t want to do that to lose weight. You are either going to hurt yourself or you might give up, because that is not how fat is lost.”
She started training for it anyways, and sure enough, she ended up ripping her Achilles tendon and had to have surgery. She tried too hard to use exercise as a means to lose weight.
But what happened to her mentally was worse. Once you over-exercise to the point of injury, the loss of mobility and the inability to do the simplest things is depressing. Many people end up turning to food to soothe their disappointment, completely giving up on fat loss goals.
Fact: You do not need to run marathons to lose weight.
STRATEGY: You want an exercise routine that you can do for the rest of your life. Not one that sidelines you with injuries. I know that walking 20 minutes a day is less glamorous to talk about at dinner parties, but it is one of the most effective exercises you can do to burn fat without injury.
When I developed the exercise routine for RECON, I stuck to the same strategy of walking, but I also added in some simple, sustainable and safe bodyweight exercises for men to sculpt and chisel their bodies with no marathon gym routines.
Myth 2: More Exercise Means Faster Fat Loss
During the first week of RECON, our 10 men experienced some huge initial weight losses— anywhere up to a whopping 20 pounds. I saw their excitement; they were all fired up, feeling pretty strong and confident.
Then Week two came around and they all started asking me “can I train harder?” They said “I want to exercise more so I can lose weight even faster than I lost in the very first week.”
I told them to continue doing the simple routine of walking and bodyweight exercises, but a few of them pushed a little harder anyways. That’s the American way, right? If we aren’t making enough money, we work harder. If we are not getting what we want, we try harder, fight harder. That’s just the way we are all wired.
The third week rolled around and the men were still losing weight at a rapid pace, but it was less than the first couple weeks. Even the ones who were trying to exercise more than I had told them had slowed down.
That’s something to be expected.
Fact: If you have the mindset that more exercise is going to help you lose weight faster, you are just going to end up wasting your time.
Adding more exercise in an attempt to lose weight faster has a steeply diminishing return, especially if you cannot sustain your routine every day because you are sore or injured.
STRATEGY: As I told the RECON men from the very first day of their challenge, it’s about what you do every day, not how hard you do it. I’m a sucker for routine, it makes things happen without working hard. You will lose more fat doing something simple every day than you would by killing yourself in the gym once a week.
Myth 3: It’s OK to Eat Crappy Food
We have been taught that you can eat crappy food and still lose weight. That’s pretty much the reason why everyone is obsessed with calories.
Ask nearly any woman how many calories are in a Snickers bar and she can probably tell you how many minutes she would need to jog on a treadmill in order to “cancel out” those crappy calories. That’s no way to live, like a hamster on a treadmill working for every calorie.
Fact: We had a guy named Paul send us some pictures of himself recently. He was 252 pounds to start and had lost 70 pounds. Check out his shocking pictures! –>
Paul said this: “the only time I didn’t eat Personal Trainer Food was when I go to the Hooters on Monday nights. It’s all you can eat wings on Mondays, and I eat about 20-30 unbreaded wings at a time, dipped in sauces with zero carbs and sugars.”
STRATEGY: Focus on eating the right foods. When you eat meats, eggs, veggies and nuts, you don’t have to count calories or exercise off what you have eaten to lose fat. On the flip side, do not cheat while on your program. You simply cannot exercise off cheat foods.
Myth 4: Eat Less, Exercise More
This myth says that if you starve yourself and do insane workouts that you will lose weight.
Well, in a way this myth is true, but only if you like yo-yo dieting. The problem with this is that you will hear it everywhere– because it is a marketing gimmick. This refrain sells anything from “flab-toning” exercise equipment to diet pills to 100-calorie packs of candy. The truth is, you will never get long term results trying to lose fat this way.
Fact: The moment you stop killing yourself to lose a few pounds, you know darned well that you will gain weight back even faster than you lost it. This myth can also be dangerous to your health as you deplete your body’s resources.
STRATEGY: If you are serious about losing weight, you need to understand that it will take time. For long term results, choose the right foods that cannot be converted directly for body fat. The weight will come off faster than you think, without starvation.
Myth 5: You Can Sweat It Out
When I was in college, the big fad was to wear plastic suits and sweat your fat out. People even wore trash bags to the gym!
Fact: What most people don’t realize is that muscle is actually made up of a lot of water. Sweating more will help you lose scale weight, but it doesn’t burn fat.
STRATEGY: Is wearing a trash bag a fashion statement you would like to make each day? I doubt it. You want something that isn’t as silly or futile. When you get distracted by these different weight loss myths (tactics without strategy) and start wearing trash bags, you have lost focus on the big picture.
Your body will burn fat when it needs to create fuel for you. When you remove excess sugars and starches from your diet, your body must burn its own fat for fuel. That is how you lose weight, by burning fat permanently.
I have been teaching our RECON challengers that tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. If you don’t have a strategy, you can try any weight loss tactic you want, but you will fail. Personal Trainer Food and RECON are the strategies you can use now and for the rest of your life.
Your Ultimate Strategy for Success
Here’s the thing, the number one cause of obesity and frustration with weight loss is confusion. We are confused by these myths because we tried ten different things, we heard 100 different things, and as we get older it seems like it only gets harder.
There is no need to be confused. Personal Trainer Food gives you the complete, no BS strategy for success.
Our foods will peel the fat off your abs, revealing a lean physique. As far as exercise goes, for women, walking every day will give you a lean, toned physique. For men, adding a simple bodyweight routine (that RECON will offer step by step instructions for) in will put you in the top 10% fitness level.
You have got to look at this journey as a way to re-train your mind with what you can eat and how to exercise. Keep the big picture in mind with my tried and true strategies and you will lose fat.
P.S. You can see RECON Challenger Officer Torres featured on the news. He lost 19 pounds in four weeks using the strategies he learned from RECON!