View Full Version : 125 Popular Fat Loss Techniques - rated according to risk and benefit.

M. E. Giesbrecht
September 18th 04, 05:37 AM
Risk to Benefit Ratios of Extreme, Aggressive and Controversial Fat
Loss Techniques
By Tom Venuto

Ken Kinakin recently wrote a book called "Optimal Muscle Training,"
which is all about biomechanics, anatomy, muscle testing, resistance
training technique, and injury prevention. I consider it
groundbreaking, because Kikakin did something rarely seen in the
mainstream fitness literature: Rather than making sweeping
generalizations about exercise safety or usefulness, he analyzed 125
popular weight training techniques and rated them according to risk
and benefit.

Understanding risks and benefits enhances your training experience by
giving you clearer distinctions, providing you with more choices and
helping you make better decisions. For example, some exercises have
low risk and high benefit, making them excellent choices for almost
anyone. Others have high risk and low benefit, which usually indicates
a poor technique best avoided. There are also exercises with high risk
and high benefit, which means the exercise, while risky, could have
high value to advanced trainees under certain circumstances.

Here's an example: If you asked a typical personal trainer at a health
club whether it was okay to perform squats with your heels elevated on
a board or wedge, 99% of them would cringe and scream, "That's
terrible for you! You'll blow out your knees! NEVER do squats with
your heels elevated always do them flat footed." This is a typical
"good or bad" judgement, which neglects to acknowledge the risk to
benefit ratio.

The risk is greater stress on the knees. The benefits include greater
quad development, less hip involvement, more emphasis placed on the
medialis portion of the quadriceps, a more comfortable position for
those who lack flexibility, and a more upright torso with less stress
on the lower back.

So what does all this have to do with losing fat? Well, I see the same
phenomenon among fitness professionals and practitioners alike when it
comes to judging the usefulness of fat loss techniques (training or
dietary), especially today with the anti-aerobics pendulum having
swung all the way to the right.

Many people take an all or none attitude, such as "You should NEVER do
cardio on an empty stomach because that causes you to lose muscle" or,
"cardio is completely worthless," or "Low carb diets don't work
because they deplete your glycogen and kill your energy so you can't
train hard. Always eat plenty of carbs."

A better approach would be to analyze each nutrition or training
technique according to its risk to benefit ratio (rather than focusing
only on risks, and denying that any benefits exist). Just like all
strength training activities carry a risk, so do most fat loss
techniques. What makes an exercise or nutrition technique worth
including in your program is whether the benefits outweigh the risk
given your goals and situation.

What I'd like to do is review a group of aggressive, extreme and/or
controversial techniques for fat loss which some bodybuilders and
fitness enthusiasts embrace as safe and highly effective, while others
claim they're worthless, dangerous or counterproductive. By weighing
the risks and benefits of each technique, you'll be able to make a
much more educated decision about whether to use these techniques

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