What makes a personal trainer successful?
- Having a whole bunch of bestselling diet & fitness books?
- Being recognized on television as a fitness guru?
- Having food producers pay you for your “Best Life approved” stamp of approval?
- Being Oprah Winfrey’s official personal trainer?
Having your clients
- Transform their bodies
- Maintain that transformation
- Understand their own personal prescription for fitness
- Refer you to all of their friends, eventually leading to
- many best selling fitness books, an appearance on Oprah, etc…
So, is Bob Greene a successful personal trainer?
Is he simply another well meaning? diet guru / snake oil salesman?
Well, according to this email that I found in my inbox this morning, Oprah’s longtime trainer Bob Greene is about to reveal his foolproof, back-to-business plan….just in time for your New Year’s Resolution Diet Extravaganza!!!
And what is that foolproof, back-to-business plan, you might ask?
Bob Greene Pearl of Wisdom #1
In the 25-plus years that I’ve been helping people slim down, I’ve noticed a few common traps that cause people to fall off the wagon. (Incidentally, they’re similar to the reasons we fail to lose weight in the first place—and I’ll tell you about them in my “Back to Business” Plan.)……
Science, too, is starting to help us understand why certain people may be wired to relapse.
Recently, in fact, experts have started comparing the struggle to slim down with the difficulty of breaking an addictive habit. Research suggests that it often takes a number of attempts before people are able to kick cigarettes or give up alcohol for good; this might also be true for weight loss.
The National Weight Control Registry is conducting an ongoing study of more than 5,000 men and women who have succeeded in maintaining an average loss of 66 pounds for more than five years—and among them, 91 percent had tried and failed before. The average total number of pounds lost (and re-lost) by a participant through various diets is a whopping 565!
So here’s the good news: Instead of thinking, “I’ve failed over and over again, why bother trying again?” take your relapse in stride and stay positive no matter how many attempts it takes you. Each new effort brings you closer to the one that might really work. The key is to stick with it until you achieve your weight and health goals—that’s my definition of a true success story.
Health Habits Translation
- Weight loss is not easy for a lot of people.
- Food addiction exists – the hows and whys are under debate
- The diet that works for me may not work as well for you
- So, be prepared to try a few different diet plans and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the results that you were hoping for.
- Oh, and buy all 3 of my new books…available just in time for your 2009 New Year’s Resolutions
But what if your bank account is running a little low after your most recent Christmas present spending orgy?
Bob Greene and Oprah are going to tell you exactly what you need to know about whipping that doughy body of yours into shape starting January 5, 2009.
But, if you can’t wait until then, Bob has a preview for ya.
Bob Greene Pearl of Wisdom #2
If we follow the link over to Bob’s “Back to Business” Plan, we see three 12 week diet and exercise plans geared towards beginner, intermediate and advanced dieters.
Let’s look at the beginner plan.
Weeks 1 & 2:
Food Switch: Replace soda with water, unsweetened iced tea, or fat-free milk. Diet soda is okay, but limit the amount, as it may encourage cravings for sweet foods.
Cardio: Fifteen minutes of activity such as walking or riding a stationary bike five times a week. You should be working hard enough so that you can talk, but not for very long.
Strength: None. Starting a strength-training program can stimulate hunger. That’s why I recommend waiting until you get a few healthy diet changes under your belt.
Traps to Avoid: Don’t be tempted by a shortcut (a fat-burning pill, a fad diet). It may work for a while, but to lose weight permanently you need to move more, eat less, and figure out the emotional reasons you turn to food.
Health Habits Review – Weeks 1 & 2
Replacing soda with lower calorie beverages is a great way to eliminate empty calories from your diet. The loss of caffeine may be a problem for some Coca-Cola junkies.
Starting with some low intensity cardio exercise is a prudent start for a beginner. Diving right into a complicated program of diet, cardio and resistance training can sometimes overwhelm a newbie.
Overall, a safe and sensible start to a weight loss program.
Weeks 3 & 4:
Food Switch: Trade in your white bread for 100 percent whole grain, in addition, try incorporating whole grain pasta and brown rice into your diet.
Cardio: Add five more minutes to each workout session, for a total of 20 minutes, five days a week.
Strength: None at this time.
Traps to Avoid: Exercise is tough. You can shed pounds by just cutting calories, but among successful long-term weight losers, 90 percent exercise regularly. Physical activity also improves mood, sleep, even sex.
Health Habits Review – Weeks 3 & 4
Dumping the Wonder bread in favor of 100% whole grain increases your intake of fiber, slowing digestion, increasing fullness, decreasing hunger and reducing your chances of developing colon cancer. Another no-brainer. Way to go Bob.
Gradually increasing the volume of cardio training is smart. Nothing like a case of shin splints to derail a beginner’s cardio program. Take it slow and easy and let your body get used to these new demands.
I can’t believe that Bob is still avoiding resistance training.
A program designed around natural body movements – squatting, pushing, pulling, lunging, reaching, climbing, twisting, etc.. is vital to increasing the beginner’s quality of life.
Overall, I would still give Weeks 3 & 4 a passing grade.
Weeks 5 & 6:
Food Switch: Cut out trans fat (look for it on labels—or for “partially hydrogenated oil”). Find baked goods and spreads without it, or make your own, using healthy fats, such as olive and corn oil.
Cardio: Add five more minutes of cardio to each workout, for a total of 25 minutes, five days a week.
Strength: Start with eight moves that work the major muscle groups—triceps extension, biceps curl, squat. Do one to two sets of eight to 10 reps for each, three times a week. Get all of Bob’s fitness moves!
Traps to Avoid: Have you thought about the emotional reasons behind why you overeat? You’ll keep relapsing if you don’t. Try keeping a journal to help get at the deeper issues you need to address.
Health Habits Review – Weeks 5 & 6
Cutting out trans fats – another no-brainer. No one needs to eat this junk.
A little more cardio…good
And finally some strength training…oh no…Bob, what are you doing?
You finally introduce strength training, and this is what you give to a beginner interested in burning off body-fat?
- A bodybuilding style program designed for hypertrophy
- Exercises that require a gym membership
- Exercises that are the opposite of functional training
- Exercises that are mislabelled…Oprah’s incline crunch looks suspiciously like an incline sit-up
Overall, I have to give Weeks 5 & 6 a failing grade
Weeks 7 & 8:
Food Switch: Switch from fried foods to roasted, sautéed, or baked. Try roasted potatoes, baked (and lightly breaded) chicken, and vegetables sautéed in olive oil.
Cardio: Add five more minutes of cardio to each workout session, for a total of 30 minutes, five days a week.
Strength: Continue with your strength training routine.
Traps to Avoid: Your initual enthusiasm may be wearing thin—so sudden work demands or an injury can throw you off your program. Figure out now how you’ll respond to such setbacks.
Health Habits Review – Weeks 7 & 8
Eating less fried foods…good
A little more cardio…good
Same resistance training program…bad
Weeks 9 & 10:
Food Switch: Skim the fat from dairy: Go from whole or 2 percent milk and yogurt to 1 percent or fat-free versions. Also try calcium- and vitamin D-enriched soy milk with no more than 100 calories per cup.
Cardio: Add five more minutes of cardio to each workout, for a total of 35 minutes, five days a week.
Strength: Add another set of eight to 10 reps to each of the moves in your routine.
Traps to Avoid: You’re beginning to appreciate the work involved in weight control. Many people set out to lose 20 to 30 percent of their total weight, but 10 percent is more realistic You may want to revisit your initial goal.
Health Habits Review – Weeks 9 & 10
Reducing your saturated fat intake by switching to 1% or skim milk products….
At first glance, this seems like a good idea…less saturated fat equals less calories equals less junk in the trunk…right?
Maybe not. The fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K) found in milk require fat for digestion. And considering that most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, switching to skim milk may not be the healthiest thing to do. Stick to 1% at least, or go and get your Vitamin D elsewhere.
Regarding the exercise program, Bob increases the cardio a little more and continues with the same sad old strength training program.
Weeks 11 & 12:
Food Switch: Consider cutting out alcohol as a way to eliminate calories. Instead of beer, wine, or a cocktail, order sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice (or another low-calorie drink) and see if it doesn’t make a big difference.
Cardio: Add five more minutes of cardio to each workout, for a total of 40 minutes, five days a week.
Strength: Continue with your strength-training program.
Traps to Avoid: The pounds have come off—great. But now you find yourself skipping a workout and allowing a second helping here and there. Remember, weight loss is not a finish line but the beginning of a process in which you learn about yourself and improve your life. The longer you persist, the easier it gets.
Health Habits Review – Weeks 11 & 12
Less alcohol…some more low hanging fruit here.
Cutting back on booze is a quick way to reduce calories. For some of us, it also reduces our “fun factor”, but that is another story altogether.
And, Bob’s added another 5 minutes of cardio for the final 2 weeks of his Back to Business weight loss plan.
The Final Verdict
Don’t waste your time following this plan.
In fact, don’t waste your time, buying Bob Greene’s books.
Even better, don’t buy any diet books….
And don’t believe what Oprah and Bob are going to tell you next week.
It won’t work.
And this is coming from one of the few men willing to admit that he admires Oprah.
That’s right, I said it.
I admire Oprah.
She is one of the few television personalities that makes her audience think. You may / may not like what she and her guests are saying, but most of the time, her topics are thought provoking.
And that has to be a good thing.
But when it comes to sustained weight loss, she and Bob don’t know what the &$@#* they are doing.
Without Oprah, Bob Greene is an anonymous personal trainer in Chicago.
With Oprah, Bob Greene is a multi-millionare personal trainer with a burgeoning health and fitness empire.
He should be highly motivated to keep Oprah as fit as a fiddle.
And yet…the weight came back.
- Access to the best trainers in the world (Bob Greene)
- Access to the best nutritional gurus in the world
- Access to America’s doctor, Dr. Oz
- A fully equipped home gym(s)
- A personal chef
- Access to the best selling spiritual gurus
- Access to the most popular personal coaches
- Access to the psychiatrists who have devoted their practices to weight loss
- Access to the President-Elect, and
- More money than God
With all of this equipment and money and advice and healthy eatin’ and healthy livin’, how could she gain 40 lbs. in one year?
Because just about everything that the experts have been telling us about weight loss (since WW2) is wrong.
- Counting calories doesn’t work
- Cardio-vascular exercise doesn’t work
- Eating more fiber doesn’t work
- Eating off of smaller plates doesn’t work
- Drinking a glass of water before eating doesn’t work
- Fat burners don’t work
- Cleansing your colon doesn’t work
So what does work?
Over the next month, I will be giving you everything you need to lose that weight for the last time.
Nothing to buy.
No email lists.
No signing up for anything.
Feel free to modify and share them as you see fit
And save the $15 you would have spent on Bob’s Diet Journal.