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Shape Up for the Summer: The Healthy Approach
Author: Panos Prokos, MS, CPT.

Los Angeles, CA -- May 11, 2004 --

As summer is approaching, we are once again entering the time of the year where fitness products sales and health club memberships skyrocket. As we are making an assessment of our bodies, we start becoming uncomfortable with some aspects of our external appearance. The most dedicated of us who have managed to hang on to our last year’s resolution may have seen some results but for the most of us this experiment did not last for more than two weeks.

The advent of 2004 did not bring any positive changes in the promotion of fraudulent fitness products. Consumers who are looking for ways to bring positive changes to their bodies are still the primary targets for aspiring entrepreneurs:

“Get this new fat burner and you will loose 10 pounds the first week!”

“Buy this fat-burning cream and reduce your thighs by 2 inches!”

“Give up carbs!”

None of these methods was supposed to work in the first place. There is only one result that such methods are guaranteed to deliver: Making people blaming themselves and feel BAD about their own bodies. Diets alone are not the solution. They may seem to work in the short term but eventually initiate a gradual slow down of the metabolism and lead to a long-term weight gain. Aerobic training, and miles on the treadmill are not the answer either as excessive aerobic exercise can actually initiate a catabolic process in the body and lead to a decrease in muscle mass and eventually to a plateau. The REAL answer to fat loss is the one repeatedly proven by Medical and Fitness research: The synergistic effect of healthy nutrition, and supportive exercise.

Lets take a closer look at the above components. A correct approach to fitness should incorporate the following three concepts:

1) A healthy nutrition plan should consist of a variety of food sources providing adequate amounts of macro and micronutrients. The ratio of Fat, Protein and Carbohydrate should be determined according to your specific goals and activity levels.

2) Aerobic exercise should be determined according to your Fitness level and exercise history if any. Treadmills, Stair-climbers, and Spinning bikes all have different properties and are suitable for different purposes. Selection of the appropriate aerobic training should be based on factors such as Max Heart Rate, VO2 max capacity, Anthropometry factors and Body composition to name just a few. A knowledgeable Personal Trainer or coach should be your main source of information regarding aerobic exercise program design.

3) Resistance training is crucial to your success as muscle tissue is critical for the metabolism of fat. Muscle cells consist of tiny rod shaped bodies named mitochondria, which are the only place in your body where fat gets “burned”. Resistance training increases the number of mitochondria therefore enabling your body to become more efficient at burning fat. A competent Personal Trainer or Strength coach can develop a resistance-training program that will allow you to obtain optimal benefits from your workout.

It is never too late to begin a healthier lifestyle. Stop blaming yourself. If your previous attempts at changing your body have failed, you are not alone. You were simply victimized by inefficient technology and marketing hype which was aiming to make profits at your expense. If there ever was a secret to Fitness it was the one mentioned above: The synergistic effect of healthy nutrition, and supportive exercise.

Best wishes for your Fitness success. Train Smart, Train for Life!!


Panos Prokos is a well certified and experienced Personal Trainer and Fitness Cosultant as well as an active educator in the Fitness field having written numerous articles on sports education and biomechanics. For more information, visit his website at:

Panos Prokos, MS, CPT
Fitness Consultant, Personal Trainer.
PO Box 7334,
La Verne, CA, 91750
Phone: 626-347-3053








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