Wednesday, April 29, 2009
By Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT
It’s name is Leptin (derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning “thin”), and it’s without a doubt the most important hormone you probably never heard of.
You see, leptin was only first discovered just over 10 years ago, and as far as weight loss is concerned, that’s extremely recent.
Leptin’s function? To communicate your nutritional status to your body and brain.
Leptin levels are mediated by two things. One is your level of body fat. All else being equal, people with higher levels of body fat will have higher leptin levels than those with lower levels of body fat and vice versa.
Because leptin is secreted by fat cells, it makes sense that under normal conditions there is a direct correlation between leptin levels and the amount of fat you are carrying.
Unfortunately, when you’re attempting to lose fat and begin to restrict calories, conditions are anything but “normal” and the body responds accordingly by lowering leptin levels.
This is because the second mediator of blood leptin levels is your calorie intake. Lower your calorie intake and leptin will fall, independent of body fat.
So, yes, you can be overweight and still suffer from low leptin levels – just go on a diet.
So what happens when leptin levels fall and why the heck does it matter?
Again, under normal conditions leptin levels are normal and the brain gets the signal loud and clear that nutrition intake is adequate. Metabolism is high and the internal environment of the body is one very conducive to fat burning.
Until you start dieting.
Go on a diet and leptin levels quickly plummet (by 50% or more after only one week), sending a signal to the body that you’re semi-starved and not consuming enough calories.
This puts the breaks on metabolism and creates a hormonal environment extremely conducive to fat storage. Thyroid hormones (hormones extremely important to metabolism) respond by taking a dive and the abdominal fat-storing stress hormone cortisol skyrockets measurably.
HELLO belly fat.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the appetite stimulating hormones ghrelin, neuropeptide-Y, and anandamide all hop on board to make your life even more miserable.
You don’t have to remember any of those names, just remember that when leptin drops, you get seriously hungry.
Despite having a pretty good reason for its reaction, it’s pretty ironic that our bodies are primed for fat loss at every other time except when we are trying to burn fat.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could maintain high leptin levels and a body primed for fat burning while dieting? It would seemingly solve all of our problems.
But in order to do this, we’d have to somehow keep leptin levels high as we attempt to lose those extra pounds.
“HOW ABOUT “SUPPLEMENTING” WITH LEPTIN?”
A couple of problems here: First, leptin is a protein based hormone, which means that it can not be taken orally (otherwise, it would simply be digested). So that rules out a leptin pill.
This leaves the method of “supplemental” leptin administration to injection. And leptin injections DO indeed work, reversing the metabolic adaptations to dieting and “starvation” even while continuing to restrict calories.
In 1996, Ahima et al. used leptin injections to reverse starvation-induced neuroendrocrine adaptations in mice.
“Well, that’s nice and all, but I’m human.” Point taken; research with rodents doesn’t always correlate to similar findings in humans, however…
In 1999, Heymsfield et al. performed a double-blind placebo controlled study analyzing weight loss over a 24-week period in 73 obese humans. Subjects either injected daily with leptin or a placebo (i.e. bogus alternative). At the end of the 24-week period, the leptin group lost significantly more weight than the placebo and a higher percentage of fat vs. muscle.
In 2002, Rosenbaum et al. administered low-dose leptin to subjects (male and female) who had dieted to a 10% decrease in body weight. During the diet period, thyroid hormone levels, 24-hr energy expenditure, and other metabolic markers substantially decreased. The result of the leptin replacement therapy?
“All of these endocrine changes were reversed…”Thyroid output and daily calorie burn increased back to pre-diet levels.
In 2003, Fogteloo et al. showed that leptin injections “tended to reduce the decline of energy expenditure associated with energy restriction, whereas the tendency of energy intake to increase back to baseline levels in placebo-treated subjects was largely prevented in subjects treated with leptin.”
Yeah, that’s a mouthful. Let me put in simple terms: not only did the leptin group experience less of a decline in metabolism, but they were also less hungry, allowing them to more easily stick to the prescribed diet.
In 2004, Welt et al. reported that leptin given to a group of women with thyroid disorder immediately raised circulating concentrations of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
In 2005, Rosenbaum and company were at it again, again showing that energy expenditure and circulating concentrations of T3 and T4 all returned to pre-weight-loss levels with regular leptin injections.
So, as theorized, keeping leptin levels high during a diet does indeed solve our dilemma by avoiding the negative metabolic (and perhaps behavioral) adaptations that calorie restriction perpetuates.
Daily leptin injections are far too expensive, costing thousands and thousands of dollars per week. So, we can pretty much forget about supplemental leptin as a solution (which is probably moot anyway considering that not too many people are going to voluntarily plunge a needle into their skin daily).
A REAL Solution
Now that we know that leptin injections aren’t going to save us, let’s talk about the possibility of manipulating your body’s natural leptin production.
And I’ve got good news – this can indeed be done, and without involving needles or thousands of dollars. In fact, we’ll swap the injections and mounds of cash out for two things I can guarantee you’re absolutely going to love: more calories and more carbs.
We know that leptin levels decrease by about 50% after only one week of dieting, but fortunately, it doesn’t take nearly that long for leptin to bump back up with a substantial increase in caloric intake.
In fact, research has shown that it only takes about 12-24 hours.
So, the answer to the fat loss catch-22? Strategic high-calorie, high-carb CHEATING.
By strategically cheating with high calorie foods (and yes, even stuff like pizza, ice cream, wings, cookies, burgers, fries, etc), you can give leptin and metabolism a major boost mid-diet which sets you up for plenty of subsequent fat loss when you resume your reduced calorie eating regimen.
This means greater net fat loss week after week, and ultimately, a much more realistic, maintainable way to bring you to the body you truly want and deserve.
So what’s so special about carbs?
Well, leptin, carbohydrate and insulin have been shown to have very strong ties.
Calories alone don’t get the job done, as research shows that overfeeding on protein and fat has little effect on leptin.
In order to get a strong leptin response from overfeeding, there needs to be plenty of carbs in the mix. In fact, the relationship is SO strong that research conducted by Boden et al. at the Temple University School of Medicine shows that leptin levels will not fall even in response to all-out fasting so long as insulin and blood sugar are maintained via IV drip. That’s CRAZY.
Because of this carbohydrate/insulin-leptin relationship, it makes sense that foods combining both carbs and fat (like pizza, burgers, cookies, ice cream, etc) work best for reversing the negative adaptations caused by dieting because of the BIG-TIME insulin response they produce.
THIS is why strategic cheating with your favorite foods is so powerful. THIS is why you truly can use your favorite foods to lose fat faster than you ever could with restrictive dieting. THIS is freedom.
Essentially, it’s everything “typical” dieting isn’t.
With regular dieting, come week two, you’re screwed.
With strategic cheating, you can literally use ANY food you want to *ensure* that you never go a single day without a body primed for fat loss.
The cheat or not to cheat? I think the choice is clear.
Do I even need to add to that? If you want to finally stop the dietary struggle and instead start getting the results you truly deserve, then you can grab Joel’s complete Cheat Your Way Thin system at half price, but only until tomorrow.
This could be a life changing program for you, but only if you choose to take advantage of it.
Sales ends tomorrow...
Monday, April 27, 2009
You will get a better pump throughout the biceps doing this exercise variation because the motion of lifting the arms up to the position where you'll then press the bar overhead hits the biceps from a unique angle that you'll never experience with regular barbell curls.
Give this exercise a try in your next arm workout and leave me a comment to let me know how it works for you.
Friday, April 24, 2009
This is a variation of the squat. This exercise is harder on the muscles, but easier on the joints, than regular squats. It places all the weight in front of your body. This exercise works the quadriceps more then regular squats.
Use a rack such as a squat or power rack to hold the barbell. Unrack a barbell holding it across your shoulders. Squat down until your upper thighs are below parallel with the floor. Keep your head up and using the strength of your legs and back return to the starting position. Repeat.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I just watched an awesome powerlifting video that I wanted to share with you...
One of the members of the Total Fitness Bodybuilding forum posted this up on the board, and I wanted to pass it along to you as well.
It's called "Power Unlimited" and it is a documentary on powerlifting that is definitely worth watching. It will open your eyes to the real behind the scenes world of hard core powerlifting from pioneers such as Ed Coan, Lee Moran, Kirk Karwoski, and other legendary lifters. It also looks into the future of the sport through the eyes of novices, international lifters and coaches, and from the unique perspectives of rising stars like Priscilla Ribic, Scot Mendelson, Scott Cartwright, and many more.
You can watch the full video at:
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Now granted she did lose on points to the much bigger competitors, but it wasn't due to lack of effort on her part. Here is a pic from the open class competition where Patricia was going for an arm bar on a guy who outweighed her by over 80 pounds.
Friday, April 17, 2009
know that I recently posted about how nutrition expert
and Body-for-Life Champion Joel Marion is GIVING away
3 killer videos about some of the major pitfalls of
dieting and how you can actually use your favorite
high calorie "junk foods" to keep your metabolism high
and lose bodyfat faster!
Well, I just wanted to shoot you an e-mail to let you
know that if you haven't downloaded your FREE videos
yet, then you should do so now because the website that
they are hosted on will be taken down this weekend.
If you ever struggle with following a solid nutrition program then I suggest you check out these videos because Joel shares some awesome fat loss strategies.
Even though I've been working out for the past 18+ years myself, I'm not naive enough to think I know it all. And I have even picked up a few killer tricks from this guy. And there's A LOT more to come.
So don't miss out:
It was a great show with lots of good questions from the viewers. Here is just a few of the topics that we covered:
-> What are the best bodybuilding supplements to take
-> Workouts and training techniques to help bring up weak body parts
-> Fat loss training and nutrition info for teenagers
-> The biggest challenges when it comes to preparing for a bodybuilding competition
-> And a lot more!
So be sure to check out the replay at: http://www.leehayward.com/tv
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
You see, for the last six years Joel has been teaching people how to strategically "cheat" on their diet (with their favorite foods) to actually speed up your fat loss progress beyond what is possible with "restrictive" dieting.
I'm talking about eating "junk foods" like pancakes, pizza, ice cream, burgers – you name it. And believe it or not, there is a reason behind this madness and you can actually use these foods to lose fat FASTER.
Crazy, I know, but it's true.
And what's more, as you'll see in the videos, this isn't just some half baked diet theory, but there is real science to back it up.
Again just click on the link below to go check it out:
Monday, April 13, 2009
Give it a try in your next back workout!
Anyway, Joel recently sent me a couple videos clips where he goes into detail about some of the major pitfalls of dieting and how you can actually use your favorite high calorie "junk foods" to keep your metabolism high and lose bodyfat faster!
Now before you say that it sounds "too good to be true", there is some merit to this train of thought. If you who have worked with me one-on-one in the past or have read my new book Your First Bodybuilding Competition you know that I utilize a similar strategy by using "carbohydrate cycling" when training for fat loss.
But I have to admit that Joel's approach works better for the regular gym goer who doesn't quite have the dietary discipline of a competitive bodybuilder and would like to "eat their cake & lose the fat too".
When Joel gets all his videos uploaded I'll post the links here on my blog so you can go check them out for yourself.
Friday, April 10, 2009
We had a great show last night with a good turn out of viewers. I host this live video talk show every Thursday night and it's a great opportunity to chat, share some training ideas, and get your fitness and nutrition questions answered live on the show.
I'm looking to chatting with you on next weeks show!
Vince DelMonte's new No-Nonsense Muscle Building DVD Series is SOLD OUT!
In fact, Vince actually oversold some DVD's because orders were still coming in during the middle of the night. So hopefully you were able to get your copy before they sold out!
But the good news is that there will be a new batch of DVD's made just for orders that make it in before mid-night tonight, this is to honor the original deadline.
However, at 12 mid-night Vince is SHUTTING DOWN THE SITE.
It will NOT even be available at the higher price. So today is your LAST CHANCE to get the No-Nonsense DVD Series at:
(Note: the 3 easy payment plans are still available)
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I got some good news to share with you...
I just got off the phone with my friend Vince DelMonte,
and as you know he has just released one of the most
complete muscle building & fat burning training systems
I've ever seen. And even though this system is worth
every penny (and more), it is still a tad too expensive for
Vince has even had a number of complaints from people
saying how they wanted to get the DVD's, but simply
couldn't afford them...
So for the next 24 hours Vince has set up an affordable
3 installment payment plan that you can take advantage
of immediately to get ripped on a budget!
Let's face it, even though times are tough
and the recession sucks, it should NOT be an excuse to
let your fitness go downhill. While you may not have any
control over the economy, you DO have total control over
YOUR body and how you treat it.
Why not use this as your "excuse" to do something good
for yourself and get in your best shape ever so you can
hit the beach or pool this summer with a ripped six pack?!
I can tell you from experience that when you are
physically fit and feel good about how your body
looks and feels, the challenges and crap that life
throws your way won't seem as hard and you'll be
better able to deal with them.
All you need to get in your best shape ever is a
step-by-step blueprint that you tells you EXACTLY
what to eat and how to train so you start seeing
visual changes to your body immediately! That's
what you're going to get with the No-Nonsense
Muscle Building & Fat Burning DVD training system.
And now with the easy and affordable payment plan option
Vince has set up for the next 24 hours there is no reason
to not invest in your health and fitness.
Just visit the link below to grab your copy.
all the best,
If you want a shot at this life-changing physique
transformation system, then you better make a move
fast because as of this writing there are only 144 DVD sets left!
Today is the last day before the price of this entire
system goes up $50. So if you are going to get it, then
I'd suggest getting it now at the lower price rather
than waiting and having to pay and extra for it.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
And this is turning out to be bigger then originally
expected because he only had 480 copy's to begin with
and 259 of them sold in the first 24-hours. At that
rate they are going to be gone by this time tomorrow!
Let's face it, everyone wants to get absolutely ripped
by summer and according to all the success story case
studies of people on his website you can really do it
with this proven system - no matter what kind of shape
you are in right now or what your fitness goal.
Vince is honored by the overwhelming positive response.
But at the same time he's a bit worried that some serious
and committed people, who miss this email, are going to
lose out on their chance to follow this killer physique
transformation system to a "tire-kicker" who is
expecting an overnight miracle.
So if you're ready to start sculpting your very
own head-turning muscular physique and get ripped
for summer then it's going to require 2 things from you:
1. You must follow a cutting edge training & nutrition
program based on advanced techniques.
2. Your commitment to stick with the program.
With the No-Nonsense Muscle Building DVD Series
you have the first part covered. The second part is up to you...
I rarely promote anything other then my own training
programs simply because most stuff that I see out there
is pure junk. But I have to admit that Vince has out
done himself with this killer DVD course.
What I really like about it is the all value he gives,
nothing is left to chance. He has packed more usable
"How To" techniques and strategies into this DVD course
then I've seen in any course before... (even my own)
Just go and check it out for yourself at:
all the best,
If you want a shot at this life-changing system, you
better make a move today because there's a VERY LIMITED
number of these DVD sets, if they haven't sold out by now.
I know a lot of people are signing up just to get
access to the digital No-Nonsense Muscle Building
and Six Pack Quest programs as f.r.e.e bonus gifts
(they retail at $107 each!)
PLUS Vince is also giving you 5 brand new extra
supporting bonuses and f.r.e.e shipping & handling
until Friday April 10th at midnight EST.
Just head on over to this site and take
your first step to a world class body!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
during that time I have seen fads, trends, and scams
come and go. And after 19+ years in the iron game I've
finally been able to wrap my head around this whole muscle
building mystery and discover the REAL secret to getting a
ripped athletic physique.
This is the same "secret" that the Top Dogs in the
bodybuilding, supplement, and fitness industry don't
want you to know about.
These big companies that advertise in the magazines and
appear on late night TV infomercials have only one goal,
and that is to make a profitable product.
They don't care about your muscle building or fat loss
success. In fact it is your "lack of success" that keeps
them in business and is scamming you out of 90% of your
muscle building results and 100% of your time and money...
If everyone knew about this "secret" then you would see
a lot more head turning buff bodies at the gym, at work,
at school, and out on the streets in public. Rather than
the "skinny fat" syndrome that is rampant these days.
Note: I'm sure you know what I'm talking about when I say
"skinny fat"... Spaghetti noodle arms, chicken legs, and
a roll of ugly blubber hanging over the belt right around
the middle (not a pretty sight).
So you are probably asking yourself now;
"What The Heck Is This Secret?"
Well, here it is...
The ONLY WAY that you can build a lean, muscular, athletic
looking physique is through a structured and progressive
plan with consistent and focused all-out effort - that
FORCES your body to change.
You must give your body a REASON to change.
In all my years as a bodybuilder and trainer, I have
never seen a dramatic physique transformation from
someone who just plugged away in the gym day after
day with "hopes that they will someday change."
People who approach their goals with such "half-hearted"
efforts will never have the body of their dreams. It's sad,
They are the same people who blame their age, their
genetics, this situation, or whatever and then place
their hope in the latest "Magic Muscle Pill" that hits
the supplement market while complaining about their
lack of results.
It's that guy or gal you see in the gym everyday, doing
the same workout, and who looks the exact same as they
did last year... and the year before that. Hopefully this
is not the same person you see when you look in the mirror.
Make no mistake, when you work out, your body is cruising
on auto-pilot and often LAUGHS back at you saying:
"That's your attempt to change me? Nice try. We did this
workout last week. I'm going back on auto-pilot..."
Your body would prefer to stay weak, pudgy and average.
Our bodies were not meant to be big, lean and muscular.
They were designed for survival.
Your body naturally wants to keep the reserve tank of
bodyfat high, while keeping your lean muscle mass to a
minimum. This is programmed in our DNA to help conserve
energy and help us survive periods of famine.
Looking ripped, muscular, sexy and feeling confident is
YOUR goal, but it's not the way your body naturally wants
I was talking about this to my friend and fellow
fitness trainer, Vince DelMonte, and he said:
"It boggles my mind how people expect to get resultsI asked him what me meant and his response seemed pretty
with the slow, simple and silly methods they use...."
hardcore but I have to admit he makes some valid points:
"Lee, when was the last time you saw someone treat theirI had to agree with him...
first set like it's their last? When was the last time
someone told you they were nervous before a workout?
How often do you see people training with a stop watch
to keep their workouts honest or treating each rep like
their life depends on it? It seems like every person I
know who works out looks the exact same as last month...
or even last year..."
I'm sure you know that slashing your bodyfat, gaining
rock-hard muscle mass, and breaking bad habits require
a DIFFERENT plan of attack and more serious attitude
towards achieving your goals.
That's the reason I'm telling you about Vince's new
No-Nonsense Muscle Building DVD Series
which was just released today at 12pm EST.
It's his complete muscle-shredding and ab-sharpening
solution to getting a world class body.
According to the success story case studies on his
website, the only complaint these people have is that
they wish they had started sooner because the more they
follow this physique transformation blue-print...
The better it works!
These DVD's include the EXACT same system Vince used to
gain 41-pounds of muscle in six months and defeat his
skinny genetics. It also includes the EXACT program he
used to cut 23 pounds of stubborn bodyfat in only 10-weeks
and become a National Fitness Model Champion.
But let me say, after I reviewed Vince's DVD series,
this system is not for everyone. It's not for wimps,
over-analyzers, tire-kickers, know-it-all's, or people
expecting an over night miracle.
I know Vince personally and he has positioned himself
to only work with serious and committed people and if
you don't fit the bill, then I would recommend you let
someone else have your copy.
The truth is that Vince's stuff will work extremely well
if you fall into the following categories:
1. You're pissed about your current level of progress
(or lack there of).
2. You're sick and tired of spinning your wheels and
embarrassed about the way you look when you take your
shirt off and see yourself in the mirror.
3. You're fed up with this ridiculous plateau you've hit
and you know you deserve more for how hard you work.
If this sounds like you, then click on the link below and take the next step:
all the best,
(Your Muscle Building Coach)
I don't mean to pressure you with this, but Vince only
has 480 copies of this killer DVD Training System and
he's even offering f.r.e.e. shipping and handling until
Friday night at 12 midnight.
Practically every top-notch fitness trainer, including
myself, is announcing this pre-sale this week so I'm
pretty sure this is going to sell out fast!
Vince is also giving away 5 brand new bonuses for the
first 200 people PLUS his entire digital No-Nonsense
Muscle Building and Six Pack Quest Programs valued
at $735 as a Extra bonus gift for trying out his
No-Nonsense DVD Series.
Check it out while you still can...
Saturday, April 4, 2009
If you've been doing regular shoulder presses for a while and want to change things up, then give the Arnold Press a try in your next shoulder workout.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
And I'll answer your questions live on the show.