My “Dirty” Physique Shots

[ Note: Your health and fitness are important. These articles were written by my friend Jon Benson. I have his permission to share them with you. ]

Hey… HEY! Keep your mind out of the gutter!

By “dirty” I mean down and dirty… as in taken with my crappy iPhone camera by my friend and guru trainer Roland… while looking into a mirror… with no lighting, tan…

Well, you get the point.

Here’s an example… this was me listening to Nine Inch Nail’s song Vessel so I wasn’t exactly all-smiles… but I like listening to aggressive music when I train. My training partner/trainer Roland took this shot while I was staring in the mirror contemplating the next Smith Machine Press set with only 40 seconds of rest and using 225 pounds… yikers… my aching delts!

Dirty Pic: Jon's chest, delts, arms... safe for work... : )

Keep reading… I’ll explain.

First, notice the definition in the arms, delts, and chest… (kidding… : )

But I really am in the best shape of my career, or rather heading that way, carrying almost 30 pounds more muscle than my pictures from Fit Over 40 (taken right before my 40th birthday).

So…

What Gives?
A 7-Day Deal, That’s What!

Before I get to the REAL deal, I want you to get this:

I started my peak-cycle training only 3 weeks ago!

I’ve dropped almost 10 pounds of pure fat and added 2.7 pounds of lean mass during that time.

This, without drugs, at the age of almost 47.

I plan to have a ‘real’ photo shoot on my birthday, October 14th. So I’m WAY ahead of the curve.

Here’s a few more shots to let you see my progress…

Dirty Pic: Jon's calves and triceps plus side-chest... safe for work... : )

Dirty Pic: Jon's legs... safe for work... : )

Crapy, crappy iPhone pics… I know… but hey, give me a tan and a studio and I’d look better, not worse… so why not show you what I see in the mirror? It’s more fun that way. And more honest, although I do enjoy real photo shoots.

Now For The Really Good Part…

After these shots I enjoyed a huge slice of Key Lime Pie (my favorite) and some cheesy bread later in the day.

You see, I practice what I preach in regards to My Every Other Day Diet System of Eating … and that’s not all:

I trained my abs and calves today. Abs: 3 Minutes (using 3 Minute Abs, which comes with 7 Minute Muscle (it’s a whopping 1 page long… but worth the price of the book.)

Calves: 7 minutes (using the 7MM protocol.)

Are you getting the picture folks? This combo of diet and training WORKS.

Just For Bodybuilders?

Hardly. In fact I wrote both books for the masses. I just included advanced sections in each for athletes and bodybuilders like me.

Let’s be blunt: If you want “any” amount of muscle added to your frame (and you should… muscle burns calories around the clock and creates those nice curves you want) then you need to train with resistance. The only difference between the way I train and the way most people (non-bodybuilders) train is the level of intensity and (in my case) I train a bit longer than my 14-minute protocol during a peak. But as you can see, I’m already IN near-peak condition before my longer bouts begin in the gym. Body fat: 6.2% (measured with calipers.) Weight: 214 pounds.

Again, not bad for a (nearly) 47-year-old natural athlete!

But this isn’t about me… well, it kinda is as these shots were so “dirty” I really dig ‘em… I like the raw look better than the studio shots most of the time… : ) No way…

This Is About YOU!

I’ve combined both The Every Other Day Diet and 7 Minute Muscle (also called “7 Minute Body”) for a price that’s less than the original “7 Minute Muscle” … that’s hard to beat, and it won’t last but another week.

That’s right: EODD will no longer feature a discounted version of “7 Minute Muscle” starting NEXT WEEK. Sorry… all good things…

Also… and The Radical Fat Loss Blueprint, which currently comes with EODD for FREE, will be taken off the freebie shelf for good.

So, if you want:

1. The Every Other Day Diet (the EODD Plan I use is included, called “The Extreme Plan”)

2. 7 Minute Body (the workouts I use 50% of the time; the other 50% I like to train longer than 7-14 minutes because I’m a gym rat… but you DON’T HAVE TO… really. : )

3. AND The Radical Fat Loss Blueprint FREE (this is how I dropped so much fat so quickly… and you can shed up to 21 pounds in 21 days if you really work at it and you follow the supplement cycle)

Then go here and watch my video presentation on EODD:

My Every Other Day Diet System of Eating

After you purchase EODD you’ll be taken to a page to get 7 Minute Body at a massive discount… and you will ALSO get The Radical Fat Loss Blueprint FREE.

This ends next week… hop to it.

Your comments are welcome below… I’ll try to answer questions pertaining to training, EODD, 7MM, etc… but bear in mind I’m speaking at a fitness gathering this weekend so I’ll be hit and miss on my laptop.

Now there’s a better way to train (faster) and diet (with your favorite foods used as TOOLS to force more fat-burning)… it’s up to you to take it.

My Every Other Day Diet System of Eating

“Fat-and-Happy”… Is It True? Study Tells All…

[ Note: Your health and fitness are important. These articles were written by my friend Jon Benson. I have his permission to share them with you. ]

Ever heard the phrase, “Fat-n-Happy?”…

Of course you have. We used to refer to obese guys as a “jolly fat-man”… or perhaps someone who is overweight as “fat-n-happy”.

Is it true? Can (gasp) being overweight actually make you happy?

Rather than giving you my opinion on the matter, I take a look at three national studies on this page.

The presentation is only 5 minutes long… and I reveal the number one case for alarm in the United States and Canada.

Read that again:  The Number 1 Cause For Alarm. 

And I’m NOT an alarmist… I’m a rationalist. But stats like these do not lie.

They cannot lie.

And this deals with our children.

Please… go see:

click.here—>  Fat-n-Happy Study

P.S.  I can tell you from my own first-hand experience, which I document in “Fit Over 40″, that my personal 10-year-journey through the muck of obesity was ANYTHING but happy.

I was depressed, to the point of suicide at times (thankfully I never went that far.) I was socially hidden. I wore “fat-clothes” all the time. The few times I HAD to wear jeans or dress pants I rushed home to change into sweats because they were just too damn uncomfortable to tolerate.

Bottom line:  I was “fat-n-miserable”.

I think most people who are overweight or obese feel more despair, sadness, or perhaps just really frustrated than “happy”. Of course you can be happy and be any size, color, shape, etc. But I’ll tell you from my experience that I am MUCH happier now that I’m fit and trim.

Part of that is just because I feel better. The other part is how the brain functions. When you’re more active, you release more “feel-good” hormones… and these are powerful anti-blues hormones… they really make you feel like a champ. At least that’s been my experience.

But go watch the 5-min video and see what you think…

click.here—>  Fat-n-Happy Study

My Medical Emergency; This Happened Today

[ Note: Your health and fitness are important. These articles were written by my friend Jon Benson. I have his permission to share them with you. ]

Sometimes you have to nearly lose it all to realize what you truly have.

I can honestly say that I have come close to death several times in my life. I’ve had my share of accidents, medical emergencies, and a near-fatal accident while driving.

But there was something about just laying on the gym floor today with two doctors hovering over me that gave me serious pause.

Time for some major reflection.

Now, before you get too alarmed (for those who know me, or just think I’m a pretty good guy… ; )… fear not. I did not have a stroke or anything like that, thank goodness.

What I did have was a major drop in blood pressure… so much that I came dangerously close to entering the “coma” zone.

I kid you not.

And trust me… I felt like I was slipping fast.

My girlfriend was there with me. I had her kneel down and, just like Spock in an old episode of “Star Trek”, I had her slap me several times in the face. Hard!

“If my eyes roll back, hit me harder.”

The doctor probably thought I was nuts… but I know that’s one way to elevate my blood pressure.

So, what happened? Am I falling apart at the relatively young age of 46? Is my dietary and exercise advise dangerous after all?

No… and here’s why:

     I actually VOLUNTEERED for this.

Before you think I’ve totally lost my marbles, hear me out. If you listen to the rest of the story, you’ll see that not only has my advice been of great value when it comes to exercise and dietary strategy… it actually ended up saving my butt!

—————————————–
Really Bad Genetics Meets
The Cath Lab:  A Wild Encounter
—————————————–

First, the “volunteered for this” bit needs explaining… right? Right.

If you read my first book, published in 2004, called “Fit Over 40″ (read more at www.fitover40.com) then you may recall that I went into great detail about my poor genetics and horrible health in my early and mid-30s.

Since then, and knowing exactly how bad my genetics are for such things as high blood pressure (oh, the irony!), heart disease, and stroke, I adopted the dietary plan and exercise routine I use to  this very day. The very ones I cover in “The Every Other Day Dietplan” and “7 Minute Body.”

(If you don’t have these books and want them, you can get both here… The Every Other Day Dietplan Revealed — oh, and I have a short video up on this page if you have not seen on a 1-minute fatloss tip… )

Now, let’s get real folks:  Dietary power and exercise MAY not be enough to overcome really bad genetics when it comes to certain diseases. And being ever curious, I wanted to know exactly how my own health was doing on my plan. So a month or so ago I paid a visit to the hospital to have some tests ran. All my yearly check-ups were okay, but I wanted a closer look at my heart… and I mean “literally”.

I wanted to be “cathed”… this is where they insert a camera into your heart, going up the femoral artery in your right leg, and take a look around. If they find anything dangerous, like a clogged artery, they can fix it right then and there with a stent. A stent is a metal device that presses plaque against the artery wall and opens up a clogged artery.

Of course I hoped I would not find such a thing… and certainly nothing worse. I mean, can you imagine?  “Mr. Benson, you need a quadruple bypass!”

I could not, that’s for sure… and I was fortunate because, as you probably guessed, I didn’t hear those words from my doc.

It’s hard to get a cath done as it’s a risky procedure. I can’t even tell you how I managed to pull it off … that’s how touchy the hospitals are when it comes to this kind of stuff. Afterwards, I volunteered to do 5-10 workouts at their heart care facility so I could hook myself up to some nifty gadgets. I get to watch my EKG (how my heart is functioning during cardio and weights… and it works like a charm!) and really nice doctor folks come by to check my blood pressure (which is always low) during the workout.

Yep… the doc and I wanted to put my workout plan to the test, I guess you could say. I wanted to do it just to make sure I was 100% healthy during my training. You never really “know” I suppose, so I was up for it. And my doctor wanted me to do it just in case what he found during the cath was serious. There’s a lot to this process, and there’s some details I don’t wish to cover for privacy sake… but anyway, back to my story.

It’s long, but it may save your life too. : )

—————————————–
The Good News… The Bad News…
And The Stupid Jon News!
—————————————–

Turns to find out I made a few mistakes… some pretty costly mistakes… but (get this) none of them had to do with my dietary or exercise plan.

During the cath, here’s what the doc said:

“Jon, your heart’s two primary arteries look good… hardly any obstruction at all. And they are nice and thick from exercise.” For a guy who has had a cholesterol level of over 400 before, and a history of heart disease in the family, this was really good news.

“However, your genetics are catching up to you in one of your arteries…. and you need to be more aggressive with your drug treatment to make sure we don’t have to go back in here one day!”

Er… what??

Yep… turns out that the only thing that saved me from a BYPASS (that’s right) was what the doctor called “an enormous amount of peripheral arteries formed from years and years of weight training and exercise.”

Wow.

“Look right here Jon…”  (He showed me my beating heart on camera… freaky…) “See all these arteries? Well the average person doesn’t have them. You do. Congratulations… you earned them.”

Wow again. And remember, I only workout with weights 3-4 times per week and my workouts are rarely over 21 minutes (time under the weight.)

—————————————–
What I Did Right… And What
I Did Wrong… And Why This
Could Save Your Life
—————————————–

So, listen up folks as I’m about to tell you everything I did wrong for the past several years… how it ALMOST cost me dearly (a bypass?… no thanks!)… how I managed to prevent it… and how I ended up on the gym floor today with doctors all around me.

It’s all related. And again, sorry for the novel-like email, but (again) this may save your life.

First, here’s what my excellent cardiologist said I did RIGHT:

1. Exercise:  “Jon, your exercise plan, to put it bluntly, saved you from a great deal of pain… in fact it probably saved your life as these blockages would have been far worse without it.” With it, I had only one artery with enough blockage to warrant the drug therapy that I should have been on for years… more on that in a second…

2. Dietary plan:  “Jon, your diet is perfect for this condition… low in carbs, high in protein and healthy fats is all anyone can do in order to help fight this genetic killer.”  Yep… again… prevention in the form of dietplan saved my butt. Or rather my heart. : )  But it wasn’t enough… at least for one artery. However, it WAS enough to prevent them from having to do surgery on me.

“Jon, the take-away here is simple:  Exercise and dietary plans, even the very best, may not be enough for super high-risk people… but in your case your lifestyle saved your life. And it certainly prevented you from having to have any serious surgery to correct a truly broken heart.”

Talk about EXCITING news… yep… you CAN beat this killer, even when you have MY horrible family genetics. However, like me, you may need some help… more on that in a second.

3. Blood pressure:  “Jon, your blood pressure is excellent. Your lifestyle and very low-dose diuretic has kept your formerly sky-high blood pressure (it was 200/110 when I was 32!) to an excellent 118/78.”  But you know doctors… even “excellent” isn’t enough and they recommended a stronger BP med for “my intense weight training.”

So, I listened… and ended up on the floor today. You see, many doctors do not realize the POWER of weight training compared to cardio. My blood pressure never budges during cardio, but less than 3 minutes into a resistance (weight-training) session it goes down like the stock market after a bad news day.

I mean SHOOTS down. I tried to explain this by letting the doctor see the veins in my legs… “Doc, my veins are MUCH larger than the average person’s… trust me, my pressure is fine.”  “Jon, just try it for a few weeks.”

Bad mistake…. like I said, I ended up on the gym floor today with a blood pressure of 72/45. If I hit 40, I’m literally in a coma. 5 points away… very scary. Needless to say the doc took me OFF these meds and let me do it my way:  With my Every Other Day Dietplan (low-carb most of the days) and good-old exercise.

If you have high blood pressure, I URGE you to take up weight training or resistance (body-weight or band) training. Of course, ask your doc about it first… but I’ve seen first hand for three weeks now how powerful my weight training sessions are compared to intense cardio sessions.

They are night and day folks… weights RULE. Cardio is good, but weights are best. Both of course would be the best course for ultimate health, but most people do far too much cardio and far too little resistance training.

—————————————–
Oops…
—————————————–

Now, here’s what I did WRONG:

1. Cigars:  “Jon, you cannot afford to smoke cigars… ever. They have lowered your protective HDL to a dangerous level. Stop NOW!” That’s all it took folks. Yes, I smoked cigars for many years, but fortunately I was never an addict. I quit that very day.

Guess what? 10 days later my HDL DOUBLED (no kidding)… and without drugs. Of course that’s not all I did…

2. Fat too LOW:  “Jon, you’ve lowered your dietary fat too low… this affects your HDL.”  Yep, I normally eat about 35% dietary fat… and I cut it down to 20% to help me get ready for a photoshoot. Now that I put it back to where it belongs, I still have my abs (yep!) and my HDL is raising as I type.

3. Stress:  “Jon, you are simply working too hard not to do some form of meditation or de-stressing.”  So I dove back into my meditation CDs. (I’ll tell you more about Holosync and my hypnosis CDs in my next email… very cool stuff.)

4. Advil:  “Jon, you take 4 Advil before you train? You’re nuts! That stuff can cause sticky plaque formations!!”  You know, I may never even had an issue if I had known this (and not smoked cigars) a few years ago. Live and learn!

5. And finally… oh, this hurt to hear… no drugs!  “Jon, if you want to make sure you beat this thing, you simply must take some meds to help.”  Okay, I resisted any form of statin drug for the past 15 years (drugs to lower cholesterol.) I opted to try natural stuff… but unfortunately for me I was never too consistent. And I paid the price.

So the doc and I came to a compromise:  I would take the LOWEST dose of statin along with 400 mg of CoQ10 (scary, but this was my idea, not his, and statins deplete this heart-friendly enzyme!) But I wanted a natural solution to the real issue:  small particle LDL. You see, I’ve known for years that I carry the gene that makes LDL “small”. LDL is not dangerous unless it is small… that’s why “total cholesterol” means nothing to me. I’ve seen folks have heart attacks with a cholesterol level of 130. No joke. But their LDL was super-small… like mine.

And guess what?  Dietplans cannot really help this. Well, they can HURT it (too many carbs, too many toxic fats, etc.) but they cannot shift the LDL from small to large.

For that, you need plain old niacin. Just a simple B vitamin… but in not-so-simple doses. In fact it’s considered a drug at the dose you have to take, and you should NEVER take niacin over 50 mg without a doctor’s supervision as it can be very toxic to the liver.

—————————————–
The Conclusion:  The Power
Is In Your Hands
—————————————–

In conclusion, I’m A-Okay… my heart pumps and functions “like that of a strong 20-year-old” (my doctor’s quote) thanks to the extra arteries I developed from my exercise program (how cool!) … but in order to keep that one artery in check, I’m taking his advice and taking much better care of myself than I have been.

Today I learned that this does NOT mean taking blood pressure meds…thankfully… : ) But I had to make some changes. Some of them were “stupid” changes… sure, I know cigars are not good for you. I know you need good fats in your dietplan. I could have used common sense and figured out that 4-8 Advil on workout days was… well, stupid.

But the good news, which is what I choose to focus on, is this:  In the areas that 95% of people NEVER change, I didn’t have to change much at all.

Dietary plan and exercise.

Turns to find out that what I was doing works great… and it did, in fact, save my heart and quite possibly my life.

For more on my dietplan and exercise routine, go here:

The Every Other Day Dietplan Revealed

Thanks for reading, and I wish all of you good health!

P.S.   I got lucky in many ways, but especially so when it came to my doctors. Both of my doctors are young and savvy enough to be up on the latest research on nutrition. They know NOT to buy into this “low-fat” nonsense for heart health. (I’d use a harsher word, but kiddos may be reading… : ) That only works for about 10-15% of the population. The rest of us need to lower our CARBS, not our fats… but the way I do it I get to keep my favorite carbs in my dietplan every week.

The little that I do eat keeps me happy as a clam, and keeps my heart nice and healthy too. A little bit of bad food will not hurt most people… but eating it every day can flat-out kill you.

Please… take this seriously. I promise, my dietplan and exercise routine is a PLEASURE to follow… but if you don’t follow it then find one that IS enjoyable for you to follow… and do it.

Life is too short, you know?