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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Face Your Customers with Facebook



Communicating effectively with customers and delivering the right message to the right people has been one of the major challenges for any marketer since day one. Since early days of marketing, various forms of communication medium have been evolving with developments in technology as well as its consumers.

For a long time in the history of marketing communication, media remained the stronghold of newsmakers and advertisers and communication was mostly one way from the marketer to the reader. However, the trend of this inequality of voice was broken with the advent of the Internet and further developments within that medium itself.

Internet and Quantum Change in Media

The Internet brought about a sea change in the science and practice of mass communication and hence the process of marketing itself. But much before common users could take control of the content on the World Wide Web, the way we see it today, there was a time when content creation was the forte of those well-versed in HTML programming and web scripting languages. However, with the advent of services, such as blogs and social networking sites, the power of mass communication moved to the common user on the Internet.

Facebook – Front-Runner in Social Media Phenomenon

With 500 million users worldwide, and the numbers growing steeply, Facebook is emerging as one of the strongest mediums, with users getting totally involved in creating more and more content on the website. At any given point in time, millions of conversations take place, with precious customer-related information seeping through each of these, in the most natural way.

Customer Insight… Really

 

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Even before the first television spot or a newspaper advertisement goes live, any company serious about its brand spends a great deal of effort and money on gathering information and insight into what their customers really want and how they seek to accomplish those needs. A lot of money is spent on brand research that delves into the awareness levels of the brand vis-a-vis competition.

This information can be readily accessed freely floating on a social networking platform, such as Facebook. All the answers that a brand may want to seek are hidden in the conversations happening through wall comments, photographs, tags, fan pages, and many such avenues through the same platform of Facebook.

All of this information is first hand, with honest responses.

Coming Face to Face With Customers

Users on Facebook form fan pages and groups pertaining to their interests and form conversations around topics and brands of their interests. Here are some tips with how a new age brand manager can keep a tab and also build his brand on Facebook.

Do a Brand search on Facebook – Conducting a search on Facebook with the terms related to your brand or that of your competition throws up results that include customers associating with the brand and various discussions, fan pages, where the brand features. Going through these conversations can reveal the opinion of the customers about your brand.

Creating a Fan page: If you are confident that your brand has the capability of attracting positive response and drawing fans, it is time you create a fan page for your brand and watch users "liking" the page and enroll for the same. The fan page can serve as an excellent platform to directly engage with customers and create a strong bond.

Create branded applications: Applications can range from entertaining games with your brand to useful tools related to your product.

The possibilities provided by Facebook to reach out to customers are endless, and all of this can be done at minimal cost with maximum impact. But while doing all of this as a marketer, you need to remember that the customer and you are on a level playing field, with both having equal opportunity to express. The customer is free to share his positive as well as negative experiences with your brand, which can influence other customers watching your brand carefully.

This is where you need dedicated efforts of professionals who understand the dynamics of the medium, which is very different from what conventional media marketers are generally used to. Facebook can hence help you come face to face with your customers. It becomes extremely important for you to know how this medium and conversations should be managed.

 

 

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3 Vital Principles You Must Know To Burn Fat Faster

By now, most people realize that adding lean muscle mass to your body does wonders for your metabolism and fat loss, as well as a host of other benefits that allow you to live out your life as healthy as possible. 

Unfortunately, most people I see performing weight training or resistance training at the gym are spending too much time with the exercise and not working hard enough.  They're not going to burn very much fat this way. 

The secret I've found is that training for lean muscle and strength requires the proper application of three vital elements that are often ignored by those who attempt it.  Those three elements are:

-Intensity

-Volume & Frequency

-Progression

The intensity is how hard it is to perform for you, given your current condition.  The volume and frequency are how much and how often you perform the exercise.  The progression is related to how much the demands increase from workout to workout. 

Most times, weight training, is carried on for too long and performed too many times per week.  It is unfortunately treated much the same way as so-called fat burning aerobic exercise.  But they are vastly different forms of exercise.  In fact, they're complete opposites.

Aerobic exercise typically is characterized by low to moderate intensity, high volume and frequency, and little progression.  Anaerobic exercise, or weight training, must be performed at a high intensity, lower volume and frequency, and with progression to be as effective as possible. 

No amount of weight training performed at a low or moderate intensity will provide significant muscle or strength building benefit beyond the first few weeks.  On a high level view, it is simply the combination of sufficient intensity, coupled with attempting to increase either the number of repetitions of a weight training exercise or the amount of weight used each and every workout that will keep your body evolving into the ultimate fat burning machine!

You also have to pay attention to other details when creating an effective and efficient routine to maximize your workout and minimize your time spent in the gym.  Why?  Because perhaps even more important that the workout itself is the rest period that follows.  You're not going to get stronger or more muscular if you don't rest.

You see, when you strength train properly, you are creating tiny injuries to your muscles.  You then have to let the body repair itself, and then overcompensate and build upon the already existing amount of muscle mass you have.  If you workout again before that process in completed, you'll experience lackluster, if any, muscle building or fat burning results. 

So make sure to get proper rest between workouts, which typically means a minimum of 1 to 3 full days of rest between properly executed resistance workouts.

Now upon hearing the idea that you've got add muscle to your body to ensure the maximum fat burning environment, a lot of people, women especially, start thinking, "But I don't want to get bigger, I want to lose weight!"  But this is such a shame, because it's very unlikely to happen, and countless women are losing out on these fat burning benefits because of it.

You see, most men and almost all women simply lack the necessary genetic traits required to produce such muscle gains that would cause them to look bulky or overly-developed to most people.  These traits include testosterone levels, muscle fiber makeup, muscle belly length, and others.

Those competitive bodybuilders you've seen on TV and in the magazines are the genetic cream of the crop for muscle development and they are typically on heavy doses of anabolic steroids, growth hormone, and other bodybuilding drugs.  Don't be fooled by these images, or those that scare you into thinking this way.  Also, lean muscle is more compact that fat, as it takes up less space in your body, so you will actually be getting smaller when replacing the fat on your body with lean muscle.

Please understand that you're putting yourself in the best position to succeed with your fat loss and fitness goals when you perform properly conducted intense resistance training, no matter who you are. 

But make sure you understand and apply the three critical principles I discussed above.  If you don't, you'll ultimately be unhappy with your results, both in your ability to burn fat and realize the lean, strong, and healthy body you deserve.


Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world's most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his "Fat Burning Furnace" system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.
 

If you're thinking about using the Fat Burning Furnace system yourself, but still have a few questions, make sure you visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. 

Also, it may help to read about the success stories of others like you to see how people in similar situations have changed their bodies and their lives with the techniques in FBF.

But you may become anxious to get started on your new body right now, so you can also click the button below to get started right now.  Remember, you have a full 60 days to decide if it's right for you.  If not, just email me and we'll issue you a full refund and I'll thank you for trying it out...it's that simple!
 

 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

 

 

 

 

 

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A Simple Change In Mindset Will Burn More Fat Fast

Most people that I talk to about health and fitness talk about "getting in shape".   But I don't think they realize that their words are actually counterproductive to their aspirations of burning fat.  You hear a lot of people lamenting about being out of shape and saying, "I need to get in shape and burn fat", or, "I want to get in shape and burn fat."  What you don't hear them saying is, "I want to get in shape, burn fat, and stay that way." 

They may want to stay in shape, but their mindset is focused on getting in shape.  This makes you more susceptible to the fad diets and latest exercise gimmick on the market.  You're so focused on getting in shape that you'll try almost anything regardless of how silly or difficult to follow it might seem, because you're entirely focused on the short term goal.

A simple change in the "quick fix" mindset to one of long term success will steer you down the correct path.  You'll be less enticed by the late night TV hype, and more focused on doing the right things most of the time.  Wouldn't you agree that life long health and fitness is what's most important? 

Of course creating an environment in your body that allows you to burn fat fast is essential to this goal.  A person who is in shape in their 50s and 60s is a lot more impressive to me than someone who is lean and fit in their 20s and 30s. That's because the dedication to maintaining the proper exercise plan and a sensible nutrition strategy for the rest of your life is rare to find.  It's a rare mindset.

If you really want to transform your physique and your health for good, you must make it a lifestyle, a habit.  And that starts in your mind.  That's what the people who are lean for life do.  In fact, if I think about all of the people I personally know that are in great shape and have been for a while, I start to understand that they have their minds on staying in shape. 

They think about it day and night, not obsessively, but with each thing they do…they subconsciously think, "Is this going to positively or negatively impact my long term health and fitness?". "Am I doing everything I reasonable can to burn fat and live a healthy lifestyle?".

The good news is that research shows you can develop simple habits like those involved in eating and exercising properly in under a month…sometimes even sooner.  And with the type of exercise and diet tips I recommend to my Fat Burning Furnace students, you don't need o give up your life's pursuits so that you are working out every day,  nor do you need to follow a wacky diet you can't reasonably make a lifestyle out of.

And after a few months of practicing these methods, I've found that your body will start telling you it wants to keep exercising and eating right…you just won't feel right with out it.  Why?  Because your body naturally wants to be healthy and lean.

So I urge you to forgo the "get in shape" mindset, and instead embrace the idea of staying in shape and creating that fat burning furnace that is so essential to life long health and fitness. 

Imagine yourself in the body of your dreams, today, tomorrow, and 5, 10, 20 or more years from now.  What will you be doing then, in your lean, strong, and healthy body?  Chances are, you won't be trying to "get in shape".  Instead, you'll be burning fat 24/7, and enjoying life as you should...full of vitality and passion.


Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world's most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his "Fat Burning Furnace" system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.


If you're thinking about using the Fat Burning Furnace system yourself, but still have a few questions, make sure you visit the
Frequently Asked Questions page. 

Also, it may help to read about the success stories of others like you to see how people in similar situations have changed their bodies and their lives with the techniques in FBF.

But you may become anxious to get started on your new body right now, so you can also click the button below to get started right now.  Remember, you have a full 60 days to decide if it's right for you.  If not, just email me and we'll issue you a full refund and I'll thank you for trying it out...it's that simple!
  

 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

 

 

 

 

 

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An Explanation and Solution For Slow Female Fat Loss


You may have heard (or, heh, realized), that it's more difficult for women to lose fat than men. Immediately most people think it must be estrogen or hormonal issues. But perhaps the biggest factor is NOT hormones, but the simple fact that women are usually smaller and lighter than men.

When you have a smaller body, you have lower calorie needs. When you have lower calorie needs, your relative deficit (20%, 30% etc) gives you a smaller absolute deficit and therefore you lose fat more slowly than someone who is larger and can create a large deficit more easily.

For example, if my TDEE is 3300 calories a day (I'm 5' 8" and moderately to very active), then a 20% deficit is 660 calories, which brings me to 2640 calories a day. On paper, that will give me about 1.3 lbs of wt loss per week, rather painlessly, I might add.

If I bumped my calorie burn up or decreased my intake by another 340 a day, that's enough to give me a 2 lbs per week wt loss.

That's hardly a starvation diet (Ahhh, the joys of being a man). For smaller women, the math equation is very different.

If your total daily energy expenditure is only 1970 calories, even at a VERY high exercise level, then a 20% deficit for you is only 394 calories which would put you at 1576 calories a day for (on paper) only 8/10th of a lb of fat loss/wk.

If you pursued your plan to take a more aggressive calorie deficit of 30%, that puts you at a 591 calorie deficit which would now drop you down to only 1382 calories/day.

That's starting to get fairly low in calories. However, you would still have a fairly small calorie deficit. In fact, I would get to eat almost twice as many calories as you and I'd still get almost twice the weekly rate of fat loss!

What this all means is that women who are petite or have a small body size are going to lose fat more slowly than larger women and much more slowly than men, so you cannot compare yourself to them.

It's great to be inspired by our success stories, but if you're looking for someone to model yourself after, choose one of our success stories of someone your body size and wt, rather than the folks who started 100 lbs overweight and were therefore easily dropping 3 lbs a week.

 

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ONE POUND a week of fat loss is much more in line with a realistic goal for someone of a smaller body size. Overweight people can lose it faster. The best thing you can do is to be extremely consistent with your nutrition over time.

Suggestion #1: Weigh and measure all your food any time you feel you are stuck at a plateau, just to be sure. When your calorie expenditure is on the low side, you don't have much margin for error.

Suggestion #2:  Take your body comp measurements with a grain of salt, especially if you are using Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) scales (they are a bit wonky) and remember that body comp testing is seldom perfect. Pay attention to your circumference measurements, how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror and in photos as well.

Suggestion #3: You might actually want to take fewer refeeds - once a week instead of every 4th day, or even just once every 10-14 days, so you can get a larger weekly deficit.

Suggestion #4: You may want to take 2 or 3 of your long cardio sessions on the treadmill and switch them to intense intervals or ANY other type of activity that has potential to burn more than 362 calories for an hour's investment of time, or perhaps that equivalent calorie burn in less time. No need to add more days of cardio or more time - get the most out of the time you are already spending.

Suggestion #5: If you do intervals, don't make the workout too brief (ignore the advertisements for those "4 minute miracle" workouts, etc.), or you may burn fewer calories than you were before! In fact, you might even try the method where you do HIIT
for 15-20 min, then continue for another 30-40 at slow to medium intensity. Increasing total calories burned should be your focus.

Dropping only ONE pound per week (or less) may seem excruciatingly slow, but it's actually the same type of thing I do. As a bodybuilder, I go from lean to extremely lean when I diet and I don't expect more than a pound a week during contest cuts.

You are in a similar situation, even if not competing. Even if you get a half a pound a week fat loss, if you get that progress every week, that's what you're looking for - steady progress – even if slow.

It's entirely possible that you HAVE been making progress, only very slowly. With the way water weight and glycogen levels can fluctuate (and lean mass may increase), a half a pound or pound fat loss in a week could have been easily masked... and therefore, missed. That's one of the drawbacks of going by the scale alone.

Understand the calorie math I explained above and be patient, watching for slow and steady progress, paying special attention to the trend over time on your progress chart.

Keep after it - the persistence will pay, I promise!

 

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An Insanely Effective Type of Interval Training


High intensity interval training can be done in a variety of different ways. Here's a wickedly-effective type of interval training: it requires no machines or fancy equipment, you can do it outside in the sunshine and fresh air, it develops killer conditioning, carves out legs like a sprinter, and burns calories at an accelerated rate…

In other articles about running/aerobics and high intensity interval training, as well as in my Fat loss books, I've written about how you can integrate both traditional steady state cardio as well as high intensity interval training into your training program for optimal body composition improvement, health and increased fitness - you don't have to choose one form of cardio or the other. In fact, settling into dogmatic views about cardio will only limit you.

Traditional steady state cardio is pretty much self-explanatory and intuitive. But many people are still confused about the best way to do interval training.

An Insanely Effective Way To Do Interval Cardio

I'm not sure if there is a single best way to do intervals because there are so many choices and everyone is different in their goals, interests and personal preferences, so "best" is a relative thing. But let me give you one of my personal favorites that is breathtakingly effective:

Stair sprinting!

Your typical interval workout in the gym might be on a stationary cycle, treadmill or stairclimber with short 30-60 second bursts of high speed and/or resistance, followed by a 60-120 second period of low intensity recovery. That's usually a 1:1 or 1:2 work to recovery interval. You then rinse and repeat for the desired number of intervals, usually between 6 and 12.

I sometimes have access to a great set of university stadium steps with a straight shot right up - 52 steps.

Sprinting it takes about 10 seconds or so, walking down about 30 seconds. Those are short intervals with a 1:3 work to recovery interval ratio. That wasn't by design, it just happens to be how long it takes to run up and walk down that particular flight of stairs, but co-incidentally, that fits within common recommendations for short sprint-style intervals.

I make sure I'm warmed up first, I usually start with a couple flights up at a slow jog then a run, before sprinting, usually 10-12 rounds.

Even if you jog/run instead of sprint, (or pause briefly at the bottom of the stairs), when you do the math, you can figure that this usually doesn't take more than 10-12 minutes.

Why do I like stadium step sprinting?

 

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1. Stair sprinting is a time saver. Like other forms of interval training, it's entirely possible to get as much if not more cardiovascular conditioning in 10-15 minutes than you'd get from a much longer session of slower cardio (depending on the intensity and effort levels).

2. Stair sprinting is engaging. Many people get bored doing long slow to medium intensity cardio sessions. This is a great way to break up the monotony of traditional cardio workouts. Even though it's tough, it's actually kind of fun.

3. Stair sprinting is incredible for leg development. As a bodybuilder, I like to look at all types of training not only in terms of conditioning, fat loss and health, but also whether they will add or detract from the physique. I find that brief but intense stair workouts are amazing for leg development - quads, hamstrings, glutes and even your calves. In fact, I started training on the stairs more than 20 years ago, and I always considered it as much if not more of a leg workout than anything else.

4. Stair sprinting can be done outside. If you have access to stadium steps, as opposed to just a stairwell, you can enjoy the sun and fresh air.

How to integrate stair running into your training program

If you're an overachiever type, you might be tempted to do these sprint workouts in addition to your current strength training and cardio workload.

However, keep in mind that intensity and duration are inversely proportional. When you do high intensity cardio or all out sprints, you are condensing more work into less time. That means the best part is, you can do a brief but intense stair workout instead of one of your long cardio sessions rather than in addition to them.

Recommendation: Start with one session per week, then progress to two if you choose. You can do traditional cardio the other days of the week if you want or need additional calorie-burning. Lower intensity cardio in between weight training and interval workouts can also serve as active recovery.

Not everyone has access to a full flight of stadium steps, as you might find at a local University. Running flights of stairs in a high rise is another effective and no-cost way to train on stairs. Although you can't truly sprint with twists and turns on each floor, you can jog/run.

No stairs? Hills will get the job done too and they may provide you with more flexibility in the length/duration of your intervals. I've found some big hills at just the right grade of incline that I can do 30-45 second runs up, with about 90-120 seconds walk down. Grassy hills are nice, when available, as they spare you some of the impact from running on the concrete.

Sprinting up stairs is not for everyone. If you have a history of health problems or orthopedic issues, check with your doctor before doing any kind of high intensity training and of course, don't train through the pain of injury. If you are significantly overweight, it may be a challenge just to walk up stairs, let alone run up, not to mention it might create undue stress on your joints. But as you get lighter and fitter, it's a challenge you might slowly work toward.

Be sure to build up gradually and adjust the workout based on your current health and fitness level. You could start with as few as 4-6 rounds and build up from there. You can also start with jogging up the stairs, then progress to running, then move to sprints. Be sure you are fully prepared and warmed up before attempting all out sprints as sprinting when unprepared is a notorious source of hamstring pulls.

Some coaches believe that running uphill is safer than sprinting flat surfaces. Writing for Staley Training.com, Coach Steven Morris says, "Another great reason to hill sprint: even an athlete with horrendous running form will be safe running hills. This is simply because the hill does NOT allow the athlete to over-stride nor does it allow them to reach top speed, both major factors in hamstring injuries."

Stair sprinting is a perfect complement to the cardio portion in my Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle program. If you're healthy and already fit, try this advanced interval workout and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results!

 

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Are You Destined For 8 Years Of Poor Health

Are You Destined For 8 Years Of Poor Health & Misery?
The Answer Might Surprise (And Scare) You...

 
2,900 Or More Days Of Misery In Your Future?!
 
But did you know that today's people have an average  healthy life expectancy of just 67 years?  In other words, this  is saying that you can expect 8 years of your life in poor health.  8 years!  That's 2,900+ days of poor health.  I don't  know about you, but that's not something I'm looking forward to. I sure think we can do better than 67 years of good health on this planet.  And you know what?  We can.

This number is an  average.  Like anything else, you don't have to be average if  you don't want to be.  The average person doesn't exercise  properly, if at all.  The average person doesn't know how to  make the right foods selections and maintain a healthy diet.  The average person doesn't apply themselves mentally and  emotionally to maintain relatively stress free living.
 
If this sounds a little bit too much like you, the good news is  you don't have to be this person any longer.  While it is a  shame that today's health, fitness, and diet industry is simply  confusing more people than it's helping, there are a few people  and organizations out there that can provide a realistic, effective and efficient approach to breaking past the average  healthy life span and living those years full of energy,  strength, and vitality.
 
I get questions from my Fat Burning Furnace newsletter and system readers all the  time, after going through the FBF materials, about how they  can't believe how little exercise is involved.  And even though  I've told them up front that they can let go of the aerobics or traditional cardio because of how powerful the FBF exercise really is, many still have trouble doing that.  
 
And what I tell them is directly related to the subject of life  expectancy and just how much time we really have in our lives. I tell them that having a lean, strong, and healthy body is great.  It's one of the most important things we can attain.  Period.  But, how much time is it worth to you?  That's the  question I asked myself over and over when seeking out my own  methods and developing the FBF methods.
 
Most people, after years and years of trial and error, come to  realize that spending several days and hours a week working out  is just not worth the trouble.  And carefully measuring your  food, counting calories, and depriving yourself of nutrient rich  foods like whole grain carbohydrates is also something that  shouldn't be necessary to enjoy a healthy and energy filled  life.  And it isn't.
 
How Much Time & Effort Is Minimally Required?
 
What we really should be focusing on is how much time and effort  is minimally required to get the results we're looking for.  Think about that.  Not how much, but how much is minimally required.  Remember, we've got just 67 healthy years as a starting point...If I valued my time on this planet, this is what I would be searching for.
 
If it really took hours and hours a week and all of that crazy  nutrition manipulation to burn fat, build muscle, strength, and cardiovascular health, I'm not sure I'd do it.  Not for very  long anyway.  I've tried that approach, for years, and if you  have you know it's no fun.  And it's just not realistic given  the demands our lives place on us in today's world.
 
But as I've mentioned before, you don't have to worry about that  kind of stuff anymore.  The principles in my FBF system allow  you to approach your genetic potential for a lean, strong, and healthy body in just minutes each week and with very simple  lifestyle changes.
 
Just 45 Minutes A Week...While Eating Delicious Foods?
 
My wife Kalen and I have been using the FBF principles for a few years now.  We work out  twice each week.  We even take a week off entirely every few  weeks or so.  We don't count calories.  We don't deprive ourselves of  the foods we love.  If it's our daughter's birthday, we enjoy some cake and ice cream .  We just work the FBF principles and continue to stay in  great shape day after day, week after week, year after year.
 
We work out so little because of the way the workouts are performed and created, and we eat with such flexibility because we stick with the FBF lifestyle, which gives you the power of  flexibility and variation that is lacking in most programs.
 
What I'm saying is that I've discovered what is minimally required to give me the health and body that I wanted.  And thousands  of my FBF students are doing it as well.  Sure I could add another day a week to my workouts, but at this point it would  actually be detrimental to my results.  I could also start  messing with my diet in all sorts of crazy ways, but that would just make my body angry and cause me unneeded stress.
 
So, I ask you, are you trying to find what's minimally required to get you the results you want?  If you truly value your time and the other worthy pursuits in your life, I'm suggesting that this is exactly what you should be doing.  If you don't, you may just end up being an average 67 year old with 8 years of poor health to look forward to.
 
By the way, if you haven't read my Fat Burning Furnace blueprint yet, you really want to go and do that right now. It took me years to learn all of the techniques and secrets my wife and I used to drop over 100 pounds of fat (see our pictures after you click the button below), totally reshape our bodies, boost our energy, and develop lasting health...but you can copy my plan just a few minutes from now with my Fat Burning Furnace system.

  • Discover How To Lose 42 Pounds & 10 Inches Off Your Waist In Just 45 Minutes A WEEK...
     
  • Or Learn How To Drop 59 Pounds & 8 Dress Sizes While Enjoying Yummy Foods All Day...

     

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The Best Way To Fire Up Your Metabolism, Burn Fat Fast & Developing Lasting Health

Ask ten people what type of exercise they should be doing to burn fat and fire up their metabolism and they'll all probably tell you the same thing.  They'll tell you that you need to do 30-40 minutes of moderately-paced aerobic exercise on a treadmill, elliptical machine, stair climber, etc. for 3-5 times per week. 

They'll probably also tell you that more is better…4 times per week would be better than 3, and 5 times per week would be even better.

People will tell you this because that's been and continues to be the mainstream recommendation for fat burning by many fitness professionals.  Get in a certain target heart rate and stay at that heart rate for 30 minutes or so, several times per week.  I am here to tell you there is a better way. 

Sure, you'll burn some calories while you're running to nowhere on a treadmill, but you won't make a complete physique transformation with this type of exercise alone.

In fact, this type of exercise can actually be counterproductive to burning fat.  Here are just a couple of reasons:

Long duration, lower intensity aerobics calls upon your stored body fat for energy during the sessions.  While this may sound good, this can actually cause your body to create more body fat in reserve after the workout is over to have ready for your next workout.  Yikes!

What's worse, this type of exercise when done frequently as typically suggested, trains your cardiovascular system to be efficient.  Again, while this sounds good, your heart and lungs can actually reduce their capacity for work as they are getting more efficient at doing easy work (your long duration, low intensity aerobic workouts), which reduces their ability to handle stress. 

This can lead to a host of other problems including higher change of heart attack.  You are only working within your current aerobic capacity because you're never challenging it to go beyond what it's capable of.   And anything that is easy will not yield results even close to what's challenging for the body to accomplish. 

Instead, you should be challenging the body to increase its capacity, so that it is stronger and able to deal with stress more easily.  How is this done?

The fastest and most efficient way to rev up your metabolism, burn fat faster, and develop lifelong health and fitness is to add lean muscle to your body through resistance training - period. You want life changing results in the quickest possible time? Get stronger and build some muscle. When you add lean muscle to your body you'll be literally turning your body into a fat burning machine!

Let's say that you were eating the amount of calories that allow you to maintain your current bodyweight, but began to add lean muscle to your body through proper resistance training…you'll need to use some of those calories you're eating to feed the new muscle, creating a calorie deficit in your body.

In addition, when you stimulate your body with proper resistance training like I teach my students, the repair and growth process will call upon your stored body fat for energy.  This calorie deficit combined with the repair and growth process will allow you to burn fat all day long, every day.  You'll even get these fat burning effects when you're sitting around doing nothing at all. 

Also, properly conducted resistance training actually increases your heart and lung's capacity for work.  By placing intense demands on your body, it is forced into being ready for anything you throw at it.  This makes you more resistant to cardiovascular health problems that plague most people...even those that exercise with aerobics frequently.

And the beauty is I've discovered that you don't have to spend much time working out to get the fat loss effects, and strength and muscle gains that will create this environment…you can actually get it done with 2 or 3 weekly workouts that last between 20 and 30 minutes, and even less time at an advanced level. 

And it's easy to make this type of exercise part of your life because of its efficiency…and it will help keep you lean and healthy for the rest of it...muscle is the stuff that fat burning furnaces are made of!  That I can promise you.

Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness. Rob created the world's most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his "Fat Burning Furnace" system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.


If you're thinking about using the Fat Burning Furnace system yourself, but still have a few questions, make sure you visit the
 Frequently Asked Questions  page.

Also, it may help to read about the success stories of others like you to see how people in similar situations have changed their bodies and their lives with the techniques in FBF.

But you may become anxious to get started on your new body right now, so you can also click the button below to get started right now. Remember, you have a full 60 days to decide if it's right for you. If not, just email me and we'll issue you a full refund and I'll thank you for trying it out...it's that simple!
 

 

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Calorie Restriction For Life Extension: What They Didn't Tell You On Oprah



On a recent episode of the Oprah show, one of the guests was a 51 year old man with the heart of a 20 year old. He's been following a calorie restriction plan and they said he might be one of the first people to reach 120 years old by following this plan. There have been stories both in the lay press and scientific press about calorie restriction for years and it has been a frequent talk show topic on other many other TV shows. However, before you cut your calories in half in hopes of adding another decade onto your life, you'd better get the other half of the story they didn't talk about on Oprah.

I've seen a lot of strange things in the health field, and although calorie restriction (CR) is the subject of serious and legitimate scientific study, I consider CR to be one of those strange things. Of course, that's because I choose a different lifestyle - the muscle-friendly Burn The fat, Feed The Muscle lifestyle - but there's more than one reason why I'm not a CR advocate:

Hunger while dieting is almost always a challenge. There's some hunger even with conservative calorie deficits of 15-20% under maintenance. Prolonged hunger is one of the biggest reasons people fall off the weight loss diet wagon because it's unpleasant and difficult to resist. This is why pharmaceutical and supplement companies spend millions of dollars on researching, developing and marketing appetite suppressants. Yet CR advocates put themselves through 30-50% calorie restriction on a daily basis as a way of life in the hopes of extending life span or health.

Practitioners of CR follow a low-calorie lifestyle, but technically, they are not in a chronic 30% calorie deficit. That would be impossible. What happens is their metabolisms get very slow (that's part of the idea behind CR; if you slow down your metabolism, you allegedly slow down aging). So a 6 foot tall man who would normally require nearly 3,000 calories to maintain his weight, might eventually reach an energy balance at only 1800 or 1900 calories. This is not just due to a 'starvation mode' phenomenon, that's only part of it. It's primarily because he loses weight until he is very thin and his smaller body doesn't need many calories any more.

Does caloric restriction really extend lifespan?

The biological mechanisms of lifespan extension through calorie restriction are not fully understood, but researchers say it may involve alterations in energy metabolism (as mentioned above), reduced oxidative damage, improvements in insulin sensitivity, reduction of glycation, modulation of protein metabolism, downregulation of pro-inflammatory genes and functional changes in both neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous systems.

Mouse studies on CR go back as far as 1935 and monkey studies began in the late 1980's. So far the results are clear on one thing: caloric restriction does increase lifespan in rodents and other lower species (yeast, worms and flies). Studies suggest the life of the laboratory rat is 25% longer with CR (even longer with aggressive CR). Primate studies are still underway and humans have been experimenting with CR for some time. In primates and humans, biomarkers of aging show signs of slower aging with CR. This makes many proponents talk about this CR as if it were a sure-thing, already proven through double-blind randomized clinical human trials.

The truth is, there is NO direct experimental evidence that you will live longer from practicing CR. Due to the length of human lifespans, we will not have the necessary data for at least another generation and perhaps multiple generations. Even then, it will still be highly speculative whether CR will extend human life at all and if so how much. We can only estimate. I've seen guesses in the scientific literature ranging from 3 to 13 years, if CR is practiced for an entire adult lifetime.

Jay Phelan, a biologist at UCLA is skeptical. He says the potential life extension is on the lower end of that range and the increase is so small that it's not worth the semi-starvation:

"There is no current evidence that lifelong caloric restriction leads to increased lifespan in primates. It's certainly tantalizing that things like blood pressure or heart rate look as though they are a lot healthier and I believe they are. Whether or not this translates to a significantly increased lifespan, I don't know. I predict that it doesn't."

I don't quibble qualitatively with their results. Yes, it will increase lifespan, but it will not increase it by 50% or 60%, it won't increase it by 20% or 10%, it might increase it by 2%. So if you tell me that I have to do something horrible for every day of my life for a 2% benefit - for an extra year of life - I say no thanks."

 

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Is prolonged caloric restriction unhealthy?

When caloric restriction is practiced with optimal nutrition (CRON), it is not inherently unhealthy. Actually, it appears the reverse is true. First, the weight loss that comes with the low calories produces improvements in the health markers, as you would expect. Second, the meticulous choice of food from CRON practitioners, where they pick high nutrient foods and avoid empty calories means that they are making healthy food choices. Third, advocates say that the CR itself improves health. I wonder, however, how much does CR improve health independent of the weight loss and the optimal nutrition?

By losing fat and maintaining an ideal body composition (the fat to muscle ratio) and eating high nutrient density foods, I propose that even at a more normal caloric intake, you will get very significant health and longevity benefits. I also propose that gaining muscle in a natural way (no steroids) will increase your quality of life today and as you get older.

Aside from the fact that we are not lab rats, the truth is, none of us knows when our day will come. We could get plucked off this physical plane at any moment and have no control over how it happens. My belief is that we should make our lifestyle decisions based on quality of life, not just quantity of life. That includes our quality of life today as well as our anticipated quality of life when we are older. Maybe we ought to be focusing more on "health span" than life span.

Downsides of calorie restriction for life extension

One fact about calorie restriction that they often don't mention on these talk shows is that the benefits of CR decline if you start CR at a later age. This was discussed in a research paper from the Journal of Nutrition called, "Starving for life: what animal studies can and cannot tell us about the use of caloric restriction to prolong human lifespan." The author of the paper, John Speakman from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said that the later in life you begin to practice CR, the less of an increase in lifespan you will achieve. Even if the CR proponents are right, if you started in your late 40's or mid 50's for example, the benefit would be minimal. If you started in your 60's the effect would be almost nonexistent. Essentially, you have to "starve for life" to get the benefits.

While some CR proponents claim that they aren't hungry and they cite studies suggesting that hunger decreases during starvation, Speakman and other researchers say that hunger remains a big problem during CR - especially in today's modern society where we are surrounded with convenience food and numerous eating cues - and that alone makes CR impractical:

"Neuroendocrine profiles support the idea that animals under CR are continuously hungry. The feasibility of restricting intake in humans for many decades is questionable."

Let's suppose for a moment that CR is totally legit and the claims are true. Many of the proposed benefits of CR come at the expense of what many of us are trying to do here: gain and maintain lean body mass. One spokesman for CR is 6 feet tall and 130 pounds. Another poster boy for CR is 6 foot tall and 115 lbs. Measurements of rodents under CR not only show large reductions in skeletal muscle but also bone mass.

I am not suggesting that these CR practitioners are anorexic, a concern that has been raised about CR when practiced aggressively. However, they are losing large amounts of fat-free tissue and that is plainly obvious for all to see when you look at their bony physiques. I am not imposing my body standards on others, but 115 to 130 lbs at 6 foot tall is underweight for a man by any standard. Furthermore, researchers say that at the body mass indices sustained by most voluntary CR practitioners, we would expect females to become amenorrheic. "One thing that is completely incompatible with a CR lifestyle is reproduction" says Speakman.

With that kind of atrophy, I have to wonder what their quality of life will be like in old age. While many people struggle with body fat for most of their adult lives, I'm sure almost everyone knows an elderly person who wrestles with the opposite problem: they are seriously underweight and they struggle to eat enough and maintain lean body mass.

My grandmother, before she passed away, was under 80 lbs. We could not get her to eat. She was weak and very frail. I have reported many times about the research showing how most overweight people under estimate calorie intake and eat more than they think or admit. In elder care homes, the research has often showed the opposite - the patients over estimate how much they eat. They swear they are eating enough, but they arent and they keep losing dangerous amounts of weight. With underweight, atrophied seniors, weakness means less functionality and lower quality of life and a fall can mean more than broken bones, it can be life-threatening.

Life extension with more muscle

While there is a commonality between CRON and the way I recommend eating (high nutrient density, low calorie density foods), in most regards, CR is the opposite of my approach. In my Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle program, we go for a higher energy flux nutrition program, which means that because we are weight training and doing cardio and leading a very active lifestyle, we get to eat more. Because we are so active and well-trained, the eating more does not have a negative effect as it would on a sedentary person, who might get sick and fat from the additional calories. We active folks take those calories, burn them for energy, partition them into lean muscle tissue and we enjoy a faster metabolism and extremely high quality of life.

As a bodybuilder, CR is not compatible with my priorities, but hypothetically speaking, if I were to practice a lower calorie lifestyle, I wouldn't follow an aggressive CR approach. I'd probably do as the Okinawans do. They have a very simple philosophy: hari hachi bu: eat until you are only 80% full. While this does not mean there is a carefully measured 20% calorie deficit, it's consistent with what we practice in the Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle lifestyle for a fat loss phase, and avoiding overeating is certainly a smart way to avoid obesity and health problems. Incidentally, the Okinawans eat about 40% less than Americans, and 11% less than they should, according to standard caloric intake guidelines, and they live 4 years longer than Americans.

If someone is being "sold" on CR by an enthusiastic CR spokesperson, or simply curious after watching the latest TV talk show (where they are looking for controversial stories), it's important to know that there is more than one side to the story. If you carefully read the entire body of research on CR, you will see that the experts are split right down the middle in their opinions about whether CR will really work. CR for humans remains highly controversial and there are no guarantees that this will extend your life.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, MD put it this way:

"Because it is unlikely that an experimental study will ever be designed to address this question in humans, we respond that "we think we will never know for sure." We suggest that debate of this question is clearly an academic exercise."

In closing, let me go back to one of the original questions I was asked: "Can the BFFM food plan also be thought as a longevity lifestyle, but with more muscle mass?" Absolutely beautifully said! That's precisely what Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is.

I believe that by making healthy food choices but doing so at a higher level of calorie intake and expenditure, that we can fend off sarcopenia - the age related decline in muscle mass that debilitates many seniors - while enjoying a more muscular physique, greater strength, and a less restrictive lifestyle. Most gerontologists agree - by making simple lifestyle changes that include strength training and good nutrition, you can easily turn back the biological clock 10 years without going hungry.

 

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Can Stepping On A Treadmill Can Lead To Sickness, Injury Or Fat Burning Disaster?

The majority of exercisers today still rely on long duration moderate paced aerobic exercise as their primary routine for burning fat.  But there are several reasons why this is a bad move, as it can actually keep you from burning fat and reduce your ability to handle stress.  But there are a couple of other reasons why you should think twice, or three times, before stepping foot on a treadmill again. 

A few years ago, I was spending a lot of time with aerobic exercise on an elliptical machine, trying to burn fat fast.  I was doing the usual 30-45 minutes per session for about 3 times per week.  I was getting in better cardiovascular shape, or so I thought, but I didn't notice any difference in my physique.  So I followed the "more is better" thinking that surrounds this type of exercise and added a fourth day. 

After a few weeks I added a fifth day as I still didn't see the results I wanted.  I was watching my diet too, so I figured that was the only thing that would do it.  Well, it wasn't very long before I began to get worn out. 

This might seem obvious, but I was so focused on my goals of burning maximum fat that I didn't want that to get in the way, so I pressed onward.  Not many more days passed by and I got a cold.  What I realized later was that my immune system was so worn down that I was very susceptible to catching a virus, and I did. 

Guess what? I didn't stop.  I continued with my sessions and ended up with a horrible sinus infection that put me out for about a week and a half.  I was miserable, and I can tell you I hadn't burned much fat either.  I had to take several days off of work to recover.  I learned an important lesson, however; one that you should never have to: listen to your body.

If you are feeling drained, take a day or two off until you're really feeling ready to get back to it.  I also learned that aerobic exercise just doesn't cut it when trying to transform your body for the better or burn fat fast.  If 5 days per week didn't work, I certainly don't think 6 or 7 days would.  And even if it did, would spending that much time in the gym be worth it to you?

I eventually discovered that the aerobics were training my body to actually store body fat to have available for the next workout…yikes!  And I also found out that I was actually reducing my body's ability handle work and stress.  I was becoming more efficient and handling easy work, but it made me pant like a race horse when trying anything that was marginally more intense...even something like climbing a long flight of stairs.  And I wasn't burning any fat either.

The other concern I have with aerobic exercise is that of overuse injuries and muscle imbalances. These are common in competitive athletes that perform the same monotonous motion over and over and over again. 

The muscles primarily involved in these activities also receive the brunt of the work while the rest of your body is neglected.  This can be true for any of the aerobic movements recommended by many fitness professionals to burn fat because it is a repetitive motion continued for long time periods for several times each week, affecting the same muscle groups. 

Runners are a prime example.  The pounding that this activity gives the joints associated (knees, etc.) can lead to injury from overusing that area.  And because the lower body receives the brunt of the work, you are creating severe imbalances with other areas of your body.  You'll have to add more exercise to make up for this, and before you know it, you'll be spending too much of your time devoted to workouts that were supposed to burn fat fast.

The good news is that you can avoid these problems entirely, and spend an average of 15-20 minutes, 2-3 days per week performing properly conducted intense resistance training to burn fat like you want to. 

Students of my Fat Burning Furnace system know this and simultaneously burn fat, build muscle, strength, and lasting health with their efforts.  So get off of the treadmill and get intense with resistance training…your body will show you the difference in your fat burning success, and thank you for it down the road.


Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world's most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his "Fat Burning Furnace" system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.


If you're thinking about using the Fat Burning Furnace system yourself, but still have a few questions, make sure you visit the
Frequently Asked Questions page. 

Also, it may help to read about the success stories of others like you to see how people in similar situations have changed their bodies and their lives with the techniques in FBF.

But you may become anxious to get started on your new body right now, so you can also click the button below to get started right away.  Remember, you have a full 60 days to decide if it's right for you.  If not, just email me and we'll issue you a full refund and I'll thank you for trying it out...it's that simple!
  

 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

 

 

 

 

 

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