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Click Here for a more comprehensive list of articles and features.
DIET & NUTRITION:
Body Fat Percentage Calculator
Celebrity Diet Plans
Practical 'Weight-loss' Tips
The Santa Claus Diet

EXERCISE & TRAINING:
ABCs of Building Muscle
Basic Weightlifting Tips
How to develop a beer belly!
How to develop a six-pack!
Training Plans for Running Events

PERSONAL STORIES & ENCOURAGEMENT:
Confessions of an Ectomorph!*
Killer Lifestyles*
Reverse the Signs of Aging*
Should Men Shave Their Chest?

* Articles marked with an asterisk are still in process.


Use our Body-Fat Calculator in Your Program, or to Promote Your Web-site.
















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Announcements


June, 2014


We're building a Wellness Program that monitors Body-Fat % rather than Weight, and we need your feedback:

Body-fat % is a more important measurement than body-weight: Your weight often increases when making your greatest progress, especially when you start a new fitness program.
IE: The scale can be very discouraging at a time when you're getting stronger, healthier, and 'prettier'! Body-fat % is a much better measure of progress.
Here's a link to the app we want to build into a Wellness Program: www.DaveDraper.com/bodyfat-calculator.html

Please take the quick survey below. There are just 3 questions, plus room for comments and suggestions:
This product will take lots of time and resources to build, so your feedback will be helpful and encouraging. Thanks in advance for your help!


Why are we building a Wellness Program?

After we updated the Body-Fat % Calculator in May, we got a great deal of feedback from trainers, gyms, and enthsuiasts who are using this tool for clients and themselves on a regular basis. We're happy that people are using it, but the free app doesn't serve well as a program - You can't save data or easily monitor progress.

There seems to be a need for a user-friendly and encouraging Wellness Program out there, and we would be honored to provide it.
In the mean time, please feel free to use the app provided on our site, or on affiliated sites.


Our body-fat % calculator got an upgrade and a facelift:

We made two major changes to our app last week, to improve your results and your experience:
1. We updated the formula for men:
We originally found the DOD formula to be more accurate under normal circumstances. But since then, we found that the Modified YMCA method provides a slightly better result for people who are unusually tall or short; so we decided to combine the results of the DOD formula and the Modified YMCA method. This combination provides a good result under all scenarios.
2. The look and feel was updated:
Our body-fat percentage calculator is flexible, acccurate, and easy to use for everyone!
You can choose the Metric Measurement System or the American System.
Choose 'Male' or 'Female' and watch what happens! Options and descriptions are customized by gender.
www.SevenMealsADay.com/pages/bodyfat.asp


May, 2014


This month marks a 10-year anniversary of sorts:

10 years ago this month. I weighed 275 pounds, and was at the very height of strength-training:
350 raw bench; 500 squat; 475 DL - I started with a 6-4 skinny frame, and became a power-lifter, with NO DRUGS. In 7 years, I packed on 95lbs of muscle!

That month, I decided to take up jogging (JOGGING!), and martial arts with my daughter, Miah. 4 years later, I had a black belt and was volunteering as a martial arts instructor. After 6 years of this new training and eating regiment, I weighed 210, and did a half marathon in 1:45.

My fitness goals have been drifting since then, as I pour most of my time into ProjectedFinancialStatements.com,

but I'm starting to get an inkling of an idea. I may start looking into cross-fit competitions, or something else that's measurable and objective.

Any thoughts?
Share your story with us, including photos if you like. If I find it inspirational, I'll publish it.

Tony President and Founder, 7MealsADay.com


March, 2014


Reduce the signs of aging, or increase them. It's up to you!

Personal opinion time: Brace yourself!
90% of the time, losing weight should NOT be your goal in the gym! I have seen so many before photos that look a ton better than the after photos.
Skinny is not healthy! Healthy is healthy!
If I can find time, I'm going to do an article (rant) on ways to radically reduce the signs of aging - from the neck down. Oh there are signs!
And most after photos show a person that looks 15 years older!

Random workout notes: What a great arm workout!

I did 5 sets at lunch with the cards, plus sets of 15 wrist curls:
  • Hand-stand presses - only halfway down.
  • DB curls - 35lb each.
  • DB tri extensions - 2*25 pounders held together the entire time. Try it!
  • wrist curls - just 25 pounders, but what fun!
    I love super-sets!
    The cards were kind to me, except I pulled a queen on the last set. Nice!

    I finished with 1 cool-down set and 15 minutes on a bike while eating a 24g protein bar; then a shower, and another meal - chili.

    My arms and shoulders felt like balloons! But alas, the pump doesn't last long.
    I'm looking forward to the next time, though!!!!!!


    January, 2014:

    I gained 15 pounds of muscle in 3 months!:


    I hadn't stepped on a scale since September, till last week that is:
    Drum roll please.................
    245lbs!
    I've gained 20 pounds in 3 months! At least 70% of it was muscle! This is significant, and some would say, impossible; so I'd like to quickly share how it was done:
  • I ate 6 to 7 meals a day - a meal with protein every 3 hours; a meal immediately after each workout then 1-hour after each workout; and if I get up in the middle of the night, I'll eat something with at least 10g of protein and no carbs. I cannot over-stress the importance of eating every 2 to 3 hours - especially for ectomorphs like me.
  • I cut my jogging in half. I was approaching 20 miles a week in October. Since then I cut it to 6 to 10 a week - And jogging is sometimes replaced by 1/2 hour on a bike.
  • I was 50 pounds below my peak weight in October. I have weighed as much as 275 with a 12% body-fat-ratio. If you've 'been there' before, it's easier to get back. Some call that 'muscle memory'.
  • I've been working out at home - 3 days a week for about 30 minutes, with a chin-up bar, 25lb dumbbells, a harness, and a few stretch-bands. Other than last week's one-hour visit to Kore7, this is all I've done in the gym!
    I'll state it clearly: Exercise is not as important as nutrition! I'm 51, so this is a significant accomplishment. I share this as an encouragement and as a plea - get your eating habits right and you can accomplish your fitness goals!.

    I think I could have gained more muscle and less fat, but I cheated like crazy in December: I missed at least one meal a week, I had 1 to 2 evening cheat meals a week, and I missed a ton of work-outs!

    I'm not superman! In fact, I'm a 'hard-gainer' - Someone who has a very difficult time building muscle. All I'm saying is this: If I can do it, anyone can do it! Go make it happen!


    Gym Review - Kore7 Fitness in Lewis Center, Ohio:

    Written by Tony Gruber.

    I moved to a new town recently, so I'm looking for a new gym. While I'm on the hunt, I'm going to take the opportunity to write a few reviews! I hope to review at least a half dozen gyms over the next couple months.
    Fair warning - My reviews will be very biased and subjective, based on my specific 'needs':
  • Enough Free Weights to go around.
  • More than one Incline and Flat Bench Press.
  • WG chin bars. Surprisingly; some gyms don't have these. I guess this isn't a popular movement in some circles.
  • People who know how to spot - staff members, or fitness members who have been around a weight room.
  • Strong 'cages'. The cage-type racks are very versatile. They can be used for squats, bench, OH presses, and so much more!
  • Resistance chains for plyometrics, bands, harnesses, etc. - A good variety of helpful accessories.
  • Floor space for lunges and other movements, like OH push-ups.
  • A dip bar. It seems not every gym has one; this is mystifying to me!
  • Easy on the budget. I wouldn't pretend to write a helpful review about things of no interest to me personally - like spinning classes, or kick-boxing routines; but if your needs line up with mine, even a little bit, you should find this information helpful.
    Here we go!

    Kore7 Fitness:
    Kore7 is a Central Ohio franchise with several locations. The Lewis Center location is fairly small, which is fine. My overall impression of Kore7 was very good! The equipment was in good shape, the staff was well-trained and friendly, the place was clean, and the over-all atmosphere was positive. I wouldn't have chosen the music they play, but at least it wasn't speed metal! FYI: I like (blistering fast Heavy Metal) in doses, but not for an entire workout.
      How did Kore7 they meet my 'Kore' gym requirements?
      It's a pretty good place. If they were closer to home, they might have become my new gym!
      They had plenty of free-weights to go around, and the incline and flat benches were sturdy enough to support plenty of weight.
      There were no chains - That's pretty typical, but they did have plenty of harnesses, prehab/rehab bands, and bars. That was a pleasant surprise.
      I counted 4 chin-up bars! For a place so small, that was amazing!
      There was plenty of floor space, but not a great deal of wall-space without a mirror or a window. Hand-stand push-ups are a thing now! but there's not much space for them at Kore7.
      There was only 1 dip bar, and it didn't look very strong. It was one of those weight-assisted chin-up/dip machines: Not a good place to do weighted dips - I'd have been afraid to hang more than 45lbs from my waist!
      The fees were very low - almost too low. That's not a complaint, except I hope they are charging enough to stay in business. It's a good gym, so I hope they do well!

    My (list of requirements) is very picky, so I'm pleased when a gym meets the first 4 criteria; and I'm thrilled to get a couple additional items! That's why my overall impression of Kore7 is positive, though I cited a number of criticisms above.

    We'll post several gym reviews here, for the north-central Ohio area; and we'll consider adding reviews for other cities at a later date.


    August, 2012:


    Celebrities (and agents); we'd like to post your diet (and fitness routine) on 7MealsADay.com.


    We want to provide overwhelming evidence about how simple it is to get in shape: There's so much misinformation out there, it's easy for people to get confused. Every celebrity post helps support the truth, and that will help people get in shape!

    If you are a celebrity who is known for your superior physique, please send us your daily diet and your daily workout routine. Please also send any other information you'd like people to know about you.

    There are two main criteria for a celebrity's diet to be posted on 7MealsADay:
    1. They must be honest: Arnold Schwarzenegger's diet isn't posted because he's notorious for being dishonest about his routines, his diet, etc.. Please understand; I mean no disrespect to Mr. Schwarzenegger. He is an icon, and he seems to be a quality individual. But he is famous for playing practical jokes and feeding people miss-information. He has slung so much bull, it's impossible to know what's real!
    2. They must have achieved success without drugs. For example: Dave Draper won Mr. Universe without taking drugs. He then succumbed to peer pressure for a short period of time. Lou Ferrigno was also clean for most of his career: Both these elite athletes are quality people with something to say about how to get there without drugs. They did it; you can do it too!


    July, 2012:


    More FAQs were added, and more are on the way:

    We organized Frequently Asked Questions into several categories, and we added a bunch more questions to the page.

    Please E-mail us if you have any general questions about fitness, nutrition, or reaching your goals in the gym. Your question could be posted on our FAQ page!


    January, 2012:


    Snow-Shovel Workout.

    I had a ton of snow to move off my sidewalk, and it was interrupting chest day; so I decided to make the best of it by turning the chore into a workout:
    I warmed up by shoveling the driveway in a normal fashion, and shoveling a single strip along the long sidewalk.
    After the 'warm-up', I stood at one end of the strip and pushed a shovel full of snow off the sidewalk with one hand. I'd do that 15 times in a row, walk to the other end of the sidewalk, and do the same thing with the other hand. I was able to push 75 full shovels of snow with each arm, with 15 to 20 seconds between alternating sets.

    This turned out to be a great work-out! The snow was just heavy enough to make it a challenge without being too much for a 'high-rep routine'. And think about this!
    As you swipe the shovel along, it gets heavier: The progressive resistance and unpredictable variations (thanks to ice) couldn't have made a better workout.
    Sometimes, these natural movements are great! I'm still a big fan of the gym, but there's also something to be said about the challenges presented in nature: Doing chin-ups v. climbing a cliff. Treading on a Versa-climber v. pulling a sled on all fours (ala Stallone in Rocky IV).

    With the limited time available in my busy week, I'm always looking for creative (and time-effective) ways to get in a good workout. This was one of the more creative, and it turned to be very effective! I would say it was too intense to do on a weekly basis, actually.

    Send me your best creative workout idea. If it's good, I may share it next month.


    December, 2011:


    Coming soon! We're assembling the fitness routines of well-known celebrities.

    We're contacting male and female celebrities who are known for their superior physiques. We haven't heard back from any of them yet, but we're going to out on a limb and making this prediction: You'll find that most of them eat 6 to 8 meals a day; perhaps all of them.


    Attention all fitness nuts and medical professionals.

    I have a question about body-fat percentage categories established by the American Council on Exercise. They have a somewhat offensive "cliff" in their category grid; right after the "Acceptable" category.
    Are you aware of another guideline that is widely accepted? Please contact us if you are aware of a better grid.

    You have to admit. It's odd that one % point can get you from the "Acceptable" category to "OBESE!!!!!". I added the emphasis on that last word, but only because that's the way it reads if you find yourself in that category. Click here to see the body-fat %calculator with the grid, as a reference.


    Personal notes and observations.

    I had a great day on the jogging trail, then a huge set-back!
    A few weeks ago, I jogged 3 miles then popped into the house for a protein bar and some water for the cool-down walk. I looked at the clock and noticed that only 19 minutes had gone by.
    No way! Did I just jog 3 miles in 19 minutes! I double-checked the time; yep! 19 minutes. Then I re-mapped the route; yep! 3 miles.

    I have been adding print intervals to my jogging routine lately, just to shake things up (Sprinting at 75% intensity, then backing off to a jogging pace). I guess they work!
    Two days later, I set out for a 4 mile jog and decided to include intervals again. Why not! It's working, right? Not a good idea!
    About 2 miles into it, my 50-year-old calf muscle gave out. I limped home, and have been nursing it ever since. This is week 3, and I'm still not ready to push it. I think the lesson here is to keep the intense jogs down to once a week. I'm not planning to enter the Olympics anytime soon, so there's no need to risk injury, again!


    Protein Powder tastes really good with apple cider.
    Seriously!
    I thought I was mixing something that would taste crappy (just for the nutrition), but it tastes good!

    I'm just sayin...




    May, 2010:


    An ode to Vanilla Coke:


    Oh Vanilla Coke! you vixen. You temptress!
    If only you were made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup!
    Then maybe the temporary pleasure would be worth the long term consequences.

    I guess it wasn't meant to be........