Fitness News & Views

A Publication of Graham Fitness

May 15, 2015

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20


A Rate Increase Is Coming -

Buy Now and Save


I have not had a rate increase in five or six years. I can't even remember when it was. But I need to make the change. The change will begin on June 1st. However until that time, you may purchase as many sessions as you wish at the old rates. Even if you are an existing client with several sessions remaining on your last package, you may purchase more sessions at your current rate as long as you do so prior to June 1st.  

The new rates are listed below:


1 session


Quick Start (3 sessions plus Fitness Profile)


10 sessions


20 sessions


45 sessions



So you don't have to do the math, that's a $3 per session rate increase. All sessions are about an hour long. But remember, you can stock up now and save!





          If you are looking for an exercise that will help you both mentally and physically, here's a suggestion - dancing. According to a 21 year study of senior citizens, dancing is about the best thing you can do to ward off dementia. The study was undertaken by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and the results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

            The study determined that dancing reduces the risk of dementia more than bicycling, swimming, playing golf, reading, and doing crossword puzzles.    As a matter of fact, the results were not even close. Bicycling, swimming, and playing golf all had a zero percent effect in reducing the chance of getting dementia. Reading and working crossword puzzles did much better, reducing the risk by 35 and 47 percent respectively. But dancing far outperformed them all with a 76 percent risk reduction. Dancing, it seems, creates new neural paths in our brains because it requires dynamic and rapid fire decision making.

               But dancing also has other benefits. It reduces stress and depression and increases our energy. And like other exercises, dancing improves our flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance, as well as strengthening bones and boosting our cardiovascular health.

             So to stay young, vibrant, and mentally sharp well into your old age, take up dancing.


         It is important to vary your strength training routines periodically. Our muscles get used to being worked the same way, so it's necessary to change our workouts from time to time. We can do this by doing different exercises for specific body parts. For instance, if you've been doing lunges for a while, it might be time to do squats instead.

            Another way to add variety is do more advanced sets one day a week. There are several options. A few examples are super sets, slow sets, pyramids, negative sets, and drop sets. I can't cover all these in this newsletter, but let's briefly discuss pyramid sets today.   

            To do pyramids, you begin with a light weight and high reps and add weight and decrease the reps until you get to a weight you can only perform one or two reps. Then you reverse the order and begin dropping the weight and increasing the reps until you get back to the weight you started with. For instance, if you are doing biceps curls, you might begin with 12 pound dumbbells and do 20 reps, then go to 15 pounds and do 15 reps, and continue to increase the weight until you can only do a couple of reps. Then reverse the order until you get back to 12 pound dumbbells.

             Don't do any of the advanced sets every workout. They are most effective when used as an alternative workout about once a week. Since there are lots of options, mix them up for best results.




          One of the more frequently asked questions I get is: How much protein do I need on a daily basis? There is no perfect answer to this question. It depends on several factors such as how much you weigh and how much you are exercising.

           Protein helps to repair and build muscles when taken in conjunction with a weight lifting workout program. Protein without exercise will not build muscle.

         If you are fairly sedentary, you need less than one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, about .8 grams to be more exact. If you are doing strength and resistance workouts, i.e. weight lifting, you need between 1.2 and 1.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight every day. You can get by on slightly less if all you are doing is aerobic exercise, but if some strength and resistance exercise is not part of your program, it should be.

          To determine how much you weigh in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, that's approximately 68 kg (150 divided by 2.2). If you are sedentary, you need about 55 grams of protein a day (68 X 0.8), but if you are working out, including strength training, you need between 81 and 122 grams of protein daily, depending on the intensity of your workouts. (68 X 1.2 to 68 X 1.8)

         Protein sources are meat, fish, dairy, eggs, peanut butter, and legumes, including soybeans and all related soybean products. Even with a balanced diet, it still may be difficult to get all the protein you need. Therefore, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with a good protein bar or protein drink occasionally. You should also try to eat at least a little protein about 30 to 45 minutes before a strength and resistance workout and some more protein within an hour to 90 minutes after a workout. One word of caution though: Don't eat too much protein, because that puts stress on your kidneys.

         If I could give you only one piece of advice to improve your health and add to your longevity, it would be to exercise moderation in everything you do. A long-term on-going study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, supports the concept of moderation with running.

            The study followed 1100 healthy runners between the ages of 20 and 86 for up to 12 years. The results were not what you might expect. The study found that high-mileage, hard-charging runners don't live any longer than channel surfing couch potatoes. On the other hand, joggers who log one to 2½ hours a week at an easy 11 or 12 minute per mile pace, do live longer on average than both sedentary individuals and extreme runners.

            Runners who hit paces faster than about 8 minutes a mile for more than four hours a week suffered mortality rates that were the same as their sedentary counterparts. The researchers speculate that long-term strenuous endurance workouts may actually harm the heart and large arteries. These conclusions correspond to other studies I have seen that show a dramatic increase in atrial fibrillation in competitive runners.

            As a personal trainer, I believe running is an excellent exercise, but here, as with everything else in life, moderation seems to be the key.


             Daily life is ripe with opportunities to burn calories, but most people don't take advantage of them. Dr. James Levine at the Mayo Clinic has coined the acronym NEAT for non-exercise activity thermogenesis to describe these incidental calories burned throughout the day.

               According to Dr. Levine, daily energy expenditure for adults of similar size can vary by as much as 2000 calories a day, based in part on how much incidental movement occurs. Fidgeters, of which I might be the posterboy, can expend up to 350 additional calories a day over their non-fidgeting friends. Sure we drive our friends crazy, but, hey, 350 calories a day is 127,750 over the course of a year. That's about 37 pounds a year we use up that you don't. So stop telling me to be still. Here are some other facts you may find noteworthy:

    • A chair-bound office worker may burn 300 NEAT calories during the course of a day, whereas a cashier will use up approximately 1400.
    • Obese individuals sit for about 2.5 more hours a day than their lean sedentary counterparts. In other words, just getting up and walking around is beneficial.
    • A desk-bound man takes about 5000 steps a day compared to about 18,000 steps for an Amish man.

              Are you orthorexic? That's a new term for people who are obsessed with eating healthy. There's nothing wrong with eating healthy foods, but when it's all you think about, well, you've got a problem.

             Answer the following questions. The more 'yes' answers you have, the more likely you are to being orthorexic:

1. Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?  

2. Do you wish you could spend less time on food and more on living?  

3. Are you unable to eat a meal prepared by someone else without feeling guilty?  

4. Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?
5. Does life take a back seat to following the perfect diet?  

6. Do you feel self-loathing when you stray from your diet?  

7. Do you feel in control only when you stick to your diet?  

8. Are you a food snob and wonder how others can eat the way they eat?

              If those questions define you, you're orthorexic. Stop it, will you? You're driving yourself and everybody else crazy.

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              What is the best time of the day to workout? This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. The answer is simple: Whatever works best for you is the best time. Whether you workout in the morning, at lunchtime, or in the evening is a matter of personal preference.

              That said, there are some advantages to the morning. If you like to exercise outside, it's cooler in the morning. Research shows that people who exercise early tend to stick with their routines better than evening exercisers. That's primarily because work and social schedules don't get in the way as often.

              If achieving high performance is important to you, you might want to go with evening workouts. Flexibility, strength, endurance, and the ability to handle pain are all highest in the evenings. Another advantage is you tend to sleep better following evening workouts. Just make sure you exercise at least 2 hours before going to bed.

              For some people, lunchtime is the optimum time. Working out during lunch usually means you won't eat as much for lunch. It also energizes you for the remainder of the afternoon. To paraphrase Nike, it doesn't matter so much when you do it, just do it.

              A quote from Noureen DeWulf: "Yoga is the most boring exercise. It's for people who are too lazy to get on the elliptical. Bikram, where they heat up the room to match India's climate, is especially stupid. People in India are not skinny because they are doing yoga in 105-degree rooms; they're skinny because there's no food."

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Harbison Recreation Center
106 Hillpine Road
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: 781-2281

The Harbison Rec Center offers more facilities for less money than anywhere else in town These are just some of the features: a new weight room with all new machines, free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes; a 25 meter junior Olympic size indoor heated swimming pool; sauna; whirlpool; racquet ball and tennis courts; a basketball gym; and miles of traffic-free trails for walking or jogging. There are classes for seniors as well as summer camp and after school programs for kids. Also newly remodeled locker rooms and an all-purpose room for large gatherings. All for only $315 a year for singles or $600 a year for families Check out their website:

Wolf's Fitness Center
5432 August Road
Lexington, SC 29072
Phone: 356-6400

Wolf's is a total fitness facility offering some great amenities. There's a huge weight room featuring free weights and machines. There is a cardio area with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair steppers, and the cardio theater. Other amenities include an indoor walking/running track, sauna, child care facilities with an attendant, tanning beds, clean locker rooms and showers, and sports supplements. Prices are very reasonable and there are no enrollment fees ever. Wolf's also offers a full slate of fitness classes including kickboxing and pilates, as well as spinning classes. Check out their website, for rates and specials.



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