Health & Wellness & Exercise


Ab Circle Pro 2.0 – still crap


Dr. Bill Sukala TVNZ expose on the Ab Circle ProThe ab circle pro is back.   Well the ads are, and a ’2.0′ gets added.  But it’s still crap.

As I have already blogged that the Ab Circle Pro is a scam.

It was reviewed by clinical exercise physiologist, Dr William Sukala (a VERY knowledgeable guy!) who hammered the claims in detail in his post here.

He went on to review the new ad Ab Circle Pro 2.0 ad here, and says:

The only things left after a nuclear blast? Cockroaches and the Ab Circle Pro V 2.0
I had hoped the Ab Circle Pro would die a quick death after my exhaustive product review from June of last year (Ab Circle Pro Review: Fat Marketing Claims Thin on Truth).  The article went viral across the global fitness industry and I received a tremendous number of supportive emails and not a single negative one (a sign that legitimate exercise professionals are fed up with the product).   But much to my chagrin, Jennifer Nicole Lee is back with a rehashed version of the product not so creatively dubbed the Ab Circle Pro version 2.0.  As far as I can tell, V 2.0 appears to be virtually the same as the 1.0 model without any noticeable structural changes.  The only appreciable difference I noticed had nothing to do with the product, but more to do with their questionable marketing and barely legal claims.

In summary he states:

Ab Circle Pro V 2.0:  New and Improved Garbage


Bottom line:  I advise consumers NOT to purchase the Ab Circle Pro 2.0

I could not agree more.  DO NOT BUY ONE!

This product does NOT do what it claims, and is pandering to the inherent laziness in us all (hey who doesn’t want the magic bullet – perfect body for no work?  But sorry, it just doesn’t work that way).

But don’t believe me, have a look at any of these:

Black and White Version: The Ab Circle Pro is a scam, and does NOT do what it claims.  Don’t buy one (can I be any more black and white here?)

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Paleo Diet – updated log


I am updating my post on my new eating regime, with daily info on what I am eating, and how I am feeling (the important bit).

The log and post on the Paleo diet can be found here.

Some observations I would make about reactions from friends that hear I am doing it:

  • It’s clear there is LOTS of mis information out there about what to eat to be healthy.  Lots of people talk about protein, carbs, fat etc, but not a lot of talk about FOOD.
  • The vast majority of people think a diet is to lose weight (I ain’t trying to lose anything here)
  • People seam to get the basic premise: eat food not stuff; eat food we were, in evolutionary terms, designed to eat; don’t eat plant foods that tries not to be eaten1 (i.e. has chemicals that fight proper digestion)
  • Most people think fat is bad.  A few think it’s just saturated fat that’s bad.  Only a handful get that neither is overly true – if there is one bad fat, it’s transfat (an unsaturated fat).
  • Almost no one gets that the worst things in western diets is sugar.  If one thing is evil, it’s sugar! (fructose being the worst).
  • People really do want black and white stuff – this is good, that is bad.  Life ain’t like that (yep – and I do see the irony about this blog (whiteandblack) blogging about that – life AIN’T like that, but people WANT it to be – hence this blog)

Note 1: It was pointed out to me by a few people that almost all animals try not to be eaten (mainly by running away if they get a chance), so the distinction is made above about plants that try not to be eaten.  AKA grains, or potatoes (try eating one raw and see what happens).

The more I read about the Paleo diet the more it seams clear that a number of proponents believe (limited) diary is OK, like PaNu.  Also most allow small amounts of caffeine (aka coffee) and alcohol – not because they are inherently good for you, or somehow a Paleo thing, but just coz they know people will consume them anyway, and they aren’t that bad for you when one looks at the big picture.

Update 22 Feb: My log now has a “cheats” section for each day – ie how well did I stick to the strict Paleo way.

Black and White Version: I am still learning about this area, but it’s clear what I thought was fact relating to healthy eating (e.g. low fat, high complex carb) was WAY wrong.

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Paleo Diet – a 30 day trial


I am trying a new eating plan.  I prefer not to use the term diet, as it implies something based on restrictions, and also a temporary thing (one goes on and off a diet).

Anyway, I am trying a Paleo (Paleolithic) diet, which I started yesterday (Wednesday 16th February 2011).   For those that haven’t heard of this it’s based around the idea that we should eat what we have been designed to eat, and did eat, for hundreds of thousands of years, and cut out all the modern crap that has been introduced in relatively recent times (in evolutionary terms that means the last 10,000 years or so).  So that means eating meat, veges, and to a lesser degree fruit and nuts.  No grains (yep, no bread) even wholemeal types, rice, and of course sugar is just evil (mind you it always has been eh?).  Dairy is out too.

I am trying this eating plan for a number of reasons:

  • It fits with my philosophy of exercise – do what we (as humans) are designed to do, not what some guy invented or discovered last week
  • It makes sense to me from what I have read so far
  • It’s not extreme in that I don’t need to change my eating patterns in any massive way (although some bits will be more of a challenge, like breakfast)
  • It’s based on back to basics – eating FOOD not STUFF.  There are no special foods to buy (no one tries to sell you any), it’s about eating proper food and eating how we are designed to eat – good food!

So, I have decided to try it for 30 days.  See how I feel, see how my workouts go, see how my body reacts.

For more info see a great resource by Robb Wolf on the Paleo diet. I’ve recently read his book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet – highly recommended – an easy read, entertaining yet highly informative and based on science.

Anyway .. I am gonna give it a go, and provide updates here.  Table of progress last updated Friday 25th Feb 2011


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Exercise and nutrition tips for exercisers


Due to popular request (or more correctly, continual hinting by my mate Rhys in Sydney) here is the first in the series of detailed posts on exercise and nutrition.  This post is written for what I call the middle group, people who exercise a bit already, but want better results, people who kinda are aware of what they eat, but know deep down they probably need to do better.

While this post is NOT intended for someone who doesn’t exercise, some of the tips still apply.  I will do separate posts for the great unwashed (ie non exercisers) later.  It’s also not written for those after elite hyper performance, and for who cutting 0.03 seconds of their 100m time matters, or who need to train for 4 hours+ a day to get the performance they need. 

This IS written for most people that currently go to a gym, or do some other form of structured exercise for the purpose of health/looking good and feeling better.

I need to start with a brief disclaimer: Although I work in the exercise industry (and have done for for 20+ years), and owned gyms for most of that time, I am NOT an exercise professional.  I am fortunate in that I regular present at and attend fitness/exercise conferences around the world each year and get to hang out with the worlds best exercise gurus, and pick their brains for the very best ideas.   I also work out myself and have done for 20+ years,  and I am simply sharing my experience from this about what works (for me, and others I have observed), what doesn’t, and how to get the best bang for your buck in terms of effort in and results out.

If you are in NZ, the best way to get great exercise advice for you is to use the services of a Registered exercise professional (the link takes you to a search engine so you can find one!), so go on, do that now.

OK .. so … on with the show.  This turned into one BIG post, with LOTS of stuff, so read on …. (more…)

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Gym Memberships Sale


Thought about joining a gym but still coming up with an excuse (kinda like the same ones for quitting smoking I guess, or the diet starts tomorrow stuff)?

Anyway .. here’s your chance to get in now and get your gym membership subsidised by AT LEAST 40%.  The offer starts on 1 August 2010, so if you are reading this before then, get in now before the rush!

Click on the image below to be taken to the web site of FitnessNZ, who is offering subsidised memberships at over 100 exercise facilities (gyms) around New Zealand.

There are some terms and conditions (which are all listed on the FitnessNZ web site), but the key ones are:

  • This is designed to encourage NEW people into exercise, so current members (and certain past members) are not eligible
  • There is a VERY limited number at each facility available – and this depends on the facility, so if you are interested get in now!
  • You CAN buy this for someone else if you like, but they need to meet the criteria (i.e. a new member).

Black and White Version: Subsidised gym memberships available for a limited time – get one now!

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AbCirclePro is crap and here is proof


Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

Anyone who works in the exercise industry knows how frustrating it is to watch infomercials about exercise equipment on TV, as they (almost) all have so many over the top claims and are based on faulty (or no) science and some are what I would call a scam.

There are so many things these ads do wrong, but the key things they do are:

  • inflated claims
  • replying on small print (“results may vary” or “in conjunction with a calorie controlled diet)
  • the myth of spot reduction (i.e. doing abs exercises means you lose weight off your abs).  It doesn’t work that way – EVER!
  • I will stop there coz my list is gonna get long REAL quick.  Best I pass this to an expert …..

Anyway .. here is proof for one of the worst offenders, the AbCirclePro. A college of mine William Sukala undertook a comprehensive review of this machine, along with a peer review of his work.  The infomercial itself is in the YouTube video below.

Update July 2011: There is now a 2.0 version of the AbCirclePro.  It’s still crap, but if you want to read about it see this post on the Ab Circle Pro 2.0 scam.

Black and White Version: AbCirclePro is basically a product based scam.  Be warned.

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Free tools for fitness businesses


I have started to build some tools for those interested in starting or running a fitness business (fitness centre, PT stuido etc).

My first one is a cash flow template which I have put on my free tools page of my web site.  This template calculates the forward cash-flow of a fitness business based on the constraints and values entered by the user.  Variables include staff costs, lease costs (including any rent free periods), sales (with an allowance for higher initial sales), retention rate, pricing, staffing levels, costs of borrowing, initial set up costs etc.   Instructions all on the 1st tab.

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Sprinter vs marathon runner

Exercise, food and weight loss – the low down


OK, this post is something I have been meaning to write for quite some time.  Consistent with the idea behind this site (i.e. black and white), it’s gonna get straight to the point, make a bunch of assumptions, and say “how it is” in very simple language. You should therefore read the disclaimer at the end :-)   Oh, and PLEASE PLEASE ignore any ads from pages I link to, I like the content on the pages, but seldom the ads!

I have come to the views on this page thought my experience in the fitness industry (20 years plus as of 2010), talking to some of the worlds leading experts on exercise when I travel the world at attend exercise conferences and generally my own research, experience, and collected views on things.

The VERY short version:

  1. Do any exercise
  2. Worry less about calories and more about WHAT you eat
  3. If you already exercise do MORE of Resistance Training, do MORE of High Intensity Interval Training, do LESS of Steady State Cardio (especially long runs) and do ANYTHING you enjoy
  4. It’s OK to ask for help – get a Personal Trainer, or even a friend to exercise with

That’s it.  End of post.  Well almost, let me explain it a little more, actually, let me explain A LOT:


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Gyms in the news


The fitness industry hit the headlines this morning with a front page story in the NZ Herlad (the largest paper in NZ for overseas readers).

Full story here

Oh, did I mention I was quoted in it several times? :-)

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What I want in a treadmill …


I think this might be my first post on a topic that I have (some degree of) expertise in.

Not because I have worked in the fitness industry for over 20 years, not because I have owed more than one gym for 15 years+, not even because I present internationally on a bunch of fitness issues, but because I am a user of treadmills for several years.  So that makes anyone reading this who has done the same an expert too.

So here’s my advice to treadmill manufacturers, because I haven’t seen ANY of them nail it yet. (more…)

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