The Non-Awesomeness of MSN Health Tips

Filed under: Training

I’m not gonna lie, I am a huge fan of It is my homepage, and where I like to get my daily dose of online news. Its not so much because it has great content, I am just used to the set up. It usually has some interesting and fairly unique rotating news stories at the top of the page. The one place where I feel MSN really struggles is in their “Health & Fitness” section. They spew a lot of the same crap that most educated professionals are working so hard to eradicate from the industry. They interview dietitians who give them the ridiculous Food Pyramid style advice that has made this country fat in the first place! And while recently they have begun to post info from some really smart guys, like Chad Waterbury and Bill Hartman, they usually choose attention hungry dumbasses who are just trying to make a buck. Like this:

Does this look challenging to anyone?

Does this look challenging to anyone?

“Grace Miastkowski, a mother of two in Rochelle Park, N.J., had a flash of inspiration during a recent home workout. To do an arm curl, she tied one end of some exercise tubing to a dumbbell, anchored the other end around the leg of her couch, then curled.”

“The magic behind this dynamic duo is simple: “You have to work harder to keep your body moving in a straight, steady line, so you really hit those hard-to-shape deep muscles,” explains Scott Berlinger, the founder of Full Throttle Endurance Training in New York City. Here, he’s revved up traditional dumbbell moves with the tubing-and-weight method to create a body-sculpting program that will tone you from head to toe.”

Really? And what exactly are those hard-to-shape deep muscles? Yeah that band must really stimulate those extra deep biceps brachii muscles that I just can’t reach! And tone me from head to toe? Haven’t we obliterated this myth yet? How is this garbage still around? You can not “tone” a muscle, a muscle can do 1 of 3 things: hypertrophy, atrophy, or stay the same. Granted, you can increase muscle density, and decrease intramuscular fat stores and subcutaneous fat to see more definition, but there is no such thing as a muscle “toning” exercise.

People need to stop buying into bullshit hype and learn 3 keys to getting slim and “tone”:

1. Put down the processed anything. Yes, this includes most whole wheat products, soda or pretty much anything in a box.

Reality = not much better than a bagel

Reality = not much better than a bagel

2. Lift weights. Real, challenging, heavy weights to build some muscle and burn some calories.

3. Put down the magazine. If you can read while you are “training”, then you are just spinning your wheels. Even with cardio it is still all about progressive overload.

Don’t believe everything you read, especially when it comes to training and nutrition. There are a lot of people out there who have no qualms about taking advantage of people who just do not know any better. As the old saying goes, if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is. Getting results might be simple, but simple does not equal easy. It does require actual hard work. So get to it.

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Posted on November 21st, 2008 by Brian St. Pierre


  1. Random T. Says:

    If you want to see a reader’s feedback :) , I rate this article for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn msn to find the missed bits. Thanks, anyway!

  2. Angel Says:

    You have definitely written your heart out man. Cool.
    I have learn’t a lot of new things i didn’t knew before.
    And saying that , i myself own a fitness site mentioned in the URL above.
    Hope i can learn from you .

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