Super-Fit, Drop Dead

Super-Fit, Drop Dead!

The combination of trends of exercise and trends of nutrition are causing more harm than good!

These days you can prove that anything and everything works and you can even say that is all scientific so how can i explain that what are you doing does not align with your GOALS, is speeding up your ageing process, is making you spend more time of your week below base line ( energy levels ), is affecting your relationships due the stress that you are placing upon your hormonal levels, is making you moody!

Is that you?

Doesn’t have to be!

I am done being nice, the fitness industry is disgustingly chasing ignorants (i am not being rude, i am saying they don’t know what the are talking about) in the field of health, exercise and nutrition to buy in to this nonsense classes (trends) and drinks and the poor things are following like dominos one after the other, and i really don’t mind being the villain here if that is what it takes, and if i save one single life with this blog post i am happy to upset 1.000 or more!

Socialising! That’s a common excuse to engage in this lifestyle. Let’s cover this topic first before getting in reality evidence based exercise physiology and real food.


Socialise in the gym! Get a life! I mean it, if you don’t care that you are destroying your health for the sake of socialising in the gym, i am sorry but you need to get a better life. There are many ways of socialising that are far better than abusing your body and if the people that you care so much in the gym care about you back they will support you!

Compelling case;

Are athletes healthy?

When we analyse the statistics of health profiles of super fit athletes we can find that the means they employ to achieve this level of fitness and performance may actually undermine their health.  The reason athletes search for supra normal levels of fitness is generally their obsession with the particular activity and their personal development and achievements in the particular sport, if you ask any athlete if their first objective is health you will understand that they don’t train so much to become healthier, they do so to become the best! I can say by personal experience…

It’s a great reason but they are very aware, that injuries, overtraining, inflammation, fatigue and  pain, they all come along but in order to the higher goal to be achieved they push thru it!

You, that are looking to improve your health using exercise and nutrition as a tool to be healthier and live longer do you need to push thru it?


What’s the correlation between exercise and health?

The more the merrier?


Do you need to find the dose (stimulus) of exercise that will promote the positive adaptations in your cardiovascular-system, a safe and effective form of exercise that will make you stronger progressively, a workout that you will be able to do now and the same workout you will repeat when you are 60, 70, 80 years old.


There are so many people spending more hours in the gym nowadays than professional athletes train on the weekly basis.

Why general population that want to lose weight, be fit and healthy to enjoy life and recreational activities should be training like athletes or more than professional athletes?

Do you get my point?

Do you want to see your friends, invite them for dinner! Moving weights up and down and dancing away will only destroy the health of your joints for no reason at all…

Exercise in order to be productive it has to be intense, what is intensity? It’s your capacity of fatiguing your muscles to their maximum capability, and getting to this point safely (momentary muscular failure) will trigger the adaptive response that you are looking for!

We are talking about: RESISTANCE TRAINING

The only form of exercise that can change your genetic expression, body composition, natural hormonal environment, cardiovascular health, muscle mass and strength!

If you are stronger and most of the time fully recovered you will perform better in any activity that you put your body thru it. Fact.

Why should you waste you time, money, joint function, cortisol levels going thru the roof doing several classes a week and you still look flabby (skinny fat) and first break that you have from it, you put all the weight back on!

Is that you?

Doesn’t have to be!

You are simply losing muscle when you are dropping weight on the scale weekly! What happen when you lose weight but muscle quality was compromised in the process?

What happen to your metabolism, your energy levels when you lose muscle in your super fit 12 weeks transformation, biggest loser style?

I will tell you what happen! you are messing up so badly with your metabolism, your body’s mechanism of digesting food for fuel (energy), how much of the building block (protein and essential amino acids), how much is used to build or preserve muscle, how your body is a storing fat machine or a fat burning machine. All the stress that you putting your body thru it, in an evolutionary biology perspective you are in danger, fighting for survival all the time, constantly hungry having to eat 6 / 7 meals a day, overusing you digestive system. When you stop with all the craze your body get a change of re assess, (your DNA) sees you as an easy bait, a wounded animal, and you need to store energy(body fat%) so you can survive in the future.

Is that you?

Doesn’t have to be!

Do you get the point whys is so hard to get the body and health state that you want! (following conventional wisdom)

Following conventional wisdom of exercise and nutrition got us to the worst case scenario in general population’s health. The obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers have never been so bad and yet we are on the fitness era, where we exercise the most, if you are not healthy, what the norm (conventional wisdom) advice:

You are not exercising enough!

You should do more and more!

Too much stress and too little calories will work for a period of time but soon as you stop, you know what happen.


You have to resistance train; harder, briefly and infrequently to get all the benefits from exercise and none of the side effects and progressively you’ll get to the health state and body composition that you want, your human anatomy, physiology, biology, biochemistry is the same as mine but your genetic expression is different due to the environment that you live, the way you eat and the way you exercise!

By now you could see that i not only pointing the mistakes, i want you to see the light in the end of the tunnel, it’s ok to get it wrong or listening to the so-called experts in the field but after you learned that you have a better way of pursuing your goals in getting to a better healthy state using exercise and nutrition; but if you choose to ignore simply because everyone else is doing different than you, than i am sorry but i can’t help you! My journey and mission in this planet is to find minded like individuals that are here not only to live but to thrive! I i will dedicate my total focus to the critical thinkers and the successful minds that can commit to a optimum lifestyle.

Early the week i saw a video of a girl that used to be member of a gym that i used to teach Brazilian jiu jitsu a few years back. She is a “health coach” now, she sells supplements of a multi level marketing company that it’s not even worth it to mention, she was with her face all red and looked quite sick (that was the reason i pressed play) i thought: what happened?

She was explaining about her comeback to marathon running training, she had completed a 10km run, that was a big struggle but she did it, she pushed thru it because she could see people that she knew on the running path and they were motivating her to keep going… She mention that her new marathon coach had the whole week training prepared for her.

Health coach / Marathon coach – “COACH” Oh yeah they must know what they are talking about.

It’s that easy to follow none reliable science “coach” advise online!

Should you run marathons to be healthy?

Running, here we go. Let’s be clear i don’t hate running, but i do have an issue with people that are  misleading general populations with the wrong recommendations.

So many people still believe in ” aerobics ” and are doing too much and too often of a stressful activity that can have many bad side effects.

“Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the founder of aerobics training has finally admitted that he was wrong. He also admits that aerobic training does carry with it a great risk of injury, and that “gross overuse activities such as running may be so damaging to the body as to be considered carcinogenic.”

Run if you love running for the feeling that you have after a run, but be smart about the dosage of this particular activity here is why:

Since the late 1960’s, running and jogging have been considered to be the gold standard for fitness by the exercise physiology community and misguided medical professionals. Science and research indicate otherwise.

Long-distance runners are much more likely to develop:

Cardiovascular disease

•G. Whyte, “Is Exercise-Induced Myocardial Injury Self-Abating” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 33, no. 5 (May 2001): 850-51

•W. L. Knez et al., “Ultra-Endurance Exercise and Oxidative Damage: Implications for Cardiovascular Health,” Sports Medicine 36, no. 5 (2006): 636-42

•J. E. Sherman et al., “Endurance Exercise, Plasma Oxidation and Cardiovascular Risk,”Acta Cariologica 59, no. 6 (December 2004): 636-42

•R. Shern-Brewer et al., “Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease: A New Perspective,” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 18, no. 7 (July 1998): 1181-87

Atrial Fibrillation

•D. R. Swanson, “Atrial Fibrillation in Athletes: Implicit Literature-Based Connection Suggests That Overtraining and Subsequent Inflammation May Be a Contributing Mechanism.” Medical Hypotheses 66, no. 6 (2006): 1085-92


•M. Deichmannet, A. Benner, N. Kuner, J. Wacker, V. Waldman, and H. Naher, “Are Responses to Therapy of Metastasized Malignant Melanoma Reflected by Decreasing Serum Values of S100β or Melanoma Inhibitory Activity (MIA)?” Melanoma Research 11, no. 3 (June 2001): 291-96

•R. T. V. Santos, R. A. Bassit, E. C. Caperuto, and L. F. B. P. Costa Rosa, “The Effect of Creatine Supplementation upon Inflammatory and Muscle Soreness Markers After a 30km Race,” Life Science 75, no. 16 (September15, 2004): 1917-24

Liver and Gall Bladder Disorders

•H. J. WU, K. T. Chen, B. W. Shee, H. C. Chang, Y. J. Huang, and R. S. Yang, “Effects of 24 H Ultra-Marathon on Biochemical and Hematological Parameters.” World Journal of Gastroenterology 10, no. 18 (September 15, 2004): 2711-14

Muscle Damage

•M. J. Warhol, A. J. Seigel, W. J. Evans, and L. M. Silverman, “Skeletal Muscle Injury and Repair in Marathon Runners After Competition,” American Journal of Pathology 118, no. 2 (February 1985): 331-39

Kidney dysfunction (renal abnormalities)

•J. A. Neviackas and J. H. Bauer, “Renal Function Abnormalities Induced by Marathon Running,” Southern Medical Journal 74, no 12 (December 1981): 1457-60

•Acute Microthrombosis in the Vascular System

•M. K. Fagerhol, H. G. Neilson, A. Vetlesen, K. Sandvik, and T. Lybert, “Increase in Plasma Cal Protectin During Long Distance Running,” Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation 65, no 3 (2005): 211-20

Brain Damage

•N. Marchi, P. Rasmussen, M. Kapural, V. Fazio, K. Kight, A. Kanner, B. Ayumar, B. Albensi, M. Cavaglia, And D. Janigro, “Peripheral Markers of Brain Damage and Blood-Brain Barrier Dysfunction,” Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience 21, no. 3-4 (2003): 109-21

•A. J. Saenz, E. Lee-Lewandrowski, M. J. Wood, T. G. Neilan, A. J. Seigel, J. L. Januzzi, and K. B. Lewandrowski, “Measurement of a Plasma Stroke Biomarker Panel and Cardiac Troponin T in Marathon Runners Before and After the 2005 Boston Marathon,” American Journal of Clinical Pathology 126, no. 2 (2006): 185-89

Spinal Degeneration

•H. Schmitt, C. Friebe, S. Schneider, and D. Sabo, “Bone Mineral Density and Degenerative Changes of the Lumbar Spine in Formal Elite Athletes,” International Journal of Sports Medicine 26, no. 6 (July 2005): 457-63

Germ Cell Cancers

•A. Srivastava, and N. Kreiger, “Relation of Physical Activity to Risk of Testicular Cancer,” American Journal of Epidemiology 151, no. 1:78-87

Distance running causes low testosterone

Distance running is a highly catabolic exercise, that is, it breaks down muscle and other lean tissue, both because of lack of use of muscles other than those in the legs, and because high cortisol (a catabolic steroid hormone) is a feature of long stretches of exercise. As opposed to this, strength training is anabolic, building up.

The effect of distance running on testosterone levels is, if not well known, at least known, and has been termed the “exercise-hypogonadal male condition”.

“An increasing number of investigative research studies point to participation in endurance exercise training as having significant detrimental effects upon reproductive hormonal profiles in men. Specifically, men chronically exposed to this type of exercise training exhibit persistently reduced basal (resting-state) free and total testosterone concentrations without concurrent LH elevations. Men displaying these symptoms have been deemed to exhibit the “exercise-hypogonadal male condition”. The exact physiological mechanism inducing the reduction of testosterone in these men is currently unclear, but is postulated to be a dysfunction (or perhaps a readjustment) within the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular regulatory axis. The potential exists for the reduced testosterone concentrations within exercise-hypogonadal men to be disruptive and detrimental to some anabolic-androgenic testosterone-dependent physiological processes. Findings on this point are limited, but do suggest spermatogenesis problems may exist in some cases.”

Still feeling like going for a run? Is that “ Health Coach” making you Healthier by advising you to run every week?

FACT running isn’t healthy! Specially marathon running! FACT

It’s not my opinion is a FACT!

We are not even talking about cumulative injuries and death. Yes people die every year because they took this incredible         “ healthy challenge “, people that would have a long life if the challenge was smartly prepared or based in something that don’t have the potential to kill.

This casualties are not luxury of our modern society, they started to be registered a long time ago when some individuals decided to challenge the their capability of running long distances.

“ A classical example is the tale of Euchidas, after a Greek victory over Persians at the battle of Plataea in 479 B.C.., Euchidas ran to Delphi and back… (hundred and twenty five miles in one day).

When he arrived, fell down, and in a few minutes died.

And then there is the oft-told legend of Euchida’s contemporary, another distance runner named Pheidippides, which was originally reported by Greek historian Herodotus (c. 484 B.C. – C. 425 B.C.), and transmitted to future generations by roman historians such as Lucian (C. A.D. 125- after A.D. 180). According to the legend, a Greek runner by the name of Pheidippides ran in excess of 145 miles (from Athens to Sparta) in roughly twenty-four hours, which was quite a display of ultra endurance athleticism. Pheidippides followed upon his feat by running an additional twenty-six miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory. When he reached Athens he proclaimed (depending upon which ancient historian you read) either “Nike!” (“victory”) or “Be Happy! We have won!” Regardless, the ending to this tale is the same as that of Euchida’s: Pheidippides then fell to the ground – dead.”

People sort of glorify the act of this Grecian athletes and they repeat the act many times along the years, guess what happened, many have found the same end.

The problem here is that people need to understand that extremes in the realm of athletic performance is not equal healthy individuals.

What is your goal?

If you do have the goal of testing your limits? Do you want to feel how it is once to run a Marathon? Fine! Understand the consequences and live up to the side effects and done, you did it, but doing over and over again and saying that it’s a healthy activity is simply stupid.

So i hope that with this blog post i will be saving someone’s life, inspiring people to be critical to conventional wisdom of fitness, health and exercise so they can find the strategy that will deliver the results of their goals in the first place. Being in the fitness industry for 20 years i can guarantee that many people are causing more harm than good by going to classes every day.

Better idea for events! Reliable Science based option:

Mc Master University research group, proclaimed that,  “six minutes of pure, hard exercise once a week could be just as effective as an hour of daily moderate activity.”

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, revealed that very intense exercise resulted in unique changes in skeletal muscle and endurance capacity.

I bet no one would be hospitalised or dead if we created events based in high intensity, short duration instead of low intensity, high volume and frequency like the ones available around. I can think about a thousand options of events that could involve even way more people and achieve far better results in all perspectives.

The most time-efficient and productive exercise program is one based upon the principles of high-intensity training. Productive exercise must be of a threshold level of intensity (as any level below this threshold will not stimulate maximal results). As a result, high intensity exercise sessions will be brief and infrequently performed (as opposed to conventional exercise programs).


The effects of resistance training on aging:

Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle


Find the paper here


Human aging is associated with skeletal muscle atrophy and functional impairment (sarcopenia). Multiple lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction is a major contributor to sarcopenia. We evaluated whether healthy aging was associated with a transcriptional profile reflecting mitochondrial impairment and whether resistance exercise could reverse this signature to that approximating a younger physiological age. Skeletal muscle biopsies from healthy older (N = 25) and younger (N = 26) adult men and women were compared using gene expression profiling, and a subset of these were related to measurements of muscle strength. 14 of the older adults had muscle samples taken before and after a six-month resistance exercise-training program. Before exercise training, older adults were 59% weaker than younger, but after six months of training in older adults, strength improved significantly (P<0.001) such that they were only 38% lower than young adults. As a consequence of age, we found 596 genes differentially expressed using a false discovery rate cut-off of 5%. Prior to the exercise training, the transcriptome profile showed a dramatic enrichment of genes associated with mitochondrial function with age. However, following exercise training the transcriptional signature of aging was markedly reversed back to that of younger levels for most genes that were affected by both age and exercise. We conclude that healthy older adults show evidence of mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness, but that this can be partially reversed at the phenotypic level, and substantially reversed at the transcriptome level, following six months of resistance exercise training”.

Dr. McGuff  made an interesting observation based on the study that the low-intensity, long-duration aerobic “exercise” so often recommended as healthy activity may actually contribute to aging:

“If we embrace this concept of aging (the gap between maximal and minimal output), and the type of training that enhances this capability; then we must acknowledge that there is a type of exercise which can produce the opposite result.  Low intensity, steady state exercise will actually accelerate aging by this definition.”

The important realisation that you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet very soon will hit you, hopefully not with disease or severe injuries so you still can make the change to a more appropriate choice of resistance training that is in alignment with your goals of health and longevity.

If you exercise properly you will be stronger and the stronger you are the better you will be in any recreational activities that you put your body thru it. Protecting your joints, preventing disease and reversing the aging process!


Marcelo Mesquita

Dircetor/ Resistance Training

Intense Health clinic


Marcelo is the co-founder and Director of Exercise Physiology at Intense Health, Perth's #1 Private Strength Training and Nutrition Clinics.


Marcelo is the co-founder and Director of Exercise Physiology at Intense Health, Perth's #1 Private Strength Training and Nutrition Clinics.