So after a multitude of questions about my first article I’ve decided it’s time to let the secret out. Just as a quick recap, back in February I decided to see if I could use the Atlas wearable and its technology to successfully produce a weight loss result. On February 1st I weighed 204 pounds. On June 30th I weighed 174 pounds. And as I mentioned in the article had it not been for the use of the Atlas I would have never dropped below 190. And I did all this without changing my diet (the same diet that took me to 204) and no special exercise program.
But before I let out the secret I want to dispel the most prevalent of the excuses (and there were several) I’ve heard since the article was released which was “Of course it worked for you. You’re a healthy fitness person. It will not work for the normal person.” Now part of my theory in article one is that anyone can be successful using a combination of the Atlas and the path to success I laid out in that first article. And I mean anyone. So to prove my point let’s take a look at my “healthy” profile:
1. Severe neck injury that caused permanent nerve damage and atrophy into my neck muscle
2. Not 1, not 2 but 3 shoulder surgeries the last of which completely destroyed the work of the second one
3. A torn left hip labrum that my orthopedist has on his to-do list for hip replacement
4. Surgery on both knees that are so bad now that the orthopedist laughs every time I go in for shots and says “I can’t believe they’re still working”.
5. Plantar Fasciitis in both feet
6. And best of all, exercise-induced asthma
So I’m old and that includes all of the bad things that happen to old bodies trying to stay thin and fit.
Anyone of these details, not to mention all combined, make it a challenge to find an exercise program that doesn’t land me in the hospital. But I still was able to accomplish the weight loss mentioned above through exercise. So if I can do it, anyone can IF THEY REALLY WANT TO!
Ok, so how does it work?
The answer is simple. Measurement and accountability for cardio workouts. Ever since Arnie came out with Pumping Iron we have been measuring weight training workouts with more data than a baseball game. Weight, sets, reps, rest, muscle groups, etc. You knew exactly how much work you were doing and when it was time to change your workload to continue challenging yourself to get stronger. And unless you cheated yourself you knew if you were working hard enough or not.
So to that point, we have never effectively measured workload with cardio exercise. And when it comes to weight loss, maintenance or fitness level cardio is king. Why do you think all these Boot Camp studios are popping up everywhere? “But Dennis, I measure my workload by time spent on the treadmill”. Blzzzzz (insert raspberry mouth noise). That is only valuable if you know you are working hard enough. It’s like saying “but I did three sets of 12”. Sure, with no weight. “But Dennis, I follow the heart rate guide on the machine”. But how do you know if that number is right for you? I’m going to touch on this later in this article. It’s one of the keys to the “secret”. “But Dennis, I’m really sweating a lot”. Really? Do people use that one?
Ok, Dennis, you made your points. So what is the secret?
The secret is that the Atlas becomes your own Personal Trainer! And every single human being (fitness experts included) works harder and more efficient with an instructor leading the way.
For the sake of this article, I am going to focus on how I used the Atlas to go from 204 to 174 and why it will work for anyone. But as a side note, the system also had a significant effect on my cardio condition. In February I started running 60 minutes on the treadmill at 6.2mph and now have to run at 7.2mph to get to the same heart rate. This positive impact on your fitness level is a very valuable and healthy side effect of the Atlas system. So here’s how and why it works. Had I not experienced it myself I would have never believed it.
The secret is math. Weight loss is a very simple math equation. Calories in minus calories out equal weight loss or gain. It’s that simple. Over the years this theory has been decimated and confused by every snake oil salesmen trying to sell the latest fad diet or exercise program. The truth is (healthy eating habits aside) a calorie in is a calorie in and a calorie out is a calorie out. Up until now, we have been able to measure the calories in but not really the calories out. And since cardio is the most important element of weight loss and, we have never been able to measure it effectively, most people struggle with achieving their goal. It’s like having a financial goal but never seeing a bank statement.
So because we could not measure cardio properly, the exercise effort that has the greatest effect on weight loss has been a guess all these years. And most people guess wrong. I spent years guessing wrong which is why up until I started using the Atlas I was never able to go below 190 pounds and really was never in control of my goal and effort.
And therein lies the secret. The Atlas takes all the guessing out of the effort. For years we trainers have been warning people of the dreaded “plateau”. Telling clients that as they get closer to their normal weight it will get harder and harder to continue to lose. In fact, you will probably hit a period of time where there will be no change in your weight. Well, I just flushed that theory down the drain. I started losing weight almost immediately at about a pound to a pound and a half per week and never stopped for 6 months. Even after I hit my normal of 190 I just kept going at the same pace. As a trainer, this totally baffled me. This should never have happened. I should be stuck on 190 for weeks. And then it hit me. I had become a slave to the Atlas (my personal trainer) without really even knowing it. I had scripted myself a workload of doing 60 minutes of cardio, 5 days per week and most importantly at 85% of my maximum heart rate. And every workout I lived by the heart rate data on the Atlas and not by how I felt or what the equipment said. And without realizing it I was increasing my cardio workload in line with what I needed to do to keep my heart rate where it needed to be to keep my weight loss going. Had it not been for the Atlas I would have NEVER increased my work effort at the rate I was and right now I would probably be running at 6.6 and my weight would still be at 190. I know this for a fact because that is exactly what was happening before I was using the Atlas.
So there it is. The Atlas becomes your own personal trainer and ensures you are doing exactly what you need to do, in raw numbers, to achieve your goals. But it’s not for the faint-hearted. If you really don’t want to succeed don’t bother getting started. As I said the last article this is not a “magic pill”. You are going to have to work. But if you do it properly, you will see the results. Remember, it’s just simple math so if the numbers are right you will succeed.
And you cannot do it without consulting with a trainer. There is a science to this. The trainer has to help you determine your specific goal and then write the Atlas script based on your goal. You can’t just throw the Atlas on your wrist and pick a heart rate and assume this will work. And diet does play a part. You can’t start working the Atlas plan but then add calories to your diet because you’re working out harder (if I only had a dollar for every time that happened with a client).
As I mentioned in my first article this is one of the most exciting additions to our industry in 30 years. We can now finally guide our members and clients to their goals with significantly more certainty than we have ever been able to do before. And most importantly, members and clients will enjoy success.
But this is not a get rich quick scheme. And in my next article, I am going to deal with that. The (deceptive) Good, the (mostly) Bad and (recently discovered) really Ugly of fad weight loss and exercise programs including the secrets people selling these things don’t want you to know. And why losing weight using the Atlas method is significantly better on many levels.
I am diligently working with Atlas now to prepare to roll out the Atlas Weight Loss program and make the Atlas available to purchase at the best rate possible. I hope to have that done within the next few weeks. As soon as everything is ready to go I will announce it to all the members.
If anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to stop in my office.
Healthplex Sports Club