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Back Pain Prevention! Also Slendertone or “Why you CAN’T use electric shocks to get rid of your fat @SS!” May 29, 2010

Posted by fitmontclair in Abdominal Training, Fat Loss, Fitness, Health & Exercise, Injury Prevention.
Tags: , , , ,


I hope you all have a great weekend with lots of fun, family & friends but please take a minute to remember the sacrifices of all those that allow us to live here and explain to kids why it is called “Memorial Day”

Our nation’s fallen heroes…

and not “Eat hot dogs, ice cream and soda ’till you puke day!” (We are all screwed if we have to depend on today’s children to protect us in the future – remember the blog post: “The latest threat to National Security : OBESITY or too fat to fight!)

A National DISGRACE!

On to NEW things!

We have a lot of GREAT info to cover this week!: Upcoming events & specials; my new article on how to prevent low back pain when exercising; and the research showing once again that the EMS (electro-muscle stimulation) devices sold on late night T.V. DO NOT work better than exercise and have NO EFFECT on reducing: body part size, body fat levels or your BMI AT ALL!

Hold on tight, here we go! Watch out and be ready to duck, because the sh^t is going to hit the fan again!! – Don’t you love it!

I am still planning on teaching a new 4 week class “Back to Basics: Fundamentals of Training & Conditioning” . The dates are tentatively Sat mornings July 10 -31st either at Living Fit Studio or Verona Park (maybe both – I love to train outdoors!). More details are coming soon! All those interested should contact me ASAP – for there will ONLY BE 6 SPACES open to assure personal instruction & SAFETY!

I guarantee NO gym or studio in the area teaches what I teach!

Next, July 1st will be the 1 year anniversary of the FITMONTCLAIR blog and to celebrate I will be offering specials on training, FREE workshops, and contests for FREE functional movement assessments and MORE!! The catch, you need to read the blog often and be one of the first to respond once I announce one of the events -you snooze, YOU LOSE!

NOTE: The FITMONTCLAIR group at  Montclair Navigator and my Facebook friends will be notified first; So join the FITMONTCLAIR group at Montclair Navigator (it’s FREE!) or become my friend on Facebook and get first crack at the anniversary specials!

Now for some interesting exercise & back pain information:

Did you know there are over 80,000,000 back pain & injury cases in the USA;  that between 70% & 80% of people have undiagnosed asymptomatic disc bulges in their lower backs, and that 70% of the US population will suffer at least one episode of back pain in their life. The number one injury site for both male & female golfers is the lower back and that when polled most players on the PGA tour admitted to playing with chronic low back pain.  What does this have to do with exercise & nutrition, a lot because these people are flooding gyms everyday looking for help and instead they are getting hurt!

If  you read my blog regularly or attend my workshops you know my opinion of exercises that are  given without an assessment are: UNPROFESSIONAL, RECKLESS, AND DANGEROUS (to the exerciser!).

Lumbar MRI

No assessment before designing an exercise program is comparable of going to a surgeon and having an operation with no exam, MRI or X-rays first! I was taught by many of my mentors that if  ” a trainer does not understand how an exercise effects a person anatomically, physiologically and neurologically, then they ARE NOT justified in prescribing it to an individual!”. One of my favorite quotes is from British Orthopedist James Cyriax, M.D. “The treatment can only be as good as the examination”

[note: a PAR-Q, liability waver or push-up /sit-up /”touch your toes” test is NOT AN ASSESSMENT!! a PROPER assessment should include: a detailed health & injury history, including all surgeries & medications; a stress questionnaire and then a postural exam, functional movement screen, flexibility & range of motion tests, core strength test, resting HR & BP, cardiovascular fitness evaluation and any injury or sports specific tests that are needed]

It is only this information combined with professional instruction that can produce SAFE and effective exercise programs (KEYWORD: SAFE!). Many of you are wondering what this has to do with back pain, EVERYTHING! Gym members are given exercises with no rhyme or reason, often they are just copying magazines or the “trainers” (and I use that term loosely)” are giving you their workout or favorite exercises – DUMB & DANGEROUS! Many trainers receive no hands on practical training during their certifications (just a multiple “guess” test!). So MANY people are not only given the WRONG exercises (because of no assessment) they are NOT taught proper exercise form!

a future neck & shoulder injury patient if you let her exercise (without correcting the alignment first!)

Remember this incredibly important rule: FORM & TECHNIQUE during exercise is more important than the amount of weight being lifted! (even if it is only body weight exercise)

Lifting weights in bad form is the number one cause of pain & injury in the gym for the joints are misaligned and the wrong muscles are being used. It is like driving a car with a damaged frame “the longer & faster you drive the car the MORE damage you do!”.

A common sight in the gym -GREAT way to herniate & rupture discs!

MANY, MANY people have NO control over or idea of how to control the alignment of their spine, especially the lower back when exercising which accelerates & exacerbates the wearing out of discs, cartilage, and connective tissue. This causes many of the asymptomatic population mentioned earlier to experience back pain and sometimes severe injuries! The control of the pelvis and its relationship to spinal curvatures is an absolute necessity when attempting to strengthen the lower back WITHOUT pain & injury! Also don’t think weight lifting belts protect you, THEY DON”T!! (This also includes the silly things they wear at Home Depot etc.)

Only muscles that attach to the spine, CAN STABILIZE THE SPINE!

I don’t have time to go into all the details but since weight lifting belts DON’T attach to your spine, they CANNOT protect & stabilize it! (but your muscles, when properly trained can and do – this is a MAJOR part of REAL core training, not crunches & sit-ups!).

Even if belts do work (on a properly trained core) the only sports that allow you to wear a weight lifting belt during competition are: weightlifting, powerlifting, and some strongman contests!

Broadway Joe – No weightlifting belt on his uniform!

A GREAT way to ensure injury to young athletes is to teach them to lift weights wearing a weightlifting belt; you totally disrupt the natural firing patterns of their core and weaken the back & abdominal muscles leaving them open to SERIOUS injury during athletics; for if the belt really could protect the spine – what happens during the game! Where is the weightlifting belt on the following uniforms: Baseball, Football, Wrestling, Soccer, Hockey, Field Hockey, Gymnastics, Tennis, Lacrosse THERE IS NONE, OOPS!!

Hammerin’ Hank – No belt! (except to hold up his pants..)

Now you know why I am so adamant that young athletes receive proper instruction on how to lift weights and you MUST investigate who their coach is and their credentials for many coaches paint houses for the summer while school is out! Be smart, be safe, please find a full-time, professional strength coach for your kids!

The internal belt you MUST build !

To learn more about how to lift weights safely and controlling the pelvis to prevent back injuries please read my latest article in my NEW Performance Specialist Column in the June 2010 issue of Exercise for Men Only magazine – on sale until July 4th.

Click here to read the article!

Last up;  Sorry to burst many peoples bubbles but to lose body fat, change your appearance, gain muscle and improve over all health & well being you NEED to exercise and have PROPER nutrition! There are no short cuts and no magical late night T.V. devices – You are better off buying a good exercise book, DVD or quality food from a farmer!

In my very first post for the FITMONTCLAIR blog I stated how all the EMS devices could not have an effect on body fat or the appearance of the abdominal wall. This was based on studies published in 2000 by Dr. John Porcari at the Univ. of Wisconsin, La Crosse. The American Council on Exercise used this data to bring the outlandish claims made by the EMS device manufactures to the attention of the FDA and soon the units (Ab Energizer, AbTronicx, and Fast Abs) were pulled from the market under a permanent FDA injunction. The only thing that will reduce body fat that does not need exercise & nutrition is surgery! (even then exercise & nutrition improve the surgery results and speed up recovery).

ABTRONICX – pulled by the FDA!

Recently new, supposedly improved devices have hit the market, now not only for your abs but your butt as well – Enter the : Slendertone Bottom Toner. Yes, people are so lazy & desperate that they are now attaching EMS stim pads to their BIG FAT ASS*S to avoid exercise & diet imagine having to attach shock pads to your butt every day and then spend 30 minutes (that is the prescribed exercise time by the manufacturer) jolting your self with as much current as you can handle (the subjects were told to use the unit at maximum tolerance). Hell, I can train your whole body, including your butt better in 30 minutes and it would be much more fun!

Once again I am vindicated by science! Recently Dr. Porcari and his team at Univ. of Wisconsin were asked to do a scientific test of the Slendertone unit. They used a control group, an exercise group,  and an EMS group. The groups were comprised of 72 females age 20 -60 that have not exercised in at least 6 months. No changes in diet or exercise routines were made to any group and the study lasted 6 weeks.  Click here to read the study & Dr. Pocari’s results.

The results: both the exercise group and the EMS made gains in muscle strength and endurance, BUT…

Minimal resistance + Minimal volume = Minial results!

There were no changes in body fat, body weight, hip circumference, BMI or muscle tone (based on myotometer readings) in either group. Now before you start saying exercise does not work at reducing fat & increasing muscle, you must understand the following: One: there were NO changes in nutrition, the MOST important factor in loosing body fat! Two: the exercise group only did 1 exercise, a body weight hip extension for 3 sets of 10 reps five times a week (hardly the intense, strenuous exercise needed to build muscle and increase calorie expenditure).

What this means is that shocking yourself for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week gives the same results as ONLY exercising 6 minutes a day, 5 times a week with only the weight of your leg for resistance!! (which is bare minimum resistance!!)

The reason most people say they can’t exercise is NO TIME! If you have 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to electrocute your blubber butt, you have time to to do 20- 30 minutes of REAL exercise for your WHOLE body!!!! Not only will your whole body look better and be stronger, but you will receive all the other health benefits of exercise, GUARANTEED! (Remember shocking yourself DOES NOT improve cardiovascular heath, flexibility, athletic performance or RESULT IN LOWER BODY FAT!! – REAL exercise does all that and MORE!).

Well remember as the Roman’s used to say “Caveat Emptor” (let the buyer beware)  or even better P.T.Barnum “There is a sucker born every minute!”

As always, I hope I made you THINK!

Have a great weekend and watch for upcoming blog posts!



Using Science to Maximize Health & Performance



1. Ab Belt Electrocution Treatment - April 16, 2015

[…] Back Pain Prevention! Also Slendertone or “Why you CAN'T use … – May 29, 2010 … Tags: back injuries, back pain, Slendertone, weightlifting belt, youth athletics … Cyriax, M.D. “The treatment can only be as good as the examination” … of their core and weaken the back & abdominal muscles leaving them open to … If you have 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to electrocute your blubber … […]

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