Blog - Authors

Mirror, mirror….

Posted on January 30th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

We have no mirrors in our workout room at L.E.A.N.  We decided, based on some research we read (of course) that mirrors may be detrimental to some of our clients’ self-image.  We’ve been asked quite a few times if we could add mirrors to our facility.  There is some new research, however, saying that mirrors may not be detrimental to exercisers’ self-image.
What does this mean to you?

If possible, ditch the mirrors while exercising.  The benefits don’t outweigh the possible drawbacks.  In fact, I’m not sure there really are benefits.

Many of our clients argue that mirrors help them make sure they are performing the exercises correctly.  Since we’re in a personal training environment, where every exerciser has a coach, this shouldn’t be necessary.  In addition, relying on visual feedback does not carry over into real-world situations.  If you’re used to checking your form in the mirror while dead-lifting, what do you do when you have to pick-up something heavy from the trunk of your car without a mirror.  If you learn what it FEELS like to lift properly, you’ll always have good form.

Outside of making our workout space look bigger, what are the advantages to mirrors?  If you have any suggestions, or want to share how you feel about mirrors in your workout space, leave a comment for us.

Healthy Bacteria

Posted on January 29th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

***Especially important for moms and their newborns***

We have a couple pounds of bacteria in our gut. Without them we would die. Did you know this? If not, how do you know if you’re helping these bacteria survive? There’s only one way to learn more, start reading.

Go to Dr. Mercola’s Website and search for ‘probiotics’. That will get you started. If you don’t get Dr. Mercola’s newsletter, sign-up for it right away. As with anything, don’t take his or my word for it. Find everything you can and decide for yourself.

If you have any questions (and you should), leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.


Posted on January 20th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

Piggy-backing on my last post about the importance of sleep, I wanted to write a quick not about waking up. It’s hard to do sometimes, especially when the sun isn’t up yet. Our sleep cycles are tied to our hormonal system which is tied to light.  The sunrise allows us to be pulled out of sleep naturally and feel awake and alert upon rising.  A blaring alarm clock going off suddenly in the middle of darkness does not.  Check out sunrise alarm clocks, one that can be found at Dr. Joseph Mercola’ site with some more info.

alarm clock at

Others at amazon

alarm clocks at

and the incredible book Lights Out

Lights Out

It's All Connected

Posted on January 10th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

Sleep. Psychology. Environment. Exercise. Diet. It’s all related.

Don’t get the right amounts of sleep and sunlight and you risk agitating the four pounds of symbiotic bacteria in your gut. This leads to cravings which throw you off your eating plan. Continue negative or irrational thinking patterns and you’re setting yourself up for failure. Each aspect is dependent upon the others. It’s an incredible, complicated dance.

Start by getting more sleep. It will make life better, I promise.


Lift Weights, Play Sports

Posted on January 7th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

Resistance training (weight lifting) is by far the best mode of exercise for a weight loss program. After you establish your RT program, additional activity should come in the form of anything. That’s right, anything. Just get moving. If you hate running, don’t run. Do something else. Take your dog for a walk. Play Wii Fit. Go for a bike ride or a hike.

We play dodgeball ( for extra activity because it’s demanding and it’s fun. Maybe you could join a recreational sports league that matches your ability. Examples: softball, kickball, basketball, volleyball, flag football, tennis, etc.

The point is that if you don’t enjoy the majority of your exercise program, you won’t stick to it. So, make choices you will enjoy. You’ll lose weight (mostly fat), improve your health, and have something fun to look forward to!

Exercise for weight loss?

Posted on January 6th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

You won’t hear this from most exercise gurus (not that I’m calling myself a guru).

A review of exercise and it’s effects on weight loss from The Cochrane Collaboration last year showed that exercise has minimal effect on weight loss when combined with diet. In fact, over follow-up periods of 3 to 12 months, exercise in addition to diet only provided 1.1 kg (about 2.4 lbs) more weight loss compared to diet alone.

2.4 lbs extra weight loss for all that work over 3-12 months? That’s almost not worth mentioning.

This a very general view of the exercise world, since the exercise modes measured included walking, jogging, cycling, resistance training, etc… all compiled together. However, I must say that through the research I’ve been reading for the S.P.E.E.D. Plan, I haven’t found nearly as much evidence in support of exercise for increased weight loss when added to dietary restriction as I would have liked.

The advantage to exercise may lie in body composition, helping us lose more fat and maintain or increase muscle.  Although, as much as it hurts to write this, the research isn’t very conclusive either way thus far…
More on this fun stuff later.


Shaw K, Gennat H, O’Rourke P, Del Mar C. Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003817. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003817.pub3.