Fad Diets


I hear about quick weight loss programs all the time and sometimes they come with guarantees or you can get your money back. I call these quick-loss programs “fad diets”; quick weight loss through an unhealthy, unbalanced and unsustainable diet. Fad diets are targeted at people who are desperate to lose weight quickly without exercise.

A 2-year study by Stuart Wolpert of the UCLA Researchers Report showed that 83% of people on these quick weight loss programs gained back more weight than they originally lost while dieting. Meaning, if you start at 140 pounds and dropped down to 125 pounds, you not only gain back the 15 pounds you lost but you add weight beyond that. Consequently, instead of losing weight fast and keeping it off, you are destined to gain more weight over the long term.

In my book, “diet” is a four-letter word. I’ve never liked the word “diet”. Rather, I promote a “lifestyle” to my clients, not a diet. Losing weight quickly is not going to be a long term solution to keeping weight off, and it can be very unhealthy. It also has psychological consequences with many folks simply giving up. This is no way to live life. 

The hardest thing for most people is being patient. You didn't put all the weight you are carrying on in one day, one week or even one month. It was a slow process. So it’s stands to reason that losing weight should follow a similar timeline.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, let’s start with a discussion. We will address your diet in practical terms. We also promote the benefits of weight training to help in the process of losing weight and creating a better quality of life.

At GUTS Training Center, we not only work on helping you reach your goals, but we teach you how to do it.

Everyone Guaranteed a Trophy

A friend of mine recently posted an Ann Arbor summer camp flyer on her Facebook page with the caption, “Anyone who knows me knows why this bugs me so bad! Any guesses?” 

On the camp flyer was the phrase, “Everyone guaranteed a trophy!” 

I know my friend well. No need for me to venture a guess. 

When I was growing up playing sports, I had to “earn” a trophy. Whether playing football, basketball or baseball, this meant that my team had to be better than all the other teams on the field of play. The team with the best record at the end of the season walked away with the trophy.

Furthermore, my playing time was “earned” and not guaranteed. The best players played the most. This was true even when I played tee ball (we played competitive tee ball up until the age of 8 years old). 

When I was in grade school, the 7th and 8th grade combined to make one baseball squad. There was only so many jerseys. When the final roster was read aloud, my name was not on the list. I was devastated. I had never been cut from a team in my life. 

I remember sitting by myself with tears in my eyes, waiting to see my dad’s car pull up. When he arrived, he took me to my favorite restaurant. Over dinner, he let me vent my frustration. I told him how much better I was than many of the boys that made it over me. I was better, right? To his credit, my dad mostly listened. He didn’t admonish the coach or acquiesce that I got short changed. Rather, he helped me deal with disappointment. He helped me deal with failure. He let me cope with the situation.

Developing coping skills at an early age is indispensable in dealing with life’s many challenges. However, when “everyone is guaranteed a trophy,” we as parents are not allowing adolescents the opportunity to develop these necessary skills. 

I have been coaching and instructing young, aspiring athletes for much of my life. In that time, I’ve witnessed way too much coddling and not enough tough love. As a result, I see these kids develop an attitude of entitlement. Kids whine and cry when they do not play enough or when things don’t go well for them. I have no patience for this type of behavior. 

I don’t blame the kids, I blame the “trophy givers” — the parents. 

Over the years, I’ve had parents take me aside and question why their child is not playing more, or playing a particular position more, or batting higher in the line up, or maybe I’m a little too hard on their little pride and joy. Many times, these parents tell me how much better their child is than so-and-so’s child. To their chagrin, these parents find out quickly that this does not change the situation. Bottom line, each player earns their playing time. Typically, these parents leave the program for greener pastures because, as we all know, the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side of the fence. 

For the record, I coach a team that has one of my sons on the roster. Over the past two years, my son has played the least amount of innings, has had the least amount of at-bats, of any player on the roster. Yes, he has to earn his playing time. Importantly, I ask him if he enjoys playing baseball and he always tells me, “Dad, I love it!” He’s getting all the development and training and he’s working towards a goal of making the high school team. As a father, I’m very proud of him. He’s handling his situation very well. 

Not everyone makes the team. Not every student is valedictorian. Not everyone gets accepted to their first choice of colleges.  Not every applicant gets the job offer. Not everyone gets the coveted corner office. 

Not everyone gets a trophy. 

Let your child deal with a little adversity. They’ll be better for it.




The Case for Playing Multiple Sports by Todd Turner

I always played multiple sports growing up. That’s just what we did in my family. I figured I would grow up to be a professional athlete at the sport I was most adept at playing. It would sort itself out as I progressed through my playing career. 

However, in today’s world of burgeoning youth sports, I come across too many parents that think their child needs to practice one specific sport and focus on it year round. If not, their son or daughter will never, ever reach their potential; they will never reach elite status. 

I couldn’t disagree more!

Dr. John P. DiFlori, President of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and Team Physician for the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics states, “With the exception of select sports such as gymnastics in which the elite competitors are very young, the best data we have would suggest that the odds of achieving elite levels with this method are exceedingly poor.”

For the many young athletes that come through my program at GUTS Training Center, I always advocate for and encourage playing multiple sports. Research shows, among other things, that early participation in multiple sports leads to better overall motor and athletic development and longer playing careers. Multi-sport participation at the youngest ages yields better decision making and pattern recognition, as well as increased creativity. These are all qualities that coaches of high level teams look for.

In fact, most college athletes come from a background of playing multiple sports. A 2013 American Medical Society for Sports Medicine survey found that 88% of college athletes surveyed participated in more than one sport as a child, and 70 percent did not specialize in one sport until after the age of 12. In a similar study of Olympians in Germany, results found that on average, the Olympians had participated in two other sports during childhood before or parallel to their main sport. Both studies support the concept of sports diversification in adolescence — not specialization.

For me, playing multiple sports not only helped me physically but mentally as well. It helped me develop self-confidence which is essential when competing on the field of play but, more importantly, it is essential for dealing with the trials and tribulations that life is certain to bring. 

It saddens me when I see parents relentlessly pushing their children and having them train nonstop. When I tell parents that they may burn their child out physically or mentally, I love it when they say, “Not my child.”  Of course not your child.

Let your young athlete participate in multiple activities. In fact, let your child have some time to just be a kid. Not everything they do has to be so structured and organized. Let them love sports and let it grow from there.

A Great Coach Makes an Indelible Impression

I look back at my life in athletics and I try to enumerate the great coaches I had throughout my sports career. For me personally, I consider a great coach to be someone that not only taught me skills but, more significantly, gave me life lessons that I still carry with me to this day (after all, the odds of being a pro athlete are slim to none). Truthfully, I can count the coaches that made a lasting impression on me on one hand. 

As a coach of young, aspiring athletes, I want the kids under my tutelage to, someday down the road, look back and have me included on one of their counting fingers. 

My job as a coach is to get each athlete to their potential. Even so, my greater calling is to give these young athletes self-confidence and self-esteem. These qualities are far more important than hitting a curve ball, throwing a spiral or dribbling a basketball. These qualities are indispensable when it comes to handling the challenges and disappointments that life will surely bring their way. 

As a coach, I have a great responsibility. I also have a great opportunity to impact so many lives in a positive way.

personal training is a wise investment

If you are like me, you thought (or perhaps hoped) that healthcare legislation would rein in escalating healthcare costs over a reasonable period of time. In reality, individuals and families are spending more and more each year on healthcare and the outlook is not promising.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy, the average family’s health insurance now costs about $16,000, and workers pay more than a quarter of that. From 2004 to 2014, total premiums have increased 69% and, for those that have a job, worker contribution increased 81%. 


The current situation is disheartening but, not to fret, I have the answer! If you take care of yourself — exercise regularly and eat right — you can avoid burdensome healthcare costs in your future. If you heed my sage advice, I could save you thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands) over your lifetime. You’re welcome!

According to Ellin Holohan, editor for HealthDay News, subsidizing exercise and fitness-related lifestyles in middle age could significantly reduce the ballooning cost of health care in later years (based on a study of 20,000 people). Average annual claims for medical costs for the least-fit men, at $5,134, were about 36 percent higher than the average of $3,277 a year for the most-fit men. The average medical claims of $4,565 for the least-fit women were about 40 percent higher than the $2,755 average for the most fit (Holohan, Ellin, HealthDay News, Thursday, May 10, 2012) 

Now, I’m no Pollyanna. I know how difficult it can be to eat right and exercise regularly (I’m saying this as I shove the last piece of meat lovers pizza down my throat). Furthermore, many families are struggling financially and eating right and exercising can be tough on the family budget (you can feed a family of four at McDonalds for $10!). 

Even so, many families do have the discretionary income to put towards their and their family’s health and well-being. So, consider the value of a personal trainer, especially long-term. Do the math. Yes, you'll be healthier and happier but it also makes economic sense.

Forget about the boilerplate catchphrase, it is a great investment in yourself. I say, it’s simply a great investment. 





According to the University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, the number one new year’s resolution is losing weight. Not far behind in the number five spot is getting fit and staying healthy

So, how many of you made a new year’s resolution to lose weight and get fit? I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but only 8% of Americans will follow through on that resolution. You can understand why 38% of Americans never make a resolution at all (I fall into this category; why set myself up for failure!). 

However, if I could offer you the panacea for losing weight, getting fit and staying healthy, and I could do it without much time and exertion on your part, I’m betting you’d be all in. I think we’re all smart enough to know that a magic pill does not exist. 

Even so, somewhere in the recesses of our minds is that faint belief that science and technology is on the verge of that magic potion, much the same way that I believed Rogaine would give me back my free-flowing locks of yesteryear. After hundreds of dollars that I didn’t have, I finally put aside my vanity and let the dome shine for the world to see. 

But it is hard. The marketers know that we humans are vulnerable and gullible. Just watch television, surf the internet, glimpse at the covers in the magazine isle at the supermarket, drive down Woodward Avenue and look at the billboards — you can’t escape it! A catchy name, promising minimal time constraints, wrapped in some eye-grabbing, dynamic packaging with a model or trainer with enviable abdominals and WHAMMO! They’ve got you hoping or, maybe for the weakest of us, believing. You're on the phone or on-line with credit card in hand. 

You’re thinking, “I’m not one to succumb to this chicanery!” Maybe so, but the fact of the matter is that many of us do succumb to the “flavor of the day”.

Is it Tony Horton’s P90X or Julian Michael’s Ripped in 30 or Shaun T’s FOCUS T24. Or can the Holy Grail be found at a franchise such as CrossFit or the new Daily Burn which promises results in 15 minutes of intense training each day? Perhaps, this is simply too much time for your busy schedule. Well, then you need Tony Horton’s 10-minute Trainer DVD. Still too much time for you? Remember the 8-Minute Abs?  

These programs are not cheap. And, read the fine print; results may vary and results are based on a 1200 calorie diet. Basically, you work your butt off and then you starve yourself. These programs will work but can you maintain this regimen? I don't think so.

What’s the answer? 

Come talk to us at GUTS Training Center. You’ll meet Todd Turner who runs our personal training area. His background is in exercise science, human psychology and common sense (okay, maybe I speak in hyperbole but he did stay at a Holiday Inn). We’ll sit down with you, discuss your lifestyle, nutritional habits and your goals. Then, we'll create the program that is right for you; a program that you’ll be able to maintain for the rest of your life.

It’s all about quality of life — your life. So, stop listening to the noise, believing the grass is always greener on the other side, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and Dorothy really had magic slippers!  

You can be part of that 8% and we'll help you do it!


Throughout our years of coaching and instruction, we have heard from parents that they are sending their son or daughter to a particular instructor who has quite a resume; some pitching in college and some at the professional level. Personally, I believe that practical experience does make a difference. However, we always ask if the instructor is videotaping their child. If the answer is "no" then it really doesn't matter how high up the ladder the instructor climbed in their career. You are not getting your monies worth. 

The human eye simply cannot isolate all the nuances of the complex pitching delivery, arguably the most difficult motor skill in all of sports. Consequently, videotaping is necessary for an instructor to properly diagnose mechanical flaws. Furthermore, visual feedback is necessary to effectively convey the diagnosis and prescribed remedy to the athlete. 

Below, I've excerpted a segment from www.pitching.com (November 24, 2014) that supports our claim. 

Coull, J., Tremblay, L., & Elliott, D. (2001). Examining the specificity of practice hypothesis: Is learning modality specific? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 72, 345-354.

The specific of practice hypothesis was examined using a tracking task. College students (M = 12; F = 28) were Ss and presumed to be novices at the specific task. Two experiments were conducted.

First, visual and auditory feedback about performance was provided. Vision was deemed more useful than hearing in the early stage of acquisition. Performance gains were retained when no feedback was provided. Learning was specific only in the visual learning condition.

Second, visual feedback and auditory feedback were combined. Similar results to the first experiment were revealed. Vision appears to dominate audition in the learning of motor tasks.

Implication. When learning a task, visual cues should be emphasized to produce better instruction.