Definitive Weight Management
We at Definitive Weight Management seek to define weight management protocols for all people for all time to come. The roots of Definitive Weight Management are found in Chinese medicine, a holistic tradition that treats mind and body as an integrated whole, with each part affecting every other part.
While we reject standard approaches to fat-loss such as dieting, calorie-burning exercises, the prescribing of supplements and foods for weight loss, surgery, and genetic manipulation, we also reject conventional exercise regimens that waste precious time and that deplete energy reserves that are necessary for workout recovery.
Dr. E Douglas Kihn is a fitness trainer certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Personal training at your home gym will cost $100 per session. Distance-training supervision will cost $30 for two months. You may pay here.
Section I. Introduction
- A. Three vital reasons for the DWM Fitness Workout
- B. Some basic facts to consider before beginning
- C. The three rules of the DWM Fitness Workout
Section II. The three pillars of physical fitness
Appendix A – Yin and yang theory
Appendix B – Sample training schedules
Appendix C – Frequently asked questions
Section I. Introduction
A. Why the DWM Fitness Workout
There are three vital reasons to incorporate the DWM Fitness Workout into your life.
- •To preserve and improve mental health while undergoing fat-loss.
- •To conserve lean tissue while accelerating the loss of non-lean tissue.
- •To promote overall fitness in the most efficient way possible.
1. Preserving and improving mental health while undergoing fat-loss
Enlarged fat cells secrete extra amounts of estriol, a form of estrogen. This hormone keeps hibernating humans and animals calm and happy during long cold winters. It encourages the production of endorphins, the feel-good chemical, as well as serotonin, a nerve-calming agent. Estrogen also relieves heat in the brain through its role as a vasodilator.
Vigorous exercise carries out the same functions. In fact, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the connection between regular exercise and improved mental health.
As a person decreases the size of fat cells, estrogen is lost. The resultant anxiety is what drives people to relapse – to begin overeating once more. This is why strenuous exercise is a critical part of a successful, lifelong weight management program.
Chinese theory explains it this way. All yin contains yang within it. Enlarged fat cells (yin) contain a large amount of yang/heat, which accounts for the strong connection between chronic obesity and a long list of inflammatory diseases. During a long, cold winter, that amount of stored fuel and heat will enable hibernating people to survive. However, the additional friction produced in modern daily life will result in inflammation and disease.
With the shedding of unhealthy physical yin (fat, etc.), the resulting release of excess yang/heat must be channeled away from the mind and back into the body in a productive way. Simply substituting extra mental work for physical work will not suffice and will eventually lead back to overeating, other addictions, and mental anxiety.
Furthermore, all pain is seen as stagnation. Mental pain we call “qi stagnation.” All exercise moves qi, thus relieving mental pain.
2. Conserving lean tissue while accelerating the loss of non-lean tissue
When we fast, the body converts stored nutrition in fat cells, blood cholesterol, unwanted growths, and impacted fecal matter for its needs. At the same time however, it also goes after healthy tissue like muscle and bone, thinking that they are not needed. During a long cold winter, bone and muscle are indeed not needed. For example, a bear coming out of hibernation is not as strong as a bear going into hibernation, although its strength quickly returns due to strenuous exercise and “muscle memory.”
During a period of fat-loss, daily strenuous exercise sends a clear message to the body: “We need our muscle and bone to find food, so leave it alone and concentrate on the non-lean tissue.” This is why the DWM High-Intensity Workout is recommended and prescribed for everyone who participates in our DWM Hunger-Awareness program.
From a Chinese point of view, we would say that strenuous exercise preserves healthy yin while accelerating the loss of unhealthy yin.
Unhealthy yin includes the following:
- A. Excessive fat accumulation above the Optimal Lean Zone (the minimum body fat
- needed for a healthy life).
- B. Impacted fecal matter that causes constipation and will often turn toxic.
- C. “Garbage” in the blood such as cholesterol, phlegm, and cellular debris.
- D. Unwanted growths such as tumors, cysts, and fibroids.
Healthy yin includes the following:
- A. Muscle thickness, structural and organic.
- C. Tendon strength and elasticity.
- D. Skin glow and cohesion.
- E. Blood vessel integrity.
3. Promoting overall fitness in the most efficient way possible.
Many in the modern world lead busy lives that prevent them from spending an inordinate amount of time performing exercise. In addition, many are unaccustomed to exercising at all. For these reasons, the exercises you perform must achieve maximum results in the shortest amount of time possible.
Motivation is a huge factor in your success. The DWM Fitness Workout gives you the tools to measure your results. Progress should occur in each exercise, every time you perform it.
Holistic in nature, the DWM Fitness Workout promotes overall fitness of mind and body by improving strength, endurance, and flexibility, and by helping to unlearn the destructive habits of worrying, hurrying, and overeating. The intensity of the workout stimulates the body’s production of feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and natural opiods.
From a Chinese viewpoint, we call this pleasurable result “removing stagnation by activating qi.”
B. Some basic facts to consider before beginning
1. Motivation is everything.
- a. Exercise must be fun. Find what appeals to you and get started. Dancing, jogging, swimming, hiking, tennis, team sports – anything that gets you moving is acceptable.
- b. The improvement of health is your number one goal. Well-being – rather than appearance - is the single factor that will carry you through to the end.
- c. The second goal is the continuous learning of new physical skills. As long as we live, we must grow physically and mentally. The minute we stop growing, we slide backwards.
2. Pitfalls of exercising to “burn calories.”
- a. If you get sick or injured and continue eating the same amount of food, you will get fat again.
- b. “Burning calories” is boring and a giant waste of time.
3. The myth of spot-reducing.
- a. Many believe that the burn experienced in muscles from lifting weights is local fat being
- “burned” for energy. The burning feeling is actually lactic acid which is expelled by the
- muscles as a result of hard work. The acid accumulates in the muscle before being
- evacuated by the lymph system. Acid is hot and burns.
- b. You cannot decrease belly fat by performing a hundred sit-ups. You cannot decrease the fat on the back of the arms by performing triceps exercises. You cannot decrease the fat on your legs by performing leg exercises. The order in which fat is reduced in your body is determined by your genes, not by the exercises you perform. Fat loss is only made possible when you consume less food-energy than you use.
4. Always respect the wishes and limits of your body/mind.
Injuries, illnesses, and extra weight must be taken into account when designing a fitness program as well as before and during every workout. DWM doctors and trainers are available to assess your specific needs and limitations, even as they change from week to week and month to month.
5. During the workout, focus on your training.
Do not bring a phone with you to a workout unless its purpose is to play music or to follow a workout routine. Do not engage in long conversations with others. Both habits will take your mind off of your body as well as bring down the energy of those around you.
C. The three ground rules for the DWM Fitness Workout
- 1. Intense: When you push your body and mind to its safe limits, you send a message that says, “Adapt!”
- 2. Brief: Your mind/body is smart. It doesn’t need the message repeated. Repetition, besides being unnecessary, is boring, time-consuming, and will drain resources needed for recovery.
- 3. Infrequent: The body/mind needs time to recover. Most recovery from a workout occurs over several nights of sleep.
Section II. The three pillars of physical fitness
All three areas of fitness work together to provide optimal health of body and mind, your best protection against injury and disease. Some activities improve all three aspects of fitness, such as rock climbing, wrestling, ballet, and gymnastics. Some exercises such as yoga may be modified to emphasize any of the three pillars of fitness. Others focus on two areas. Pilates for example provides training in strength and flexibility, while many team sports improve endurance and strength.
Our program addresses each of the three pillars in order to achieve maximum efficiency and to be able to measure progress.
Strength training is also known as “resistance training.” All activities on earth resist gravity to some extent and to varying degrees. In our daily lives, we use muscles to move bones against a resisting force. That force may be gravity, or it may be tension from an elastic band, a spring, or even another person. The modern gym is equipped to provide the highest degree of efficiency and thoroughness, along with the quickest path to increased strength.
Clients who carry excessive body fat are notoriously low on energy, and not prepared for training in the areas of endurance or flexibility. That will come later. What they are built for is resistance training — the lifting of water, babies, firewood, and of course weights in the gym. What the overweight and obese bring to the workout is stability — a predominance of yin. For them, the lifting of weight should feel natural and healthy.
Six interesting facts about strength training.
- 1. It thickens the heart muscles, thus improving the efficiency of the heart’s pumping action.
- 2. Strength training accelerates the process of fat loss while preserving lean tissue.
- 3. Strength only builds during periods of sleep and rest.
- 4. When muscle growth is stimulated, muscle fibers secrete stem cells that increase tendon and bone thickness and strength.
- 5. Muscle growth in one area of the body contributes to overall muscle growth. This is a good reason to train the whole body.
- 6. The use of free weights, machines, pulleys, and calisthenics keep the workout interesting.
- 7. Isolation exercises work only one muscle; compound exercises work two or more muscles at the same time. Both keep the workout interesting.
Four special instructions about lifting
- 1. Strict form must be followed for every exercise in order to avoid injury and to be able to measure results.
- 2. Every repetition should complete a complete range of motion, from full extension to full flexion and back.
- 3. When beginning to work a muscle group, always start with a brief warm-up set with a lighter weight. This practice will connect nerve with muscle, prevent injury, and make you stronger during your serious sets.
- 4. Always exhale while working. Inhale when returning to the starting position. Do not be afraid to make noise with your breath.
Major muscle groups to be worked.
- 1. Upper body: Latissimus dorsi (upper back), pectoralis (chest), three deltoids (shoulder), trapezius, biceps, triceps.
- 2. Lower body: Quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes.
- 3. Core: Upper abdominals, lower abdominals, lower back, obliques, erector spinae, rhomboids, trapezius.
For those who are de-conditioned – not used to high-intensity training – you should be breathing hard at the end of each set of six to eight repetitions. For those who are conditioned, you should reach failure in strict form somewhere between six and eight reps. If your level of intensity and choice of exercise remain the same, your strength can be measured from workout to workout.
Perform only one intense set for each muscle per workout.
Exercise each muscle no more than twice per week.
*A special note for the de-conditioned.
Of the three areas of muscles to be strengthened, the core muscles are the most important, since they are used for standing, walking and everything else we do in life. A constant focus on erect posture with head up and shoulders back while walking, standing, and sitting will strengthen many core muscles outside of a gym. Using free weights and pulleys and performing calisthenics will offer a special advantage because they also work core muscles, the very basis of musculoskeletal fitness.
Cynthia, a conditioned athlete, begins to work her front and side deltoid muscles. She chooses a compound exercise first and sits at a shoulder-press machine. She places the pin at fifteen pounds. She presses the handles upwards, performs five repetitions, and rests. Then she puts the pin at thirty pounds. She presses upwards and performs seven repetitions. On her eighth try, she fails half-way up. She lowers the weight and catches her breath. Cinthya expects that next time, she will fail at the same spot or be able to increase her repetitions to eight or more. Next, she chooses an isolation exercise. She stands and holds a five-pound dumbbell in each hand. She raises them laterally to shoulder height. She fails on her seventh attempt. Now, she is now ready to move on to her chest workout.
As your body gets lighter and your circulation improves, you are ready to begin endurance training. Endurance training provides four benefits.
- 1. Improves breathing while walking, running, climbing stairs, swimming, playing tennis, and engaging in similar aerobic activities.
- 2. Enlarges the chambers of the heart, thus increasing cardio-efficiency.
- 3. Reduces blood sugar naturally by conducting nutrients into cells without the use of insulin. It reduces pathogenic damp.
- 4. Stimulates feel-good chemicals for the body/mind. In other words, endurance training moves stagnant qi.
There are many forms of endurance training inside and outside the gym. We will focus on machines in the gym, since the workout can be easily controlled and the results measured. These devices commonly include the treadmill, the step machine, and the elliptical machine. Using them without gripping the rails will provide the added benefit of simultaneously strengthening core muscles.
Interval training has been scientifically proven to be the most efficient method of achieving aerobic fitness in the shortest amount of time possible. If you enjoy running marathons, then run marathons, but if you have other things to do besides train, then interval training is for you. Performed for 13 minutes every second or third day, interval training will achieve outstanding results which can be measured.
Interval training involves a warm-up period, four hills of progressive difficulty interspersed with three valleys to catch the breath, followed by a cool-down period. Some machines have an interval training program installed in their computers but many do not.
Blanca walks on the treadmill at 3.0 mph for three minutes. Then she boosts the speed to 4.0 mph for 60 seconds – a light jog for her. She reduces it to 3.0 mph for a minute to catch her breath, then she boosts the speed to 4.3 mph for 60 seconds. Again she lowers the speed to 3.0 mph for a minute and raises the intensity to 4.6 mph for another minute, followed by another minute of walking at 3.0 mph. The final hill at 4.9 mph for 60 seconds leaves her almost gasping, but she’s happy because previously, she was gasping at 4.6 – proof that her cardiovascular system in getting healthier. Now she can walk for 3 minutes and return her breathing to normal. She will repeat this 13-minute exercise in two or three days with slightly higher numbers.
Unlike strength and endurance training, flexibility training can be performed every day without a depletion of recovery resources. A minimum of twice per week is recommended, and like strength and endurance training, progress should be continual.
There are many forms of flexibility training. Many athletic activities include flexibility exercises in their regular programs, such as ballet-type dancing, gymnastics, trainer-assisted stretching, and many team sports. Some feature flexibility training such as Pilates.
We will focus our attention on hatha yoga which many consider to be the most comprehensive form of flexibility training. We will also address foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release.
The best way to learn hatha yoga is by taking classes for a period of time, until you can put together your own pattern which you can then perform on your own. The workout should include forward bends, backward bends, side bends, and spinal twists. Proper breathing is critical to progress. On the exhale, tightness releases and progress occurs.
Foam rolling techniques can be learned from pictures and videos on the internet. The entire body can be rolled. However, we will concentrate on the areas of the body that collect the most tension and respond best to self-myofascial release. They include the spinal muscles from neck to sacrum, the lateral seam from armpit to ribcage, each glute, the lateral seam from hip to knee, the hamstrings, and the calves.
The entire flexibility session need not extend beyond 20 or 30 minutes.
Ricardo warms up his spine with the “cat.” Then with his legs out in front of him, he sits tall and bends forward, breathing deeply ten times. On the final four exhales, he is able to release a little bit and bend further. On the final breath, he reaches a new extension, evidence that he is making progress. Then he goes into a sphinx and then a cobra – a backbend – and breathes ten times. After that, with knees bent he holds the soles of his feet together and bends forward for ten breaths. Then he bends his knees and sits on his lower legs. Slowly he lowers his back to the floor, breathing deeply the whole time. Next, he performs an upper body spinal twist each side for ten breaths, and then a lower body spinal twist on each side. And last a triangle pose – a side bend – on both sides. Then he slowly rolls from sacrum to neck and back. He sits on each glute, breathing the whole time until the pain lessens, and continues down the outside of the upper legs – the IT bands – and each calf muscle. Finally he rolls out the tension underneath each armpit. He finishes in 30 minutes.
Appendix A – Yin and yang theory
From written Chinese, the literal translation of yin is “shady side of the hill,” and of yang, “sunny side of the hill.” For our purposes we will translate yin as “matter,” which coalesces on the shady side of the hill. We will translate yang as “energy,” which expands on the sunny side of the hill. Yin/matter falls to earth; Yang/energy rises to heaven. Yin and yang are actually two sides of the same coin, as illustrated in the famous formula of modern physics:
E = mc2 where “E” is energy/yang and “m” is matter/yin.
The theory of yin and yang is simplicity itself and is easily summed up and brought to mind in the famous symbol called a “taijitu.”
A. The dark is yin and the light is yang.
B. The circle represents all creation.
C. All creation is in constant motion.
D. Yin and yang oppose each other.
E. Yin and yang support each other.
F. Yin constantly changes into yang, and yang constantly changes into yin.
G. All yin contains some yang, and all yang contains some yin. There is no pure yang or pure yin.
H. Both yin and yang are of equal importance.
Qi is that substance that moves everything in the universe, from the galaxies to muscles and blood. Qi is part of yang.
Appendix B – Sample training schedules
Maria is a very busy person and can visit the gym only three times per week. She is ten pounds overweight but otherwise has no health restrictions. Here is her prescription for one month.
- Mondays: Core, endurance, flexibility. One hour.
- Wednesdays: Upper body, endurance, flexibility. One hour.
- Fridays: Lower body, endurance, flexibility. One hour.
Miguel is 40 pounds overweight and fatigues easily but has no other health restrictions. He has plenty of time. Here is his prescription for two months.
- Mondays: Core. 20 minutes.
- Tuesdays: Upper body. 20 minutes.
- Wednesdays: Lower body. 20 minutes.
- Thursdays: Core. 20 minutes.
- Fridays: Upper body. 20 minutes.
- Saturdays: Lower body. 20 minutes.
Appendix C – Frequently asked questions
Q: Is there any particular order regarding the three pillars?
A: No, although it’s recommended that you get your least favorite out of the way first.
Q: Should I hire a trainer?
A: Only if you believe you need to learn proper form for certain lifts.
Q: Any special food?
Q: Should I eat before or after a workout?
A: No. Eating prior to a workout robs the working muscles of energy/qi which is instead diverted to the digestive organs. After the workout, wait for hunger or your regular mealtime.
Q: What about fluids?
A: Drink when and if you are thirsty.
Q: What about injuries?
A: Trust your body. Never re-injure yourself.
Q: What about medical conditions?
A: Your DWM doctor will take them into account when prescribing your workout schedule.
Q: What about advanced age?
A: There is no upper limit to physical training.
Q: What about children?
A: Lifting should be postponed until after the onset of puberty.
Q: What about pregnancy?
A: Jumping should be avoided during the first trimester. Otherwise the pregnant body and the fetus both respond very well to the DWM workout.
Q: What about stimulants?
A: Sleep and rest will provide all the energy and stimulation you need for a successful workout. Coffee is acceptable but all other stimulants should be avoided.
Q: What about serious bodybuilders who want to build muscle?
A: Train hard but don’t over-train. Include protein-rich foods in at least one meal per day. Get lots of sleep and rest. Read “Muscle and Fitness” magazine.