Is Spot Reduction Possible With Regards To Fat Loss?

Up until a few years back I thought it couldn’t be done, but having witnessed all of our Fit and Lean 44 client’s progress, I can now say yes it is possible. A system called Biosignature Nutrition is used for all of our Fit and Lean 44 clients. The Biosignature Program is a blueprint of where an individual stores body fat and the correlation to the hormones in your body.  This protocol has been effectively used on thousands of people producing tremendous results; including spot reduction!  We measure 12 different body fat sites ranging from the chin to the kneecap.  Sites and their hormone relation are as follows:

Chin and cheek- Insulin

Pec – androgens

Triceps – testosterone and the mother of all scores

Subscap and Love handles- insulin

Umbilicus- cortisol hormone

Mid Axillary- Thyroid indicator

Quad and Hamstrings- estrogen and the most troubling site for


Knee and Calf- Growth Hormone(GH) and sleep patterns!

What Happens Next?

Upon diagnosing clients we determine their two major problem areas and they become our focus. 2 focal points could be a combination of GH and insulin, testosterone and cortisol, etc. Why do we focus on the 2 major problem areas and correct them first? Well, by fixing the most troublesome areas other hormones have a natural tendency to fall into place. This leads to not only spot reduction but fat loss throughout the body.

Let’s take a look at a specific example: Throughout the course of Fit and Lean 44 we have seen people who are very lean throughout their body but may be carrying extra body fat in a specific site or ‘spot’ such as their midsection.  This is a direct result of the hormone cortisol being too high throughout the day.  A simple modification to lifestyle or a supplement like schizandra can bring the score of this area down, resulting in a drop of body fat in a persons’ midsection.

To review, does spot reduction work? 

Yes with the proper diagnosis, lifestyle and nutritional change in compliance with a proper exercise protocol!

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Strength Training for Swimmers at SST Milton, ON

If you want to be a better swimmer, you just have to swim more, right? Well, you do have to work on perfecting technique and that requires practice … lots of practice, but you also need to get stronger. That means work in the gym, on dry land … lots of work.

In discussions with James Brough, Head Coach of the Milton Marlins, it has become clear that an important part of the swim stroke is lost if the swimmer drops the elbow under water. His explanation made it very clear that athletes with weak backs are forced to drop the elbow in order to recruit other muscles to finish the stroke. It is not by accident that the swimmers we saw competing in Rio have backs like barn doors! Exercises like chin-ups and rows will build a strong back and allow the swimmer to correct their arm path through the water. An added benefit of this increased strength is the increased efficiency with which the swimmer can now move through the water. Increased efficiency means less fatigue and less fatigue means more in the tank to finish the race! In our testing sessions, we found only a very few athletes that were capable of chin-ups in their programming with less than a handful being able to perform more than 1 repetition, if at all. To put a point on this, swimmers should be able to perform at least 6 reps of strict, tempo chin-ups with our preference being 10-12 reps! This leaves a large gap between performance and expectation … needless to say, our programming will include significant back work! Chin-up variations and rows of all kinds will be staples of swimming programming at SST Milton.

Another point of discussion between Jamie and myself was “core stability” … a term that I’m trying to lead people away from, my preference being “trunk stiffening”. Swimmers spend a significant amount of time in a near weightless environment which leads them to have weak trunk stiffeners, much to their coach’s lament! A swimmer needs to be able to maintain trunk stiffness in order to be able to stroke and kick without leaking energy with “snake-like” trunk movement. One must, simply look to the very tight, full body suits that acted like a girdle for proof of the need for a stiff trunk. Those suits led to a number of World Record times – maybe not in putting them on, but certainly in the water! So, how does one increase their ability to generate trunk stiffness? Squats, deadlifts, planks, and loaded carries done correctly in a safe and supervised gym environment. In testing and early training, we have seen a number of swimmers who cannot control their trunk on dry land with only bodyweight as resistance! How can these athletes be expected to maintain a stiff trunk in the nearly weightless environment that they train in everyday? Swimmers should be working consistently on trunk stiffeners with loaded carries, in particular – at SST Milton, EVERYONE has loaded carries in their program! We feel that strongly about this type of exercise.

With consistent work in the weightroom, swimmers can become faster and more efficient when they get back in the water. At SST Milton, let us show you how!

If you need more info regarding this post please contact Jeff Jensen at our Milton location or email Jeff –


Do You Train Yourself? Time To Fire Your Trainer – Part 2

Just in case you missed – Part 1 to this series CLICK HERE to read the post.


If clients are interested, I will suggest some proven options for fat loss.
Even if they say they are interested they often have tons of excuses why
they can’t do squats, dead-lifts or resistance training and why they would never
do high intensity interval training. They tell me that eating too much protein is
bad for people and that high quality food is too expensive.  They believe that
boxed cereal is a healthy choice because the cereal is fortified with nutrients.
Many of these clients tell me that because fish oil is fat, it should be avoided.
They contend that the leg press machine is better than split squats because
the knee never travels past the toes and that since the cardio class they do with
their girlfriend helped them drop five pounds, doing it twice a week should help
them drop 10. It goes on and on.

What I find very surprising about this attitude is the high level of buy-in the client demonstrates.  It doesn’t matter that I look exactly how they want to look, they JUST KNOW that what they are doing is going to be effective REGARDLESS of how little impact it is having on their body. Evidence doesn’t enter into the equation when faced with overwhelming emotional commitment – the feeling that it will work.

I understand there is a lot of psychology involved in all of this, and that these people who desire to change their body composition have, at some level, an emotional issue or two that led them to their larger self in first place. But, the fact that they hold on to their issues during their efforts to change their body composition is regrettable and it is wasting a lot of their time. Let’s face it, someone who has 50 pounds of fat to lose is very good at one thing, gaining fat and they aren’t very good at the opposite thing, getting rid of fat. But they can’t grasp this obvious relationship. However,  if they could, they would end up in a much better place.

The hard, fast truth about improving body composition is that you need an expert to help you do it.  If you are going to the gym and you are not trained by an expert, it’s time to fire your coach and hire an expert. SST’s individualized programs or the Satellite Program may be exactly what you need. Give SST a call and find out how we can help you!

Do You Train Yourself? Time To Fire Your Trainer – Part 1

I spend a lot of time in various gyms and I see a lot of things that make me wonder what I’m actually seeing. This is not unusual for me because I’m mostly a kinaesthetic-type learner and I need to try things out before I understand them clearly.


Over time, one thing that I’ve been able to spot immediately is something that is dead-wrong. It’s easy to notice because I get a feeling inside that alerts me to the fact that I’m seeing something that is completely off the grid of what is sensible. There’s a saying in coaching that ‘if something doesn’t look right then it isn’t right’ and you don’t have to know exactly what it is that is wrong when it just looks wrong.

There is more nonsense in gym-workouts that are directed at changing body composition than anything else. If you take a few minutes to look around any gym, you’ll see things that just don’t make sense. The worst part about it is that people are parting with their free time to do this foolishness. It isn’t any of my business, most of the time, so I just watch long enough to get the feeling and then I go back to my workout and allow the feeling to float away.

Opinions Matter!

The only time it gets to me is when I’m drawn in by someone who is asking me for my opinion about their program, or their efforts, only to finally let me know that their approach is great and that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Being willfully ignorant is a problem because it indicates that a person has stopped learning, which is fine with me, so long as I am not engaged in the ignorant conversation. However, when someone does ask me how long it will take them to drop ten pounds by doing bicep curls and some light cardio; I find it a challenge to be gently polite.

I tell them that I can’t answer that question because their workout isn’t a program set up by me and I have no prior knowledge of their physical attributes and how the program pertains to their individual weaknesses.

Look out for the Part II of this post!

Oh and Hey…. Check out the 2016 Fall special – BUTT & GUTS

The Pear – Dreaded Estrogen – Part 2

In Part 1 I dealt with – the best form of exercise for people who have high levels of estrogen, strength or aerobics or pilates?

Here is a 6 week sprint program. This is to be followed only twice per week as the intensity levels are too great. If you are pushing yourself then you will feel the delayed onset muscle soreness for days thus unable to do this workout daily.   It makes me laugh when I hear people sprinting everdyday!! I undertsnad there are varying abilities and starting  poitns for everyone so I composed a step Interval program.

Day Distance Intensity Sets/reps Rest in between reps
1 10 yards 80%- moderate 2x 10 30 sec rest with 2 min rets in between sets
2 100 yards 80%- moderate 1×10 75sec
3 10 and 30 yards 80%- moderate 1×10 x 10 yards

1 x 10 X 30 yards

45 sec


4 100 and 150 80%- moderate 1 x 5 x 100 yards

1x 5 x 150 yards

75 sec

2 min

5 10 and 20 yards 100% 1x 8 X 10 yards

1x 6 x 20 yards



6 100 80% 1x 15 2min
7 20 and 40 yards 100% 1 x 8 20 yards

1 x 6 x 40 yards

2 min


8 100 yards 100% 1 x12 3 min
9 40 yards 100% 1 x 12 2min
10 100 and 150 yards 100% 1 x 8 x 100 yards

1 x 4 x 150 yards



11 40 and 60 yards 80% 1 x 8 each 2 min
12 150 yards 80% 1 x 8 3min

The Pear – Dreaded Estrogen – Part 1

What is the best form of exercise for people who have high estrogen levels?  Is it strength training? Aerobics? Pilates? All nice choices but not the best form for what I typically call a pear shaped body.  The best and effective methods for getting rid of the junk and cellulite are a form of lactate training.   Let’s look at a typical sprinter…yes I now genetics does play a role but these athletes train and push them to the limit.  Ever get that feeling of throwing up?   If you don’t you are not creating enough lactate but if you are then you are in the right zone. By feeling this way one has increased lactate which leads to a dramatic increase in Growth Hormone resulting in significant burning of body fat. Consider that the amount of GH injected by professional body builders each day is actually a smaller amount than released by the body during lactate training (Poliquin, 2007). There are two very effective LEGAL methods of increasing Growth Hormone levels; Proper Exercise and Sleep! For this purpose we will only concentrate on increasing levels through exercise. There are many forms of exercise that are able to do this.  The cheapest and effective method is Sprinting


Feel The Burn!!

That “burn” one feels in a muscle is caused by the splitting of ATP (the body’s energy molecule) by the muscle in order to maintain its contractile properties. The lactate produced is actually supposed to decrease the amount of burn by neutralizing the acidic nature of the contracting muscle. If the muscles fill up, (with what?) they have to be emptied. The body uses the lactate as metabolic fuel for the heart, liver and kidneys (Brooks 1985).

Keep a look out for the 2nd part of this blog series.

Are you an Apple – Part 2?

What can be done to control insulin?

Well, let’s look at that professional football player I mentioned earlier. When tested, he was an apple. In fact he was a large Granny Smith!  What did we recommend for him?  He eliminated all refined carbs, increased his protein to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight and consumed 25 grams of fish oil each day (Must be wild pacific salmon oil). He maintained this protocol for eight weeks with built in cheat days where he could eat pizza, ice cream, cookies and anything else his mouth could find. What person wouldn’t love being able to have a pizza once in a while and still make such excellent changes in his body composition?


Cortisol? What’s that?

Stubborn abdominal fat is linked to high amounts of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is an energy hormone, which should be elevated when an individual wakes up and should decrease throughout the day. Unfortunately Apple types have a difficult time in a viscous cycle of yo-yo cortisol levels.  Excess stress such as job, family, financial issues all contribute to an increase in cortisol.  But, what I have found to be the main contributing factor to excess cortisol is what people put in their mouths on a daily basis. Yes, refined carbohydrates and any food that leads to an insulin spike will increase cortisol levels, which then lead to that stubborn abdominal fat.

We tell all of our ladies that everyone has abs; it’s just that some people have fat covering them!  Increased cortisol not only leads to abdominal fat but also is linked to a decrease of up to 50% in free testosterone!  The hormone testosterone is anabolic (meaning growth) while cortisol is catabolic (breaks down muscle tissue). Do you now know why I frown upon rhythmical cardio – it causes a breakdown of muscle tissue and decreases testosterone!  Heck, we work too hard in the gym to let this to occur.

The problem with the stress hormones is that they follow the same path as testosterone. In fact when someone is too stressed the hormone pregnenolone is being stolen to produce cortisol and lowers the levels of testosterone.


When an Apple type comes to us for help we put them on a Paleolithic type nutritional system.  Humans have been around for 2.5 million years and our DNA is 99% the same as our prehistoric ancestors. These hunters and gatherers consumed foods that were fresh and natural not processed or canned. They consumed organic types of meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some fruit.  Only after the agricultural revolution did we start to eat foods such as cookies, chips and Coke.  By consuming highly processed foods we are causing increased levels of insulin and robbing our raw resources to make more cortisol, which has led to our society being fatter than ever. Right now obesity is at epidemic proportions and is one of the most serious medical issues of our time.

Remember this: When you go grocery shopping, stick to the outside aisles and only go down another aisle to get your toilet paper.

All SST clients start on a similar type of protocol for 14 days.  They consume large amounts of fish oil, a high quality multi vitamin, 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and follow a strength training program to increase their cross sectional muscle fibers.  What should be expected? We’ve seen menopausal women lose 3% body fat and 5-10lbs in only 2 weeks by following this protocol!

Just in case you missed Part 1 of this series – Are you an Apple? CLICK HERE

Are you an Apple – Part 1?

At SST, we have tested and trained thousands of athletes and many weekend warriors.  Our research led us to define 4 different body types; the apple, the pear, the banana, and the SST skinny fat guy. Body types were determined by the individual’s body fat make up.  Part of the Biosignature protocol is to measure 12 skin-fold sites with calipers. Each site is directly related to a hormone in the body.  I will get into more detail regarding hormones in an upcoming article.


apple-body-sstFigure 1 Apple-Shaped Female Body

The Apple

At SST we have found that up to 60% of people fit the businessman’s disease profile and cannot handle the excess insulin they produce. Upper back fat and love handles are indicators that an individual is insulin resistant. Insulin is the only hormone that you can control 100% of the time.  If a client cheats I ask them if that donut was forced down their throat.

Let’s take a quick look at how excess insulin plays a role in the body. After eating a carbohydrate rich meal (donut for breakfast), blood sugar levels increase rapidly. In response, the body releases insulin, which acts by facilitating the movement of sugar into the muscle or fat for storage.  Apple types are insulin resistant meaning that their cells are not responsive to high amounts of insulin.  Thus, when an apple type of person consumes a food high on the glycemic index fat storage is increased.

  • If you are looking a terrific workout please click for our Fall NEW SCHEDULE
  • Next article, I will discuss how you can control insulin and increase your overall quality of life!