June 2001 Newsletter
Happy coming summer! It's time to sit down and read another great newsletter (modesty itself is talking). It is just 10 days delayed, but I know that you are busy walking the beaches full with half naked, sun tanned, shiny bodies, that you hardly noticed that the newsletter is not coming... Do you wonder what is my excuse this time? Too much fog in Venice Beach! Believe it or not, it's been about 6 weeks of fog. Every day. And kind of chilly too. If I think about it, I don't mind it that much. If I need to feed my golden tan, I jump in Rio Tan (my unlimited membership tanning place) and take a little nap after my workout. And if I need a lot of sun and heat, I go for a little trip to Las Vegas. Or to Mexico...
Actually, these two are the real reasons of my delayed communication with you. I've been going almost every weekend, for 3-4 days, either to Las Vegas, or to Mexico. I must admit that it is a lot of fun! Coming back to Venice is hard though, because I need to squeeze all my work and all my workouts into 3-4 days, so it makes me extremely busy. And somehow unbalanced. On weekends, I don't do ANYTHING, and on weekends, I do it ALL... And how about my training and diet? It's perfect when I am in Venice - weight training and cardio and clean foods every day... I have to, because I need to take off the weight that I put on in Mexico. I have been trying to eat well overe the border - all these jumbo lobsters, for breakfast, lunch and dinner... Yum, yum. The bad thing is that you are served these home made/fried delicious nachos, and they give you a bag of them before the meal arrives. And you are hungry, and the nachos smell so good, they are warm and just picked-up from the oil... you taste one and you are hooked. The whole bag is gone in a few minutes and they bring you another one... And believe me, a few pounds of nachos every day, it makes a little difference in your midsection. The nacho expert is talking! And no training doesn't help either. Not that I don't have an access to the gym, there is always at least a little one at the hotel, and the pool as well. But who has time to exercise when she is busy eating or digesting tons of nachos? OK, OK, enough of that... This introduction doesn't really support the purpose of my newsletter - to motivate you to become and stay fit, eat healthy and balanced, exercise and feel good, huh? Or, maybe it does. We all come into situations in our lives, where we are meeting and discovering something new and unknown, feeling temporarily out of balance, because it takes some time to adjust to the new situation. Just know that it's ok to be thrown off your balance for a little while, and be sure that you'll adapt really fast to the new situation and recreate your healthy habits, real quick, real soon. Rethink, refocus, remotivate yourself and set a new plan, and it will work out just fine. Like my weekend trips away from Venice - I don't eat that bad anymore, I learned how to resist the nachos and eat a lot of wonderful fresh sea food instead. And I take long walks on the beaches in Mexico instead of my gym cardio.
And because of my trips, I must admit that my rollerdancing in
Beach has been suffering lately. I do it maybe just once in a month,
all my beach fans are wondering, what happened to me. And instead of
I am happily rolling a Lincoln Navigator (rented, who would
an own one???), off roads on Mexico beaches. It is not so bad exchange,
isn't it? The summery Venice Beach is full of curious tourists, and
the fog, it is really gorgeous after all that remodeling that happened
last year. So if you haven't visited yet, you should do it soon. Gold's
Gym is full of guys and girls in a perfect summer shape. Lot of
are going on now. April through July, a bunch of qualifying contests
the USA, that is July 27. And after that Nationals and Olympia in
So everybody is in shape, and working that body into even better shape
for the July or October contests. It is lot of energy and motivation at
Gold's. So when you are coming to Venice Beach for your summer vacation
and to see me to dance on rollerskates (you want to see me, right?),
forget to visit Gold's as well. Check these hotties out!
The video is out!
Wonderful and long expected news! Maybe you don't even remember, but last year I shot a video with Heroine Films. It was supposed to be a piece of art, and released in January 2001. It is still a piece of art, and it has been released just 6 months later. But that's ok, it is finally out. Everything was pretty much out of my control, and I guess the producers' as well. Finally, I got the tape delivered.
To refresh your memory, "Suzanna McGee:
is portraying the strength and beauty of a muscular woman,
with other skills and qualities that she possesses. The woman is shown
in a very artistic and to the eye appealing way. The producers are
with lights, shadows, beats and speeds. Some of the shots are from the
swimming pool, rock climbing and posing on the top of the mountain
the sky, speeding on rollerblades, dancing on rollerskates during the
and at night, training and posing in the gym. Some shots are from the
showing the regular every day life, co-starring the pitbull
The 60 min long video is accompanied with interviews and relaxing
music, and 15 min long posing session at the end. This is what the cover
has to say:
SUZANNA McGEE: LIONESS
six foot natural wonder!
all about the smile. Sure she's 6' 180 pounds of solid, all-natural
Sure she's a top bodybuilder and national rollerdance champion. Sure
a nutrition expert and was once a professor of computer science. But
SUZANNA'S smile that gets you: a smile like summer sun, so warm and
it could make Tyson and Holyfield kiss and make up.
LIONESS, we follow SUZANNA through her day, waking up, walking her dog,
working out at the gym, rollerblading and skate dancing on the beach,
and rock climbing.
tells us about how she came to California, her life as a bodybuilder,
her aspirations for the future, and she SHOWS us the results of all her
hard work; a golden body with beautiful lines, serious power and the
grace that earned her the name...
I hope that you who has been interested in the video, has been patient enough... because now here it is! You can purchase the it for $39.95. See details in the order form. And I look forward to your order... Or just simply send your check with $39.95 (plus $4.95 for S/H) to
Suzanna McGee @ Angel City Fitness
4144 Glencoe Ave
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Cardio or Weights?
If you haven't started yet, now it's really time to do something serious to get in shape for the summer. The sun is coming out, we are taking off layers of our clothes, realizing that we have somehow too many layers of something extra, fluffy, on our stomachs, butts and tights... Lets get serious about our training and summer shape up. For many of us, the main question raises - cardio or weight training? What is better???
Look around and you see that too many people rely exclusively on the cardio in their fitness program. Well, cardio is great for your heart, and feeling good... But resistance training is too. And unlike cardio, resistance training has huge payoffs in terms of increasing metabolism and burning your body fat. I believe that the weight training should be a foundation of your fitness routine. Dr. Ronald Bahr of the National Institute of Occupational Health in Oslo, Norway has studied the effects of exercise ton metabolism. He looked at the exercise type, duration, and intensity, along with the influence of meals. Dr. Bahr found that intense exercise (weight training) burns up more calories per minute, helps maintain muscle mass (and the more muscle you have the higher your resting metabolism!), and continues to burn up calories at a higher rate post-exercise. He found that exercising intensely for 30 minutes caused the metabolic rate to increase by 150 calories more than normal over the 12 hour post-exercise period. What that means is that intense exercise increases your metabolic rate after your workout. Did you know that intense exercise can cause release of growth hormone and elevate testosterone also? Dr. Bahr also found that the use of fat as a fuel increases after an intense workout. During an intense workout, your body uses primarily muscle glycogen and carbohydrates as its energy source. But after the workout, it switches over to burning stored fat. Dr. Bahr noted a 300 percent increase in fat burning after intense exercise! Intense training may also trigger other fat burning mechanisms in the body. These are called "futile cycling" pathways. This fat burning mechanism is the result of energy being released as heat. Adrenaline works on this pathway to stimulate it. Intense workouts release adrenaline.
So, the moral of the story? Make an intense weight training the
of your exercise routine, and use cardio for support; not the other way
around! Intense resistance exercise builds and stimulates muscle, which
in turn builds and stimulates metabolism. For every pound of muscle you
put on, you can burn 30-50 calories more per day. Hmmm, that is
4 more extra pounds of muscle burns 120-200 calories extra per day,
is 3600 to 6000 calories a month. Which means that you can loose 1 -
lbs fat per month, doing nothing, just having that extra muscle mass.
that is pretty motivating to start lifting weights, isn't it???
I bet you have heard of it... So much talked about, a book by Katie
Arnoldi. I am just reading it and I must say that it is really good.
the subculture of the bodybuilding world. The things you read about are
true. I personally know people at Gold's Gym in Venice who have been
similar experiences. The book is sometimes shocking, sometimes
Showing us two, in different ways, obsessed people and how their lives
are drawn together. She wants to be a world famous bodybuilder and he
rich and worshiper of female muscle. He is going to help her, and she
do anything that he asks for. Read about the intense interaction
them two, and the chemical assistance that she goes through on her way
to the bodybuilding top.
Understanding the Difficulty Women Have in Losing
By Bryan Haycock MS
Having worked with many different female clients, I can attest to the difficulty of getting their lower body as lean as their upper body. Over the years I have tried many different strategies to get them to lose lower body fat like men. One thing I have learned is that patience and commitment make all the difference. If you have those two with you, science can help with the rest.
Some of the things I we have tried are manipulating the ratio of macronutrients in the diet. At best, a low fat diet works for weight loss in the obese, whereas lowering carbs has a tremendous advantage in women who are relatively lean already (by lean I mean 18% or so). Even so, stubborn lower body fat will still plague the female low-carb dieter. Yohimbine, an alpha-2 antagonist, has also failed to produce the desired results. Think of alpha-2 receptors as a "brake" for fat cells. Women have a greater proportion of alpha-2 receptors on their lower body fat than men. This, in large part, gives rise to the typical gynoid, or "pear shaped", fat patterning common in women. It was thought that if you could block the brake with yohimbine you could increase lower body fat loss during a diet. In the end, yohimbine has fallen far short of expectations. Even yohimbine creams have not worked.
So why is it that the fat on a woman‚s hips and thighs is so slow to respond to tried and true fat loss techniques? Well, research has demonstrated measurable differences in the lower body fat of men women. For ease in reading I‚ll put this in bullet point format:
1. Fat release at rest and before eating (called basal lipolysis) is greater from upper body subcutaneous fat than from lower body fat. This is true for both men and women. Though this does not explain the differences between men and women it does help to know that lower body fat is simply less active.
2. Beta-agonists (e.g. adrenalin, ephedrine, caffeine) do not increase lower body fat breakdown in women, but they do in men. Ouch! This effect may be due to the prevalence of alpha-2 receptors in women‚s lower body fat. Once again, we see that what works for the goose will not always work for the gander.
3. There is no gender difference in lower body fat breakdown between men and women during exercise.
4. Estrogen plays a significant role in protecting and ensuring the accumulation of lower body fat in women.
I have tried to use this information with my clients to help them as best I can to get rid of stubborn lower body fat. For example, using ephedrine and caffeine will not necessarily get rid of lower body fat faster than without it. However, insulin seems to make alpha-2 receptors more sensitive so lowering carbs in a strategic fashion can greatly improve results in the lower body. Birth control pills may also be a factor due to their estrogen content. If a female client is trying to get ready for a show and is using birth control pills, I may suggest she use an alternate form of birth control until after the show. This of course is said only by way of suggestion.
In the end, what ultimately must happen, is that the upper body fat stores must be depleted before the lower body really becomes active. Unfortunately, most women compete just as there upper bodies are ripped but their lower bodies have only begun to lean up. If they would go on an additional 6 weeks, their lower bodies would be ready. Also, beware of trainers/coaches who have only trained men. There are a lot of things they may not know about or take into consideration when training a women. Some of these things could really make a difference in a woman‚s success at getting the body she wants.
1. Jensen MD. Lipolysis: contribution from regional fat. Annu Rev Nutr. 1997;17:127-39
2. Elbers JM, de Jong S, Teerlink T, Asscheman H, Seidell JC, Gooren LJ. Changes in fat cell size and in vitro lipolytic activity of abdominal and gluteal adipocytes after a one-year cross-sex hormone administration in transsexuals. Metabolism. 1999 Nov;48(11):1371-7.
You probably already know how much I like to squat... Yes, I really truly do. I believe that squats (and lunges as well) are the "little secret" of our training routine. Nothing compares to doing squats. And I mean REAL squats, with a barbel. No machine... If you don't like the bar, use big dumbbells until there aren't any big enough and then go to a bar. Or find one of those diamond-shaped bar things that you stand in the middle of, hold with your arms down and load with plates. But there is nothing that does all the things that squatting with a loaded bar across your shoulders will do. Balance, nuance of movement, secondary and tertiary effects on other muscle groups: all of that is lost with a machine and some of it is lost with alternative open movements. Machines almost always allow some kind of cheat that free weights don't -- pressure against some piece of the machine to stabilize your body, pushing at odd angles and letting the machine turn it into motion in a fixed direction, stopping at one end of the movement or the other with no load, locking joints improperly... Machines also take away the need to stabilize your body in a natural movement, and they take away the ability to push through the movement in a natural arc rather than a constrained direction.
But the real reason you should use a bar is that the squat is the greatest weightlifting move ever devised. Squatting taxes your mind and body like nothing else. Putting a few hundred pounds or so on your shoulders makes you aware of the musculature and skeletal support throughout your entire body. You can close your eyes and feel your placement in space perfectly. You know immediately if your shrugs and upright rows are working. You can feel the balance of the bar and how far back it is in how your body adjusts to it's weight, just standing there. You can feel the placement and alignment of the small bones in your feet, you can tell if one of your feet is slightly farther ahead or behind the other, you know if your legs are forming an isosceles triangle to support your body or if it's a little off -- all without looking. As soon as you bend your knees you begin to use the shoulder and arm muscles to stabilize the bar, you use your back to stay under the weight so it doesn't fold you down, you tighten your abs and back to control the tilt of your pelvis as you lower yourself. If you squat all the way down, you use thighs, hamstrings, glutes and calves to keep the weight pushing straight down as you come to a complete stop without bobbing or resting, then you drive back up from your heels, pushing up not only with your legs and glutes, but also trying to reach up with your shoulders, your back and your arms. I know pushing the bar up with my traps and arms doesn't take the weight off my legs, but I do it anyhow -- your entire body reaches up, head back, pushing for the ceiling, exploding out of that cramped, crouched position. Part way through the set it becomes combat. You against the bar; your mind against your body. You don't feel like you're lowering or raising yourself; you feel like you're controlling your collapse and then managing, somehow, to stand up again. Your head wants to be down, your shoulders slumped, your knees locked. You push off with your toes more, you're tempted to do something that looks more like a deadlift followed by a good-morning, but if you start that you'll have to dump the load onto the safety bars and then you let the weight beat you. Your brain starts bargaining with your legs -- "one more and that's it," "that wasn't so bad, let's do one more," "come on! this is the one that counts, push, damn it!" and so on. You're panting and the weight of the bar feels like it's closing down your lungs. And when you finally do stop, you're sucking air like you're on top of a mountain and you're holding onto the safety cage so you don't fall over while your quads quiver. IT'S GREAT!
Seriously, in spite of the love and hate relationship to squatting, there is nothing like it. If you have a medical problem that prevents squatting or makes it dangerous for you, then by all means stick with other moves, but if your reluctance to squat is due to concerns over knees, general safety, etc. then I suggest you study it some more, start small and learn the form, and make sure you take the time to set up the safety cage properly. Start slowly and carefully, squat is a move that can hurt you if you are casual with it, but it will help you more than anything else if you approach it properly. And by the way, have you ever tried to load the bar pretty heavy and do sets of 20? That's cruel and you might want to scream, or cry, or faint, or all of it. But it builds your morals (and your body, too).!
Is weight training good for women?
Now that is a question! Some girls think that they would look too "bulky" or too "manly" or too "nasty". Believe me, without an intense chemical assistance, an average woman cannot turn into a beast just by lifting weights. As heavy and as often as she wants... If growing muscles would be that easy, every body around us would be muscular and lean. Because that's what we all want, right? Be strong, have some nice lines and tone and muscles, and not too much body fat. So, if you are a woman who wants to get in shape and look strong, healthy and attractive, read on... And if you are a guy who has a fluffy girlfriend and cannot convince her how great weight training is for her and the reason of her perfect body and that you want to be all over her tight booty is too obvious, then you need some more "substance" in your convincing... read on why women should weight train.
Life and weight loss: In our society, women are obsessed with weight control. Unfortunately, that obsession normally centers on the bathroom scale and does not consider changes in body composition (ratio of body fat to lean body mass). Most fad diets result in a loss of muscle tissue as well as body fat. A person can lose half of their body fat and remain alive; but if you lose half of your muscle mass, you will most likely die. Because muscle is denser than body fat, a person who is weight training may show slower changes on the scale but faster changes in body composition.
Muscles burn fuel: Muscle burns more calories than body fat. Muscle cells have organelles called mitochondria, often referred to by physiologists as a cell‚s Œpower plant‚. They provide the energy for nearly all of the metabolic processes that take place within the cell. Muscle cells are very busy and the mitochondria constantly transform chemical energy into mechanical energy. Reactions within the mitochondria break the bonds of fuel molecules and release energy for cells to use. During endurance exercise most of the energy for muscle activity is provided by mitochondria. This is used as the primary argument for the performance of copious amounts of endurance exercise. While it is true that calories are burned during endurance exercise, only resistance training can increase muscle mass. More muscle --> more mitochondria --> more fuel burned.
Weight training can increase basal metabolic rate: Basal metabolic rate refers to the number of calories used by the body at rest, and makes up 60-75% of the body‚s total energy expenditure. While aerobic exercise burns calories during activity (and a small amount afterwards), it has minimal effect on basal metabolic rate. Additionally, extensive periods of aerobic activity can decrease basal metabolic rate by causing muscle loss. In contrast, a proper resistance-training program can increase muscle mass, and hence the metabolic rate. For general overall health and weight control, weight training is a necessary component of a woman‚s exercise program.
Muscle inactivity leads to muscle weakness and wasting: Muscle fibers must be physically active if they are to remain in good health. Otherwise, they will degenerate and lose mass. We have all seen (or known) older individuals who lacked the strength to walk without aid, or get out of a chair under their own power. This represents an extreme of muscle and strength loss. Less muscle mass also means the body burns less fuel. Most importantly, less muscle mass means a decline in strength. Consequently, sedentary people have an increased need to incorporate exercise into their weekly activities to maintain muscle mass, strength and aid in weight control.
Connective tissue and joints: Resistance training also stresses and strengthens connective tissue. This is the tissue that binds bones together and attaches muscles to the skeleton. Sensible training with weights will increase the cell activity of connective tissue in the muscle and those which attach the muscles to the bones. Mechanical compression of the joints stimulates healthy metabolism of cartilage within the joints. Inactive joints have decreased macromolecule turnover in the tissue and may be more susceptible to osteoarthritis and injury.
Helps prevent osteoporosis: Muscle wasting in the elderly contributes greatly to osteoporosis, a major debilitating disease in women after they reach menopause. Women have less muscle mass than men and also have less bone density. Both men and women undergo hormonal and metabolic changes as they age. Muscles start to deteriorate, fat accumulates more readily, and bones begin to lose their density. This process can be slowed, especially with forethought. Load bearing activities enhance bone mass. Studies have shown that women who are active throughout their lives have greater bone density and retard bone loss in later years. Recent research has demonstrated that weight training can reduce, and possibly reverse, bone loss in pre- and postmenopausal women. However, women should start and maintain some type of weight training activity as early as their twenty‚s for optimum prevention of osteoporosis. Regardless, it is never too late to start, no matter what age.
Muscles and mass give women power over their own lives: When was the last time you refused with a smile the bag boy‚s offer to take out your groceries? When was the last time you changed the tire on your car by yourself? How soon did you huff and puff the last time you climbed those three flights of stairs? How young will you be when you are forced to enter a nursing home because your wasted muscle mass can no longer support your frail bones? Muscles are required in order for women to take charge of their own physical life. They are necessary to provide for a woman‚s welfare and ability to fend for herself. As well, muscle mass contributes to weight control, especially in later life. Moreover, it makes women feel good about themselves.
By now you may have noticed that I use the two terms Œweight training‚ and Œresistance training‚ interchangeably. In the context of this article, Œresistance training‚ is more applicable: to build muscle mass by increasing the resistance the muscle must move. Exercise physiologists call this Œprogressive overload.‚ Muscles are amazing pieces of metabolic machinery. They adapt quickly. If you can curl a 10-pound dumbbell with 12 controlled repetitions (reps), it is time to increase the weight: not Œtone‚. Toning is not resistance training. Nor will it build muscle mass. Use the word Œtoning‚ in a gym and watch the hardcore weightlifters cringe and sneer. The term Œtoning‚ is erroneously applied to doing countless reps with small amounts of weight that don‚t incrementally challenge the muscle. That muscle adapts quickly to moving a weight for a given number of reps and is no longer stimulated. The weight must be progressively increased in small increments for muscles to grow.
For generations women have been perceived as being the weaker sex. Not true. Strength and speed are not a monopoly of the male gender. Women and men have the same capability to develop strength and speed. Relative to fat free body mass, women have nearly the same strength as men. If one were to take the same muscle unit from a woman and a man and put it in an identical artificial environment with the same growth media and the same stimulation, the muscles would grow at the same rate. However, in the body‚s environment, the hormonal and metabolic environment varies between men and women. Women have smaller muscle fibers and ordinarily have less muscle mass. Nevertheless, women are gaining in rate of competitive performance on a par with men in both speed and strength. Women are realizing they can perform daily activities that require strength that they previously thought they could not do. Physical strength will increase a woman‚s independence in everyday life.
A sensible program of combining resistance and aerobic exercise will increase strength and stamina. Resistance training will stimulate the muscles to remain strong and robust. A moderate amount of aerobic activity will contribute to greater endurance and overall increases in efficient body metabolism. Sadly, women generally don‚t realize how strong they are or how strong they can be. Many women don‚t know their own power and feel safe within their imposed boundaries. They are afraid to exert themselves. It is time to break that mold. Use as much weight as you can and move that weight with intensity. Challenge yourself. Set goals and work hard to achieve them. Be strong and feel strong. When you can curl that 10-pound dumbbell for 12 reps, grab the next heavier dumbbell and do it again. Go for that extra rep. Embrace the feeling of contracting muscle. Push yourself and rejoice in your accomplishments.
Femsport Valkyrie Fest 2001 Vancouver Sports Model Quest
On September 22, Vancouver, BC hosts the Femsport Valkyrie Fest 2001 Vancouver Sports Model Quest. This event pits some of the hottest hardbodied athletic models you'll ever see battling it out for over $2,000 in cash and prizes in a strength round and a physique round.
Events in the strength portion include dips and curls performed for maximum reps in a two-minute time limit. The final event, "The Walk Of Pain" sees competitors toting two five-gallon water jugs approximately 60 feet in a race against the clock. The competition wraps up with the physique portion where judges will reward contestants for a healthy, athletic looking physique, focusing more on a softer "sports model" look. A tally of scores from both rounds (each accounting for 50 percent) will determine an overall winner.
In lieu of an entrance fee, competitors will drop a food item to the Vancouver Food Bank hamper set up at the venue. For fans, part of the admission price will be a food donation to the Food Bank. During the evening, a second charity will benefit. A representative of the Boys and Girls Club will receive a check courtesy of the show promoters.
For information, phone Tre‚ Scott at 240-350-8146, email JP Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org or FemSport magazine at email@example.com.
A test for the dirty minded
Try to answer all questions first... then click on "What Am I?" for the proper answer...
And see how dirty your mind is!
I am a protrusion that comes in many sizes.
When I'm not well, I drip.
When you blow me, you feel good.
(What Am I?)
I'm spread before I'm eaten.
Your tongue gets me off.
People sometimes lick my nuts.
(What Am I?)
I assist an erection.
Sometimes big balls hang from me.
I'm called a big swinger.
(What Am I?)
Over 1,000 people went down on me.
I wasn't maiden for long.
A big hard thing ripped me open.
(What Am I?)
You stick your poles inside me.
You tie me down to get me up.
I get wet before you do.
(What Am I?)
When I go in I cause pain.
I cause you to spit and ask you not to swallow.
I can fill your hole.
(What Am I?)
A finger goes in me.
You fiddle with me when you're bored.
The best man always has me first.
(What Am I?)
All day long, it's in and out.
I discharge loads from my shaft.
Both men and women go down on me.
(What Am I?)
I go in hard.
I come out soft.
You blow me hard.
(What Am I?)
If I miss, I hit your bush.
It's my job to stuff your box.
When I come, it's news.
(What Am I?)
I offer Protection.
I get the finger ten times.
You use your fingers to get me off.
(What Am I?)
I have a stiff shaft.
My tip penetrates.
I come with a quiver.
(What Am I?)
My business is briefs.
I am a cunning linguist.
I plead and plead for it.
(What Am I?)
I make some guys shoot in the air.
I usually have a little pecker.
I'm better in your hand than in your bush.
(What Am I?)
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