Friday, July 8, 2016

Energy Balance: The Truth About "calories in and calories out".

Energy Balance
The truth about “calories in and calories out”.

  • Daily exercise either aerobic or anaerobic
  • Proper micronutrients
  • Know your G-Flux, energy balance
  • No Diets. Quick results equal quick losses.

You might be a believer in this rule. 
If I am 150 lbs and my daily energy expenditure is 1800 calories per day (because this is what the online calculator told me) and I eat 1800 calories per day, than I will stay the same weight.  If I eat less than 1800 calories I will lose weight.  Sounds simple and there is a lot of good science to back up this philosophy.
There is only one problem.  If never seems to work in real life with most people.  The reason is that true energy balance needs an increase in activity and an increase in proper micronutrients to really work.  In most cases, I have found that people living by this method are not exercising regularly and not eating properly. I have found that they are eating under their daily resting metabolic rate (RMR) and are not losing, but gaining fat.  What they do lose in the very short term is muscle and water, with very little coming from fat stores.
So why is this happening?

It happens for a number of reasons. The most likely being a low RMR (resting metabolic rate), which in turn makes you a thrifty calorie burner and great at storing fat.  Your pro-hormone levels are not activating properly.  Maybe you are insulin sensitive, have high cortisol, thyroid is high or low, growth hormone is low or testosterone or estrogen is too low or too high.  Perhaps you continually looked for a quick fix to your fitness challenge and tried 1 or more of the many fad diets that are advertised.  Any of these reasons could explain the challenges most people face in reaching there fitness goals.

Let me tell you another little secret.  You know those magazine pictures that show these dramatic transformations from fat and frumpy to lean hard body…you know the ones with the house wife who now has abs. Firstly some are fake, surprise. But some are real. I have even met a few of these individuals, and can vouch for there ability to change and keep it off.  In every case, 100% those men or women increased daily activity, lifting weights and doing cardio. They also increased daily calorie consumption.  In most cases they doubled or even tripled calorie consumption and used supplements.  They also ate very differently than there old habitual way of eating. Why because I told them to. Many didn’t believe me at first.

Nutrient partitioning
Nutrient partitioning refers to how many calories are directed into muscular stores verses how many calories are directed into fat stores when you consume food.
Well what the hell does that mean?  Here is a simple explanation. Everybody wants to put on muscle while losing fat. There is only 1 problem. This is very difficult. This is because of nutrient partitioning thresholds.  You may have a fat gain threshold of 2000 cal a day. If you eat more than 2000 cal per day you tend to gain fat stores.  You want to gain muscle to, but you have a muscle threshold of 2200 calories per day.  You need to eat at least 2200 cal to gain any substantial muscle.  So to gain muscle you always gain some fat as well. Very frustrating!

Here’s where I give you the good news.  You can lower the muscle gain threshold.  I would say 90% of trainers don’t have any idea how to do this.  But yet again most trainers can’t teach someone to squat properly, let alone construct a proper program.  Sorry… you want the secret of how to change the muscle to fat ratio!  First your 2000 cal (number of calories depends on client evaluation) must be more nutrient rich. So you see a calorie just isn’t a calorie. 
The ratio of protein to carbs to fats has to be balanced.  If I told you that a person eating 600 calories of protein, 800 calories of carbs (mostly sugars) and 600 calories of fats (mostly of it being trans and hydrogenated fats) would not see the results that a person eating 1000 calories of lean protein sources, 500 calories from carbs (mostly fruits and veggies and fibre rich grains) and 500 calories from fats (the majority from omega 3 fish oil and an equal division on saturated and polyunsaturated omega 6 and 9 fats), would you believe me?

Here are some food examples.
Chicken breasts
Lean red meat
Cottage cheese
Milk protein isolates
Whey protein isolates
Green vegetables
Low glycemic index fruits
Sweet potatoes
Mixed grain bread
Fish oil, flax oil, olive oil
Mixed nuts

These foods should be on your grocery list each week. If you are vegetarian then you will need to supplement your protein and consume fermented soy meat alternatives.

The real key is figuring out your real energy output. Your calories in and your true calories out. Your calories out will consist of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the calories driven by your metabolism at rest (your daily activities) and the amount burned when exercising daily, Cost of Exercise. Once we have a good grasp of these numbers the idea is to be just shy of that daily total. There are various online calculators that ca help figure this out. Try to stay within 200 calories of this number.
I am partial to Precision Nutrition’s online calorie calculator of course.

Now you may say. Hey! I’m going to eat 600 calories under my target and loose more weight! I have a lot of clients that secretly try this. I catch them in about when performance drops and so does muscle mass. This is because their metabolic rate drops due to a loss of anabolism and they become catabolic flabby muscle wasters like before they started. You cannot cheat your way to success when it comes to body transformations and this is what most of you really desire when you look in the mirror. Change…not just Less.

Your goal is to be Anabolic. This is the key to a healthier you. Diet programs make you catabolic, muscle wasting, flabby douches. Get of the spin cycle; get out of the pool classes and Zumba just for fun. Hire an experienced trainer who tests extensively and start grunting.

That is all!
Mike Hayden

Monday, June 27, 2016

10 Most Common Problems: Rotator Cuff issue

                                                                Rotator Cuff Issues

The Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles and tendon tie-ins that are crucial for the proper functioning of the shoulder joint. These muscles sit around the scapula and shoulder joint. The muscles can be remembered by the acronym SITS. Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, teres major/teres minor and subscapularis.  (see fig.)  Collectively, these muscles form a web of stability and are individually responsible for all the motions of the shoulder, our most mobile joint. The figure does not show the subscapularis which is the only rotator muscle located on the interior of the shoulder blade. It is responsible for internal rotation and adduction.  It is activated in the gym with exercises such as cable crossover and bench.  Not what I would classify as an underutilized muscle in the gym.

Dysfunction of the glenohumeral joint and more specifically the cavity separating the humerus (upper arm bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade) is the area that I will concentrate on in this article.  The most common problem I see is impingement of the shoulder joint causing inflammation or injury to the bursa and supraspinatus muscle. This is commonly an overuse injury caused by poor posture, muscular imbalances, general muscular weakness and over compensation of larger muscles of the anterior delt, pecs, upper back and cervical to thoracic spine area.

Other shoulder problems usually are a result of an injury that someone can point to as the cause of their acute pain. Impingement syndrome is usually a chronic problem that last months or even more than a year. It does not go away with rest. It must be corrected through clinical exercises and treatment plans.

By the time I see clients at TopShape Fitness Studio with shoulder issues, they can be quite severe. Clients have usually already been to physio more than once and have even had cortisone shots.  They may even have “Frozen Shoulder” (inability to move shoulder through any significant range of motion) and are in severe discomfort, dysfunction and stress.

Here is the good news. It can be fixed. In fact, a significant result can be shown within 2 weeks and full recovery in as little as 6 weeks. If you follow the plan!

Rotator Rehab Mistakes:
  1. Common mistakes made by sufferers of rotator cuff, sprains, tears, tendonitis or bursitis make are to rest and wait for symptoms to subside.  Unfortunately when clients go to their family GP and complain that it hurts to do a certain movement, the doctor may advise not to move it. If you don’t move your shoulder through its proper range of motion you will lose that range of motion. Range of motion (ROM) rehab exercises are critical. The following videos show common range of motion warm-ups.

Here are some acute phase rehab exercises:

 (pendulum warmups)

 (warmup stick stretches)

  1. Icing will stop the healing process momentarily. It feels good and it may help dull the pain but does not help in healing in any way. In fact, by stopping the inflammation process you are stopping the constant supply of blood that carries inflammatory cells to the injured area. This is critical in the healing process. You are also stopping the production of growth hormone and interrupting the lymphatic drainage process. The 1 way system that flushes swelling from the affected area. This is counterproductive. Please refer to our blog article on Icing for more information. At TopShape we haven’t used ice in rehabbing our athletes or regular clients since 2008. Since that time I have noticed a significant improvement in recoveries of various injuries.

  1. Another mistake is to take non-steroid anti-inflammatory, NSAIDs, like advil. NSAIDs not only interfere with the essential process of inflammation, it interferes with the neurological training adaptation that needs to happen when healing during clinical exercise rehab.

  1. Lift through it. Muscular imbalance plays a large roll.  An over dominance of anterior musculature, such as pecs and anterior delts and the lack of flexibility in these groups helped lead to the injury. To continue these movements in improper form is insanity. Many lifters even demonstrate incorrect form in their pull-ups, recruiting the pecs rather than the proper scapular movement. This is a main contributor to why women have such a difficult time with pull-ups. Not strength, but function.

So what’s the plan? First get a proper diagnosis. Here at the studio I do an injury movement test to confirm a doctor’s or physio’s diagnosis. Having a defined diagnosis, speeds up and helps me define an individualized treatment plan for the exact injury. This means you don’t have to do a lengthy generalized program.

After the warm-up exercises like the ones above, we perform scapular stabilization exercises.

 Here are some exercises for the more chronic and dysfunction correction warm-ups

 (scapular retraction) and 

(lying dynaband extension)

Lastly some favorite posture correcting exercises. These are general correction exercises for the majority of dysfunction I see.  If you are a regular weight lifter than some shoulder accessory work is needed in your program. Add some of these to help balance anterior and posterior chain exercise

(rotator strengthening)

(overhead scapular retractions)

 Try this program if you are suffering from shoulder dysfunction. It has helped me build functionally strong shoulders after years of dysfunction.

Mike Hayden

Friday, June 17, 2016

Yes Girls Can Do Pullups!

  My experience with thousands of clients over 20 years have taught me that there is really only 1 way to teach women to do proper pull-ups. The gravitron or other unweighting machines don't work. Using bands don't work. The only 2 things that work are, doing pullups and using exercises to strengthen the contributing muscles. Your traps, lats, rhomboids, serratus, rotators, biceps, delts and core have to be supper strong.

Follow this progression, adding these movements to your regular program and you will be well on your way to using your upper body to overcome your body weight.

The quest for the perfect female pull-up.
 Phase 1: passive hanging holds, allow proper activation of thoracic spin as well as much needed flexibility in this area. 4 weeks

Phase 2: Active hanging scapular retractions.  This is where you really get to strengthen and activate rotator cuff muscles as well as traps and rhomboids. 4 weeks

Phase 3: chin-up holds. Here is where you really get to test muscular endurance as well as build strength in the biceps, shoulder and core. You guessed it, 4 weeks.

Give this progression a try and up the weight on associated muscle groups during your regular training.  Please follow our blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel to help us out.

Mike Hayden

Monday, June 13, 2016

Functional Knee Strength for Runners

Basic points in this article:

  • ·         It’s not the shoes, it’s you.
  • ·         Over %85 of runners will get injured. How to prevent it.
  • ·         Are you wogging?
  • ·         Running culture bases its beliefs on non-scientific principles.
  • ·         Strict vegan diets are dangerous for younger higher calorie burners.
  • ·         Train like an anti-runner.
  • ·         Lift! Heavy and often
  • ·         Mobilization for common knee problems.

  I just finished my annual Ottawa Race Weekend 10K this past weekend.  Each year I get a little bit more disillusioned with the running world. There is more training information out there than ever before. Shoes and clothing technology, as well as electronic gear for runners of all sorts. So why are there still so many horribly unfit runners out there?
  Of course I know the answer and I’ll share it with you.  Instead of getting real technical with the bio-mechanics of running, I think part of the blame falls to running culture. Each year at the trade show booths at run weekend I see the same theme. When I walked in the past few years I am bombarded with ads and displays for circuit conditioning classes, yoga for runners, compression everything and vegan food and supplements of every type imaginable. It dawned on me that in almost every sport I can think of, training science is moving its athletes forward. Some took a long time to get going but it is generally happening. Running culture is moving backwards.

  I think many people run for the enjoyment it brings. However there are many who are running for the wrong reasons. They run for the hope of fat loss. They run to fight the process of aging. They run to stay strong. They run for their health. If you are running for any of these reasons other than enjoyment then you are making a mistake.  Read any article by the worlds most renowned anti-aging doctors and you will find if you want to age yourself fastest, follow a vegan diet and run long distances. If you are running for your health, then let’s do it the right way.

  During my 10k run and watching some of the other races on the weekend, I witnessed a lot of people that did not look like they were enjoying themselves. I saw knee and hip alignments that looked as if they would collapse at any moment.  I saw people that didn’t seem to have any core strength at all. I saw people with an imbalance in musculature and overly tight joints with limited mobility. I saw people who did not have their heart rates under any type of control and looked to the point of exhaustion.  Something has got to change.
If you want to run, then train your body to be an anti-runner. By this, I mean do the training off the road that will keep you on the road and keep your tissue and joint health optimal.  Especially for those 35 and older.

  You need to strength train. Not cardio condition or yoga strength or body pump or circuit classes with light weights or even running on a treadmill in the water. Really strength train to build real muscle mass and burn real fat. Many runners fall into that "skinny fat" category. They have very poor structural posture, poor muscle tone and high body fat percentages.  Resistance training at least 3 X per week with a minimum 60% of your 1 RM will force your body to adapt to build muscle and strengthen connective tissues. What am I talking about?  See a professional at TopShape Fitness or follow my blog and Facebook.
For now here are some great exercises for glute strength. Try these 2x per week  Glute and core strength are essential for a strong running posture.

  You need to perform deep tissue work and range of motion work for structural imbalances and poor flexibility in the hip, back, knee and ankle joints. Your problem is you are WEAK.
Using barefoot shoes, minimalist shoes, support soles, rockers and compression socks is not your issue. Shoe technology and athletic wear has come a long way since 1981. What has also come a long way is the increase in running injuries. Over 85% of runners will suffer from a joint or connective tissue injury.  With so much information, why? It is because most North American’s WOG. They walk jog. It’s the same comparison I make to my clients all the time. Put a picture of a sprinter and a marathoner beside each other and find me the person who wants to look like the marathoner.  It is all bio-mechanics. Stop jogging and learn to sprint slower.

   Shorten the stride and up cadence. Studies have shown that cadences of 85-90 steps/minute can reduce injury. See the photos left.  Notice the runner on the left with the longer stride length. Her heel strikes the ground first way in front of her body. This stops her momentum dead and reverses that kinetic energy right back towards the knee. She has to expend a lot of energy to overcome and push forward on each step. This repetitive joint pounding will eventually lead to dysfunction.

Courtesy Skye Pellerin 2016

Notice our young runner on the right. Kids are my favorite because they haven’t been taught to run improperly. They run naturally in a sprinters form… correctly. She will spend more time in the air and less on the ground. Her foot strikes in line with the body or even slightly behind as her body lean will be forward at the moment of strike. She strikes the ground with the ball of the foot not her heel. Her energy is pushed out the back with her high heel kick and is returned through her hip hinging motion allowing the knee to return in front high so that her foot can strike under her again. Stop WOGGING, jogging, almost walking. You spend too much time on the hard surfaces in a poor posture. Run like you did as a kid.

Constantly  focus on joint mobilization. Don’t just get out and start running. Perform dynamic range of motion exercises before each run.  See my link to my you tube channel here.

  Mobilize your IT band after runs. The IT band commonly collects and strains the outside of the knee and puts pressure on the lateral tendon. This forces the knee to strike the ground in a dysfunctional pattern. It is one of the leading causes to runners becoming injured. Other problems follow soon after. Foam rolling followed by static stretching after a run will make your knees and hips bullet proof.

 “I also now consider strict vegan diets to be potentially deficient for teenagers who burn a lot of calories each day and whose growing bones and bodies still require a full spectrum of nutrients. This may be true for adults, as well, if they follow a vegan diet strictly for a year or two or more.”  Chet Day
  Lastly, it would take too long to get into why vegan diets are not healthier. I respect people who eat this way for ethical reasons. My closest run partner is vegan and I have many vegan clients. Simply, if your goal is to get stronger and leaner and maintain an optimal body fat percentage, then eating a complete protein source as well as eating enough saturated fat is essential. Vegan protein is not a complete protein source.
Dr. Donaldson includes a list of all major sources of B12 in a vegan diet and observes, "We see then that dietary vegan sources of vitamin B12 are very sparse since plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 in appreciable amounts." He concludes that all vegans must take a B12 supplement.

Or eat eggs. 

Thank-you, that is all.
Mike Hayden

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Invictus Experience

As many of you know I was a coach for Team Canada in rowing and power-lifting for the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando Florida. This was a life changing experience for me, and I was truly inspired by the men and women I met. I made many new friends and hope to see them all again in Toronto in 2017!

600 athletes competed in 11 sports including rowing, power-lifting, wheelchair basketball, rugby, archery, track and field, swimming, wheelchair tennis, road cycling, sitting volleyball and the land rover drive challenge.

My adventure began about 8 months ago with a call form executive director of “Soldier On” Greg Lagace. He asked if I would be interested in helping out with the team. As an ex-national rower and trainer of a Paralympic power-lifter I had some experience in those sports.  I accepted the job on a volunteer basis.

I began by designing a rowing program to get the rowers (many of which had never rowed and especially not in a competition) some base cardio training. Moderate duration basic rows were used to develop base cardio and to increase capillaries attached to the muscle fibers.  For power-lifters, our power coach at TopShape Alex and I came up with a bench press program for them to follow. Their numbers immediately began to climb!

The row program then moved to lactic tolerance (anyone who has ever rowed competitively knows this is what it’s all about). All the athletes were monitored online until we would meet at our training camp! Weekly milestones were given and athlete feedback was crucial in making sure they were not over training.

In January we had the first of 2 training camps in Toronto and we did some testing to see where everyone was. All the rowers were doing very well and putting up decent numbers. The power-lifters were also doing well.

By our second camp in March the team had come together and all the numbers were very good! The biggest issue I had to deal with was many of the athletes were in multiple sports and were training for each so burnout and injuries were a huge factor! Most were managed very well.
Once we left for Orlando everyone was very confident that we would do well at the games and we did!

My crew won 8 rowing medals and 2 of 3 power-lifting medals! 29 athletes came home with 22 medals so needless to say Team Canada did us proud.  Although the premise of the games were not focused on medals but it was on individual achievement. These heroes give everyone around the world inspiration. 

The added bonus of 22 medals for Canada is a huge perk!
To Team Canada I am the most proud of had the opportunity to have met all of you, and I am a better person for it! 


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 
William Ernest Henley
Bring on Toronto 2017


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year’s Good Intentions

New Year’s Good Intentions

     Every year, many people with good intentions make a New Year’s resolution. For many it’s to get fit and start going to the gym. Three months is the average time most will stick to that promise! In fact while you are reading this article most people have already quit on this goal.

There are fundamental differences between people who go to the gym day after day, week after week and someone who goes for three months and quits.
When asked what is the most difficult thing about getting to the gym most said finding the time. Most people have time; they just can’t manage it properly. When we work on fitness plans for some of the country’s busiest executives, We first dissect their home time. Obviously, if you’re at work you can’t be working out. The same rule applies for sleeping. So we work 8hrs, we sleep 8hrs, that’s 16 hrs. This leaves you 9 hrs. Some people work more than 8 hours a day. Here is where good time management skills and priorities come into play. If you are not ready to make fitness one of your top priorities getting in shape will never happen.

If you go home after work, eat dinner and then sit on the couch watching TV for three hours before bed guess what? You will never get into shape. All you need is one hour out of your day three days a week. If over the course of a week, you work 40 hrs, sleep an average of 40 hrs, and all the other essentials take about 28 hrs, this is 108 hrs. One hundred and eight hours to wash, get dressed, eat, work and sleep everything else is a luxury. A week consists of 168 hours that leaves about 60 hours for non essential stuff. Of course there are other factors involved such as; different jobs take more of your spare time. We have a client that actually built a gym in his office building just for himself to get into shape. The idea is even if you end up with 15 hours left over you should still be able to set aside 3-5 for fitness that’s it.

Next, you need to make fitness a habit, get it into your schedule, and stick to it.
Plan your exercise as you plan your day. Try to add it in at the same time everyday. Eventually it becomes a normal part of your routine. Once it’s a habit if you miss a session you feel like your day is not complete. That is the feeling you need to develop in order to continue on the plan.

Choose realistic goals, this means that if you have never ran a marathon then don’t expect that by going to the gym two days week that in three months you’ll be running 10 km.
Be real; don’t set yourself up for failure. If you need to lose weight then choose a goal you can live with without changing your whole lifestyle. Desperate measures are for desperate people. If you need to lose 20 lbs; of fat or more than you realistically need to schedule 5-7 hours of activity per week. That includes all forms of exercise, not just gym training.

Stay focused. Write your goals down, and place them in spots where you can see them often. Everyone has a calendar at work or at home write a step by step day by day plan out on it. Write down things like, down two pounds, 10 more to go.
Have an end date in mind. It should look something like this, end goal date June 1st 2016 goal down 4 inches up 4 pounds of muscle and drop 4% body fat.
Track your goals every week this will help you stay focused and keep your program on track.

Get the help of an expert. Many people fail to adhere to a program due to boredom. This is often due to two major factors. One, lack of knowledge is a major problem. If you’re just guessing at what it is you should be doing then it will take forever to attain a goal. People who exercise for months without attaining a goal will often quit, they have no motivation to continue because they see no change. Fitness Consultants make it their business to know what you need. This will make your efforts more efficient and changes will occur much faster. If you see changes you will be more incline to sticking with your routine.

Second, lack of variety, remember the old adage variety is the spice of life. Nothing could be truer when it comes to exercise. The average person picks about 10 exercises they like and never deviates form them. The body adapts to this training regime in about four weeks. Once this happens the stimulus is no longer creating a positive adaptation. You’re just going through the motions.

Finally, have fun make fitness enjoyable find things you like to do. If a client of mine says to me during their initial consultation they hate to bike, then putting them on the bike for 40 minutes a day would not be conducive to having them stick to their program. If you like being outdoors then go exercise outdoors. If you like to walk then add walking to your program. If you’re competitive then put small challenges or milestones to hit within your training. Examples would be lifting 5 pounds more every workout, doing 10 pushups more every morning. Compete with a friend or training partner challenge each other.

Above all be patient Rome was not built in a day. Changes will happen in time.
It took however many years to get deconditioned you won’t reverse it overnight.
Keep focused and stay motivated and it will all pay off in the end.

Until next time Stay fit and be strong.
TopShape visit our website at

Friday, February 13, 2015

Why Should You Use DIM!

Are you middle aged or older?  Female or male, with a bit too much body fat? Are you a male who enjoys beer and would like to get rid of that gut? Are you a female that has been exercising hard but those stubborn areas are still there!? Then maybe DIM is for you.

DIM, short for Diindolymethane is natural supplement we prescribe and sell here at TopShape, that has produced amazing results when combined with our exercise programs. The simple reason is that most people today are not exercising regularly enough. Even if they are, sometimes they are frustrated because unbeknownst to them they are estrogen dominant. DIM is a breast and prostate cancer fighter that protects women and men by acting as an estrogen inhibitor.

Research shows that DIM supports healthy ratios of certain estrogens that play a role in cancer risk. DIM is also an aromatase inhibitor making it beneficial to men also. It blocks the conversion of testosterone to estrogen which is associated with an  increase cancer risk and leads to fat storage.

“Estrogen dominance occurs when you have too much estrogen in the body or an imbalance between estrogen and other hormones. Estrogen dominance is a much greater problem than most people realize: It negatively affects men, women, and children, and it could be that one thing that is keeping you from losing weight or getting all that you could out or your workouts!” Charles Poliquin

I know what you're saying, Estrogen is a good thing! It is, at the right time when we need it. The problem is, when it's in over production mode because your body is in a state of hormone imbalance, then it can play havoc. Because of the high levels of environmental chemical estrogens (xenoestrogens), we are all exposed to everyday, estrogen dominance is playing a key role in making us hormonally imbalanced and fat.

In women, androgens are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat cells. Androgens are necessary for estrogen synthesis, and play a key role in the prevention of bone loss. They also regulate body function before, during and after menopause.

Women produce estrogen in 3 ways:
 Estrone  commonly referred to as (E1) ,usually a lesser estrogen produced by the adrenal glands. This estrogen becomes most abundant post menopause. The second, and most commonly thought of is, Estradiol (E2). This is produced by the ovaries and is usually meant when someone is talking about estrogen in women. The third is Estriol (E3), produced by the fat cells. This is the most plentiful of estrogens but is also the weakest. It is the interrelationship of these hormones and their dominance during different times in a woman's life which needs to be understood.

 During different times in our lives, in both men and women the symbiotic relationship of estrogen and testosterone with the bodies other hormones can get radical. In relation to gaining lean muscle and burning fat, having this harmonious relation is key. When one pro-hormone system becomes imbalanced it's not long before it drags  a couple of more systems with it.  For example, when your fat cell estorgen (e3) becomes too dominant it interferes with the other estrogens such as adrenal estrogen (e1) which is closely regulated by ovary estrogen (e2) and stresses the adrenal glands which produce cortisol. This hormone becomes too unregulated and a high cortisol environment is introduced in the body. Access weight gain can result because over time you don't feel energized because insulin is the next hormone system disrupted. All the while you are trying to get into shape and become healthier, but what is aerobic and anaerobic exercise? Stress to the body...and your body can't regulate stress properly at the moment.

You may need help. DIM for women and men over 40 maybe that long awaited answer. I use DIM with many clients. With a balance of a good strength training program, good fats such as omega 3s and coconut oil, as well as enough vitamin D3 and protein intake, I have witnessed some amazing results.

Doctors at UC Berkeley gave a mere 108 mg (it should have been 200 mg) of DIM to postmenopausal women in a double blind study. Their estrogen metabolism was improved dramatically in only 30 days. 
Now studies in men are ongoing but showing good results for prostate prevention. This only makes sense. Men today are showing far more estrogen dominance then their fathers or grandfathers did at their age. High estrogen and low test are becoming an epidemic, but this is another article.

Your takeaway from this article is to see a professional such as myself for a fitness evaluation, including a hormone test  to see if DIM is for you. Also, women over 40 should be lifting weights with the goal to build muscle mass.

Mike Hayden