I have a client who has been training with me for over five months. He came to me initially requesting a new program to break his plateaus and also hoping to get rid of his "male breasts." He is 5'10 1/2 and weighs 230 pounds. He's very strong but has fat deposits along his abdominal area as well as his chest. He only does cardio 25-30 minutes twice a week and weight trains on the other three days. Do you recommend more cardio, or can he be a candidate for Gynecomastia?
Without knowing anything about your client, I don't believe more cardio is the answer. Excessive prolonged cardiovascular exercise can easily throw the body into a sympathetic/catabolic state. In this condition, muscle mass is wasted, and the metabolism is ultimately slowed. I'm going to begin by suggesting you first read Paul Chek's PTN article series You Are What You Eat parts 1-3, as well as Paul's last 5 Research Corner articles. These articles will give you an understanding of just how essential it is that we eat well - very well. For just as the right food is medicine, the wrong food is poison.
Many people today experience residual body fat that won't seem to go away no matter how much they "work out." These individuals are living proof that it takes much more than exercise to be healthy, fit and trim. There are many possible reasons for this, and chances are, your client is experiencing one or more of the following due to our highly polluted food and environment as well as the consumption of too many refined carbs/sugar, alcohol, trans fats and more:
- Overburdened detoxification system
- Fungal/Candida infection
- Parasite infection
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Food sensitivity(s)
- Insulin resistance/blood sugar dysregulation
- Hormone dysregulation
- Excessive social/professional stress
- Lack of adequate sleep/rest
Because this is such a grand topic, I'm simply going to suggest a great resource covering them all. I highly recommend (as I've done many times) "How to Eat, Move, & Be Healthy!" by Paul Chek. The first chapter in right here on PTN!
Regarding your question on Gynecomastia. This is a condition known to cause the male mammary glands to enlarge, some to the extent of secreting milk, found to be the result of hormone imbalance. I cannot tell you whether or not your client is afflicted with this condition, so if he is concerned, by all means have him consult with his doctor. In the meantime, here are some things for you/him to consider regarding this possible hormone imbalance:
- SOY - Does your client consume soy? If so, explain to him that soy contains high levels of phytoestrogens (the plant form of the female hormone estrogen), which have been associated with certain forms of cancer (especially breast cancer) as well as a host of other ailments. In fact, just two glasses of soy milk per day for one month have been shown to alter a female's menstrual cycle! Infants fed exclusively on soy have been shown to ingest five birth control pills worth of estrogen daily! Soy has been touted as the "next best thing" by many, particularly for females. This is unfortunate as adding excess estrogen to an already unhealthy body is a recipe for disaster. You may be interested to know that virtually all commercially sold non-organic soy is now genetically modified and strongly laced with many pesticides, herbicides and other "cides."
- XENOESTROGENS(Estrogen Mimics, Hormone Mimics, Endocrine Disrupters) - What kind of environment does your client live/work in? Xenoestrogens are man-made chemical toxins that are everywhere in plastics, pesticides, detergents, solvents, auto exhaust and more. These toxins are accepted in our body's cells in place of actual hormones. Over time, this can lead to countless diseased states such as abnormal infertility, impotence, confused sexual orientation, cancer, hyperactivity, stunted growth and brain damage. If your client does indeed have this Gynecomastia, I would suggest asking him what he has been/is being exposed to on a regular basis to see if a connection can be made and that environment can be changed.
- Rogers, S., M.D. (2002). "Detoxify Or Die"
- Flatten Your Abs Forever by Paul Chek. Video Cassette. CHEK Institute, 2000.
- Hittner, N. The Brutal Truth On: Nutrition, Exercise, & Lifestyle. Compact Disc Series. 2005. (Available at www.fourhealth.info).
I hope this information helps,
"FOUR HEALTH" Consulting