My Favorite Fitness Web Site.

This thing is a work of genious. Read it, apply its principles, and I believe it can change your life (at least from a physical standpoint). The web site of which I write is: www.cbass.com. The author is a retired lawyer and former bodybuilding competitor named Clarence Bass living in Albuquerquee, New Mexico. To be sure, there are a lot of authorities on health, fitness, diet and training out there. I know of no others, however, that can match the wisdom of Bass. I'll give a few reasons why below and then review his total approach to health and fitness.

First, Bass does not know everything and knows that he does not know everything. It is hard to overstate the importance of this point. So many health and fitness gurus out there fall into the trap of thinking that their own ways are the only ways and thus find themselves largely incapable of absorbing new information and advancements. Not so with Bass. He has his own opinions, to be sure, but he is more than generous in giving full attention to multiple viewpoints. Moreover, when he comes across information that seems to contradict his previous understandings, he is more than willing to adjust his viewpoints. This makes Bass, I believe, a person one can trust to provide the best information available and to not simple protect his own ego.

Second, Bass is both an experienced practitioner and a serious student of the health and fitness lifestyle. He is not content, as many bodybuilding and fitness practitioners are, to simply rely on his own experiences to back up his claims. Bass understands that science is more complicated than that. As such, he backs up his claims with a great many references to studies published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals.

Third, the entire approach to health and fitness that Bass proposes is a study in simplicity and practicality. Bass understands that a program that is overly arduous or complicated - or just plain lacking in fun - is unlikely to be followed by most people for long. Similarly, Bass understands that there is a limit to how much time people can devote to their training. The program that Bass advocates is as effective as it is in large part because following it is so practical.

To begin, I will provide an overwiew of Bass' approach to training. Bass believes that both weight training and cardiovascular training, in combination with a sensible diet, are absolutely necessary for optimum health. While there is not much new here, what will be new to many is how little of both types of training Bass advocates.

First, with regard to weight-training, Bass has one two-hour training session every Saturday. He trains with weights on no other days and trains all the major muscles of his body during this one session. Bass believes that one hard set per exercise is all that one needs and that training to absolute failure is not necessrily the best way to go. He varies his exercises from training session to training session in order to keep his routines 'fresh' and to stimulate, through variation, his muscles into greater growth.

Next, Bass has a cardivascular training session of about thirty minutes in length every Sunday. He rarely trains more than that one day. While these sessions are 'cardiovascular', they are not precisely 'aerobic'. Bass is not a big believer in the so-called 'aerobic zone'; he instead prefers series of short and intense wind sprints. Bass claims that the benefits of wind-sprints over traditional aerobics in terms of both performance gains and fat loss are simply huge and he cites the studies (and personal experiences) that back him up.

To top things off, Bass goes for a series of walks during other days of the week. This walking generally adds up to no more than four hours in a week - often with a half-hour walk at mid-morning followed by another half-hour walk in the evening. Bass believes that walking is a vital component of a total fitness program because it burns a good many calories without leading to overtraining. Moreover, he believes that walking will speed up recovery between the more intense training sessions.

For diet, Bass pretty much eats as much as he wants of good foods. Against current diet fashions, he maintains that a high carbohydrate, low fat and medium protein diet is the best way to go. He does not believe in counting calories and has no problem with eating the odd bit of junk food now and again. Two factors that Bass pays attention to are what he calls 'caloric density' and the (currently fashionable) glycemic index. I am too lazy to expand on either of these points (you can check out the writings on the web site for yourself) but will say that both factors are generally fairly well addressed through a diet that emphasis non-processed and low processed foods.

That's it. That's the program in a nutshell.

For information on windsprints, check out articles, 10, 11, 12, 30, 112 (the Bass articles, as you will see, are numbered). Be aware that there are concerns regarding the safety of high-intensity windsprints. Not everyone believes you should push yourself to the limit the way Bass does. Indeed, it may very well be much safer to back off a bit on the intensity. One proponent of wind sprints that Bass cites died recently following one of his workouts. You have been warned. As such, I am not saying that you should do wind sprints; I am merely saying that you should at least be aware of them as an option if you are healthy and willing to take whatever risks may be involved. Exercise caution, check with your doctor, and make sure that you are perfectly healthy before starting any exercise program. This goes doubly for windsprints. Moreover, don't blame me if you have a cardiac episode. I'm merely a messenger here, and a cautious one at that.

For the record, I do not do wind-sprints myself, even though I am a believer in once a week aerobic exercise (and once a week weight-training). If I were to do wind-sprints, I would exercise extreme caution and be sure to check with a doctor before doing them.

For information on Bass' entire fitness approach, including his approach to weight-training, check out article 15. Note that he has altered his training days since he wrote this article. I believe he used to train every Thursday and Sunday. Now, as I have written above, he trains every Saturday and sunday.

Another interesting article is number 2, titled, 'The Metabolism Myth'. Did you know that your 'metabolism' DOES NOT have to slow with age? It is true. Find out why.

I leave you with a final note of caution. Clarence Bass, as I have noted above, does not know everything. Nor would he claim to (though I don't know who would know more). I hasten to note that the area of health and fitness is one that is filled with controversy and new findings occur all the time. I am personally very cautious about any training regimens that carry with them what I consider an excessively high degree of risk. Such things as dynamic and explosive weight training movements and any kind of spine stretching in particular make me cringe, and Bass has reviewed some of these things on his site. Even a good number of conventional weight training exercises - indeed, all of them - can cause injury. I accept no responsibility if you suffer an injury through training. I recommend his site as a whole, but I do not recommend everthing one will find on said site. I exercise for health; I do not train to be any kind of athletic champion. Please keep this distinction in mind when you decide upon a training regimen for yourself. Be fit and happy and do everything you can to maximize - not compromise - your health.