Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata

Posted on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 by John Wood
Recommended Reading:
Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata

Gina Kolata first showed up on my radar about ten years back thanks to her excellent book ULTIMATE FITNESS which should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the history of the fitness movement from the ancient Greeks through the 18th and early 19th centuries and up through some of the crazy things that are commonplace today.

A few years later, Kolata decided to tackle nutritional topics with the same fervor, in RETHINKING THIN.

As you might guess, we get a lot of questions about diet, nutrition, losing body fat etc. and this book should be a perfect place to find some answers in an industry that is, to use a technical term, “nuts.”

In order to understand the ideas and rationale behind many of the nutritional beliefs that are commonplace today, it is necessary to analyze how and where they came from in the first place and this is the type of information that you’ll find in this book.

For example, how does the results of the Atkins diet compare with the traditional, standard, low-calorie, low-fat diet? You’ll find the some of the surprising results of that analysis in the Prologue.

Here’s a look at some of the other interesting topics that are covered in its pages:

CHAPTER I: Looking for Diets in All The Wrong Places

The results of the first federally funded diet study at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington University in St. Louis … Where the current dietary guidelines came from … How spousal involvement can affect weight loss … An in-depth look at how Dr. Atkins and his diet got started … A brief history of weight loss drugs (and the unfortunate aftermath)…

CHAPTER II: Epiphanies and Hucksters

Dietary Fads … A look back at 19th century dietary advice … What the Ancient Greeks had to say about diets and nutrition … Unusual (albeit non-recommended) weight-loss advice from the 1800’s … The simple technique that one man used to easily lose over 50 pounds of fat back in 1884 … The rise of Fletcherism … The cautious beginnings of the Vegetarian diet … A look at early diet and cook books and the advice they contained … The first weight loss contest… The beginnings of Weight Watchers,  Jenny Craig, the Beverly Hills Diet, The Scarsdale Diet and the South Beach Diet


One month into the Penn Study … The good weeks and bad weeks and good ideas and bad ideas … Willpower … Solutions to common problems?

CHAPTER III: Oh, to Be as Thin as Jennifer Aniston (or Brad Pitt)

American ideas on body image … A look at cultural ideals and the realities of beauty pageant winners through the ages … The University of Florida obesity study … Popular media and attitudes on the overweight … Ideals … The Gibson Girl … Bernarr MacFadden jumps in 


Two months into the Penn Study … Behavioral modification “tricks” … Dealing with stress

CHAPTER IV: A Voice in the Wilderness

Obesity research … The mental side of weight loss … “Is obesity a mental disorder?” … Attitudes in and out of North America … The role of emotional content


Three months into the Penn Study … The “Magic” Number for weight loss success … Results of the low-calorie group … Discipline … Does counting calories really work?

CHAPTER V: A Drive to Eat

The results of the WWII-era Minnesota Weight-Loss Study … The origin of the Mediterranean Diet … SHOCKING results … “Are vegetarian diets good for preventing heart disease?” … What happens to fat cells as people lose weight? … The prison study … What determines whether someone will be fat or thin? … Identical twin studies


Five months into the Penn Study … “Are there social cues that trigger eating?” … Planning ahead

CHAPTER VI: Insatiable, Voracious Appetites

What makes you want to east? … What goes on in the brain … A unique case from 1901 … The eating control center … The roles of the pituitary and hypothalamus … A breakthrough from an unlikely source … Genetic factors … Calories over the long term


Six months into the Penn Study …  Free will … Struggles … “What went wrong?” … The mind-brain divide

CHAPTER VII: The Girl Who Had no Leptin

An unusual case of obesity “lore” … The discovery of Leptin … Why some people are naturally fatter than others … Other adventures in hormones … Problems with common methods … Obesity in children


Ten months into the Penn Study … Thin clothes and Fat clothes … Stalled weight loss … Losing the iron will … Why exercise alone is not enough


Answering the “Why?” question … What kind of control you have-and don’t have … What scientific truths are ignored? … Society, politics, hopes and dreams … A meta-analysis of the obesity world … West Virginia and obesity statistics … What is and is not making a difference in American body weights … Sounding the obesity alarm … Cultural resonance … The National Institute of Health study … The social pressure to do something … Debating the health risks of being overweight … Liposuction


Two years into the Penn Study … Atkins diet aftermath … “Normal” weight … Lessons


Drumbeats … Weight loss psychology … “What have we gained/learned” Misconception and other diet book tactics … Soft drinks … End notes

Order now!NOTE: we do not sell this title. Click here to get your copy of RETHINKING THIN from (at an amazingly cheap price, I might add.)

The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
“…Whenever a new issue of Strength and Health Arrived in The Mailbox, They Always RIPPED open the envelope and turned to John McCallum’s article first!”
Back when Jimi Hendrix and the Doors were playing concerts, John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” series helped pack more muscle on more people than all other articles combined… and now, five decades later, McCallum’s workouts will help you pack on muscle too!
Before there was this thing called “The Internet,” anyone who was serious about building size and strength got their training information from magazines… and the very best magazine to get solid training info from was Strength and Health, directly from The York Barbell Company in York, PA.

Strength and Health magazine always had good training articles but in the early 1960’s, a strength author by the name of John McCallum began a series entitled “Keys to Progress” …and it took off like wild fire.

It didn’t take long before trainees figured out that when they followed McCallum’s advice, they started getting results… When word got around, the first thing that everyone did when a new issue of Strength and Health arrived in the mailbox was to rip open the envelope and turn to the latest McCallum article to see what was in store that month… and McCallum certainly left no stone unturned. He covered all the important topics (keep reading to see what they were all about.)

McCallum’s articles weren’t just informative, but entertaining as well… and many of them set THE standard for how a strength article should be written. It was through these articles that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people learned how to train (and I’m among them, my story is further on down the page.)

Now you too can read all of John McCallum’s
“Keys to Progress” articles in one place

If you happen to have all of the original issues from the 60’s and 70’s which contain all of John McCallum’s “Keys” articles, then you are one very fortunate individual… it is all but impossible to find these issues any more… and even if you could find them (which is highly unlikely) it would cost you a small fortune to get every issue.

Lucky for us though, every single one of of McCallum’s classic training articles have recently been combined into one volume and reprinted for a new generation to read and enjoy.

You can skip right to the chase and order your copy right now… Other wise, keep reading to find out why “Keys” is a must have… (especially in this day and age!)

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one strength book to read ‘THE COMPLETE KEYS TO PROGRESS’ should be it!

Now, you might be wondering… “So why were McCallum’s articles so popular?” …there are several reasons. One of them is his unique “style” of writing. Many of the Keys to Progress articles are more like stories and he’s got a memorable cast of characters:

Among them you’ll find the old gym owner (who bears a striking similarity to John McCallum), a guy who is trying to make the world a stronger place, one bodybuilder at a time…

Then there’s Marvin, a typical ’60s teenager looking to put on some size to impress the girls. (Marvin makes many of the same knucklehead mistakes that just about everyone has, which also puts a few more grey hairs on JM’s head, and the fact that Marvin is also dating his daughter doesn’t help)… There’s Ollie, JM’s best friend and running buddy who he likes to bounce ideas off of… and who could forget good old “Uncle Harry” who puts bodybuilders half his age to shame?

You’ll get to know these folks pretty well, in fact you’ll probably see parts of yourself in them too.

The other factor that makes John McCallum’s articles so effective is the subject matter. Unlike many of today’s strength “authors,” even if it ruffled a few feathers, McCallum was not afraid to pull any punches and tell it like it is… this solid dose of real training was certainly worth it though, an untold number of trainees finally start seeing results by following the workouts and advice in these articles.

McCallum also visited and corresponded with many of the most famous weight men of the time in order to find out the real scoop about how they trained. He learned a great deal from them and wasn’t shy about including his findings in his articles. If you want to know how many of the greats trained — how they REALLY trained — then you’ll find that type information on these pages:

You Won’t Find This Training
Information Anywhere Else!
How long should your workouts last? …It’s an age-old question that you’ll finally get the answer to on page 2… You’ll also find a good, basic weight gaining program for beginners and intermediates later on in the article

McCallum understood full well that one of the “secrets” to record breaking lifts was through harnessing the power of the human mind… You’ll read tips on fractional relaxation, auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis in his three articles on Concentration (and in several other articles as well)

How do you put on good, solid strength and size quickly? — Sure, lifting is a part of it, but so is getting in enough calories… You’ll receive the recipe and instructions for the “Get Big Drink” on page 15
What did a typical workout look like for three-time Mr. Universe contest winner Reg Park? McCallum was there and saw one with his own eyes… and it probably isn’t what you think… Read all about it in the “Training for Gaining” article starting on page 16

On Page 22, McCallum devotes an entire article to addressing one of the most important training secrets — one that just about everyone downplays or ignores

Building a bigger, stronger neck is important — especially if you play football — McCallum’s “Neck Specialization” article, which you can find starting on page 46, gives you seven basic exercises for filling out your collar

If there’s one area of training that just about every program is lacking in, it’s grip work… but the fact of the matter is that if you want to lift big weights, you’ve gotta have strong hands… Starting on page 49, you’ll find two articles devoted to increasing grip and forearm strength, along with an enlightening visit to Mac Batchelor’s pub!

Having trouble bulking up? You’ll want to try the “High-Protein, High-Set” Routine found on page 60… and don’t miss the “results” follow up article
What if you can’t squat? …there ARE other options… in fact, there’s an exercise that can do for the upper body what squats can do with the whole body and you can read all about how to work it into your program on page 68
Just because you lift weights does not mean you shouldn’t be in shape as well… A decade before before the”jogging boom” McCallum was urging strength athletes to hit the track to get their waistline in check. Find out his thoughts and recommendations on page 85
One of the most unique training programs that McCallum discussed in his articles was “P.H.A.” which was developed by 1966 Mr. American Bob Gajda… this routine is especially effective if you need more definition…you’ll read everything you need to know about PHA training starting on page 99
Looking to widen out? Try the “Back Work for Bulk” program on page 127… You’ll be in good company with this routine, these exercises were used with great success by Maurice Jones, Bill Pearl and Reg Park (among others)
If you want to build a big chest, you’ve got to enlarge your rib box…McCallum’s 4-part “For a Big Chest” series, which begins on page 131, outlines the specific exercises for making it happen
Not many people know about Hip Belt Squats but you can read all about them on pages 156-160… that includes details on setup, how to incorporate them and the other exercises that should be performed with them
Forget the store-bought stuff, if you need some more nutrients in your diet, you’ll want to read McCallum’s articles on baking muscle muffins and Vitamins… you’ll find more info starting on page 191
Training not going so great? There are some pretty predictable reasons why this may be and McCallum examines them in detail on pages 216-228
“The Case for the Breathing Squat” — one of the ALL-TIME greatest training articles — starts on page 259… the entire price of the book is worth it for this article alone

These points are, of course, just some of the items that I find of interest, there are many more that I didn’t mention… there’s a great deal of nutrition information and nearly every article also contains a workout of some kind so if you ever need a good one to try, you can flip to just about any page and find what you need.

One of the keys (pardon the pun) to successful training is having the right kind of information to guide you and keep you on point — with John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” articles in hand, you’ll definitely get (and stay) on the right track.

If you were around when “The Keys to Progress” first hit the scene, this will be a nice trip down memory lane (and probably also serve as a reminder of some important points that may have fallen by the wayside)… but if you’ve never read any of McCallum’s stuff before, then you’re in for a real treat… You’ll enjoy reading them, learn more than you think, and most importantly, if “The Keys to Progress” articles don’t get you fired up to train, then nothing will!

Don’t waste another single second, order your copy right now to get started!

Order now!The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum
___________$19.99 plus s/h