Monthly Archives: July 2015

Grain on the Brain – Part 1

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JONCE: I want to talk a little bit about these books I just purchased. One is written by Deanna Minich, PhD, about the connection of food to our spiritual lives. In old times, food was often used in connection with spirituality (like the manna from Heaven, the breaking the bread, the last supper, etc.). Food was always involved in spirituality.

CHRIS: Like the blood of Christ.

JONCE: Yeah. So she is approaching weight loss from a holistic standpoint; if you want to lose weight, you have to go beyond the fads of dieting.

There are over 200 diets out there, and none of them really work. It is proven that the majority of people who go on a diet will regain their weight; not only that, but they will gain even more weight than what they lost in the first place! Diets do not work; they are a short-term fix. Sadly, that’s what we look for. If you want to feel good about yourself, you shoot some coke and heroin into you—it’s a quick fix. If you want to feel cool, you buy yourself a $60,000 car; you feel good for one or two weeks, then the first bill comes. Quick fix, right? It’s the same with food. Food seems like the quickest fix to everything—it’s everywhere, it’s cheap, but above all, it is highly addictive. Particularly sugar.

JONCE: Take any food item, turn it around, and look at the nutrition label. You’ll see its caloric percentage of a 2,000 calorie diet (for someone eating 2,000 calories a day), as well as the protein and fat percentages. But when it comes to sugar, there is no percentage. On no food item will you see the percentage of added sugar. You will see the grams, but you will never see the percentage.

Around 10 years ago, the government made (I think it was) a second attempt to force food companies to include the percentage of added sugar on food labels. The food companies brought their top lawyers and doctors into Congress, convincing the politicians (who are supposedly looking out for us) not to label the sugar percentage on any food item. Not only that, but Congress was also convinced to conceal the harmful and addictive effects of sugar additives. It’s the power of government against the power of food corporations. Did you know that many health insurances have tons of money invested in the big food companies? It’s all about making money by lying and deceiving the “brainwashed” consumer.

But we got sidetracked from our original theme. Back to Dr. Deanna Minich.

Minich writes about how, through self-evaluation and discovering self-love, our lives can change—on a long-term basis. Not just for three months, four months. How many times have we heard people say, “I’m going on vacation in four months. I have to lose weight,” or, “I have a wedding to attend. In two months, I have to lose 20 pounds because I want to fit in my dress.” Those are all quick fixes. As soon as the big event is over, they go back to their old lifestyle. We have 85 to 86 million obese people in this country; that amounts to 33 or 34 percent of us. An additional 34 to 35 percent of us are overweight. Between these two conditions, we have about 68 percent of people either obese or overweight.

Overweight people usually continue to gain weight. Why? Because they think, “The heck with it. Food makes me feel good, so I’ll keep comforting myself with it.” The sad fact is, most people eat food for pleasure instead of eating it for its intended purpose: fuel.

Another book I’m reading is about the “grain brain” and how damaging grain is to our brains. It is written by Dr. David Perlmutter. I don’t agree with everything he writes, but in regards to the hormones insulin and leptin, and the damaging effect of sugar on the body, I agree with him. Insulin (secreted from the pancreas) and leptin (made by adipose cells) are very important in regards to overeating and obesity. Both are transmitted to the hypothalamus (an almond-sized organelle in our brain), which tells us we are full.

Metabolic endocrinology is very complicated, and it is challenging to explain the whole process, but I will try to do so. The hormone insulin helps regulate the amount of sugar in our blood; when we eat carbohydrates, they are transformed into glucose for energy and stored as glycogen in the liver. To prevent excess sugar in the blood, the pancreas secretes insulin, which delivers that sugar into the right organs/cells. Insulin also signals the hypothalamus, which then signals the cells that enough sugar has been taken in to achieve homeostasis (a stable internal environment). This is the stage of a healthy person.

However, if we constantly feed ourselves processed carbohydrates/sugar (the majority of people consume 80 percent of their calories from processed carbs, in combination with processed fat), the body is continually overloaded with sugar. This causes the pancreas to secrete more and more insulin so that excess sugar is removed from the blood. Eventually, so much insulin is secreted that the muscle and liver cell receptors become desensitized, no longer receiving the signal to absorb the sugar. But there is one place more than willing to receive the sugar: adipose fat cells. And so it happens that all excess sugar is converted to fat.

Now let’s talk about the hormone leptin. Leptin’s central function is to regulate overall body weight by limiting food intake and increasing energy expenditure. Leptin is made in the WAT (white adipose tissue); a healthy person in homeostasis is producing the right amount of leptin in the WAT, which then signals the hypothalamus to inhibit food intake at the proper time. An obese person has a lot of WAT, which means that there is an overload of leptin secretion in the blood stream. This creates a leptin resistance, which inhibits the hypothalamus from signaling the feeling of satiety. The receptors and neurotransmitters between leptin and the hypothalamus have now become “disconnected.”

Do you know what this actually means? It means that we are NOT fat because we eat too much; we eat too much because we are fat. The constant overfeeding on grain/processed carbohydrates leads to insulin resistance (IR), which leads to excessive fat storage, which leads to leptin resistance (LR), which leads to a distorted sense of satiety, which leads to obesity.

CHRIS: Unbelievable.

To be continued…


CrossFit vs. IMS Fitness

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This post is a conversation between owner Jonce and a new member. The new member’s wife works out in a CrossFit gym and he was curious about the differences between the two.


JONCE: CrossFit claims to appeal or apply to all kinds of people—overweight people, obese people, people who have never worked out, people who want to work out at higher levels, and athletes who actually compete in CrossFit games and competitions.

I don’t think this is the case. I don’t think that CrossFit can really train all levels of people. I think that they (and most gyms) are missing the most important aspect of training: the psychological aspect. That’s what most people, most personal trainers, and most facilities that call themselves CrossFit or gyms are missing.

Think about it. How can a gym with thousands of members take care of the mental or psychological state of a new member? There is no way. Plus, the personal trainers at these gyms are not very experienced. Most of them are young people. Maybe I am being presumptuous, but I don’t think so. I’ve been in a lot of gyms; I’ve been around for many, many years. The new generation of personal trainers is a very young generation. They are usually between 18 and 26 years old. Most of them eventually realize that they can’t support a family as a trainer, so they end up getting a different degree or trying something that makes more money.

You cannot build a family with the income of a LA Fitness or Lifetime Fitness personal trainer. Those facilities and chains are exploiting personal trainers. So you have this range of 18 to 26 year-old trainers (those are young pups) who just don’t have the experience to tap into the psychological aspect of a member. That’s just how it is.

It’s like comparing your psychiatrist to a psychiatry student who just graduated. Let’s say you are schizophrenic, or you have some really deep mental issues that have accumulated over the past 20 or 30 years. You won’t go to a pup who just graduated in psychology or psychiatry. I would be scared to go to a person like that for help. I’m not saying I wouldn’t give them a chance to treat me, but if my problems were very severe, it wouldn’t be likely. I would prefer someone who has been practicing for 20 or 30 years, who has much more life experience. You can’t compare that with someone who just started.

Fitness professionals are the same. I might go to a rookie fitness professional if I had a base knowledge about working out—maybe I would go for motivation or accountability—but if I have never been in a gym, or I’m obese or overweight, or if I have diabetes or arthritis, or if I have any kind of physical issues, I would rather go to someone who has been training people for an extensive number of years.

That’s one problem with CrossFit gyms. The young trainers are convinced that, since their particular philosophy works for them, it will work for everyone. They are young and don’t have the experience to know that different methods work for different people.

I divide the journey of wellness into three segments. It starts with health; if you are obese, if you have arthritis, if you have diabetes, or if you have high blood pressure, wellness starts with taking care of your health. You’ve got to work on health first, with your fitness professional. Once you’re taking care of your health by losing weight, changing your lifestyle, and eating right, you come to the second stage. I call this the “fitness” stage, and this is where most people are.

I would say probably 60 percent of people in the gyms are at this level. They have a normal weight, they work out 2-3 times a week, they feel good about themselves, and they eat okay.

Then you have the third level. This is what I call the “performance” level. Most CrossFit gyms are actually starting their members at this level. They’re skipping the health level, they’re skipping the fitness level, and they’re starting at the performance level. Well, I’m sorry; if you’re 100 pounds overweight, if you have problems with joint inflammation, if you have diabetes, if you’ve never lifted a weight in your life—and they start making you do assisted pull-ups, running up and down the gym on that artificial turf and pulling something behind you, or even crawling around the gym (a “primal” workout, they call it, because it mimics animal movements)…

INTERVIEWER: I haven’t seen that. Really?

JONCE: It’s a great workout, but not for beginners. You can’t just skip the two levels of health and fitness and move to the performance level. I’m not saying these trainers don’t want the best for their clients; they just lack experience. They feel great about what they’re doing and they want to convey this to their members.

That’s where it’s going to fail. Regardless of the fancy exercises you have and the great strategist you are, if you don’t “feel” your client, you’re going to fail. You have to feel your client. That’s what fitness professionals are missing, and that’s one of the biggest differences between IMS and CrossFit.

You might walk into an IMS gym and see the same equipment you see at a CrossFit gym, but let me tell you something: I was using this kind of equipment many, many years ago—just a much older version. I was even making (and you can ask people who have trained with me 10 years) my clients mimic animal movements! We would go to the forest and they would carry a log on their shoulder, running up and down hills.

INTERVIEWER: That’s cool!

JONCE: I would take a rope, put it around a branch, tie a rock on it, and make them pull that rock around…up and down and up and down. I’ve been doing these kind of exercises way before there was “CrossFit” or “calisthenics” or “primal workouts.” I just didn’t know what to call them; I didn’t have the name for them. I’ve been doing that for many, many years. I’ve been in the fitness business for 23 years, and have trained myself for nearly 30 years.

If you walk into an IMS gym and see the equipment, you’ll see a much newer version of what I used to do. I’ve stayed true to my philosophy of training, with the same exercises and the same tools. I just have more modern equipment now.

INTERVIEWER: I’m picturing a gym in the woods. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a gym called something like “Primal Gym,” with an actual indoor facility like yours, but also with some woods where there was this stuff you’re talking about?

JONCE: There is.

INTERVIEWER: Is there?! Really?!

JONCE: There is. Another fitness professional who I admire, Erwan Le Corre (I think he’s in his early 40’s), has that kind of “gym.” I think he calls it “NatMove” (Natural Movement).

INTERVIEWER: That would sell. I’m telling you, I would sign up for that.

JONCE: Well, let me tell you this: My goal is to take my clients (whenever weather permits or whenever their fitness level permits) to the park and to the forest and make them climb trees, carry logs, and run up and down those muddy hills!

INTERVIEWER: That’s so cool.

JONCE: Let me tell you a story. A very long time ago, when I first came to America, I trained my first client. She passed the health and fitness level, so she was ready for the performance level. Up to that point, she couldn’t find a personal trainer or fitness professional who could train her at that level. So we went to a stony creek, and I made her climb up and down all sorts of branches and trees. I was using the trees as a rig.

INTERVIEWER: That’s really cool. It feels so much more natural…like you have a goal. When you’re in the gym, you have these bars. It feels so much like a machine; it’s so structured. But when you’re in nature, you feel like you’re actually trying to climb and get…

JONCE: Being one with nature. Being one with nature. You try to be one with nature, you know?


JONCE: And again, that’s intrinsic in us. Those are intrinsic motions. That’s what our ancestors used to do.

INTERVIEWER: You should call it Jurassic Gym.

JONCE: Something like that, yeah.

INTERVIEWER: And have giant wooden gates that open up to go in, and torches that light at night. Ha ha!

JONCE: Right, right.

INTERVIEWER: That would be so cool!

JONCE: You can ask my clients. I used to do that.

INTERVIEWER: That is awesome!

JONCE: So opening my IMS with a similar concept to CrossFit is not a coincidence. If I can be a little arrogant, I’ve done these exercises way before the name CrossFit was established.

INTERVIEWER: But without the kipping.

JONCE: Without injuring people. Yeah, without injuring people.

INTERVIEWER: Because that just looks dangerous. It looks horrible for your joints!

JONCE: Yeah, it is dangerous.

INTERVIEWER: How can that be good for you?

JONCE: It can’t. It’s not.

INTERVIEWER: It’s no coincidence there’s a chiropractor in every one of those CrossFit gyms.

JONCE: Really?! I didn’t even know that. Are you serious?

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. They’re members and somehow they’re part of the foundation. The owner of the CrossFit gym my wife goes to is a chiropractor, and the last CrossFit gym she went to also had an owner who was a chiropractor.

JONCE: I wouldn’t call that a coincidence anymore. I would call that a strategy, haha!

INTERVIEWER: A strategy-strategy-strategy-strategy.

JONCE: I wanted to talk more about nutrition today, but we’ll continue that next time. The only resemblance between CrossFit and IMS is the actual equipment; everything else—the concept, the strategy, and the philosophy, is diametrically opposite.


JONCE: That’s it for today.

INTERVIEWER: Yay! I don’t mean, “Yay, that’s it,” I mean, “Yay, good information!”

IMS Construction Updates – June 27, 2015

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More fantastic progress! Special thanks to Todd Anger of T.Anger Handyman for the amazing artwork on the walls!

IMS Construction Updates – June 20, 2015

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Things are really starting to take shape at IMS now! Here are the latest construction photos.