You found Fitness Gazette, and you want to learn a little more about it? Awesome - thank you.

What is this site all about? Who is the author? What kind of information will I find? I'm sure you have plenty of other questions, too. Let me start by posting some questions and answers below:

Why do we need another fitness website?

Because this is scary. "obesity trends since 1985"

us obesity trends 1985-2010
US Obesity Rates 1985 vs 2010

Because there are plenty of websites out there writing for the 20-something young studs looking for six-pack abs, and there are just as many websites writing about specialty diets where you need to change your entire menu to be successful. But I couldn't find another website for a 40-year old desk jockey who wanted to lose weight, be fitter and healthier, but not have to prepare his own meals or stop eating at restaurants with his friends and kids.

It seems to me that our society has changed over the last three decades. The diet and exercise industry has become a HUGE industry, with each player trying to out-do the next. Everyone has a system, plan, or proprietary new way to lose weight. And everyone wants you to pay top dollar for it. Yet as a society we keep getting less healthy.

In reality, nothing has changed with our bodies - we haven't evolved differently in one generation. Common sense tells us if we go back to eating a little less and moving our bodies a little more, we can go back to how we used to be. (and in the process of eating less, we'll cut out a lot of the ingredients that were built in a lab, rather than a kitchen.)

This site is dedicated to being healthy the common sense way. You'll find articles about fitness & exercise, diet & nutrition, motivation, lifestyle, and the occasional off-topic thought that I feel compelled to share. The overriding principle is the process of continuous improvement - if we get just a little bit better each day, even just a tiny bit, the gain over time becomes huge.

Who is Chris Butterworth?

This has always been a tough question to answer, so I'll just hit a couple bullet points:

Sports and Fitness - I'm a sports nut and a fitness nut. I've played and coached sports my whole life. I've done just about every type of fitness routine there is at one time or another. I've studied through research, discussions, and trial and error, the effects different routines have on the body (or at least on my body - your mileage may vary.)

Busy Schedule - I have a day job, a beautiful wife, and 2 awesome boys (one plays competitive soccer; the other plays a bit more recreationally.) We spend most of the evenings and weekends outdoors - hiking, biking, playing sports in the park or backyard, or just goofing around.

Writing - is my hobby. It gives me an outlet, a way to sort through all the stuff I've learned along the way, compare it with what I'm hearing and reading from TV, radio, magazines, and the web, and pass along my opinions.

Moderation - all things in moderation. I have a hard time with extremism, whether it be politics, religion, or health and fitness. Sure, some things are better for you than others. But my experience has been that it's difficult to sustain an extreme route over the long term; eventually people get tired of doing things "differently", and they fall back into their old ways. Better to make your old ways better, even if it's just a little bit at a time.

Moving Mountains - another catch phrase I use often. Nobody can move a mountain, right? But everyone of us could move 100 lbs of gravel from one side of their yard to the other, even if it took several trips with a wheelbarrow over the course of the day. Well, do this every day for a year, and you will have moved 18 TONS of stone - that's moving a mountain! Slow and steady, moderation, one step at a time - little actions turn into big results.

What are some of my "hot buttons"?

Continuous Improvement

A year is not a long time - summer, back to school, holiday season, spring break, finals, and back to summer again. It goes by quickly. And if you can get a little better each day, just a tiny, imperceptible bit, you'll be remarkably better by this time next year. I'm talking night & day different.

Have you ever hiked up a mountain? You walk for awhile, and the path starts going uphill. You get tired, and start focusing on taking steps - just one step, and then the next. After about 10 minutes you take a break to catch your breath and look down, and Wow! You can't believe how far you've come already. Another hour of hiking and you're way up there, taking pictures of breath-taking views. That's continuous improvement - one little step at a time, each one is unnoticeable in the grand scheme of the hike, but strung together all those little steps get you from the base of the mountain to its summit.

Moderation and Marginal Changes

This is similar to Continuous Improvement. I think you can make bigger changes, which can last a lifetime, if you make them in moderation.

The headlines out there tell us something different. They want us to lose a lot of weight by next month. Or to use these few exercises to get a toned belly / butt / legs. How about using these techniques to bulge your biceps?

Or my personal favorite - simply blast these workouts for 90 minutes a day, 6 days a week, along with eating right, and you'll be amazed by the results! No, I won't be amazed - I would expect awesome results if I was going to put in that much time & effort. In fact, just about any program would work wonders if you completely changed your diet and worked out for 9 hours per week!

In reality, who has this much time? You'll need to plan ahead for a 90-minute workout with some nutrition before hand, so you probably can't do this right when you wake up - give yourself another 30 minutes to eat and get ready. Then give yourself another 30 minutes (or more) to cool off, drink some fluids, and shower afterward. If I had 2.5 hours a day to devote to working out, of course I'd be in great shape.

You don't need 2.5 hours a day. You only need small changes - 20 minutes at a time, plus some small changes in your eating, to make a gigantic difference in the long run. No, you can't lose 25 pounds in 25 days by making small changes. But you can lose 25 pounds over the course of a year, and keep it off for the rest of your life, without having to drastically change your lifestyle.


I think intensity matters, a lot. You can walk a mile at a leisurely pace and burn about 100 calories. Or you can run a mile at lung-bursting speed and burn the same 100 calories. But, the fast run got your heart pumping and your muscles working. Your body continued to burn calories while you caught your breath. Your muscles burned calories throughout the rest of the day and into the next day while they repaired themselves (and got even stronger in preparation for your next run!) Your body's metabolism sped up a little bit, knowing that running was possible at anytime and wanting to be prepared for it.

You went one mile in both cases, but the 7-minute mile had a lasting impact, while your body didn't even notice the 30-minute mile. 7 minutes of intense exercise is better than 30 minutes of movement without really exercising.

I don't think you need long, extended workouts to be fit. But I do believe you need intensity - heart pounding, lungs burning, body sweating - that's a good workout.

Diet and Nutrition

Calories in, calories burned. Run a calorie deficit and you'll lose weight. Keep them in balance to maintain your weight. Our bodies have a remarkable ability to store extra calories as fat - fuel we might need later, and then to convert this fat into fuel if/when the need arises. Most of us do a better job of storing extra calories than burning them off as fuel.

If you eat the right number of calories, your body will convert them to whatever form it needs, regardless of whether those calories came from protein, carbs or fat, and regardless of whether they came from grilled fish or a bag of Cheetos. However, our bodies were not designed to handle all the laboratory manufactured chemicals we feed it.

Want to know what's in a steak? Beef. What's in rice? Rice. What's in a carrot? carrot. What's in bread? Flour, water, yeast.

Want to know what's NOT in any of these things? Maltodextrin, diglycerides, BHT, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, color dye #6, or anything else I can't pronounce or tell you where it came from or how it's made.

Going back to my earlier comments on moderation, I don't preach that we all start growing our own food, or that you have to eat all organic, or even that you can't have a handful of Cheetos now and then. But I do think it's a good idea to reduce the amount of unpronounceable, lab-made ingredients you eat.

Thank you!

Thank you for taking some time to read Fitness Gazette. I hope you enjoy what you find. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or comments.

-Chris Butterworth