Life Health

Andrew Ginsberg promises he'll make you laugh - and help you lose weight

By Joanne Richard, Special to Postmedia Network

Andrew Ginsberg.

Andrew Ginsberg.

Wanna fit into your speedo by summer? Then get a new one! Or consider Pumping Irony with author, fitness trainer and standup comic Andrew Ginsberg, who’s just released his new funny-filled fitness book on How to Build Muscle, Lose Weight, and Have the Last Laugh, with a few snarky reps thrown in.

Face it, we all know we should do it, but don’t. Could be that the monotony of doing repetition after repetition and not being able to check your iPhone every 10 seconds deters people from going to the gym, says Ginsberg. “Plus you have to push your muscles to the point of failure and exert the maximum amount of energy - compare that to watching Netflix with a fireplace going and you have Dante’s Ninth Circle of Hell.”

If you can’t get you off the couch, you are likely glued to it and your iPhone. Get unglued and have the last laugh by muscling in on the right workout and diet that is sustainable over time. Ginsberg takes aim at the garbage that corrupts the fitness industry - “diet fads, gimmicky dangerous workouts like CrossFit, and the spiritual elitism of the average yogi. I liked yoga back 10 years ago, when it was called stretching.”

He’s out to educate and eradicate misinformation out there: “Just turn on the news or read the paper and it changes by the day - broccoli fights cancer, broccoli cures cancer, broccoli is cancer!” says Ginsberg, who’s latest album Eat the Yolk debuted in the top 10 on iTunes Comedy Chart.

Stay clear of any diet ad or supplement that promises “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days” or “6-pack abs by sundown.” As sure as the sun sets, “it’s all total crap. There is no magic bullet. It takes time and hard work like anything.” He comes down hard on the organic food industry. “There are tens of thousands of organic farms and very few companies that certify. So it’s the Wild West and nobody actually knows what has been tested for pesticides and hormones even though they are marked and sold organic at five times the price.”

Beware fake promises, false organic food claims, and portly personal trainers: “Why would anyone hire a fat personal trainer? That’s like going to a suicidal life coach! If I had a fat trainer, I wouldn’t believe one word he said. He’d be like ‘Do 10 push-ups!’ and I’d be like ‘It’s not going to make me fat, is it?’”

Meanwhile, you may want to cry but the bottom line is that you have to invest time to muscle in on fitness: 40 minutes of weights four days a week and 20-30 minutes of cardio three days a week. Always do weights before cardio and utilize supersets in your weight workout where you go from one exercise to the next with no rest in between. “Most people rest far too long between sets - they watch YouTube videos and text their friends. Catch your breath and get right back to it,” says Ginsberg, who’s won numerous natural bodybuilding titles by doing it the healthy way – actually eating food and avoiding any risky supplements or drugs.

Ginsburg is all about treating each physique as an art project – “the body is the canvas, the weights are the paintbrushes, and the food is the paint.” And speaking of food, one cheat day a week is allowed with unhealthy foods. Keep in mind that the five worst foods you can eat are:

Fettuccine Alfredo

General Tso’s Chicken

Processed meats, i.e. hot dogs, sausages, bacon

Potato chips

Doughnuts

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We may dislike the gym but we all love emojis!

Far from being mere digital icons, they’re taking stage everywhere, there’s even The Emoji Movie coming out.

These popular graphic expressions are even the source of research for Dr. Monica A. Riordan who says that they lend a sense of play and joyfulness to our texts. Her recent study, Emojis as Tools for Emotion Work: Communicating Affect in Text Messages, looked at non-face emojis in text messages and found overall that they communicate positive affect, specifically joy. The time and effort involved in using emojis may help maintain and enhance social relationships.

Emojis fascinate us because they are endlessly flexible in meaning. “They become a form of play, and they engage us in a game of interpretation,” adds Riordan, of Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

Emojis allow the transmission of emotion that we normally take from the facial expressions or body stance, adds Dr. Pamela Rutledge, of the Media Psychology Research Center. “They allow for more subtlety in short-form messaging and help avoid misunderstanding, and increase connection rather than create distance.”

Keep in mind, when it comes dating connections, it’s not you, it’s your emoji! Dating app Clover algorithmically examined 90 million messages from 3 million users to see if emojis impacted the response rates on the first contact between two users. “Considering 82% of our users are aged 18-34, we were pretty surprised to learn that only 10% of opening messages contained emojis,” says Isaac Raichyk, CEO Clover. “Based on our findings, we recommend singles make use of emojis to break the ice and improve their odds of success.” Only one or two though per message, using more tends to negatively impact the response rate, and check out the infograph to pick the best emojis.