TJ’s Gym Weekly News 05/31/2018

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We’re excited to welcome new coach, Griff Gardner, to our staff! Griff brings years of coaching and fitness experience to TJ’s, and he will be an asset to our community.  With his extensive military background, he’s not afraid of the gigantic teens we have in Mill Valley, so that’s a bonus. Please welcome Griff when you see him in the gyms!


Message from TJ:

Part 3:  What the Hell Happened?
Dramatic title right?
Here is a brief history of how coronary heart disease and the myth of cholesterol almost killed us all. Once again, I give all the credit to Gary Taubes and his book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, for introducing me to this information. I have read many parts of his book multiple times, but his take on the evils of sugar caused me to delve deeper into the subject. Taubes can be a bit abrasive with his hate of the sugar industry. Let’s be honest, he’s trying to sell a book, but damn, it’s hard to not agree with what he lays out, especially after doing a whole bunch of fact-finding. For an easier read of the same topics, Taubes also wrote Why We are Fat.
When you pull up Ancel Keys in Wikipedia, you will read about an impressive man. He was a physiologist who dedicated his life to finding out how diets affect our health, from 1930 till his death in 2004. He was incredibly well educated and motivated. He climbed through the ranks of experts in nutrition by obsessively running studies upon studies to uncover the truth about the food we were eating. His Seven Countries Study supported his theory that people in the wealthiest nations died of heart disease and that heart disease was caused by high cholesterol and high-fat diets. He proclaimed that dietary “saturated,” or animal fat, was evil, and that people living in other nations who ate a lower-fat diet or one with “unsaturated” fats, like vegetable oil, did not die at such a high rate of heart disease, nor was high cholesterol a problem.  Keys was also the father of “The Mediterranean Diet.”
This work propelled Keys to the front page of Time Magazine, and he quickly became our country’s leading expert in the field. He was also funded by “Big Sugar.” Look, to this day, scientists take money from many sources to find out the “truth,” and I don’t actually fault Keys for doing that. It’s the subsequent misuse of his data by various industries for profit, as well as our government for its agenda, that is most disturbing. Yes, I’m simplifying this story and going for broad strokes, because it’s a blog post.
In 1954, Keys and a colleague, Dr. White (a leading cardiologist), presented his findings to 1200 of the world’s leading doctors and specialists in internal medicine. A national conversation was started.A year later, President Eisenhower had a heart attack. Dr. White was flown in to care for Eisenhower, and he proclaimed that a diet of red meat and butter had caused our dear president to suffer from the serial killer known as “High Cholesterol.”  Eisenhower smoked four packs of cigarettes per day.  He was put on a low-fat diet. He went on to have three more heart attacks before he died. But this was the perfect event for the low-fat/franken-fat/big-sugar machine.
Wesson and General Mills started the publicity wheels spinning. They vilified dietary or saturated fat through an ad campaign for which they hired Hollywood mogul, Samuel P Mayer. Egg and butter consumption in the US dropped 30% over the next ten years.
The message was that we should pretty much run to the grocery store and grab ourselves a gallon or two of vegetable oil. It’s safe, it’s your friend. Money from the oil and sugar industry began flooding in to the American Heart Association and American Medical Association. Dr. Jean Mayer of Tufts University even said that a cup of corn oil per day would prevent heart disease.  Wha…..?
By the mid-70’s, the anti-fat message was so strong that the sugar industry didn’t even have to do much of anything but keep chugging along. See what I did there? Their contribution of a million bucks to Harvard’s School of Nutrition was gladly accepted, thank you very much. Now we have smart guys doing research for us. Ka-ching!
George McGovern had a Congressional committee from 1968-1977. The committee was concerned with hunger in the U.S., and it generated a report called Dietary Goals for Americans, which basically said, among other things, that sugar was a little scary. The AMA didn’t like that and felt that such guidelines should be handled by the National Research Council/Institute of Medicine (fun fact:  president of IOM, Victor Dzau, was a board member of, and is a large shareholder in, PepsiCo). The end result was that the congressional report was completely watered down, and the “sugar-is-dangerous” parts were basically removed.
In the 80’s there was a confluence of events: School lunch programs were cut, and big soda stepped in to cover the costs, as long as soda machines were allowed on campuses.  C. Everett Coop, then Surgeon General )with the epic neck beard,) agreed with the large number of health and nutrition “agencies” that had appeared over the previous ten years (funded by big soda and big frankenfat companies). They all agreed that study after study supported the idea that a low-fat diet was best for Americans. Finally, the Food Pyramid was created with the “help” of these agencies and was launched by Coop, himself. There were plenty of sugar opponents back then screaming as loud as they could, but people like Dr. Atkins were easily dismissed as quacks by the big sugar war machine.  When AIDS showed up, it was perfect timing for junk food. The government was way too busy to deal with this stuff any longer.
Sugar and wheat are serious business and basically two of the only products we export to other countries. We are the world leaders in the sugar/wheat business, and that means money.  Money means you can afford policy change or protection of policy.  We all know this. But the truth eventually comes out. When Taubes blew the whistle, the the war machine went to work.  They  threatened him, discredited him, and poured money into things like the “Gatorade Science Institute” to gather more data to support their side, with titles like these:
Calories in vs. Calories out.
A Calorie is just a Calorie.
You can outwork a bad diet.
10,000 Steps Per Day.
“Latest data/research/experts say that……..sugar isn’t thaaat bad for you.”
But Taubes kept at it. Banging the drum, writing books, doing interviews, filming Youtube videos, and playing the game THEIR way. By playing THEIR game I mean that he found money to fund HIS message. Big money from the Arnold Foundation. A hedge fund manager who has pledged to give away his billions by the time he dies to causes his foundation deems worthy.  Money vs. money with us caught in the middle. Sigh.
So why listen to me? Well for starters, I admit I screwed up. I have my own data to show how I got fat and unhealthy and then changed, and how I’ve helped a whole lot of other people do the same. Now, hopefully you feel a little more educated about the history of it all.  As always, I look forward to talking about this stuff with anyone who’s interested.
Next week, what I learned from not drinking alcohol over the past three months.

Go Warriors!



New TJ’s Gym Tanks are coming!  Order Today!

New TJ’s Gym Tanks just in time for Summer! Order your tank by June 12th HERE for women and HERE for men. The tanks will be delivered to your home gym the week of June 26th. There are multiple colors on the site, so be sure to check them out! We will NOT be ordering any extras, so be sure to order what you want now!


Summer Leadership Academy

We are SUPER excited to announce our first-annual Summer Leadership Academy for Teens at TJ’s Gyms. Spearheaded and run by TJ, himself, this week-long program for ages 15-17 will include fitness and nutrition education, workouts, and deep exploration of topics related to the development of leadership skills, personal “branding,” and life success. We will have guest speakers of all ages across disciplines to address entrepreneurship, social media use, networking, confidence-building, etc.

This is a great opportunity for your teen to grow in just one week’s time! Spaces are limited to eight teens, so we suggest registering right away if you’re interested. Email with program questions. To register, email

TJ’s Gym Lifestyle & Accountability Program (LAP) is now an ONGOING Offering!

$250 for the first 6 weeks of working closely with TJ. Then sort out a plan that works for you! 

This program has become quite popular. TJ has FOUR spots available for next month, so act quickly!

Change your life NOW. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Want to change your life? Our 6-week program with TJ is a great jump start.  You can start any time. Over the course of the first six weeks of your journey, you will work closely with TJ to get yourself on track to actually achieving some of your most important goals. After the six weeks, you’ll have an opportunity to continue with the next level of the program, or go on your way with the tools and plans you’ve created.
Email to register TODAY!


The next Juggling for Jude soccer clinic benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be Saturday, June 30th at Redwood’s Ghilotti field. This is a GREAT opportunity for players ages 7-14 to learn new ball-control, dribbling, juggling and other skills for soccer prowess from some fantastic professional coaches. 100% of registration fees go directly to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude. Win, win! Email with questions or to register, and please share with soccer families you know!

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Congrats to San Rafael OG, Mike Taylor, on winning a free TJ’s t-shirt in our Memorial Day Weekend use-your-fitness-in-a-TJ’s Gym-apparel-item contest! Below is Mike in a NorCal Masters t-shirt using his fitness to do yard work like a boss. Woohoo!

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NEW Teen/Tween Session Started Monday, May 7th.

There’s still time to hop on in!

Session Dates (8 weeks):  05/07 – 06/30*
*No class Monday, May 28th.
Session Prices
$160 (one class per week)*
$280 (two classes per week)*
$395 (three classes per week)*
We also have monthly options available for our year-round members.
Spring Schedule
*Corte Madera – Monday/Wednesday (12 – 16) 4 pm
*Mill Valley – Tuesday/Thursday (12 – 16) 4 pm
*Corte Madera -Tuesday/Thursday (10 – 13) 4:30 pm
*Mill Valley – Wednesday 4:30 (12 – 16) – Girls only class
*Corte Madera – Saturday (12 – 16) 11 am
*San Rafael – Monday (11 – 16) 4:30 pm
*Classes expire at the end of the session. Make-ups can happen as needed throughout the session.Please share with anyone who might be interested in joining!
Email to register.


If you’re on Facebook, please request to join the TJ’s Gym Members Facebook Page (current, active members) for all of our most up-to-date announcements and offerings. You can also follow us @tjsgyms on Instagram.


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