HOUSTON - Past their prime? No way. Local 2 met a group of men in their 70s and 80s who say they have never felt better.
The men credit The Firm U in Tomball.
It's not your average gym; the pillars of its philosophy are an anti-inflammatory diet, weight training and optimizing hormone levels.
Owners Ray Bessette and Christine Boss, longtime body builders, created the plan. Bessette preaches weight training and no sugar.
"We teach people you want to stimulate your muscles naturally, not destroy them," Bessette said. "Just so that your body works naturally for itself to burn those calories even when you're not working out. I'm burning calories from my workout from yesterday and the day before."
The duo doesn't focus too much cardio, instead their focus is on weight training.
Pharmacist and trainer Christine Boss teaches the anti-inflammatory diet.
"An anti-inflammatory diet is basically if it perishes quickly, it's good for you," Boss said.
That means no processed foods, only food that nature created, like fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and whole grains.
Trainers often work with clients' doctors and do blood work to check hormone levels. The main hormone they worry about is insulin.
"Most people don't know it but they are insulin resistant or diabetic," Bessette said. "When you have insulin in your blood you can't lose body fat."
They also check thyroid levels, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. If a client is deficient, they supplement that with bio-identical hormones.
The Firm U also has a doctor on staff.
"I had gained weight, inability to lose weight, my energy was at an all-time low, nervousness, depression," explained client Cindy Cascio.
After a hysterectomy at age 50, Cascio said she felt awful. She started the diet, the workout program and the bio-identical hormones.
"I've lost 50 pounds and about 23 percent body fat.," Cascio said.
She loved the program so much she now works at Firm U.
"A lot of people do have changes in their hormones as they age. That's a natural phenomenon," said Dr. John Higgins, a cardiologist who Local 2 asked to evaluate the plan.
Higgins said it's important to know that hormone replacement therapy can have side effects.
"They can affect the prostate gland, increase cancers, as well as have effects on the liver and in addition blood clotting," Higgins said.
For women, he said HRT can result in an increased risk for blood clots and increased risks of cancer.
As for the Firm U's anti-inflammatory diet and exercise plan, Higgins said you can never go wrong with those.
If you're looking for a natural way to stimulate your own growth hormones, Bessette said weight training is the best thing you can do.
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