indy Woods didn’t really need Val Whiting. She was a cyclist who had been pedaling the pavement for nearly 10 years, and she had whipped thyroid cancer. In other words, she was plenty tough—and in pretty good shape.
But since a friend last summer had recommended Whiting as someone who could help make her even stronger and feel even better, Woods took a chance. She visited Whiting at her headquarters at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, then began training with her.
Woods listened to Whiting’s advice on nutrition and changed her diet. She devoted herself to the program, though it required something of a leap of faith. Now Woods wishes she had met Whiting earlier—much earlier.
“I feel fantastic,” she says. “I had been wondering whether I would ever feel this good again.”
Whiting insists that Woods is not an isolated case. The former professional basketball player has been a trainer and nutritional counselor since 2002, but it has been only the past few months that her business has taken a dramatic turn.
In 2005 Whiting learned about a system called BioSignature Modulation, which focuses attention on toning specific body parts while addressing a person’s overall health and fitness. In September 2009 she took a five-day course in Arizona with BioSignature Modulation pioneer Charles Poliquin, where she learned how to assess clients and build a program to address their specific needs. She’s doing that in a new center in Wilmington, where her GameShape training business is taking off.
Some look at BioSignature Modulation as spot reduction, but Whiting says it’s more. By using exercise, wise use of dietary supplements and diet modification, folks can address problem areas of their bodies, certainly, but they can also help their overall health and conditioning.
And since Whiting has been using “cross fit” training on her clients, she can employ many different methods to help people achieve their goals. With Woods, for example, Whiting uses a variety of disciplines. Some days she has Woods work with weights. On other days there is a high cardio component, like rowing on a machine or running. “I never know what the workout is going to be, and I like it,” Woods says. “We do a lot of work that is short in duration, but it’s high intensity.”
Page 2: Melt Those Love Handles, continues…
Whiting’s journey began when she was a junior high school girl in Wilmington. She wanted nothing more than to be a member of the Talley Junior High cheerleading squad, but she hadn’t quite grown comfortable with her body. Her father, Reginald, felt the best way to overcome his daughter’s disappointment was to have her channel her enthusiasm into something else. Basketball was a natural choice, given her 6-foot-1 frame. So every Saturday, Reginald woke his daughter at 6 a.m., then took her to a park for one-on-one instruction. At first, there was resistance, but after several weeks, Val started waking up her father for the workouts.
Before long, Whiting had overcome the uncomfortable introductory stages of a new sport and had become a standout. She led Ursuline to four state titles and later became an all-America at Stanford and a two-time national champ. She played in Italy, Brazil and Israel and professionally for the now-defunct American Basketball League and the Women’s National Basketball Association. When her professional career ended in 2002, Whiting returned to Wilmington and became a trainer.
She began with a few clients and the “boot camp” style that relied on heavy doses of hard work and discipline. As she moved on, she became more interested in a holistic approach, with nutrition and vitamin-mineral supplements becoming big parts of the program.
Whiting is a big proponent of the “Paleo diet,” which encourages people to eat as their prehistoric ancestors did. Rather than piling on the calories in three big meals, people eat several smaller meals, focusing on lean meats (even at breakfast), nuts and green, leafy vegetables. “It cuts out grains and dairy,” Whiting says. When coupled with BioSignature Modulation, the Paleo diet allows people to tone specific areas while benefiting the whole body.
Whiting begins a program by giving each client a set of measurements to identify problem areas. For example, we’ll take three areas (see sidebar at right) and show how BioSignature Modulation would be used to make a client leaner and stronger. Do it all, and you might have the body of a person much younger. And you’ll certainly feel better. Just ask Cindy Woods.
Page 3: Get Rid of It
Get Rid of It
People usually pick up this baggage through a love affair with carbohydrates, which often contain too much sugar. Too much sugar spurs the secretion of insulin by the pancreas. In addition to causing periods of high energy followed by crashes, the sugar-insulin dance leads to a weight gain on the sides.
Whiting recommends a low-carb diet that includes high doses of fiber and plenty of lean meat. Instead of eating three times a day, take several smaller meals. And supplement the food with fish oil and fenugreek. (Discuss any dietary supplements you use with your doctor.) There are possible side effects to be considered.
In terms of training, focus on building strength, which Whiting says promotes “insulin sensitivity” and therefore leads to less build up and an end to—or at least a diminishing of—love handles.
Hips and Thighs
Getting these areas in fighting trim can be borderline impossible through conventional methods. Whiting suggests a different approach. “You need an estrogen detox,” she says.
So you turn to cruciferous vegetables. They sound rather intimidating and imposing, but they are loaded with the kind of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that promote “beneficial estrogen metabolism” in men and women.
Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and the like all make the cut. While loading up on them, avoid factory-farmed meats and soy, which Whiting calls “estrogenic.”
When it comes to exercise, avoid long cardio routines. Whiting quotes her mentor. “The body adapts [to long cardio workouts] by storing both intra-muscular and subcutaneous fat in the thigh and hip areas to provide a more readily available source of fuel for aerobic recovery periods. The body figures out, ‘If I store fat there, it reduces the time to get the muscles to provide the energy source.’”
In other words, if you embark on a consistent program of long runs or frequent spinning classes, your endurance may improve, but your hips and thighs won’t get any trimmer.
Cortisol is the main enemy of a flat stomach. The hormone is produced during stress, so Whiting will ask her clients whether they are sleeping well, how things are going with work or at home, and whether they have a consistent, productive workout program. The more stress a body is under, the more cortisol it produces, and that leads to a fatty midriff. Worse, it can trigger heart problems.
In addition to the paleo diet, Whiting recommends a pantethine, a supplement that helps lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides. “It’s like a cortisol Uzi,” she says.
Whiting also recommends trying to determine if you have any food allergies. Avoiding problem foods helps keep the cortisol levels low. And, as is usually the case in any nutritional regimen, lowering consumption of caffeine and simple sugars is important.
Exercise is key, too, but not the traditional methods. Though some think the way to get rid of a big gut is through hours of cardio, Whiting disagrees. Interval training is more successful. Whether you run, bike, swim or practice some other endurance activity, do it for two minutes at a moderate speed, then jack it up to a significantly higher rate for 45 seconds. Repeat that five or six times, and you’ll make progress.