When is "too much" an issue in fitness and nutrition? I would wager that there are many areas where "too much" can lead one down the wrong path, so let's identify a couple of those situations here.

My family and I have just left our good friend Joey the Bull's home in Rhode Island and are struggling through traffic as we head home after a weekend getaway. Joe's words to his children regarding eating too much chocolate are ringing in my ears and I thought there must be a lesson in there somewhere about fitness and nutrition, so I figured I would explore it here in a civilized fashion.


When is "too much" an issue in fitness and nutrition? I would wager that there are many areas where "too much" can lead one down the wrong path, so let's identify a couple of those situations here.


Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. I see it all the time; young men (usually) curling their faces off making a vain attempt at "gun show" immortality by having massive biceps. Let me clue you in, fellas, if you want big arms, squat. How do you hold all that weight on your back, anyways? Leave your biceps alone and instead worry about your legs, back and chest muscles (the big three) while your smaller muscles come along for the ride.


Why exercise once a month to make up for your sensational sins? This is a silent killer because people typically do it and then tell you about it later when they're in agony because they go from zero to marathon in an afternoon. Once a month, someone you know gets "fed up" (insert laugh track) with how fat/tired/can't fit into their clothes they are and decide to go nuts and work it all off. Rather than edge into it and spread exercise over the course of a week in 30-minute intervals, they erect the Great Wall in an evening and are surprisingly sore the next day. Who would have seen that coming?


All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, and oftentimes puts him on the injured list. Having just taken two complete days off myself, I am fresh and ready to tear it up tomorrow. Crossfit, barefoot run or bike my tail off, I'm ready. Would I have been if I didn't take a day or two off and rest in the mud like a rhino? Probably not. A few steps backward often lead to a huge leap forward.


I know that somewhere Joe is patting himself on the back for being the inspiration of this column, so hats off to you, JTB. Really, though, the lessons we teach our children are often ones we need to relearn ourselves.


Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his website at www.TrainerX.com.