Q&A with Mike Furci


A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

Q: Hi Mike
Hope this email finds you well.

Just read your article “build your back” and found it interesting. I read it carefully and I really liked your focus on detail. I will try it in the near future.

I have only one question. You never mentioned the duration of the break among the first sets. I mean the sets before you meet your maximum weight. And since your article is very carefully written (e.g., you mention the 20sec rest among the last sets), my thought was that wasn’t an accident!

Is it the typical 1-1.5 min rest? Or, even more intensive workout -like 30sec rest?

Thanks in advance for your reply


A: I probably should have explained rest periods between warm-up sets, but left it open-ended so to speak.

Always keep in mind, to get the fastest gains in muscle size and strength one must perform their sets and reps with 100% intensity. This includes warm-up sets. In order to do this, recovery between sets is essential. You never want to start a set until you’re ready. Generally speaking, if you’re breathing returns to normal, and the body part your training feels recovered from the last set, you’re ready. You can go as low as 30 sec for the first few warm-ups, but as the load gets heavier, you’ll find you’ll need a longer rest period.

I probably should have clarified it more, because it is the meat of the workout, but the 20 sec rest periods are a continuation of the same set. These small rest periods allow you to perform more reps with the same load than you would be able to without the rest. It’s a way of increasing the intensity by keeping the highest tension on the muscle for the longest amount of time.

Q: Hi Mike,
Read your article in bullzeye.com. You say polyunsaturated fats are unhealthy because they become quickly rancid (due to heat and light). Do you refer here specifically to omega-3 or Omega-6? According to Wikipedia; “Omega-3 fatty acids in algal oil, fish oil, fish and seafood have been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks”. My question is what do you think of fish oil and cod liver oil?

I recently stumbled upon Ray Peat: he is totally against the lipid hypothesis and many other myths, so I agreed 99% with him, but then I found this on his page:

“Some of the unsaturated fats in fish are definitely less toxic than those in corn oil or soy oil, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. Fifty years ago, it was found that a large amount of cod liver oil in dogs’ diet increased their death rate from cancer by 20 times, from the usual 5% to 100%. A diet rich in fish oil causes intense production of toxic lipid peroxides, and has been observed to reduce a man’s sperm count to zero. “in: http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/unsaturated-oils.shtml

Would like to know your thoughts about this, since I started to drink fermented cod liver oil (don’t know if ‘fermented’ makes a difference).


A: Adela,
First, let me say, thank you for taking the time to write. Also, it makes me very happy to see somebody being inquisitive. Just because it’s written doesn’t mean it’s correct. I hope the following helps you. Thanks again.

I’m referring to both omerga-3 and 6. However, even though it is essential, omega-6 can be hazardous simply due to over consumption. Unfortunately, because of the use of vegetable oil, there are high amounts of omega-6 and very little omega-3 in the American diet, which is linked to inflammation, high blood pressure, irritation of the digestive tract, depressed immune function, sterility, cell proliferation, cancer and weight gain.

For optimum health, we do have to strictly limit our intake of polyunsaturated fats or vegetable oil (omega-6) and increase our saturated fat and omega-3s. In order for us to safely increase omega-3, we do have to be very careful about the fish oil we consume because of its susceptibility to becoming rancid. This is why it is very important to purchase fish oil from reputable companies. A really good way to go is to use krill oil. Krill oil contains astaxanthin, which is a natural antioxidant and keeps the delicate omega-3s from oxidizing and spoiling. You get all the benefits of fish oil without the possible negatives.

As far as cod liver oil, here is an excellent article: http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/response-to-dr-mercola-on-cod-liver-oil


Q: Mike,
I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your article of April 11, 2012. I have struggled with weight all of my life and finally realized that my addiction to starches and simple carbs is what got me to be super obese. Since January 16, I have dropped 52 lbs following a modification of the Paleo diet. Actually, it’s a lot closer to what you described: 4-6 small meals per day, each with a lean protein accompanied by a vegetable or fruit, no alcohol (at least for now). I am also exercising strenuously 3-4 times per week (group training somewhat similar to cross-fit). Anyway, good job on spreading the word. People need to know, eating as you described will not only help you lose weight but you’ll also feel better. No more sugar highs and lows.

Take care.

A: Michael,
Thanks so much for the kind words. That is so awesome to hear! 52 pounds! Keep up the good work. Please keep me posted on your progress. At some point, if you’d like, send some photos. I would sure like to post your success. That type of progress is really motivating for others.

Great Job!

Q: Hi Mike,
You did a great job with the article you wrote anti-lipid hypothesis. I have been using sunflower oil for all my life. I was thinking to change to 100% coconut oil natural. My question is: can I use this to fry food being better than sunflower? What about olive oil for frying? What would be the best and healthy oil to fry?

Hope you can help!

A: Gahariet,
Sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed oils all contain over 50% of the highly unstable fatty acid Omega–6 and should never be used in cooking, frying or baking. One of the biggest reasons polyunsaturated fats are so unhealthy is because they are very susceptible to becoming oxidized or rancid when exposed to heat and light. Consuming oils like sunflower oil is taking a free radical cocktail. Over time, these free radicals, or “chemical marauders” as some scientists refer to them, wreak havoc on our bodies and cause serious health issues.

By far, coconut oil is the best choice for frying or any type of cooking because of their stability and the positive functions they play in our bodies. To learn more about coconut oil read my article, “Daily consumption for optimum health.”

A great place to purchase coconut oil is tropicaltraditions.com.