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Thanks to “Jersey Shore”, MTV’s blockbuster reality show, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (b.1982) has become a household name in American and international households.

An unemployed fitness center manager in 2007, Sorrentino now commands a seven-figure annual salary thanks to a keen business sense, regular appearances on the talk show circuit, and high profile activities like “Dancing with the Stars”.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot…Mike’s six-pack.  Is that why he’s called “The Situation”?

Celebrity Workout Advice worth Following?

Recently, I picked up the December/January 2011 issue of Men’s Fitness to check out the feature article and “The Situation’s 8 Fit Rules” (BTW, he is on the cover).  Most of the rules are quite mainstream and scientifically verifiable advice, i.e.:

  • Six (6) small meals daily; for Mike it includes three protein shakes.
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Go heavy on fruits and vegetables for fiber intake; lean proteins over red meat (Author’s note: Don’t forget your complex carbohydrates!)
  • Six to eight hours of sleep.
  • Fitness is a lifelong commitment.  Be dedicated, patient, and work hard; it will build the confidence and discipline needed to succeed in all aspects of life.

I also liked Sorrentino’s use of isometric contraction, i.e. muscle work without changing length, for abdominal development:

“A decade ago, as an 18-year-old trolling the beaches of South New Jersey, Mike Sorrentino     discovered that his “one special thing” was his abs.  He figured out how to force his toned     stomach into an isometric contraction that made them pop even more, like cubes in an overfilled     ice tray. Now, he’s got maybe the most famous six-pack in America.” (Men’s Fitness)

“The Situation” is legit, but…

Sorrentino deserves credit for translating his fitness and training passion into a personal brand that should outlive the “Jersey Shore” program.  That being said, newcomers to the muscle-building and weight-training should not blindly follow “The Situation”’s workout CDs, books, and memorable quotes.

Mike’s recently released book, “Here’s the Situation” co-authored with Chris Millis reveals a workout routine that can politely be described as unrealistic for 99% of the population.

Claiming to workout out ninety-minutes a day, five or six days a week, Sorrentino must have great genes and superb recuperative powers.  By most conventional measures, he is guilty of overtraining.

Not only does Sorrentino overemphasize abs and biceps, but other muscle groups (i.e. legs, shoulders) appear to get short shrift.  His cardio advice (i.e. thirty minutes minimum) is reasonable, even as the “steady-state versus high-intensity intervals” debate rages on.

Sorrentino’s views on “cheat days” also demand clarification.  I cannot imagine a full day of unrestricted feasting that can certainly destroy a week’s fitness gains.

I must also object to “The Situation”s views on tanning salons, and his flippant attitude about skin cancer.  There is irrefutable evidence linking overexposure to tanning lamps, ultraviolet rays and direct sunlight with various skin cancers like melanoma.

Quite frankly, some of the people using artificial tanning methods like sprays and “bronzers” today are not doing themselves any favors…

Final Verdict on “The Situation” Workout.

In his own unique way, Mike Sorrentino shines a bright light on various health and fitness issues.  His adoring fans and admirers will surely snap up “The Situation” merchandise in the coming years.

Still, popularity is no substitute for practical information, and on that count, we must acknowledge the flaws in his workout as it relates to mainstream America.  Good genetics or not, we at Free Muscle-building Tips favor:

  • Workouts of forty-five to sixty minutes, with adequate warm-up, cardio, and flexibility components.
  • A balanced training program with compound, full-body exercises that work upper-body, lower body, and core body parts appropriately.
  • Enough rest (24-48 hours between workouts); avoid working the same muscle groups on consecutive days, with the possible exception of abdominals.

Mike is certainly blessed with great genes, but as a popular celebrity, he should use his platform to encourage realistic and healthy lifestyles.

Source:  “The Situation’s 8 Fit Rules.” ed.  Men’s Fitness, Dec-Jan 2011. http://www.mensfitness.com/fitness/798?cid=RSS  Accessed 26 Nov 10.

Chris Cannon
Chris Cannon

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