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Thursday 141120

Workout
Rowing “Megan”

From Precision Nutrition.  Thanks D for the link.

The cost of getting lean:

Is it really worth the trade-off?

Six-pack abs. Tight butts. Lean, vibrant, flawless health. That’s the image the fitness industry is selling. But have you ever wondered what it costs to achieve that “look”? What you have to do more of? And what you really have to give up?

Make no mistake, there are real trade-offs as you attempt to lose fat and improve your health. Let’s talk about what they are. So you can consider how to get the body you really want while living the life you really enjoy.

A tale of two clients

Not long ago, one of our successful clients — we’ll call him Bill — came to us with a question.

Now that he’d lost thirty pounds (going from 22% body fat to 15%), he could run up stairs and haul heavy bags of garden soil without getting winded.

He could genuinely enjoy weekend bike rides with friends. He could wear clothes he used to be able to fit into but had long given up as hopeless.

But what next?

“Don’t get me wrong,” Bill said. “I’m happy with the way I look and feel.”

It’s just that he also wanted six-pack abs.

“Oh, I don’t have to look like a cover model,” he mused. “It’s just that I’m really close to looking… awesome.”

Bill figured that with just a little extra work, and a little more time, the abs would start popping and his physique would be “finished”.

Meanwhile, another client, Anika, had the opposite concern.

She just wanted to lose a little weight, and get a little more fit.

But she worried that in order to do so, she’d have to give up everything, become a “health nut”, and make massive changes.

Changes that probably included 6 AM bootcamps, kale shakes, lemon juice cleanses, and 1000 situps a day… forever.

“No way,” thought Anika. “That’s too much work.”

Two common misperceptions

Our two client stories reflect two common misperceptions:

Myth #1:
With just a few small, easy, hopefully imperceptible changes to one’s diet and exercise routine, you too can have shredded abs, big biceps, and tight glutes, just like a magazine cover model.

Myth #2:
“Getting into shape” or “losing weight” involves painful, intolerable sacrifice, restriction, and deprivation.

Of course, neither of these are true.

Reality #1:
The process that helps you lose “the first 10 pounds” isn’t the same one that’ll help you lose “the last 10 pounds”. Indeed, it usually takes a lot more work as you get leaner.

Reality #2:
If you do aspire to “fitness model” or “elite athlete” lean, you might be surprised. Images are photoshopped for effect. Bodybuilders only look like that for competition. And achieving that look comes at a high cost; one most people aren’t willing to pay.

Reality #3:
However, if you’re okay not being on the next magazine cover and aspire to be “lean and healthy” even small adjustments can — over time — add up to noticeable improvements. Sometimes these improvements can change, perhaps even save, lives.

Do more of this (and less of that)

With that said, we’re about to share something a lot of people in fitness and health don’t want you to see.

It’s a chart outlining what it really takes to lose body fat, improve your health, move from one fitness category to the next.

Some fitness people think

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Wednesday 141119

Workout

Power Clean Hell

135/95 – 1-the 1st minute, 2-the 2nd minute, 3-the 3rd…up to 10-the 10th minute.

drop 20 lbs (115/75) and start again…

drop an additional 20 lbs (105/55)  and start 1 last time.

From The New York Times

Almost no one will dispute that when a baby is born, breast milk is the best nutrition a mother can provide. All mammals nurse their young, and breast milk benefits a newborn infant in ways above and beyond nutrition. In fact, until 1 to 2 years of age, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine and more promote breast-feeding as optimal.

Unfortunately, breast-feeding until that age is often difficult, if not impossible, because mothers have to return to work, and children go off to preschool or day care. So we often replace human milk with the milk of cows or other animals. But at a certain point, we have to acknowledge that we are the only mammals on the planet that continue to consume milk after childhood, often in great amounts.

More and more evidence is surfacing, however, that milk consumption may not only be unhelpful, it might also be detrimental. This is in spite of the fact that the United States Department of Agriculture and other organizations advocate that even adults should drink at least three cups a day.

milk

CreditNellie Doneva/Abilene Reporter-News, via Associated Press

More than 10,000 years ago, when human beings began to domesticate animals, no adults or older children consumed milk. Many people don’t drink it today because they are lactose intolerant. They do just fine.

But if you believe the advertising of the dairy industry, and the recommendations of many scientific bodies, they are missing out on some fantastic benefits to milk consumption: that milk is good for bones, contains calcium and vitamin D, and “does a body good.”

There’s not a lot of evidence for these types of claims. In 2011, The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published a meta-analysis examining whether milk consumption might protect against hip fracture in middle-aged and older adults. Six studies containing almost 200,000 women could find no association between drinking milk and lower rates of fractures.

More recent research confirms these findings. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics this year followed almost 100,000 men and women for more than two decades. Subjects were asked to report on how much milk they had consumed as teenagers, and then they were followed to see if that was associated with a reduced chance of hip fractures later in life. It wasn’t.

A just-released study in The BMJ that followed more than 45,000 men and 61,000 women in Sweden age 39 and older had similar results. Milk consumption as adults was associated with no protection for men, and an increased risk of fractures in women. It was also associated with an increased risk of death in both sexes.

This wasn’t a randomized controlled trial, and no one should assume causality here. But there’s no association with benefits, and a significant association with harms.

Even studies that examine the nutrients in milk, trying to look for protective effects, often come up short. A 2007 meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined high-quality studies of how calcium intake was related to fractures. The many studies of more than 200,000 people age 34 to 79 could find no link between total calcium intake and the risk of bone fractures.

This meta-analysis also reviewed randomized controlled trials that examined if calcium supplements could lower the risk of fracture. More than 6,000 middle-aged and older adults participated in these studies, where subjects were randomly assigned to get extra calcium or a placebo. Not only did the extra calcium not reduce the rate of fractures, the researchers were concerned that it may have increased the risk of hip fractures.

In the United States, milk is often fortified with vitamin D, which many believe also lends the drink bone-friendly properties. But the evidence behind this assumption is sketchy as well. It is true that vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption, and for bone health, but that doesn’t mean that most people need to consume more. A meta-analysis published this year in The Lancet examined the effect of vitamin D supplementation on bone mineral density in middle-aged and older adults. It found that, for the most part, consuming extra vitamin D did not improve the bones of the spine, hip or forearm. It did result in a statistically significant, but less clinically meaningful, increase in bone density at the top of the thighbone. Taken as a whole, however, vitamin D had no effect on overall total body bone mineral density.

None of this should be taken to mean

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Tuesday 141118

Workout

FSquat 1RM (with 3 seconds and 10 second pauses)

then 3 sets of 3 @85% without a pause

From Authoritynutrition.com

12 Graphs That Show Why People Get Fat

People are fatter and sicker than ever before.

Obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and have increased particularly fast in children.

The reason why this has happened is still debated among scientists, but it must be due to changes in the environment because our genes don’t change this quickly.

Obese Woman Eating Junk Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article contains graphs with historical trends and results from obesity studies, showing some of the main reasons why obesity has become such a massive problem.

Here are 12 graphs that show why people get fat.

1. People Are Eating More Junk Food Than Ever

Food Spending, Smaller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Fast Food, Weight Gain and Insulin Resistance.Whole Health Source.

People are eating more calories than before… but pretty much all of the increase has come from processed foods.

In the graph above, you see how the population changed its eating habits in the past 120-130 years.

At the turn of the 20th century, people were eating mostly simple, home-cooked meals. Around 2009, about half of what people ate was fast food, or other foods away from home.

This graph actually underestimate the true change, because what people are eating at home these days is also largely based on processed foods.

2. Sugar Consumption Has Skyrocketed

Sugar Consumption in the UK and USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Johnson RJ, et al. Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007.

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.

Numerous studies show that eating excess amounts of added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism, leading to insulin resistance, belly fat gain, high triglycerides and small, dense LDL cholesterol… to name a few (1, 2).

There is also a plethora of observational studies showing that the people who eat the most sugar are at a much greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer (3, 4, 5).

Sugar is also fattening, partly because it doesn’t get registered in the same way as other calories by the brain, making us eat more. It also has adverse effects on hormones related to obesity (6, 7, 8, 9).

Not surprisingly, studies show that people who eat the most sugar are at a high risk of future weight gain and obesity (10).

3. People Gain Lots of Weight During The Holidays, Which They Never Get Rid Of

Holiday Weight Gain in the US

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why do we Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014.

Most people don’t gain weight overnight… it happens slowly, over years and decades.

But the rate is uneven throughout the year and spikes dramatically during the holidays, a time when people tend to binge on all sorts of delicious holiday foods and eat much more than their bodies need.

The problem is that sometimes people don’t lose all the weight back. They might gain 3 pounds, but only lose 2 after the holidays are over, leading to slow and steady weight gain over time (11).

In fact, a large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained just by the 6 week holiday period.

4. The Obesity Epidemic Started When The Low-Fat Guidelines Were Published

Low Fat Guidelines and Obesity Epidemic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. 2009 Mar. Chartbook.

There was an epidemic of heart disease running rampant in the U.S. in the 20th century.

A lot of scientists believed fat, especially saturated fat, to be the main dietary cause of heart disease (although this has since been disproven).

This led to the birth of the low-fat diet, which aims to restrict saturated fat. Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.

Of course, this doesn’t prove anything, because correlation doesn’t equal causation.

But it does seem likely that putting the emphasis on saturated fat, while giving processed low-fat foods high in sugar a free pass, may have contributed to negative changes in the population’s diet.

There are also massive long-term studies showing that the low-fat diet does NOT cause weight loss, and does not prevent heart disease or cancer (12, 13, 14, 15).

5. Food is Cheaper Than Ever Before

Food Price Trends as Percentage of Disposable Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why do we Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014.

One factor that has most likely contributed to increased consumption is a lower price of food.

From the graph above, you see that food prices have dropped from 25% of disposable income to about 10% of disposable income in the past 80 years.

This seems like a good thing, but it’s important to keep in mind that real food isn’t cheap… it’s processed food.

In fact, real foods are so expensive that a lot of people can’t even afford them. In many poor neighborhoods, they don’t even offer anything but junk food, which is often subsidized by the government.

How are poor people supposed to stand a chance if the only food they can afford (and access) is highly processed junk high in sugar, refined grains and added oils?

6. People Are Drinking More Sugary Soda and Fruit Juices

Caloric Beverage Consumption in USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The brain is the main organ in charge of regulating our energy balance… making sure that we don’t starve and don’t accumulate excess fat.

Well, it turns out that the brain doesn’t “register” liquid sugar calories in the same way as it does solid calories (16).

So if you consume a certain number of calories from a sugary drink, then your brain doesn’t automatically make you eat fewer calories of something else instead (17).

That’s why liquid sugar calories are usually added on top of the daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, most fruit juices are no better and have similar amounts of sugar as soft drinks (18).

Studies have shown that a single daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage is linked to a 60.1% increased risk of obesity in children (19).

Sugar is bad… but sugar in liquid form is even worse.

7. Increased Food Variety Contributes to Overeating and Weight Gain

Food Variety and Weight Gain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why do we Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014.

One factor that contributes to overeating is food variety.

The graph above shows a study where rats were split in 3 groups… one group got regular healthy chow, the second group got one type of junk food, but the third got multiple types of junk food at the same time (20).

As you can see, the rats eating one type of junk food gained more than the ones eating rat chow, but the rats eating multiple types of junk food gained the most… by far.

There is some evidence that this is true in humans as well. When we have more types of foods available, we eat more… and sometimes more than our bodies need (21).

8. People Don’t Burn as Many Calories When Working

Trends in Occupation-Related Physical Activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Church TS, et al. Trends over 5 Decades in U.S. Occupation-Related Physical Activity and Their Associations with Obesity. PLoS One, 2011.

A lot of people blame obesity on decreases in physical activity, that we’re just burning fewer calories than we used to.

Although leisure time physical activity (exercise) has increased, it is also true that people now have jobs that are less physically demanding.

The graph above shows how people are now burning around 100 fewer calories per day in their jobs, which may contribute to weight gain over time.

9. People Are Eating More Vegetable Oils, Mostly From Processed Foods

Fat Consumption in USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fats we are eating have changed dramatically in the past 100 years or so.

At the beginning of the 20th century, we were eating mostly natural fats like butterand lard… but then they were replaced with margarine and vegetable oils.

Most people aren’t frying real food in vegetable oil, they are getting it from processed food. Adding these oils to the foods increases the reward and caloric value, contributing to overconsumption.

10. The Social Environment Can Strongly Affect Calorie Intake

The Social Environment and Food Intake

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why do we Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014.

The social environment is another factor that determines calorie intake. For example, eating in a group can dramatically increase the number of calories consumed.

According to one paper, eating a meal with several people can increase calorie intake by up to 72%, or 310 calories in a single meal (22).

There are also studies showing that people tend to eat more during weekends (23).

11. People Are Sleeping Less

Historical Sleep Trends in Hours Per Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Cauter EV, et al. The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Hormones and Metabolism. Medscape, 2005.

Sleep is often overlooked when it comes to weight gain and obesity.

It is known that poor sleep has negative effects on various hormones that are related to weight gain, and can contribute to increased hunger and cravings (24, 25, 26).

In recent decades, average sleep duration has decreased by 1-2 hours per night. The reasons for this are numerous, but increased artificial lighting and electronics are likely contributors.

As it turns out, short sleep duration is one of the strongest individual risk factors for obesity. It is linked to an 89% increased risk in children, and a 55% increased risk in adults (27).

12. Increased Calorie Intake

Obesity and Calorie Consumption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why Do We Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014. (Data from CDC NHANES surveys and USDA food disappearance data)

People may argue about the causes of obesity… whether it is sugar, carbs, fat, or something else.

But one indisputable fact is that calorie consumption has increased dramatically over the past few decades (28, 29).

According to studies, this increased calorie intake is more than sufficient to explain the increases in obesity (30).

But it’s important to keep in mind that it is not some collective moral failure that drives the increased calorie intake.

All behavior is driven by the underlying biology… and the way the diet and environment have changed has altered the way our brains and hormones work.

In other words, these changes have caused malfunctions in the biological systems that are supposed to prevent us from getting fat.

This is the underlying reason for the increased calorie intake and weight gain, NOT a lack of willpower, as some people would have you believe.

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Monday 141117

To hit your 1500 KB Swing total for the month, you need to be close to 700…how are you doing?  Maybe today will help.

Workout
Use your Strict Press max for the weight. Complete 4 sets of AMRAP Bench Press

MetCon
10 rounds of:
5-Toes-To-Bar
10-Push-ups
15 KB Swings

From Takepart.com

Sugar Isn’t Just Making You Fat—It’s Making You Sick

Scientists compiled 8,000 studies about the dark side of America’s favorite sweetener and put all the findings into one user-friendly website. 

(Photo: Ian Hooton/Getty Images)

November 14, 2014

You never hear anyone say, “I shouldn’t have eaten all those Skittles, they’re totally going straight to my endocrine system.” But based on new evidence from the researchers behind SugarScience.org, sugar might be more of a health risk than more people realize.

Scientists from University of California, San Francisco; University of California, Davis; and Emory University reviewed a combined 8,000 clinical research studies on sugar’s role in the metabolic system, then compiled all their unbiased findings in a user-friendly website, which describes itself as “the unsweetened truth.”

The site’s focus? The areas where the researchers say the medical data is strongest: diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease.

The scientists are no longer simply focusing on the relationship between sugar and obesity—a concept espoused so often that we’ve become numb to its meaning. They’re trying to explicitly tell people that this is a matter of life and death. If you consistently overconsume sugar, your risk of chronic dietary disease will increase significantly.

The rotating infographics that dominate the home page display simple but poignant messages set against cartoon backgrounds. “Added sugar is hiding in 74 percent of our packaged food.” “Too much fructose can damage your liver, just like too much alcohol.” “The average American consumes 66 pounds of added sugar per year.”

If you dig deeper into the site you can find the extensive methodologies used to put together the data, but it’s clear that the site is more concerned with informing people than espousing scientific jargon. It also offers a SugarScience resource kit that contains easily shareable information, a SugarScience Alerts System that sends you pertinent new data, and an invitation to Ask a Sugar Scientist any question that hasn’t been answered on the site.

This is really an extension of the war on sugar that was spearheaded by SugarScience founder Robert Lustig, a professor of endocrinology at UCSF School of Medicine, back in 2009. He published a 90-minute lecture on YouTube called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” that has more than five million views to date in which he argues that sugar’s effect on the endocrine system should legally classify it as a toxin.

SugarScience’s launch was strategically timed with the end of the midterm elections. Since many of the researchers are employees of public universities, they had to seem impartial toward Berkeley’s and San Francisco’s proposed excise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages.

But now that Berkeley’s one-cent-per-ounce tax has passed, making it the first tax of its kind in the U.S., SugarScience seems to be in a perfect position to capitalize on that sweet, sweet, anti-sugar momentum.

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Saturday 141115

Workout
Snatch Balance – Heavy Single

MetCon
10:00 of:
5-Dead Lift (225/185
10-Burpees over bar
15-Wall Ball Shots (20/14)

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Friday 141114

Workout

DL – 3RM

MetCon

10-1 of:
Jump Squats
Ball Slams
KB Swings

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Thursday 141113

Workout

Box Squat
3 RM 2 inches above

then take 90% and complete 3 sets of 2 reps

MetCon

15 minutes of:
Even: 1-Clean and Jerk at 80% of your 1RM
Odd: 25-Double Unders

From The Atlantic

How Diet-Pill Ads Fuel Obesity

Just viewing a promotion for a quick-fix weight-loss drug was enough to make people eat worse, a new study found.

pills
CARI ROMMNOV 13 2014, 12:00 PM ET Farm Studio Field/Flickr/The Atlantic

In October 2010, under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical company Abbott pulled its weight-loss drug Meridia from the market.

“Meridia’s continued availability is not justified when you compare the very modest weight loss that people achieve on this drug to their risk of heart attack or stroke,” Dr. John Jenkins, director of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs, said in a statement at the time, referencing a clinical trial that linked Meridia to an increase in cardiovascular problems. “Patients should stop taking this medication.”

But during its 14 years of availability, Meridia—and other drugs of its kind—may have also caused a more subtle and more widespread kind of harm, one that affected even those who never took a weight-loss pill in their lives: New research has found that that just being exposed to advertisements for weight-loss medication was enough to drive people toward unhealthier choices.

“People see the drug as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card.”

In a study in the forthcoming issue of The Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, researchers from Pennsylvania State University, Darthmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania had 134 volunteers read a warning about the health dangers of high-fat diets. For some, the message concluded there. For others, it continued: “Until now! Introducing Chitosan Rx Ultra,” a weight-loss aid “capable of absorbing up to 60 percent of the fat in your food.”
Afterwards, the participants were told they would be taking part in a taste test for a new snack product; half read marketing materials that described it as “delicious yet guilt-free,” while the other half believed they were getting a “rich, sinful” (and high-fat) treat. When they were given a plate of 30 cookies, those who had seen the message about Chitosan took significantly more than those who saw only the general nutrition advice. A few took all 30.

Study author Lisa Bolton, a marketing professor at Penn State, characterized the findings as a “boomerang effect,” a psychological phenomenon in which efforts to persuade people one way actually push them in the opposite direction—in this case, a message about losing weight actually nudged them towards actions that made them more likely to gain it.

“People see the drug as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card,” she said. The reminder that quick-fix remedies exist “undermines your motivation,” she said, “and also your feeling that you have the ability to [lose weight] by yourself.”

Or, as the study so aptly put it, “Why make healthier food choices to manage weight if a weight-management drug can manage your weight for you?”

Bolton and her colleagues have previously studied the effects of so-called “remedy marketing” across several different areas and found that across the board, exposure to advertisements touting easy solutions tends to nudge people into poorer decision-making. In finance, for example, “just being exposed to marketing for a debt-consolidation loan makes you think, ‘Hey, the risks of my credit-card spending aren’t too bad, because if I do get into trouble, I can get one of these debt-consolidation loans,’” she said. “And so that kind of leads to reducing your perceptions of the risk and engaging in more risky financial behaviors, in this case.”

Oddly, though, the researchers also found that with weight-loss aids, the remedy-marketing effect was almost all in the framing. When volunteers were exposed to the same Chitosan ad with one small change—the treatment was described as a “supplement” rather than a drug—the boomerang effect went away, even after Bolton and her colleagues controlled for perceived effectiveness. (Whether or not a drug would be considered more effective than a supplement, in other words, wasn’t the driving force behind the difference.)

It bears noting that with a few exceptions—like Meridia and the infamous Fen-Phen—prescription and over-the-counter weight-loss drugs are, on the whole, less dangerous than the dietary supplements that promise the same result. Unlike drugs, supplements don’t need to be formally approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A manufacturer or distributor simply needs to notify the FDA that they intend to market a supplement and explain why it’s “reasonably expected to be safe,” leaving plenty of space for diluted or harmful substances to slip through the cracks unregulated. Since 2004, according to The New York Times, half of all products recalled by the FDA were supplements that contained banned pharmaceuticals—including Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen Capsule, a weight-loss supplement whose active ingredient, sibutramine, is the same as that of Meridia. (Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission created “Gut Check,” a website devoted to helping people spot red flags in weight-loss advertisement claims.)

But still, from a marketing standpoint, supplements appeared to be a more effective driver of healthy consumption than did drugs. “With the supplement, the very name reminds you that this is supplemental to other health protective behavior,” Bolton said. “They think [losing weight] is something they have to do as well … but people believe that the drug alone will take care of the problem.”

“If you played Monopoly, right, who wouldn’t want to have that get-out-of-jail-free card and play it when needed,” she said, “rather than the more costly paying your way out of jail?”

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Wednesday 141112

Workout

2 person team “Jack”

From The New York Times

Exercising but Gaining Weight


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

credit Chase Jarvis

Exercise has innumerable health benefits, but losing weight may not be among them. A provocative new study shows that a substantial number of people who take up an exercise regimen wind up heavier afterward than they were at the start, with the weight gain due mostly to extra fat, not muscle.

But the study also finds, for the first time, that one simple strategy may improve people’s odds of actually dropping pounds with exercise.

As we all know, the fundamentals of weight loss should be simple. Burn more calories on any given day than you consume and, over time, you will lose weight. Theoretically, we can achieve that desirable condition by reducing the number of calories that we take in through dieting or by increasing the number of calories that we incinerate through exercise.

But in reality, most people do not achieve or sustain weight loss, no matter what method they try.

Exercise is particularly problematic in this regard. A recent review of studies related to exercise and weight control found that in most of the studies, people lost barely a third as many pounds as would have been expected, given how many calories they were burning during workouts. Many studies also report enormous variations in how people’s waistlines respond to the same exercise program, with some people dropping pounds and others gaining fat.

Scientists have had little understanding, however, of why exercise helps some people but not others to shed pounds or whether there might be early indications of how people will respond to an exercise routine.

So for the new study, which was published last month in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, scientists at Arizona State University in Phoenix recruited 81 healthy but sedentary adult women. All of the women were overweight, based on their body mass index, but some were significantly heavier than others. None had exercised regularly in the past year.

The women were told that they would be joining a fitness study and would exercise in order to improve their aerobic endurance. The scientists asked the women not to change their eating habits in any way.

Each of the volunteers visited the physiology lab at the start of the study and the scientists determined their weight, B.M.I., percentage of body fat, current endurance level, and others measures of health and fitness.

Then each woman began a supervised exercise program designed to be vigorous but manageable by most people, said Glenn Gaesser, a professor of nutrition and health promotion at Arizona State and senior author of the study. The women walked on treadmills at the laboratory three times per week for 30 minutes at a pace that represented about 80 percent of their maximum endurance.

They continued the program for 12 weeks, with the scientists repeating the original fitness and other tests every month during that time.

At the end of 12 weeks, the women were all significantly more aerobically fit than they had been at the start. But many were fatter. Almost 70 percent of the women had added at least some fat mass during the program, and several had gained as much as 10 pounds, most of which was from fat, not added muscle.

A few of the women, though, had lost that much fat or more, and quite a few had remained at the same weight as at the start of the regimen.

At this point, the researchers returned to the data from the first day of the study, to determine whether any obvious differences existed between the women who subsequently gained or lost weight. “Some past studies of dieting had indicated that women who weigh more at the beginning” of a weight-loss program “tend to lose more weight during the program,” Dr. Gaesser said.

But the researchers found no correlation in this case between a woman’s weight at the start and end of the study. In fact, the scientists found no connection between any of the original parameters of health and fitness and the women’s responses to the exercise program.

But looking deeper into their data, they discovered one interesting indicator: Those women who were losing weight after four weeks of exercise tended to continue to lose weight, while the others did not.

“What that means in practical terms is that someone who wants to lose weight with exercise” should step on the bathroom scale after a month, Dr. Gaesser said. If at that point your weight remains stubbornly unchanged or has increased, “look closely at your diet and other activities,” he said.

While this study didn’t track the women’s eating and movement habits away from the lab, it is likely that those who gained weight began eating more and moving less when they weren’t on the treadmills, “probably without meaning to,” Dr. Gaesser said.

Of course, the study was fairly short-term. It also did not involve men, although some past studies indicate that men, like women, frequently add fat mass after starting to exercise.

Still, the results, while sobering in some respects, also provide encouragement. By deploying a bathroom scale and discipline, along with exercise, you may well lose weight, Dr. Gaesser said.

Even more important, the women in the study were much fitter after four months of exercise, and Dr. Gaesser said “fitness matters far more for health than how much you weigh.

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Tuesday 141111

Happy Veterans Day!

Workout

Sweeping Snatch Grip DL.  Work up to 50% of your traditional DL max.  Complete:

5 sets of 5 reps.

After…knock out some KB Swings.  To make that 1500 easily, you need to be at 350+ today

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Monday 141110

Workout

FSquat – 80% x5 x5

MetCon

10-1
Cleans 95/65
GI Janes

From The Atlantic

Masters of Love

Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.

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Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.

Except, of course, it doesn’t work out that way for most people. The majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation or devolving into bitterness and dysfunction. Of all the people who get married, only three in ten remain in healthy, happy marriages, as psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book The Science of Happily Ever After, which was published earlier this year.

Social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis: Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were. Was each unhappy family unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy claimed, or did the miserable marriages all share something toxic in common?

Psychologist John Gottman was one of those researchers. For the past four decades, he has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. I recently had the chance to interview Gottman and his wife Julie, also a psychologist, in New York City. Together, the renowned experts on marital stability run The Gottman Institute, which is devoted to helping couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific studies.

John Gottman began gathering his most critical findings in 1986, when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson at the University of Washington. Gottman and Levenson brought newlyweds into the lab and watched them interact with each other. With a team of researchers, they hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked the couples to speak about their relationship, like how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory they had. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects’ blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together.

From the data they gathered, Gottman separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages. When the researchers analyzed the data they gathered on the couples, they saw clear differences between the masters and disasters. The disasters looked calm during the interviews, but their physiology, measured by the electrodes, told a different story. Their heart rates were quick, their sweat glands were active, and their blood flow was fast. Following thousands of couples longitudinally, Gottman found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.

But what does physiology have to do with anything? The problem was that the disasters showed all the signs of arousal—of being in fight-or-flight mode—in their relationships. Having a conversation sitting next to their spouse was, to their bodies, like facing off with a saber-toothed tiger. Even when they were talking about pleasant or mundane facets of their relationships, they were prepared to attack and be attacked. This sent their heart rates soaring and made them more aggressive toward each other. For example, each member of a couple could be talking about how their days had gone, and a highly aroused husband might say to his wife, “Why don’t you start talking about your day. It won’t take you very long.”

The masters, by contrast, showed low physiological arousal. They felt calm and connected together, which translated into warm and affectionate behavior, even when they fought. It’s not that the masters had, by default, a better physiological make-up than the disasters; it’s that masters had created a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally and thus physically comfortable.

Gottman wanted to know more about how the masters created that culture of love and intimacy, and how the disasters squashed it. In a follow-up study in 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus to look like a beautiful bed and breakfast retreat. He invited 130 newlywed couples to spend the day at this retreat and watched them as they did what couples normally do on vacation: cook, clean, listen to music, eat, chat, and hang out. And Gottman made a critical discovery in this study—one that gets at the heart of why some relationships thrive while others languish.

Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. He might say to his wife, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting a response from his wife—a sign of interest or support—hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the bird.

The wife now has a choice. She can respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” from her husband, as Gottman puts it. Though the bird-bid might seem minor and silly, it can actually reveal a lot about the health of the relationship. The husband thought the bird was important enough to bring it up in conversation and the question is whether his wife recognizes and respects that.

People who turned toward their partners in the study responded by engaging the bidder, showing interest and support in the bid. Those who didn’t—those who turned away—would not respond or respond minimally and continue doing whatever they were doing, like watching TV or reading the paper. Sometimes they would respond with overt hostility, saying something like, “Stop interrupting me, I’m reading.”

These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.

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