Friday 150417

Workout

10 x
5-Snatch (95/65)
200m Run

From AARP

OK, we know you’re smirking. This is not about how a man’s finger size is related to the size of his junk. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that — in fact,one study says it’s true.)

No, there’s another reason women might want to check the length of a man’s ring finger: It may be an indication of how nice he’ll be toward the opposite sex.

A new Canadian study says it has to do with the size ratio of a man’s index and ring fingers, determined by dividing the index finger’s length by the ring finger’s. Basically, the shorter a man’s index finger is compared with his ring finger, the more likely he is to be nice to women. Guys whose index and ring fingers are close in length or who have short ring fingers — yeah, you might want to avoid them. They’re more likely to be an argumentative pain.

Evidently it has to do with the hormones — chiefly testosterone — these men were exposed to in their mother’s wombs, according to the McGill University study, which was published in the March issue of the journalPersonality and Individual Differences. The smaller the ratio, the more male hormones.

Previous studies have found an association between finger-length ratio and male hormonal level, too.

In the McGill study, lead author Debbie Moskowitz, a professor of psychology, said men with smaller ratios were more likely to “listen attentively, smile and laugh,” and “compromise or compliment” a woman. Additionally, they were less quarrelsome with women than with men. Men with larger ratios were equally quarrelsome with both, she said in a statement. These results might also explain why these nicer men tend to have more children — “they have more harmonious relationships with women.”

The findings are based on 155 participants, both men and women. Researchers measured their fingers and the participants then reported every social interaction they had lasting more than five minutes over the next 20 days. Based on these reports, researchers classified the behaviors as either agreeable or quarrelsome. Men with a lower ratio between the finger lengths had about a third more agreeable interactions with women and a third fewer quarrelsome ones.

Interestingly, it didn’t matter whether the woman was a friend, work colleague or romantic partner — the finger-ratio rule held. For women, however, finger size provided no prediction of behavior.

While this study showed men with longer ring fingers getting along better with women, research last month from Oxford University suggests those men may get along a little too well with women: In that study, men, and to some extent women, with elongated fourth fingers were more likely to be promiscuous.

Thursday 141002

Workout
Dead Lift – 75% x4 x4

MetCon

20;00 minutes of:
3x
10-KB Swings
10-Sit-ups
then 200m run (250m row if raining)

From Breaking Muscle

2 Numbers That Will Make You a Better Rower

Would you ever just walk up to a barbell and attempt to lift it without knowing how much weight was on it? Would you just start swinging a kettlebell without counting your reps? So, why would you get on a rowing machine, or ergometer, and refuse to look at the monitor while you row?

rowing, indoor rowing, concept2, ergometer, rowing technique

You might laugh, but as a rowing and CrossFit coach I saw this happen on a daily basis. “I don’t want to know,” people would say. “It goes by faster when I don’t look,” they would offer.

Well, I would offer this: People who are overweight often think they eat “mostly good” because they pay no attention to the details in their diet. People who think they row adequately are also not paying attention to details. Both result in less than optimal outcomes and prolonged frustration. And both happen frequently in athletes who are otherwise meticulous about their health and fitness, and who are in a bit of denial.

Why? Because people have decided eating healthy isn’t fun. And people hate rowing. Trust me, I used to hate rowing; I understand. But, like most things in life, when you actually have an understanding of the how and why, it suddenly gets a lot easier, makes a lot more sense, and is a lot more fun.

Today I’m going to give you two numbers that are essential to your success in rowing.Combined with good rowing technique, these two numbers will take you from blind, aimless, and unproductive rowing, to rowing based around PRs, goal setting, and progress.

Stroke Rate

rowing, indoor

If you are using a Concept2 rowing machine then this is the number found in the bottom left corner on the main readout (pictured here). It is measured in strokes per minute (SPM). Essentially, this is how many times you go back and forth on the rower each minute. Most of the time in training this number should be somewhere between 18-30. In a competitive scenario stroke rate could be between 30-40spm.

What is important Read more Thursday 141002

Tuesday 140923

Workout

FSquat use 90% of your 1 RM for your math…Complete:

65% x5
75% x5
85% x5
75% x5
65% x5

MetCon
2x of:
400m Run
2:00 rest

300m Run
1:30 rest

200m Run
1:00 rest

From The Atlantic

Police Have a Much Bigger Domestic Abuse Problem Than the NFL

Research suggests that family violence is two to four times higher in the law-enforcement community than in the general population. So where’s the public outrage?

Tonamel/Flickr

Should the National Football League suspend or ban any player caught assaulting a wife or girlfriend? That seems to be the conventional wisdom since video emerged of running back Ray Rice knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator, even as reports surface that many more NFL players have domestic-abuse records.

While I have no particular objection to a suspension of any length for such players, the public focus on NFL policy seems strange and misplaced to me. Despite my general preference for reducing the prison population, an extremely strong person rendering a much smaller, weaker person unconscious with his fists, as Rice did, is a situation where prison is particularly appropriate. More generally, clear evidence of domestic abuse is something that ought to result inlegal sanction. Employers aren’t a good stand in for prosecutors, juries, and judges.

Should ex-convicts who abused their partners be denied employment forever? I think not. Our notion should be that they’ve paid their debt to society in prison. Pressure on the NFL to take a harder line against domestic abuse comes in the context of a society where the crime isn’t adequately punished, so I totally understand it. Observing anti-NFL rhetoric, you’d nevertheless get the impression that other employers monitor and sanction domestic abuse incidents by employees. While I have nothing against pressuring the NFL to go beyond what the typical employer does, I fear that vilifying the league has the effect of misleading the public into a belief that it is out of step with general norms on this issue. Domestic violence is less common among NFL players than the general population.

And there is another American profession that has a significantly more alarming problem with domestic abuse. I’d urge everyone who believes in zero tolerance for NFL employees caught beating their wives or girlfriends to direct as much attention—or ideally, even more attention—at police officers who assault their partners. Several studies have found that the romantic partners of police officers suffer domestic abuse at rates significantly higher than the general population. And while all partner abuse is unacceptable, it is especially problematic when domestic abusers are literally the people that battered and abused women are supposed to call for help.

If there’s any job that domestic abuse should disqualify a person from holding, isn’t it the one job that gives you a lethal weapon, trains you to stalk people without their noticing, and relies on your judgment and discretion to protect the abused against domestic abusers?

The opprobrium heaped on the NFL for failing to suspend or terminate domestic abusers, and the virtual absence of similar pressure directed at police departments, leads me to believe that many people don’t know the extent of domestic abuse among officers. This is somewhat surprising, since a country shocked by Ray Rice’s actions ought to be even more horrified by the most egregious examples of domestic abuse among police officers. Their stories end in death.

There’s the recently retired 30-year veteran police officer who shot his wife and then himself in Colorado Springs earlier this summer. There’s Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, who perpetrated another murder-suicide in April. (Update: it’s in fact the tenth anniversary of this crime, which I missed in the ABC story.) Also in April, an Indiana news station reported on “Sgt. Ryan Anders, a narcotics officer,” who “broke into his ex-wife’s home and fatally shot her. He then turned the gun on himself.” In February, “Dallas police confirmed … that a Crandall police officer shot and killed his wife before killing himself.” Last year, a Nevada police officer killed his wife, his son, and then himself. And Joshua Boren, a Utah police officer, “killed his wife, their two children, his mother-in-law and then himself” after receiving “text messages … hours earlier threatening to leave him and take their kids and confronting him for raping her.” That isn’t an exhaustive survey, just a quick roundup of recent stories gleaned from the first couple pages of Google results. And statistics about “blue” domestic abuse are shocking in their own way.

As the National Center for Women and Policing noted in a heavily footnoted information sheet, “Two studies have found that at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10 percent of families in the general population. A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24 percent, indicating that domestic violence is two to four times more common among police families than American families in general.” Cops “typically handle cases of police family violence informally, often without an official report, investigation, or even check of the victim’s safety,” the summary continues. “This ‘informal’ method is often in direct contradiction to legislative mandates and departmental policies regarding the appropriate response to domestic violence crimes.” Finally, “even officers who are found guilty of domestic violence are unlikely to be fired, arrested, or referred for prosecution.”

What struck me as I read through the information sheet’s footnotes is how many of the relevant studies were conducted in the 1990s or even before. Research is so scant and inadequate that a precise accounting of the problem’s scope is impossible, as The New York Times concluded in a 2013 investigation that was nevertheless alarming. “In many departments, an officer will automatically be fired for a positive marijuana test, but can stay on the job after abusing or battering a spouse,” the newspaper reported. Then it tried to settle on some hard numbers:

In some instances, researchers have resorted to asking officers to confess how often they had committed abuse. One such study, published in 2000, said one in 10 officers at seven police agencies admitted that they had “slapped, punched or otherwise injured” a spouse or domestic partner. A broader view emerges in Florida, which has one of the nation’s most robust open records laws. An analysis by The Times of more than 29,000 credible complaints of misconduct against police and corrections officers there strongly suggests that domestic abuse had been underreported to the state for years.

After reporting requirements were tightened in 2007, requiring fingerprints of arrested officers to be automatically reported to the agency that licenses them, the number of domestic abuse cases more than doubled—from 293 in the previous five years to 775 over the next five. The analysis also found that complaints of domestic violence lead to job loss less often than most other accusations of misconduct.

A chart that followed crystallized the lax punishments meted out to domestic abusers. Said the text, “Cases reported to the state are the most serious ones—usually resulting in arrests. Even so, nearly 30 percent of the officers accused of domestic violence were still working in the same agency a year later, compared with 1 percent of those who failed drug tests and 7 percent of those accused of theft.”

The visualization conveys how likely it is that domestic abuse by police officers is underreported in states without mandatory reporting requirements–and also the degree to which domestic abuse is taken less seriously than other officer misconduct:

The New York Times

For a detailed case study in how a police officer suspected of perpetrating domestic abuse was treated with inappropriate deference by colleagues whose job it was to investigate him, this typically well-done Frontline story is worthwhile.

It would be wonderful if Read more Tuesday 140923

Tuesday 140819

Workout 1-Snatch +1-OHS – Heavy Single

MetCon 20-DL (M 185 / F 135) Scaled 135/95

800m Run

15-DL

400m Run

10-DL 200m Run

Ingenious? Me thinks not!  From BGR.com

Ingenious mom comes up with an app that locks her kids’ phones until they call her back

Ignore No More Android App
Sharon Standifird is a mom from Houston, Texas, who had a problem: Her children would not return her calls and texts on time. Frustrated and worried, she decided to take the matter into her own hands and create an app to specifically deal with teenagers who do not answer calls from parents on their smartphones, even though she didn’t actually know how to code.
“We need to develop an app that just shuts their phone completely down and they can’t even use it,” she told ABC13. “I got on the internet and I literally just started researching how to develop an app.”
Called Ignore No More, the app is available only on Android at this time and costs $1.99 per phone, although an iOS version is in the making. Once installed, the app will allow parents to lock the phones of their children until they call back. Until that happens, they’ll be restricted to calling parents, or 911 in case of emergencies. Everything else, however, will not work on the smartphone.
“It takes away texting, it takes away gaming, it takes away calling their friends, surfing the internet. If there’s an emergency, the child will always be able to call 911. It’s a feature that no developer can take off the phone,” Standifird said.
The application can’t be disabled, the app’s description says, and the app’s website has a thorough FAQ section that explains what can happen in various scenarios with the phone such as the phone being set on airplane mode, being lost, and other types of mishandling of the app.
As for Standifird, after installing the app on her son’s phone she discovered that he returns her calls and texts a lot faster than he used to. ABC13‘s video showing the app in question follows below.

Tuesday 140715

Workout 1-Snatch +2-OHS – Heavy Single

MetCon
20-DL (M 185 / F 135) Scaled 135/95
800m Run
15-DL
400m Run
10-DL
200m Run

From The Atlantic

The Sugar-Addiction Taboo

When can you call a food addictive?

 
adriennf/flickr

Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “Did I really need to eat the whole box of chocolates?” If you did it in one sitting, you may suffer from Binge Eating Disorder, a newly-sanctionedpsychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V by the American Psychiatric Association. But even if you ate the box over several sittings, you might still suffer from its more controversial cousin—Food Addiction, not yet included in the DSM-V.

There’s been a lot of heat about food addiction, but little light. None other than Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, has spoken out in favor of the diagnosis. Yet the psychiatric and the scientific communities have been slow to get on the bandwagon. Many scientists eschew the diagnosis whileothers embrace it. Not surprisingly, the food industry has largely dismissed the notion. No one argues that food isn’t pleasurable, or even that food doesn’t activate the “reward center” of the brain. But can food truly be addictive? In the same way that alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs are?

Some scientists poo-poo the idea on basic principle. You don’t need alcohol, tobacco or street drugs to live, but you do need food. How can something required for life be addictive? There are three levels of motivation: liking, wanting, and needing. When we go from wanting to needing, that’s when we start to invoke the concept of addiction. As a species and as individuals, we clearly need food.  Strike one for the naysayers.

But do we need all kinds of food? Certainly, we need those foods that supply essential nutrients—those things our bodies can’t synthesize itself. These include vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids (found in protein), and essential fatty acids (found in fish and various vegetables). If you’re missing any of these you’ll get some classic nutritional deficiency disease, such as beriberi or scurvy. But what about energy? We certainly need energy, but we humans are very capable of turning protein or fats into energy when it is required. What if a foodstuff supplies only energy? Alcohol is energy, but it is certainly not required for life. There’s no biochemical reaction that requires alcohol. Thirty-nine percent of Americans are teetotalers, and while they might be missing out on some fun, they’re not exactly ill.

Which brings us to sugar. Another fun substance, full of energy, made up of two molecules linked together: glucose (kind of sweet, and not that much fun), and fructose (very sweet, and a whole lot of fun). Glucose is a nutrient, although not essential—it’s so important, that if you don’t eat it, your liver will make it. But what about fructose? Is fructose a nutrient? As it turns out, there’s no biochemical reaction that requires dietary fructose. A rare genetic disease called Hereditary Fructose Intolerance afflicts 1 in 100,000 babies, who drop their blood sugar to almost zero and have a seizure upon their first exposure to juice from a bottle at age six months. Doctors perform a liver biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. From that moment on, they’re fructose-free for the rest of their lives. And they’re amongthe healthiest people on the planet. Alcohol and fructose both supply energy. They’re fun—but they are not nutrients. Strike two.

But oh, do we want it. As an example, rats are not big fans of lard. But if you lace the lard with some sugar (called “cookie dough”), that’s another story — indeed, in a controversial abstract at this year’s Society for Neuroscience meeting, rats were found to prefer Oreos to cocaine. And we humans are not far behind. Arecent study by Dr. Eric Stice of Oregon Health Sciences University looked at our obsession, by parsing out the fat from the sugar. Subjects laying in an MRI scanner consumed milkshakes where the fat and the sugar concentrations were dialed up or down.  Bottom line, fat stimulated the somatosensory cortex (in other words, “mouthfeel”), but only sugar stimulated the reward center. And adding fat to the sugar didn’t increase the reward any further. This study shows we want sugar way more than we want fat.

I’ve argued previously that excess sugar has been added to processed food because the food industry knows that when they add it, we buy more. And 77 percent of the food items available in the American grocery store are spiked with added sugar. But is this just “wanting”, or are we “needing”? Is sugar just abused, or is it downright addictive? In animals, it’s a “no-brainer.” Dr. Nicole Avena of Columbia University exposes rats to sugar water in an excess-deprivation paradigm for three weeks, and they demonstrate all the criteria needed to diagnose addiction: binging, withdrawal, craving, and addiction transfer (when you’re addicted to one substance, you’re addicted to others as well).

But has the food industry created a “need” for sugar? America loves fast food, and the rest of the world has embraced it with open arms, due to its palatability, portability, and price. Fast food is made up of four items: salt, fat, caffeine, and sugar. Salt and fat don’t drive addictive behaviors, as there’s no tolerance or withdrawal. Caffeine is a well-characterized addictive substance. But what about sugar? In the reward center, sugar stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, and dopamine drives reward. But dopamine also down-regulates its own receptor (which generates the reward signal). This means the next time round, you’re going to need more sugar to generate more dopamine to generate less reward, and so on, until you’re consuming a whole lot of sugar, and getting almost nothing for it. That’s tolerance, and sugar is guilty as charged. What about withdrawal (headache, fatigue, jitteriness)? Here things get a little stickier. Most sugar addicts are looking to mainline their drug of choice, and that means a soda. Soda usually has caffeine too. Upon cessation, they certainly get withdrawal, but was it the caffeine or the sugar or both? We still don’t know. Strike two and a half?

The concept of sugar addiction will continue to evoke visceral responses on both sides of the aisle. One thing most agree on is that sugar should be safe—and rare. That means “real” food. In the short term, Americans must watch out for ourselves, and that means cooking for ourselves. The American Heart Association recommends a reduction in consumption from our current 22 teaspoons per day to six for women and nine for men; a reduction by two-thirds to three-quarters. Our current consumption is over our limit and our “processed” food supply is designed to keep it that way. Food should confer wellness, not illness. The industry feeds our sugar habit to the detriment of our society. We need food purveyors, not food pushers.

Friday 140711

Workout
Work up to 85% of you DL 1RM.
Try this:
35% x5
50% x5 x2
62% x5
70% x5
755 x5
85% x 5 x3

MetCon
3x
5-TTB
10Wall Ball Shots
15-KB Swings
200m Run
Rest 3:00

I am SO very happy Concept 2 issued the following!

Debunking the Myths: Damper Setting, Stroke Rate and Intensity

Myth: A damper setting of 10 will give you the best workout.

Reality: A damper setting of 3–5 is likely to give you the best workout. Too often, we see indoor rowers set at 10, because the athlete thinks that a higher number must be more challenging (or will reward them with a better time). The real challenge is to accelerate the flywheel at a lower damper setting, where power must be applied such as in a sleek, fast, rowing shell. A damper setting of 10 is more like a slow heavy rowboat—still a workout, but more about strength than cardiovascular fitness. Keep in mind: the best rowers in the world who compete at the Olympics, do not row competitively at a 10! Emulate them; aim for 3 to 5.

Try this: Row 100 meters at different damper settings: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Keep your stroke rating at a 24. What feels differently? Which damper setting gave you the best time? Keep in mind, you still may want to change the damper setting for longer workouts. See more on damper setting.

Myth: The higher the stroke rate, the better the workout.

Reality: It’s not how high your cadence is, it’s how hard you’re pulling. Traveling up and down the monorail quickly without generating power is called “spinning your wheels.” You create power when the flywheel—not you—spins faster, which means a better workout. Rather than worrying about how quickly you can move up and back on the monorail, take the time to focus on getting as much power into each drive as you can. To focus on this power, think of rowing with a ratio of 1 beat for every 2 beats you travel up the slide. A good target stroke rate (measured as “strokes per minute” or spm) for most workouts will be in the range of 24–30 spm.

Try this: Start rowing at a high stroke rating (such as 28–30 spm) and note your pace per 500m. Every minute, reduce your stroke rate by two beats (30, 28, 26, etc.) and try to keep the same pace. This will challenge you to generate power at low stroke rates. If you can maintain this efficiency, your overall pace should improve.

Myth: The indoor rower is too easy for me.

Reality: On the indoor rower, intensity is created by the user. The harder you row, the more wind resistance is generated, and the more resistance you feel. It’s just like in a boat where the harder you pull and the faster the boat moves, the more drag resistance is created by the water on the hull of the boat. In either case, if it feels too easy, it’s because you aren’t rowing hard enough. This is common when one first tries the indoor rower; it may take a few sessions to master the technique and get to the point where you can effectively use your legs, core and arms to accelerate the flywheel. This user-controlled intensity is what makes the indoor rower is so versatile—it can be used by everyone from rehab patients to Olympic athletes. And it can be used for all types of workouts, from long slow distance to short intense intervals.

Try this: Focus on using your legs, core and arms to accelerate the flywheel. Try to row your weight in watts. Maintain these watts even at different stroke rates. This tests your ability to increase intensity. Also check out our video on Rowing with Greater Intensity.

Tuesday 140617

Coach Kyle says we need to run, Clean and do some box jumps.  So…

Workout

“Kyle”

5x

5-95 lbs Snatch
10-Box Jumps
200m Run

From The Daily Beast

Dr. Oz: World’s Best Snake Oil Salesman

Via The Dr. Oz Show

Dr. Oz is perhaps America’s most famous doctor, and yet, he shills a load of anti-science B.S.

If I were a member of the United States Senate, there are a number of people whose opinions I would not solicit about how to handle various pressing problems. I wouldn’t ask Donald Sterling for tips on improving race relations. Rick Perry wouldn’t be my first call when seeking information about combatting LGBT intolerance. And of course, I’d know better than to ask Jenny McCarthy for the facts about vaccines.

When contemplating how to solve a problem, seeking counsel from people who are making the problem worse doesn’t make a lot of sense. So why is Senator Claire McCaskill inviting Dr. Mehmet Oz to testify about weight-loss diet scams? Is she looking for tips in how to sell them?

According to a statement from Sen. McCaskill’s office, the cardiologist and Oprah Winfrey protégé will testify this coming Tuesday about sham obesity remedies, specifically green coffee. It seems that shortly after the product wasfeatured on his show, a purveyor of this miracle weight-loss treatment started hawking it at $50 for a one-month supply. I suspect Dr. Oz will express shock (shock!) that some bad actor out there would abuse people’s trust, and the Senator will bask in the attention his celebrity brings to CSPAN.

Except, of course, that green coffee is totally worthless as a weight loss supplement in the first place.

Dr. Oz’s involvement with sham obesity treatments isn’t just limited to green coffee. He is also quite happy to shill for garcinia cambogia, which he calls the “newest, fastest fat-buster.” Never mind that no studies have shown a weight-loss benefit after 12 weeks of taking it, and several studies have demonstrated no such benefit at all. The only thing that seems supported by reliable evidence is that it probably won’t hurt you, which I guess is reason enough for Dr. Oz to fall all over himself promoting it.

Somewhere along the way he decided that his fame was more important than his credibility, as demonstrated by his willingness to promote treatments that fail to withstand even the barest scientific scrutiny

The unmitigated claptrap that Dr. Oz promotes doesn’t stop at weight-loss treatments, either. He’ll help you choose “the right cleanse for your body type.” (Correct answer: none of them.) He’ll give you tips about creating a homeopathy starter kit, despite homeopathy being a preposterous pile of pseudoscientific malarkey. He’s featured Dr. Joseph Mercola, a man who (among other things) urges parents to skip the vitamin K shot that will prevent a potentially devastating bleeding disorder in their infants.

As a physician, Dr. Oz’s credentials are truly impressive. He is the vice-chairman of surgery at one of the nation’s top medical schools, after all. But somewhere along the way he decided that his fame was more important than his credibility, as demonstrated by his willingness to promote treatments that fail to withstand even the barest scientific scrutiny.

Even so, if Sen. McCaskill were inviting him to offer testimony about innovative surgical treatments, I’d have nothing to say about it. But she’s not. She’s asking him to speak about a problem to which he has repeatedly contributed. Unless Sen. McCaskill is drawing the spotlight in order to ask Dr. Oz why he is selling worthless goods to his viewers, the spotlight itself must be the only point in asking him to show up at all.