Tuesday 150113


5,000m Row + 100 Air Squats.  Partition as desired.

Compare to: Wednesday 140806

From The Huffington Post

13 Reasons To Start Lifting Weights

Posted: Updated:

Maybe you’re convinced you shouldn’t lift weights because you prefer not looking like The Hulk. Maybe you figure you just wouldn’t like it, since you’re not one of those CrossFit types.

We hate to be confrontational about it, but frankly, you’re wrong. Despite a prevalent allegiance to cardio machines for things like weight loss and overall health, strength training not only builds muscle but can prevent disease, improve mood and — really! — help you lose weight.

Here are 13 smart reasons to include a little work with the weights into your fitness repertoire.

1. You’ll live longer.
While most forms of regular exercise can add years to your life, strength training in particular has big benefits. As we get older, the more muscle mass we have, the less likely we are to die prematurely, according to 2014 research from UCLA. “In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” study co-author Arun Karlamangla, M.D., said in a statement. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.” And what better way to maximize those muscles than by pumping iron?

2. For better sleep.
Regular exercisers — especially those who truly push themselves — report the best sleep, and weightlifting is no exception. In a small 2012 study in older men, researchers found that resistance training reduced the number of times the study participants woke up during the night, as compared to a control group who performed no exercise.

3. Your progress is so noticeable.
There’s nothing that feels quite as rewarding as setting a goal and crushing it. If you’re new to strength work, you’ll find that a weight you once thought was impossible to lift starts to feel easy sooner than you might imagine. And then, you’ll feel like a boss.

4. To protect your bones.
Weight-bearing exercise and particularly strength training is thought to increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and breaks among older adults.

5. To boost your balance.
Of course, one major cause of bone breaks as we age is falling. Some of weightlifting’s benefit in protecting against osteoporosis may be improved strength and balance, resulting in fewer falls. Indeed, research suggests that various resistance routines can reduce an older person’s rate of falling by around 30 percent.

6. It can make you happier.
Like many forms of physical activity, a little lifting can work wonders for your mental health. Strength training has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression symptoms as well as improved self-esteem, and it may even give your brainpower a boost.

7. To look better in your skinny jeans.
Now, we don’t suggest you lift weights (or do any exercise, for that matter) solely for appearance — there are just so many other benefits! — but when it comes to slimming down, endless hours on the elliptical may not be getting you any closer to the results you desperately seek. In fact, building muscle may help you lose fat more effectively than simply doing cardio. “If you’re looking to lose fat, go with strength training,” trainer Nick Tumminello, author of Strength Training for Fat Loss told Business Insider. “Watch your diet to reveal your shape, and strength train to improve that shape.”

8. To burn more calories.
Simply having more muscle on your frame helps your body burn up extra calories — even when you’re sitting completely still.

9. You can do it in under 30 minutes.
Adding strength work to your regular exercise routine doesn’t have to eat up the tiny bit of free time you had left in the day. In fact, lifting is one area where more is not always better — around 30 to 60 minutes a week, total, is plenty, according to Runner’s Times.

10. And you don’t even have to go to the gym.
We’re using the term “lifting weights,” but the world of strength and resistance training includes a whole host of options outside of what you’d find at the gym. You can “lift weights” with cans and jars you find in your kitchen. You can “lift weights” using only your body. You can buy a pair of five-pound dumbbells and lift along with a DVD in the comfort of your own living room, where the only person checking you out in the mirror is you. In fact, if you’re new to strength training, many moves are safer if performed with just your bodyweight until you can get the hang of perfect form. Plus, many of those machines at the gym aren’t adjustable enough for the wide range of bodies that use them.

11. To run faster (really!)
Or swim longer or bike harder or get better at just about any other athletic endeavor you fancy. Why? Because you’ll be cultivating stronger, more powerful muscles to then put to good use. Also, strength training can help prevent injuries in other athletic pursuits, by helping correct muscle imbalances that in turn throw your form — even just while sitting or standing — out of whack.

12. To help your heart.
Despite the name, cardio isn’t the only form of exercise with cardiovascular benefits. A resistance training routine has been shown to lower blood pressure, in some casesas effectively as taking medication. The American Heart Association recommendsadults aim for at least two strength training sessions a week.

13. Because then you can wear shirts like this.
lift weights
Image via RedBubble.com

Wednesday 140806


Workout 5000m Row + 100 Air Squats

Compare to: Monday 120917

Here’s Why LeBron James Is Losing So Much Weight

Business Insider

 lebron james skinny


The ‘Skinny LeBron’ Instagram photo that has the NBA world talking.

LeBron James has lost a bunch of weight this offseason after going on a low-carb diet.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed some more details about LeBron’s weight-loss program on a podcast with Grantland’s Bill Simmons on Tuesday.

Windhorst says LeBron is losing weight for two reasons: 1) he entered last season in the “the worst shape he’s been in in a while,” and 2) he has become a bit self-conscious about his weight in recent years.

After the Heat won their second straight NBA title, in 2013, LeBron enjoyed his summer (his first summer off since 2011 because of the London Olympics in 2012) and got married.

Windhorst explained:

I’ve heard he’s estimated about 10 or 12 pounds down now. I guess he has cut out carbs. Last year Ray Allen — as if Ray Allen needed anything to help with his body — he went paleo in the offseason. … And Ray Allen came to training camp and he was the only Heat guy who was in better shape at the start of last training camp than at the end of the [2013] season because those guys enjoyed their second championship. Wade and LeBron especially. LeBron was probably, coming off his wedding and everything, he was probably in quote-unquote ‘the worst shape he’s been in a while.’ He was obviously fine, but he got off to a slow start last season. His back was bothering him early on. He and Dwyane Wade both have gone to this sort of, I don’t know if LeBron is terming it ‘paleo,’ but he’s basically gone without carbs.

It’s important to note LeBron in his “worst shape” is still one of the best athletes in the NBA. And even in November of last year he averaged 26 points, six assists, and six rebounds per game.

The slight dip in physical conditioning was enough to make him lose 10 pounds in six weeks, though.

The other thing that motivated LeBron’s weight loss, according to Windhorst, is his self-consciousness at people thinking he weighs over 270 pounds. From Windhorst:

He has actually been in the mid-260s and sometimes over 270 in his career. He doesn’t like talking about it. I don’t even know what they list him at. I think they might list him at 250. He has been a little self-conscious about that in recent years, so I think there’s a secondary reason as well.

The NBA lists him at 250 pounds. Considering LeBron is 6-foot-8 and completely ripped, that number seems low.

LeBron was just named the fittest athlete in the world by Sports Illustrated. He’s a once-in-a-generation athletic freak. Now he’s just going to be a slightly trimmer once-in-a-generation athletic freak.

Friday 140530

1100 after Murph
1100 after Murph


5k Row or 3 mile Run

Light bedrooms ‘link to obesity’

Woman asleep

Sleeping in a room with too much light has been linked to an increased risk of piling on the pounds, a study shows.

A team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London found women had larger waistlines if their bedroom was “light enough to see across” at night.

However, they caution there is not enough evidence to advise people to buy thicker curtains or turn off lights.

The study of 113,000 women was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The women were asked to rate the amount of light in their bedrooms at night as:

  • Light enough to read
  • Light enough to see across the room, but not read
  • Light enough to see your hand in front of you, but not across the room
  • Too dark to see your hand or you wear a mask

Their answers were compared to several measures of obesity. Body Mass Index, waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference were all higher in women with lighter rooms.

Prof Anthony Swerdlow, from the Institute of Cancer Research, told the BBC: “In this very large group of people there is an association between reported light exposure at night and overweight and obesity.

“But there is not sufficient evidence to know if making your room darker would make any difference to your weight.

“There might be other explanations for the association, but the findings are intriguing enough to warrant further scientific investigation.”

Body Clock

One possible explanation is that the light is disrupting the body clock, which stems from our evolutionary past when we were active when it was light in the day and resting when it was dark at night.

Light alters mood, physical strength and even the way we process food in a 24-hour cycle.

Artificial light is known to disrupt the body clock by delaying the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Body Clock

Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, from the Surrey Sleep Centre, said there would be no harm in trying to make bedrooms darker.

He told the BBC: “People in general are not aware of the light present in their bedroom, I think people should assess their bedroom and see how easy it would be to make it darker.”

Street lights, some alarm clocks and standby lights on electrical equipment such as televisions could light a room, he said.

“Overall this study points to the importance of darkness,” he concluded.


The study Read more Friday 140530

Friday 131101

Welcome to Rowvember!

Here’s the plan.  For our first salvo, we will kick-off Rowvember with an Old School 5,000m Row with 100 Air Squats.  How fun is that!  Then starting Monday Rowvember 4th, we will row 1,000 meters.  We will add 100m each day until Wednesday Rowvember 28th (the day before Thanksgiving) …again, fun right?!  Our goal is “grease the grove” and get better at rowing.  Long Winter months ahead and rowing will be a major component.

The rows can be done before a workout (my preference) as part of the workout or of course after.  When before or after, let’s make that last 500m count…shoot for sub 2:00 (M) sub 2:15 (F) during those last 500m.  At the end we will have a greater ability to row and a greater capacity to do these crazy CrossFit WODs.



5000m Row + 100 Air Squats.  Partition as desired.


Saturday 120629


5k Row + 100 Air Squats

From The LA Times

High-carb meals pique cravings for more, study says


Eating a meal with a high glycemic load sends blood glucose levels high, boosts hunger, and piques a desire for more, says a new study.


Tucking into a breakfast of buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup, or a great bowl of white pasta for lunch, not only sends your blood sugar soaring–and then, suddenly, plummeting. Four hours after you’ve put down your fork, such a meal makes you hungrier than if you’d eaten one with more protein and fiber and fewer carbohydrates, a new study finds.

The study also demonstrates that four hours later, the echo of that meal activates regions of the brain associated with craving and reward seeking more powerfully than does a meal with a lower “glycemic load.”

The result: At your next opportunity to eat, you’ll not only be hungrier; you’ll be looking for more of the same.

The study, conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, was published this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The team was led by Dr. David S. Ludwig, director of Boston Children’s Hospital Obesity Prevention Center and author of Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/Fake Food World.

And what’s the result of repeating this cycle meal after meal? The Harvard researchers surmise that the striatum, a key node in the brain’s reward circuitry, may lose its sensitivity to the neurotransmitter dopamine, increasing a person’s drive to eat high-carb foods and disrupting his or her ability to control that impulse.

The team saw many of those processes at work in a lab where on two separate occasions, 12 overweight or obese young men were offered one of two meals: one high in glycemic load (including refined sugars or carbohydrates) and the other, a meal with a low-glycemic load. The meals were equal in calories, as well in their relative protein, carbohydrate and fat content, and were rated equally tasty by subjects. But while the high-glycemic load meal contained such ingredients as corn syrup and Lactaid milk, the low-glycemic load meal contained corn syrup and regular low-fat milk.

Over the next several hours, the men not only had their blood drawn to gauge their metabolic response to the meals; they also assessed their perceived degree of hunger, and underwent a scan focusing on several nodes of their brain’s reward circuitry in a functional Magnetic Resonance Imager.

While the two meals elicited very similar reactions from subjects–they found both meals appealing–their brains and blood revealed dramatically contrasting responses. Four hours later, those who’d consumed the high-glycemic meal had lower blood glucose levels and said they felt hungrier than those who’d had the low-glycemic meal. Activity in the right nucleus accumbens and related reward circuitry, as well as in the region of the cortex that processes smell and taste, was significantly higher in those who’d consumed the high glycemic load meal than in subjects who’d consumed the low glycemic-load meal.

The combination of plummeting blood sugar levels, a greater sensation of hunger, and a memory of a meal high on the glycemic index led to the researchers’ conclusion: “This combination of physiological events may foster food cravings with a special preference for high [glycemic load] carbohydrates, thereby propagating cycles of overeating.”

Want to understand the difference between high-glycemic load foods and those lower in glycemic load? Here’s a good explanation. And here’s a helpful list.

Sunday 130526


5k Run or Row

From CNN

A workout a day may keep cancer away

By Matt Sloane, CNN updated 10:58 AM EDT, Thu May 16, 2013
Exercise may be an important tool in preventing cancer, or in improving survival after diagnosis, new research shows.
Exercise may be an important tool in preventing cancer, or in improving survival after diagnosis, new research shows.

Less cancer treatment may be better, researchers say

(CNN) — Less cancer treatment may be better, and being in good physical shape may help keep cancer away, according to the latest research being presented at the largest convergence of cancer experts worldwide.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology meets at the end of the month in Chicago. A briefing was held Wednesday for journalists covering the meeting. Here are some highlights from studies being presented:

Exercise may keep cancer away

Getting into shape may help you ward off cancer — or boost your survival chances if you are diagnosed, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Vermont studied more than 17,000 men for close to 20 years. They found those who exercised the most were 68% less likely to develop lung cancer and 38% less likely to develop colorectal cancers than the least active men

Among those men who did develop either of those two cancers or prostate cancer, exercise helped reduce the risk of death by 14% for each incremental increase in fitness level.

Boosting your immune system to fight cancer

Among the other six studies highlighted, two looked at new approaches in immunotherapy treatments — drugs that train the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells.

One study found that a new antibody, known only as MPDL3280A, shrank tumors in 21% of the patients studied, all of whom were suffering from melanoma, lung or kidney cancers.

The drug was well-tolerated at all dose levels by the majority of patients, and reports of serious adverse reactions were infrequent, officials said.

Researchers presented results from the first phase of a clinical trial of MPDL3280A. The purpose of these initial trials is to establish the safety and dosage guidelines for an investigational drug. If it’s found to be safe, as in this case, it must be tested in much bigger trials with many more people. So far, the early results are promising, according to researchers.

The second study found that the combination of two immunotherapy drugs — Yervoy and Nivolumab — can help shrink melanoma tumors.

More than half of study participants saw their tumors shrink by more than half, and nearly a third saw their tumors shrink by 80%, just in the first 12 weeks of treatment, according to the study author.

Before Yervoy received Food and Drug Administration approval two years ago, patients with melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — had no real treatment options. Nivolumab still needs FDA approval.

Researchers have known that at some point, cancer cells figure out how to circumvent Yervoy and tumors start to grow again, but this study suggests that a combination of these drugs can lengthen the benefit of Yervoy.

“After years of not having success in immunotherapy, we now have two (different studies) showing significant progress,” said Dr. Sandra Swain, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “With these two therapies, we’re seeing very rapid, profound and long-lasting tumor shrinkage, which is something that hasn’t been seen before with immunotherapies.”

Less is more

Three additional studies presented in the Wednesday briefing examined existing therapies for various cancers and which ones were the most effective.

The first, from Washington University in St. Louis, found that a 25% stronger dose of radiation used to treat patients with one type of lung cancer were more dangerous for the patients — and less effective in treating the disease.

The study, of patients with non-small cell lung cancer who were also receiving chemotherapy, showed an increase in “local failure,” meaning cancer cells at the radiation site either weren’t killed or began growing.

“Many doctors expected that using a higher dose of radiation would mean better outcomes for patients, so this was a surprising result,” Swain said. “This study should put an end to discussions about higher dose treatments.”

A second study looked at the efficacy of post-surgery chemotherapy and radiation for patients with seminoma, a common type of testicular cancer, versus follow-up monitoring of the patients.

Researchers looked at 1,800 patients with stage 1 seminoma in Denmark, where the typical post-surgery treatment protocol calls for regular clinic visits, CT scans, X-rays and blood work — not chemo or radiation. However, many U.S. treatment centers do use chemo and radiation as part of post-surgery treatment.

More than 80% of patients did not relapse after surgery, the study found, eliminating the need for follow-up chemotherapy or radiation. In those who did relapse, follow-up treatment led to a 99.5% survival rate.

“In this study, we see that surveillance alone was safe,” said Dr. Clifford Hudis, president-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The final study looked at whether patients with a particular form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma should have regular CT scans to detect relapses after they finish treatment. The study showed most relapses weren’t detected by the scans, but by patients’ complaints of symptoms, routine physical exams or blood work.

“We can spare patients from the cost and excessive radiation from follow-up CT scans,” Hudis said.

The final study looked at a new class of drugs called PI3K delta inhibitors, being tested in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The specific drug tested in the trial — Idelalisib — was shown in a first phase of study to be safe in high-risk populations, and to help reduce the size of affected lymph nodes for long periods of time. It may soon lead to alternatives to chemo for slow-growing blood cancers, Swain said.