Monday 160523

Workout

250m run or 300m row
10-Kb Swings
10-Goblet Squats
10-Pull-ups

250m run or 300m row
8-KB Swings
8-Goblet Squats
8-Pull-ups

250m run or 300m row
6-KB Swings
6-Goblet Squats
6-Pull-ups

250m run or 300m row
4-KB Swings
4-Goblet Squats
4-Pull-ups

250m run or 300m row
2-KB Swings
2-Goblet Squats
2-Pull-ups

Thursday 150226

Workout

Press – 75% x5 x5

MetCon
10-1 of:
Goblet Squats + KB Swings
250m Row between each and after 1

From The New York Time

CreditHudson Christie

For decades, many dietary recommendations have revolved around consuming a low percentage of your daily calories from fat. It has been widely thought that doing so would reduce your chance of having coronary heart disease. Most of the evidence for that recommendation has come from epidemiologic studies, which can be flawed.

Use of these types of studies happens far more often than we would like, leading to dietary guidelines that may not be based on the best available evidence. But last week, the government started to address that problem, proposing new guidelines that in some cases are more in line with evidence from randomized controlled trials, a more rigorous form of scientific research.

Sometimes we have to settle for epidemiologic or other less reliable studies because we can’t do a randomized controlled trial to prove causality. We’ll never have one for smoking and cancer, for instance, because the evidence from cohort and case-control studies, which are observational and not interventional, is so compelling that telling a random population to smoke “to see if it’s harmful” would be unethical. But there’s no reason we couldn’t randomly assign people to diets.

It turns out that we have. In fact, randomized controlled trials existed when the previous low-fat guidelines were published. It appears they were ignored.

Just recently, a study was published in the journal Open Heart in which researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the randomized controlled trials that were available when those guidelines were announced. They wanted to explore what evidence those creating the guidelines might have been able to consider at the time.

Before 1983, six randomized controlled trials involving 2,467 men were conducted. None were explicit studies of the recommended diet (and none involved women), but all explored the relationship between dietary fat,cholesterol and mortality. Five of them were secondary prevention trials — meaning that they involved only men with known problems already. Only one included healthy participants, who would be at lower risk, and therefore would be likely to have less benefit from dietary changes.

That’s a lot of participants. Moreover, many of them were at high risk. And in all of them, there was no significant difference among them in the rate of death from coronary heart disease. There were also no differences in mortality from all causes, which is the metric that matters.

The study did show that cholesterol levels went down more in the groups that ate low-fat diets. Some have used this as justification for a low-fat diet. But the difference between them was small. Mean cholesterol went down 13 percent in the intervention groups, but it went down 7 percent in the control groups. And these groups didn’t have different clinical outcomes, and that’s what we really care about.

Small changes in cholesterol levels from dietary changes also aren’t surprising to those who follow the research. About 70 percent of people are thought to be “hyporesponders” to dietary cholesterol. This means that after consuming three eggs a day for 30 days, they would see no increase in their plasma cholesterol ratios. Their cholesterol levels have almost no relationship to what they eat.

Don’t take my word for it. Again, there have been randomized controlled trials in this area. In 2013, researchers published a systematic review of all studies from 2003 or after. Twelve met the researchers’ criteria for inclusion in the analysis, and seven of them controlled for background diet. Most of the studies that controlled for background diet found that altering cholesterol consumption had no effect on the concentration of blood LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol. A few studies could detect differences only in small subgroups of people with certain genes or a predisposition to problems.

In other words, in most studies, all people didn’t respond. In the rest, only a minority of patients responded to changes in dietary cholesterol.

Did recommendations change when these studies were published? No, but they got closer to changing on Thursday, when a government committeeurged repeal of the guideline that Americans limit their cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams a day, saying, “Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” I’m sure this will come as a surprise to a vast majority of Americans, who for decades have been watching their cholesterol intake religiously. (The change won’t be official until it is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, but they usually closely follow the committee’s recommendations.)

I wrote here at The Upshot not long ago about how a growing body of epidemiologic data was pointing out that low-salt diets might actually be unhealthy. But randomized controlled trials exist there, too. A 2008 study randomly assigned patients with congestive heart failure to either normal or low-sodium diets. Those on the low-sodium diet had significantly more hospital admissions. The “number needed to treat” for a normal-sodium diet above a low-sodium diet to prevent a hospital admission in this population was six — meaning that for every six people who are moved from a low-sodium diet to a normal diet, one hospital admission would be prevented. That’s a very strong finding.

Let’s not cherry-pick, though. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of salt intake was published last year. Eight trials involving more than 7,200 participants looked at whether advising patients to cut down on salt, or reducing sodium intake, affected outcomes. None of the trials, including ones involving people with both normal and high blood pressure, showed a reduction in all-cause mortality.

I’m pretty immersed in the medical literature, and all of this is still shocking to me. It’s hard to overestimate the effect of the dietary guidelines. Hundreds of millions of people changed their diets based on these recommendations. They consumed less fat, they avoided cholesterol and they reduced their intake of salt.

Since pretty much all calories come from fat, protein or carbohydrates, reducing your consumption of one means that you have to increase your consumption of another. (We are not talking here about recommendations for the total amount of calories you should eat. These recommendations assume you’re eating the proper amount of calories, and seek to govern the proportion of nutrients within them.)

So, as the guidelines have recommended cutting down on meat, especially red meat, this meant that many people began to increase their consumption of carbohydrates.

Decades later, it’s not hard to find evidence that this might have been a bad move. Many now believe that excessive carbohydrate consumption may be contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. A Cochrane Review of all randomized controlled trials of reduced or modified dietary fat interventions found that replacing fat with carbohydrates does not protect even against cardiovascular problems, let alone death.

Interestingly, the new dietary recommendations may acknowledge this as well, dropping the recommendation to limit overall fat consumption in favor of a more refined recommendation to limit only saturated fat. Even that recommendation is hotly contested by some, though. The committee is also bending a bit on salt, putting less emphasis on the 1,500-milligram daily limit on sodium for special populations, in light of the mounting evidence that too little sodium may be as bad as too much, if not worse.

It is frustrating enough when we over-read the results of epidemiologic studies and make the mistake of believing that correlation is the same as causation. It’s maddening, however, when we ignore the results of randomized controlled trials, which can prove causation, to continue down the wrong path. In reviewing the literature, it’s hard to come away with a sense that anyone knows for sure what diet should be recommended to all Americans.

I understand people’s frustration at the continuing shifts in nutrition recommendations. For decades, they’ve been told what to eat because “science says so.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be true. That’s disappointing not only because it reduces people’s faith in science as a whole, but also because it may have cost some people better health, or potentially even their lives.

Thursday 141106

Workout
Snatch – Heavy single

MetCon
10-1 of:
Goblet Squats + KB Swings
250m Row between each and after 1

I think the comparison to church is a little much, but not a bad read otherwise.  From Breakingmuscle.com

Is It Time to Look for a New CrossFit Gym?

 CrossFit, Masters Athletes
In 2005, I was the contemporary music director for a local United Methodist Church. During that time, I had a good finger on the pulse of the congregation. One of the recurring themes was that many people were dissatisfied with the preaching and the leadership from the pastors.

The congregation loved their church and the weekly fellowship, community, and music programs, but there was something missing for a lot of them. A disengaged and seemingly disinterested pastoral leadership had caused unrest in the congregation.

crossfit, community, Programming, coaching, quality, competition, box

Thus, a significant number of members started wandering down to one of the big megachurches here in Cincinnati. They would go to Crossroads on Saturday evening to get “fed” and then come to the Methodist church on Sunday for the fellowship. Eventually though, even the community connection was not enough and people drifted away. Lots of them.

It seemed like every week we would say, “Hey, what happened to the Dufresnes?” And someone would reply, “Oh, they are at Crossroads now.”

And So It Goes With CrossFit

CrossFit boxes are much like churches, in that the aspect of community is paramount. I have written this before, but if you ask people what they love about their CrossFit gym, most often the answer is “the community.

But if community were the only deciding factor about a CrossFit gym, then in theory members would never leave. In reality, just like with churches, there are other elements involved that sometimes trump community. For each of us, the key in deciding whether it’s time to make a move is to balance what will serve us as an athlete versus staving off our natural “grass-is-greener” temptation.

Community Is No Longer Enough

With the proliferation of competition programming, many people are choosing programming over community. Given the opportunities of local competitions, the CrossFit Games, Grid, weightlifting meets, and masters-level competitions, people are examining the possibility of branching out from group classes into individualized programming. Many gyms are adding open-gym hours to accommodate such athletes.

“With the proliferation of competition programming, many people are choosing programming over community.”

This alone will cause a natural shift in a box’s membership. Because if a box caters to a specific demographic (let’s say, families in a suburban residential area that seek a true CrossFit group-class-cum-bootcamp experience), that is how the community will form.Possible competition athletes may walk in the door and begin their training, but they will soon sense the demographic parameters and begin to seek out a box that caters to them. To use the church analogy, they will go elsewhere to get “fed.”

But it’s about more than just competition-seeking athletes. There is a real sense in the larger CrossFit community that programming quality is quickly becoming the catalyst for many members making a change in location. That this dialog about quality programming is happening in the first place is a huge win for the sport and methodology.

Average CrossFitters are educating themselves about programming, coaching, and periodization and are looking for boxes that offer more. CrossFitters who are becoming wise to quality coaching and programming are starting their search for a box with conversations like, “Do you have a weightlifting coach on staff? No? Thanks anyway,” or, “How often do you do hero or classic WODs? Every Monday and Friday? Thanks anyway.”

In fact, I would surmise that people who cite “community” as a primary reason for the quality of their box are at a place that already has fantastic coaching and programming. Take those away, and the community might crumble in a heartbeat. So while it comes down to each athlete’s individual needs and goals, there are generally some good reasons to switch gyms, and some bad reasons.

Good Reasons to Switch CrossFit Gyms

The Programming Doesn’t Match Your Goals

You have to know what your goals are, and then make an honest assessment as to whether the vision of a given box matches your goals. There are many CrossFit gyms that have no real interest in developing competition athletes (which is perfectly fine). But if you have competitive aspirations, then clearly it’s time to locate a box that meets your needs.

The opposite is also true. If you’re looking for a bootcamp experience and you’re at a box that focuses on competition development, it’s perfectly fine to seek out a gym that is in keeping with your goals.

The Programming or Coaching Is Suspect

The sad reality is that these boxes are out there. Just like there are fantastic, forward thinking churches versus churches where ministers die from getting bitten by rattlesnakes, there are great and there are awful CrossFit gyms.

If you’ve joined a box and find the programming has no logic, and the coaches say things like “Strategy? There’s no strategy. This is CrossFit. You go as hard as you can, man,” thenmaybe it’s time to leave. Or if the coaches tend to use the word “pussy” a lot, then seek out a box where the coaching staff is experienced and mature, and has the results and testimonials to prove it.

It’s Not the Right Fit

Sometimes this is just the way it is. You may not see eye-to-eye with the owners. It may not be the kind of experience you’re looking for. Or maybe the gym is just too far away.Maybe the box is under new management or some consolidation with another local box has changed what once was.

Bad Reasons to Switch CrossFit Gyms

The Little Things

Greg Glassman once said you could tell the quality of an affiliate by the cleanliness of the bathrooms. But are you really willing to leave behind your gym because the bathrooms look like a gas station and the stereo system is an old Fisher Radio hi-fi with a couple of eight-inch JBLs?

No. Because you can find a CrossFit Gym with a state of the art econo-flush multi-purpose toilet and still have wretched programming and coaching. Are you being “fed”?  Then don’t sweat the small stuff. 

“Don’t just start licking the latest flavor of ice cream because it’s got an interesting new name and everyone else is trying it.” Read more Thursday 141106

Tuesday 140826

Workout

Row 1250m

THEN

4x 21-KB Swings (44 lbs M / 35 lbs F) 15-Goblet Squats (use the same KB) 9-HR Push-ups

From The Atlantic

Rich People Exercise, Poor People Take Diet Pills

Robert Bejil/Flickr

Poor people—and poor women in particular—are more likely to be overweight and obese. But what makes the obesity epidemic such a tough problem to solve is that the poorest Americans are also less likely to use proven weight-loss strategies, relying instead on quick fixes like diet pills.

For a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Concordia University looked at the incomes and health habits of more than 3,000 children and teens between the ages of 8 and 19 and more than 5,000 adults over the age of 20.

At least two-thirds of the study subjects reported attempting to reduce food intake or exercising in order to lose weight in the past year. Despite these efforts, the adults in the study gained an average of three pounds, while the youths gained about 12 pounds. The people in the lower income brackets gained about two pounds more than those in the highest one.

One reason for the disparity might have to do with the tactics they used to try to shed pounds: Compared to adults making $75,000 or more, those making less than $20,000 were 50 percent less likely to exercise, 42 percent less likely to drink a lot of water, and 25 percent less likely to eat less fat and sweets. And adults making between $20,000 and $75,000 were about 50 percent more likely to use over-the-counter diet pills, which aren’t proven to work.

The data for the young people were similar: The poorest among them were 33 percent less likely to exercise, but they were twice as likely to skip meals as the richest ones. Skipping meals, too, isn’t a sure-fire way to slim down.

Healthy food is more expensive than junk food, and as our colleagues at Quartz reported, people on food stamps tend to purchase cheap, unhealthy products in an attempt to stretch their food budgets. But as the authors of this study point out, it’s not always a financial issue. Water is (mostly) free, after all, but the low-income people drank less of it. Meanwhile, diet pills cost money.

Instead, it might be that the stressful lives of poor people make sticking to a diet and exercise plan more difficult. It’s hard to exercise when you live in an unsafe neighborhood. Stress leads to emotional eating. You can’t plan for gym time when you only know your work schedule three days in advance.

An emerging body of research helps explain how the stress of poverty hampers the decision-making process. A study in Science last year found that poverty equates to a mental burden similar to losing 13 IQ points. Another study just published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who experienced economic uncertainty gave up on solving a difficult puzzle faster.

As Maria Konnikova wrote in the New York Times, living an unpredictable, erratic life can erode self-control: “If we’re not quite sure when the train will get there, why invest precious time in continuing to wait?”

Often, low-income people aren’t sure what tomorrow will bring. So why waste time trying to diet?

Friday 140117

Skill – 5:00 Paleo Chair

Workout

Row 1250m

THEN

4x
21-KB Swings
15-Goblet Squats
9-Push-ups

The funny part of this video to me is that near the end, in almost a throw away comment, the narrator says that he also started walking 45 minutes a day.  The story is about how you can eat at McDonald’s and lose weight, but it should be about how exercising is GREAT for you!

Thursday 130926

Workout

2000m Row – Get a PR.

Rest 3-5 minutes

10-1 of:

Goblet Squats + KB Swings.  Use the same KB.  (73 lbs for men, 44 for women)

Interesting…from The Washington Examiner

CrossFit openly exercises its libertarian views

BY: Tim Mak September 26, 2013 | 5:00 am
At its core, Crossfit sees itself as a contrarian movement, paralleling the contrarian instinct in libertarian philosophy. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Reebok)

“Why do you assume the labor market is inelastic?” read a recent tweet from the official account of CrossFit, the popular-but-controversial fitness regimen.

The tweet was related to an article by the free-market Cato Institute, which the fitness company sent out to its 115,000-plus Twitter followers. The article argues that minimum wage regulations can drive up unemployment.

It wasn’t a hack or some mistake. A deep libertarian ethos runs through the entire CrossFit organization, which has for some time been deliberately promoting polarizing articles and quotes.

Earlier this month, CrossFit quoted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, questioning the wisdom of military strikes in Syria; before that, an article on drug decriminalization, a prominent topic in libertarian circles.

At its core, CrossFit sees itself as a contrarian movement, paralleling Read more Thursday 130926