Tuesday 150602

Man, my legs are sore.  I bet your legs are too…


Row 50+ Cals M / 35+ Cals F
Row – 50+ Cals M / 35+ Cals F

Lets give those tired legs a little rest…

Tuesday 150224

Time to go Old School.


From The Atlantic

The Skinny Carb

A recent study shows that people who simply ate more fiber lost about as much weight as those who went on a complicated diet.

By this time of year, many peoples’ best-laid New Year’s Resolutions have died, just seven short weeks after they were born. One reason why it’s difficult to lose weight—the most common resolution—is that dieting is so confusing.

For instance, the American Heart Association’s recommended diet is one of the most effective food plans out there. It’s also one of the most complicated. It requires, according to a recent study, “consuming vegetables and fruits; eating whole grains and high-fiber foods; eating fish twice weekly; consuming lean animal and vegetable proteins; reducing intake of sugary beverages; minimizing sugar and sodium intake; and maintaining moderate to no alcohol intake.” On top of that, adherents should derive half of their calories from carbs, a fifth from protein, and the rest from fat—except just 7 percent should be saturated fat. (Perhaps the goal is to keep people busy doing long division so they don’t have time to eat food.)

It’s a lot to remember, and nutritional information is already notoriously contradictory. So rather than put people on a complex diet, a group of researchers recently decided to test whether they could still get people to lose weight and boost their heart health by telling them to do just one thing: Eat more fiber.

Researchers found 240 participants and divided them into two groups. One group was instructed to eat the American Heart Association, or AHA, diet, including shaving 500 to 1,000 calories off of their normal food intake. The other was simply told to eat more fibrous foods. High-fiber foods include fruit, legumes, whole grains, and some vegetables. (It’s recommended that adults eat about 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, but very few people do this.)

After a year, the more-fiber group had lost 2.1 kilograms, or about 4.6 pounds, according to results published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The AHA group, which had been following a much more complicated eating regimen, lost just half a kilogram more, or six pounds. It was a pretty small difference, but the AHA group suffered greatly for it: They were cutting more than twice as many calories per day, around 400, as the fiber group had been. Fiber is also a part of the AHA diet, but the fiber group was eating about twice as much of it as the other participants. There was no difference in blood pressure or fasting glucose levels between the groups at the end of the experiment. In other words, the people killing themselves to meet a raft of rules did roughly as well as the people who were simply eating more beans and apples.

Changes in Weight and Insulin Levels Over Time

Annals of Internal Medicine

“A dietary intervention focusing on a targeted fiber goal may be able to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss similar to the widely applied, but more intense, AHA dietary guidelines,” the authors, who were from the University of Massachusetts and elsewhere, wrote. They think this might be because, as past studies have suggested, it’s easier to follow one dietary rule than it is to adhere to a whole new life plan.

This might seem like yet another dubious miracle cure of the sort peddled by TV doctors, but it’s really not. Most people eat only about half as much fiber as they should. Foods that are high in fiber tend to be filling and, as far as caloric impact goes, are more of a swan dive than a cannon ball. A handful of high-fiber carrots can produce a feeling of satiety, but they don’t cause as much waistline damage as the same number of KFC hot wings.

Of course people should strive to eat as overall healthfully as they can, or desire to. Americans have been steered wrong by one-note dietary guidelines before. Still, we are nonetheless always on the hunt for one simple trick for weight loss. Fiber isn’t necessarily one, but it’s a good place to start.

Thursday 141218





Cool down and go home

*Minimum of 5 calories for M and 4 for W each rowing segment.  Use the lowest number of reps per given exercise (not the rowing) for your score.  

From The Atlantic

You Can’t ‘Turn Fat Into Muscle’

Where does body fat go when it’s lost? Into the air, actually.


This is where people think fat goes when it’s “lost”:


But! Most people are wrong, according to physicist Ruben Meerman and biochemist Andrew Brown. Their calculations were published yesterday in the British medical journal BMJ (hence “faeces” in their survey results above), where the authors profess that despite soaring rates of obesity, there is “surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss.”

The researchers use the calculation below to show that fat (plus oxygen) is metabolized mainly into carbon dioxide, and some water that goes into urine (uarine?) or gets used up in other metabolic processes.

Meerman explained in subsequent interviews that the calculation is not new to science, just misunderstood. He told ABC he was “flabbergasted when [he] first realized the extent of the ignorance about this really basic biochemical process.”

Of course, the above equation does involve the release of energy. So I don’t think saying colloquially that fat becomes energy really makes a person a fool. Meerman’s point is just that, according to “science,” matter is conserved, not easily converted into energy. The atomic bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima involved conversion of about one third the mass of a dime’s worth of matter. If you were able to convert your fat stores direction into energy, you would explode in a glorious, catastrophic spectacle. Your treadmill would be destroyed, and so would your gym, and your city. But, the weight would be so off.

Wednesday 141001


us 90% for your math. Complete:
65% x5
75% x5
85% x5
75% x5
65% xAMRAP
rest 20 seconds
65% xAMRAP
rewt 20 seconds
65% xAMRAP


From Tabata Times

Why You Shouldn’t Set Your Rower to 10

by Kristy Parrish | September 30, 2014 2:00 am

Why You Shouldn't Set Your Erg Rower To 10 - via ifailedfran.com

You don’t go grab a barbell and load it up with your 1RM and start your workout there, do you? Of course not. So why do so many people set there erg to 10 and set off to row? Good question, huh? Read on and find out why setting your erg at 10 is almost never a good idea.

How the Rower Works

For starters, let’s discuss briefly how indoor rowers work, because I’m an engineer and this is my chance to be nerdy. When you think of rowing, you think of boats and rowing on the water, right? Guess how much water is used in the operation of these Concept 2 rowers[1]? That’s right — none! (Well, unless you are sweaty like me, then things might get a little damp. But I digress.)

The flywheel — and thus the rower — is constantly wanting to stop itself, constantly wanting to hit the brakes. Overcoming this deceleration is how distance and other outputs are measured.

Indoor rower doesn’t sound as cool as calling it an erg. Erg comes from the word ergometer[2], which simply means a device that measures the amount of work being performed.

You knew there was no water involved, but do you know what provides the resistance with each and every pull you make? Here’s a hint: you breathe it. Yup, air! Good ole air provides all the pulse quickening and pain inducing you could ever want, and yet always leaves you gasping for more air. Air is a tricky character sometimes.

Inside the round chamber on the rower is a device called a flywheel. A flywheel stores rotational energy. Also, the flywheel has a high moment of inertia, which is demonstrated by the difficulty/extra energy that must be spent at the beginning of your row to get the wheel spinning (i.e. you must give more torque!). The stored energy couples with this same high inertia to produce the momentum that keeps the wheel spinning after you stop pulling on the chain.

Got all that? Good.

The erg works for all people because of the flywheel. The flywheel — and thus the rower — is constantly wanting to stop itself, constantly wanting to hit the brakes. Overcoming this deceleration is how distance and other outputs are measured. To make things even more diabolical, the faster you spin the wheel, the more resistance is generated.

That leads us to the lever on the side of the flywheel house, the one numbered 1-10. This adjusts the damper on the side of the flywheel chamber. Changing the damper setting[3] changes the amount of air flow into the flywheel. And as we discussed earlier, air is what is providing the resistance on our rows.

A higher damper setting brings more air into the housing, which means there is more resistance for the wheel to spin against. Also, more air will slow the wheel down quicker, meaning you have to do more work to accelerate the wheel on your next pull.

As you might expect, a lower setting allows less air, which makes spinning easier — in other words, the opposite of the above paragraph.

So… rowing with a damper setting at 10 gives a better workout than setting it at 6, right?




Finding the Proper Damper Setting

Finding the Proper Damper Setting

If you’re someone who Read more Wednesday 141001

Monday 140811


BSquat 5 x5 @80%


Tabata Mash-up Monday

DL – 135 M/ 95 F

Ball Slams

Push Press 75 lbs M / 65 lbs F


Body Row
Wall Ball

From Mental Health Hub

Short Bursts of Exercise Are Better Than Exercising Nonstop

exercise-lead-420x0You don’t need to be working out for longer, but you should probably be working harder—in spurts, at least.

Studies have shown that interval training can help people burn more fat, and increase fitness levels even after just 15 or 20 minutes of exercise. And a new studyfound that people with Type 2 diabetes benefited more from interval walking—their blood sugar was more controlled—compared to people who walked continuously.

“The return on investment of interval training is fabulous, and it keeps exercise interesting,” says Richard Cotton, the National Director of Certification at the American College of Sports Medicine, who was not involved in the new research. “Walkers can incorporate interval training by warming up and walking for three minutes and jogging for one minute and repeating that pattern for let’s say, 30 minutes.”

Interval training means alternating between different intensities of exercise and allowing time to rest in between bursts of action. This can mean simply speeding up your walk to a jog for a few minutes or, in the more extreme, it can mean high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata. But they’re all based in the same idea: short explosions of exercise that get your heart rate up followed by periods of rest or lower intensity provide a greater benefit.

Martin Gibala, the chairman of the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has been studying interval training for years, though his focus has been primarily on very intensive exercise like HIIT. Some of his recentresearch has looked at whether quick HIIT sessions can stimulate similar fitness levels as moderate-intensity continuous training.

“There’s a very large growing body showing interval training can be safely applied to many different people, including those with chronic diseases,” says Gibala. “Interval training can be scaled to any starting level of fitness. If you have a high level of fitness, the speed on the treadmill will be different from someone less conditioned”—but the benefit will be similar.

Here’s why interval training is thought to work. By changing up exercises in a single period, exercisers are improving both their endurance and speed during one exercise session. There is also thought to be a benefit of reaching your “total maximum capability”—basically working your body as hard as you can—which is hard to do for a long period of time. “You increase your heart rate and total intensity to a higher level than you could during continuous activity,” says Cotton. “Almost everyone can do something continuously at 50% of their maximum ability. But, you if you can take it to a higher intensity in short bouts, your body gets stimulated in ways it wouldn’t otherwise.”

Interval training doesn’t have to be difficult, but when it’s taken up a notch—as it is with HIIT and Tabata—researchers have seen even more benefit. The Tabata Protocol is a kind of HIIT method based on studies by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata. His original 1996 study monitored athletes as they cycled at their absolute highest intensity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of resting, and repeated. Since then, several gyms have developed their own versions of his workout.

The research on interval training—regardless of ultimate level of intensity—is encouraging. It shows that mixing it up provides more benefits, and keeps things interesting. It’s not for everyone, since some people may find upping their fitness levels in various cycles too challenging, while someone running a marathon needs to dedicate lots of time to continuous exercise and long runs. Gibala also adds that the field is relatively new, and so far most studies have looked at the impact of interval training in the short term, not long term. Still, science shows not having enough time to exercise is not an excuse.

Saturday 140607

Battle Rope/Ball Slams
KB Swings

From The Atlantic

How Boys Teach Each Other to Be Boys

Taking cues from family and media, young boys teach their peers how to perform masculinity, to their detriment.

Boys play on an obstacle course outside a kindergarten in Germany. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

What makes a male child become a “boy,” as we understand that concept socially? In her new book, When Boys Become Boys, Judy Y. Chu reports on her two-year study in which she followed a group of boys from pre-kindergarten through first grade. She concluded that most of what we think of as “boy” behavior isn’t natural or authentic to boys, but is something they learn to perform. Boys aren’t stoic or aggressive or hierarchical; they aren’t bad at forming relationships or unable to express themselves. They pick up all these traditional traits of masculinity by adapting to a culture that expects and demands that they do so.

I interviewed Chu about gender roles, relationships, and how boys become boys.

The primary cultural forces you discuss in your book seems to be the boys themselves and their peer group. So it seems like they become boys through learning from other boys; it’s boys teaching themselves to be boys. So where do you see the inauthenticity or unnaturalness there?

It’s not as though they’re arriving in their interactions having come from an isolated place. They’re hearing messages from older siblings, from media, or some of the boys’ parents were more conventional in terms of the messages that they were telling them. So they were hearing messages about masculinity and bringing them to their peer group context.

One of the boys had access to R-rated movies, and so he’d come in and for boys who don’t have exposure to that kind of media, it was kind of an initiation—oh, there are these messages out there and I didn’t know that. So they’re learning from each other about masculine posturing. They’re teaching each other, but it’s not like this is something that they’re born knowing.

That’s not to say that there’s nothing inherent in their behavior. Each boy has a different temperament and personality and some are more inclined to be bossy or whatever. But in terms of trying to be stoic, none of that is innate. They’re creating a culture for themselves based on the bits and pieces they’ve gotten elsewhere.

You talk about how boys lose authenticity over time, or become less authentic and more performative, taking on roles rather than expressing what they really feel directly. But isn’t it good for people to learn how to be less natural in some ways? Toilet training for example; you don’t want them to do the natural thing, right?

Absolutely; being socialized is not inherently problematic. Obviously we want to teach our kids to be appropriate so they’re not at a restaurant dancing naked on the table. You want to teach them to be savvy and strategic; you don’t want them to be vulnerable in every situation and then have that vulnerability taken advantage of. But it’s more that distinction between compromise and over-compromise, in which they’re so focused on setting up a particular image that they believe will get them what they want—acceptance and popularity and success—and realizing that that comes at a cost. And that cost comes when the fit between who they are and who they feel comfortable being doesn’t perfectly match society’s expectations, and they feel like, oh, I can’t show people this part of myself, because then they won’t like me.

That’s not to say that they need to be open and out there in every situation. But they need to have at least one place or one relationship where they can do those things.

Do you feel like there are developmental differences between girls and boys? And if so, what are they? Or if not, what are the parallels?

I am wary of the whole “[just] boys being boys” thing because, first of all, you see what you look for; you find what you look for. So if you expect boys to be a certain way, you’ll say, oh, it’s boys being boys when they’re rowdy or rambunctious or whatever, but never “boys will be boys” when they’re being sweet or sensitive or smart or insightful. So I am wary of those kinds of stereotypes or gender roles.

Especially because, as Terrence Real, who’s a couples’ therapist, says, when you take the whole range of human capabilities and qualities, and you say one half is masculine, and one half is feminine, and only boys can be masculine, and only girls can be feminine, then everybody loses, because you’re asking everyone to cut off and deny a part of their humanity.

At the same time, absolutely Read more Saturday 140607