Thursday, August 31, 2017

Shirt Contest Info

I have gotten a ton of interest in the shirt design contest that I announced earlier. Here's all of the info in one place.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Can you be paleo and vegetarian?


Most of you know that we promote a "Paleo" diet as a core tenet of health at the gym. To me, this isn't a fad. I've been eating in a way that most folks would agree is Paleo for nearly a decade now. There are so many different definitions and levels of orthodoxy when you say you're "Paleo" that it's almost a meaningless term.  The words I like to use to describe how I eat (and how I recommend you eat) is "ancestrally inspired" or "ancestrally aligned".

What's that mean? Another guiding principle of my life is the "Lindy Effect" or as Taleb says, being "Lindy Compatible".  I'll skip a ton of math, but my favorite math blogger did a great summary of the Lindy Effect here. The take away is that the longer an idea has been around, the longer you can predict it will be around. Much of nature and things that follow the laws of nature behave this way. So when it comes to diet, I like to use the Lindy Effect as a way to guide my choices. It's likely that our bodies exist in a state to eat the kinds of food we've had for a longer time. It's just a guiding principle, not a set of commandments worth getting into wars over.

So for me, I interpret that as lots of meat, animal fats, some nuts, seeds and other plant-based food sources. That is, try to mimic as best we can in the modern world the kinds of food that our ancestors ate. I can wave my hands and give most people advice and it mostly works; however, lately I've had vegetarians ask me about how to modify their diet. The answer there is much harder.

Rather than be a religious zealot and say that you must eat my way or be a failure, I'm always trying to find ways to shift the dial towards a Lindy Compatible diet for everyone. So what do I recommend for vegetarians:

Eat lots of eggs

Obviously, this option is not for hard-core vegans.  It's possible to eat lots of eggs and meet the your protein requirements. I do this every morning, myself - 3-4 eggs every day for the last 10 years, and I haven't died of a heart attack. Don't be afraid of eggs.

Grain-like seeds

The argument against grain-like seeds like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat is that they behave more like grains than like nuts.  While seeds like sunflower seeds contain mostly fat and protein with just a small amount of carbohydrates, these grain-like seeds contain mostly carbs.

But carbs aren't the only problem.  Grain-like seeds have other negative properties of grains: Quinoa, for example includes chemical defense systems that irritate the gut. It may technically be a seed, but it still behaves like a grain.

Soak or sprout your legumes

This seems to be the place where hard-core Paleo folks start to disagree with the Weston A. Price folks. If you tolerate it, then soaking and sprouting legumes can help break down the nasty things in them. Legumes have two strikes against them: they can irritate the gut just like grains, but more importantly, they can actually behave like anti-nutrients. That is, some of the things in legumes can actually irreversibly bind to nutrients during digestion and keep your body from absorbing them.  Soaking and sprouting them will help breakdown these internal defenses that come with plant-based foods.

Eating "Paleo" is not about exact food choices, it's about eating in a way that's inspired by what our ancestors ate, and in the same style they likely ate them. They didn't have packaged prepared food, they didn't have microwaves and instant oats. They had to spend time preparing their food - and I think that's the hardest part of eating "Paleo."  You can be a Paleo vegetarian, but you can't buy the convenience foods, you have to do the same amount of work as if you hunted your meals. Likewise, you can't be a Paleo meat eater and buy convenience foods too - those meat bars are processed too!



Warm-up

row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips

Strength

snatch 5-3-2-3x2

Accessory/Skill

2 windmills between strength sets

Group Workout

Spend 15 minutes working up to a new kettlebell snatch max

then

6 rounds:
10 goblet squats
10 kettlebell swings
rest :45

then 

20 PVC partial pull over



Subscribe


Sign up for classes


Strength Metrics


Get Xero Shoes

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Are you interested in a 7-day carb test?


In Robb Wolf's Wired To Eat (it's in the gym, feel free to borrow it), there's a section describing the 7-day carb test. Why do the test? The simple story is "carbs are teh evil" and we shouldn't eat them. But, as always, it's more complex than that.

Rather than saying that carbs are bad, it's more precise to say that elevated insulin is bad. Carbs usually cause an increase in insulin, but the response is different in everyone. The 7-day test is a way to find out how you respond to different types of carbs. It will tell you what you can safely eat and what will cause the diabetes.

So how does it work? Well you get to eat carbs and stab yourself in the finger. The goal is to start each day with a measured amount of carbohydrate of a different kind and you measure your blood sugar over time. From that you can determine how you respond to different carbohydrate sources - which ones are fine for you and which ones you shouldn't touch.

I'm going to buy a glucometer for the gym and you get to use it under one condition - you need to write up your daily experience and give me the data. That way we can share it all week as blog posts for everyone to read and learn from. I already have one taker, so you'll need to get in line.

Aren't we an awesome gym? Where else can I ask you to write my blog posts for me in return for your blood.

Seriously though, this is a great way to learn how you react to different foods and it's all for the sake of your health.

I sure hope I'm allowed to eat ice cream, and maybe cheese stakes.



Warm-up

row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips

Strength

push press 5-3-2-3x2

Accessory/Skill

5 Bulgarian split squats between strength sets

Group Workout

5 minutes of the following kettlebell complex.  
Do not put the kettlebell down and work for smooth transitions.
swing clean, swing, snatch (R)
swing clean, swing, snatch (L)

then

100 weighted lunges.
Choose your weight.
We have sandbags, kettlebells, and bumper plates.
Pick your poison.



Subscribe


Sign up for classes


Strength Metrics


Get Xero Shoes

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our programming covers 6 time zones


I love data. One thing I like to track is who is following our strength program. This week's program is currently being implemented from as far east as Massachusetts and as far west as Hawaii.  Maybe when Wojciech and Wouter head back home they can represent Europe. I like seeing who implements what we put out there.

I was complaining earlier this week that I noticed some local gyms who copy our programming. It's true that there are only so many things you can do for workouts, but when you copy our phrasing and notation, then I know you're copying us. But it doesn't bother me too much; at least it makes me feel good that we're doing something right and people recognize that. Of course, the academic in me wants the citation.

The reason I put our programming out there for everyone to see is to show everyone what it is that we do. I want folks to follow us online for a while and realize that we really do know what we're doing. Then, when they decide to walk through the door, they are already on board with our approach.



Warm-up

row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips

Strength

front squat 5-3-3-3x3

Accessory/Skill

2 TGUs between strength sets - keep them light as a warm-up for what follows...

Group Workout

6 rounds of the complex (1L, 1R) 
kettlebell clean and jerk
overhead squat
turkish get up

Challenge yourself with a heavy weight.  

then

Accumulate 50 push ups and 20 pull ups.
Scaled to full ability as needed.

then

2 minute double kettlebell rack hold



Subscribe


Sign up for classes


Strength Metrics


Get Xero Shoes

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Difficult not Brutal

Ok, so maybe prowlers are brutal - but we don't do them very often.
Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe it's confirmation bias, but in the past couple of weeks I have listened to a couple of podcasts and had a couple of other conversations about the difference between difficult and brutal workouts.

One context where I heard the difficult versus brutal comparison was in training for martial arts. Some places you go you have to fight every day and get beat up, and others take it too safe and you just do the movements without a real opponent. Neither of those approaches work. You need just enough difficulty (and in the context of martial arts, a live opponent) to challenge you, but you can't get beat up all the time. I thought that provided some insight into training effectiveness.

From what I've seen in the fitness industry, you either get beat up all the time with a brutal workout or you just do the "safe" machines that take you through the movements but don't actually challenge you and make you stronger. What you need is a live opponent (a kettlebell?) that you have to struggle with, but you have to be careful not to go over the top with intensity every day.

Most what you read on social media and advertisements for gyms is how brutal and intense their workouts are. No one can continually do brutal workouts; the constant wear on your body will lead you to injury and the constant wear on your brain will lead you to burnout. Your movements and reps may be constantly varied, but if you're always doing a 7 to 15 minute all-out workout every day, the effect is the same. It may be fun getting that adrenaline rush every workout, but it's not sustainable to have a workout like that every day. We aim to provide workouts that challenge your strength and technique, but that are not needlessly (and ceaselessly) brutal.



Warm-up

row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips

Strength

deadlift 5-3-3-3x3

Accessory/Skill

5 heavy swings between strength sets

Group Workout

10-8-6-4-2 power clean, increase weight each round
1 farmers walk to red door between rounds

then

50-40-30-20-10 kettlebell swing ladder, increase weight each round




Subscribe


Sign up for classes


Strength Metrics


Get Xero Shoes

Monday, August 14, 2017

This week in strength...


How are your t-shirt designs coming? We have lots of really talented designers at the gym, I'm expecting a very good competition.




Warm-up

row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips

Strength

squat 5-3-3-3x3

Accessory/Skill

2 pull-ups + 2 dips between strength sets

Group Workout

4 rounds:
5L, 5R kettlebell 50/50 Press 

then 

100 lunge holding a bumper plate overhead 
Rest ONLY as needed

then

2 minute heavy single kettlebell rack hold
Switch arms as needed



Subscribe


Sign up for classes


Strength Metrics


Get Xero Shoes

Friday, August 11, 2017

Salt is the new Coconut Oil

My explanation on why salt intake doesn't affect blood pressure, but no one believes differential equations.
I should just write a template article that goes like this: You know that food that the authorities are telling you will kill you? Well it turns out that it's actually protective in the exact way they say it's dangerous.

Rather than rehash the old arguments on why the medical community is wrong about saturated fat, we can do the same thing on why they're all wrong on salt.  For me, just looking at the math, it's obvious that sodium intake has nothing to do with blood pressure. But it's hard to argue chemical kinetics when most people hate chemistry.

I've picked up pieces of the puzzle over the years and basically came to the conclusion that high insulin (from too much sugar) drives salt hording in the kidneys which drives the high blood pressure. But what I didn't know until today is that a low salt diet will drive insulin resistance which drives high insulin that drives salt hording which drives high blood pressure.

What? I thought high salt intake drove high blood pressure, that's what my doctor told me. As usual, it looks like the research community has it backwards and that low salt can drive high blood pressure.

This makes perfect sense. Your body has tons of feedback mechanisms to try to maintain homeostasis. So if your body notices low salt, it has to try to keep what it has - salt is super important to your biochemistry - so it ticks on a little bit of insulin resistance to tell the kidneys to hold on to the salt a little longer. Unfortunately using insulin resistance as the feedback mechanism, you are now causing chronic hyperinsulinemia which affects your body fat storage. That's right folks, a low salt diet can cause you to gain fat!

So when we talk about overweight and obese folks who have "metabolic syndrome" we see a collection of symptoms that include both insulin resistance and high blood pressure. It actually doesn't matter how we got there, but we get caught in a feedback loop where listening to the medical advice makes it worse.

Case 1: Western diet (high sugar, high vegetable oil) causes insulin resistance. You gain weight. Your doctor tell you to eat a heart friendly low saturated fat (high sugar, high veggie oil), low salt diet. Your body sees the low salt, makes more insulin resistance. You keep trying more and more of the same thing and everything keeps getting worse.

Case 2: You eat a low salt diet. Your body notices that, starts a little insulin resistance to hoard salt. Your blood pressure goes up. You see your doctor, he says to eat a heart friendly low saturated fat (high sugar, high veggie oil), low salt diet. Your body starts storing fat. You keep trying more and more of the same thing and everything keeps getting worse.

It doesn't matter where you start, once things get out of whack, and you follow the conventional "healthy" advice, you'll get into a cycle where things keep getting worse.

For a more in-depth discussion on this, go read this post by Amy Berger over at Tuit Nutrition - she's really good at translating the nutrition literature. I tend to simplify and gloss over things, and she's better with the details.

tl;dr - Do exactly the opposite of what the medical community tells you (for chronic illness).



Warm-up

row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips

Strength

power snatch 3-2-4x2

Accessory/Skill

5 push-ups between strength sets

Group Workout

6 rounds:
8 goblet squats
8 kettlebell swings

then 

4 rounds:
15 bodyweight row
3L, 3R kettlebell snatch

then

2 minute 1 arm bodyweight row hold
switch arms as needed 




Subscribe


Sign up for classes


Strength Metrics


Get Xero Shoes