Holiday Schedule

Next week is Christmas week. I always forget about it until it’s too late to remind you of our schedule. I’m on the ball this year. We’ve all updated our schedule and here’s what’s available next week:

Holiday Schedule

Blake has cancelled all of his classes next week. If you’re a regular with Blake, be sure to come to my class. I’d like to meet you - and contrary to what you’ve probably heard, I’m not that scary.

Randy and I will not be here on Christmas day.

Be sure to sign up for a class ahead of time. I won’t show up if no one is enrolled in class!

We’ve programmed our workouts all through the holiday, so if you’re travelling and can find a gym, you know what to do.

Michael Deskevich
Even a Little Weight Training May Cut the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
 If lifting weights is good for preventing a stroke, your brain will like that!

If lifting weights is good for preventing a stroke, your brain will like that!

I saw this article in the Failing New York Times, and I don’t know what to think about it.

The conclusions presented align with what I believe: lifting weights is good for you - it helps prevent heart attack and stroke death. Score 1 for confirmation bias.

But then when you look at the details, it’s just a big observational study. And it relies on self-report, which we all know is bad. I can’t even remember what I did yesterday.

And of course you don’t know if it goes the other way around: folks who are healthy may just lift more weights.

So I can’t in good faith say that the study reported here is good. But I do want you to work out. Especially the lazy strong way we do it - I have a much longer blog post in the works about how the lazy strong approach really is the right way.

I guess that’s a long way of saying - get in here and work out, I know it’s good for you, and here’s a poorly done study that shows that :)

Michael Deskevich
Mitochondrial mediated cellular apoptosis

I had to choose between that headline or the click-bait “HIIT will kill you, literally!” and, of course, I choose the one that’s worse for marketing…

Anyway - I was in a discussion forum a bit last week and we got into a discussion about why I believe that AGT is good for your, or more specifically why HIIT is bad.

It was a friendly discussion where we were just looking for some good science to promote AGT. I said that I didn’t have anything specific and then I went searching for something - I mean, I do believe that the glycolytic acid bath does cause mitochondrial and cellular damage, so I should be able to find something that supports my case, right?

I did find this 2004 article in Nature (before Nature went all anti-science bending to the whim of the grievance scholars).

The summary is that lowering pH (increasing acid content) in cells and between cells starts apoptosis - programmed cell death. Basically, add acid -> kill cells. And it appears that the mitochondria are a key player in this game.

So I’m happy - don’t let your cells build up with large amounts of acid. Where does acid come from? Burning sugar - glycolysis.

I’m sure in small amounts it’s a hometic stressor that makes you stronger - but at some point you’ll be causing damage.

I was happy, so I posted that to the discussion. And the reply was something like: “there was no mention of exercise in that paper.”

An ah ha moment! I think this is where we need to think about science and what questions it can answer. At the biochemical level, you’d never ask a question about HIIT vs AGT and cell death. That’s too specific. You could ask what biochemical reaction happen - and we know that. AGT doesn’t run the glycolysis pathway very much, HIIT does.

We know the full biochemical path of glycolysis - it’s the most fundamental energy producing cycle in nature.

We know that glycolysis produces acid.

So then the next question is a more general one: what happens to cells in a low pH (high acid) environment. That’s what this paper answers: death.

So why don’t we ask the question “does HIIT kill you?” We can’t! No ethics committee would ever let you run an experiment where you thought that one of the protocols was dangerous. So we aren’t even allowed to ask if HIIT is dangerous. But we can put all of the pieces together and surmise that if not dying is your goal - you should be on a more AGT-like training program.

Michael Deskevich
Dear Strength Coaches: Please Don't Prescribe Olympic Weightlifting Movements
 Nothing to see here. Mid-distance runner doing snatch high pulls. Move along if this frightens you.

Nothing to see here. Mid-distance runner doing snatch high pulls. Move along if this frightens you.

One of my masters athletes who rows, does triathlons and road racing sent me an email from a rowing strength coach she follows.

I don’t use Olympic lifts--the clean, snatch, and their variations--in my rowing programs for a few reasons.

First and foremost, for rowers, I feel that they require too much teaching and training time to develop good enough technique to actually be able to use enough weight to stimulate gains in strength and power. I prefer to keep strength training as simple as possible, so that rowers can focus their technical efforts on all of the technical mastery of rowing. Just like rowing, Olympic weightlifting is its own sport, and Olympic weightlifters dedicate their entire training lives to mastery of the clean and snatch lifts. While you don’t need to be a total expert to still train these lifts, you do have to be very proficient in them before you can really start adding weight to the bar. Then, you have another ways to go before you’re using weights even remotely close to your squat, front squat, and deadlift, and we have to hope that this skill and strength will carryover to improved rowing performance.

Two of my pet peeve "lazy strength coach" cliches are in this email: 1) Olympic Weightlifting is a sport and thus the movements are not useful to other athletes 2) The snatch, clean and jerk and related exercises are too technical and can't be trained heavy enough soon enough by non-weightlifters to get any benefit.

Let me address these red herrings in order:

1) Yes, Olympic Weightlifting is a sport. So what? Pretty much all the implements we use in the weight room are attached to one weight sport or another. Kettlebells are an endurance strength sport, squats, deadlifts and bench presses are all contested in Power Lifting. Some strength coaches use Atlas Stones, Yoke Carries, and so on, despite the fact that their athletes will not likely be contesting Strong Man competitions. The balance fall into body building by and large, also a sport.

Every strength coach worth their salt knows that strength training is not a substitute for sports skill training: it is supplemental and should be complimentary. These movements are at root all simply exercises. The concern should be whether an exercise offers benefits to athletes that other exercises do not.

2) Yes, the snatch and clean and jerk and assistance exercises are technical and take a while to learn. But then, so do the bench press, squat, deadlift and any other exercise worth doing. All exercises require good technique and some basic athleticism to perform. It is clear to me that if the athlete has to up their athleticism somewhat to learn a new movement that's a plus.

No one learns to squat with 300 lbs. And every weightlifter I know started with a broomstick or PVC pipe. It takes years to get good at the Olympic lifts. But it takes years to get good at squats too. Just as long, actually. But we aren't doing the lifts to be competitive in the lifts. We are using them for what they can do for our athletes. If you think it takes too long to teach your athlete how to power clean, I will bet dollars to donuts your athletes don't squat very well either.

The beauty of the Olympic lifts is that just learning and practicing the technique offers great benefits, including teaching the athlete to recruit more of the muscle fiber she already has. The weightlifting movements are uniquely useful for training and developing key neuro-muscular qualities, elasticity and reactive strength, all of which contribute to improving rate of force development and speed. Sure, all trainees should squat, press, deadlift and develop basic "absolute" strength. But it's not an either-or, its both-and. No one is born knowing how to barbell squat. You gotta learn to squat, you might as well learn how to power clean too.

Teachable moment: Looky here - If we ruled out resistance training movements because they were 1) also sports themselves and 2) because you had to teach safe, proper technique, what would be left for your athlete to do?

I have been teaching the weightlifting movements for almost 20 years, to many athletes who wanted to be weightlifters, and even more productively, perhaps, to athletes in other sports trying to find an edge. I have a substantial track record (no pun intended) of athlete who are HS State Track Champs, Club Cross Country contenders, Olympic Trials Marathon qualifiers, Pro National Champion and World Team champs. High school students who started with me as HS Frosh and made it to Div I programs; all of whom improved their respective games using my strength programs. And please note: none of them had ever snatched or clean jerked and most had never squatted before working with me. If you don't have the time to work towards excellence, then, well, you just don't have time to be excellent. Many of us don't, I suppose. (Where is that channel changer?)

So please. If you are a strength coach and "don't like" the weightlifting movements, don't ask your athletes to try them. Like the author above, tell them in an email that you are committed to under serving and short changing them on their strength, speed and power development because you have a prejudice about movements you don't fully understand. I will be happy to continue to sit back and enjoy watching my athletes dominate yours.

On the other hand, if you do care about your athletes and want to help them reach their full potential and you are near Boulder, CO, I will be happy to help you take your athletes to the next level for you. Drop me a note. I do workshops, private training and group lessons.

In the end it's not about trying to rationalize or justify your lack of understanding. You only end up embarrassing yourself with your peers who know better. It's ultimately about your athletes. And, believe it or not, a lot of them know better too.

Randy Hauer
New year's marketing is ramping up!

My social media feed is packed full of advertisements for gyms. For some reason The Algorithm thinks I’m interested in fitness, but also doesn’t realize that I already own a gym and don’t need to join one.

Anyway, this is the most I’ve ever seen the gym marketing pushed. My guess is that the industry is really planning some big money grab.

Anyway, if you’re thinking of joining in the new year and want a very non-traditional gym, this is the place to be! This is also the perfect time to check us out. As the holidays come up, the classes are a bit less crowded. We have our wait list so that we can give good attention to new folks as they join the classes, so plan accordingly if you want to get a fresh start in the new year.

Current members: remember, you’ll get the referral shirt if you get your friends in here. I’ll be placing the order early next year.

Michael Deskevich
I'm back
 yippee ki yay

yippee ki yay

I’m back from my week of travels. Hope everyone was nice to Blake and Randy while I was gone.

Special Thanks to them for taking care of the gym while I was gone. It’s great to have folks that I can trust with the gym while I’m out.

Is is just me, or does everyone feel like they’re in Die Hard 2 when they hear Christmas music in an airport?

Michael Deskevich
See, I don't need more kettlebells

We do lots of stuff with heavy bells. Often folks complain that the 48 kilo bell isn’t quite enough. I can’t get anything bigger than a 48 locally, and I’m not paying shipping for anything bigger, so you’re stuck with what we have.

But as Randy always says, you can use two bells. Next time someone complains that they need more than a 48 for farmer’s walks, you’ll be getting a second bell to carry.

Michael Deskevich
Ergodicity and Survival

I’ve been thinking more about Monday and Tuesday’s blog posts and how they relate to ergodicity.

What is ergodicity? The simple statement is that the space average is the same as the time average. Which means that if you look at one point over time you’ll get the same answer if you look at all of space at one time.

That’s very convenient when trying to figure out something - it’s hard to run an experiment when you have to wait for all of time to see what the answer is. It’s much quicker to look everywhere at once.

Since I come from a theoretical chemistry background, we spend a lot of time trying to proving that a system is ergodic. For molecules, that’s usually true. But for people, it’s not. And the funny thing is that our cultural heuristic is that everything is ergodic - It’s not! We have a bad set of assumptions.

I wrote about this once before in the context of strength training. The place where ergodicity breaks down is when being wrong takes you out of the game. This is also what makes a population better and stronger (at the cost of individuals).

In the context of strength training, if you do the wrong thing and get injured, it’s bad for you. But for the population, we can learn what you did and not repeat that (unless you’re stuck in the conventional wisdom that sore shoulders and knees is a good thing because you’re working hard). That’s why I’ve gravitated to a kettlebell-heavy programming style. They tend to get better results with a lower risk of taking you out of the game.

When the cost of running an experiment is really low and the payoff for being right is huge, taking advantage of non-ergodicity is the best way to win. Think about VC firms in the valley. They invest in everything that comes their way in the hopes that they run into one Uber that explodes.

It’s harder for us in the health and fitness world because the cost of experimenting is a little more. But the internet can help us because the world can see all the experiments and see what fails (USDA nutrition advice, e.g.). That’s the one place that CrossFit did it correctly. Instead of having top-down franchise-like control, they let all the gyms experiment and we saw what succeeded and who destroyed their shoulders by too many kipping pull-ups.

The problem was that what was considered “success” in CrossFit was producing games athlete, not making regular people fit and healthy.

In fact, most of the things we know comes from running many low cost experiments and harvesting the winners - as opposed to directed research in search of a specific answer to a specific problem. The narrative is that science goes looking for something, but in reality it’s more random tinkering finds something and then science goes back to figure out why it worked.

That’s why I run lots of experiments on programming. I usually have 2-3 experimental programs running at any given time for my advanced students. Things that survive the advanced students come to the regular classes. If it’s no fun or not terribly effective, I throw it away and we don’t see it again. If we like it, I remember and bring it back.

That’s why we’re doing Olympic lifting this fall. Everyone loved that and wanted it back, so we’re doing it. We’ll experiment with a new idea in January and see how that goes. And then I have some of my favorites to revisit in the spring cued up.

Michael Deskevich
The Persistence of Medical Evangelism in Modern Secular Vegetarianism
 Both Count Chocula and Tony the Tiger arose from religiously inspired places like this one, run by Dr. Harvey Kellogg.

Both Count Chocula and Tony the Tiger arose from religiously inspired places like this one, run by Dr. Harvey Kellogg.

My guess is that most folks in Boulder, especially transplants form other cities, have no idea that the favorite local hike, Mt Sanitas, is named for a Seventh Day Adventist Sanitarium established there in the 1860's by cereal magnate and SDA member Dr. Harvey Kellogg, who himself was a follower of Sylvester Graham, the inventor of the supposedly libido reducing graham cracker. Here's a brief history of Sanitas from the local paper.

For these guys, (including Grape Nuts inventor Charles Post) meat eating promoted not only disease but masturbation and other "fevers" that spiritual folk needed to avoid. Conveniently for their business interests, God told them that cereal and other plant based processed foods (Peanut Butter!) were salvation from those idle hands seeking entertainment in the devil's playground.

Modern vegetarianism thus has no early scientific foundation to recommend it as a valid nutritional option. Vegetarianism was and continues to be a product of "medical evangelism." Early nutrition research at Loma Linda University, the SDA college, was discouraged, “if you find the diets of vegetarians are deficient, it will embarrass us.” It is difficult, then, to avoid the conclusion that Adventist nutrition research is probably riddled with bias, the data intentionally or not made to fit the desired end result; especially when you believe God is sponsoring the research. Since much subsequent pro-vegetarian research takes as a point of departure conclusions based on SDA cohorts, the dietetic institutions and nutrition experts promoting plant based diets are either unknowingly, or worse, knowingly-but-covertly, shilling for the SDA in one way, shape, or form.

Take the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND, until recently the American Dietetic Association, the ADA) founded way back in 1916 by Harvey Kellogg acolyte and SDA proselyte Lenna Francis Cooper. While it makes no specific mention of its SDA roots on its website the AND still has an annual prize and lecture dedicated to the memory of Cooper.

Interestingly, the "celebrity nutrition expert" Dr. David Katz, a proponent of plant based diets, is a former recipient of the Cooper Lecture Prize. Even more interesting is that he is a founding member of the True Health Initiative, one of the many lifestyle organizations in business globally which are supported by the SDA or by an affiliate of the SDA. (A member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, THI fails to mention its Loma Linda sponsorship and the sponsorship of several processed grain food companies, albeit once removed.)

Now, if you don't think SDA has a massive influence on pubic health discourse and current dietary mythology ("Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," and "Meat causes cancer," for example are both early SDA dietary slogans), consider the number of hospitals it operates in the USA and if that is not enough, the number of educational institutions it runs globally (in 2016, 8,515 schools with 1.95 million students) it is the largest protestant educational system and the overall the second largest integrated network of schools in the world. In the world! It would be a real challenge to find a popular grain based food anywhere in the world that is not owned by the SDA church. (England: Weet-a-Bix and Australia: Weet-bix, both cereal brands owned by Sanitarium foods, wholly owned by, you guessed it...)

This isn't a knock on religion in general, or the SDA in particular. Nearly all religions proselytize and think they are doing God's work. It's just a heads up. Anti-evolutionists think they are doing God's work too. Adventists think they are doing God's work by promoting vegetarianism. And that's fine, just don't call it science.

If you are a vegetarian or thinking about becoming one, wouldn't you want to know it was invented by religious cereal magnates leveraging their commercial products with the intention, due to their particular religious bias, of making folks sexually moribund? “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.” (Ellen G. White, "Ministry and Healing")

There is virtually no vegetarian dietary advice that has not been colored, knowingly or unknowingly, by SDA medical evangelism (Wein et al 2014). In the USA, the AND has a monopoly on who can and cannot practice clinical dietetics and is a major proponent of vegetarian diets. In 1988 it produced its official position paper advocating for vegetarianism and it was hardly an unbiased, scientific publication: "Of the nine authors and reviewers of the ADA’s 1988 vegetarian position paper, five were Adventist vegetarians and six took part in Loma Linda University’s First International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition in 1987." (Banta et al 2018) (The Banta article is new, and very enlightening, if not entirely supportive of my positions here.)

So eat what you want, but please, consider the evidence that vegetarianism in the USA and elsewhere was, and still is, informed by religiously biased, not scientifically rigorous, information.

"The meat diet is the serious question. Shall human beings live on the flesh of dead animals? The answer, from the light that God has given, is No, decidedly No. The testimony of examiners is that very few animals are free from disease, and that the practice of eating largely of meat is contracting diseases of all kinds—cancers, tumors, scrofula, tuberculosis, and numbers of other like affections."

Ellen G. White, as revealed to her by God almighty.

Banta, J., Lee, J., Hodgkin, G., Yi, Z., Fanica, A., Sabate, J., … Sabate, J. (2018). The Global Influence of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Diet. Religions, 9(9), 251.

Wein, M., Rajaram, S., Sabate, J., (2014) Preface to the Sixth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100 (supp 1), 311-312.

Randy Hauer
The Lindy Effect and the Wisdom of Crowds

Randy and I were discussing Tom Naughton’s latest keynote address to the Weston A. Price folks.

The gist of the talk is that the diversity of ideas that come from the “crowd” means that the right answer bubbles up rather than relying on the “anointed experts” to give you the correct top down answers.

It’s a great theory and really speaks to my libertarian philosophy. But some folks think “if there not filter to who’s part of the crowd, who’s to say who’s right”. The crowd can be wrong too.

Sort of. But not really.

An individual in the crowd can be wrong. But the effect of their wrongness is limited to their reach in the population.

That is, the Lindy Effect applies to all kinds of ideas. If an idea promotes survival then the idea will survive. But here’s the rub: if the survival advantage is small and takes a generation to become obvious, then it may not really help you - even if it helps the long-term survival of the population.

Take, for example, the USDA dietary advice. I think we all agree that it’s wrong. But even though it’s catastrophically wrong, as Randy points out, only 30% of the population is obese. That is, even with totally shitty advice, 70% of folks are able to survive on it - the human body is surprisingly resilient. Folks are sick and weak and not living their best, but they are still living.

We’re starting to see that the (damn) millennials and the generations after them are the first generations of children in the US that are living less long and less well than their parents! We’ve always had health and life expectancy of of children to be better than their parents - that’s progress. But now we’re going backwards.

So we now have some top-down advice that’s wrong. But the time constant of the feedback is so long, so we don’t notice the deleterious effects until it’s too late. The folks that listen to the USDA will have a survival disadvantage. Switching to a more ancestrally appropriate diet is better - it won’t really help you live longer. it will help the culture over time.

It takes a long time for a survival advantage to win, and a short time for incorrect top-down advice to ruin everything. We can learn more from history than we want to admit.

Michael Deskevich
Time is the ultimate judge

How do I know our AGT and A+A training works? Really, I don’t, but I have a good set of heuristics that point towards it being more right than not.

I got into a conversation over at the StrongFirst forums about if I had any good evidence of why AGT is the right way to do it and why I’m so passionate about it. My reasoning is that, from what I’ve seen, people last longer on AGT-style training than anything else.

What is the Lindy Effect? Stealing from Wikipedia:

The Lindy effect is a concept that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy. Where the Lindy effect applies, mortality rate decreases with time.

Basically, the longer something survives in a culture, the higher the probability that it was that thing that contributed to the survival of the people in that culture. This is why things like religious dietary restrictions exist - they gave a survival advantage to the cultures that practiced them, so those cultures thrived.

Ok, so what’s that have to do with AGT? I’ve participated in many different styles of training over the years - from long distance cycling and running, high-intensity CrossFit-like stuff, high volume weight training, and the list goes on.

In general, I’m pretty resilient and can stick with a modality for a pretty long time. I had a particularly long stay in the cult of CrossFit. One thing that I noticed was that training partners kept coming and going. Very few people could stay with the high volume and high intensity for long.

I finally burned out on HIIT too, and I stumbled across what I later learned was called A+A work - which is the stuff I have you do now. Then when it was time to open our own gym, I had to decide the basis of our programming. It’s been basically A+A since the start. Maybe earlier it was a little more glycolytic than it should have been - I’ve been learning and tweaking constantly.

Regardless, the one thing that I’ve noticed is the extreme longevity of our members. That’s what speaks to me as evidence that we’re doing the right thing.

A+A style training gives you a higher survival probability, which itself is evidence that A+A promotes survival - at least according to the Lindy Effect.

The disadvantage of A+A is that noticeable changes come slowly and you don’t realize that you’re getting better. It’s hard to convince people that they workout that didn’t feel like it was hard actually did something good for them. So the initial sale to the HIIT-friendly folks is pretty hard. But patience and persistence pays off.

Michael Deskevich
More on the Super Total Meet Program

Earlier this week I announced that Randy is giving us all a program to prepare for the Lord of the Lifts in February.

The link to the program is here. (Password is on the board at the gym.)

It’s not to late to get started, you can work around spotty attendance over the holidays.

The volume for this program is kind of high, though it’s only programmed for 3 days a week. On the bigger volume days (Monday, Wednesday), you can split it up into two days: quick lifts on one day and power lifts on the second day. That will give you a 5 day program that doesn’t beat you down too much. Either approach is fine, do what fits your schedule the best.

Michael Deskevich
The Evolution of our Plant-Based dietary guidelines

I don’t have a good rant for today. This article showed up in my twitter feed and I spent all evening reading it.

It highlights the whole history of pseudoscience on how the notion of “plant-based” diets became universally accepted as the healthy way to eat.

It’s a great tale of religious fervor, money, and government. Remember this the next time someone says “because science!” When the government and money gets involved in science, the results are always skewed towards what the funding agencies want it to say - not the truth. Outside of theoretical physics, there’s no non-political science anymore and you can’t trust what even the most respected journals publish.

Michael Deskevich
How to Keep the Weight Off During the Holidays

In Chapter Five of her book, The Secret Life of Fat, author Sylvia Tara discusses the science of why it is often so hard to keep weight off once it is lost. She cites research (Leibel, Rosenbaum, & Hirsch, 1995) that shows that once weight is lost, the metabolism slows down such that one has to eat 10-15% less and exercise 25% more to maintain that weight than someone who weighs the same but who was never fat. (So, obvious as it may seem, not gaining weight in the first place is the best way to avoid struggling with your weight after having lost it.)

Fortunately, the findings from a recently completed randomized controlled trial on low-carb diets appears to offer some cause for hope. Speaking from personal experience, not only has the low-carb approach been the most successful way for me to have lost excess pounds, it has also been the most effective strategy I've found for keeping the weight off: Even with little to no exercise. (I would hasten to add that not exercising is not ideal, on several fronts. I would be exercising more and more vigorously save for my arthritic hips, but since I can't, having a dependable, easy to follow, effective diet regimen has really helped.)

The study (Ebbeling et al., 2018) demonstrated that the low-carb cohort burned 209 to 278 more calories daily than the groups eating the same number of calories in higher carb proportions. The low-carb group also showed a substantial and beneficial hormonal response. Ghrelin (produced in the stomach, it makes you hungry, lowers your energy expenditure and enhances fat deposition) was lower in the low-carb group.

The bottom line is, no matter how you lost your weight to begin with, going low carb for maintenance may provide a metabolic advantage which offsets the metabolic disadvantage losing weight caused.

The Calories-in-Calories-out crowd (whom are the rough equivalent of flat-earthers) would argue that neither Leibel nor Ebbeling could possibly be correct. Your Dr. or clinical nutritionist are probably in this bunch. If you have a weight problem, conventional nutrition still insists you are either gluttonous, slothful, or lacking willpower. But consider the first sentence of the abstract in Leibel and make up your own mind about which explanation fits better, "No current treatment for obesity reliably sustains weight loss, perhaps because compensatory metabolic processes resist the maintenance of the altered body weight."

Speaking as someone who is gluttonous, slothful, and lacks willpower, I still lost weight and have maintained the loss for several years now on a low-carb regimen.

So, if you are dreading the holiday weight gain, just avoid the sugar and starches and beer (I know, I know) and enjoy the turkey, ham and green vegetables. And maybe some tequila.

Leibel, R. L., Rosenbaum, M., & Hirsch, J. (1995). Changes in Energy Expenditure Resulting from Altered Body Weight. New England Journal of Medicine, 332(10), 621–628.

Ebbeling, C. B., Feldman, H. A., Klein, G. L., Wong, J. M. W., Bielak, L., Steltz, S. K., … Ludwig, D. S. (2018). Effects of a low carbohydrate diet on energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance: randomized trial. BMJ,

Randy Hauer
Super Total Meet
lordofthelifts (1).png

Our friends at Denver Barbell Club are hosting a USAW + USAPL meet in February. Saturday will be a sanctioned weightlifting meet (you don’t need to be a USAW member to participate). Sunday will be a sanctioned raw USAPL powerlifting meet (you don’t need to be a USAPL member). Winner is the super total of all five lifts.

I don’t know if they’re doing weight classes or if they’re going to do it similar to a Sinclair meet. But it sounds like it’s supposed to be pretty big, so I assume they’ll have enough competitors to have real weight classes.

Randy is considering taking his weightlifters down. They already squat and pull a lot in their normal weightlifting training, so they only need a small extra focus on the bench press. He graciously offered to write a program for anybody in the S&C class that wants to participate.

There’s almost enough time for a full 12-week macro cycle if we start now. If you’re interested in getting hold of Randy’s program, let me know. You can train during S&C class or if you want the full experience, you can train with Randy during Weightlifting club hours.

Even if you don’t think you’d be competitive (though, you probably will be - we spend so much time on all of these lifts, you’re more prepared than you think) - be sure to take advantage of this. It will give you the opportunity to work one of Randy’s programs. He’s a much more intuitive programmer than me, and you’ll learn a lot from him.

You can learn a ton from working with The Maestro for the next 12 weeks!

Link to register for the meet is here.

From their website:

The weekend will start with a sanctioned USA Weightlifting meet on Saturday followed by a Powerlifting meet on Sunday. Athletes must compete in both meets to earn a Super Total and be eligible for prize packages. And trust us, you want these prizes.

This year we are excited to announce we will have a Female & Male Youth Division. To be eligible for the Youth Division prizes, athletes must be under the age of 15 at time of competition. ALL youth lifters will compete during the women's session. When registering for the event, please purchase a Female contender ticket. Minimum lift attempt is 11.7kg.

We'll have music, food, an amazing announcer and a full recovery area, staffed by the best in Denver.

We have opened up a few spots for lifters that only want to compete in one of the competitions, but these are meant to be for people who need totals for a specific qualification purpose, so just do the whole damn thing.

Michael Deskevich
Give the gift of strength!

What’s better than waiting in line to buy a cheap TV that you don’t need? Buying a Barbell Strategy membership for a friend!

Amy and I thought that we should offer a deal for those of you who believe in us so much that you want to bring your friends and family in. Until the end of the year, any member can buy a new 1-month membership at half price for a friend. And of course, if they stay after their first month you’re eligible for the coveted referral shirt!

Fine print - this is only for current members to buy and friends and family have to be new to the gym. No gaming the system!

Michael Deskevich
Holiday Schedule

No evening S&C class Thursday and Friday. Blake will have the gym open for the Morning and Noon classes if you need to get a workout in.

Sign up ahead of time, if no one is signed up then the gym won’t be open.

Have a great holiday and make sure your feast is paleo.

Michael Deskevich