Interesting…I love science

http://nyti.ms/13Emwi1

NYTimes: Is Barefoot-Style Running Best? New Studies Cast Doubt

Recent studies examining just how the body actually responds when we run in our birthday shoes or skimpy footwear suggest that for many people, running without shoes or in minimalist footwear does not make running easier, speedier or less injurious.

Beating a dead horse…

Ok, the Lance Armstrong scandal has died down somewhat, but I just want to ask this: Where is the deafening political outcry over this heinous immoral educational cheating? Where are the front page headlines attacking the 35% + of ALL COLLEGE STUDENTS who routinely cheat their way through college by taking these brain STEROIDS? Where are the congressional committees investigating students and the college/universities that facilitate this abuse? After all, how is a “clean” scholar supposed to “compete” with these “brain juiced” cheaters for lucrative scholarships that could save a student a hundred thousand or more dollars in tuition costs?

Really, how is it different?

It’s not.  It’s the same damn thing.  And the celebrity athlete should be no more vilified than these desperate students who are simply trying to do whatever it takes to compete and succeed in the world their parents created for them.

Just saying…
http://nyti.ms/11UgdY7

NYTimes: Attention-Deficit Drugs Face New Campus Rules

Misuse of attention deficit drugs has become a problem on campuses, and colleges are reconsidering how — and even if — their student health offices should try to diagnose A.D.H.D.

Atheism and the Martial Arts

The problems with magical thinking…not really related to my blog, but understanding the difference between reality science based training and magical faith based beliefs is important. The lesson is the same. If only bad training could punch you in the face.. Read the interview through the part about the two video’s. then watch the video’s in order to get the magnitude of how anyone can get seduced into delusional beliefs and become CONVINCED it is real and true.
Then repeat this mantra “magic is make believe, or insanity when you can’t turn the make believe off”.

Here’s the link to the full article:
http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/what-martial-arts-have-to-do-with-atheism/275273/

Scott

Heart health

This is important. One of the main adaptations of intense cardiovascular training is a lowering of the resting heart rate. The heart is a muscle. It’s job is to keep a steady consistent flow of oxygenated blood flowing through your body. The more powerful each beat is, the greater the volume of blood that is circulated PER heartbeat. A strong heart beats with greater power, and beats less often to do its job. A weak heart has to accomplish the exact same task, or you die, so if it can’t push a lot of blood per beat, it beats faster to get the same result.

A good analogy:
A strong man goes grocery shopping, and fills 5 heavy bags of groceries. When he gets home he grabs all 5 at once and walks up two flights of stairs to his apartment.

A weak man unloads his car of the 5 bags, brings them to his front stoop, and carries two bags up at a time. He has to make more trips to accomplish the same goal.

Now, imagine that both men had to accomplish that goal on the same amount of time, or they would lose the groceries to the other. Who would likely win?

We used to say that every heart has only so many beats in it. How true that sounds.

http://nyti.ms/ZxkvVf

NYTimes: Heart Rate as a Measure of Life Span

A higher resting heart rate is an independent predictor of mortality, even in healthy people in good physical condition, a new study suggests.

Reasons Not to Stretch – NYTimes.com

I’ve written about stretching numerous times, and the evidence has been steadily mounting against stretching as a warm-up modality prior to exercise, and these two real scientific studies add to that pile. The article is very well written and explains the studies clearly and why these studies are so compelling. The NY TIMES wellness blog continues its tradition of alternating excellent reporting with pointless and confusing filler; this piece being quite valuable. Read it.

This does not invalidate stretching as a legitimate form of exercise, however, and I’ll elaborate.

Almost all these studies; current and past; use real athletes as subjects. They are already well trained, fit, and lead an active lifestyle that helps keep their musculoskeletal system supple and more flexible than the average sedentary adult.

Inflexible muscles, muscular adhesions (muscles and connective tissue sticking together) and poor joint range of motion, can cumulatively impede your ability to move effectively and safely while exercising. Regular stretching can help alleviate and minimize these problems in many; if not most; cases.

So if you need to stretch, how do you incorporate it into your routine?

1. Stretch after your workout, never before.

2. If your muscles are super tight make stretching a separate workout altogether; do it on a day you aren’t doing any weight or cardio training.

3. Incorporate activities like vinyasa yoga or tai chi that focus on movement activities that force you to move through full ranges of motion.

4. Get deep tissue massage. It can really loosen you up. Again, only after a workout.

Read the post, linked below.
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/reasons-not-to-stretch/

Phys Ed: Can Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps? – NYTimes.com

I’ve talked a number of times about the enduring mystery of muscle cramps. No real knowledge exists as to why they occur; only educated and uneducated guesses that have absolutely no research to rely on. Until now.

It’s been a highly accepted bit of exercise lore that pickle juice can reduce the duration of cramps, and I’ve suggested it to a number of clients and “spinners” over the years. Everyone assumes its the electrolytes, potassium and salt that helps, though I’ve repeatedly pointed out that the exercise science literature shows that perfectly hydrated people with excellent electrolyte profiles cramp with the same frequency as everyone else statistically.

Why it helps no one could say. Until now. Pickle juice has been specifically studied as to its efficacy in combatting cramps, and been found very effective. This, in and of itself, also gives compelling clues as to why muscles actually cramp, as well.

Of course, further studies need to be done. Read the interesting New York Times piece below.
.
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/phys-ed-can-pickle-juice-stop-muscle-cramps/

Gluten-Free for the Gluten Sensitive – NYTimes.com

To eat, or not to eat (gluten), that is the question.
The article linked at the bottom is talking about wheat products. All wheat based products contain gluten, and depending on your health sources you should avoid it at all costs or not worry about it at all.

This NY Times piece is quite balanced and discusses the issue from each side of the divide, as well as from the point of view of real medical scientists. Keep in mind, that according to this story, the most recent study; conducted with scientific double blind placebo controls, had a sample size of 34 people. 34? Not 34,000. Not 3,400. Not 340. 34. Well, so much for conducting a definitive study.

I’ve personally never seen a reason to cut wheat glutens from my diet. Consuming wheat has never appeared to have a negative impact on my past performance as a pro racquetball player, a body builder, a runner, or a cyclist. I’ve never had a problem with energy levels or bloating. Those who are most vociferously aligned against wheat gluten seem to take it on faith and dubious pseudo science, or have an actual diagnosed case of celiac disease. The amorphous new “symptoms” newly medically recognized as “gluten sensitivity” seems to be growing, but whether its growth is legitimate or mass hysteria based on marketing is still up in the air. Many body builders and other physique minded people have been claiming for 2 decades that glutens cause bloating and negatively affect abdominal appearance.

Prior to the 1990’s, NO ONE seemed to have a problem with glutens (outside sufferers of celiac disease) and physique athletes didn’t seem to have a problem developing the sculpted bodies made of dreams. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself can be seen wolfing down an entire pizza pie immediately after winning his final Mr. Olympia title in the documentary Pumping Iron, and amid all the conversations the body builders have about nutrition in the film, no one mentions gluten sensitivity.

On the other hand, according to this article, the gluten content of breads has increased dramatically in recent years, and perhaps more people’s systems are unable to cope. It certainly deserves way more comprehensive study.

Do any of my readers have a gluten sensitivity related story to share?

A recent Facebook conversation between trainers

Recently, I posted something on Facebook by a nationally recognized fitness educator and trainer named Nick Tumminello. I didn’t feel like elaborating on it, and hadn’t planned on making it a personal blog post.

He posted the following picture with a link to a piece he wrote on his blog about why most people and even most athletes should stick to basic exercises but do them as intensely as possible:

20130202-191428.jpg

This Facebook post led to a Facebook debate between a coworker and I, which I have copy and pasted for your entertainment. The coworkers name has been removed to protect my safety (he’s much larger than me! Haha).

Just to be clear, I fully endorse cross training, and circuit training when done intelligently, with forethought about the goals of the trainee in mind. Those methods of training can provide dramatic and full range fitness and health benefits. That is not what CrossFit, P90X, and their various offspring will do for you.

CrossFit’s own website no longer touts it as an exercise regimen, but instead calls itself a “sport” and competition. However, since it uses exercises as its modus operandi, it has been and will continue to be, misused and misunderstood by the general public and seasoned “professionals” alike. You or I following or attempting CrossFit or ultimate cross whatever would be akin to watching an Olympic gymnast and then attempting to perform those same maneuvers the very next day.

The dialogue:
Coworker: Gotta love haters of extreme training. since most people do the basics in every gym, why hate on cross training?

Me: I love cross training. Cross fit and its brethren are not cross training. They are athletic training, sometimes “extreme” and sometimes not.
And if you think those pictures represent the “basics” you have a very different understanding of physical fitness than I do and we will leave it at that.

Coworker: Are you serious? Those pics are of Arnold doing massive weights. The whole point of this post is to say “stick with the bread and butter of power training cause doing “extreme” is bad. And since the squat and deadlift is in crossfit and are STAPLES of the sport, what are you getting at?

Me: Massive weights like that are the definition of “extreme”. As is the mental focus to push your lifts that hard. Since I’m heading to bed, I’ll leave it at this. Cross-fit type exercises simulate athletic style training camps mixed with powerlifting movements where certain skills are assumed. And none of the people in those videos developed their physiques doing cross fit. They came to cf already in extreme condition. Either young athletes or with years of intense training behind them. How many of your uxf’ers are already in extreme condition? How many are 18-24 and have the recovery ability of youth? How many have years of intense training behind them? None? How many will get there doing that kind of routine exclusively? None? Some of us are happy to be camp councilors. Me, I’m a fitness expert.

Coworker: way to be full of yourself. and alot of trainers here have extensive fitness backgrounds and certifications to back them up. everyone already knows that Cross-fit athletes come from different backgrounds. the whole point of the sport is to see which of those athletes are the fittest on earth. Also many others wasnt in extreme condition and got there by crossfit or other boot camp classes. There are several UXF trainers that ARE IN EXTREME CONDITION because some of them are current athletes. and nobody’s a “camp counselor”. we accept the fact that successful trends are needed for business to compete. Fitness is no different.

Me: Full of myself? Perhaps. But the Uxf trainers who are in extreme condition were in extreme condition before Uxf was even invented. Now they are skipping the steps to get in extreme conditioning with their clients in pursuit of entertainment and profit. Clients who will likely never achieve extreme condition because unlike those trainers and a few other exceptions, they will never adopt the extreme “lifestyle” necessary to achieve those ends.

And in case you were wondering:

The USMC recently funded a study into cross fit type exercise to replace traditional methods of strength and conditioning during basic training and concluded that it offered no increase in fitness over the duration of basic training compared to traditional methods, while at the same time increased the number of recruits unable to complete basic training DUE TO PHYSICAL INJURY 18% over the traditional methods. After 1 year of trials comparing units, the USMC has recommended that cross fit type exercises be banned from basic training. This was reported in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning special supplement on Tactical Strength and Conditioning.

Perhaps all those experts are full of themselves too.

The coworker did not respond after that.

We really do live and die this kind of stuff. Hope you got some insight into our “profession”.