Unmotivation

  

We all hit these points, these ruts. Lack of motivation has many causes. Some are easy to identify, like work or personal stress, being over tired mentally, emotionally, physically, or all of the above. Some reasons are less obvious. Perhaps you’ve been working out for a fairly long period of time, been consistent with your workouts, but no real progress has occurred as far as your fitness goals are concerned. Perhaps you aren’t getting the support at home from family and/or friends, who keep undermining your determination. Perhaps your just bored, or situations in your life cause you to question the point of it all.

The reasons can be as shallow or deep as anything else in life, but it tends to leave you in the same situation: you’re unmotivated. The irony is that when in this state of mind the easiest cure, at least symptomatically, is to exercise: getting all that oxygenated blood pumping furiously through your body can clear your thoughts, improve your mood, and change your perspective of whatever shit you’re dealing with, no matter how deep your shit is.

Just getting your butt in the gym can fix a lot of things, but I know as well as anyone how tough it can be. I know as well as anyone that sometimes the thought: why bother; can be overwhelming. The longest I’ve ever gone without working out at all, as an adult, was 12 months. There have also been long periods of time where my workouts were decidedly underwhelming efforts, barely holding onto my level of fitness, and even allowing my overall fitness to drop dramatically, but getting into the gym at all can make a huge difference to your outlook.

I know the struggle. If this struggle is something you are going through, or have gone through, remember this: everyone goes through it. If you know someone who hasn’t ever hit this kind of rut, they will. Everyone goes through it eventually. More than once. Remember it’s normal. Remember to try to get in the gym anyway. All things pass.

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Food is not the enemy

It’s been awhile, I know. Not the best way to grow a blog or a business, but even the best of us can get into funks and I’m far from the best. The past is the past, so let’s move on.

Food is energy and life. It is not the enemy. Sugar is good. Fat is good. Even saturated fat is good. Protein is good. Even protein from red meat is good. Eating meat is good. Not eating meat is conditionally good, but much more complicated and some people simply cannot live healthily on a vegan diet. For the moment I’m not concerned with ethics. I’m not concerned with sustainability. Those issues are beyond the scope of this piece.

Food is not the enemy…You are. You want to behave like a child and eat and drink without thinking about the consequences. You want to consume all the junk foods and dessert foods you want; that your parents wouldn’t let you have before dinner; and you want to eat as much as you want because you’re an adult now and no one can tell you what to do.

Now your fat. You have high blood pressure and diabetes and can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath or needing to rest half way up. You’ve crippled yourself. It’s your fault. Not McDonald’s fault. Not Coca Cola’s fault. Not Nabisco or Entenmann’s fault. Yours. Yes the media puts out a lot of confusing messages; this or that food or calorie source is bad or good for you, and the pharmaceutical companies are always looking for a new marketing gimmick that our medical community is ill equipped to understand or combat. Your doctor is not a medical researcher. They are told what medicines to use to treat whatever conditions, and they are even told what conditions they are supposed to treat. That’s how a woman’s monthly cycle; the most natural experience a human female can have; gets turned into a treatable medical condition. It’s why we have viagra. Old man can’t get an erection? Is it possible he’s actually just to damn old? This is fundamental biology. So’s eating and drinking. Fundamental. Biology.

Eat too much and you gain weight. Lift heavy weights and eat too much and you gain muscle weight. Eat too much and sit on the couch you gain fat weight. Eat too much and run 10-15 miles/day every day and…well…you can’t really eat too much if you’re running 10-15 miles a day every day. 

As far as weight management is concerned, a calorie is a calorie. Forget the media. Forget what passes as common knowledge. A calorie is a calorie and if you eat too many of them you will gain weight. If you eat too few you will lose weight. Eat way too few and you will also lose a lot of energy which can have a negative effect on your ability to exercise effectively. Exercise less, or less effectively, and the amount of calories you can eat without gaining unwanted weight goes down. 

Sugar is not bad. Consuming sugary snacks and drinks sitting on the couch for 4 hours is terrible. Fat, any fat, is not bad. Consuming lots of fatty foods; regardless of whether they are saturated or unsaturated or whatever other terms the media and medical establishment applies to them (linoleic, oleic blah blah) while sitting on the couch for 4 hours is bad. Animal based proteins are not bad. As a matter of fact, they are superior. But just eating lots of protein while sitting on the couch for 4 hours is terrible.

Sitting on the couch for 4 hours is not bad. Watch a good movie, cuddling with a loved one, spouse, lover, dog or cat, is wonderful and de-stressing. Just don’t shovel calories into your mouth like a black hole devouring a solar system.

Use your common sense. Accept the consequences of your own decisions. Wake the fuck up and pay attention to yourself. If you catch yourself  in the middle of an unconscious eating and drinking frenzy, stop it. The more you practice stopping, the better you’ll get at stoping until you never unconsciously start. 

This actually works in all aspects of life, not just with food and exercise. No ones perfect. And anyone who knows me personally knows I suck at it in almost every way. Except with food and exercise. And if you see me, you know it works.

Good luck.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy thanksgiving everyone. Remember to enjoy yourselves in a stress free day. Eat and drink a little of everything if you have self control. Eat a lot of what you love and skip everything else if you don’t have self control, and workout Saturday and Sunday like crazy.

New, original material post coming next week.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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NYTimes: Experts Reshape Treatment Guide for Cholesterol

I’ve been arguing with my doctors for years that the cholesterol guidelines were either arbitrary or handwritten by the pharmaceutical industry to ensure as many people as possible were given prescriptions.

The relationship between cholesterol and heart disease is tenuous, and highly anecdotal, and I’ve watched the “acceptable” number continuously drop over the years, all while other criteria were constantly added to the mix of excuses to add more people to the prescription drug rolls. Now we’re told the number isn’t so important after all.

We need a truly independent FDA that funds it’s own health research and then commissions big pharma after the fact. Read on.

http://nyti.ms/17sUo88

The guidelines from the nation’s leading heart organizations will fundamentally reshape the use of cholesterol-lowering statin medicines now prescribed for a quarter of Americans over 40.

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Hmm…

How much should YOU exercise? This article has no advice for you. It does say how little exercise is necessary for a sedentary adult over their initial 12 week period of beginning an exercise regimen.. Is that you? Do you fit that description?

The problem that this research is attempting to address is that the vast majority of our fellow Americans (upwards of 90%) engage in absolutely no regular exercise at all. Zip. Zero. Despite all the health info available, most American perceive the effort of exercise as too much, for results that are too nebulously distant, to warrant their attention.

These researchers are attempting to address this by finding the absolute minimum effort necessary to improve health. It’s sort of like trying to address world hunger by figuring out the absolute minimum amount of food a human needs to remain alive. Great idea.

My own opinion is that most people, deep down, don’t want to extend their own lives. They may be afraid of death when it’s staring them in the face, but their day to day lives are such efforts of futility that any distraction, however unhealthy, is preferable to the hard work it might take to extend these futile lives most of us are forced into. And I believe that this is how most people feel, even if its only subconsciously.

If you read the article carefully, all the way to the end, it does talk about the limitations and flaws of these studies as they’ve been done thus far. Worth a read, so long as you read carefully to the end.
http://nyti.ms/11WeJJK

NYTimes: The Rise of the Minimalist Workout

People have long been trying to figure out what the right amount of exercise is, but the focus lately is on the shortest period possible.

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

Our Bodies, Our Spreadsheets: Fitness Quants on Rampage

I record a variety of fitness related data, tho when I go on outdoor excursions my wife goes bus tic when I turn my iPhone on. My favorite apps for recording my activity are:

MapMyFitness

AllTrails

iMuscle

GymGoal 2

IBiker

Polar Beat

Our Bodies, Our Spreadsheets: Fitness Quants on Rampage

Sami Inkinen’s life is his data, and vice versa.

“I have to have the numbers,” says Inkinen, co-founder of the real estate website Trulia Inc. and a top-ranked amateur triathlete, as he wheels his $8,000 Orbea road bike to the starting line for a race in October.

Inkinen, who holds $52.6 million of Trulia shares after the company’s initial public offering last year, soon charged up Mount Diablo in California amid a pack of 600 on a brisk autumn Sunday. A black band around the chest monitored his heart as it sped to 156 beats a minute. Devices in a wheel hub measured his power output at 377 watts and his average speed at 13.4 miles an hour (21.6 kilometers). The data fed wirelessly into a computer on the handlebars so he could later upload his results to the website Strava and compare them against those of hundreds of other riders.

The 37-year-old Inkinen has been recording more than two dozen such variables for years, including sleep, mood and caffeine intake, seeking patterns he can exploit to improve his results in sports and business. Inkinen is part of an expanding universe of self-quantifiers who collect megabytes of personal data seeking an edge much like the devotees of quantitative analysis who transformed Wall Street.

There is a dark side even at some levels of amateur competition. Swimmers, runners, cyclists and triathletes have been penalized for using illegal performance-enhancing substances. In addition, one cyclist trying to post the fastest time on Strava for a route — laying claim to the virtual title “King of the Mountain” — crashed and died in California, according to a lawsuit against Strava.

Armstrong’s KOMs

Lance Armstrong, the world’s most prominent confessed doping cheat, competed on closely held Strava Inc.’s website until yesterday, based on recent updates to his Strava profile. He held more than 150 running-course records and King of the Mountain cycling rankings (known as KOMs) before they disappeared from his Strava page yesterday.

San Francisco-based Strava, which advertised on broadcasts of last year’s Tour de France, treats Armstrong as “just another member of the community,” says Chief Executive Officer Michael Horvath. Some Strava competitors urged banning Armstrong because of his doping.

Strava and rival sites such as MapMyRide, TrainingPeaks, Garmin Connect and dailymile tap into the psychological elements that make sports rewarding, says Ian Bogost, a game designer who teaches at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. They exploit people’s competitive instincts to get them to ride their bikes faster, or work harder.

Game Mechanics

“What is the medium- to long-term consequence of a social environment where everything is attached to direct feedback and immediate reward?” Bogost says. “I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m a bit afraid of it.”

He said he is particularly concerned that “the applications we’re getting are being built by people that have financial gain and leverage as their primary motivation.”

Game mechanics are appearing everywhere, a trend known as gamification. In Zynga Inc.’s FarmVille game, players tend virtual crops with their friends on Facebook. RedBrick Health Corp. encourages healthy behavior among client companies’ employees by setting up competitions and offering other incentives for losing weight, quitting smoking and avoiding health risks, according to the website.

Bogost created the hit computer game Cow Clicker in 2010 as a satire of FarmVille and other so-called social games. Players who click on an image of a cow once every six hours win more clicks. They can spend “mooney” on things like custom “premium” cows. He has since added a “Cowclickification” interface, allowing any website to install clickable cows and parody the phenomenon.

Fine Line

“These games are revealing the fact that we will do crazy things,” Bogost says. “The fact that we will do them for so little reward is just startling.” There is also a fine line between systems that are actually fun and “exploitationware,” which can manipulate people into playing boring games, behaving badly, or spending money, he says.

Kris Duggan founded and runs Badgeville, which calls itself “The No. 1 Gamification Platform.” The closely held Redwood City, California, company offers to help clients use game mechanics and other strategies to engage customers or employees more closely.

“If you use the right lever, it drives attention and engagement,” Duggan says. “There are probably some morality issues around how you apply these tools. I think people have to answer for themselves. The tools are highly effective.”

Tracking Gadgets

Amateur self-quants provide a ready market for electronic gadgets that make data-gathering easier. These include wristbands such as Larklife, Jawbone UP, Nike FuelBand and Fitbit Flex. For cyclists, Garmin Ltd. just introduced the $500 Edge 810 wireless, touch-screen, GPS-equipped bike computer, to collect data and provide navigation and weather forecasts. The devices enable anyone to gather, analyze and compare data in ways that were once available only to elite athletes.

For Sami Inkinen (pronounced SAH-me INK-in-en), these tools only complement a self-quantification effort that began more than a decade ago as hand-drawn notes on three-hole paper. He was earning a master’s degree at the Stanford Graduate School of Business near Palo Alto, California. Raised on a farm in Finland, Inkinen says he came to love data while studying for a master’s in engineering physics at Helsinki University of Technology.

“People like to talk about feelings and emotions, even when it relates to performance,” Inkinen says. “More often than not, there are biological fundamentals underneath it. If you can understand and measure that, then you can make pretty objective decisions about how to improve it.”

Mood Rating

Inkinen has a scatter-plot graph showing correlation between mood and athletic performance. The day he rode up the 3,200-foot (975-meter) Mount Diablo, he rated his mood at 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 means “I’m ready to change the world,” he says. He generated the highest wattage at the lowest peak heart rate in the race, according to Strava, and finished eighth.

In his 27-column spreadsheet, Inkinen also notes meditation time, happiness, productivity, caloric intake, number of push- ups and other fitness activities. He says the data give him a unique ability to control circumstances, have helped him finish an Ironman triathlon in less than nine hours and contributed to the success of Trulia.

He has also annoyed his wife of two years, Meredith Loring, she says. The couple met through an online dating service, where Loring’s profile said she enjoyed running. She proved it on their second date, challenging him to a trail run that lasted more than three hours because neither would suggest stopping.

Mountain Queen

“As soon as we get home from a run, he is in his spreadsheet writing down all of the numbers,” says Loring, 33, a strategy consultant for health and wellness companies. She agreed to be interviewed during a nine-mile trail run through towering redwood trees in Muir Woods near San Francisco, where the couple lives.

Loring does upload her bicycle rides to Strava. She holds dozens of “Queen of the Mountain” titles, mostly on climbs around San Francisco. She says she likes the virtual racing because the pressures associated with organized events, such as getting to the race start on time, cause her anxiety.

Online competition makes cyclists ride more and try harder, says Bryan Borgia, co-founder of Topwater Capital Partners LLC in South Norwalk, Connecticut. Borgia, 36, became KOM last July on a segment south of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for example. He covered a 0.6-mile stretch of Route 1A in 66 seconds, beating hundreds of other riders.

“I can get myself to go pretty hard,” Borgia says. “But if it’s for Strava and I’m going out to beat someone, I’m probably going to go harder.”

Fatal Crash

William Flint was killed in June 2010 after his bike hit a car while he was riding a Strava KOM challenge in Tilden Park in Orinda, California, near San Francisco, according to a wrongful- death lawsuit his family filed against Strava in state court in San Francisco. Flint was trying “to regain his title” after another cyclist posted a time on Strava breaking Flint’s previous record for the ride, according to the lawsuit.

Strava failed to ensure that its challenges took place on safe courses and encouraged “dangerous behavior,” the plaintiffs said in the complaint. “Cyclists are encouraged to ‘tear it up’ on the road,” they said.

The company filed counterclaims alleging that when Flint became a website member in 2009 he electronically signed the site’s terms and conditions, indemnifying Strava and waiving any claims arising from use of the site. Flint was riding “recklessly” over the posted speed limit on the wrong side of the road, Strava said in court papers, and the company isn’t liable because the death resulted from Flint’s own negligence.

Hazard Flags

The company’s lawyers on Jan. 24 asked the court to dismiss its counterclaims without prejudice, meaning it can reinstitute them later. The court filings don’t give a reason why Strava dropped the claims. A trial is scheduled for July 1.

After the Flint accident, Strava made it possible for users to designate courses that may be hazardous, according to the company’s CEO, Horvath. Flagged routes — mostly descents — no longer feature leaderboards or KOMs. The ride Flint was taking is now in that category, according to the Strava website.

“It gives the community a tool to help determine what’s safe and what’s not,” Horvath says. “Too steep, too much traffic or road construction. Some users have shut down segments because there were ducks and squirrels along the path.” The company hasn’t been named a defendant in any other suits, Horvath says.

‘Bad Behavior’

Breathing hard, Jeff Howell, a data project manager, crests a popular 4.2-mile climb south of San Francisco and hits stop on his bike computer. Wearing Strava cycling jersey and shorts, he says he’s pleased to post his second-fastest time on the route. Another cyclist zips past without a helmet.

“I don’t see Strava inducing that kind of bad behavior,” Howell says. “You have to take responsibility for yourself and know your limits.”

At San Francisco-based Trulia, Inkinen’s fascination with data permeates the corporate culture, says Pete Flint, co- founder and CEO. The company surveys its 534 employees, known as “Trulians,” every three months using a “happiness index” that Inkinen created, Flint says.

There is lots of Inkinen lore at the company. Flint relates how in the early days the co-founders were Wednesday night regulars at a sushi restaurant. The order never changed: seaweed salad, sashimi, edamame and water.

“As soon as I started to mix things up, there was a revolt from Sami,” Flint says. Inkinen didn’t want a change in diet to affect the data he was monitoring on himself. For the same reason, Inkinen went through a spell of eating “the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner: a can of cold Progresso chicken soup,” Flint says.

‘Gun Show’

Inkinen’s competitive drive once spawned a push-up competition with several Trulia colleagues known as “the Gun Show” (in fitness circles, “guns” is slang for biceps). Over 22 days last June. Inkinen’s spreadsheet shows that he knocked out 100 push-ups on 20 of those days. When he managed just 50 one day, he added pull-ups to make up the difference. And on the single day when he did none, he rode his bike 105 miles. But that isn’t the whole story, says his wife, Loring.

“One guy beat Sami one day, so he started doing push-ups in every area,” she says. “Every hour, he would just drop and do push-ups wherever we were.” That included a Safeway parking lot. “This is my husband,” she says.

Inkinen is convinced his data holds important clues. As he was learning English, according to Ken Shuman, Trulia’s communications chief, he would occasionally forget such simple words as “banana.” Digging through his charts, he linked a lack of sleep to the forgetfulness, Shuman says. Inkinen confirms the story.

‘Fitter, Faster’

The data let him down after the Mount Diablo ride in California, however. Inkinen was using the race as a final warm- up for his sixth appearance in the Ironman World Championship six days later in Hawaii. Comparing his Mount Diablo data from October with results a year earlier, he was confident he would be able to complete the Ironman in less than 9 hours again.

“Going in, I was fitter and faster than ever,” he says.

He had plenty of reasons for confidence. Two months earlier, he won the amateur title in an Ironman race in Sweden, finishing in just over 8 hours, 24 minutes and winning a Strava KOM for the bicycling portion. Then he and Loring took a seven- day cycling trip through the Alps. In September, Inkinen competed in a half-Ironman in Las Vegas, where the temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) on the course.

‘Ridiculously Tired’

As the Hawaii Ironman began, Inkinen was the amateur favorite, according to the event’s website. He was in first place among amateurs after the 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bicycle stage, and he retained the lead through the first half of the 26.2-mile running portion. That is when his brain told him something that his data didn’t.

“I just started feeling ridiculously tired,” Inkinen says. He did what Ironman competitors typically resist at all costs. He stopped and dropped out of the race.

In endurance competition, the brain is the “central governor,” according to Tim Noakes, a professor of exercise and sports science at South Africa’s University of Cape Town. In his book, “Lore of Running,” he writes that exhaustion reflects changes in brain commands to the muscles rather than changes in the muscles themselves.

Afterward, Inkinen reviewed his data in search of an explanation. He says it may lie in a viral infection he had between the events in Sweden and Las Vegas. While he was ill, his resting heart rate rose 20 percent to 46 beats a minute from 38, according to the spreadsheet.

‘Business Decision’

During the race in Hawaii, “my body or brain or both refused to continue to work,” Inkinen says. “It doesn’t matter if the device on your wrist says you can go; your brain stops you. If you were able to override it, you would maybe do permanent damage or maybe kill yourself.”

Inkinen’s central motivation “is improvement, not winning,” he says. And he cites another reason for dropping out. Eighteen days after the Ironman, Inkinen was set to compete in the 161-mile La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain-bike race across Costa Rica.

“‘I didn’t want to end up in the hospital and miss that trip,” he said. “I made a business decision.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau; Aaron Kuriloff in New York at akuriloff.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup

Find out more about Bloomberg for iPhone: http://m.bloomberg.com/iphone/

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:

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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”.