Friday, January 29, 2010

Creatine - Take 2, 50lbs of Beef, and Using Crossfit

That would be me.

It's funny how stuff happens; I get asked about creatine twice in one week, make a post, and the next day, a sweet lil' study pops up that has direct carry-over into creatine + Crossfit.

Creatine supplementation spares muscle glycogen during high intensity intermittent exercise in rats.

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:6doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-6

Published: 29 January 2010

Abstract (provisional)


The effects of creatine (CR) supplementation on glycogen content are still debatable. Thus, due to the current lack of clarity, we investigated the effects of CR supplementation on muscle glycogen content after high intensity intermittent exercise in rats. Methods: first, the animals were submitted to a high intensity intermittent maximal swimming exercise protocol to ensure that CR-supplementation was able to delay fatigue (experiment 1). Then, the CR-mediated glycogen sparing effect was examined using a high intensity intermittent sub-maximal exercise test (fixed number of bouts; six bouts of 30-second duration interspersed by two-minute rest interval) (experiment 2). For both experiments, male Wistar rats were given either CR supplementation or placebo (Pl) for 5 days. Results: as expected, CR-supplemented animals were able to exercise for a significant higher number of bouts than Pl. Experiment 2 revealed a higher gastrocnemius glycogen content for the CR vs. the Pl group (33.59%). Additionally, CR animals presented lower blood lactate concentrations throughout the intermittent exercise bouts compared to Pl. No difference was found between groups in soleus glycogen content. Conclusion: The major finding of this study is that CR supplementation was able to spare muscle glycogen during a high intensity intermittent exercise in rats.

Cool beans. It spares glycogen at high intensity levels. I like that.

Now I still don't want to see every single wannabe-athlete running out and snorting lines of creatine monohydrate---like a broken record, I'll say it again: Unless you have your diet dialed in 100% and are an experienced athlete (read: training adaptations. Simple read: You've been at it for at least a year consistently, and some of your gains have topped out), I don't want to see this in your pantry.  Cory Gillespie has a great post that illustrates this over at Conquest Conditioning. Go look at it now. Creatine is good stuff, but real food is your base. Top out your protein intake at 1g/pound BW, and then come talk to me about creatine. No sooner.

 50lbs of organically raised, free range, grass-fed beef.  Think there's creatine in THAT?  F*ck yes.  Plus a bunch of other goodness like CLA (conjugated Linoleic Acid), higher omega-3 content, better03:06 ratio, iron, B vitamins....and no added hormones, no gluten from grain consumption, and no antibiotic use.

50lbs DELIVERED.  This I like.  I order from a small local family farm, Harris Farms; they also raise organic, free range, pastured poultry and pork.

Every cut of meat I've tried has been phenomenal, from the ground all the way to the roasts.  The short ribs rocked like no other, and they are by far my fav.
Some folks might think this is extreme, but to me, it just makes good sense for health and longevity.  Plus, it just f*cking tastes awesome.  Grass fed beef has a much more flavorful taste than grain or corn fed.

It can be kind of hard to find this type of quality meat in a place like Alberta, where the cattle industry and agriculture in general is a huge political machine all on it's own; some resources like Eat Wild and Local Harvest have some Canadian/Alberta links, but folks like Harris Farms are "off the grid", so to speak.  There's a few other places in and around town, so just grab a Crossfit coach and ask.

Using Fitness

So I've recently gotten back into rock climbing; it's something I've been doing since about 1994 or so, but only sporadically, on and off.  One of the new firefighters (anyone hired within a year or two is considered "new" to us old dudes) dragged me out last week to the indoor wall here, and my interest has been re-ignited.

It got me thinking: What Do YOU use Crossfit for?
  • Is Crossfit your main "sport"
  • Do you have other athletic hobbies?
  • And, have you found carry-over as far as fitness goes into your other sports?
Personally, and this may be contrarian, but that's just like me, I haven't found a HUGE carry-over into some of the other sports I'm involved with.  I know, I just heard all of Santa Cruz gasp.  But, (in my experience), I've still needed  sport-specificity training.  This has been especially evident the last few sessions at the wall; my technical proficiency is in the crapper.  What was once graceful climbing is now an imitation of a bag of hammers noisily making it's way up the wall.  I used to warm up on 5.9s and 5.10s and handle 5.12a routes, but now I get blasted on a 5.10b.

With mountain biking, I found more carry-over as far as anaerobic endurance on hills, but my legs at the beginning of the spring still felt "heavy", and it took time in the saddle to acclimatize, so to speak.  For the 24 Hours of Adrenaline race I'll be doing this summer, I'll have to 1) obviously put hours in on the bike, and 2) shift my training emphasis to more endurance-oriented WODs.

Post your thoughts to comments

My training.  Kinda "scattered"

As far as my training lately, it's been a bit all-over-the-place; I've been following some of our gym's programming, and interspersing my own strength WODs where I feel necessary.  I need to re-focus my goals and orient my training accordingly.

Some recent ones:
Jan 22nd, CFLA, 1PM
Death By Ten Meters
16 Rounds; I've done this one before, and busted out one more round this time. We didn't have to touch the line, so that made a difference, plus I did it with a hung-over and tired Coach Fyfe, who amazingly paced me the whole time. I think 17 is doable, since I ended with a few seconds left and pulled the plug.

Jan 25th, CFLA, 1PM
Snatch Grip Deadlift, 3-3-3-3-20
Worked up to 275#x3, and did 165#x20.  This is a great movement, and I think I could go up to 300 and still not have my thumbs rip off.  165#x20 was interesting.  Back was torched over the next few days from this.
125 abmat situps for time, 3:46.  No breaks, did better than I thought I would.

Jan 28th, CFLA, 1PM
Power Clean Tech Work
155#x3, Hang Power Clean
135#x3, High Hang Power Clean
Rowing Helen
3 rounds for time of:
400m row
21 Kettlebell swings (24kg/52.8lbs)
12 Pullups
10:29.  Lotsa breaks, wow, LOL.  Had a hard time hanging onto both the KB and bar.  I want to do a real Helen, with a 400m run; I'm going to go out on a limb and say it'll be much faster.

Jan 29th, CFLA, 1PM
Front squat
135#, 155#, 175#, 195#, 205#x6 to end.
I started low on these because I'm still leery about my right knee; Coach Gillespie just came walking through the door as I was screaming my way out of the hole on sets 7 and 6, said the depth was solid, but I'm unsure.  I know I'm favoring that knee.  Felt like someone was "ripping" the hair off my leg after the last set.  Odd.

Tabata Pushups, 8 sets, 20s on/10s off
Held 12s for all sets; I believe this is my average from about 10,000 years ago.  13 could have been doable.  I'll have to try a max effort set again soon and see where my true average is at.