Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sunnyvale, My Lipids, And Ghee

No, This isn't the Sunnyvale I'm going to.

More exciting education travel news: I'm heading to Sunnyvale, California (just outside of San Jose) for a Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Gymnastics, and GPP Seminar put on at Catalyst Athletics. I'll be heading down there with Crossfit Coach/Conquest Conditioning Guru Cory Gillespie, and we are both super stoked about it; check the presenters:

Dan John – “Philosophy of Training and Coaching”
Greg Everett - “Observation & Correction: Technical Coaching for Weightlifting”
Matt Foreman – “Dividing the Barbell Disciplines: Combining Power and
Olympic Methodology”
Gant Grimes – “Functional Fitness Myths, Hybrid Programming, and
Evaluating Sport-Specific vs. Multi-Sport Needs”
Scott Hagnas
– “Developing Gymnastic Strength for Non-Gymnasts”

Tell me that doesn't just rock!  While I just absolutely geek out on nutrition, this is a seminar that I need from a coaching development point of view.  We will more than likely have a couple of coaches heading to the Black Box Summit 2010, so CFLA has some serious trainer development going on!

Lipids!  A Misnomer, but you get the idea.

So every year I get a full-blown physical with the fire department physician; this was started (with Lethbridge Fire) 3 years ago, and it's one part of a 3 part program entitled the Wellness-Fitness Initiative. The 3 parts include yearly medical screening, yearly physical fitness testing, and ongoing on-shift fitness training. As an American Council of Exercise (ACE) PFT, I'm involved with the physical fitness testing and on-shift training.  Out of all three parts, though, the medical screening is the most important.  As firefighters, we are exposed to occupational hazards in the form of known carcinogens and toxins daily---everything from blood-born pathogens to products of incomplete combustion from structure and auto fires.

Since starting this program 3 years ago, I've kept copies of my bloodwork, and I'm going to share it here as a quantitative measure of how a whole food, Paleolithic-style diet plus HIT(high-intensity training)/heavy strength training works.  For reference I've include both the SI (Canada, Europe), and American Values.

Chol: 5.06mmol/L (norm less than 5.21)
HDL: 1.70 (norm 0.9-1.6) 
LDL: 3.1 (norm 2.0-3.4)
Triglycerides: 0.6 (norm less than 2.31)(American  = 53.16mg/dL, multiply by 88.6)
Chol/HDL ratio: 3.0 (norm less than 5.1)
American Values: TG 53.16, LDL 119.97, HDL 65.70 TC 195.66
Triglyceride/HDL ratio: 0.8

Chol: 5.67mmol/L
HDL: 1.80
LDL: 3.6
Triglycerides: 0.52
Chol/HDL ratio: 3.2
American Values: TG 46.07, LDL 139.32, HDL 69.66 TC 219.25
Triglyceride/HDL ratio: 0.66

Chol: 6.35mmol/L
HDL: 1.88
LDL: 4.2
Triglycerides: 0.66
Chol/HDL ratio: 3.4
American Values:  TG 58.47 LDL 162.54 HDL 72.75 TC 245.55
Triglyceride/HDL ratio: 0.8

Other vitals:
Electrocardiogram: sinus bradycardia w/ regular irregularity (normal for athletes)
Resting heart rate: 52 BPM
Blood Pressure: 100/60
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 165lbs
BF%: est 8.0% (7.0% by BodPod) I'll have an accurate air-displacement value in the near future on this.  Trying to do your own skinfolds is an effort in futility and inaccuracy.  I came up with 6%, but that's pure garbage.

So there you have it.  By conventional wisdom, I should be ready to have a heart attack at any minute, and be on a shitload of pharmaceuticals for my "dangerously" elevated cholesterol.  But, as any well-informed reader of this blog knows, conventional wisdom and it's scholars can GFTS.  See that TG/HDL ratio in red?  That's not on a regular lipid screening.  I added that in, because: 
The Importance of Your TG/HDL Ratio

How can you tell which type of LDL you have? All you have to do is determine your ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol, which would be found as part of the results of your last cholesterol screening. If your ratio is less than 2, you have predominantly large, fluffy LDL particles that are not going to do you much harm. If your ratio is greater than 4, you have a lot of small, dense LDL particles that can accelerate the development of atherosclerotic plaques – regardless of your total cholesterol levels.

Even my physician is at odds with what he's been trained to do; he clearly admits that "Your HDL is excellent", but is unsure on what to say about my LDL. When I explained the TG/HDL ratio, my training, my diet, my supplementary intake, he admitted the nuances of oxLDL, VLDL and IDL were beyond his training, but stated "whatever you're doing, keep doing it". Kudos to him for stating that, and yes, Doc, I will keep doing what I'm doing. :)

As a side note, I had asked for my LDL particle size, my VLDL, IDL, and 25(OH)D (vitamin D) levels to be drawn, but the joke of a lab we have here won't do it.  I've had my vitamin D done before, and it sits nicely at 90ng/mL, but I'll go into this more when I do my Vitamin D thread. 

 I didn't even bother asking about Lp(a), since I'm sure no one in this city knows what the f*ck it is anyways.  But like I've mentioned before, SFA (saturated fatty acids, the so called "evil" fats that cause heart disease *ahembullshitcoughcough*) lower Lp(a), and I'm sure MINE aren't an issue, because...

Lowers Lp(a).  Statins = Fuck Off.

Organic Virgin coconut oil + Ghee (clarified butter, basically liquid butter, no solids) from grass fed cattle?  Sweet Mother Of Gaia!!!!  I stumbled across this while just picking up my regular weekly allotment of whole milk.  Pricey?  Yes.  Cheaper than being dead tomorrow or alive but in shitty health, though.  This shit is pure ambrosia.

***Warning---Odd, Introspective Note:  A couple of very weird things have happened to me lately.  The first is that I was thinking "I need to attend a seminar to make me a better Strength + Conditioning coach.  Literally, in the next few days, David "Millionaire" Muryn shoots me a link to the Catalyst one.

Secondly, in the stupidly vast-yet-disorganized-and-dusty-and-muddy-at-times vault of the coconut that sites atop my neck, I was thinking "I really need to find out what the f*ck this ghee is all about".  And Voila, Mark Sisson over at Mark's Daily Apple reads my mind and fires out a great post on what? Coconut oil + Ghee. And then I find it on the shelf the very next day.  Spooky.

The Power of Positivity clearly has no bounds. :)

Feb 1st, CFLA, 1PM
AMRAP 12 Minutes:
3 Clean + Jerk, 115#
6 Ring Dips
9 Pullups
7 rounds +3.  This one trashed my left shoulder---but not the C+J.  Ring dips seem to really stress my anterior delt/pec insertion area.  This re-enforces my thought that it's NOT bursitis.  Clean and jerks were stupidly easy, and pullups not so bad.  I was failing on mere singles of ring dips near the end, even with kipping.

Feb 2nd, CFLA,1PM
21-15-9 of:
Hand-stand pushups
Double unders
Sit-under (anchored sit-up holding a 10lb plate overhead.  It's cool.  You should do them.
Just under 10 minutes, but highly modded after the first 21 HSPU; I haven't done these in any sort of volume in a million years, and since my shoulder was sore already, I figured "why not".  Did this with Coach Fyfe, and there was a lot of swearing and laughing going on.  I did 21 strict HSPU, which surprised the hell outa me, but after that it was a disaster.  Modded down to the 70% scheme of 11 and 7 for rounds 2 and 3 on the HSPU, but it was a struggle even to kip out of the hole.  DUs and Sit-ups weren't an issue.

Finished with some Deadlifts:
285#x5 (double overhand grip, slipping on left)
315#x5 (mixed grip)

After these two days of testing my shoulder hard, nearly two months of diligently "working" on my rotator cuff, I called Dr. Kwan's office as soon as I walked in the door, and I see him in March.  And I'm not going to ASK for an arthroscope, I'm going to grab it and do it myself right then and there.  Well, not really, by that's the mindset.  Positive thinking.  ;)