You have to. For life.Often times, I come up with ideas for my blog from bits and pieces of conversation I have with friends; recently during the 24 Hours of Adrenalin race, I got talking about road biking. Naturally, I took the negative stance regarding adopting a single modality fitness regime for life----in this case, road biking. Road bikers are notorious for having wickedly high VO2 max levels, but nearly shatter upon tripping over their laces and can't lift a water bottle over their head. While focusing on ONE thing your WHOLE life makes you very, very good at it, the skills left behind, in my mind, out balance the pros. I'll explain more in a bit.
This convo melded into another I had with Jacob, fellow Crossfitter, mountain biker, and adventure racer, and Kent "The Prodigy" Aitchison, another Crossfitter, collegiate swimmer, and swim coach. Briefly, we all agreed that concentrating on functional fitness had greater carry-over into ALL sports, plus the bonus of increased mobility, endurance, and functional (read: usable) strength across broad time and modal domains. Didn't quite get that last part? Fitness not to suck at life. When I'm 70, I don't want osteopenia and hip flexors so tight I'm permanently bent over, shuffling with my walker from years of putting in miles and mile on a road bike. Yes, I'm bashing road biking here, but I think you get my point.
Why? Well, getting into the "why" of HIIT (high intensity interval training) vs traditional sustained-pace cardio is a huge piece to bite off, but I'll dabble in why you should "bank" strength, and lean muscle mass; but first, an important definition:
Sarcopenia (from the Greek meaning "poverty of flesh") is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging. 0.5-1% of loss per year after the age of 25. Sarcopenia is a vicious circle, not unlike other similar syndromes---the less muscle mass you have, the more insulin resistant you become, the less protein synthesis takes place, the more ineffective your workouts become, and therefore, the more muscle mass you lose. And so on and so forth.
Muscular Heart Failure Patients Have Better Survival
The Role of Lean Muscle Mass and Organ Reserve in Aging
Skeletal Muscle Protein Anabolic Response To Resistance Training and EAA is Delayed With Aging
Resistance Traing Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle
Strength Training + High Intensity Functional Movements = Banking Fitness
Yes, but only the smart ones!
Yael Grauer is a freelance write who frequently writes for the Performance Menu, among other things. She has her own blog, and recently put up a great resource post on everything from Paleo blogs to Weston A Price-like websites to how-to-find kinda sites---check it out:
Eat This: The Ultimate Food Resource Guide
Betcha Haven't Heard of the
You've probably heard of the French Paradox, and more than likely heard of the Mediterranean Diet, which has been described as a "paradox", although only to carbaholic clueless government type folk. One, though, you haven't heard of, although it's rampant across all of North America, is the Israeli Paradox:
Yam et al (6) suggest that the Israeli Paradox—a high incidence of CAD, cancer, and other degenerative diseases in Israel—may well be related to high linoleic acid intakes.
Prior to the introduction of solvent-extracted vegetable oils and soy- rand corn-based animal husbandry over approximately the past 70 y, no population had been exposed to the current intakes of linoleic acid. We may well be experiencing the "linoleic acid paradox," in which a supposedly healthy fatty acid (ie, one that lowers total cholesterol) is associated with increasing rates of cancer and inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases during these same decades. Compounding and confounding this paradox are low intakes of alpha-linolenic acid and other n-3 (fish) oils.
Isr J Med Sci. 1996 Nov;32(11):1134-43.
Diet and disease--the Israeli paradox: possible dangers of a high omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet.
Department of Membrane Research and Biophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.
AbstractIsrael has one of the highest dietary polyunsaturated/saturated fat ratios in the world; the consumption of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is about 8% higher than in the USA, and 10-12% higher than in most European countries. In fact, Israeli Jews may be regarded as a population-based dietary experiment of the effect of a high omega-6 PUFA diet, a diet that until recently was widely recommended. Despite such national habits, there is paradoxically a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and obesity-all diseases that are associated with hyperinsulinemia (HI) and insulin resistance (IR), and grouped together as the insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X. There is also an increased cancer incidence and mortality rate, especially in women, compared with western countries. Studies suggest that high omega-6 linoleic acid consumption might aggravate HI and IR, in addition to being a substrate for lipid peroxidation and free radical formation. Thus, rather than being beneficial, high omega-6 PUFA diets may have some long-term side effects, within the cluster of hyperinsulinemia, atherosclerosis and tumorigenesis.
That is some serious shit that has been swept under the table for so long it makes me furious. If there's two things one should completely cut from their diet, it has to be anything soy related, and anything wheat related.
BEST AD. EVER.
I had someone actually say to me the other day: "I don't want to get bulky, so I don't think I should lift heavy weights". No, I'm not making this up. Yes, it's a very common misconception among women, but nonetheless, I was surprised to hear it in our gym. Unfortunately, the idiot-box (AKA "Television") tends to brainwash the sheep-like folk of society into thinking looking like Gweneth Paltrow or Kate Moss is a good thing. Well, it ain't. When your purse weighs more than you and get diagnosed with osteopenia after you break your leg...walking...you need to re-evaluate your worth on this planet. And because a picture is worth 1000 words, lets look at some women who lift heavy shit:
All those women are fast, explosive, and scary strong---because they lift heavy shit. They are also insanely sexy. So, uh, go lift heavy shit, ladies.
Not much of note since the race in Canmore; with traveling, work, and a major life-curveball thrown my way, time has been at a premium. Of note:
July 24th &25th, Canmore Nordic Center
16.5km mountain bike loop x4 in 24hr, approx 1.5hr each
I know I've ranted and raved about this enough, but I can't even begin to explain what a blast this was. It also gave me a chance to witness some unreal feats of endurance. As much as I bash endurance athletes from a health and longevity point of view, watching a solo rider absolutely crush the competition with an amazing 20 laps (our team did 19) in 24 hours is nothing short of amazing. Utmost respect earned for ultra-endurance athletes, from me. 5Km runs, team sprint triathlons, and the occasional mountain bike race are about as close to "endurance" as I'll get, though..
July 28th, CFLA, 1PM
Power Clean & Squat Clean
175#x3 PC. Legs started to burn quick from the squat cleans, still jacked from the race. Felt good to lift, even if the load and volume was light.
10 box jumps
4 rounds. Time each round separately. Rest 2min between rounds.
Rd4 13:10, -6:00 rest = 7:10 working time. Nice little interval WOD; Kent and I went head-to-head, and he set a blazing pace that I had to try and keep up to!
I'm looking forward to getting back to a strength-biased program; pretty good chance I'm going to follow a Wendler 5/3/1, but I'd like to continue working on the clean and jerk and snatch...as well as the occasional metcon. I'll have to see what I can fit in.