Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting emPOWERed, iPhone Nutrition Apps, and Fish Oil & Oxidation

Recently, I had decided that enough was enough:  I was sick of being all left, and not all RIGHT.  I definately haven't been all right in a while---I seem to be chronically plagued by "isolated" (I use that term sarcastically, because nothing is truly isolated) left sided injuries, such as:
  • Left shoulder pain, which lasted for a year, and which I threw the kitchen sink at
  • Recent left knee pain, which is probably due to
  • Chronic left hip pain, high glut med/min area.
  • Chronic left wrist pain
  • Re-occurring left Achilles pain post-running.
  • Recent left side mid-back strain while doing tempo 5/3/x/1 front squats at a light 175#.  This was, ironically, the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.
It sounds like a nasty list; the back strain aside, I can honestly live with this stuff daily---I assume (regardless if you agree or not) that it comes with the territory.  But, after Tuesday's spasmodic debacle, enter John Power. 

John is a registered massage therapist with a specialty in Active Release Techniques; the easiest way I can describe this is deep tissue massage through a range of motion, with the goal of restoring proper mobility.  He operates a very successful Chiropractic/Massage/ART clinic aptly named Power Health.

For as much as I'm diligent about warming up and mobility work(uh, maybe not Tuesday.  Trying to jam in a 5x5 tempo front squat in 20 minutes with a quick 500m row warmup and a few leg swings is negligent.  Bad Coach K!  Bad!) there's times when you need to call in the experts.  Like K-Star of Cf San Fran and MWod fame, John has a wicked eye for dysfunctional movement and impaired mobility.  And my track record would seem to indicate some serious imbalance.

My first session on Thursday night involved assessing my squat, a la FMS-style; John already had a pretty good idea what my issues were, and the squat just confirmed it.  Needless to say after this, I had no choice but to jump on the pain train of active release.  John worked on:
  • My right iliacus
  • My left gastroc and soleus
  • My left psoas
  • My left Glut min (he didn't want to "Chase Pain", but he found it, and crushed it into oblivion)
  • My entire T-spine
Despite the uncomfortable treatment, it was worth it x1000; while my back was still extremely tight and spasmodic this morning, I was able to hit a few sets of moderate weight 20 rep high bar back squats.  I'll be going back regularly for while to get everything sorted out.  All of this leads me into my question, though:

Who do you have to treat, or prevent, training induced injury?  Anyone at all?  Post your thoughts to comments.

Just around Christmas, Santa ended up bringing me and my wife brand new shiny iPhone 4s. (How did he know??? Just how DID he know!?!?) ; I've been geeking out on it like a nerd at a World of Warcraft convention.  (For the record I don't play WoW, or any online games.  Or any games, for that matter.  I might be a geek, but I'm a cool geek, not a nerdy geek.)

Four of the apps I've tried out related to nutrition are FitDay Mobile, Lose It!, PaleoGoGo, and WOD

Fit Day is a well-known nutrition tracking application that has been around online for a while; I've used it myself over the past few years.  There's a free online version, a premium-pay version, and now, a free iPhone app.  It's accurate, breaks down food to macronutrients, easy to use, and you can add customized food.  The iPhone app works just as well as the PC version.  I've never used the premium, so I have no idea what it's about...or why you'd need it.  The basic version breaks down macros nicely, as my Jan 2nd intake was 2937cal, 181.8g Fat, 156.6g Carbs, 182.2g Pro

Lose It!  is another free daily-intake tracking application; it's similar to FitDay, and at first glance, appears to concentrate only on total calories---this is misleading, as it will track macros.  You actually have the option to turn on/off which macros you want to track, such as cholesterol, which is pointless (IMO).  My sample day from Jan came in at 2737 cal, 151.9g Fat, 133.8g Carb, and 204.6g Pro for a 50/20/30 breakdown. 

This is an excellent app on par with FitDay; both seem fairly accurate and give a person a good idea of what they are taking in.

PaleoGoGo is an interesting app that gives you paleo food options and various restaurant chains.  Type in the restaurant, the type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and three options pop up for you to choose.  For us Canucks, it can be hit-and-miss, as many of the large US chains aren't here, and vice versa.

While interesting, it sure ain't worth the $4.99.  Plus, why would you need an app to tell you HOW to pick a paleo meal.  If Meat, Veggies, Nuts, Seeds, Some Fruit, Little Starch, and No Sugar is problematic for you, then you need more than an app.

WOD is your basic Crossfit workout of the day (WOD) tracking app; it has all the famous "named" WODs, areas for records (PRs), movements (e.g., clean & jerk), and the ability to type in your own metcons.  I've been using it since Dec 26th, and I like it---I always have my phone with me, and I can quickly scan back to my last recorded WOD.  I've been popping in all my climbs, too, with added notes.  For $2.99, it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does a nice job.

Free Radic Res. 2010 Sep;44(9):983-90.

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA decrease plasma F(2)-isoprostanes: Results from two placebo-controlled interventions.

University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia.


Omega-3 (omega3) fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), protect against cardiovascular disease. Despite these benefits, concern remains that omega3 fatty acids may increase lipid peroxidation. It has previously been shown that urinary F(2)-isoprostanes (F(2)-IsoPs) were reduced following omega3 fatty acid supplementation in humans. It is now determined whether EPA or DHA supplementation affects plasma F(2)-IsoPs. In two 6-week placebo-controlled interventions, Study A: overweight, dyslipidaemic men; and Study B: treated-hypertensive Type 2 diabetic, patients were randomized to 4 g daily EPA, DHA. Post-intervention plasma F(2)-IsoPs were significantly reduced by EPA (24% in Study A, 19% in Study B) and by DHA (14% in Study A, 23% in Study B) relative to the olive oil group. The fall in plasma F(2)-IsoPs was not altered in analyses that corrected for changes in plasma arachidonic acid, which was reduced with EPA and DHA supplementation. Neither F(3)- nor F(4)-IsoPs were observed in plasma in both studies. These results show that in humans, EPA and DHA reduce in vivo oxidant stress as measured in human plasma and urine.
PMID: 20540666 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

My Thoughts:  Recently, there's been a bit of a back-pedaling in regards to thoughts on fish oil due to the "theorized" potential of INCREASING free radicals due to the the oxidation of supplemental fish oil.  Being  a PUFA (polyunsaturated fat), it IS more prone to oxidation than either a monounsaturated fatty acid or a very stable saturated fatty acid (gotta love the sat fats).  From an anecdotal perspective, I've only come across one person who could have had this reaction---and I take his word for it, since he's an elite athlete with a very strict and clean diet at sub-7% BF.  For the rest of us?  The records show nothing but positive improvements in body comp, recovery, cognition, and reduced cardiovascular risks secondary to shifts in VLDL and trigs.

And, it seem now, there's the science to back up the anecdotal evidence.  So pass me that bottle of freshly squeezed sardines!

Recent Training

Jan 13th, CFLA, 1PM
Push Press, 105#
Box Jump, 24"
3:59. Had the pleasure of doing this along side of JL, a CF games contender. I was on my 15s when he was done. I kid you not.

Jan 17th, Spirit In Motion, 7:30PM
Yoga x1.5hr.  Back at it since taking a break in Dec.

Jan 19th & 27th, U of L
Climb x 2hr.  Redpointed MD's 5.11b route, so once again, I'm onto another project.  Lovin' it.

Jan 20th, CFLA, 1PM
AMRAP in 20 Minutes:
5 Thrusters, 95#, 7 Pullups, 12 Box Jumps, 24", 15 Ball Slams, 20#
9 Rounds + 15.

Jan 21st, CFLA, 1PM
Power Clean 3-3-3-1-1-1
135#, 155#, 175#, 185#, 195#, 205#.  Couple of fails at 195# and 205#.  Been a while.

Jan 23rd, Fire Hall #1, 11AM
Run 8mph@2%grade x 25 min