Monday, October 17, 2011

RX'd Should Read "Dose-Dependant", Fish Oil and Lipid Peroxidization, and BeastModal on Clients

Yeah, but is it RX'd for you???

Rx: A medical prescription. The symbol "Rx" is usually said to stand for the Latin word "recipe" meaning "to take." It is customarily part of the superscription (heading) of a prescription.    

Recently, I wrote up a guideline on the use and implementation of IF (intermittent fasting) in performance, health, and longevity for VERY specific clients:
There's some solid science to it's benefits---but it must be applied in a similar fashion to how a medical professional would administer a pharmacological agent:
  • The right patient
  • The right drug
  • The right dose
  • The right route
  • The right time
If we think of intermittent fasting (IF) as a "drug", and apply these rules (the right client/athlete, the right amount, at the right time in his/her training, for the right length), we have nothing to lose and everything to gain---in the right person.

I started thinking about this as applied to the whole RX'd deal and how "As Prescribed" is extremely ingrained, overused, and misunderstood in the CF community, and how it's literally fucking people over.  Note the differences:

A Medical Professional:  After a thorough verbal, physical, and mental assessment of patient, consideration of the chief complaint, a diagnosis (DX) is made.  This could also be based on assessment of quantitative lab values, consideration of differential diagnoses and diagnosis of exclusion.  After this is done, treatment based on this info is As Prescribed (RX'd).

Crossfit:  Are you fit?  No?  Let's scale this.  Yeah, it's group programming, but if it's scaled and modded, hell, it's just like individual programming!  Oh, dot-com is good for everything.  It'll make you bigger faster stronger, BA-BEE.

  What's that?  You're fit, like fucking elite fit?  Oh shit, Holmes, you need to do this shit RX'd bro!  Nothing is better than RX'd.

If you haven't caught it (and, I have no idea how, but some folks still haven't) there's a serious layer of sarcasm covering an actual serious issue that's lying below the surface.  Now, my example is poking fun at individualized programing versus generalized group programming.   I'm going to steal and twist-the-hell up a quote by Greg Glassman himself:

"A program that is 100% safe is also a program that is 100% IN-effective"

Yeah, I know :)  that one has already been run into the ground a fair bit by a vast number of people on the outside of Crossfit.  But it's damn true---the greatest possible efficacy in a training program pushes the envelope when it comes to adaptation.  There's a fine line between progress and over-training.  OPT recently touched on this topic on The Big Dawgs blog.

Getting back to "RX'D", and some closing end-points specific to nutrition to leave you thinking:
  •  Every athlete has numerous individual variables that will, and SHOULD, affect his/her training, nutrition, and recovery.  This is assuming they want Optimal, and not sub-standard. 
  • The most potent pharmacological treatment modalities are dose-per kilogram based, with other clinical variables taken into consideration.
  • A generalized training program will yield either generalized, low efficacy results, or possibly negative results
  • A generalized nutritional intake will yield generalized, low efficacy result, or possibly negative results---poor performance, lack of remission of chronic disease, decreased LBM/increase adipose.
  • Food affect hormones.  Drastically.  Should this not be dose dependent? 
RX'D should read Dose-Dependent.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids as antioxidants

Laboratory of «Micronutrients and Cardiovascular Disease», UMR7079, UPMC Univ 06, Paris, France
Accepted 13 May 2008. Available online 18 May 2008.


The susceptibility of fatty acids to oxidation is thought to be directly dependent on their degree of unsaturation. However, some in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that the relation between chemical structure and susceptibility to oxidation is not as straightforward as hypothesized from theoretical viewpoints. Indeed, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) might be less oxidizable than others under specific experimental conditions. We investigated the free radical-scavenging potential of PUFA and the production of reactive oxygen/nitrogen (ROS/RNS) species by human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) supplemented with different fatty acids. Fatty acid micelles scavenged superoxide in an unsaturation-dependent manner, up to eicosapentaenoic acid, which was the most effective fatty acid. Supplementation of HAEC with polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega 3 series resulted in lower formation of ROS, as compared with cells supplemented with saturates, monounsaturates, or polyunsaturates of the omega 6 series. This effect was maximal at concentrations of 10 μM. The effects of omega 3 fatty acids on reactive species production appear to be stronger when ROS were evaluated, as a milder, albeit significant effect was observed on RNS generation. Based on in vivo data showing reduced excretion of lipid peroxidation products after omega 3 intake and our data on ROS production and direct superoxide scavenging by LC-PUFAs, notably those of the omega 3 series, we propose that this series of fatty acid might act as indirect anti- rather than pro-oxidant in vascular endothelial cells, hence diminishing inflammation and, in turn, the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

Redox Rep. 2004;9(4):193-7.

Effect of fish and fish oil-derived omega-3 fatty acids on lipid oxidation.


School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, Medical Research Foundation Building, Box X 2213 GPO, Perth, Western Australia 6847, Australia.


There is evidence that omega-3 (omega3) fatty acids derived from fish and fish oils reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease via mechanisms underlying atherosclerosis, thrombosis and inflammation. Despite these benefits, there has been concern that these fatty acids may increase lipid peroxidation. However, the in vivo data to date are inconclusive, due in part to limitations in the methodologies. In this regard, our findings using the measurement of F(2)-isoprostanes, a reliable measure of in vivo lipid peroxidation and oxidant stress, do not support adverse effects of omega3 fatty acids on lipid peroxidation.

My Thoughts:
Well, as you can very well read, my thoughts on this are in regards to the concern of dosing fish oil and creating lipid peroxides, which are basically oils-gone-bad. I discuss this in my Fish Oil Guide

Rancidity: - While the benefits of fish oil can't be refuted, on the flip side is spoiled, or rancid fish oil. Being a highly unsaturated fat, fish oil is extremely vulnerable to oxidation; this is the reason the fish in your fridge is only good for a few days, max. Free radicals LOVE unsaturated fatty acids, just like your 18 year old cousin from San Diego LOVES going across the border to Tijuana to get hammered. It's not a good thing, and it's kinda scary.

There's been a fair amount of talk about the concept of high-dosing fish oil and creating lipid peroxides, even though the fish oil is of excellent quality.  This concept intrigued me, as it seemed plausible, but I had yet to see any evidence, either clinical or anecdotal.  The studies seem to prove otherwise, as does anecdotal evidence from those reaping the benefits of supplementing with fish oil.

In the next week, as part of my FDN course, one of the labs I'll run on myself involves a lipid peroxide test.  I plan on NOT stopping my supplementation of fish oil at 4.8g EPA/DHA per day (which I have been doing for years now, in ranges of 4-12g), and seeing where the lab test pan out.

BeastMode Engaged!!!

And now, for some writing far, far better than my own, and a massive dose of sarcastic comedy:
Don't Be a Dumbass Client  I love being a Crossfit coach, I love my clients, but wow did I ever get a laugh out of this post.  Superb.
Random Training
Still plugging away on Coach Ryan "Ryno" Fletcher's programming for me.  In week 10 now, have 12 total to go. 

Oct 17th, Firehall #1
Left the programming to a fellow brother firefighter:
40 minutes of:
12 Hand-release pushups
12 KBs @ 50lbs
12 Goblet Squats, 50lbs
6 Hanging straight leg raises
Treadmill, 3min @ 7.0mph
Set a nice pace, and worked pure oxidative for 40 minutes.

Oct 14th, CFLA, 6PM
3rep Power Clean/3Rep front squat
135#-155#-175#-185#x3. PC felt sloppy, FS was easy.
Rack Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Oct 13th, CFLA, 10AM
Only had time to sneak in some front squat prior to 11AM
135x10, 185x5, 225x2, 245x2, 265x2, 275x2. Previous 1RM was 265#

Oct 10th, CFLA, 1PM
SnatchComplex @65#, 95# (PSx2,Hang PSx2, Squat Snatch x1)
115#x2, 135#x2, 155x0,1,1, 165#x0,0,0,0,0.  Grr.  Wanted this PR for my 38th birthday.
One arm DB row, 70#, 3x15/arm
AMRAP 12 min
7 One arm KB snatch, 1.5pood (53#), alternate arms/round
7 Med Ball slams, 20#
7 GHD situps

Oct 4th, CFLA, 1PM

Below-Knee Rack Pulls, 3RM
135x10/225x5/275x3/315x3/335x3/345x3/365x3/385x3/405x3/425x3. Stopped there, as I felt I was pushing my luck.
GHD Situps w. 20lb vest, 3x8
3 Power Clean @ %651RM (135)
6 T2B
10 + 3

Oct 3rd, CFLA, 1PM
1RM Back Squat
Over 2x BW squat @165#. BOOM.
Box jump w/ 50# (25lb DBs) 20"x5, 24"x5, 30"x5, 34"x5
Strict pullups w/ 53lb KB, 5/5/5

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Joining OPT, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, & Positive Life Changes

Joining The Ultimate Team

So, this installment of Confessions is going to be about news...BIG news.  I've been saving it up as it's taken a while for ALL the pieces to fall into place (literally, for all three topics)

First off:  I am now a part of James "OPT" Fitzgerald's exclusive coaching team.  OPT Team Profiles 
Yes, I'll wait patiently as you attempt to pick your jaw up off the floor and madly scramble as your eyeballs roll down the hall.

How It Came All Together, aka Back Story:  I had been doing nutrition for a well known athlete named Steve Howell (HUGE thanks due---the sole reason I was put into contact with Steve was because of Jeremy Meredith, 2nd place finisher in Regionals in 2011 and owner of Crossfit Vernon)since before Canadian Western Crossfit Regionals.  Steve was following the OPT's Big Dawg programming and corresponding with James on a frequent basis; he had asked if it would be alright if he sent my nutritional advice to James for him to look at.

I said "...sure", with a bit of hesitation for a second...what if he thought it was total bullshit?  Then, the next second, I figured "Well, if it is, I'd sure like to hear about it from OPT".  James didn't respond back with much, other than comments like "Looks good/It's solid/Like the carbs".  He seemed happy, Steve was performing at n elite level and making awesome gains, so I was happy.

Jump forward to June; I'm happily working away with momentum gained from word of mouth, and one day I spot an email from James himself.  The title just read "Question".  I though "Oh fuck here we go, James is going to rip me apart for my programming with Steve".  Instead, he stated he was very impressed with my work, and wanted me to consider doing contract work for his exclusive remote clients, since he was overloaded.  He'd do the programming, I'd to the nutrition.  This is the point where *I* was picking up my jaw and looking for my eyeballs.  Over the summer James shot me his client profiles, I dialed nutrition, and he did programming.  I saw, and learned, a ton; he sees a diverse range of athletes from all over the world, and across all different types of athletics.

Jump forward to September; after a discussion about some business ideas, James offers me a spot with his exclusive coaching team.  Once again, blown away---I had some ideas brewing, but THAT wasn't one of them.  In fact, when I think about it, I'm still very stunned.  When Leighanne (Jame's wife and OPT business coordinator) popped my bio up, I shot a text to a good buddy.  I was like "holy shit dude I can't believe this!!"  His response?  "I can.".  One of the best compliments I think I ever got.

I have a TON of people to thank for helping me get to this point---you know who you are.  Being in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing the right way for the right people can make all the difference in the world. ;)

Oh, this is going to be ultra-geeky.  Giddyup.

Since I'm of the mindset that I actually have 48hrs in my 24hr day and my plate isn't full enough, I've decided to take on more education:  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition.  A while back I had started searching out another avenue to expand my knowledge; I sure as hell didn't want to go down the RD route, and in all honesty, a PhD in molecular biology really wasn't in the cards (Ha!).  I had been toying with the idea of a clinical nutritionist cert, but then James put me onto FDN.  I was skeptical at first (as always...).  I figured, though, James wouldn't waste my time, and if I was wasting my time, I'd also be wasting *his* time.  He put me in touch with Reed Davis out of San Diego, the founder of FDN, and after a lengthy phone convo I was convinced.  The combination of running functional (read: USEFUL) diagnostic lab values like cortisol, DHEA, hormone panels combined with sound nutritional advice and targeted supplementation just made sense.

I'm only a week into the course, but WOW, is it heavy, geeky, and awesome.  Let's just say I can't wait to apply this stuff in an athletic arena.  Guinea pigs, get ready! :)

Best News Of All!

Of course, best news for last:  My beautiful wife (pictured here at 34 weeks on our back deck.  Quit staring at my lawn.  I know it's awesome) is due at the end of the month!  Those that know me know this isn't "new" news, but it's worth announcing, nonetheless!  We'll be having a baby girl, and we have a name (and only we know it), and it'll be positively, massively, life-changing.  We are very excited/anxious/nervous, and it'll be a whole new world.

SO:  I'm still working for the fire department (and always will be, that's in my blood, and will be till I'm pushing daisies), still coaching at Crossfit Lethbridge, still running (being over-run?) Dynamic Nutrition, doing an intensive nutritional course, and now working with OPT. Where am I going to fit a baby into that?  Right at the top, yo.  Nothing else will take priority but my baby girl.  There's going to be some serious sleep deprivation and cortisol spiking, but my wife and I will adapt.  

If life wasn't a challenge, it wouldn't be any fun, would it?  ;)