Sunday, July 28, 2013

Peak Athletic Development, Examine.Com Supplement Guide, and Upcoming Events

Check these guys out!
Every once in a while you come across some writings and teaching that are so clear, so profound, and resonate deeply---not often, mind you.  In this day and age of wanna-bes and copy cats, something "unique and new" seems like an oxymoron.  Fortunately, this isn't the case for the guys at Peak Athletic Development.  Consisting of Evan Peikon and Mike Reynolds, right out of the gate, these guys were blazing a trail of highly informative and intelligent posts based around the Sport of Fitness.  I came across one of Mike's posts on Crossfit Quality Control, and quickly realized there was a wealth of educational writing in the others, as well.  I was surprised to find a link to my blog, and after contacting Evan, decided to do an interview

I urge you to check out every post these guys have written, as all are gems.   Check back here soon for an interview with Evan!

Probably the #1 question I get on ANY topic is "What do you think about [insert supplement/herb/pill/magic powder]???".  And, I understand why---the amount of knowledge needed, and amount of time to stay informed, is practically impossible to stay on top of.  Fortunately, guys like Sol Orwell and Kurtis Frank exist.  They've created a massive database supplement guide, which is cross-referenced with HUMAN studies.  There's a ton of pseudo-science out there, and half my time researching is spent figuring which is marketing, and which is legit.  These guys have DONE that.

  I don't endorse many products---but this is one I use daily.  AND they update the references daily.   $40.00 for a lifetime of updated supplement knowledge?  Seems like a no brainer to me.  GRAB IT HERE.  Seriously, this is an unheard of amount of knowledge to be had.

Coming up at the beginning of Sept I'll be presenting at Optimum Performance Training in Calgary at Mike FitzGerald's Outside The Box competition & learning seminar.  Coach Fitz has been brewing this for a while, and wanted to make it different than most "Let's destroy some athletes in the off-season" typical comps.  Expect true tests of fitness, and on my end, I'll be doing 4 - 20 minute presentations on nutrition + fueling.  Looking forward to it!
Sept 30-Oct 1st I'll be back in sunny Scottsdale at the NEW OPT International Center for Fitness teaching the CCP Level-1 Nutrition.  I'm going to hang around for a few days, maybe house-shop (I'll leave that to your imagination as to why...) and then present some specific athlete case studies regarding functional labwork on Oct 4 at the CCP coaches day for the OPTathlon.  

After due beginning of Nov, so I might not bee seen for a few months!

Monday, June 24, 2013

CanWest Regionals Review, Fix The Broken, & Personal Update

Two Dynamic Nutrition Athletes on the podium!

So I had the luxury of once again venturing out west to the land of Range Rovers, BC Bud, and Oceans of Glass & Steel Condos....aka Vancouver, for the 2013 Canada West Regionals.  This was last-minute trip for me, as my regular shifts fell on the days of competition, but luckily I was able to swing some trades.

My Thoughts:
  • Events, Schedule:  Loved the workouts...seemed a LOT less strength biased and more well rounded this year.  Now, that said, I think at this level of competition, if you aren't well rounded, ain't gonna get there, period.  The "standard" weights that are used, and put up (#305 OHS?  Jesus H. Awesomeness!) speak volumes of the caliber of athletes at this level.  NONE of it seemed "inappropriate" as far as volume or weight.  I'll leave an actual in-dept critic for those with a legit handle on programming...and as such, Mike FitzGerald, Jedi-Master Programmer/Athlete/Coach, has a Long Overdue 2013 Regionals Review
  • Setup:  BETTER.  For athletes and crowd, IMO.  The back-asswards entrance was annoying, Athlete Village was better, more private.  Stands were still packed, tight, but viewing was good.
  • Food:  Biggest downfall of the venue.  A single food trailer?  WTF?  The Richmond Oval is a nice venue, but this is the biggest downfall, lack of food vendors, and lack of amenities in the vicinity.  I ended up waiting 45 minutes in line for 4 "smokies", no bun, a weak ass salad, and a coffee...for 24 bucks.  Food prep fail on my part!  Should have stolen all the hard boiled eggs from the goddamn hotel.
  • Shwag Vendors:  S'all good here.  I blew a few bucks here and there, fucking Innov8, I'm like Imelda Marcos with those damn things, I swear.  Didn't see a Visalus vendor.  Odd.
So, instead of me blathering on about my thoughts, I'll let the pictures do the talking...
Steve Bergeron, Pure Fitness, finished a very respectable 12th in his 2nd Regionals

Very cool moment capturing DJ and Mike.

HG 170# for 3 on the OHS
Sexiest team I have ever seen!

Heather, crushing the last event

Mark Malekoff, CF Vo2max, airborne in his vintage red DN shirt
Jeremy working to 295#

Taryn Romanowich, CF Function in Yorkton, SK...
...finishing 4th overall.  One of the most disciplined & focused athletes I know.  14th last year!!!
Joey smilin' through the pain.  Tough to get a pic of him in a shirt anytime, but he was flying the DN colors all weekend.

Joey Lutz, 5th in 2011, 4th in 2012, 3rd in 2013.  And only getting better
Definitely Proven

2nd trip to Cali for HG, and some new faces on the podium! 

And speaking of Cali, here's a list of athletes that I have consulted for that made it to the Games:
  • Amy Mandelbaum, North East
  • Amanda Goodman, North East
  • Eric Magee, North East
  • Marcus Filly, Nor Cal
  • Heather Gillespie, Canada West
Of Note:  Steve Howell, formerly of CF Whistler, now CF Taranis, did not compete this year.  He did do the Open workouts, and had he registered, he would have placed 1st.  Think on that.  I'm still working closely with Steve, and trust me, he'll be back for 2014.
Fixing The Broken, Part 2


In my last post , I had reviewed this athlete as he first came to me from a data intake program; needless to say, broken.  Through a combination of diet modification, programming changes, and supplementation, the above results speak quantitative volumes.  What did I do?  Here's the breakdown:
  • Added back in an appropriate amount of clean carbohydrates.  If there's s single factor I see consistently breaking athletes down, it's lack of appropriate carbohydrate intake. Period.  You can get all fucking Noakesy, "we can use fat as fuel, blahh-fucking blah we don't need carbs, it spikes our insulin, I'll goddamn well sick Taubes on you, woo woo!!", but the fact remains in a glycolytically dependent sport, you need carbs.  If not, the body will try to create glucose via glconeogenesis, and this, my loyal and faithful readers, will lead you to the path of hormone depletion.
  • Increased fat intake.  Short answer here: hormone creation.  We need fat, and cholesterol, to get this done.
  • Adjusted programming:  From classic CF metcon-itis, 6+ days/week, to lower volume Oly lifting, strength work, and 1x/week, short, TRUE HIT w/ set rest periods.  Note, this wasn't my doing, this was the client self-programming, which I 100% backed, because it was right.
  • Better sleep:  Essential as #1.  You cannot biohack or loophole this, no matter how much fucking Bulletproof coffee you drink.  Trust me on this as a career shiftworker, and a guy who has seen the data.  If there was a hack, I would have found it.  There is good sleep, and shitty sleep.  No in between.  Hard one to fix if lifestyle factors get in the way.
  • Supplementation:  Without going into sexy dosing details, this is what happened:  DHEA, Pregnenolone, Progesterone, Multi-B, melatonin, Isocort, licorice root, multi-formula herbal adaptogens, specific probiotic strains.  Can you recover from adrenal fatigue without these?  Sure.  Will it take longer?  Big time, and impossible for an athlete who will continue to train in any capacity.  
So, what did we get?
  1. Total cortisol jumped from 13.6--21.7.  Still low, but note his morning on the 2nd test is HIGHER THAN HIS PREVIOUS TOTAL.  Hello, adrenals, nice to see you.
  2.  DHEA doubled.  Yup, it still sucks.  But it's twice the value it was, which is significant.
  3. Progesterone tripled.  Biggest indicator of ability to create cortisol.  Sweetness!
  4. Melatonin 13x previous . BOOM, gut health returns.  Had I done a SIgA test, I'm sure that would have shown an elevation.  GI integrity/permeability back to normal, zero bloating/gas.
  5. Testosterone:  from 63.4 to 89.2, nearly 30 point jump.  Always a good thing; still a "relative" low for this athlete, but headed in the right direction.
Now, you might be saying "Oh, but the supplements MASKED and altered the results!"  Nope.  On retest, I have clients remove all supplementation for at least 2 days prior. Half life of items like DHEA is 12 hours, melatonin 20 minutes, AND dosing is at well below sub-physiological levels, so it does not alter endogenous secretion.  These are HIS hormones.

Personal Update

Where I'm heading.

For the past few years, I've madly thrown myself into Dynamic Nutrition; it has grown to a level I would never, ever, ever have expected in a million years.  I think there's a multitude of reasons for this, but I'm surprised daily.  When my daughter was born 1.5 years ago, I found it very hard to find balance within my life.  With 24hrs in the day, it was, and is, a challenge to be a father, a husband, a firefighter, an athlete, and run my business.  But, I think I've done ok.  There's been trying moments with my family, there's been guilt on my part for not spending as much time with Maddy and my wife as I could have...but there has also been a lot of personal growth about what's important to me.

  Many folks have asked me "So...when are you quitting the fire dept and doing consulting full time?"  I initially laughed at this concept, but as things got busier, I wondered if I could?  Even the thought of this decision gave me stress.  Could it be done?  Could I support my family?  Would I HAVE the support of my family?  I wondered about this a lot. 

Well, the decision has been made, and easily, due to this fact:  my wife is due with our 2nd child in November; Maddy will be getting a little sister!!!  (before the jokes on estrogen start, chew on this:  I will be joining the ranks of guys like James FitzGerald and John Wellbourne.  Think about  that before opening your pie hole) And in the quest to find balance, I will be reducing my client intake drastically.  Family always comes first, and what little time I have cannot be devoted to Dynamic Nutrition.  My job with the fire department has inherent risks and downsides I'm well aware of; it also offers me stability, enjoyment, and immense satisfaction.  It's what I've done for the past 20 years, 14 of those with Lethbridge, and I cannot give that up.  I'm in the fortunate position of having to decide between two career paths I truly love.   It does not make the decision any easier, but I am grateful.

  I will not "fade away", nor will I "burn out", to quote Neil Young (Or the Kurgan from Highlander)
I will continue on with my existing clients, and I will continue to work alongside James at OPT, and Mike at Optimum Performance Training - Calgary.  I plan on presenting in Sept at OPT in Calgary, and at the CCP nutrition course in Scottsdale in Oct.  I had grandiose plans on placing top-10 in the 40-44 Master's Division of Canada West for 2014, and this is something I still want, but it might just take a bit longer than planned.  While I did not place well in the overall Open, I would have placed 27th this year in the 40-44.  My programming through Mike Fitz has been nothing short of phenomenal, and I will, as much as possible, continue toward my goal.

To quote Bruce Lee: "Balance your thoughts with action. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done"