Our Blog

Weekend – December 13-14, 2008

It’s the end of the semester, and despite the typical, anticipated nonsense of higher education, Melody just had emergency hand surgery (a cautionary tale; take care of your calluses, people). And me, well, a semester of bioethics has left me as misanthropic as ever. We think it’s time to have some fun. So, check the volume on your computer, and then watch the video above. But before you open it, here is some context:

Aimee Anaya is a national champion (2007) Olympic weightlifter. She weighs about 135 pounds; she snatches near 88 kilograms (194 pounds) and clean and jerks over 108 kilograms (238 pounds). Earlier this year, Aimee suffered a back and hip injury that kept her out of the 2008 National Championships. Aimee’s fiancee, Greg Everett, is also featured in the video. He authored and recently released the authority on Olympic weightlifting—Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches. He is also Aimee’s coach.

That part is true. The rest, well—please enjoy.

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Weekend – December 6-7, 2008

Another bone to pick with modern food production: monosodium glutamate (MSG), and its many aliases, may be lurking in your food. MSG is a factory-produced flavor enhancer. It can be found in almost every bottled, bagged, frozen, or otherwise processed food at your local supermarket. Read this, and reference these studies:

“The Induction of Obesity in Rodents by Means of Monosodium Glutamate”

“Brain Lesions, Obesity, and Other Disturbances in Mice Treated With Monosodium Glutamate”

“Effect of Monosodium Glutamate on Some Endocrine Function” Read More

Weekend – November 29-30, 2008

This is Jenn J.—before training (left) and one year into training (right). Prior to beginning her work with us, Jenn completed her first and only (her words) marathon. And if we may digress for one moment, she often shares with us her dismay at the damage marathon training did to her nutrition, physique and body in general. She is 20 pounds lighter in the second photo, and a great deal stronger since leaving long, slow distance behind. Jenn is the perfect example of the large effects of small lifestyle changes. Her success is the result of proper nutrition, strength training (read: intensity) and an active lifestyle—she never sits down. We are very happy with Jenn’s progress and look forward to her continued improvements in the coming year.

–Melody and John

It may seem like we are continually harping on the same points—and we are, so what? Read this latest article on self-myofascial release.

If you could tell a new athlete one thing, what would it be? Post thoughts to comments.

Weekend – November 22-23, 2008

Athlete Profile: Ted K.

Ted’s positive attitude and work ethic are inspiring, and his consistency shows across the board. Since May of 2008, when he began training, he has gone from zero to seven pull-ups, and has increased his strength, power, speed, and coordination markedly. Even with a demanding work schedule and a full family life, he has made the necessary lifestyle changes to provide the optimal environment for health and super-wellness. Not only does he come to the gym on his own to complete the “Workout of the Day”, but he has also committed fully to proper nutrition. We are proud of you, Ted!

Vital Stats

  • 225# max deadlift
  • 7 consecutive pull-ups
  • 1:04 burpee challenge time
  • Recreational tennis player
  • Enjoys the “Workout of the Day”

Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future athlete profile. Look for Jenn J.’s incredible transformation next week…

More from Mark’s Daily Apple: “Ten Primal Meals in 15 Minutes or Less”.

Which new-found “skill” are you most proud of? Is it your body weight back squat, your ability to knock out nose-to-the-ground pushups, or your love of cleans? Don’t be modest—post yours to comments!

Weekend – November 15-16, 2008

Jeff W., flanked by “The Pretty One” and Borja G.
“Most of life is really much simpler than modern medicine and science would like to have you believe. You can have a tremendous impact on how your genes express themselves, simply by providing your cells the right environments. All you need is a basic understanding of how your body works and a simple philosophical roadmap you can use to find answers to just about any questions of health and fitness—whether it involves personal choices or lifestyle adjustments or whether medical intervention might be appropriate. ”

-Mark Sisson, The Primal Blueprint

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Weekend – November 8-9, 2008



We would like to recognize the three most frequent users of this website: Ted K., David O. and Mike “iheartpullups” S. How do we know this? Because they post their workout results.

These three gentlemen also follow our nutrition recommendations closely, consistently rank among our top performers, and have experienced some of the most significant physiological changes of any of our athletes. Congratulations, boys.

(It is worth noting that Amy D. often has better times than these three fellows, but she trains with us in the gym four times each week, so it is not her fault for not using the site as often.)

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Weekend – November 1-2, 2008

On Monday, October 27, Russ K. hit a full-depth, 225-pound front squat for one rep (after grabbing 215-pounds for three reps a few minutes earlier).

On Saturday, October 18, Mike S.—at a body weight of 153 pounds—nailed a 185-pound clean from the floor.

And, since our nutrition course on October 16, John S. has tightened up his diet and lost eight pounds!

In our opinion, the best shoes for training are the Puma H-Street and low-top, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Many indoor soccer shoes—those with traditional, vertical lacing patterns, are also good choices. Why? These shoes are minimalist; they do not change the normal alignment of the foot by elevating the heel. Because they are flexible and do not have any padding, they allow the muscles of the lower leg and foot to stabilize and fire during each foot strike—the way nature intended. In addition, without two inches of cushion separating the foot from the ground, stability is greatly increased, which is helpful for strength training. Over time, it has been our experience that training (and living) in these shoes improves performance by correcting musculoskeletal imbalances of the lower leg, up through the hip complex. And yes, you can run in these shoes.

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–Melody and John

Weekend – October 25-26, 2008

Jenn J.’s pushup, Amy D.’s L-sit and John S.—who grabbed a 3:34 1000m row time to start his session this week. With the rest of the workout waiting for him, that was either reckless or brilliant—we think the latter.

I-N-T-E-N-S-I-T-Y. Say it with us.

Find out how to improve your rowing here.

And Paleo eating gets more support here.

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Weekend – October 21-22, 2008

Some of the most important nutrition seminar take-aways: Jelly Bellies equal burpees, and the importance of fire safety on cheat days.

Here is an abstract from a recent study that explores the link between diabetes (impaired insulin response) and Alzheimer’s: Therapeutic Rescue of Neurodegeneration in Experimental Type 3 Diabetes: Relevance to Alzheimer’s Disease. de la Monte SM, Tong M, Lester-Coll N, Plater M Jr, Wands JR, Department of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School, Providence, RI. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 10(1):89-109, 2006 Sep. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with major impairments in insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) gene expression and signaling in the brain. These abnormalities increase with severity of dementia, and are associated with deficiencies in energy metabolism and acetylcholine homeostasis. The co-existence of brain insulin/IGF deficiency and resistance suggests that AD may represent a brain-specific form of diabetes, i.e. Typediabetes. This hypothesis is supported by the findings in an experimental animal model in which intracerebral (ic) Streptozotocin (STZ) was used to deplete brain and not pancreatic insulin. The ic-STZ treatment produced brain-specific insulin depletion and insulin resistance are associated with progressive neurodegeneration that shares many features in common with AD. We now demonstrate that early treatment with peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor agonists can effectively prevent ic-STZ-induced neurodegeneration and its associated deficits in learning and memory. These effects were mediated by increased binding to insulin receptors, reduced levels of oxidative stress and tau phosphorylation, and increased choline acetyltransferase expression in the brain, suggesting that insulin sensitizer agents may have therapeutic efficacy in early AD.

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