Monday, November 7, 2016

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Collection 1

Oh hey there.

Yes, I know my writing here has been fleeting and absent for weeks or months at a time.  I've had so many things going on in life that it's largely taken a backseat.  Not my writing, just writing on here.  In case you haven't been following most of my training articles have been going to t-nation and I'm also busy working on a new novel.

With that said, I realized the other night as I was swiping through my social media that there's so much good information in regards to training being distributed now that it might be a decent idea to grab some of the things I see and just collect them on here in blog posts now and then and throw in a few comments.

I titled this one "Collection 1" however don't expect me to keep the count in order.  When Jamie Lewis and I were doing the Chaos and Bang podcast we lost count on the episode number all the time and it became a mainstay of comedy to use a random number on purpose.

With all that said, let's get to it, shall we?

Conditioning - EPOC and steady state cardio

I happened across two pieces this week I read that were interesting.

The first one was from pubmed.

This is the second time I've read about EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) the last few weeks.  In case you didn't know, one of the supposed benefits of doing a lot of intervals or HIIT is that you're going to have the ol' metabolism revved for hours and hours post workout, burning calories at a blazing clip that will turn you into a real life Professor Klump (go to bed fat, wake up shredded).

Unfortunately, it's really not the case.  From the other studies I read basically EPOC values came out to around an additional 14% of calories burned from HIIT style training, with about 7% of calories burned EPOC when doing LISS.

Now you may say "hold on, that's twice the amount!".  However what actually matters the most is the total number of calories burned during AND after conditioning/cardio work.  200 calories burned from interval training with an additional 14% added on through EPOC is 228 calories.  If you burned 300 calories through some form of steady state with an additional 7% we don't need to do more math here.  You had a larger energy deficit through the steady state.

I didn't have to write all of this really.  I could have summed it up quickly and just written "total calories burned during cardio style exercise is more important than the type you use when striving for fat loss."  With that said, I still think doing intervals is a great idea for reasons outside of fat loss.  Mainly because getting in great shape helps to increase work capacity in the gym, i.e. you can recover faster between sets, thus allowing you to do more work, and volume has some direct correlations with muscle growth.

LISS gets a bad rap sometimes and I'm not sure why.  It serves a number of valuable purposes not only for fat loss, but stress reduction (if  used properly) and can help aid in recovery.  Where HIIT style training tends to be another form of training that detracts from it.

Which led me to end up reading this piece as well....

This was a great piece because he goes into inflammation, something I've covered a lot in the past, and the difference in good inflammation that does it's job, and chronic inflammation that speeds us to an early grave.  As noted above, HIIT is a high form of stress that tends to turn on the sympathetic nervous system and is another inflammation driver.  If you're already busting balls in the gym, and doing intervals, and you have a high level of stress in your personal life, then it's a good bet you're driving a high degree of chronic inflammation into your body.  Not good.

Take home note here - Use both steady state and intervals.  But balance it out so that fat loss goals are being met in conjunction with recovery needs.  For every HIIT/interval session you do, you should have around 5 sessions of steady state in between.

Driving down inflammation was also one of the reasons I became so interested in the exogenous ketones as well.  All you have to do is Google "BHB inflammation" and you'll find a metric ton of peer reviewed research on how well BHB fights inflammation.  I've covered at at length before, so just do some searching through here and you'll find it all.  If you are interested in using them, here is my link.

Training - Yeah, carbs are good

This one should be no surprise.

This study investigated the effect of three consecutive days of high CHO intake on CrossFit performance and corresponding metabolically -related variables in strength trained individuals.

This study was only 9 days long, but for serious I don't need a study that spans a century to know that a diet rich in carbs is going to promote a higher degree of performance for the athlete.

Basically this study showed that the longer training went on, the group that was eating more carbs started performing significantly better.  Thanks for that newsflash from the city.  Again, the study was short, but I think you'd see that trend continue even if it were much longer.  

If body recomp is your goal, then at some point you'll need a hypocaloric diet, which does often mean reducing carbs (and fats), but if you're after performance then using carbs is essential.  Yes I wrote essential because the evidence is fairly overwhelming that diets higher in carbs allow one to perform better than one low in carbs, or (God forbid) no carbs at all.  

Fat loss - 

For this one I want to give a shout out to Vince Dizenzo, who lost 100 pounds.  I've watched his transformation happen and he's been very candid about all the struggles that came with it, and I really appreciate that kind of transparency when someone sets off on a journey like that.

When you read this (and you should) take note of this part........

The long and short of the story, it's been a slow and steady process. The only exception was one time when I lost 40 lbs in 12 weeks. I ended up putting that all back on and then some. Since then, my weight loss actually averages out to just around 1.5 lbs a month.

1.5 pounds a month.  For those complaining during their fat loss or body recomp journey, think about that for a long time.  No seriously, think about a whole month of dieting and training for 1.5 pounds.  Most people complain when they don't see that each week.  Then they blame the diet coach or get discouraged, and quit and then later have to start all over again.  

As I've written before, if you walk 10 miles into the woods, it's a 10 mile walk back out.  Don't expect to undo 10 years of bad habits in a few weeks.  The struggle will be real.  Make a choice to dig deep and see the process through, or quit like the majority of new years resolution people do after 6 weeks or so.  

Vince is also candid in that fact that he believes he most likely developed an eating disorder while getting over 300 pounds.  And that it's something he will always struggle with.  I think it's great he brings up that point because eating disorders are usually just associated with females, but I've talked to plenty of males who do suffer from them, and I believe it's an issue that should be brought to the forefront more.  

Powerlifting drives the whole "get your weight up" mantra.  One that often leads strength athletes down the road of poor eating habits and consistent binge eating in order to put up higher numbers.  At some point, all of that is going to be gone, and the lifter is often left hating how they feel and look.  I've talked to enough of them to know this, and was one myself.  

It's also a reason why a lot of lifters struggle to break free of the mentality of "weight on the bar" when they do set down that path.  It's been ingrained in them so long to lift more and more and more that as soon as they see some dips in strength, they freak out, and go right back to shoveling in food in massive quantities.  

It's your life.  Do with it what you please, but also understand at some point there will be consequences for chasing numbers if your means to an end includes huge drug cycles and gaining a massive degree of bodyfat.  It's hard to kick ass or get on the platform when strapped to a kidney dialysis machine or are awaiting open heart surgery.  Nope, you don't have to set out to get shredded or get into single digit bodyfat, but I firmly believe that you can keep your body comp in check and still hit the numbers you are after.  It may take longer, but it will take a LOT longer to reverse all the damage done later if you throw caution to the wind in regards to your health.

Recovery - 

This ties in with the article above about steady state vs interval work.  I have no idea how I came across it but it's worth a read and echoes things I've covered in the past about recovery.

What I liked about this one is that she drives home the importance of implementing a recovery protocol.  That's something I don't think many people take into account.  People bark all the time about how important recovery is, then when you ask them what they do for recovery it's usually something about deloading.  That's just not enough.

When you start to take into account all of the things that drive stress and turn the sympathetic nervous system on, it's not enough to have a few days or even a week of less training intensity to spend more time allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to recover.

Think about the stress involved in something as simple as body recomp -

1.  Dieting - generally a stress
2.  Training - a stress
3.  Interval training - a stress
4.  Job - often a stress, usually is
5.  Kids - stress
6.  Relationship problems - stress
7.  Traffic - stress
8.  Finances - stress

We could keep going but I think you get the point.  There has to be some time where you decompress completely to allow systemic recovery to happen.  Localized recovery at the muscular level isn't that big of a deal.  Unless you trained so hard that you can't walk normally from the soreness, most of us don't need to balance that out.  However we do need to balance out meeting the demands for nervous system recovery.

1.  Massage
2.  Reducing intensity in training
3.  Steady state cardio
4.  Periodic breaks from dieting
5.  Creating healthy coping mechanisms for life and relationship stress
6.  Doing things that release more oxytocin and endorphins (cuddling, laughing, petting your dog or cat, etc).

Have a recovery protocol and be just as strict about it as you are about going for that bench PR.  The bench PR is going to come much faster if your recovery demands are being met.

Life and crap - 

I read this piece twice I loved it so much.  I can literally use "LOL" here because I did in fact laugh out loud several times in reading this piece.  I won't spoil it.  Just read it.

I'm not sure where this next article could fall under, or if it's even real as I did not want to research it to find out that it was false, because that would have ruined it for me.

Two things.......

1.  I know of no restaurants that serve vagina.  I obviously assume they meant performing cunnlingus.
2.  If that's the case then vegan and vegetarian men are clearly at a higher risk of cancer.  Because they don't perform cunnilingus.  They just lick the bush.

I'm out!

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  1. Nice to see you back. Speaking of CnB, what ever happened to it? Despite reading both of y'all's blogs for years, I only just started listening to the podcast, and it has me cracking the fuck up at my desk at work.

  2. Great article as always mate keep them coming