Friday, April 17, 2009

Rest Day - 18 April 2009

Yesterday, I was going back through some older CrossFit Journal articles, and I came across Silly Bullshit (Click for the full PDF article) by Mark Rippetoe. Anyone that knows Mark, or has seen any of his videos, is all too aware of his no nonsense, straightforward approach to life and coaching. It should come as no surprise, then, that what he offers in his article is nothing short of brilliant hilarity.

Tommy Suggs, my old lifting friend, once said, "If I had to choose between looking like a marathon runner or having a heart attack, I'd take the heart attack." How running 26.2 miles at one time ever got to be associated with a Good Thing just beats the absolute hell out of me. Yet it is help up to everybody as the sine qua non of physical accomplishment. Why, the very term "sports medicine" actually means 'treatment of running-induced overuse injuries." Long Slow Distance-or LSD, as it has come to be called-is not only a poor way to lose bodyfat and gain cardiovascular fitness; it may be the single best way (especially when combined with the FDA's dietary recommendations) to lose muscle mass ever devised, and it has never made anyone stronger (as even Dr. Mirkin knows).

Once you are finished with the article, head over to Dr. Gabe Mirkin's webpage. It really is incredible how anyone this disconnected from actually training athletes (including himself) has an entire website dedicated to "health" and "fitness." As an example, here is an excerpt from one of the topics under the "Fitness" section, Recovery from Exercise (as always click the link for the entire article).

However, the most significant finding of the study was that older men can recover from hard workouts as quickly as younger men (Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, June 2006). Another encouraging study in the same journal, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, shows that men over 60 who exercise regularly are far stronger than their non-exercising counterparts.
Wow, really? So what he is trying to tell me is that the over-40 crowd is able to recover from "Fight Gone Bad" as quickly and fully as the 20-something kid? This statement alone shows me that Dr. Mirkin has never trained athletes and has most likely never trained hard himself. It's amazing to me that someone can look at a study that clearly contradicts what is actually happening in real gyms around the world every day and say, "Yes, that sounds perfectly logical."

Oh wait, the study he references is talking about children not being able to recruit as many muscle fibers...why then does the author feel at liberty to make the assumption that "children" are in the same category as "young men." I'm not seeing the connection. In an even greater stroke of brilliance, Dr. Mirkin leaves us with the warm fuzzy tidbit about men who exercise being far stronger than non-exercising men. Everyone, write that one down. I mean it...COME ON!!! I'm so glad that he felt the need to enlighten the world with that stunning revelation.

Here's another one, this time about the Dietary Treatment of Diabetes.

Many people who develop diabetes after age 40 can become non-diabetic by eating a diet based on vegetables, whole grains, beans and fish; severely restricting bakery products and sugar and limiting meat, chicken and eggs; and eating fruits and root vegetables WITH other foods, not alone as snacks. Most late-onset diabetics have insulin; they lack the ability to respond adequately to insulin because they are overweight and they eat too much fat and refined carbohydrates. The first order is to substitute whole grains for bakery products because they fill you up and help you to eat less. Restricting major sources of fat reduces the total number of calories consumed to promote weight loss.

OH. MY. GOD. Again, this is another case of someone talking the talk instead of walking the walk. Any Joe Schmoe can look at some (poorly designed and conducted) studies and string together a set of "rules" for treating diabetics. Hmmm let's see, carbohydrates of all kinds cause the body to release insulin. Type 2 Diabetics are insulin resistant so the body goes into overdrive trying to release enough insulin to process the carbohydrates that the body is taking in. So yeah, let's tell them to eat a crapload of carbohydrates under the guise of "healthy" whole grains while limiting their protein and fat intake-the two macronutrients that DON'T cause the pancreas create insulin-basically eating the exact same way that got them where they currently are, and hope they magically get better. I'm going to go out on a limb here and wager that "Dr" Mirkin has NEVER managed to reverse a case of Type 2 Diabetes with nutrition advice like this. Maybe he should head over to Robb Wolf's Blog and see the amazing results he has had in actually reversing Type 2 diabetes; simply by recommending the Paleo Diet. And he's not even a doctor. Sheesh!

Look, if you're a doctor, stick to what you do best. If you've never actually trained athletes, or successfully treated a case of Type 2 Diabetes, don't try to push your lack of knowledge on the rest of us. Please, just understand that those little letters after your name DO NOT give you the right to spew Silly Bullshit simply for the sake of sounding smart. YOU ARE DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD!

Note: If you are a doctor that actually has a brain, and uses it, to make educated and informed decisions regarding nutrition and exercise, please feel free to disregard this post and continue fighting the good fight. My hat is off to you! :-)

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