Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday's WOD results

Great job on Friday's WOD -- the beautiful weather added to the sweat factor. We want to welcome two more guys that showed up -- it seems like you guys "enjoyed" it!

I'm not going to post what each person lifted during the Kettlebell swings and wall balls because most of you changed weights around depending on what was available. Hopefully when our new equipment arrives, we'll be able to all have our own weights to prevent "jams" during the workout.

Leslie 20:53
Valerie 20:00
Pule 23:45
Ken 24:03
Mike 17:34
Reagan 17:14
Maria 25:40
Lilla 24:04
Charlene 20:29
Alicia 19:30
Karen 21:51

We'll start listing more info so you get familiar with Crossfit, but the main Crossfit website has an increadible wealth of knowledge, and it is all free. We encourage you to get on there and view the exercise demonstrations and WODs. Read some of the exercise, nutrition, and physiology articles to increase your overall knowledge which will help you dramatically in increasing your performance. We have the luxury of having Don as Crossfit Nutrition Certified, so if your goal is to lose weight, YOU MUST ADDRESS YOUR DIET.

On to passing on info...
The first thing we'll discuss is a reminder of some "Crossfit Rules" as you keep track of your individual results and progress:
- When you complete a WOD, you only count the LOWEST weight you did. For example, if you did 5 rounds with 50 pounds and one round with 40, then your results will show you completed the workout using 40 pounds (now, for personal tracking, you know how much you did so you can aim for a specific goal the next time - for example, 6 rounds of 45 pounds).
- If you are not doing the actual exercise, like handstand pushups or pullups (all the way down up to chin above the bar), you are not completing the WOD as perscribed (also listed "as RX'd). But that is a great motivator each time you do a workout because the first time you complete a WOD "to standard", that is automatically a Personal Record (referred to as a PR). So keep track of your results and soon you'll be posting daily PR's!

Enjoy your weekend and hit it hard next week!

The Bad News

Hope everyones weekend is going good but i have some bad news for you.
I got a call from Joel and he has to go out of town next week, Don is still in Korea and I am still limping thru combatives with a broke toe. Because of this there will be no class on Monday and Friday, I will try and have one on wednesday but i can't promise anything yet. You can meet to do the WOD but they will be low skill and no weight/equipment WODs because of MWR Restrictions. Sorry guys but you just have to remember we are all green suiters and have to do our real jobs first. If you have any questions email me

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Working on our Tan/Beach Bodies

It's supposed to get to 80 tomorrow, so let's stay outdoors for the warm-up and work-out. We'll meet near the pull-up bars just around the corner. If you don't know where it is, we'll have someone there directing you over. However, here are easy directions: stand at the back steps (leading into the gym) facing the parking lot and look to your right. The pull-up bars are on the corner of Battalion and 74th Street.


10 Pull-ups
200 meter run
15 KB swing (1.5 pood/1 pood)
200 meter run
20 Burpees
200 meter run
25 Wall balls
200 meter run

Want to live longer? You need this nutrient

Greetings from the Land of the morning calm - A rare and good mainstream news article about the benefits of omega-3 fats. If you are not currently supplementing with this, you need to be. Get with Joel or Dave on the proper quantity and quality to use.

Low levels of omega-3 fats linked to cancer, asthma and other diseases
By Taras Grescoe
Best Life
updated 7:17 a.m. CT, Tues., Feb. 24, 2009

At the end of a residential cul-de-sac in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, a driveway winds up a hill to the headquarters of Ocean Nutrition, a complex of buildings of mid-century vintage overlooking the tall-masted schooners and gray-hulled Canadian Navy destroyers in Halifax Harbour.

Down the road, semi-trailers loaded with drums of oily yellow liquid pull up outside a newly built factory. Inside cavernous galvanized-steel hangars, the oil is blended with deionized water in 6,500-gallon tanks. The resulting slurry of micro-encapsulated oil is then pumped through a five-story spray-drier to remove the moisture.

The final product is a fine-grained beige substance that looks like flour but is, in fact, a triumph of technology: smelly fish oil, transformed by industry into a tasteless, odorless powder. It will be used to spike everything from infant formula in China to the Wonder Bread and Tropicana orange juice on our supermarket shelves.

Ocean Nutrition is not manufacturing some Soylent Green for the new millennium.

After seven years and $50 million of research, the company's 45 technicians and 14 Ph.D.s have found a high-tech way of getting a crucial set of nutrients back into our bodies — compounds that, thanks to the industrialization of agriculture over the past half century, have been thoroughly stripped from our food supply without, until recently, it being realized by anyone.

Now, an ever-growing body of research is showing that the epidemic of diseases associated with the Western diet — cancer, heart disease, depression, and much more — might be curtailed simply by restoring something we never should have removed from our diets in the first place: omega-3 fatty acids.

The great mistake

We are, it is often — and accurately — said, what we eat. Recent diet trends, from Atkins to South Beach, have put the emphasis on upping our intake of protein or cutting out carbohydrates. Meanwhile, cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats have been stigmatized, leading to the belief that waging a total war on fat is the best way to get a slimmer waistline and a longer life. But fats are as crucial to a healthy body as protein is; they end up holstered into the heart, protecting organs, and building the cells of the brain, an organ that is itself 60 percent fat. The key to good health lies not in ruthlessly striking fat from our diets, but in eating the best possible fats for our bodies. And a growing chorus of nutritionists agrees that those fats are omega-3s.

Certainly, you've read headlines trumpeting the ability of omega-3 fatty acids to boost brain function and protect against coronary heart disease. Hedging your bets, you may already have tweaked your diet, substituting beef or poultry for salmon or some other oily fish a few times a week. But, as a jaded observer of food trends, you may have wondered whether the new "heart-healthy" fats touted on the packaging of eggs, margarine, spaghetti, and frozen waffles are just a marketing ploy — the latest in a long line of miracle nutrients that, a few months or years hence, will prove to be nothing more than hype.

Lose the skepticism. This isn't the next oat bran.

Omega-3 molecules are a by-product of the happy meeting of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide in the chloroplasts of terrestrial plants and marine algae. Not long ago, these fatty acids were an inescapable component of our diet. Back in the early 1900s — long before the arrival of bovine growth hormone and patented transgenic seeds — American family farms were perfect factories for producing omega-3s.

Bucolic, sun-drenched pastures supported a complex array of grasses, and cattle used their sensitive tongues to pick and choose the ripest patches of clover, millet, and sweet grass; their rumens then turned the cellulose that humans can't digest into foods that we can: milk, butter, cheese, and, eventually, beef, all of them rich in omega-3s. Cattle used to spend four to five carefree years grazing on grass, but now they are fattened on grain in feedlots and reach slaughter weight in about a year, all the while pumped full of antibiotics to fight off the diseases caused by the close quarters of factory farms.

Likewise, a few generations ago, chickens roamed those same farms, foraging on grasses, purslane, and grubs, providing humans with drumsticks, breasts, and eggs that were rich in grass-derived omega-3s. Today, most American chickens are now a single hybrid breed — the Cornish — and are raised in cages, treated with antibiotics, and stuffed full of corn.

Our animal fats were once derived from leafy greens, and now our livestock are fattened with corn, soybeans, and other seed oils. (Even the majority of the salmon, catfish, and shrimp in our supermarkets are raised on farms and fattened with soy-enriched pellets.) So not only have good fats been stricken from our diets, but these cheap, widely available seed oils are the source of another, far less healthy family of fatty acids called omega-6s, which compete with omega-3s for space in our cell membranes. Omega-6s are essentially more rigid fatty acids that give our cells structure, while omega-3s are more fluid and help our bodies fight inflammation. Our ancestors ate a ratio of dietary omega-6s to omega-3s of approximately 1:1. The Western diet (the modern American and European eating pattern characterized by high intakes of red meat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates) has a ratio of about 20:1.

"The shift from a food chain with green plants at its base to one based on seeds may be the most far reaching of all," writes Michael Pollan in his prescriptive manifesto In Defense of Food. "From leaves to seeds: It's almost, if not quite, A Theory of Everything."

This shift began in earnest in the 1960s. Research on the links between cholesterol and saturated fats and coronary heart disease led health authorities to demonize lard, dairy products, and other animal-derived sources of fat. Meanwhile, new health guidelines lionized the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils and margarine (which is merely vegetable oil solidified via hydrogenation, a process that creates the dreaded trans fats).

Food processors were happy to play along: Polyunsaturated seed oils did not go rancid as quickly as omega-3s, which meant a longer shelf life for packaged foods. One form of fat in particular, omega-6-rich soybean oil, is now ubiquitous in processed foods. Soybeans, originally an import from East Asia, have become the second most valuable food crop in the United States. Genetically modified to resist pests, they are crushed to make high-protein meal for livestock, and the heavily subsidized industry has found ingenious ways of moving its product in the form of "soy isoflavones," "textured vegetable protein," "soy protein isolate," and the other novel ingredients lurking on the labels of processed foods.

Look around your kitchen and you'll find soybean oil in everything from salad dressing to Crisco, from processed cheese to granola bars. If you are eating a processed food, chances are it contains soy. Twenty percent of Americans' calories now come from soybeans; the average person eats 25 pounds of the stuff a year. Just four seed oils — soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola oil — account for 96 percent of the vegetable oil eaten in America today.

The spread of the seed-oil-rich Western diet around the world has been tracked by a statistical rise in the so-called diseases of civilization: asthma and arthritis, depression and Alzheimer's, heart disease and cancer, as well as metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.

Living longer on a 'poor man's diet'

Okinawans, of Japan, once had the longest life expectancy in the world. But with postwar American administration, which didn't end until 1972, residents of the Japanese prefecture switched to a Western diet rich in meat and seed-based vegetable oils (think Spam, McDonald's hamburgers, and margarine). As a result, they experienced a precipitous rise in cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Western eating habits proved hard to shake, and 47 percent of Okinawan men are still considered obese, twice the rate of the rest of Japan.

According to a 2003 study published in the World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, urban Indians who have adopted seed-oil-rich diets succumb to heart disease and chronic illnesses at a much higher rate than village dwellers who eat a "poor man's diet" that is high in mustard oil, which is relatively high in omega-3s. It is believed that, in the 1960s, Israelis enthusiastically adopted an ostensibly heart-healthy diet rich in polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils; now heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are ubiquitous, and rates of cancer are higher than in the United States.

In 1970, intrigued by reports that Eskimos rarely die from heart disease, two Danish scientists flew to Greenland and charmed blood samples from 130 volunteers. Hans Olaf Bang and Jørn Dyerberg discovered that the Inuit people still got most of their calories from fish, seal, and whale meat. Despite their high cholesterol intake, the Inuit had a death rate from coronary disease that was one-tenth that of the Danes, enthusiastic pork eaters who have been known to butter even their cheese. And diabetes was almost non-existent among the Inuit.

Bang and Dyerberg found strikingly high levels of omega-3s and relatively low amounts of omega-6s in the Inuit blood samples. In 1978, they published a groundbreaking paper in The Lancet, establishing the link between omega-3 consumption and lower rates of coronary heart disease. It initiated a paradigm shift among nutritionists, one that is only now truly influencing official dietary policy around the world.

"There has been a thousandfold increase in the consumption of soybean oil over the past hundred years," says Joseph Hibbeln, MD, acting chief of the section on nutritional neurosciences at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The result, he states, is an unplanned experiment in brain and heart chemistry, one whose subject is the entire population of the developed world. In a series of epidemiological studies, Dr. Hibbeln showed that populations that consume high levels of omega-3s in the form of seafood are the least afflicted by the major diseases associated with the Western diet.

Among the Japanese, who each eat an average of 145 pounds of fish a year, rates of depression and homicide are strikingly low. Meanwhile, men who live in landlocked nations such as Austria and Hungary, where fish consumption is respectively 25 pounds and nine pounds per capita, top the global charts in suicide and depression. Despite the fact that the Japanese smoke like fiends, struggle with high blood pressure, and eat a hundred more cholesterol-rich eggs a year per person than Americans do, they boast enviably low rates of cardiovascular disease, as well as the longest life span on the planet, an average of 81 years... three years longer than that of Americans.

And while it's true that the Japanese consume soy in the form of tofu, miso, and soy sauce, the way it is prepared — precipitated or fermented — is far healthier than the raw, mineral-blocking phytate estrogen and omega-6-rich versions consumed by Americans.

Dr. Hibbeln is convinced that the key to the average Japanese citizen's longevity is omega-3 fatty acids; levels in Japanese bloodstreams average 60 percent of all polyunsaturates. After half a century of favoring seed-based vegetable oils, the level of omega-3s in American bloodstreams has fallen to 20 percent of polyunsaturates. "We have changed the composition of people's bodies and brains," says Dr. Hibbeln. "A very interesting question, to which we don't yet know the answer, is to what degree has the dietary change altered overall behavior in our society?"

Lately, the answers have been coming in thick and fast. In one study of 231 inmates medicated with fish oil in a British prison, assaults dropped by a third. Comparing homicide rates in five countries, Dr. Hibbeln found that the rising consumption of omega-6 fatty acids correlated with a hundredfold increase in death by homicide, even though access to firearms went down in all the countries surveyed except the United States. A paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that even a modest increase in the consumption of omega-3-rich fish reduced the risk of coronary death by 36 percent. A 2007 study by the National Institutes of Health found a positive correlation between mothers' consumption of omega-3s during pregnancy and the fine motor skills and verbal IQs of their children.

Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet might even reverse obesity: Omega-6s are, in the words of one researcher, "remarkable boosters of adipogenesis," which is to say the formation of fatty tissues. Animals that are fed diets high in omega-6s gain far more weight from the same amount of calories than their grass-fed counterparts, and that hard-to-lose fat in the middle-aged paunch, it turns out, is mostly omega-6s. A higher intake of omega-3 has been shown to positively affect ailments as diverse as stroke, allergies, dementia, and dyslexia.

"Men in their forties and fifties can nearly reverse their risk of dying from sudden cardiac death by eating fish at least three times a week," says Dr. Hibbeln. "And if they want to live longer and happier lives, there's substantial data that they should increase their body composition of omega-3s." Your family doctor can test your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, or you can do it yourself. (Your Future Health sells test kits on its Web site,

How could a simple change in dietary fat have such a huge impact on so many aspects of our health? The answer lies in the nature of two specific forms of omega-3s, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are especially rich in seafood. Not all omega-3 fatty acids, it turns out, are created equal.

The rise of humanity

Stephen Cunnane, Ph.D., is an ideal poster boy for a high omega-3 diet. Tall, energetic, and trim, this researcher in brain metabolism at Quebec's University of Sherbrooke lacks any sign of the paunch you might expect in a man of 55 years. His secret, he confides, is lots of exercise and at least two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week.

Cunnane believes that omega-3s, and specifically DHA and EPA, are the crucial nutrients that permitted proto-humans with brains the size of a chimpanzee's to become chattering, tool-using Homo sapiens. DHA has a cylindrical shape and can compress and twist like a Slinky, switching between hundreds of different shapes billions of times a second. The molecule is particularly abundant in the tails of rattlesnakes, the wings of hummingbirds, the tails of sperm, and the retinas and brain cells of people who eat fish. A neuron that is high in DHA molecules is virtually liquid, allowing for more effective reception of serotonin, dopamine, and other crucial neurotransmitters. In test subjects, this heightened neuroplasticity has been linked to better vision and eye-hand coordination, better mood, enhanced general movements, and an increased capacity for sustained attention. EPA is no less crucial: It reduces blood clotting and dampens the inflammatory response in tissues. Such chronic inflammation is suspected to be at the root of most of the so-called diseases of civilization, from Alzheimer's and depression to heart disease and cancer.

While it's true that terrestrial plants are good sources of omega-3s, the fatty acid most present in land-based species is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Essential for good health, ALA can be found in fruits, vegetables, and some seeds, among them lettuce, leeks, purslane, kale, broccoli, blueberries, hemp, chia, and flaxseed. ALA is especially rich in plants that grow in intense light, and the fatty acid is thought to help the plants recover from sun damage. Though the human body is capable of turning ALA into DHA and EPA through a series of enzymatic reactions, it is not particularly good at it: Less than 1 percent of the ALA we get from vegetable sources ultimately becomes DHA and EPA. The ocean is the world's richest source of DHA and EPA, particularly from plankton-eating oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, and herring.

Recently discovered archaeological evidence suggests that around 2 million years ago, early hominids, the ancestors of modern humans, left the forests to live on the wooded edges of huge brackish lakes and estuaries in what is now Africa's Rift Valley. Prehistoric middens found in Kenya and Zaire are filled with shells and headless catfish skeletons, evidence that these proto-humans were taking full advantage of the easily gathered protein — and, incidentally, omega-3 fatty acids — at one of the world's first all-you-can-eat seafood buffets. Around the same time, hominid brains began to grow, swelling more than twofold from 650 grams in Homo habilis, the first tool-using hominid, to 1,490 grams in the early ancestors of Homo sapiens. "Anthropologists usually point to things such as the rise of language and tool making to explain the massive expansion of early hominid brains," says Cunnane. "But this is a catch-22. Something had to start the process of brain expansion, and I think it was early humans eating clams, frogs, bird eggs, and fish from shoreline environments."

Seafood is especially rich in the minerals zinc, iodine, copper, iron, and selenium, all of which are essential for fetal brain growth and good brain function in adults, and may have kick-started the process of explosive neural growth. This shore-based theory of early human evolution, laid out by Cunnane in his book Survival of the Fattest and championed by the British brain chemistry expert Michael Crawford, challenges the prevailing savannah and woodland theories, which pinpoint hunting and scavenging as the motive force in brain evolution. The Aquatic Ape Theory is a more controversial version of the shore-based scenario. Propounded by Sir Alister Hardy and Elaine Morgan in the United Kingdom, it seeks to explain such diverse phenomena as bipedalism and the streamlined human torso by positing an aquatic phase to human evolution, in which hominids spent a good percentage of their waking lives wading and swimming in search of seafood.

Cunnane's account has the advantage of explaining some of the more puzzling attributes of Homo sapiens. Why, for example, are we the only primates whose babies are born with more than a pound of subcutaneous fat, and whose fetuses actually float? And why, unlike elephants, rhinos, and other mammals whose brains actually shrank over the generations, did our ancestors' gray matter undergo explosive and sustained growth in the past 2 million years?

EPA and DHA, Cunnane insists, work in synergy; what is good for the heart also tends to be good for the brain. "Even if you don't change the composition of your brain by getting more DHA," says Cunnane, "the vessels are the things that supply oxygen and nutrients to your brain, and they require omega-3 fatty acids for optimal function as well. For blood pressure regulation, for controlling your platelet function, your clotting tendency, the rhythm of your heart, you need omega-3 fatty acids."

Cunnane shows me a photo of an image carved into buff-colored sandstone. "This was found in a cave in France. It must have been one of the Sistine Chapels of the drawing world at the time." It is a highly naturalistic rendition of a salmon, down to gill flaps and hooked mandible. Evidence of early fish eating, jaw-dropping in its technical sophistication, the image is 22,000 years old. An interesting footnote to Cunnane's theory is that our seafood-eating Cro-Magnon ancestors, including the master sculptor responsible for this bas-relief, might well have been smarter than we are. Fossil evidence shows that the Cro-Magnons, though their bodies were smaller than those of Neanderthals, had brains about 200 grams heavier than modern humans'. Humanity's relatively recent creep away from seafood-rich shorelines, Cunnane believes, explains everything from the 20 percent of American women who are iron deficient to the dangling goiters of people living in mountainous regions. (If iodine hadn't been added to table salt 80 years ago, cretinism, a deficiency typified by severely stunted mental growth, would be endemic in most developed countries.)

Until the American Revolution, 98 percent of the population lived along rivers and oceans. Leaving the coasts might be a slow-motion public-health disaster. Deficiencies of DHA and the brain-selective minerals abundant on shorelines, speculates Cunnane, affect the performance of the modern human brain and, uncorrected, might eventually cause brains to shrink.

"Adaptation will be necessary," he concludes in Survival of the Fattest, "either by making supplements more widely available or by moving back to the shorelines, or we will conceivably face evolutionary processes that could eventually reduce cognitive capacity."

In other words, our cod-liver-oil-loving grandmothers had it right: Fish really is brain food. And our disastrous decision to replace the omega-3s in our diet with omega-6s might be all the proof anybody needs that, as a species, Homo sapiens are getting demonstrably dumber.

The future of fish

Colin Barrow, PhD, Ocean Nutrition's vice president of research and development, has any number of ways of getting omega-3s into his diet. He could, he points out, spread specially formulated Becel margarine onto DHA- and EPA-spiked Wonder Bread and wash it down with omega-3 supplemented Danone liquid yogurt. Instead, he prefers to take his omega-3s neat: He stirs a tablespoon of pure powdered fish oil into his morning juice.

A tall, soft-spoken New Zealander with a ginger beard and a long-toothed smile, Barrow has used the expertise gained from a PhD in chemistry and marine natural products to develop the process that allowed Ocean Nutrition to reintroduce omega-3s into packaged foods.

"The process is called microencapsulation," says Barrow, "and it was originally used for delivering ink in the cartridges of ink-jet printers." If you increased the size of a grain of Ocean Nutrition's microencapsulated powder to that of a basketball, it would be filled with Ping-Pong-ball-size agglomerations of oil encased in gelatin. Each particle is like a microscopic fish-oil capsule, allowing the powder to be added to food without changing the food's taste. Without a protective coating to prevent oxidation, the omega-3 in a glass of orange juice would stink like a sardine tin left out in the sun. Ocean Nutrition has taken any hint of fishiness out of fish oil — an essential move in the notoriously seafood-averse North American market.

The source of Ocean Nutrition's meticulously deodorized oil is, ultimately, a fish. Namely, Engraulis ringens, the Peruvian anchoveta, a small schooling species that lives in the relatively unpolluted waters off the west coast of South America. The process starts when fishing boats encircle the vast schools with purse-seine nets and bring the catch back to barges. Under the close supervision of rabbis, who are there to ensure that no squid, shellfish, or other nonkosher species remain in the nets, billions of fish are sucked through a pipe to onshore processing plants. There, the anchoveta are heated to 85 degrees Celsius, ground with an auger, and pulverized with a hydraulic screw to extract the oil. The oil is then distilled and filtered through clay to eliminate all traces of mercury, dioxins, and other persistent organic pollutants, those nasty toxins that can cause developmental and long-term neurological problems in consumers of tuna and farmed salmon. Transported by container ship through the Panama Canal, the oil arrives in Nova Scotia, where it is further concentrated and refined. Some of the oil ends up on the shelves of Walmart, Walgreens, and other major retailers that package it in their house-brand capsules. The rest, in powdered form, goes to the likes of PepsiCo and Unilever, who mix it into packaged foods. Ocean Nutrition now supplies 60 percent of the North American fish-oil market.

For anybody concerned about the future of the oceans, Ocean Nutrition's sourcing policies are good news. With big predatory species such as tuna, sharks, and swordfish already fished to 10 percent of their former abundance, and marine ecologists predicting the collapse of most major fisheries by the year 2048, conservationists have expressed concern about what kind of impact the widespread use of omega-3 supplements could have on the world's remaining fish stocks. Fortunately, the Peruvian anchoveta fishery — one of the world's largest — is in no imminent danger of collapse.

"These fish have been harvested in a highly regulated way, in very pristine waters, for more than 50 years," says Ian Lucas, Ocean Nutrition's executive vice president of marketing, "and the biomass is actually expanding." Fish oil is an industrial by-product of the fish-meal industry, which supplies feed for livestock and farmed shrimp and salmon. "It's going to take a long, long time before the fish-oil industry actually causes more fishing to happen," says Lucas. But according to Daniel Pauly, PhD, a leading authority on the decline of the world's fisheries at the Fisheries Centre at Vancouver's University of British Columbia, stocks of Peruvian anchoveta can fluctuate wildly; there was a temporary collapse in the 1970s and again in the 1980s. To forestall future problems, Pauly believes the fishery needs to be even more strictly monitored and regulated than it is today.

As word spreads of omega-3's benefits, so does fish-oil consumption. Lucas says that the share of omega-3 fatty acids in the supplement market has been growing by 30 percent a year for the past five years. Though alternative sources of fish oils exist, some are clearly more ecologically questionable than Peruvian anchoveta. A Virginia-based company called Omega Protein nets a schooling fish called menhaden off the mid-Atlantic coast; its -menhaden-based fish oil may now be added to 29 different categories of food. The fishery has been criticized because menhaden is a keystone species in the food chain of the East Coast; the fish feed by filtering algae from the water, and, in their absence, microscopic plankton have proliferated, creating the harmful algae blooms and dead zones that plague places such as Chesapeake Bay.

Barrow escorts me into a lab and shows me a 10-liter glass fermentation tank bristling with hoses and filled with a cloudy, swirling, foam-topped liquid. In its search for alternative sources of omega-3s, Ocean Nutrition has gathered a DHA-rich alga from an undisclosed location in Canada. In the United States, a company called Martek has already patented its own DHA-producing alga called Crypthecodinium cohnii, which is grown in massive multistory tanks in South Carolina; much of the infant formula in North America is now supplemented with Martek's patented Life's DHA.

"The product is good," says Barrow, "but it's really expensive, and they can't get their microorganisms to produce EPA. Our organism is a really good producer; we can get it to express about 8 percent EPA." This may be the future of omega-3s: an essential nutrient grown in tanks, sparing the world's fish stocks from overharvesting.

If Ocean Nutrition's better-living-through-chemistry approach to good nutrition strikes you as somewhat sinister, there is a straight-forward alternative to microencapsulated fish oil. The best way to get high-quality DHA and EPA into your body, it turns out, is the old — fashioned way: Eat more seafood, especially shellfish and smaller fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines.

"You should eat vegetables and fruits, of course, and get exercise," advises Cunnane, "but you have to eat fish. You can take fish-oil capsules, but part of the point is to enjoy the experience of eating. So buy the best fish you can afford." Seafood also has the edge on omega-3 capsules because it includes the brain-selective minerals zinc, iron, copper, iodine, and selenium, cofactors our bodies need to make optimal use of EPA and DHA.

Getting rid of omega-6s

And now, full disclosure: As part of the research for a book I was writing about the sustainability of seafood in our world's oceans, I have radically increased my intake of omega-3s over the past two years. I've been taking three fish-oil capsules a day (a combined total of 1,800 milligrams of DHA and EPA), and having at least four fish meals a week. Early on, I saw a marked change in my alertness and capacity for sustained attention. But it wasn't until I started diminishing the amount of omega-6s in my diet that I started to lose weight. In the past year, I've shed five pounds and reversed the first swellings of a nascent potbelly.

The goal is not to "nix the six" completely, as the writer of one diet book puts it; after all, omega-6s are essential to good health. But getting an adequate supply is hardly a challenge; they are omnipresent in our food, and we would all be better off if our diets were closer to the 1:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

For me, the easiest change has been ridding my kitchen of such high-omega-6 fats as sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, and margarine; I now favor olive oil, canola oil (a polyunsaturate, but one that is high in omega-3s), and butter. I have lately become an assiduous reader of food labels. Polyunsaturated fats, I now know, are usually synonymous with omega-6 fatty acids, which seem to have worked their way into virtually all the processed foods in the supermarket. It is much healthier to seek out monounsaturated fats like olive oil, and even avoid processed foods altogether. Even some forms of fish are high in omega-6s, especially fried fish sticks, fast-food sandwiches, and farmed catfish, tilapia, and salmon (whose feed is now spiked with large amounts of soy).

And those omega-6 capsules sold in health-food stores are worse than useless: Adding additional omega-6s to your diet defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. When shopping for an omega-3 capsule, I typically look for the brand with the highest levels of DHA and EPA, usually about 400 milligrams of EPA and 200 milligrams of DHA.

Omega-3s aren't a quick fix like Advil, or even, for that matter, Prozac, which takes several weeks to change brain chemistry. Omega-3s take at least three months to harness themselves into heart cells, for example. I can't be certain about improvements in my cardiovascular health, but since I started loading up on DHA and EPA, I feel as if I've upgraded my brain. My energy is high, and I feel strangely unflappable, like I've gained some kind of unbeatable equilibrium. My body feels different too, as though my fat and muscle have been redistributed to more useful places. Navigating among the omega-6-fattened hordes, I feel lean and swift, like a tuna darting among sea cows.

So, by all means, keep swallowing those omega-3 capsules. But here's an even better idea: Seek out grass-fed beef, free-range chickens and their eggs, the best olive oil, canola oil, and butter you can find, and lots of fish and shellfish, preferably small wild-caught species from clean waters. In other words, if you are looking for a guiding principle, keep it simple and eat like your ancestors ate.

10/20/30/40/50 x 3

Great job in yesterday's smoker.
We want to welcome the new attendees and hope you enjoyed it.

Sorry I didn't post the results yesterday, but I can't post from my work computer.

55 pounds:
Ryan - 19:15
Joel - 28:01

52 pounds:
Matt - 23:00

44 pounds:
Earnest - 25:15

35 pounds:
Leslie - 22:11
Reagan - 23:06
Mike - 24:29
Tina - 26:24
26 pounds:
Alicia - 29:54
Charlene - 32:54
20 pounds:
Valerie - 29:35
Maria - 34:10
15 pounds:
Amber - 2 rounds ~ 25:00

I'll post tomorrow's WOD after work today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sorry for the late post

Here is the WOD tomorrow, Joel will be there. If you get there early just start the warm-up

3 rounds of:
20 KB Swings 1.5 pood(Men) / 1.0 pood(women)
30 Burpees
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On your own

Sorry, tomorrows WOD is on your own. Don leave for Korea, Joel has to work, and Im in class. Go ahead and meet, warm up, and do the WOD without us. Joel will be back on wednesday.

4 rds
Run 400m - Same route as Friday
50 squats
email me your times and ill post them monday night

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ths gang and the results!

Great work today! That was a tough WOD but all that intensity you guys had today will really pay off - well done!

Here are the results:

Stacy - 25:05

Matt - 26:16

Reagan - 26:56

Valerie - 29:16

Dave - 29:27

Joel - 29:29

Alicia - 36:13

Leslie - 30:00

Charlene - 31:56

Lilla - 42:34

Maria - 36:32 minus the last set of 75 burpees

Nathan - 45:00 - minus 12 burpees

Karen - 45:00 - minus 15 burpees

Amber - 30:30 - minus burpees
Doc - 27:48

Again, great job everyone; this one was a smoke. We'll do this again with the C2 rowers, once they come in. That WOD is every bit as enjoyable as this one was.
Keep an eye on the webpage - I am scheduled to depart for Korea on Tuesday. Dave and Joel are tied up on Monday; as of now, I should be able to run the class but that could change. If it does, I'll post it.
Finally, join so you can track you WODs online. Check my earlier post this week for more info on BTWB.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

News and the WOD

The News
As Don posted earlier this week because of training cycles, classes, and TDY trips the gym may not be operating on its normal schedule. Starting next week I am in Combative Lvl 2, Don is heading to Korea, Karen is in NC, and Joel will be all that is available to train. I might be able to make it to class late but I will most likely have to leave early. My class lasts for 2 weeks and the following week, Don is still in Korea, Karen in NC, and I have a week long range that I have to run. I know that I won’t be able to be there during that week at all. Then there are some more things coming down the pipe also. I am very sorry but you have to remember that we have green suit jobs as well. Please keep an eye on the website so that you will know what the WOD is and if for some reason class needs to be canceled. We will try and let you know at least a day a head of time. If possible I will try and hold a Saturday class if we miss some weekday classes. Please comment or email me with interest. I will post when and if those classes will be held.

As you can see our little group is growing, fast! We only started 2 ½ months ago. We still have some of the people from the original classes but word of mouth has brought us great new people too.
Soon we will have to cap the size and require some basic knowledge to attend. New patrons will only be accepted only if they complete a fundamentals class series. We are working on developing that now. Its not happening yet but it might soon. We will have to work off a first come first serve for those who have been thru fundamentals or attending for a while and have a basic understanding of movements. This will also allow us to move into some more advanced movements and WODs especially when the new equipment arrives.

Ok, sorry for all the bad new folks. I am having a great time and even though I spend about 6-7 hours a week out of my personal time.
And tomorrows WOD is

For Time
Run 1200m
25 Burpees
Run 800m
50 Burpees
Run 400m
75 Burpees

This is a long WOD we will start the WOD at 12.15 to give everyone plenty of time. We will also cap the work limit at 45 minutes ending the class at 1 o’clock. Don’t worry about getting it done in the 45 min, you just keep going and going and going and complete as much as you can during the time limits.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rapid health improvements with a Paleolithic diet

This is a great post from Dr. Michael Eades: it has great data demonstrating the rapid benefits of a paleo diet. Check out his actual post for the graphs.

I imagine most readers of this blog would expect a group of subjects to do better on a Paleolithic diet as compared to a standard American diet, but there are few studies actually making the comparison. One was posted yesterday in the Advance-0nline-Publication section of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that shows subjects following a Paleolithic diet made major metabolic changes, and made them rapidly.

Before we get into the study, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page when we discuss the Paleolithic diet. We say Paleolithic diet, what are we really talking about?

The Paleolithic era refers to that period of history of the genus Homo, which began more than 2 million years ago and ran until the Neolithic period started circa 10,000 years ago. The Neolithic era dates to the time when early man set down roots both literally and figuratively when he started to cultivate plants for food and domesticate animals. The Paleolithic era ends and the Neolithic era begins with the advent of agriculture.

So what did Paleolithic man eat? We don’t know precisely because Paleolithic man didn’t leave any written records, menus, cookbooks, etc. The only records Paleolithic man left are the cave paintings, of which Lascaux in France is the most famous. Virtually all of these paintings feature animals prominently, which would lead one to believe that animals figured greatly in the lives of Paleolithic people. Since they didn’t domesticate these animals, and since it seems unlikely that they kept zoos, the most obvious reason these early people focused so much artistic effort on these animals is that they ate them. Carbon-13 isotope studies bear out that idea as the same carbon isotopes found in grass are also found heavily concentrated in the bones of Paleolithic man and other known carnivores, which leads to one of two conclusions: either Paleolithic man spent his days grazing or he ate animals that grazed. I would opt for the latter interpretation.

Keep this idea of Paleolithic man as a meat eater along with the idea of the cave pictures in your mind. We’ll return to them later, but first, let’s look at this study.

Nine healthy, sedentary, non-obese subjects (6 men; 3 women) over the age of 18 recruited from the San Francisco Bay area completed the study. These subjects had their starting diets analyzed - all were on their own version of the standard American diet - and a battery of tests done on them to evaluate multiple metabolic parameters.

Once the beginning data was in hand, the researchers started the subjects on a ramp up to the full Paleolithic diet by giving them daily increases of fiber and potassium.

For the intervention phase, beginning day 1, for adaptation purposes, a series of 1-day cycle diets with gradually increasing levels of potassium and fiber were developed by the research dietitians. This was to allow the subjects’ intestinal tract and potassium handling systems to adjust to the markedly higher dietary content of fiber and potassium. ‘Ramp 1′ diet was given for 1 day, ‘Ramp 2′ diet for 3 days, ‘Ramp 3′ diet for 3 days and finally the ‘Paleo diet’ for the remainder of the study.

Once ramped up, the subjects went on the full Paleo diet for 10 days. An interesting twist to this study was that the subjects were monitored carefully for any signs of weight loss over the course of the study, and any subjects losing even small amounts of weight were encouraged to eat more of the Paleo foods in an effort to maintain their starting weights. Since weight loss itself can bring about metabolic changes, the researchers wanted to make sure that any changes came about as a result of the diet composition and not as a side effect of weight loss.

What did they eat?

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, canola oil, mayonnaise and honey were included in the Ramp and Paleo phases of the diet. We excluded dairy products, legumes, cereals, grains, potatoes and products containing potassium chloride (some foods, such as mayonnaise, carrot juice and domestic meat were not consumed by hunter-gatherers, but contain the general nutritional characteristics of preagricultural foods).

Hmmm. More about which later. For now, here is a layout of the specific foods the subjects ate during the ramp and the full Paleo diet.

The macronutrient composition of the regular diets of these subjects was 18% protein, 44 % carbohydrate and 38% fat. The Paleo diet was 30% protein, 38% carbohydrate and 32% fat, mostly unsaturated, as the authors were quick to point out. (does that ratio look familiar? It should as the Zone calls for 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat....)

After the 7 day ramp period and the 10 days of Paleo dieting, subjects experienced large changes in most parameters measured.

As you can see, there were significant decreases in triglycerides, total and LDL-cholesterol with no change in HDL-cholesterol.

The body of the paper reports an insignificant decrease in blood sugar after the Paleo diet, but the units listed in the paper are incorrect, which is one of the hazards of dealing with a pre-publication paper. All the kinks haven’t been worked out.

Fasting insulin levels plummeted by more than two thirds in (11.5 to 3.6 µU/ml) and the total area under the insulin curve was lowered by almost half. What these figures tell us is that the diet made these subjects much, much more sensitive to their own insulin. In other words, they required substantially less insulin to keep their blood sugars in the normal range. Since they were producing less insulin, they had less circulating insulin, which meant less fat storage, less arterial stiffening and less of all the things that too much insulin causes.

Along with the improvements in lipids and insulin sensitivity, the subjects experienced a significant drop in diastolic blood pressure and a decrease in mean arterial pressure. These improvements likely occurred in part because these subjects had substantially increased brachial artery diameter, a measure of arterial distensibility. There arteries had become less stiff and more pliable over a mere 17 days of dietary change.

Urinary potassium loss increased, indicating an increased potassium intake by the subjects. And urinary calcium excretion decreased.

Another interesting aspect of this study is that these findings were pretty much across the board. Instead of a couple of hyper responders raising the average, either all nine or in a couple of cases, eight of the nine subjects demonstrated pretty much the same changes, indicating

consistently improved metabolic and physiological status with respect to circulatory, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism/physiology.

The authors of this paper found

in a small group of sedentary, slightly overweight, but not obese adult humans, that switching from their usual diet to a paleolithic-type diet, which contained no cereal grains, dairy [or] legumes, resulted, after only a short period of time [17 days] and without weight loss or increase in activity levels

Significant positive changes in all the parameters discussed above.

I was fascinated by this study because the changes were so rapid, but I was a little put off because it could have been so much better. I mean why didn’t they test a real Paleolithic diet? Probably because of nutritional correctness, i.e., fear of saturated fat.

During Paleolithic times, man primarily subsisted by hunting. The preferred food was large game animals, and Paleolithic man, a skilled hunter, wiped most of them out. And not just the large grazing animals. Paleolithic man completely decimated the Cave bear. As you can see from the photo of my Cave bear skull below (from a slide I use in presentations), these were enormous animals that didn’t go down easily. Cave bear, like all bears, had high levels of body fat, which must have been highly desired because these ferocious animals were hunted to extinction about 15,000 years ago by people wielding little more than pointed sticks. I would have to value fat a whole lot more than I do to tackle one of these guys. The largest bears that I could find the fatty acid composition for were polar bears, which should be appropriate since cave bear lived in northern latitudes. Polar bears have on average 30 percent saturated fat, 50 percent monounsaturated fat and 15 percent polyunsaturated fat. (I know these figures don’t add up to 100 percent, but they are the figures as presented in the article.)

The majority of the large animals that roamed the world are gone thanks to the depredations of Paleolithic man. If you ever get the chance to go to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, take a stroll through the many large halls filled with the enormous skeletons of these animals that used to roam what is now the United States. Experts estimate that it took Paleolithic man only about a thousand years to range from northern North America were he crossed the Bering strait to the southern tip of South America wiping out all the large game that existed at the time.

These large mammals that Paleolithic man decimated are now only present in skeletal form so we don’t know for sure what their fatty acid composition was. But we do know that of those left, the larger the animals, the larger the percent body fat. And the larger the percent body fat, the greater the percentage of saturated fat. Given those two facts, one has to conclude that Paleolithic man consumed a large percentage of his energy as saturated fat. We can’t look at the fat content of deer, for example, and use that to estimate the saturated-fat content of the Paleolithic diet. Deer, as we know them today, were tiny animals as compared to those Paleo man typically dined on.

If you look at the fatty acid breakdown of the horse, a large animal (not grain fed) that we are all familiar with that is comparable in size to many of the animals Paleolithic man hunted to extinction, you find a large proportion of saturated fats. Horse fat is about 36 percent saturated fat, 34 percent monounsaturated fat, and the rest polyunsaturated fat. Even rabbits carry over 40 percent of their fat as saturated fat, but rabbits have much less fat per weight than the larger animals.

It seems pretty obvious that Paleolithic man would have eaten considerable saturated fat. Which begs the question: Why always cut the saturated fat in experimental diets testing the hypothesis that the Paleolithic diet is more healthful?

I don’t know the answer for sure, but I expect that it’s due to the nutritional equivalent of political correctness, which I call nutritional correctness.

Researchers are simply afraid to imply that saturated fats might actually be harmless, so they go through all kinds of contortions to present their data in such a way that it couldn’t possibly present saturated fats in a positive light. And much good research and reporting has suffered as a consequence.

A case in point is a otherwise wonderful book published 20+ years ago titled The Paleolithic Prescription. This fascinating book goes into great detail describing the physical exploits of our ancient ancestors based in large part of reports by European explorers encountering ‘primitive’ peoples untouched by the forces of ‘civilization.’ The authors, based on the anthropological literature, describe the size of our Paleolithic forebears as being similar to our own, but their strength was significantly greater:

These people were strong - stronger by all estimates than most agricultural and industrial people (including ourselves) who lived after them. Skeletal remains reflect strength and muscularity: the size of joints and the sites where muscles are inserted into bones indicate both the mass of the muscles and the magnitude of the force they were able to exert. Average Cro-Magnons, for example, were apparently as strong as today’s superior male and female athletes. Strange as it may seem, Cro-Magnons and other hunters and gatherers may have worked fewer hours per week than did the agriculturalists who followed, yet they were significantly more robust.

Think about this last sentence for a minute. Strong, robust Cro-Magnons who settled into a life of agriculture circa 10,000 years ago, and who worked harder than their pastoral predecessors, showed a decline in strength and muscle mass. Why? What The Paleolithic Prescription says about energy expended is true. The skeletal remains of agriculturalists show much more arthritic changes and incidence of joint wear implying much more regular physical activity than hunters. So why did agriculturalists develop less muscle mass and strength? Could it be because of a switch from diets high in fat and protein to diets low in fat and protein and high in carbohydrates? Makes sense to me. Same genetic material, greater exercise, different diet, yet weaker and less robust.

Getting back to my original point about this book, the authors presented a mass of data showing our Paleolithic ancestors to be more robust, healthier and able to routinely perform feats of strength that are almost unbelievable to us today. And they dwelt on the massive amount of hunting that sustained these ancient peoples. Then, when it came time to apply these dietary lessons to people of today, the authors tried to shoehorn their findings in a nutritionally correct regimen that followed the low-fat diet precepts that academicians are so attached to. It’s really a shame because this could have been a wonderful book. It’s still well worth reading, but simply ignore the dietary advice.

It would have been great had the authors of the paper above used a real Paleolithic diet for their study instead of an imaginary Paleolithic diet that conformed to the tenets of nutritional correctness.

Based on my own experience with thousands of patients, I can predict what the findings would have been. Lipid parameters would have been improved, but with LDL staying about the same or maybe going up a little. HDL would have gone up significantly. Triglycerides would have fallen maybe more. The all-important triglyceride/HDL ratio would have plummeted much more than with the faux Paleo diet. Fasting insulin would have dropped like a rock and the area under the insulin curve would have fallen at least as much, if not further. Blood pressure would have decreased and all the measures of vascular pliability would have improved. All in all, my prediction is that the outcome of the study would have been better than the outcome of the study as it currently exists.

The Paleolithic diet data indicates that early man ate more saturated fat than he did carbohydrates. And he was molded by the processes of natural selection to thrive on such a diet. When he bolted from that meat-based diet, as he did when he settled in to life as an agriculturalist, he paid dearly for it with a devolution in health. Since the evidence is so obvious that a diet higher in saturated fat worked wonders for Paleolithic man, it seems like some academicians somewhere would ranger up and test such a diet. But it appears that the pox on saturated fat is so virulent that no one wants to risk it.

If such a study were done and the results tally with what I’m positive the results would be, the authors would find themselves in the untenable position of having to at least tacitly imply that saturated fats aren’t harmful. And that could ruin an academic career. No more invitations to present at meetings. Expulsion from the club. People tsk tsking behind their hands. It just couldn’t be done.

Awsome Work

Great Job everyone on today’s WOD. The class is starting to get really full, and our group just keeps growing

Here is how everyone did

Earnest - 9.32
Doc - 8.44
Nathan - 10.15
Leslie - 7.32
Stacy - 7.36
Liz - 8.51
Regean - 10.18
Andy - 12.15
Alica - 12.46
Teresa - 7.40
Valerie - 8.56
Maria - 13.05
Karen - 9.26
Lilla - 9.14

I hope you guys are tracking your own times and weights as well. This is how you know your getting stronger, faster and more fit. Take a book write them down and track you progress. You can also look below to see the link from Don on the online/high tech way to do it

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Programming Notes

A couple of programming notes - there may be a lack of trainers during part of March. We will do everything in our power to hold classes but I am TDY to Korea for three weeks and Dave and Joel both have some commitments as well.
I have created an affiliate account with Beyond the White Board ( Currently, joining is free and it's a place where you can post all your WOD times, weight (if you want), etc. Check it out and let me know if you think it would be a useful tool for us. Here is some more info on it:
Here's all you have to do to get the site going at your Affiliate:
1. Edit Gym Details: Set your Password, Login, Click on "gym"(upper right navigation) and "edit" your Gym details (link next to Gym Name).
2. Assign a WOD: Go to the "admin" page and assign a "New Workout of The Day". You can choose any workout from our database (most are under "Main Site"). If it is a workout you guys made up, first you must create a "New Workout", and then you can assign it as a "New Workout of the Day".
3. Add Members: Have your members:
a. sign-up at and sign-in (they can edit their Profile to add a
Profile Picture),
b. click "view a list of gyms"
c. click "Centurion CrossFit Fort Hood"
d. click "Join Centurion CrossFit Fort Hood". That's it for them.
c. Then you go to the "admin" page, click "Membership Requests", and click "accept" for
all the members you would like to accept.
4. Your Members Post their WOD Results: They login, click "post"(upper right navigation), and enter their results. If they scaled the workout, they can put in substitution exercises, adjust weights, and adjust reps. Then they click "Finished". If a substitution exercise that you use is missing from the list, you can add it in about 15 seconds (admin-->New Exercise).

That's all it takes to get your Affiliate going on BTWB. Our goal was to make this service easy to use with a very minimal time commitment on your part. All you have to do is assign the WODs, and the rest is done for you. All your members have to do is post their results, and the rest is done for them. Their previous results and history graphs are automatically pulled up on the WOD page ("gym"-->WODs tab-->click on WOD name) once you repeat a WOD. Their PRs on their profile page are automatically updated as soon as they post a Benchmark result. Be sure to have them check out the "weigh-in" feature, which tracks and graphs their Weight, Lean Body Mass, and Body Fat %, and lets them upload progress pictures for each weigh-in.

Finally - we were looking at hosting a Centurion CrossFit cookout / gathering at our house. If you are interested, vote in the poll. It looks like they may be offering us one of the new houses on post so we may be moving next week. With that being the case, we would push the gathering until April after all the TDY was done. and we were all moved in. We would supply some food and adult beverages and the grill; kids would be welcome too - just let me know what you think. And yes, it will be Zone / Paleo friendly!!

Disturbing Counsel

Great post from my buddy Jon at Again Faster (

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the United States Department of Agriculture is an asphalt factory.

The USDA is responsible for providing Americans with dietary recommendations. Unfortunately, they’re also responsible for creating national and international markets for American crops, a money-driven mission that makes a mockery of diet and health.

The United States’ primary agricultural products—wheat, corn, and milk—are all carbohydrate-rich. This is not a problem in and of itself, were the USDA to recommend their consumption in moderation. They do not. The USDA asks Americans to consume over of 70% of their calories from these sources.

Carbohydrate consumption, in the form of wheat, milk, and high fructose corn syrup, subsidizes American crops and keeps the USDA in business.

The financial incentive for this request, embodied by the Food Pyramid, is easy to ascertain. More carbohydrate consumption, in the form of wheat, milk, and high fructose corn syrup, subsidizes American crops and keeps the USDA in business. It benefits the economy and the American farmer, a worthy endpoint.

Regrettably, it also prescribes hyperinsulinemia to 300 million trusting souls.

Hyperinsulinemia is a state of chronically elevated blood sugar, brought about by the incessant overconsumption of carbohydrates. It is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity through a very simple and undeniable causal chain.

Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, removes sugar from the bloodstream, putting it into cellular storage for later energy production. When blood sugar is chronically elevated, insulin is unable to remove the bulk, and the pancreas ramps production back, recognizing the futility of rampant insulin release. Sugar remains in the blood stream, where it oxidizes with LDL cholesterol and creates arterial plaques.

Artery walls harden, and people die.

Clearly, money and health are at odds at the USDA, yet the conflict of interest goes unaddressed. As their mission statement illustrates, the organization is more interested in the economic benefits of high carbohydrate consumption than they are in health of the American people:

“USDA has created a strategic plan to implement its vision. The framework of this plan depends on these key activities: expanding markets for agricultural products and support(ing) international economic development, further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities, providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities and improve housing, utilities and infrastructure in rural America, enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of foodborne hazards from farm to table, improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion, and managing and protecting America's public and private lands working cooperatively with other levels of government and the private sector.”

Nutrition warrants a brief mention, but actions speak louder than words. Visiting, I plugged in my statistics to get a dietary recommendation. As a 5’9”, 170-pound male with less than a half-hour of physical activity per day, the site recommended I eat 2600 calories per day, including a whopping 9 ounces of grains and 24 ounces of milk, while consuming only 6.5 ounces of meat.

Per the Zone Diet, my recommendations amounted to 27 blocks of carbohydrates, 9.5 blocks of protein, and 24 blocks of fat, a short path to hyperinsulinemia and more than enough to induce obesity.

Seemingly unaware that they’d just doomed me to poor health, the USDA left me this little gem:

“The weight you entered is above the healthy range for your height. This may increase your risk for health problems. Some people who are overweight should consider weight loss. Click here for more information about health risks and whether you should try to lose weight, or talk with your health care provider.”

The irony is palpable.

Given the USDA’s (colossally laughable) position as America’s foremost authority on nutrition, this ignorance is unforgivable, and worth fighting. The power to dictate diet needs to be removed from the hands of an organization with so much skin in the game, and transferred to individuals with the knowledge and freedom to act in the best interests of the American people.

This will not happen at the top level. Billions of dollars and an extraordinarily powerful farming lobby dictate that grassroots education and individual change are the only tenable way to affect a diet revolution in America.

American farmer or no, this will not stand.

We will bring the USDA’s elemental flaw to light, one person at a time. The road to hell is still under construction, but we’re bringing the jackhammers, and the asphalt will crumble.

Hump Day WOD

Time for another fun one

This is a back killer
Virtual Shoveling
Push Ups
Mens Weight - 45lbs bar and 45lbs plate
Womens Weight 45lbs bar and 25lbs plate

We will scale for everyone who needs it

Friday will be a longer WOD outside. Please show up on time, we will not be doing a skill friday just the Warmup and WOD. It will get posted on Thursday

Monday, February 16, 2009

Great WOD

Everyone did a great WOD today. I don't know about you but my legs were burning when i was done.

Thanks for the numbers on a off day
Lilla 16.23
Charlene 15.56
Tina 14.37
Leigh 14.33
Matt 14.32
Leslie 13.16
Reagen 13.03
Stacy 13.01
Steve 11.29
Joel 11.13
Don 10.46 - I used a 44# kettlebell and a 35# kettlebell (it's all I had!)
Dave 9.14

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Monday's WOD

Sorry so late guys, i just got back from San Antonio with my wife.

Here you go

Double Your Fun
For time:
20 Walking lungs with 35/15 lbs per arm
40 Push ups
80 Sit ups
160 Squats

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Hamburgesa" Results

Great work by everyone today! You guys had the intensity cranked up and gave 100%.

Great turnout for a day off too!

Reagan: 17:24
Doc: 18:54
Alicia: 22:27
Leigh: 20:10
Maria: 23:17
Tina: 20:24
Matt: 18:10
Lilla: 22:26
Leslie: 22:53
Andy: 23:11
Mel: 23:12
Joel: 16:36
Jake: 16:50
Dave: 15:40
Don: 16:40

The T-shirts are in!!

I'll be bring them to the WOD today.

T-shirts will run $20

Tank tops will run $18

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday's WOD

OK, as I said, Friday's WOD will be a longer one. This is a great WOD and will really tax your metabolic path ways - a great way to head into the weekend!

I did this one a few months ago and it took me 19:28. We will scale the pull ups with jumping pull ups and scale the wall balls in weight and quantity as required.

We'll run two heats and do a wave start of each heat due to limited pull up bars.

We'll meet at the gym for the warm up and then move down the street about 150 meters and run the WOD from the pull up bars.

If you have a watch with a stopwatch, please bring it as it will make tracking the times easier.

"Hamburgesa" from CFSCC

5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats
200 m. run
12 pull ups
21 kettlebell swings
400 m. run
75 wall balls——————the meat
400 m. run
21 kettlebell swings
12 pullups
200 m. run
15 squats
10 push ups
5 pull ups

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mental Fortitude

We often say that intensity is the independent variable most associated with optimized results - meaning, if you really want the maximum benefits from CrossFit, you have to keep the intensity high. In doing so, you pass well beyond your comfort level into the realm of pain. Pushing yourself time and again into this realm develops that intangible facet of fitness know as mental hardening or mental fortitude.

Freddy C. from CrossFit One world had a great post on this subject the other day and I thought I would share it with you here.

Lastly.... a comment about mental fortitude. I have commented about mental fortitude numerous times over the last 2 years. What is it? It’s the ability of certain folks to push themselves past the point of quitting. Some got it and do it regularly. Others have it, but they don’t know it. Tons of others just don’t have it. It is what is. Can you get fit without strong mental fortitude? HELL YES!!! What we do is hard, but if you do it regularly and train with passion, you will get stronger, faster, leaner.....fitter!

I am not sure that mental fortitude can be the “11th” general aspect of fitness. Cardio/Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength and Flexibility are organic. Muscle tissue and how it works within the machine that is the body is measurable. These four aspects of fitness are the hardware. With training, the four will show improvement. Bulk up the hardware and you got a better machine. On the other hand, coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance are neurological. You need to practice them to improve them. Think of them as the software. Use your software efficiently, and you will be more productive.

It is generally accepted that power and speed the last two of the ten aspects of fitness are best improved with both training and practice.

How does mental fortitude fit into the big picture under the terms of neurological or organic. Can you train it or practice it? Can I make someone tougher mentally? Is mental fortitude important... HELL YES! Strong will can push mediocre athletes to places other athletes can not go.

Jack Bauer Results

Great work today everyone! We have had two pretty short, tight couplets this week. We'll finish it off Friday with something a little longer.

Men as RX: 1.5 pood
Alan - 14:39
Dave - 7:48
Don - 8:20

Daniel (35#) - 17:15
Earnest (44#) - 11:43
Matt (44#) - 10:16

Women as RX: 1 pood
Reagan - 7:05
Leslie - 11:43
Valerie - 12:16

Marie (17.6#) - 10:40
Tylisha (17.6#) - 8:38
Charlene (26.4#) - 13:32
Alicia (26.4#) - 10:48

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wednesday's WOD

Hope you are all fans of 24! Not sure who came up with this WOD originally but I first did it at CrossFit BWI. It's alternating sumo deadlift high pulls and kettlebell swings - the total numbers performed always add up to 24.

We will substitute dumbells for kettbells as required.

"Jack Bauer"

21 Sumo Deadlift High Pull 1.5/1 Pood
3 Kettlebell Swings 1.5/1 Pood
18 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
6 Kettlebell Swings
15 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
9 Kettlebell Swings
12 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
12 Kettlebell Swings
9 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
15 Kettlebell Swings
6 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
18 Kettlebell Swings
3 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
21 Kettlebell Swings

Monday, February 9, 2009


Great Job for a Monday WOD
Again we had a great group with awesome Results

Men RX - 75 lbs
Dave - 7.19
Don - 9.02
Jeremiah - 9.09

Alan - 7.49

45 lbs
Pizzi - 9.09
Women RX
Liz - 7.39
Leslie - 9.00
Reagan - 9.12
Alica - 12.10
Leigh - 13.00

35 lbs
Stacy - 11.43

25 lbs
Charlene - 12.35

There are 2 polls on the left please vote if you want Friday and Monday classes

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday's WOD

Our article from the Fort Hood Sentinel was featured on the CrossFit HQ's affiliate page today!!

Five rounds of:

Push press 15 reps (men - 75# / women - 45#)

20” Box jump 20 reps

Pick load for push press and keep it for all five rounds.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Results

Here is the results and thanks to all the new people who showed up
Stacy - 10.22
Kris - 10.55 (RX)
Earnest - 12.32
Leslie - 14.10
Joel - 14.28
Charlene - 10.41
Andy - 10.52
Regan - 11.58
Lilla - 13.20
Karen - 14.25
Alan - 15.00
Maria - 15.24
Cathy - No time but a great effort for the 1st go round

Class on monday WODs will be posted this weekend
Have a great weekend

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Results and Fridays WOD

Here are the results from Yesterday:
Regan: 15.52
Leslie 17.00
Earnest 17.40
Leigh 17.41
Alan 19.03
Alicia 19.04
Vince 17.56 2 rds plus 400m - Way to go on the first shot at Crossfit

It seemed like everyone really was sucking air on that one. Just to let you know my time was 14.48 and i thought it sucked

Friday will be another fun one with some Weightlifting and running
For Time:
Run 200m
18 OHS
Run 400m
12 OHS
Run 800m
Men 95lbs, Women 65 lbs

I did this after the WOD yesterday and its another good smoker. The OHS are AWSOME

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Type III Diabetes - aka - Alzheimer's

Looks like Dave has had a good turn out and some fun WODs. Here is one more thing that should steer you to take your nutrition seriously.

Have fun Friday and I'll see everyone on Monday.

Scientists in the US believe they may have found a new type of diabetes after discovering that insulin and its related proteins are produced in the brain and that reduced levels of both contribute to Alzheimer's.

"We found that insulin is not just produced in the pancreas, but also in the brain. And we discovered that insulin and its growth factors, which are necessary for the survival of brain cells, contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's," said senior author Suzanne de la Monte, a neuropathologist at Rhode Island Hospital and a professor of pathology at Brown Medical School. "This raises the possibility of a type 3 diabetes."

It was previously known that insulin resistance, a characteristic of diabetes, was tied to neurodegeneration, but, according to the researchers, this is the first study to prove evidence of a link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

After studying a gene abnormality in rats that blocks insulin signaling in the brain, researchers found that insulin and IGF I and II are all expressed in neurons in several regions in the brain.
They also found that a drop in insulin production in the brain contributes to the degeneration of brain cells, an early symptom of Alzheimer's.

"These abnormalities do not correspond to type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but reflect a different and more complex disease process that originates in the CNS (central nervous system)," according to the research paper.

By looking at postmortem brain tissue from people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the scientists discovered that growth factors are not produced at normal levels in the hippocampus - the part of the brain responsible for memory.

The absence of these growth factors, in turn, causes cells in other parts of the brain to die. The researchers found that insulin and IGF I were significantly reduced in the frontal cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus - all areas that are affected by the progression of Alzheimer's. However, they did not see the same drop in insulin and IGF I in the cerebellum, which is generally not affected by Alzheimer's.

"Now that scientists have pinpointed insulin and its growth factors as contributors to Alzheimer's, this opens the way for targeted treatment to the brain and changes the way we view Alzheimer's disease," said de la Monte.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Wednesday WOD

Due to personnel constrants I will be the only trainer on Wednesday and we have to do something a little more low tech, so we will go ahead and finish up with the runner up from the super bowl

For Time:
Run 400m
Box Jump x 12
Burpee x 24

Guys this is a smoker so be ready. It supposed to be in the low 50s at noon and we will stay outside for the WOD

Monday, February 2, 2009


So after that great WOD we had some awsome times

by weight class

Mens RX (135lbs)
Dave T - 11.39 (Saturday WOD)
Joel - 13.26
Womens RX (85lbs)
Alan - 8.24
Liz - 11.08
Earnest - 5.19
Regean - 7.00
Leslie - 7.45
Pizzi - 6.25
Alicia - 9.20
Leigh - 5.40
Kim - 6.11
Stacy - 6.29
Charlene - 6.51
Maria - 5.16

Give a hand to the newbies who showed up and see you on Hump Day
The WOD will be posted tomorrow

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl WOD

Here is the two WODs for Monday.

The winner of the superbowl is the WOD we will do

Hang-Power Clean x 9
Front Squat x 15
Push Jerk x 21
Front Squat x 15
Hang-Power Clean x 9

Run 400m
12 Box Jumps
24 Burpees

Are you still cheering for the same team?