Thursday, December 15, 2011

Curl War III Continues!

We had a GREAT practice at 314Armsports tonight! My main training partner/camera man was able to get away from his job in the retail madness that is December and pull and my right is healed up! It was glorious to get back on the table after about 8 weeks.  We were both amped to pull tonight and the videos and practice did not disappoint!

As you may recall we've been promoting the Rob Vigeant Jr. 100# dumbell curl challenge and in the process have started Curl War III with The Diesel Crew. Napalm Jedd Johnson and myself are about the same age and we're both big wrestling fans so tonight I thought I'd  pay tribute to the Man as well as stick it to the Diesel Crew in this latest segment.

The Late and Great Mr. Perfect: RIP Sir

TPD Channeling Mr. Perfect

And last but not least...John Klaus just continues to get stronger and stronger at 70kg!

After practice we closed with a 10 minutes cycle of Escalating Density Training. It looked like this:
-Straight arm pulldowns on the high pulley with 70#: sets of 5 for 10 min
-2.5" Db curls with 35#: sets of 5 for 10 min

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TPD tackles EDT

Well as usual I have several irons in the fire. I'm looking to combine the escalating density training principles into my current workout mix.  My training regime is basically broken into 5 categories:

  • Table time: this is the most crucial part of becoming a better arm wrestler
  • Prehab: it's hard to get table time if you're injured
  • Grip and wrist work: " a hand that shuts like a vice and a wrist no one can take from you" is what separates the men from the boys in AW
  • Gym work: I'm always lookimg to add extra horsepower if I can do it without adding significant amounts of bodyweight as I have no desire to move out of the 90kg class
  • Concept 2 rower: I'm going to keep adding 500 meter blocks until I can do 10 sub-2 min ones in a row (eg sub-20 min 5K)
The grip stuff is based off of Tim Struse's program. I'm in week 3 for the crush and week 1 for the 2 hand pinch.

Here's a link to my first few workouts since Gripmas.

Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Escalating Density Training

After the 2011 Gripmas Carol Andrew Durniat, of Durniat Strength gave an excellent presentation on Escalating Density Training.  He credited Charles Staley with the concept and went on to describe it as one of the ways he is able stay lean while continuously getting stronger. Andrew is a very lean 230# and strong; and by strong I mean 605# puller strong, 200 snatches with a 32kg kb in 10 min strong, and beat a strapped Nick Best's time on the frame hold without his own straps, strong.  I'm sure you get the point, so I was ready to listen.

The concept is surprisingly simple and breaks down something like this
  • Pick two antagonizing exercises (eg pull-ups and dips)
  • Week 1: You will perform alternating sets of 5, based on your 10 rep max, for a set time period (10-15 min)
  • Week 2: the same as week 1 except you increase the weight by 5# or so and drop the reps to 4
  • Week 3: the same as week 2 except you increase the weight another 5# or so and drop the reps to 3
  • Week 4: deload week: you go back to the weights and reps from week 1
  • Week 5: you start over and if you were able to get 50 reps per exercise in the time period then you would increase the weight
  • This system works great for those trying to get stronger without putting on additional weight
  • This system also lends itself to those wanting to lose fat/exercising for body composition
  • Everybody has 10-15 min/day. I repeat EVERYBODY has this much time and if you say you don't you're a liar.
  • It has a built-in deload week to avoid burn-out and injury. Do you have a scheduled deload week in your current program; it's a yes or no question.

The focus of my training is becoming the best arm wrestler that I can be and nothing and I mean nothing is more important than table time so how does EDT fit into my routine?
  • Prehab: you can't get on the table if you're injured so bulletproofing your weak areas is crucial. My injury-prone areas are my shoulders. I plan on combining my version of the Diesel Crew Shoulder Rehab Protocol with this concept. An example is listed below.
    • Overhead shrugs/serratus dips
    • Time will be 5 min instead of 10-15 as I want to do more than 2 prehab exercises per session
  • Gym: I don't even make it to the gym every week with the focus on table time but when I do, I'm always looking to add horsepower to my arm wrestling muscles. EDT would fit in like this
    • Neutral grip chins with Fat Gripz and Neutral grip incline DB presses with Fat Gripz
    • Time will be 10 min
    • Will follow the 4 week cycle as instructed
  • Buffering: Andrew mentioned that it is sometimes necessary to add a buffer exercise as a way to incorporate more rest. He used the example of adding an ab excercise when the trainee's ego is overriding reality regarding what weights should be used. At this point you add an exercise in between to indirectly increase rest time on the two targeted muscles. The purpose of the rest is to prevent further form break-down or more specifically, prevent injury. Now I suppose you could just use less weight but we males would never do that! I'm thinking I will use my crush routine as a buffer if needed as I get bored to tears resting anyways.  It would look something like this
    • Neutral grip chins with Fat Gripz and Neutral grip incline DB presses with Fat Gripz
    • Whoops! I bit off more than I can chew and need additional rest. I will pinch some triples on my 2 HP in between because Heaven knows I need the extra work.
    • Time will be 10 min
    • Will follow the 4 week cycle as instructed
Well I hope you enjoyed the quick tutorial on EDT and you can bet I'll be posting some workouts here on the blog.  As always, please leave me a comment if you have any questions.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Gripmas

I was a little sad as I started the drive to OH this year as it was my understanding that this would be the last Gripmas.  Every December the strongest Gripsters in the country pile into tiny Crooksvile, OH and smash record after record in the Chris Rice Gym. This year was no exception.  If you've never been; you really missed something special. IMO, Gripmas has arguably been the toughest true Grip contest for the last several years and it will be interesting to see if any promoters can fill the gap left by this December classic.

Grippers in Chokers
I didn't get any video of the grippers because I think watching people close grippers on video is worse than DWTS; and I like grippers.  Here's all you need to know; Andrew hydraulically closed a 224#. I finally closed the 212# gripper that Chad set the record on 2 years ago and simultaneously lost 40# as monkeys leaped from my back and disappeared into the OH skyline. The backstory is that Chad ran out of grippers in 2009, we cranked my adjustable GE down, Chris calibrated it, and Chad closed it. I decided right then it would stay in the choker until I shut it and it did. After shutting the 212, I tried Andrew's 214 and got owned. The MORE impressive thing about Andrew's closes were that Andrew's bigger grippers were all outside of parallel! I wouldn't have closed the 214# either way but he DID close a 224 from NORTH of parallel!


I was the strongest I've ever been at home, my hands felt great going in, and the device felt great but it was a horrible day as I only pulled 196#. I'm pissed just typing it. I thought 220# for sure. I just missed it at Nats and I was pulling 10# more on my set-up than my best set last year and for 2 more reps. It's beyond me! The important thing is that Jedd broke his own WR....AGAIN and Brendan Gerber broke the LW WR!  That's 4 records that fell in two event (Elite/open and LW). Here's the glorious footage with commentary by that silver-tongued devil known as The Peoples' Dietitian

Jedd Johnson breaking his own 2 Hand Pinch Deadlift World Record

Jedd Johnson attempting to 2 Hand Pinch Deadlift 270#; read as INSANE

Brendan breaking the LW 2 Hand Pinch World Record (207ish) at a bw of something like 174#

Brendan Gerber attempting to 2 Hand Pinch Deadlift 210# at a BW of 174ish

Double Sledge Lever

Do you want to experience this lift for yourself? Go find the local BJJ blackbelt and tell him to crank on your wrist like he's gotta pair. Although this lift is painful, it's nowhere near as painful as it used to be because Chris Rice fabbed up a deluxe safety cage for it. The rails you see on the side prevent you from needing Tommy John surgery should the sledge get away from you and take a nosedive off the side of the platform. The padded stop over your head lets you safely drink and sledge.  This was a great event and I have to say I think the best sledge event in the history of Grip. I'd make that statement based off the consistency the dead stop gave judging, the concise and clear rules, and the fact that he took a dangerous event and made it pretty durn safe.  I have no idea how I missed Andrew's winning lift or the real show, Malcom Majesky.  Malcom would have went 52# or better but he went in too early.  He blistered 47.5#!

Jedd feelin' 50#

The Peoples' Dietitian sampling some epic fail
The living proof of "men of today are relatively weak"

The Mustacchioed Madman

The Peoples' Dietitian Winning the LW class with a lever of 47.5#!

Austin Acree, future Male Dietitian, getting under 47.5#

"Atrocious" would describe my medley run; again, I have no idea what happened. "Amazing" would describe Chris's.  Enjoy the footage of two of the best in the game, fighting and scratching for every point as they go balls to the wall on the 2011 Gripmas Medley

Andrew Durniat 2011 Gripmas Medley Run

Jedd Johnson 2011 Gripmas Medley WINNER!!!!

Hercules Hold

Again, Chris Rice takes a difficult event-and by difficult, I mean difficult to put on for your average Grip promoter and makes it dang near perfect. The biggest problem with any HH is getting the slack out and Chris accomplished this by having 4 spotters (2 per bar). Chris and Brent let off early because they said their triceps felt like they were going to tear. Andrew P's hawkeyed female friend commented that numerous competitors' left shoulder was higher which could mean the spotting teams weren't perfectly synched or it could mean a lot of of other things. I think we're splitting hairs at this point. Chris did a fantastic job building this set-up and again, this is the best HH I've done in a Grip contest. Appologies to Nick Rosendaul; I thought I got his run on video but I didn't. Nick put up a monster time and won the open class. I also should have filmed the 174ish Brendan Gerber put up the winning time in this event!

Andrew Durniat with 143kg per hand for over minute: still think Grip guys aren't strong?

Napalm Jedd Johnson multi-tasking during the HH

The Peoples' Dietitian with the 2nd place time in the LWs

Mary Ann, owner of the world's greatest apple crisp recipe, making a bunch of guys watching this feel insecure

Thank you Chris and Theresa for all of the hospitality over the years and I'll always cherish our wars Chris! I'm going to do a separate write-up on Andrew Durniat's presentation on Escalated Density Training. It was fantastic and I'm going to meld it into my accessory work for pulling. Jedd did a great presentation on growing the sport and on a side-note, he's an excellent public speaker but it's all stuff that we should be DOING, not writing about on blogs (ironic if you were there :) )

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Who's Who of Curl War III

The purpose of this entry is to provide an organized list, including video, of who the strongest dumbell curlers in the World are.  I will do my best to update the list as frequently as possible. For now there are not enough entries to break it into LH and RH. Rob will have the final say on if a video is good or not. Please see my original post for the rules and the background on this event.

#1. Rob Vigeant Jr. 94-95# (unsure of which it is but since nobody is even close I'm not worried about it)

#2.  Josh Dale aka The Peoples' Dietitian at 80.2#

#3. Incredible Hulk Robert: 87# attemt was denied but his 79# here looks about perfect

#4. Napalm Jedd Johnson: 75#

#5. Wayne Does Work: 70#

#6: Derek Graybill: 58# 1oz

#7: John Klaus: 58#

#8. Arturo Garcia: 55#

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Peoples' Dietitian and Doom Head to the Range

My brother aka Doom and I got together on Friday to work off some of the turkey with some finger exercising and support grip. In otherwords, we went shooting.  One of the things we wanted look at was how the different hollow points we had would expand.  Doom brought up a bunch of random HPs that he was looking to get cycle out. The boxes had long been discarded and we only had a few of each rd.

The cartridges
  • 9mm Hornady Critical Defense
  • 45 ACP Winchester "lead jacketed" HP. We're referring to it as lead as the tip was black?
  • 45 ACP Hornady Critical Defense
  • 45 ACP +P Hornday
  • 45 ACP Winchester Jacketed HP
  • Federal and Remington bulk 22 HP
The Set-up
  • The first set-up was a junk laptop, folded in half, with a bucket of dry grout mix behind it
  • The second  set-up was a junk laptop, folded in half, with a bucket of wet grout mix behind it and the remaining grout mix (dry) in a bag behind it.  The second set-up was created because the Hornady +P went right through the first set-up
The Results

The line-up L-R:
  •  9mm Hornady Critical Defense: fired into the wet set-up.  Still think a 9mm won't put somebody down? The hole was originally bigger but I was trying to get my camera phone out as the whole filled itself in
  • 45 ACP Winchester "Lead Jacketed HP"; obviously copper but we're unclear what the black is, fired into the dry set-up
  •  45 ACP Hornady Critical Defense: fired into the dry set-up, the CLEAR winner!
  • 45 ACP Winchester JHP: The holy $hit!, "I can't believe that just happened!", OMG moment of the day came with this round. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it with my own eyes but we fired this into the dry set-up and it literally bounced off!  I went to check the hole and Jake sullenly goes "it's right there".  He walks up and picks the HP up off the ground a few feet from in front of the target.  The CLEAR loser!
  • 45 ACP +P Hornady: This went right through the first set up so we added water to the grout and put a bag of grout behind it.  Notice the mud/grout between the bucket and the bag! We didn't put that there! That was a result of the shot!

Now notice it doesn't follow the path of the bullet.  I have no idea how that happens.

And finally; here's a cheapo bulk pack 22 LR HP compared to the 9mm Hornady critical defense. Let's hear the "a 22 would just piss me off" jokes now

And here it is next to the monsterous winner of the 45 class; the Hornady Critical defense

Some thoughts

  • a 9mm HP is plenty
  • a 22 LR HP is no joke and it had the sharpest edges of all and expanded the most relative to size. This could have been because it barely made it through the laptop and didn't have a chance to get it's HP filled up and thus prevented from expanding
  • I'd like to see the 9mm Hornady Critical Defense fired into dry and the 45 ACP Hornady Critical Defense fired into wet.  I want to see of the 9mm would expand better in the dry and if the 45 would still expand that well into the wet.
  • The Winchester JHP is a straight joke. I still can't believe it harmlessly bounced off. It didn't even richochet. It was like I just tried to throw it through the jug.
  • The Hornady +P 45 ACP is a felony waiting to happen and falls into the 10mm Deathray category. I'd be scared to death to fire this unless I was defending my life in an open field. The overpenentration is out of control.  The wet could have stopped  the HP from expanding but the dry couldn't even stop it LOL.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Childhood Obesity: A Parenting Issue

I'm a member of the American Dietetic Association as well as an active participant on their Infectious Disease listserv/Infectious Disease Practice Group. The other day I started a firestorm when I suggested that childhood obesity was a parenting issue, not a food policy issue.  The impetus for the conversation was when one member posted a link to an article in the NY Times about whether or not pizza could be counted as a vegetable (1). I stated that although the idea of counting pizza as a vegetable was emotionally charged (and ridiculous) it really had very little impact on obesity.  Costs aside (and that's a big issue) if you add calories to a tray, even if it's in the form of nonstarchy vegetables, it does not induce weight loss. Replacing desserts with fruit would likely create a caloric drop but let's be honest; children are not becoming obese because of the standard school lunch tray.

A Parenting Issue

Cheap, calorically dense foods and sugar-laden drinks are the real issues but last I checked these were not free and who is it that buys these for the youth of today?
Excuse: Parents are pressured by kids because junk foods are marketed towards children.
Reality: You're the parent; act like one! When I was a child my mother had very little tolerance for me or my siblings "pressuring" her.  When my daughter "pressures" me it's called whining and there are consequences if it doesn't stop.

Excuse: Children are not exposed to enough fruits and vegetables at school and thus don't develop tastes for them but instead learn to like sweet, salty, fatty foods.
Reality: Parents are responsible for exposing their child to healthy foods at home.

Excuse: Assigning blame to parents for being uneducated about nutrition is offensive
Reality: Does anyone really believe that the parent that has a 200# 9 y/o really doesn't know that giving him dollar menu, chips, and soda all the time is harmful?

Excuse: Many parents don't have time to prepare healthy meals
Reality: Would they tell their boss they dont' have time to do their job?  It is their job to care for their child and that includes providing them with healthy meals. If preparing healthy meals for their children paid $100/meal, I would imagine many would miraculously figure out how to fit it into their schedule.

Excuse: I have to work 3 jobs and I can't control what my child eats when I'm not home
Reality: Unless the child has their own income the parent controls exactly what foods are in the home.  If the child is receiving unhealthy foods at the sitter then the parent needs to step in and make the sitter aware of their wishes.  If compliance is not met then the parent needs to find a new sitter.  If the sitter is a family member/sits for free; then the parent should needs to relay to the family member that this is for the good of the child.

Excuse:  I can't afford to buy healthy foods for my child.
Reality: Lentils, whole wheat pastas, canned vegetables, tuna, bagged apples, carrots, peanut butter, and oatmeal are just a few of the wholesome foods that can be attained cheaply and that's without even getting into the couponing conversation.

Excuse: I live in a food desert
Reality: While I admit it can be inconvenient, again, it is the parents' responsibility to attain healthy food for their child. Relative to my profession, I live in a job desert yet somehow I manage to make a living. We're not talking about crossing the Atlantic; come on people!

Type 2 DM is in double digit prevalence for Juveniles. This is ridiculous and the buck has to stop somewhere.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Rob Vigeant 100# DB Strict Curl Challenge

Rob Vigeant Jr is an elite 220#/100kg arm wrestler, was the top grip guy at one time, and can do all-around just alien things like pinch grip pull ups off of the rafters and  one arm pull ups holding weight.  More importantly, he does these feats while weighing over 200#. In other words, he's pulling off gymnast stuff but doesn't weigh a buck-forty.

So a couple of years ago he suggested that there wasn't a man in the world that could strictly curl 100# dumbell and had 100 bucks waiting for whoever could. His money has been safe for years, nobody has even been close, and his video below is still the one to beat IMO.

The Standard

When he first suggested the challenge I thought he was crazy and that someone would take his money shortly.  I was wrong.  Increasing your STRICT db curl even 5# is TOUGH.  Most strong guys will be in the 70s and will think they could hit 100# with a little training.  Uh huh..and if you could hit 2.5/10 pitches from a major league pitcher you'd be millionaire. 

Let me be clear: I want you send me videos of your attempts.  I don't care about what you think you can do or what somebody you know can do or what you used to be able to do.  If you don't supply a video you're a troll.  I'm going to let Rob know and hopefully he'll stop by and leave some comments and judge them.

The Peoples' Dietitian Storms Curlville

314 Armsports' 154# Puller Steps Up to the Challenge

First Entry!

I say it's GOOD! Rob has the final say on all vids but it looked like it met the criteria to me. I couldn't find it on youtube to link the still like the other vids but the link works.

Here's the Head Diesel, Jedd Johnson, making a 75# look easier than a honkey tonk special (video 2)
Video 1

Video 2
The above video wouldn't pull in the Youtube search hence the link vs. the still

Starting Curl War III With the Diesel Crew

Are there any 70kg pullers out there that can beat John or are you all too scared to post any vids? 

Here's the latest entry! Big Daddy Johnson attempting 75#

 Here's IncredibleHulkRobert living up to his moniker


In Summary

  1. Make your video
  2. Leave the link to your youtube video in the comment section and I'll post it.
  3. Let's see who's the strongest and if any of us can track down the Bigfoot of arm strength
Thanks for reading!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Coconut Oil: Friend or Foe?

Mounds of Experts

With the ever-increasing prevalence of Paleo-pushing Crossfitters, Net nutritionists, and POOPAs (People Opposed to Ordinary Physician's Advice) there is a plethora of hot button nutrition topics to tackle.  This post will be dedicated to coconut oil.  It's one of those things that I've been meaning to address for quite a while but it always seems to get pushed to the back burner.  As always, I will present the evidence, mixed with one part sarcasm and two parts common sense.

What is Coconut Oil?

Quite literally, coconut oil is the edible oil that has been extracted from the flesh or kernal of a coconut.  It is processed in either a wet or dry method. I am not a food scientist and the extraction methods are largely new to me. I'm basically paraphrasing wikipedia in the explanations that follow but this isn't an entry on coconut processing so bear with me.  I just want to bring everybody up to speed before we dig into the nutrition portion. the dry method you remove the coconut flesh and dry it out using fire/smoke/kilns or sunlight (if you have a lot of time). This dried flesh is actually called copra. Remember that, you'll need later in the article. "All-wet process involves raw coconut rather than dried copra, using the protein in the coconut to create an emulsion of the oil and water. The more problematic step is breaking up the emulsion to recover the oil. This used to be done through lengthy boiling, but this produces a discolored oil and is not economical; modern techniques use centrifuges and various pre-treatments including cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves, or some combination of them. Despite numerous variations and technologies, wet processing is less viable than dry processing due to a 10-15% lower yield, even compared to the losses due to spoilage and pests with dry processing. Wet processes also require an expensive investment of equipment and energy, incurring high capital and operating costs"(1)

So why am I laying out the methods?  Here's why because how it's processed makes a difference.  According to (2) and (3) virgin coconut oil from the wet method (and it's my understanding that is the only method you can obtain virgin coconut oil from ) compared to copra oil "reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, LDL, and VLDL cholesterol levels and increased HDL cholesterol in serum and tissues. The PF (polyphenol fraction) of virgin coconut oil was also found to be capable of preventing in vitro LDL oxidation with reduced carbonyl formation."  I could write an entire post or even a series of posts on LDL oxidation and why that's relevant but Chris Masterjohn has an excellent piece on it here and Dr. Guyenet has some wonderful information on it on his blog as well .  I believe Dr. Guyenet addresses the issues with the copper method of measuring LDL oxidation somewhere in the comments but those Boolean search blackbelts could probably find it easier than me.

Would You Rather Be Run Over By a Truck or a Bus?

The most obvious concern with the studies listed is they are in vitro and not the gold standard in vivo.  I'm willing to overlook that though and really dig into the meat er...copra of the case.  We are comparing the health benefits of coconut oil to coconut oil; processing methods be damned.  To clarify, let's see what happens when we compare virgin coconut oil to olive oil. Will it still improve the lipid panel compared to our beloved olive oil?  My guess is no and maybe someone with better Google-Fu than me can find a peer-reviewed medical journal with a published study of this? This is the  closest I could find but it's essentially comparing MCT to olive oil, not coconut to olive oil. To clarify, coconut oil gets about 2/3 of its sat fat from MCT so the article is relevant but it's not the same as a head-to-head comparison.

Ravnskov...Ornish! Take it outside!

Because I'm getting old and soft, let's make a Michael Jordanesque jump and assume it is equal to olive oil on the lipid panel battleground.  For those of you ready to call the CDR police: here's the thing, people will still be arguing about the Lipid Hypothesis long after there is peace in the Middle East. The fact that the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis saying that saturated fat intake is not linked to mortality didn't exactly make the mainstream position more cogent. There are entire websites dedicated to the ideas that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are not associated with an increase in heart disease and/or mortality and then you've got institutions that have been preaching they are (eg American Heart Association, NCEP, etc..). Those that are anti-coconut are against it because of the saturated fat and those that are for it, either don't believe sat fat is harmful or attribute the faux high smoke point to it not degrading and being healthier (we'll address this), or think that it's mostly medium chain triglycerides (we'll also address this) or rave about the baking properties (we'll cover that too) or all of the above. To summarize: addressing whether or not saturated fat increases LDL and is linked to heart disease is beyond the scope of this entry. If you would like an introduction to the underground, yet ever-growing viewpoint that the lipid hypothesis is flawed/wrong, I'd suggest this as an introduction.  The issues I want to address are the purported benefits of coconut oil, namley: the baking properties, the smoke point, and the MCT angle. 

Tell Me Again Why I Need to Buy a Specialty Product?

Starting with my favorite topic...MONEY!  Here is a 51oz bottle of extra virgin olive oil for $31.60 or ~62 cents/oz vs. 29oz of VCO for $19.50 or ~67 cents/oz. I'd be curious to see if grocery store prices are comparable to Amazon.  So what do you get for your more expensive VCO? The main advantage VCO has over olive oil is it is more suitable to use as a shortening in baked goods. For the nonbakers, let The Peoples' Dietitian clarify: one of the reasons we use butter or lard in cookies or other delicious baked products is because it binds to the gluten strands and shortens them, giving us a wonderfully soft and flaky product vs. a cookie that looks like it was baked by Al Bundy. Olive oil or oils in general, other than coconut oil of course, are no more capable of this shortening than a square peg is of entering a round hole; it can be done but it ain't pretty.  So the next question for anybody with an IQ north of 99 is "why don't we just use butter then?".  Great question, afterall, we're talking about baked goods, which regardless of the fat source, are generally loaded with added sugar. So why spend extra for premium when the vessel is an 82' Ford Escort with a bajillion miles on it? Well, The People's Dietitian wouldn't but for you Naughty by Nature Fans...

You Down With MCT? Yeah, You Know Me!

Those on the coconut bandwagon/tree are of the opinion that the sat fat in coconut oil is ok because "it's different than the kind from animals", "it's the same as in breast milk", or (and probably the closest) "it's a shorter chain".  Coconut oil gets  ~66% of its sat fat from medium chain triglyercides vs. butter which gets ~61% of its sat fat from long chain triglycerides. Why do we care?  It has to do with how the body metabolizes them and then you'll start to get into the whole lipid war again. Some key questions are "Will mct oils raise LDL and TC compared to olive oil/MUFA?" and "Will mcts raise LDL and TC compared to LCT?" You can do a Pubmed search and find studies to support whichever position you choose to defend.  Should you choose to traverse the lipid soap operas of Pubmed, you'll need to understand what I'd call a fly in Ancel Key's ointment.  That fly is the question: Does SFA raise LDL or does PUFA lower it?  Let that sink in and really think about it and then try to find a study where they looked at SFA without increasing the PUFAs.  For example, a study where they increase SFA in one group but leave the PUFA the same for both groups.  Report back what you find!  If PUFAs lower LDL though, why are we even fooling with MCTs?  Lowering LDL is a good thing right? Good question!  Again, the lipid heretics believe that PUFAs increase oxidized LDL; so they lower total LDL but create a more dangerous, sinister LDL, and all jokes aside, oxidized LDL is a very sensitive marker for cardiac events. And this my friends is why they're after the coconut oil because it's not one of those evil PUFAs! Confused?  You should be.  Win, lose, or draw, coconut oil only gets about 66% of it's SFA from MCT so this whole idea that it's a healthy SFA is slightly more than a half truth; in other words, almost all of the rest aka ~33% is LCT and if you're mainstream, then you agree that those are bad news.

Did a Ninja Just Drop a Smoke Bomb In My Kitchen?

Why are my eyes burning all of sudden and where did all this smoke come from? Is that the acrolein from my deep fried twinkies that I justified by deep frying in VCO?  Acrolein is what you get when oil reaches its smoke point and the glycerol and fatty acids start to separate. It will mist you up faster than the final 50 pages of Where the Red Fern Grows  and it smells like the ash tray from your favorite college nightclub.  Comedy aside, VCO is often thought to have a higher smoke point that EVO (myself included prior to this) but that is not the case, at least not from what I can find.  If you're a Chef and think this is BS, PLEASE, email something more reputable.  By the numbers: VCO: 350 F, EVO: 375 to 405 F (see table), and the likely culprit behind the myth, Palm Oil: 455 F. Much like Fructosophobes try to extrapolate Fructose's load on the liver into a BOHICA experience for HFCS, I'm sure the CocoNUTS will try and try and claim Palm Oil's high smoke point for their beloved product.  Well Crossfitters, I've got bad news; no it's not another rhabdo episode but unfortunately Palm oil is an entirely different product than VCO and one can wiki it here.  So let me be clear: VCO has a LOWER smoke point than olive oil.


-Copra and VCO do not have the same benefits.  There's probably a joke in here somewhere but the Virgin is what you want.

-Assuming you are mainstream and believe that saturated fat is a bad thing. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, 66% of which comes from MCT, so it's probably not as detrimental to your ticker as butter but to think it's harmless because it's "short chain" is ignoring 1/3 of the truth.

-Coconut oil would be superior to olive oil and most if not all oils for baking.  However, even assuming it's better than butter from a cardiovascular standpoint, what about all the sugar and other goodies you're putting in your holiday treats?

-Contrary to popular belief, VCO does NOT have a higher smoke point than olive oil. Why do you need a high smoke point?  Deep frying..and why are you buying speciality health products if you're deep frying???? Frankly, it doesn't have a high smoke point at all.  Palm oil DOES have a high smoke point but Palm oil is not the same thing as VCO, the biggest difference being almost every bit of Palm's SFA comes from LCT.  To clarify: if you want the high smoke point of Palm, kiss your MCT profile goodbye.  This would make sense, since, one of the characteristics of MCT is a low smoke point.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tis the season for sledge hammers

Every December my friend Chris Rice throws one of the largest Grip contests in the country hence the name Gripmas.  People drive/fly in from all over the country to this tiny little town in OH where they'll compete in building a contractor might call a workshop.  The building may look like a typical shop on the outside but on the inside you'll find Eleiko barbells and bumpers, the coolest lifting platform I've ever seen, a steel bending wall of fame, and more Grip toys than you can imagine.  In my mind Gripmas has four things that really separate it from other contests.  The first is that he uses grippers in chokers.  What this means is he hoseclamps them down to parallel so everybody starts from the same place, it's a place that is narrow enough that everybody can start from there, and it takes the skill out of it because you dont' have to set it. Second, Chris is the first promoter to have weight classes in a Grip contest, at least to my knowledge, and more importantly he picked his weight class based on a median so he really gets a nice 50/50 split most years.  Third, he always has the toughest medley.  John Beatty may have invented the idea of a Grip medley but Chris has perfected it.  Finally, Gripmas is the place to go to move up the world rankings on the 2 Hand Pinch list.  For whatever reason, come December in Crooksville, OH, Jedd's pinch set-up always feels amazing and records fall like rain.  Just in case you're interested, I've copied and pasted his entry form from the Gripboard below.

The real reason for this blog post was to see where I'm at as far as the sledge event for Gripmas. I'm still on the fence as far as whether or not I want to train this lift as it has my wrist doing exactly what I DON'T want it to do for arm wrestling purposes but like Chris said, a strong wrist is a strong wrist.  My right is also on the shelf for a while with that shoulder injury I got at MO States so this seems to be one of the few things I can do that doesn't bother it.  Anyway, here's my video.  I sunk down in the chair/stool to increase the ROM but when I exerted effort I accidentally raised back up so that's something I'll need to address.  Enjoy the vid and let me know what you think!  Hope to see you in OH!

2011 Gripmas Carol Entry
December 10th, 2011

Entry Fee is $40 – make check out to Chris Rice.
Entry Deadline is November 12 – Entry is $50 after that
Mail – WITH the entry form – to
Chris Rice
230 Burley St.
Crooksville, Ohio 43731
Contest held at same address

Grippers in chokers at parallel
2 Hand Pinch
Double Sledge Lever from a Dead Start – Max Weight
Hercules Hold for time

Please return this form and your check To Be In My Hands by Nov 12th – earlier if possible of course. I have to know early so I can make sure we have enough food, trophies, etc.

State & Zip Code:
Body Weight:
Classes: Elite – if you don’t know if you are in this class – believe me – you aren’t
Open – 208.0# and over or by choice regardless of weight
125]Light weight – 207.9# and under

Ladies – this is obvious I think – or hope anyway J

Anyone can choose to lift open class BEFORE the contest starts.

There will also be the normal – if I squeeze so hard my eyeballs pop out – I won’t sue form to sign when you get here.
Gripbash Scoring System
All weights weighed on certified scales for accuracy
Prizes of some kind for 1st thru 3rd Place in Each Division
Food and Drink furnished afterwards

Adam Glass, Andrew Duriant, and Jedd Johnson will be featured speakers. These guys are some of the very few people I listen to for training advice.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2011 MO State Arm Wrestling Championships!

September has not been a good month for training.  I had strep on 9-5, finished the antibiotics on 9-15, and started new antibiotics for sinus infection on 9-20 and I'm pretty sure I woke up with pink eye today.  Regardless, I'd been cutting weight and training for months and I would not be denied.

Here's my first match with John Grant out of MN.  I injured my shoulder this very first match and had to withdraw.  After all I'd went through just to pull today, I was not happy to say the least and was beyond fired up when we got to the left handed division

Here's my first match lefty.

My boys Julio and John did really well and so did Matt but we must have missed Matt's matches.  Here's Julio's first tournament victory EVER!!!! Yeah!! The guy he's pulling is Austin Acree, another grip bud of mine and one heck of a nice guy.

Here's John being John and doing his favorite move...the Defensive Hook. I think this stems from the way we train with me being handicapped with a bunch of bands and him holding me and let them kick in and then hitting me when I wear out. John is tough in that D-hook

This is Ryan Clark and Eric Brown.  Ryan has placed as high as 4th in WAF and regularly gets invited to big money events like the UAL and Arm Wars series that's held overseas.  Eric is just a freak of nature.  He won the national title at 100kg in 2009 on 3 days notice; decided he was going on Wednesday, cut 20+#, and pulled on Saturday.  The guy he beat...Dave Chaffee, also known as the 2010 110kg WAF Champ.  Eric tore his arm up in 2009 and hasn't been on the table since.  He was just going to coach his friend but couldn't resist the urge to pull when he got there...oh and he worked out for 3 hours prior to coming because he wasn't going to pull but like Eric says "no excuses!".  I hope this loss is what he needed to get him back into it. 

This is Ryan Clark and Steven Green.  As I've already said, Ryan is an elite puller.  Steven is right there as well. He has tremendous side pressure, a great hand, and he benches 445#, probably a result of his volleyball size delts.  There was A LOT of horsepower on the table for this match. In the overalls, they actually broke the table/set-up as the table came unbolted/ripped through the plywood!!

Here's Josh Handeland and John Klaus.  Josh took 2nd at Nats this year in 154# and his hook is no joke.  His endurance is insane and he beat me several times lefty afterwards in the King of the Table format.

Here's the 90kg, LH finals with Stuart and myself.  I missed the go again but my hand was feeling really good and I was able to just clamp and bring him back. Stuart was looking strong yesterday and I knew I'd have my hands full.

Overall, it was a blast and thanks to Paul and Sheri for taping it!  Looks like we're going to get some big practices together here in a couple of weeks and I know working my go's will be my first priority. 2011 LH, 90kg, MO State Champ PTL!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Peoples' Dietitian's Lentil Soup

I've tweaked the Lentil Soup recipe from the Hunger Challenge and this is freaking amazing. 

2 16oz bags of lentils
12 cups of water
1 jar of RS Wylers chicken broth cubes
2 yellow onions: chopped
1 bag of carrots: sliced into coins
2 links of turkey polish sausage
2 hamhocks for flavor
Get liberal with the cinnamon shaker
Bring to a boil until lentils get softish, then cook on low until desired texture/flavor is reached

Loaded with fiber: check!
Loaded with protein: check!
Cheap: check!
Easy to make: check!
-Guess that means there is no room for your excuses not to try it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Hunger Challenge

September is hunger action month and one of the ways we at  Food Outreach raise awareness is by trying to eat on $29.00 for a week.  This figure represents the amount of food stamps or supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) our average client gets.  This will be my third year doing the challenge and I can't say that I'm looking forward to it but it's really nothing compared to what our clients face.  For example, I'm not fighting HIV or Cancer and the multitude of side effects that accompanies the treatments for both.  I have my own vehicle (try doing public transportation with nausea and diarrhea <two common side effects>). I have an MBA and I'm an RD; if there's anything I should be able to do, it's plan a grocery budget. Most importantly, I have an end date in sight.  The hardest part of the whole challenge is the amount of mental energy you have to put into meal planning, budgeting, and preparation and all in fear of running out of food. Food doesn't consume my life but for those seven days it does. I can't imagine how different life would be if it was like that everyday.

Learning Opportunities

One of the reasons that I chose to start participating in the challenge was so that I could put myself in my clients' shoes, if only for a week, so I would have better perspective on how to serve them as an RD.  For example, buying in bulk is largely a myth. For one, they don't really have the purchasing power to do so.  It's akin to Warren Buffett telling you to buy 25,000 shares of XYZ company because it's going to take off.  Secondly, let's say they can afford some bulk shopping; how are they going to carry it all back on the bus?  Interestingly enough, I've also found that dairy is hands-down the most difficult food group to satisfy on the $29.00. Don't get me wrong, I know there are plenty of other sources of calcium. but at the same time I feel obligated to at least try when the new "my plate" is pushing it on the unknowing public.  This year my focus is going to be to incorporate more beans and grains.  I'm pushing for a more plant based menu at Food Outreach.  I really want to sink my teeth into this topic and get some intensity on various dishes so I can make better decisions when it comes to altering our menu.

This blog will be on hiatus from 9-6 to 9-13-11 but I'll be typing away over at The Food Outreach Blog  I'd love it if you would join us.  You don't have to live in St. Louis to participate and we'd appreciate any type of help you can give us with this project.  Please check out this site if you're interested

Hope to see you all on the the Food Outreach Blog


Saturday, September 3, 2011

And...Gary Taubes Gets Beat Down Again!

 I just never get tired of watching the pros pick apart the trashy tome that is Good Calories, Bad Calories.  This post is simply to draw attention to the excellent job  Dr. Stephan Guyenet does in a recent blog entry.  I'm a big fan of Dr. Guyenet's blog and I'll be watching this one closely.  Well I better get off here, I can feel my insulin levels creeping up and that can mean only one thing...I'm storing carbs as fat!!!!!

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-31-9-2-11


What went in

B: none, not really hungry, thinking I might be getting sick. 1 L of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI

L: 2 bowls of chili with extra onions and cheese

D: 2 Mcdoubles on one bun, 1 diet dew, 1 L of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D


B: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1MVI

L: 4 turkey sausage patties, 1/2 plate of scrambled eggs with ketchup

Preworkout energy drink from the lift-a-thon

Post-workout/D: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes


Had another great practice! Starting to get more familiar with that anti-hook move and got a couple good hits in with it.  Was definitely feeling sick so I skipped all the usual post-practice grip and wrist stuff but I did manage to CCS a new #3 after a full practice so I guess the ol' ISG is working LOL.  The weight has been interesting.  I was close to 206# on Monday, was 211 and some change at the start of practice and 208 about halfway through.  I'm 208 today.  I've noticed at the slightest sign of physical exertion I start sweating so I'm thinking I'm just holding a lot of water


B: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1MVI.  Definitely sick.

L: 3-4 turkey sausage patties, 1/2 plate of potatoes, bowl of fruit cocktail

D: small PB&J, 1 Liter of water, a bunch of Nyquil, Mucinex, and it's off to bed at 4:40 pm on a Friday night; AWESOME.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Peoples' Dietitian teams up with The Peoples' Meathead

Matt Brouse, a fellow gripster, Facebook comedian, and dog lover, has started a new blog called The Peoples' Meathead.  Matt is a trainer, a real trainer, not some Jersey Shore wannabe that certed last weekend and is dying to show you his secret ab exercise; he's the real deal.  Please check out his blog for legitimate, in-the-trenches, exercise information.

Prior to him throwing his blog up I was considering writing a post on motivation to exercise.  Matt touched on this in a couple of his posts but I think I can contribute a little more. People think I love to work out.  In fact, throughout my many years of employment, I often have co-workers volunteer me for anything involving lifting and when they present me with the task you'd think they're handing me the keys to a new Saleen S7; they're so proud of themselves.  The truth is, I'd rather watch a good movie than head off to the gym any day.  What I love and I do mean love, is getting stronger or more specifically, I love getting stronger than you.  I'm competitive to a fault and I thoroughly enjoy trying to kick your ass at every single there is but strength..oh strength...I've been obsessed with it since I was 14 y/o and started lifting.  The endless pursuit of strength is what keeps me headed to the gym. If God rang me up and said, "you'll never get a drop stronger" I'd probably stop working out immediately and take up a new hobby to try and separate myself from the average man.

If you don't care about strength; there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Find something you do care about though and get after it.  Don't try to lose 20# because you think your jeans might look better; lose 20# because then you'd be able to dunk a ball again like you did 5 years ago.  Think about what it will take to dunk again; plyo work, plenty of squats, flexibility drills.  Guess what; by the time you create and execute this program you might find you lost your 20# without every touching the treadmill and you had a blast doing it because you were chasing a goal that got YOU excited...oh yeah and you can now throw it down again!  Leave me some comments and tell me what your performance goals are and what "side-effects" you might see as a result.  If you want to hear more about performance or fitness goals and the idea of activity vs. achievement;head over to Matt's blog

Looking forward to the comments!


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-29

Well, my waist size keeps dropping and it looks like my weight finally is a bit too.  I was 207 today at work and closer to 206 at the end of the day when I rolled into the Y locker room.

What went in

B: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 L of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 1 MVI

L: 2 servings of tilapia with verde salsa, a small green salad with a pinch of dressing, and peach cobbler with a half scoop of butter pecan

D/post-workout: 1/2 medium sausage pizza from Dominos, 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1.5 L of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D


3-4 rotator cuff prehab exercises with light weight, just to get warmed up.  I usually go Rocky IV on the rotator cuff prehab but I found it was taking away from my other lifts.

Gravitron one arm pull-up training: R: 100# deload x 12, 88# deloadx9x7x5  L: did 100#x12 and my elbow was smarting so I shut that down

Diesel Crew shoulder prehab protocol done hot n' heavy

Hang cleans with the fat gripz 135#x5, 145#x4x4x5

neutral grip incline db bench press with the fat gripz : nope, did one set and it was tweaking my left elbow so it was off to next ride

Thought I heard Master Chief say "..might as well crank it up right now!" since I didn't see Demi, I decided to throw in a KB snatch for reps, mid-workout!  The heaviest they have is a 12kg so I did 100 reps in 4 min.  I felt my low back getting fatigued and have temporarily paralyzed myself with KBs enough times to know when my form is getting softer than the broccoli at the retirement home, so I ended the fun, much to the chagrin of my lungs.

rear delt flys: the heavier weights seem to bother my elbow so I went for reps and a "skin splitting pump!"

lateral db flys: 15#x20x20x20 "brah you could hang your Hurley hat on these caps!"

seated row holds with the fat gripz : RH: 60#x15s, 120#x5s, 110#x10s, x 10s  LH: 60#x15s, 110#x7s, 110#x5s

Gym Shenanigans

I've heard the phrase "it depends what pond you swim in" many times and that's my best explaination for two incidents tonight.  The first occurred while I was doing the hang cleans. This guy, who upon visual assessment had 2 visual risk factors for CHD, walks up to me and quizzically asks me if that's some sort of "half clean".  My knee jerk reaction was to ask him if that was some sort of half haircut since it appeared the fade portion had been put on layaway.  However, I remembered the advice of the best cooler in the business and made the committment to "be nice".  I explained the lift to him and was frankly in amazement that he didn't ask about the bright blue fat gripz on the bar.  Well he turned out to be rather harmless and I really felt like he was beyond helping when he said he liked doing explosive lifts like deadlift.  If the Y trainer can't capitalize on that one then maybe he should try welding school.

While getting all Drago on the KB, I viewed some people watching me in my peripherals and hear "yeah Josh is a beast".  Andrew Durniat did something like a 28kg or a 32kg for 200 reps in 10 min.  I was doing a 12kg for a measly 100 reps in 4 min.  I just smiled and thought of one of my favorite scenes in Joe Dirt where Sir Joseph Deertay asks the young lad if Jamie Pressley is his girlfriend and he says "mister you'd shit yourself if you saw my girlfriend"..not that Andrew in anyway resembles the incomparable Jamie Pressley but you get the idea..