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..

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-26-8-28


What went in

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

L: half plate of beef brisket cut up over a large green salad with some lemon vinnagrette over the top.

pre-workout: did one of those sample pre-workout packs again; alas no "skin splitting pumps or endless energy".

D/post-training: 6" roast beef hoagie with double meat, 2 chocolate chip cookies, 1liter of water


I left my chalk at my AW partner's house so I knew the 2HP was going to be rough :)

2 hand pinch deadlift
I did 2 long sets with 169# each over 20 reps but I kept having to set it down and wipe it off and regrip. The most I hit without a regrip was 5 reps.

Thumbless Rolling Thunder
RH: 165#x11, 170#x7 dropped it to 145# and repped out
LH: 155#x7, 155#x3

Front lever holds with thick handle wrist reinforcer
RH: 12#x10sec, 15#x10sec,10sec,5sec, 12# to failure
LH: 12#x10 sec, 15#x7sec,5sec, 12# to failure

Concept 2 Rower
2000m in 7:51


What went in

430am: 1 EAS Myoplex light shake, 2 doublestrength fish oil caps, 1 MVI, 1 Diet Dew, 1 L of water
8:30am: 2 cups of scrambled eggs
12:30pm: 2 EAS Myoplex light shakes, 32oz Diet Coke
3:30 pm: 1 EAS Myoplex light shake
7pm: 2 schrambled eggs with 1oz of cheese, 2 slices of toast with 2 T of PB and 2T of jelly per slice, 1 L of water, massive slice of ice cream cake


What went in

Worked the late shift so I slept in and missed breakfast

11:15 am: 2 EAS Myoplex light shakes, 1 L of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 1 MVI. Out of Vit D grrrrrrrrrr

3:30pm: 2 EAS Myoplex light shakes, 1 diet dew

6:30pm: 1 chocolate chip cookie

9:00pm:  2 schrambled eggs with 1oz of cheese, 2 slices of toast with 2 T of PB and 2T of jelly per slice, 1 L of water,

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-25


B: 1 L of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D 1 MVI.   I was still pretty full from din-din

L: half plate of beef brisket, 1/2 plate of cheese fries, 1/2 ladle of ranch,

pre-workout: took some 20 calorie pre-workout powder that I got as a sample from the lift-a-thon. It gave me energy but I can't say I experienced the "mind-blowing, skin-splitting pump" which was a good thing considering it was AW practice

D/post-training: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 1 banana, 1 liter of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D 1 MVI, 800 mg Ibuprofen


We had a great practice last night.  I actually got to pull on the table that will be used for MO States so that's huge. It's substantially more narrow than mine which didn't occur to me until about half-way through the practice.  I adjusted my stance and just started killing it. I messed around with the "anti-hook" move that seems to be popular lately.  I hit one good one and it was almost like a trick it was so easy. It does leave you very suspectible to a top roll though.  I still have a lot of work to do though and need to get comfortable actually hitting with it vs. just trying to do it off go to screw up my opponent/arm wrestling defensively.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-23-8-24


B: 1 L of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D 1 MVI, 800 mg Ibuprofen; need to get this wrist simmered down for practice on Tr!  I was still pretty full from all that ice cream cake so I skipped breakfast.  
L: half plate of bbq beef brisket, 1/2 plate of cheese fries with ranch
D: Bob Evans pepper jack omelet, 2 biscuits, home fries, several black coffees, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D 1 MVI, 800 mg Ibuprofen


B:1 L of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D 1 MVI, 800 mg Ibuprofen; wrist seems to be settlnig down. I was still stuffed from the Bob Evans so I skipped breakfast.

L: 2 chicken breasts with BBQ sauce, large bowl of mixed vegetables, 1 strip of beef brisket: couldn't walk by that and not partake!

D: 2 eggs with 1 oz of cheese, 2 slices of PB&J toast, 1.5 cups of cinnamon cheerios with an EAS Myoplex light poured over it, 1 Liter of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D 1 MVI, 800 mg Ibuprofen

4702 m on the C2 rower in 20:01

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-22-11

B: 2 double strength fish oil caps, 1 MVI, 800 mg Ibuprofen; wrist was hurting????  I was still pretty full from the ribs and ice cream cake so I skipped breakfast.  We went to the zoo for my wife's birthday and saw everything but the birds aka we walked A TON!

L: I finally got hungry after all that walking: bacon cheeseburger, fries, diet coke; the portions were puny as expected at the zoo

D: 1.5 porksteaks, 3 slices of ice cream cake, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 800 mg Ibuprofen, 1 Liter of water

several black coffees and cherry coke zeros throughout the day.

On a side note: my 4 y/o daughter did a hang on our swing set which has about a 2" diameter bar for 22 seconds! It would be about like me doing one on a 4" considering her age/handsize.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-19-8-21

B: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 L of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 1 MVI, 2000 IU Vit D
L: 2 tilapia fillets with verde salsa, 1 slice of homemade bread and blue cheese spread
D: 3 McDoubles slimmed down to one sandwich, dessert: 3 T of PB, 2 TB of graham cracker crumbles, 2 T of honey, 2 T of chocolate chips, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D

9am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 2 doublestrength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI
11:30: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 32 oz Diet Coke
2:00 1 EAS Myoplex shake
4:00: 1 EAS Myoplex shake
7pm: 2 eggs with 1oz of cheese, 2 slices of PB and jelly on whole wheat toast, 1 EAS Myoplex shake over a bowl of Chex cereal, 1 Liter of water

4:30am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI
8:30am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake
10:30am: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 32oz of Diet Coke
1pm: 1 chocolate chip cookie, 1 light, SF vanilla yogurt, 1 cup of coffee
4pm/Post training: 1 EAS Myoplex shake
5pm:  Outback Steakhouse: full rack of ribs, cheese fries
7:30pm: slice of ice cream cake


ISG: All reps TNS
RH: 11,4: 10,9
LH: 2,10: 12, 12

Flat finger Deadlifts
RH: 115#x7, 105#x10, x7, 70# x several holds til failure
LH: 115#x0,  105#x7,5, 70# x several holds til failure

Red extension bands to failure: one actually snapped.
Appollon's Axle Thumbless Reverse Curls: 53#x10x10

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Different Approach to Obesity Counseling

Disclaimer: If improperly cited references gets your skirt in a twist then hit the back button now.  This is a review of an article I read in JADA and I have no intention of citing the 98 references from the article.  These concepts are not mine, I'm simply providing an opinion on them.  I don't know how much more clear I can make it. 

Ironic as it may be, I was recently reading an article on obesity counseling while pedaling away on the ol' recumbent bike, all in an effort guessed it...drop some weight.  The name of the article was Time to Abandon the Notion of Personal Choice in Dietary Counseling for Obesity and it was published in the August, 2011 Journal of the American Dietetic Association.  Now I admit, when I read the title I had to fight the urge to let out a "what the..!" and throw the rag across the room but I had another 30 min of biking to nowhere so I thought I'd give it a rip.

The premise of the article is that the bulk of the current dietary counseling for obesity is based on personal choice or more specifically, making good personal choices.  This means that when things don't go as planned and the weight isn't coming off, the client is "stigmatized" as having low willpower.  Again, I was bristling with rebuttals and ready to toss this piece but my cardio theater options were limited and Swamp People didn't have enough RJ and Jay Paul to keep my interest so I really didn't have anything else to keep me occupied.  Let me be clear, I DO think obese patients have low willpower hence the reason I show them ways to lower their caloric intake as painlessly as possible or in dietitianese "make small changes that lead to healthy lifestyle habits". Low willpower isn't by any stretch the only etiology (poverty, mental health issues, etc..) for their obesity but it plays a huge role.

Do they really have a choice?

"The term personal choice implies that human behavior derives from conscious, volitional decisions, and connotes that human beings have free will to decide between alternative courses of action-independent of biological and environmental forces". As Riggs and Murtaugh would say "that's pretty thin" but I'm willing to leave all the counter-arguments on the gym floor (eg  plug in the morally corrupt activity of your choice and get to justifying it with the wiring and environment card) for the sake of finding a more effective counseling strategy. I was also swayed by this statement, "studies that future actions can be predicted by brain activation patterns up to 10 seconds before individuals become aware of having made a decision"supposed link. I went to the link they provided for this study and it doesn't work but after some Google-Fu I found their reference and I didn't find anything worthwhile or more meaty than that little teaser but the concept got me to put on my listening cap and I settled into the article. The link I posted works but I didn't think it provided much info.

Wasn't this a Tom Cruise movie?
The big questions around the aforementioned prediction concept would be:
1. How accurately are they predicting it? If it's not 100% it means they still have a choice and thus we really are talking about a lack of willpower.

2. What type of activities are they predicting? In otherwords, what type of sensitivity are we talking about?  I can predict if I tell my daughter not to eat any more Goldfish crackers and I leave a bowl in front of her and walk out of the room that she will eat them.  Does this mean she didn't have a choice in the matter because I could predict it? Now if they're predicting that Joe Smith will choose the chocolate wingtips over the rust cap toes 10/10 times, 10 sec before he does, then I'm intrigued.

Let's try to avoid any false dichotomies though and say their personal choice is severely compromised. So as we head into the rest of the article, we'll operate on the assumption that they don't have full control over their dietary choices.

Food Reward

"Obesity has been viewed almost exclusively as a disorder of energy homeostatis in which overeating results from insufficient satiety signaling or amplified hunger signaling. However, research conducted over the past decade has demonstrated that the sensory experience of palatable food can easily override homeostatic controls of energy balance, leading to overeating in the absence of true physiological hunger".  Ya don't say!  Captain Obvious, does this mean that I missed my chance to have NIH fund my trips to the Chinese Super Buffet so they could determine if I would eat past satiety?  Team Obvious goes on to further point out that the increased sugar, salt, and fat in our dietary habits has contributed to the palatability and thus overconsumption issues (Is Swamp People back on yet?). Finally though it gets into something interesting.  There are two factors at work in Food Reward.  The first is the pleasure you get from consuming the palatable food and the second is the motivational drive to have to get this palatable food and consume it.  Interestingly enough, obese individuals do not report any more pleasure than nonobese individuals upon consuming it.  This means that the motivational factor is likely more relevant although the article doesn't explicitely state that it is.

Bring on the Neurobiology!
According to the article, the mesolimbic system aka the reward circuit is what regulates food reward.  Of note, it also determines motivation to engage in sex, gambling, and other no-nos.  The article goes on to further explain that the food pleasure portion is tied to "opioid neurotransmission in several small hotspots in the nucleus accumbens and other regions" and the motivation to seek out this palatable food is policed by "dopamine pathways from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens". 

Why is any of this relevant? Well, it turns out that blunted mesolimbic system neurotransmission and blunted dopamine signaling (using surrogate markers) are indeed associated with higher adiposity! Association is not causation but the theory goes that those with compromised mesolimbic systems or "mesolimbic resistance"(my term, not the article's) need more palatable food to satisfy this circuit.  The article states that "deficient neural reward processing appears to equate with greater reward sensitivity at the level of behavior"; which doesn't make a drop of sense to me but ok.  In my opinion, if the person's reward sensitivity is elevated that should mean that a little palatable food will satisfy the circuit or if the circuit is deficient then it will take a lot of palatable food to complete it.  The authors go on to say that "greater sensitivity to reward is linked to stronger food cravings, preferences for sweet and fatty foods, greater ad libitum food intake in laboratory studies, and higher body weight among adults and children". I think they are contradicting themselves here a bit. For example, earlier they stated that "obese individuals do not experience greater pleasure from palatable food than normal weight individuals".  Now they're saying that the blunted mesolimbic system in individuals with higher adiposity creates a more sensitive reward circuit (eg, a jelly donut gets them twice as excited as someone without mesolimbic resistance) resulting in stronger food cravings, especially for sweet and fatty foods?  I'll take off my wordsmithing apron though and concede that if obese individuals do indeed experience some sort of mesolimbic resistance then it is indeed more than a lack of willpower.

Inhibitory Control

So the next question is; if we have skewed food reward systems r/t mesolimbic resistance, can we suppress our urges for palatable food in the absence of physiological hunger?  The short answer is a resounding "yes!" but how often we are successful is what makes our breaks our BMI. Inhibitory control is a more scientific term for willpower and it can actually be quantified.  Just so we're on the same page; IC is the counterweight to food reward.  For example, if you have the mesolimbic resistance and your reward circuit is out of whack, the IC is what allows you to override it and still make healthy choices.  So, if you have mesolimbic resistance it will indeed take more IC than normal. According to the article, the prefrontal cortex is powerhouse for inhibitory control. Neuroimaging studies done on dieters who were given a choice between 50 pairs of healthy or tasty foods have shown that those that consistently chose healthy had greater PFC activation!  There have also been studies showing that greater PFC activation following food consumption is associated with lower adiposity and food cravings!  The not-so-exciting news is that some studies also show that stress can lower PFC activity and drop IC. To summarize, you're obese, you have mesolimbic resistance, so your reward circuit is skewed but your IC is hanging on for everything it's worth and then "boom" your tire blows out and is making you late for the in-service to your biggest account.  That my friend was the final nail in the coffin for your IC and when you finally arrive you're now able to completely justify pigging out on the Panera with your customers!

Time Discounting

This is sure to be the most explosive section of my post.  I have no doubt I will be accused of being insensitive, out-of-touch, judgemental, and probably even Republican but my skin has never been thin. Time discounting is the concept that we tend to make choices that provide pleasure in the short-term but are not in our best long-term interest. Hopefully these abilities increase/improve as we age, especially past 18 y/o but there's clearly a disparity in all aspects of life quality for those that don't progress vs. those that do. The article illustrates this phenomenon by predicting that many of us would take $200 today instead of $300 in a year. Granted, generally money is worth more today than it is tomorrow but you'd be hard pressed to get a 51% ROI in a year, in today's market. I won't flesh out the examples but could time discounting explain the number of drug dealers in low income communities, the alarming number of unwed, teen pregnancies, or the generational welfare?  Does time discounting increase risk for poverty? Could this be another possible reason why poverty and obesity are associated? Does this time discounting/poor decision making carry over to food intake as well? I could write a detailed post on any of the above examples and explain how time discounting is the real culprit but I won't; I'll keep this limited to nutriton.
I'll step off the soapbox now and get back to the neurobiology except there isn't a whole lot in this part.  Basically Team Obvious states that those who tend to time discount a lot (take the $200 today instead of the $300 at the end of the year) are going to have a hard time losing weight since it doesn't come off quickly, Jillian Michaels be damned.

Let's tie this all together!

1. You have mesolimbic resistance so you have a blunted reward circuit.  The article states this increases your reward sensitivity; meaning you get much stronger food cravings, especially for fatty and sweet foods.  I think this is hogwash or at least poorly written and that the garbled mesolimbic transmissions mean you need a greater amount of highly palatable foods to complete the circuit and thus have diminished reward sensitivity.  The greater quantity is quantified as "stronger cravings". Either way, you have reward circuit that is hard to complete.  As the article states, this fried reward circuit is associated with greater adiposity.

2. The second fork of mesolimbic resistance would be decreased dopamine signaling and that is clinically significant because dopamine is what shuts down your motivation to seek out this highly palatable food.  The article states that obese individuals don't report a greater reward for highly palatable food but they do report a much greater motivation to go find it. Not surprisingly, markers that predict poor dopamine signaling are correlated with greater adiposity.

Applications: The article states that you would need to limit the food reward by doing things like shopping with a grocery list, planning restaurant menu selections in advance, etc..  To quote my boys from Lethal Weapon, "that's pretty thin".  Number one, just because I don't put klondike bars on my grocery list doesn't mean I that I no longer find them rewarding and the elephant in the room is...wait for it...I still have to have the willpower to not put them on my list/not buy them. It also gives an example of removing palatable food cues from home and work environments but again, you have to have the willpower to do that.

Food Outreach Integration:  The majority of our clients at Food Outreach ( are struggling with food insecurity which means they heavily rely on Food Outreach for their food.  In other words, we have a captive audience; so if we control what goes on the menu and they get most of their meals from our menu, we have a good chance to "limit the impact of reward on food choice".  Myself and the Chef(s) work together on our menu to ensure that our frozen meals are on average <100mg of cholesterol and get <10% of their cals from saturated fat. We aren't trying to be Snackwells so this has an indirect effect on our meals' caloric content as well. The clients really can't go wrong with anything they choose on our menu, assuming they aren't eating 2 or 3 meals vs. 1 in a setting.  We have built-in portion control since our frozen meals come in single serve containers.   It will be a challenge to search for ways to limit the palatable foods (for our obese clients) but at the same time keep our menu appealing for our clients that are experiencing involuntary weight loss.

3. Inhibitory Control is the angel on your shoulder telling you to "hold off" when your mesolimbic resistance has your reward circuit in overdrive.  IC is a hardworker that's chugging away at absolute capacity so when IC has to contend with anything other than policing the reward circuit (eg stress) it loses its grip on the reward circuitry and all hell breaks loose. 

Applications: Supporting your IC system is a two-pronged process.  One; don't put it in bad situations. For example, don't head to the Chinese Super Buffet and dare IC to keep you at one plate.  Oh wait...are we talking about willpower again? I have to have the willpower not to go to the Chinese Buffet.  I know, I know, I'm such an ass.  The second step in IC support is creating an environment that fosters it.  This would be lowering your stressors and/or anything that's going to get IC off task and give the mesolimbic system the chance to get buckwild.  For example, if you meet your friend once a week for dinner and it's a rat race to get to the restaurant by 6 and you feel like you always come in out of breath and barely on time; move the time back to 7pm or maybe just a different day.  Evaluate yourself and see what gets you stressed and more importantly, identify which stressors that you can actually change (eg flexible scheduling at work?).

Food Outreach Integration: The biggest thing we do at Food Outreach to support IC is to NOT place bad choices on our menu.  If we were to start an obesity support group, I would have at least one class dedicated to showing the clients how to assess their environments for pitfalls or traps that would compromise their IC.  I would likely design some type of inspection list and they would need to use said sheet as a guide to assess their environments.  Now ideally, I could go home, to work, etc.. with them and personally help them identify IC black holes but that's not feasible on a number of fronts. This is an area I'm excited about though and an IC inspection list is only the beginning.  I have a few more ideas brewing..

4. Time Discounting: TD simply put, is a tendency to make choices that give us short-term pleasure even when it is not a good long-term strategy (eg eating a whole box of chocolates while our favorite show is on TV).  Relative to obesity, this is a nightmare because food gives us immediate pleasure and depriving ourselves of food in an attempt to lose weight is a hard sell because the weight loss is something that occurs in the long-term.

Applications:  The article states that setting short-term goals, maybe even daily energy goals, are ideal for those with time discounting issues. In other words, you're taking advantage of the knowledge that they will likely make the choice that benefits them most in the short-term.  The authors also recommend  the patients prepare healthy foods ahead of time to they have easy access to them.  This is another manuever to use their predictable behavior to their advantage.  To clarify: if they have a convenient supply of healthy food right in front of their nose or they have to drive to McDonalds, which do you think someone with time discounting issues will choose?  I thought this was the weakest section in the article as far as neurobiology but this section has the most realistic and effective applications.  I would be remiss though if I didn't mention that they have to have the willpower to prepare/procure convenient, healthy foods and not put the calorically dense, highly palatable foods in their home/in competition with them.

Food Outreach Integration:   I've already discussed our frozen meals program but this is the perfect solution to providing them with an accessible, convenient source of healthy foods.  All they have to do is reheat them and they're ready to go! An opportunity for us might be a weekly support group, held on Mondays at 1pm.  We currently provide a Monday lunch to our clients.  The idea behind our Monday lunch program is to create a restaurant-like environment for our clients so that at least once a week, they feel like they can still go out and get something to eat.  Due to the cost of their treatments and medications, many of them never get to go out to eat anymore, unless you want to count dollar menu.  More importantly, since we allow them to bring a guest, it gives them the opportunity to take their careperson out for a nice meal. Where I'm going with this is simple; we already have a ton of foot traffic every Monday, so this would be the prime spot to host a support group.  The advantage to a weekly support group, relative to time discounting, is it allows us to set weekly/short-term goals and would give them the pleasure of meeting those goals in front of their peers on a weekly basis. For example, if I know I'm going to get a bunch "attaboys" on Monday, that might be enough to override my desire to blow into that bag of chips on Sunday while I watch the game.

In conclusion, although I still think a lack of willpower plays a huge role in obesity (it drives the strategies for combating mesolimbic resistance, you must have it for IC support, it essentially is IC, and much of time discounting can be explained by a lack of willpower) I can appreciate how someone's willpower might be compromised from a neurobiological standpoint. One thing is certain, we are losing the war on obesity and losing it badly.  I'm willing to try some new things and hopefully others are too! 

Thanks for reading!


The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-17 and 8-18


What went in

7am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU of Vit D, 1 MVI, and 800 mg of Ibuprofen

12 noon: 1 large bowl of chili with 1 T onions and 1oz of cheese, 1 slice of homemade bread with a blue cheese spread, and 1 small cup of mousse with 1/2 scooop of cherry chocolate ice cream, large glass of water

7pm: Went out to Mom's for dinner and did a large plate of spaghetti, 1 slice of garlic cheese bread, 1 big brownie and 1 small slice of peach cobbler, several cups of coffee

Firearms Fun!

I put another 100 or so through the Ruger Mark III and it continues to be flawless.  I had one round that didn't fire but it didn't jam it simply didn't fire.  I ejected it, reloaded it, and it went off just fine. It did already have a hammer indention on it when I ejected it?  My best mag was 2 at the intersection of the "X", the rest of the rounds in that ring, and 3 of those in practically the same hole.  Mom is getting better.  She put 16 from the M&P in a group about the size of her palm in the target's neck.  She's more than ready to take the CCW test. I boresnaked the Ruger and cleaned the Glock and Mom's M&P and called it.  There is just something relaxing about cleaning guns.


What went in

7am:  Still full from all that spaghetti so I just went with 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU of Vit D, 1 MVI, and 800 mg of Ibuprofen

12noon: So our Chef tells me, "those greens are a little bitter, they're Japanese or something, that's why I didn't pack them. You might want to try them first".  Be assured, they're no match for The Greens Machine that is The Peoples' Dietitian.  I loaded up the whole plate and cut any potential bitterness with some nice buttery boiled shrimp that was left over from the Monday lunch!  As a coworker of mine says "this will drop your panties!".  It was fantastic! 800 ml of water (got a free shaker from the lift-a-thon)

7:30/Post-workout: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D


My AW partner had to cancel on practice tonight so I worked my sidepressure hits.  I felt like I was getting rusty on my explosion so tonight was a valuable session.  Most importantly, I was smart enough to stop when my elbow started to feel like it would pop. I'm getting so mature!

2 Hand Pinch
After a couple of warm-up sets (which I think helped immensely) I tore into my goal of getting 2 sets of 12 with 168#.  It would feel great and then just pop out after 4-5 reps.  I kept having to regrip but I went over 24 reps per set and my second set I hit 9 without a regrip. I'm thinking maybe one more workout at this weight and then I'll bump up to 174#.

Beasted it on the rower tonight!  I was originally going to just try and keep a 2:04-2:06 pace for at least 21 min (1 min longer than last session) but I was bored to tears so about the 10 min mark I decided I was going to try and get 5000 m in 20 min.  Didn't happen but ended up with 4768 in 20 min. Originally it said 4750 in 20:02 but then it reset itself to the above time?

I tried to do some flat finger work after the rower but I think my body was just cashed out as I couldn't even move the weight I was getting 12 on last session LOL

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-16-11


What went in

7am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 L of water, 2 double strength fish oil pills, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI, 800 mg ibuprofen

12 noon: 2 servings of baked tilapia verde, small green salad, 8oz of water

6pm: 6 pancakes with syrup and butter (when the domestic manager is cooking pancakes, you can't turn that down!) 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 2 double strength fish oil pills, 2000 IU Vit D, 800 mg ibuprofen

2 cherry coke zeros

snuck in some ISG while I was waiting for the pancakes
ISG: TNS, RH only (left elbow is still tender)
9,7x12,12..FINALLY! PTL!


7am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 L of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI, 800 mg ibuprofen

12noon: 2 ladles of beef fajita (meat only), 1 ladle of chicken fajita (meat only) over a large plate of romain lettuce with 3/4 ladle of poppyseed dressing, 1 small cup o' mousse

8:30/post training: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 1 L of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 GNC pack of multivitamin (loot from the lift-a-thon).


1 hour of cardio on the recumbent bike on level 9. While on the bike and in between my fellow pullers RJ and Jay Paul smokin' gators, I read a couple of good articles in JADA(obesity and the neurobiological connections, hospital food service quality trends/importance of) so look for some upcoming blog posts on those. I'm thinking I might try to create an obesity class/support group aimed at rectifying the major traps outlined in the article

Usually I'm a maniac about rotator cuff prehab but since my left elbow is still tender, I was short on time, and I wanted to see how much the prehab protocol zapped me, I did some one arm pull-up training tonight with no prehab and only one warm-up set.  I was pleasantly surprised. 

BW 207#
100# of deload for an easy 12 reps (I'm pretty sure I've never broke 10 on this gravitron before)
88# of deload for an easy 8 reps
40# of deload for an easy single but couldn't get 2??
several sets of lock-offs/holds to failure with between 40#-100#
*This gravitron is much harder than the one at my previous gym and I have full confidence that it is accurate. My best on the other gravitron was a double with 20# of deload  and while I was around 202 or so I've never even been close to that on this gravitron.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-15-11

What went in

10am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake poured over 1 cup of Honeycombs, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI

2:30: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes

6pm: 2.5 bratwurst patties, 2 slices of bread, 1tsp of mayo, 2 T of mustard, 1 Liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil camps, 2000 IU Vit D

misc: been doing 1600 mg Ibuprofen since Saturday. My back is sore from that max DL, I think I tweaked my knee a bit, and my elbow is angry.  It's tough getting old.  There was no training, I was too sore from the lift-a-thon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lift-a-thons, Concept 2 rowers, Bahston, oh my!!

Well I'm back from the Association of Nutrition Service Agencies conference in Bahston and it was a blast.  I ate big and enjoyed myself but it's time to refocus on getting back to 90kg for the Missouri State Arm Wrestling Championships.


what went in

8:30: 2 EAS Myoplex Shakes, 1 liter of water

throughout the lift-a-thon: 3 diet monster energy drinks; they were free and only 20 cals/can

2:30ish/post-lift-a-thon: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes

6pm: 2 Mcdoubles: ditched 2 of the buns/doubled the meat. Should be 800 cals
Cold Stone Creamery: "Gotta Have It" Mudpie Mojo


So the YMCA was doing this charity lift-a-thon and even though I don't bench or deadlift I couldn't resist the urge to lift weights competitively in my own backyard, not to mention it was for a good cause. I benched 300# and pulled 415#.  I was VERY pleased to see I could still pop 300# and pull over 400#.  I don't train either and probably haven't done a legit flat bench barbell workout in 2 years or more.  I did notice a big drop in my deadlift, especially at the beginning.   I think when I was doing squats I was around a 450# DL but again, we're talking 2 years. 

There was one kid there that was brutally strong on bench.  He said he weighed 215#; I'd guess closer to 230# but he blasted 385# and just missed 405# BUT before you start laughing at me, his feet were up on the freaking pegs!  He also appeared to be falling off the bench and he didn't use any shoulder blade tuck, arch, etc..  He just plopped down and did it.

Hit some C2 rower after the contest: did 20 min with a 2:06.9/500m average

Concept 2 Rower aka The Erg aka Humperdink's Life Sucking Machine

Those who have used a C2 rower know how brutal they are but you either quit using them or it quickly becomes a love-hate relationship.  One of my goals for 2011 was to have a sub-7 min 2000m. Well, apparently that was a bit Polly Annish. I had the opportunity to speak with Micah Hartwell this past week at the ANSA conference.  He's a national medalist, rowed for Oklahoma University, and was competing at the World Trials in 09.  So here is what he prescribed for someone around 205-210# and currently around around 7:40ish on the 2000m and seeking a sub-7 time.

1. 2 distance pieces a week; distance defined as 45min-1 hour
2. Damper at 6.5
3. 500m average of 2:04-2:06 for one hour piece
4. Stroke rate of 24-26

When doing a 2000 meter piece and currently at the 7:40ish level and training a sub-7 time
1. Blast the first 10 strokes; it's just glycogen depletion and it "free energy"
2. At this point you're "settled in" and strive for a 1:52-1:56 split
3. Beware of the walls at 1200m and 1600 m.

Some Micah Highlights/Motivation
When doing just 500m for speed he's done 1:17
3.07 1000m
When doing 1 hour pieces he averages a 1:56 split on the 500m

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-5-8-7

Busy weekend with my brother getting married...

What went in

7am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI

12noon: 1 chicken breast, 1 cup of spicy vinegar cole slaw

5:30: Red Robin monster bacon cheese burger, 1 serving of fries, several large glasses of water

10am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI

4:30: My brother's wedding reception: ate 2 huge plates of BBQ and had some wedding cake and other dessert

11:30pm: 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D


11am: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 1 Liter of water. 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D

1:30pm: 1 EAS Myoplex shake

3pm: 1 EAS Myoplex shake

5:30: 12" Pio's sausage pizza, 2 small pieces of garlic bread, the few pieces left over from my wife's 12" pizza

evening: several cherry coke zeros and 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D

I'll be in Boston for most of the week so the blog will be on hiatus until 8-13. 

Thanks for reading!


Friday, August 5, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-4-11

What went in

7am: EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 1 MVI, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 Cherry Coke Zero

12 noon: large bowl of chorizo, 1 large green salad with 1oz of cheese and 1/2 ladle of poppy seed dressing

pre-training meal: 1 EAS Myoplex shake

post-training meal: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU of Vit D


AW practice: in addition to the usual pulling we did some drills where my partner tried to hook and I just tried to stay out of the hook with just wrist and static back  pressure


We tried a new exercise tonight after watch James Retarides perform it in this video 

We did ours with an old 1 hand metal pinch block.  We just ran rope through the middle (it's hollow) which makes it pretty unstable.  If you start to crimp grip it, it will spin out on you. I went 70#x12, 95#x12, 105#x12 with both hands.  I'd like to get up to BW on this eventually.

-Rolling Thunder wrist curls from a high cable on the AW table to simulate sucking someone in on a hook
-Straight arm pressdowns: 70#x12x9x6x8x4
-Killed a #3 on an impromptu challenge from my partners brother which then got me pumped to do some grippers so I super-setted the pulldowns with grippers: TNS reps: HG250x14x10x9
-front lever holds on a 2" thick by 4' long dowel rod with 3# on the end: multiple sets to failure
-wrist rotations for high reps
-Overcrushed a #3 to failure; didn't time it but I'd guess an easy 20 secs.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tru02: Oxygen Enriched Air: Magic Bullet or Metric Crescent Wrench?

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-3-11

What went in

7am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 1 liter of water, 1 diet dew, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI

12 noon: l large bowl of beef chili, large green salad with 1oz of cheese and 3/4 ladle of poppy seed dressing

7pm: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 1 liter of water


500m on the C2 rower in 1:49

ISG: all reps no set
RH: 9,7x11,10
LH: 9,4x12,12

500m on the C2 rowr in 1:49

2 Hand Pinch Deadlift
*horrible tonight, just felt slick

169# several sets of doubles and triples and not by choice
-finally got one to stick and got 5 reps and then regripped through three more sets to get 12
-after the first good set mentioned above I hit 4 and  it felt glued to my hand and then just came right out so I regripped through a few more and end up with 15 total reps for the set

1000m on the C2 in 4:00
Ok, so normally after rowing I flop down on the floor hitting poses that would make most Crossfitters' socks turn green with envy but tonight I thought I'd exhaust myself on the beast and try out  a new product I was given at the National Grip Championships last month.  One of the sponsors was Tom McCarty who gave each competitor a canister of "Tru02 Oxygen Enriched Air".  Insert joke here; I have to admit I was skeptical to say the least and I think more than one person reading this will probably say "isn't that stuff free?".  Those of you that know me know I'm not afraid to speak my mind but I'll tell you that as soon as I got off the rower I gave myself 4 puffs of this stuff and I had almost completely caught my breath!!!  Usually I just lay there, looking pathetic, leaving sweat stains on the floor, and waiting for Mick to appear and tell me "get up you sonfabitch cuz Mickey luvs ya!" but not tonight; 4 puffs and I'm off to the  This is not an exaggeration, I don't make a dime off of this stuff, and I really don't care if you buy it or not but I can tell you that if I was an MMA fighter or a boxer or somebody who needed to catch my breath quick and more importantly, catching my breath would allow me to crush my competition while they're still sucking air, I'd be ordering this stuff ASAP.  Here's the link if you're interested

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

What went in

7am: 1 EAS Myoplex shake, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D, 1 MVI, 1 Liter of water

12noon: 2 chicken breasts, 1/2  plate of mixed veggies

6:30: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes, 1 Liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D

Black coffee with splenda and diet soda throughout the day

No training, still sore from the workout on Monday

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 8-1-11

What went in

7am: still pretty full from all that pasta at dinner so I just went with 1 L of water, a cherry coke zero, and 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU vit D, and a MVI

12 noon: chicken breast, 1 cup mashed potatoes and gravy, 1 cup of mixed veggies

post workout/dinner: italian lemon pepper encrusted chicken breast x 1.5 breasts.  My wife made mac and cheese as the side but I'm not really into minute mac and cheese so I just skipped that. 1 L of water, 1  cherry coke zero, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU vit D

10pm: 2 EAS Myoplex shakes


Modified version of the Diesel Crew Shoulder Rehab protocol

Barbell Flat Bench Press: I haven't done this in years but I needed to see where I was at for this charity lift-a-thon: 135#x10, 225#x3, 245#x3, 250#x2, 225#x5. I think I'll open with 275# and shoot for 300# on next two attempts

DL: same story as the bench. 135#x10, 225#x3, 315#x3.  I think I'll be good for 405# and we'll see what happens past there.

Hang Cleans with Fat Gripz on: 135#x3,5,5,5,5

Devon Larratt Style Curls on the P Bench: 50#db with fat gripz: x10 R and L, 60# no FG; db had a weird thickish handle already with made it too thick with the FG x 8 R and L, 70# with FG: 4 L 5 R
Rear delt flys: 40#x12, 110#x12,12,12,9

1 arm holds on the seated row: 60#x10s L/R, 80#x10s L/R, 100#x10s for 3 sets L and R

DB laterals: 15#x5, 20#x5, 25#x5, 30#x5

hyperextensions: BWx10, 25#held to chestx10, 25#held behind headx6 then drop set to hold it at the chestx6 then dropset to BWx8

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Road to the 2011 90kg Missouri State Arm Wrestling Title: 7-31-11

What went in

Worked from 5:45a-6:30p

I was still really full from the China Buffet so didn't eat until my lunch break.

4:30am: 1 liter of water, 2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU vit D, 1 MVI

12:30: 2 EAS Myoplex Shakes, 32oz Diet Coke

3:30: 1 EAS Myoplex Shake

7:00: "hamburger helper" x 2 plates.  We make our HH with whole grain pasta and ground turkey.  1 Liter of water,  2 double strength fish oil caps, 2000 IU Vit D

no training