Monday, June 24, 2013

Crossfit: To do or not to do

Each individual Crossfit facility should be evaluated on its own merits.

That being said.....

The first problem I have with Crossfit is the incredible sense of "we know best and we know better than you." 

On the Crossfit website it states:
"Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the

Really? Combat, survival and sports require a base of fitness and then the specialization necessary to master the skills of the activity. Take a look at the website and their philosophy. Just replace golf for the activity you prefer and you will see what I mean.

"We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs."

Ouch! The same routines for the elderly and cage fighters?

How determining the goals of a client and performing the FMS (Functional Movement Screen) or some type of body assessment before the client starts training at a Crossfit. Only then can a proper and safe training program be designed!

The second problem is technique.  There is no way to maintain proper technique on the final reps of a MetCon. 

Take a look at these two videos. 

This one – – is the owner of a Crossfit showing fairly good unweighted squat technique.

Now look at this video – – in which she is doing Clean and Jerks with weight for reps. OUCH! Look at her right knee! And she is the owner of the Crossfit!

The third problem is overtraining. In addition to the problem of technique when fatigued, overtraining seems to be ubiquitous in Crossfit. Every crossfitter I have treated was way overtrained. There even seems to be a badge of honor when a crossfitter is "destroyed" by their training. Yikes! Any athlete who has trained this way realizes that recovery is king!

And lastly, the culture. While inclusiveness is all well and good, mocking those who suffer an injury or cannot "cut it" is not. An article written by Will Wright, MD, says,

"Uncle Rhabdo is well known to the CrossFit community, but he is around to remind and warn us that what we do has the potential to be dangerous."

You are kidding right? An MD who is a crossfitter actually wrote this?

And a workout was named for a client of a Crossfit who suffered rhabdomyolysis. See this...

PLEASE determine your goals and be properly evaluated before starting any exercise program. You can be careful, be smart, get fit, and have fun!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vitamin D from Sun Exposure vs Supplementation

Here is a great article entitled, "

How do we know how much vitamin D you make?"

"When we subject ourselves to full body sun exposure, enough to induce a slight pinkness, we probably make between 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D."

"For this reason, it appears that oral intake of 5,000 IU/day is about equal to what your body is capable of making with year-round sun exposure, though every person’s requirements vary a little."

A few additional points of understanding:

1. Determine your minimum erythemal dose (MED) - how much time do you need to spend in the sun between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to get slighly pink?

There is a 1 - 6 scale of skin types. Type 1 skin always burns and never tans. Minimal sun exposure is needed to make a full dose of Vitamin D. Type 6 never burns and needs hours of sun exposure to make a full dose of Vitamin D.

Here is a link to determine your skin type - Click here

2. Once you determine your MED you know how long you may stay in the sun before you put on sun screen. My recommendation is to get your MED before applying sun screen.

3. If you live north of Atlanta you will get no appreciable production of Vitamin D from sun exposure from November through February. Factors determining Vitamin D production from sun exposure include:
  • Day of the year
  • Time of Day
  • Latitude
  • How much of your skin is exposed to the sun (shorts and a T-shirt is considered about 25% skin exposure)
  • Skin type
  • Cloudiness of the sky
  • Ozone
4. Vitamin D absorption. Many of you know about the surgery I had in October 2010 (an esophagectomy). My Vitamin D level just prior to surgery was 70 ng/mL). For 10 months post surgery I took an average of 15,000 IU per day of liquid Vitamin D and my level was 34 ng/mL. That's right ... my number went DOWN BY HALF, even after 10 months of what is considered very high supplementation!

If you have a disease/condition or are simply training hard for sports, you need to check your Vitamin D levels and supplement accordingly. My recommendation is to start supplementing immediately and get your levels checked as soon as you can. Of course, get out in the sun when you can!

Friday, February 22, 2013

How to Fix Low Testosterone Levels

  1. By local produce or frozen organic produce. Local produce comes your table with much shorter travel times than organic produce from afar. The longer the travel time, the less the nutrient value. Frozen organic produce is frozen right after it is harvested thereby maintaining a higher nutrient value.
  2. Avoid all fake and processed foods. No sugar!!! Read labels!
  3. Stop drinking from all plastic water bottles! Most have BPA - Bisphenol-A, a nasty estrogen causing endocrine disruptor. Read more here ...
  4. Eat raw organic nuts. Almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans.
  5. Eat an adequate amount of Omega 3 fats - salmon, trout, sardines, and herring and/or take a high quality fish oil supplement.
  6. Eat healthy, saturated fats like grass fed beef & coconut oil. Try Gunpowder Bison! Tell them I sent you!
  7. Perform high intensity strength training: clubbells, kettlebells, weightlifting, sprinting, TRX.
  8. Discontinue "cardio" like the elliptical, treadmill, bike UNLESS you are a distance athlete. 
  9. Limit your workouts to 45-60 minutes, again, unless you are a distance athlete.
  10. Get 20-minutes of sunlight per day to boost your Vitamin D levels. Get your minimum erythemal dose (stay in the  midday sun for the amount of time it takes for you to get ever so slightly red) BEFORE you put on sunscreen.
  11. Have sex more often.
  12. Compete in something.
  13. Get 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
  14. Minimize stress and laugh every day - learn what makes you relax (music, sex, taking a slow walk, meditation,Tai Chi, Yoga) and do it daily. Download some funny videos onto your smart phone and take a break multiple times throughout the day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aspirin No Help for Stroke Outcomes

A new study just published in Stroke, Journal of the American Heart Association, showed that using low dose aspirin did not decrease the overall incidence of stroke or improve outcomes following a stroke.

 The Women's Health Study, a clinical trial run by the N.I.H, looked at randomized low-dose aspirin and Vitamin E in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

This study showed that there was no significant difference in total stroke incidence between women randomized to 100 mg of aspirin every other day and those randomized to placebo. 

So, this begs the question, if you do take low-dose aspirin daily, why? 

Before we discuss why, how about the study in the June 6, 2012 issue of JAMA, 

Association of Aspirin Use With Major Bleeding in Patients With and Without Diabetes.

The authors concluded, "... aspirin use was significantly associated with an increased risk of major gastrointestinal or cerebral bleeding episodes." Yikes!

So, once again, why do you take low-dose aspirin?

How about making dietary improvements, starting an exercise program, and supplementing with a high quality fish oil!

Take control of your life and get off the medical band-wagon!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tired of Being Tired?

Watch this clip and learn how to get to the true source of energy production in the human body...

Click here...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why your DNA is not your destiny...

Watch this 4 part video series and learn how environment, stress, food, and your beliefs effect the expression of our genes. Scientist Robert Nagato Needleman, PhD explains how we can reset our genes to a more youthful expression.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Practical management of sudden cardiac arrest on the football field

The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published guidelines for the management of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on the football (soccer) field. These guidelines are certainly applicable to all sporting events.
What are the take home points?

1. Make an Emergency Plan and make sure all coaches know this plan.
2. All coaches must know CPR and how to use an AED.
3. An AED should be at every event and coaches must know where it is!

For the complete guidelines, see below.

Key recommendations for emergency planning for sudden cardiac arrest on the football field

  • Every team and venue hosting football training or competition should have a written emergency response plan for SCA.
  • Potential responders to SCA on the field (ie, coaches, referees, physiotherapists, athletic trainers, and other medical staff) should be regularly trained in CPR and AED use, and demonstrate skills proficiency in this regard.
  • An AED should be immediately available on the pitch during competitions.
  • Both teams should review prior to the match the location of the AED and details of the emergency response plan.
  • AED, automated external defibrillator; CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; SCA, sudden cardiac arrest.
    Practical management of sudden cardiac arrest on the football field
    • Prompt recognition of SCA
    • SCA should be assumed in any collapsed and unresponsive athlete
    • Seizure-like activity, and abnormal breathing or gasping must be accepted as SCA until proven otherwise
    • Early activation of the emergency medical response system and call for additional rescuer assistance
    • Early CPR
    • If unresponsive and not breathing normally, begin Hands-Only (compression only) CPR—push hard, push fast
    • C−A−B (chest compressions−airway−breathing).
    • Immediate retrieval of the AED or manual defibrillator.
    • Application of the AED or manual defibrillator as soon as possible—while CPR continues. Stop CPR only for rhythm analysis and shock delivery if indicated
    • If no shock is delivered, CPR and life support measures should be continued until the player becomes responsive or a non-cardiac aetiology can be clearly established.
    • If a shock is delivered, immediately continue CPR for 2 minutes, then allow AED to reanalyse the rhythm.
    • On the discretion of the senior clinician on scene, transport of the SCA victim to a hospital facility capable of advanced cardiac life support, realising that effective CPR should be continued en route.
    • Upon return of spontaneous circulation, while still in coma, rapid cooling (induced hypothermia) for SCA victims with VF arrest has been shown to improve survival and decrease neurological complications.
    • AED, automated external defibrillator; CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; SCA, sudden cardiac arrest; VF, ventricular fibrillation.