Fat Head Documentary - Debunking the Low-Fat Diet

We saw Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” taking on the fast food industry by having the him gorge himself on McDonald’s at least 3 times per day, claiming that if he kept going at his pace, the high fat content would surely kill him. For years, the public has been made to believe that eating fat makes us fat and causes health problems. Now a new documentary, “Fat Head“, by Tom Naughton, is coming out to attempt to use Spurlock’s documentary techniques against him and the rest of the anti-fat community.
Here’s a trailer:

July Muscle-Ups

The muscle-ups are coming along. My “training” effort to get 10 in a row has paid off a bit as I’ve more recently been able to get 8 in a row. I think if I were fresh I’d have gotten at least 10.
Anyway, I’ve been concentrating on stricter form and using less of a kip, which is paying dividends in arm strength. I’ve also managed to get a back lever and I’m now working on a front.
The video below demonstrates.

P.S. Can’t believe it’s already the end of July!!!

June Parallette Training

Woke up this morning and decided to capture some parallette “training”. The 20 second l-sit is quite a hurdle to get past. I’m expecting that by mid-July I should be able to hold at least 30 seconds. As far as my handstands on the parallettes are concerned, I continue to have difficulty balancing in a locked out handstand. There were only a couple of attempts that had a somewhat solid balance. Strength wise, however, I’m feeling far more comfortable with the parallettes.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchill

Muscle-Up Challenge

Recently our crossfit classes have been inundated with a bunch of young high school aged guys.  I enjoy it - they’re a nice group of kids and fun to work out with.  But one thing that has become apparent to me is that at that age, reaching their fitness potential is far easier (and far less limited) than when you’re older (in my case, 30).  It took me months to get proficient at pull-ups and a half a year to get comfortable with the muscle up.  Just a couple weeks into the program and these guys are hitting muscle ups like a pro.  Of course, us older guys tend to be a little heavier (and are thus able to lift a lot heavier too), but these kids are able to pick up the technical stuff with ease.

Now that they can muscle-up on the rings, however, we’ve started a little competition for bragging rights - the first to 10 consecutive muscle-ups.  I’m already ahead of them as I can consistently get 5 in a row now, but there’s no doubt that these guys are going to catch up in no time.  So it’s pedal to the metal muscle-up time.  Goal: 10 solid consecutive muscle-ups. Timeframe: ASAP…  Ok, so now what’s the plan??

How can one go from 5 to 10 MU’s in just a couple of weeks?  What kind of training would be necessary and is there any way to accelerate the process?

At the very least, I plan on attempting either max MU’s or several smaller sets on a daily basis.  This, in itself, would probably get me to my goal, but it would likely also be a longer process.  So I’ll need to supplement the training.  With pulls and presses being the primary movements involved in a MU, I plan on using dips, pull-ups and seated rows as secondary training exercises.  So in short, MU training is going to be every day - MU sets plus 2 days per week of dip\pull training (likely Saturday and Tuesday).  This is in addition to my already almost every day workout schedule (albeit mostly fairly short workouts).

Not being very certain of how to best approach my schedule, I’m going to try the following the first week:

M: 5×2 MU
T: 3×8 Weighted Dips 40#, 3×8 180# seated row, max MU attempt
W: 4×3 MU
TH: max MU attempt, 5×1 MU
F: 6×2 MU
SAT: 5×5 40# Weighted PU, max MU attempt
SUN: max MU attempt

As for accelerating the process, I’m toying around with the idea of dropping a few pounds before my final max attempt and additionally working on my kipping technique.  We’ll see where I’m at next week.

You Can’t Fit in a Workout? Sure you Can.

We recently got our hands full and have been seriously short on “free” time lately.  By having our hands full, of course, I mean that we just got two kittens who’ve been having a hard time adjusting to a new environment and each other.  They’re cute, but they sure are two little terrors.  So between them, work and other misc life things, it’s been difficult getting a bite in to eat, much less have time to workout.  But as I was pushin through my 175th squat tonight, I thought to myself, anyone could fit this in.

15 minutes and a bucket of sweat is all it really takes to get in some muscle building, fat busting burn.  It may not sound like much, but after 150 or so squats and 40 hand stand pushups it certainly feels enough.

20 Second L-Sit

Well, it’s almost there. Just 10 seconds more and I’ve got a 30 second l-sit. Decided to document my progress here for all those non-believers.

TheFitBlog.net Upgrade!

Welcome to the newly designed version of www.thefitblog.net!  Gone are the days of the default blue wordpress theme and here to stay is the minimalist custom job of yours truly.  Yes, it’s simple, but it works nicely and I like it :)  I also used the opportunity to install a much needed upgrade to wordpress.

May 2008 Muscle Ups and Handstands

Progression on my muscle-ups and handstands is coming along. I’ve got about 5 consecutive muscle-ups now and I’m getting more and more comfortable going into a handstand and balancing (although I still can’t get my legs straight). I threw together a small video to show the to-date progress:

music in the video is by Kill Hannah - a Chicago band that’s somehow managed to stay out of the spotlight for years.

The Sinclair Total Calculator

I recently came across the Sinclair total from Crossfit Mobile’s website - they’re hosting a weight lifting comp in June. The Sinclair Total is a number that represents one’s Olympic total (total weight lifted for the snatch and clean and jerk, combined) in a calculated form that can be compared easily to others’ totals, taking into account the lifers’ weight differences.

Generally the heavier one’s body weight, the heavier they can lift. Therefore, as it would be unfair to pit a 400lb behemoth against a scrawny 125lber, weight lifting meets usually have multiple weight classes. In order to correctly compare the ratio of weight lifted to lifters’ weights across all classes, and thus be able to more appropriately rank all lifters, the International Weightlifting Organization uses the Sinclair Total, which is the true total multiplied by a coefficient for a given bodyweight.

After learning about the Sinclair Total, I quickly went to the calculator to attempt to calculate my own SC. It’s a fairly straight forward calculation, but may require some scientific calculator wizzardry so I thought it was appropriate to create a little Sinclair Total calculator in javascript. Behold…

Weight Training - Do It

Great article here on the New York Times website. It discusses how weight training is not only a vital part of a balanced fitness routine, but is vital for long term health.

The main point that Dr. Paul Thompson suggests is how unstimulated muscles eventually atrophy and is the primary reason why elderly individuals tend to fall more or have difficulty walking or taking stairs. Lifting weight isn’t about bulking up or toning - it’s about keeping the muscles healthy. The article also captures arguments from other specialists, including professor William Kraemer of the University of Conneticut who reiterates the falicy of the argument of why many women avoid weight training - the fear of “bulking up”. “this fear is unfounded, Dr. Kraemer and others say. Acquiring muscle mass requires testosterone levels that women don’t have. Instead, the toning that many women say they want comes from lifting heavy weights.”

The Most Wicked Muscle-Up Ever

Check out this muscle-up.  The gymnast is Andreas Aguilar at the 1991 World Professional Gymnastics Championships.  Andreas makes it look so smooth and easy, it’s truly unreal.  The rest of his routine is also great, including the unusual dismount, but a muscle-up like the one at the beginning of the video would take an incredible amount of strength.  I can’t even imagine how much training would be needed to build up the strength to pull so smoothly.  The cheering crowd in the background seems to agree.

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Inspiring Image

Crossfit Going Mainstream?

More and more evidence is showing face indicating that crossfit is going mainstream. Here are a few links to some recent articles appearing in some popular health and fitness magazines…

Rock Climbing - a King of Kings for a Workout

There’s something inately pleasing about reaching for another grip while dangling 20 feet off the ground percariously perched on maybe a few inches of foot holds.  Those few seconds of barely hanging on, followed by a satisfying and reassuring hand placement and attaining another foot in an ascent - albeit an easy 5.5 grade climbing wall.  No, it doesn’t get much easier than that, as far as climbing goes, but getting to the top is a great feeling regardless.

Over the weekend, I took my first steps into the world of rock climbing.  It has always been something that thought I was somewhat interested in, but for one reason or other I never got around to doing.  After only a couple of hours of working the walls, however, it became incredibly apparent that I was far more interested in it than I ever really knew.  Afterwards, I couldn’t help but conetmplate why I had never gotten into rock climbing before and why it wasn’t until the end of my 30th year that I decided to give it a shot.

On Saturday, Sonya and I showed up at the Guelph Grotto to take their appropriately named “Show me the Ropes” course - a two hour training session with a high school aged climbing instructor.  The instructor showed us how to tie the necessary knots and gave us a quick lesson on how to belay (controlling the climber’s rope) then it was off to some of the easier routes on a couple of the walls.

In short, we had a great time.  Rock climbing is loads of fun.  Beyond that, it is a serious total body workout.  After only a few times up the walls, my forearms and hands were toast and the next day I was sore from top to bottom.  I had no idea that my legs would get such a good workout as well.  Beyond the physical workout, a major aspect of climbing that I overlooked is the mental challenge - trying to figure out which foot to put where and how to maneuver from one hold to another.  Overall, climbing is a great way to get a complete workout and have a really good time.

We really enjoyed it and can’t wait to go back and work on the lines that we had trouble with this time out.