Carl deadlifts in the 6am class.
The Myth that You Can Out-Exercise Your Diet
If I had a dollar every time someone said to me they need to do more "cardio" to loose weight, I could sell the gym and retire. The myth of being able to out-exercise, out-run or out-lift your diet is so frustrating. It's not true, and there is plenty of scientific research debunking this ridiculous myth. Read this, this, or this, to learn why you can't outrun your diet.
The CrossFit nutrition protocol is to "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat." While this protocol is simple, it's surprisingly difficult for most folks to follow. What about alcohol? What about french fries, pizza, burgers, cakes, brownies, cookies, and potato chips? While I love those foods, too, and in absolutely no nutrition program do these tasty treats classify as high quality nutritious food. They are treats, foods that we love and don't eat on a regular basis.
What you'll notice in the CrossFit nutrition program is an emphasis on whole foods. Meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, and little starch do not come in a bags, boxes, envelopes, or any other containers. It comes from the farmers hand to yours via the farmers' market, CSA, or local grocery store. It's whole unprocessed foods that you can eat raw or cook. It's not a powder or pill; it's real, whole food.
The hard, tough love truth is this: you have to change what you're eating and how much you're eating if you want to change how you look. If you change what you're eating and do constantly varied high intensity functional movement exercise (AKA CrossFit) you're going to change how you look even faster. Read this, this and watch this to see how others have done it.
Nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't matter of you do yoga, Pure Barre, or CrossFit, what you eat (quality) and how much you eat (quantity) matters.
Brian has an outstanding squat!
Myth: Squatting below parallel is bad for your knees.
I have this pet peeve. It's when one of you post some fantastic image of you doing something amazing in our gym and your Facebook friends tell you how unsafe it is. Oh really? I'm so glad people outside the gym have such a grasp of human movement and the science of strength and conditioning.
You know what I'm talking about, "Deadlifts are bad for your back," and my all time favorite, "Squats are bad for your knees." I always want to ask these Facebook experts how to pick up something heavy and how to get off the toilet. Taking a crap is a squat exercise.
We are born with the natural ability to squat below parallel. Our natural range of motion is to squat below parallel. Squatting below parallel is only bad for your knees if you do it wrong! Check out the image below and then watch the video from Barbell Logic on the safety and efficacy of squats.
Alena deadlifts for two.
Myth: Squats and Deadlifts are bad for your back and don't strengthen your core.
If I had a dollar for every time....yada...yada...yada.
There is a reason we train squats and deadlifts, there are exceptional for strengthening the muscles that stabilize your spin and a stable spine is essential for a healthy back.
One of my favorite Coaches, Mark Rippetoe, addresses this myth in the video below. Coach Rip is an old school strength and conditioning coach who quite literally wrote the book on strength training.
We get injured when we squat and deadlift when our spine MOVES under load. This happens when we move a load heavier than we should or when we move a lighter load without paying attention to our mechanics. Both of these things can happen to anyone. Today we will me moving a load deliberately and with much attention paid to our mechanics.
Deadlifts get such a bad reputation. Deadlifts are not deadly or have anything to do with death. They are called deadlifts because the lift starts with the bar at a dead stop.
If deadlifts are uncomfortable because of flexibility, or your growing a human inside you like Alena, then you can Sumo, or you can do Romanian, or you can do rack pulls, or you can do good mornings. There are many, many training variations of the deadlift that you can do to re-hab or pre-hab a prior injury, or just to do something different.
When your friends or family tell you that deadlifting is bad for your back, ask them how they move furniture. How do they pick up a heavy object and put in on the ground without dropping it? Yes, that's what I thought. You have been taught by a strength coach on how to do this correctly. You are stronger and harder to kill. That's a quote I ripped off of Coach Rip:-)
Kerri is the only CrossFitter amongst us who smiles when doing DB thrusters:-)
Myth: Food cravings are our body's way of telling us that we need certain nutrients.
If today's myth were true, you would crave peas, tuna, oysters, spinach, and Swiss cheese since these foods are high in zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. These three micronutrients are the most commonly inadequate in our diet. Cravings for pizza, ice cream, chips, chocolate, fries, bacon, cheeseburgers are all learned behaviors.
Before we dive into today's myth let's first use some common language. Cravings are a state of heightened eating motivation that is directed at a specific food. Hunger is a nonspecific motivation for calorie-containing food in general. It's important not to interchange the two. If you're really hungry, you'll be willing to eat fish and steamed broccoli. If you're not, you're most likely craving something based upon a learned response to it. Cravings follow a predictable pattern of cue, routine, reward.
Our brains are hard-wired for specific physiological and psychological needs such as water, social support, physical comfort, sex, and of course, food. When we successfully acquire one of those things our brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is an incredibly powerful feel-good biochemical that we instantly want more of. We form an association, a cue, that the thing we just ate, drank, touched, or had sex with is what makes us feel so good. Of course, we don't know that we feel so good because of the dopamine release. We just want more of the thing. Every time we get it we get more dopamine which reinforces the thing and thus our routine is created.
Let's explore a real world craving example of pizza. In the very primal part of our brain, pizza is an outstanding source of calories from delicious fat, carbs and perhaps protein. As you eat it your brain releases dopamine and also catalogs all of the smells, sights, and tastes of the pizza. The association becomes so strong that all you need now is a reminder of the pizza and you'll start salivating and craving it. You experience this when you see a pizza commercial on TV or when someone suggests going out to Bridger Brewery after Friday night's workout. You start salivating and obsessing about pizza. This is because the last time you ate it your brain released one of the most addictive chemicals on earth into your blood stream. Here's an illustration of how this works from the smart folks at Examine.com.
Since we're all unique snowflakes some of us crave salty things and some of us crave sweet things. But none of us crave healthy things. That's because cravings are a hold-over from ancient times when highly-palatable high caloric food wasn't available 24 hours of the day. Back when we had to hunt, gather and travel for miles and miles just to get something calorically dense our brains rewarded us. It motivated us to find that amazing food source again. Now, all we have to do is call and it will be delivered to our front door.
Chocolate and sugar cravings are even more interesting because of the addition of another highly addictive biochemical called theobromine. Theobromine is a stimulant that accentuates fat and sugar’s natural ability to spike dopamine signaling. That's why sugar cravings are the hardest to control. Some research suggests that sugar is the most addictive drug on the planet, more so than crack, cocaine, meth and heroine. Good luck controlling that craving!
Since cravings are driven by sensory cues (sight and smell) the most straightforward way to control cravings is to avoid exposing yourself to those cues. If temptation is not around you can more easily avoid it. Clear out your freezer, fridge and pantry and "it's out of sight out of mind."
So the next time you see a social media post about how cravings are our body's way of telling us that we need certain nutrients you can confidently call "bullshit." There's a LOT of silly bullshit on social media and I want you help you identify it. Do you have a myth you want me to explore? Tell me in the comments.
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