Give me things that don’t get lost

Run around the same old town

 

Generalities, not specifics. There are guidelines when it comes to training and there are also rules. Just like a lot of things in life, guidelines are recommendations where as rules pertain to everyone. In the context of working out a rule would be not to lean forward when doing barbell squats and a guideline would be to rest a muscle group you just worked out for 48 or more hours. Make sense?

To a point, everyone is different. We are very similar but there are things that make us different and we need to be in tune with our body to understand how you as an individual is different. Sometimes we hear things or read things and think I’m going to do that, even though we don’t have all the important information. You’ll hear about successful people who only sleep maybe 5 hours a day. This is presented in such that you believe this is why they are successful. So what do you do? You start by feeling guilty that you are sleeping your life away instead of being productive and thus successful. And if you didn’t know that people who tend to do this without feeling like crap are able to because they don’t require more sleep then you are making a misinformed decision. They are able to do this without compromising their health. It’s a very small percentage of people who can do this and if you are not one of them you are setting yourself up for some serious health issues.

So let’s look at the 48 hour rule. A lot of thing influence how much rest you need between working muscle groups:

  • Are you getting enough sleep? If you are burning the candle at both ends then you may actually need more than 48 hours to recover from that workout. How do you feel when you wake up? Groggy, miserable, disinterested in things? Are you hanging on by a thread throughout the day? Sometimes we can’t avoid not getting enough sleep but if you can change your routine to get the sleep you need then do it. A good way to know how much you need is to go to bed when you are tired, wake up without an alarm and see how long that period was. Our body is smart and can manage how much sleep we need. Normally when you naturally wake up without an aid like an alarm clock or an external disturbance you have had enough sleep. Then, use that as your guideline. If you have had a more than normal intense day be it due to a work out, or emotional stress then you may need more. Try to adjust for that.
  • How intense was your workout? If your output is 100% and duration is more than an hour then you may need more than 48 hours to recover. If it’s a lighter then normal workout then you many only need 36 hours to recover. I can’t really tell you if you are working out intensely, you need to be the judge of that and for that I would recommend a personal trainer to monitor your workouts. Most people think they are working hard when really they aren’t. What some people perceive as intense usually is more in the moderate area.
  • What is your goal? If your goal is to lose fat or to be healthier and you aren’t a competing athlete then it may not be  a big deal if you don’t get the full recovery period once in a while. In the grand scheme of things if this happens once in a while, maybe once a month or two then don’t get worked up over it. If it happens too often then you may be increasing the risk of injury. We have to be flexible in our lives. I think it’s better to workout when this happens once in a while instead of missing that workout. If you are a competitor it may make more sense to forego working out that body part and try to work something else out knowing your schedule.
  • Are you eating healthy? A lot of my posts touch on eating as it has a lot to do with our fitness and of course health. It’s probably the largest influence on our health. What we eat has about an 80% influence on our body weight and make up. If you are beating up your body day in and day out it needs the proper foods to recover and repair the body. We tend to forget that. If you have a pet you probably know or see that when they are fed foods that are of low quality containing junk or filler. If your body needs to repair itself and it has nothing to do it with because your eating choices are poor then you are increasing the length of time for full recovery. If you are eating foods that cause inflammation, causing disease, and not providing the nutrients you need but instead providing the opposite your recovery times will be much longer. Here’s what a former NFL lineman had to say:
    • “It was hard for me to do bench press, it was hard for me to do push-ups,” Carter says. “Even lifting my body out of the bathtub, it felt like someone was taking a knife to my elbows and twisting that knife around and it was excruciating pain.” You can read more here about what he did to address this.
    • Check this out too on why professional athletes are changing their definitions of healthy eating, or ‘clean’ eating. Clean eating may not be what you think it is.

You

It’s really based on how you know your body. Feedback. What is your body telling you? Figure it out and listen to it. Educate yourself too. Too many people invest time in things that do nothing for their health but then seem to have the time for when they become injured or sick. Be proactive instead of reactive. You’ll feel better, get positive results quicker and in the long term be a healthier person.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Take all that you need

I’m locked away to defy and die

Welcome to today’s blog post. There are many reasons why we can be tired, but today I would like to focus on one specifically: iron. Iron doesn’t get as much publicity as lets say protein but it is really important and can affect our performance and also our well being. Without iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells and a lack of red blood cells we become anemic.

How

How do we get iron? We get iron either by eating foods containing iron, or by supplementation. You might have grown up being told to eat liver because it’s high in iron. People eat red meat to get iron. But green vegetables such as iron and broccoli also contain iron. I think you may know where I’m going with this.

Sources

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet you may have been asked ‘what are you doing to get your iron’ or you have been told that ‘you will be iron deficient unless you eat red meat’. That’s a common myth out there and it needs to be busted. If you eat a whole food plant based diet (I purposely left out the word vegan since vegan goes beyond just what you eat) you are getting lots of iron, vitamin C, A, magnesium and something really important, fiber (post coming up on the importance of fiber).

But, the really important difference is you are not getting heme iron. Heme iron is the iron that we get when we consume meat. There are studies showing that consuming iron from meat increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Why? Because iron can oxidize cholesterol with free radicals causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The risk has been quantified as a 27% increase per every 1 mg of heme iron consumed daily. Another study concluded that the intake of heme iron, not plant iron, was associated with the increase of stroke and diabetes. The conclusion states: ‘Higher heme iron intake and increased body iron stores were significantly associated with a great risk of type 2 diabetes. Dietary total iron, non-heme iron, or supplemental iron intakes were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes.’ There are also studies that show an increase in cancer rates due to heme iron intake. Want to know more? Check this link out.

Why

So why is it that we always hear that we need to eat meat, specifically to get iron? I’ve written about this before and I think it’s relative here too. There’s a lot of money to be made to continue having people consume animal products. How do you make billions of dollars by marketing ‘your’ kidney beans, or your spinach, or your walnuts. Good luck, it’s not going to happen. But, run the commercial of your sizzling juicy stake on the bbq, party going on and everyone having a good time and you are on your way! There are cultural norms around consuming animal products, especially red meat. Don’t eat red meat, you aren’t a real man. Don’t eat grandma’s casserole you just offended the whole family.

We have been marketed to to death, from pre-school all the way through adult hood.

But it’s up to you to decide what you eat and that decision can have good or bad consequences when it comes to your health.

And don’t take my word for it. Just look at history. How is it, as an example, Okinawan’s were the longest living people? Pre 1950 their diet consisted of an average of 85% carbs, with very, very little red meat.

How is it there are many life time vegans, vegetarians who never consumed red meat yet they are healthy and they aren’t anemic?

Finally

Let me ask you this. Do you know any people who eat a whole foods plant based diet, and have been for a number of years? Do you know any people who eat red meat constantly, and other animal products? Who is dying from diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.?

Do yourself a favor and take the red pill. There is so much information out there that will lead you to a healthy and long life. You just need to cut through the bro science and the bullshit. Bro science and bullshit is what sells products. That’s the world we live in, like it or not. But you have a choice. Make the right choice.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

beating ourselves up

And how to recover from it

Working out causes a lot of stress to our body. Resistance training is the process of over loading our muscles so micro tears happen. We stress our tendons, ligaments, joints by repeatedly over loading them. Generally working out as long as it’s done smartly is good for our body and our mind. But, if you are someone who trains at a more intense level, or maybe an endurance athlete then recovery becomes very important.

Endurance sports are more popular today then they were 20 to 30 years ago. It used to be uncommon to know someone who was a marathoner or a triathlete but people who run marathons, participate in triathlons are more common today. Marathons have evolved into ultra marathons and triathlons now come in different flavors testing the ultra endurance athlete. Take this for example, completing 5 iron triathlons in 5 days! Crazy! The ultra marathon is the new marathon.

It’s great if you want to do these things but you have to be even smarter with your training, which of course includes recovery. But if you are not an ultra endurance athlete, for sure you want to do what you can to reduce things that can impact your training and also impact negatively your day to day life.

Inflammation

So what is inflammation? It’s our immune system’s response to a perceived threat. When you stub your toe as an example, your body reacts by releasing immune cells, hormones, and nutrients to fix the problem. Blood flow increases, white blood cells are brought in to help fix the problem. This is your bodies natural response to an injury. Inflammation is the bodies response to injury, an attempt to heal itself, without it wounds would fester and infections could become deadly. But inflammation can become problematic causing excess swelling, mobility issues, swelling and redness.

The stress of training can cause inflammation in our body but so can what we eat. For over 20 years now studies have shown that consuming animal products can peak inflammation. Within 4 hours of consumption our body is put into a low level of inflammation. Then, 4 to 6 hours later we consume animal products again thus keeping the cycle of inflammation going. This inflammation affects our circulatory system, the heart and the lungs, causing internal damage not just decades down the road by also immediately.I’ll include the link here to information on this but basically study after study shows that you consume endotoxins when consuming animal products.

If you are someone who consumes dairy, you may notice this after having a glass of milk, or eating some ice cream and then later working out, especially a hard cardio workout. Find yourself having to deal with excess mucus, phlegm? Cut out all dairy and see if you still have this issue. I would say the biggest changes I have noticed myself after switching to a plant based diet over 4 years ago is no longer having to deal with phlegm after a hard cardio workout and generally a happier gut. I believe it every time I read it that all humans are lactose intolerant.

Reduce

Eliminate all animal products to reduce inflammation. Consume a whole foods plant based diet and be sure to eat lots of colourful foods such as deep greens, strawberries, blue berries, consume nuts like almonds, walnuts and add some pumpkin seeds. Eat lots of beans too. Try these things to see if it helps. In my opinion, the food we eat has a lot to do with our health. Think of food a health care, and medicine as sick care.

I know this is a somewhat controversial post because I’m advocating eliminating all animal products for your diet but don’t just take my words, look at living examples. Rich Roll, super endurance athlete and vegan who is in his early 50’s. John Joseph, lead singer of the CroMags, triathlete, vegan for about 30 years. This guy is nearing his late 50’s and still leads a punk band (high intense output needed for that) and still competing in triathlons. Here’s some more: Carl Lewis who is quoted saying: “My best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.” , Scott Jurek an ultra marathoner who has been vegan since 1999. Think eating nothing but plants isn’t sustainable and your performance will take a hit? In 2010, 11 years after being vegan, Scott Jurek ran 165.7 miles in 24 hours, a US record, earning a silver medal.

If vegan ultra endurance athletes at world level competition are successful, maybe there’s truth to to this, and the corporations behind selling us animal products have been doing it lying to us the whole time, telling us we need their products to be healthy. Tyson foods, largest meat producer in the US recently increased their stake in the plant based company Beyond Meat. Canada’s largest meat producer, Maple Leaf Foods recently purchased a vegan meat company, Field Roast. If these companies felt so strongly about selling you healthy products, and selling you meat was the way to do that, why would they invest in plant based products? Money. It always comes down to money. You cannot market successfully potatoes, carrots, lettuce and other vegetables but you can for sure differentiate your milk, chicken, beef from your competitors. That’s why they are investing in plant based protein companies such as Beyond Meat, or Field Roast. It always comes down to money. Oh, and forget about the government having your health in their best interest. That’s a big mistake.

 

Finally

I’m not asking anyone to become vegan. I would love you to but being vegan is not just about what you eat, it goes beyond that. If you want to be healthier, reduce inflammation so you can train harder more frequently then change your diet to a whole foods plant based diet. Don’t believe me? Do your own homework. But be sure to read studies that are not industry funded, and don’t listen to crack pot doctors or bro science. Listen to real doctors who are experts in their fields such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neil Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger and so on. Check out Nutrition Facts dot org also.

You can do it. You just have to be smart about it. Take the red pill and start to see what is really doing on. You and your body will be so much happier because of it.

Yours in health,

Darryl