Craig’s List 2019

Most of the stuff I read or listened to in 2019:

CROSSFIT.COM has a new website!! Check it out. It’s pretty darn cool – and full of a TON of great information categorized as:  ESSENTIALS (relevant articles and posts re: health & nutrition); AT HOME (recipes and movement instructions); HEALTH (all things health related); SPORT (CrossFit Games); BATTLES (the relentless pursuit of truth).

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear. this is a very simple, straightforward explanation of how habits form and how habits are broken. The science and methodology are pretty basic – and very do-able. It’s a MUST READ for anyone in the fitness or nutrition business read (or listen – on audible).  And if you’ve read “The Power of Habit” this is an excellent follow up read. 

“Burned Out at Work? Here’s how to find your passion – or get it back” – Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Bernstein. It happens to all of us – me included. For me, getting back to the basics and falling in love with the process (classfit!) reignited my passion. Elizabeth has a few more ideas. 

The Cost of Getting Lean: Is it worth it? – Precision Nutrition, Dr. John Berardi- Coach Jennifer shared this in our Diablo Community Group and it’s a fantastic and real analysis of what it takes to be “ripped” and the importance of a balanced sensible approach to nutrition and fitness. Avoid the “obsessive quest to be ‘hot’ and ‘lean’.” Watch! 

Joe Rogan #1108 with Peter Attia!:  Peter Attia is is the founder of Attia Medical, PC, a medical practice with offices in San Diego and New York, focusing on the applied science of longevity, sleep and Human Performance. This is another awesome, addictive episode of JR. Peter delves into the science of longevity, improving running performance (amazing stuff), and overall health. 

CrossFit: The Cure for the Modern Plague: This is a fascinating CrossFit Journal Article discussing the benefits of CrossFit as measured by blood test results from Inside Tracker.

The Moral Peril of Meritocracy – NY Times article referred by my friend James Fitzgerald (OPEX).  Really well-written piece by David Brooks. In this go-go world of hustling to achieve self-imposed goals, many are finding themselves burned out or, unsatisfied with the results. The solution is a focus on more human values – and relationships. “Over the past few decades the individual, the self, has been at the center. The second-mountain people are leading us toward a culture that puts relationships at the center.” 

Sleep Is the Most Productive Part of the Day, Markham Heid. “Most people need 7 to 9 hours to perform and feel their best.” No matter how many times we hear it, many of us fail to heed the advice. However, more and more clinical research is being published on this subject. In our own house, our daughter began homeschooling in 2019, which included allowing her to sleep as long as she desires (vs. rising at 7AM for class). The dramatic, positive changes in her behavior, work ethic and attention span can mostly be attributed to her improved sleep. It has been remarkable.    

Markham’s article hits ALL of the key points. “Sleep is an evolutionary function that seems to be extremely important for our health and survival”. 

Fasting before exercise and the effect on endurance, aerobic, and strength training | Rhonda Patrick. More great insight from Dr. Patrick. I’ve been asked the questions many times: “is it ok to train on an empty stomach?” According to Rhonda Patrick, it is perfectly ok to train while fasted -and it might even be better for you, if you’re doing interval training (CrossFit) and/or lifting weights! 

Sapiens: A brief history of human kind: Yuval Noah Harari (Audible). This book is on many people’s “must-read” lists, so I thought I’d give it a listen. It’s a very fascinating and detailed look at the development of homo-sapiens up to our present self. Harari attempts to answer the question: “how did Homo sapiens evolve from an unexceptional savannah-dwelling primate to become the dominant force on the planet, emerging as the lone survivor out of six distinct, competing hominid species?” He explores genealogy & diet as well as cultural & societal developments that have led to our current state. It’s a very good read (listen) but, not necessarily uplifting. 

Chemical Suncreens absorbed into the bloodstreamDr. Rhonda Patrick on Twitter:  “A randomized controlled trial found 4 common chemical sunscreens were absorbed into the bloodstream at concentrations above the FDA’s potential toxicological threshold.”  Link is to the study. 

“Keto Crotch” Is NOT A Thing:  I attended the latest CrossFit Health Conference in Scotts Valley, mingled with L1 MDs, and listened to 3 fantastic nutrition & exercise physiologist speaker presentations. Two of them are Keto experts. I’ll post up more details later this week on everything I learned – it was fantastic and very enlightening! Here’s a little snippet of what I learned.

The Ketogenic Diet is PROVEN via several clinical trials to cure Type 2 Diabetes by dramatically lowering blood sugar via carbohydrate reduction. It is fast becoming one of the most popular diets in America. However, the Ketogenic diet has also become a threat to traditional American nutrition and other diets, including the corporate giant, Weight Watchers, who invested heavily into a marketing campaign to discredit competitors, relying heavily on Social Media and SM influencers. Their Ad Agency created the term “Keto Crotch” (a change in vaginal odor in women who convert to a ketogenic diet) and began disseminating “news” stories on social media and elsewhere. There are no clinical studies, nor any clinical evidence of this “syndrome”. 

The Ketogenic Diet and similar diets (Paleo, Atkins) face a MASSIVE uphill battle to win acceptance among nutritionists, Doctors and the public – despite significant clinical proof of their effectiveness.

ChernobylHBO – This is a mind-blowing account of the Nuclear Reactor failure and explosion in 1986. I didn’t understand the potential consequences of this event and how close we were to a Global disaster. Chernobyl is a five-part miniseries that tells the story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history — and of the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. This should be everyone’s must-watch list.

NIH: NIH study finds heavily processed foods cause overeating and weight gain – A first-of-its-kind clinical trial.  “Though we examined a small group, results from this tightly controlled experiment showed a clear and consistent difference between the two diets,” said Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D., an NIDDK senior investigator and the study’s lead author. “This is the first study to demonstrate causality — that ultra-processed foods cause people to eat too many calories and gain weight.”

Dr. Rhonda Patrick with Matthew Walker, PhD. – Sleep for Enhancing Learning, Creativity, Immunity, and Glymphatic System  – This is a MUST WATCH or LISTEN podcast. I’ve heard Matthew Walker on Joe Rogan – and that was amazing. But this episode is packed full of powerful data on the effect that sleep has on our body and our longterm health. You will become an immediate advocate for later start hours for school for kids (the impact on learning!) and you’ll probably get a little frightened about your own sleep deficit. Please, listen to this one – and get your 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep to help lose weight, focus better, avoid alzheimers and possible even cancer.

Ultra Processed Foods May Be Killing You – CNN – The mainstream media is finally starting to talk about what we already know. This article is based upon a 2 year study with 20,000 participants! And the data is frightening. Quick read.

 The Death of The Calorie, Economist Magazine, Peter Wilson. This is an amazing article and a MUST READ for everyone. If you have any interest into what goes into your body, please read this. A “calorie” is not a “calorie” as so many diet gurus tell us. This statement is literally based upon a caloric definition created in the 1800’s (Atwater).  

  “Our fixation with counting calories assumes both that all calories are equal and that all bodies respond to calories in identical ways… Yet a  growing body of research shows that when different people consume the same meal, the impact on each person’s blood sugar and fat formation will vary according to their genes, lifestyles and unique mix of gut bacteria.”

 Why You Don’t Need To Be Super Productive, Brad Stulberg, Outside Online. Social media success gurus seem obsessed with the “work harder”, “get up earlier”, “do more” mentality. The side-effect of “work harder” is typically less sleep, more stress and family sacrifice. I’ve been reading a lot on the health benefits of sleep and reduced stress and they are numerous and easily achieved. Brad delves into that in his article. If you like what you read, follow him on Twitter – his daily messages are on point – and read his book, “The Passion Paradox” – available on Audible.

 Suana Use Increases Lifespan – Dr. Rhonda Patrick Releases New Data On The Health Benefits of Sauna – “In recent decades, sauna bathing has emerged as a means to increase lifespan and improve overall health, based on compelling data from observational, interventional, and mechanistic studies.

 Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Hurari – I finished the last couple chapters of this book where Hurari discusses in chilling detail, the possible outcomes for humanity. It is very humbling to hear his thoughts on technology, artificial intelligence and human genome modifications. I think I’m in agreement that humans may be survived by the technology we create – which can already process information faster and which does not need food, water or air to survive. This is a fantastic book from start to finish.

 Rhonda Patrick with Elissa Epel. (LINK) Elissa Epel, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Warning: this one is deep, but really informative. Dr. Epel discusses how diet & lifestyle affect aging, how sugar-sweetened drink consumption is linked to years of accelerated aging and how shorter telomeres can be transmitted to offspring.

According to CNN, Masters Love CrossFit!  But, we already knew this at Diablo.

 How to be happy in overwhelming times. David Kirkpatrick in Better Humans on Medium. Recently, I’ve talked to several people who’ve expressed feeling “overwhelmed”, including strong anxiety and depression. Life in the modern age with technology overload can feel overwhelming, especially in the Bay Area. That’s why I loved David Kirpatrick’s article and 7 steps to happiness. #5: Unplug 1 day a week…

 Having a Mantra Will Make You Better, Brad Stulberg for Outside Magazine. I use mantras often, so I’m a believer! And if you use Chrome, check out this cool add-on: Momentum. It gives you daily Mantras with each new tab you open (along with an amazing picture and a cool message).

Talking Elite Fitness Roadtrip #2 with Rich Froning – I really enjoyed this talk with Rich about his training and life-balance (says he’s in the best shape in 4yrs), his nutrition (he’s an intermittent faster!) and the recent changes to the Games. Rich also talks about PEDs and his opinion of “cheaters.”  Good listen!

 New York Times: How Weight Training Changes The Brain – Lifting weights makes you stronger AND smarter. I’ve been predicting that the next “big thing” in fitness will be strength training, especially given the benefits for an aging population: protection against injury, improved mobility, increasing bone density and now: improved brain function.

 300mg EGCT (found in Green Tea) daily increased calmness and reduced stress – Dr. Rhonda Patrick tweeted this study recently. 300mg EGCT is about 2 cups of Green Tea.

Overuse of heartburn drugs linked to heart, kidney disease, cancer – ByTauren Dyson, UPI. “More than 15 million people are prescribed PPIs each year, while millions more purchase them over-the-counter, the researchers say. Heartburn, ulcer and acid reflux medicine may bring relief, but over time, they could also increase a person’s risk of early death, new findings show. Researchers have linked popular drugs like Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix and other proton pump inhibitors to a higher risk of death by cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease, as well as upper gastrointestinal cancer, according to a study published in The BMJ.”

 Statins – What Are The Benefits?  Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. Statins are the most widely prescribed medications worldwide. It is a billion dollar industry.  In the U.S., around 40 million people take statins. So what is the impact? Well, according to Dr. Kendrick, statins (i.e., Lipator, Crestor)  improve life expectancy by only .6 – .75 days for each year of use! That’s 18-22 days of life expectancy for 30 years of daily use.

 Pharma companies & Doctors depend on statistics from research studies as outlined in this passage from a document produced by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) that states: “In a meta-analysis of 27 randomized trials and 174,000 participants, for every ~40 mg/dL LDL-C reduction with statin therapy, the relative risk of major adverse cardiovascular events is reduced by ~20-25%, and all-cause mortality is reduced by 10%.”  However, as Dr Kendrick points out, the presentation of the data has been skewed to create a story that drives demand for stations.

CrossFit Games Day 3 & 4 – James Cooper.  What’s it like hanging out with Diablo CrossFit athletes at the CrossFit Games? Well, its kinda like hangin’ out with your CrossFit friends anywhere: fun stories, good laughs, great workouts and maybe a challege or two.

 Greg Glassman: The State of CrossFit with Julie Foucher  – This podcast was recorded just before the CrossFIt Games. I really enjoyed Julie’s questions and learned a little more about Greg Glassman (Founder) and his thinking about the new direction of CrossFit. “There was an orchestrated mass media campaign by our critics to portray us as dangerous- by the opposition. And that’s all waning now, because of the changes in the website. So, we were actually able to alter the world’s view of things. And you know the living room set? There are people that thought that I was trying to reach out to people in their living rooms, which is really funny. I’m not. I’m not at all. No one that looks like Bob on that couch is going to stumble on and start doing this stuff. It’s not like that. But we all know someone that looks like that, you know?”

It’s Still Dark, Yet You Open Your Doors – Russ Greene – “An array of industry, government, and academic interests has aligned to preserve the profitable status quo, feigning to treat chronic disease with laws, gadgets and drugs. To stay the same they want CrossFit to change. […]

Fuck. That. For one generation we stood apart, in the name of squats, stopwatches, and “no sugar.” And still we stand, unbowed. The CrossFit revolution is born again, each morning you open your doors in the darkness.”

 Embrace The Suck: How to Develop the Skills You Need to Succeed (Even If You’re Not Very Good) – Ayodeji Awosika –  This is a must-read piece for parents and anyone learning or trying to master a skill. Can you say “double unders?”  “Frustration=Growth. Volume=Experience. Failure=Truth.” Tons of good insight in this one.

 The Plague Years – Sam Harris Podcast #166 with Matt McCarthy about his book Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic:  This is a frightening account of the problem of drug resistant bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses, and the failure of the pharmaceutical industry to keep pace with evolution. The bottom line: don’t get antibiotics unless you absolutely need them. And, when you do: take them as prescribed!

Sent to me from my running buddy, John Crossen: Is It More Important to Run Faster or Run Longer?

Scientists debate the physiological benefits of ramping up your training intensity or your training volume – Outside magazine. The bottom line: interval training has a bigger impact. Anecdotal evidence: a good friend of mine ran a sub 3 hour marathon by training only 5 miles per day (fast & hard). He said to me about his marathon performance: “I just ran 5 miles, then ran another 5, then another until I was done.”

 The Scourge of Worker Wellness Programs – Lena Sollow, The New Republic.  Data is showing that Corporate Wellness Programs have not benefited employees. In a large-scale study, 33,000 employees at BJ’s Wholesale Club were randomly assigned to be in a group taking part in the BJ’s wellness plan or a control group that was not. The study, published in JAMA in April, found that while workers showed a bump in a few self-reported health activities, there were no significant changes in clinical measures of health, absenteeism, or work performance—all supposed money-savers for employers.

 Now, companies and organizations are incentivizing and requiring employees to wear fitness tracking devices & monitoring systems. But, do they work? And, will they be used to benefit employees or, punish those who do not comply – thereby saving corporate costs?

 Counting Calories Is A Ridiculous Way To Lose Weight – Dr. Jason Fung – Medium. The energy balance equation does NOT support the Eat Less, Move More approach. The reason is simple: “your body is very smart and does not want to die.”  This is a fascinating article on how weight loss really happens – and why you might want to focus on insulin reduction vs. calories.

 TEENS NEED SLEEP! Why We Sleep – Mathew WalkerHow Do Teenagers Sleep Differently – You Tube – Parents, PLEASE watch this!! We need later school starts. Anecdotal evidence: we began homeschooling our daughter Alana (15) in January of this year. We let her stay up until 11 or Midnight and sleep until 10AM. Within 1 week of this new schedule, Alana was literally a different child: more agreeable, less moody, more energetic and amazingly more productive. Her art work flourished. She loves drawing from 9 until bedtime! As it turns out, according to Dr. Matthew Walker, who led a 20 year study on why we sleep, a teen’s circadian rhythm is a few hours behind  adults – and much more behind than young children. At 9PM or 10PM, teens brains are likely still in peak alertness. Similarly, teens need more sleep and thus, they don’t achieve wakefulness until 9 or 10AM. Asking a teen to rise at 6 or 7AM and be alert for school is literally futile. Matthew’s book is fascinating is a must read for all of us!

 The Art & Science of Time Restricted Eating – Ahktar Kahn, Medium Aug 21, 2018 –  A study lead by Dr. Satchin Panda, a professor of biology at the Salk Institute, revolutionized the health world when his team ran a 12-week experiment on adults testing the effects of time-restricted eating on body weight. One group of adults ate anytime it wanted throughout the day and the other group consumed all its calories in an 8 hour window. The results were shocking in the TRE group: 

  • Decrease in Bodyweight by ~3%
  • Decrease in Daily Calorie Intake by ~300 calories
  • Lower Blood Pressure

If you’re trying to lose weight via aggressive calorie reduction, you will likely experience a potential loss of muscle (and strength), decreased energy, abnormal bowel movements and stubborn fat retention. Your body goes into survival mode attempting to preserve energy (and energy storage, aka fat). Time Restricted Eating, or “Intermittent Fasting” is more in line with our genetic heritage and much more effective at acheiving fat loss while preserving the benefits of your workouts. The benefits include: 

  • Normalizes Glucose (Blood Sugar)
  • Normalizes Cholsterol
  • Improves Cardiac Function (Reduced Arrhythmia)
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Improves Sleep Quality
  • Increases Endurance
  • Improves Immune Function
  • Improves Gut Microbiome Health
  • Normalizes Bowel Movements
  • Improves Motor Coordination

Talking Elite Fitness – Whoop: Sean and Tommy sit down with Whoop’s Elite Performance Manager Mike Lombardi. They talk about how the Whoop Strap 3.0 helps athletes at every level optimize their performances. Mike discusses the importance of sleep, recovery and day strain, explains how the data is collected and the impact they have on performance. This is a great sesh. 

Harvard Health – The Gut Brain Connection: Pay attention to your gut-brain connection – it may contribute to your anxiety and digestion problems! 

Sauna Use .. for Heart and Healthspan – FoundMyFitness – Rhonda Patrick podcast: This is Dr. Patrick’s presentation to a group of Cardiologists at a convention for heart health. Dr. Patrick is passionate on this subject – I’ve heard her talk about it on Joe Rogan’s podcast as well. In her great presentation, she says:  “Several studies have shown that frequent sauna bathing (4-7 times per week, 174°F for 20 min.) is associated with a 50% lower risk for fatal heart disease, 60% lower risk for sudden cardiac death, 51% lower risk for stroke, and 46% lower risk for hypertension. Just a single sauna session has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve heart rate variability, and improve arterial compliance.” 

IS ALZHEIMER’S DIABETES OF THE BRAIN? – – Drs. Mary Dan and Michael Eades September 27, 2019  –  At the Regionals in 2018, I told Greg Glassman about my neighbor who died as a result of complications related to Alzheimer’s. He said to them then: “some people think Alzheimer’s is Diabetes of the brain.”  In this related article on, Dr. Eades says: “There is a fundamental and physiological link between defective glucose metabolism and brain dysfunction. People who suffer from diabetes, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance (even early on, when blood sugar is still normal) have twice the risk of developing memory impairment as those without these disorders.” 

Joe Rogan with Bernie Sanders #1330  –  This is not a political opinion. After listening to Bernie Sanders talk with Joe Rogan – I think ALL Presidential candidates should go on his show. Joe asks great questions and challenges his guests. I really enjoyed this conversation and feel like I know Bernie and his objectives much better. This was far superior to the silly nationally televised debates. 

We’ve Reached Peak Wellness. Most of It Is Nonsense. Brad Stulberg for Outside Magazine.  There are a lot of “hacks’ out there – and most of them just don’t do anything. Stick to the basics: don’t eat crap, move, talk out your emotions. 

Why We Sleep (Audible) by Matthew Walker. I’ve listened to Matthew on Joe Rogan and Rhonda Patrick’s podcasts – he is amazing. A research scientist at UC Berkeley, Matthew spent 20 years studying human sleep, and the findings are mind-blowing. I’m only a few chapters in, so I’ll give you more on this later. In the meantime, you should know that caffeine from coffee has a “half-life” of 6-8 hours in the body. In other words, after drinking a cup of coffee, 6-8 hours later, 50% of the caffeine is still in your system! 

My Top Twitter Follows:
@jamesclear @bradstulberg @crossfit @crossfitgames @foundmyfitness (Rhonda Patrick) @doctortro @robbwolf @harvardhealth @dreades @sleepdiplomat @proftimnoakes @greenplusane

How one man went from a life prison sentence to a $100k+ engineering job – by Zachary Crockett, Oct 19, 2019.  Great turnaround story from “The Hustle” (subscribe to their daily email):  “In 1996, Zachary Moore committed a murder. Today, he’s a computer engineer at a Silicon Valley tech firm. Here’s how he got there.” As a country, we CAN do a better job at rehabilitating convicts – we have to, or we’ll run out of room and money to care for them. I think CrossFit can help too.

“It’s the dirty little secret that everybody knows about” – Baxter Holmes, ESPN. This is a very eye-opening article about how a lack of sleep is impacting player health and performance in the NBA – and the owners know. Now, what about YOU?

“The Critical Importance of Time Restricted Eating in Weightloss” – Dr. Jason Fung.  “..the bottom line is this. We focus nearly obsessively on the question of ‘What to Eat’… Let’s face it, the answer changes every few years, according to who you ask. But an equally important question lies almost completely unanswered. What effect does meal timing have on obesity and other metabolic parameters? Quite a lot, it turns out.” 

Be Humble, and Proudly, Psychologists Say, by Benedict Carey, NY Times. “Humility is not the boldest of personality traits, but it’s an important one, studies find. And it’s hard to fake.” Not so ironically, I have found that humble Coaches are the best coaches. 

Underground Playground Podcasts #Listen Up #29 with Craig Howard & Brian Strump. I was invited on to talk about the 10 year Affiliate Reunion and my experience there. Brian is another 10+ year affiliate owner who also attended. The podcast hosts are a little crude and cynical, but they’re OGs. I was able to make my points about the value of the gathering, and the value of the Open and the Games for CF Affiliates. 

Joe Rogan with Brian Grazer #1370 – Brian Grazer is a very successful film and television producer and screenwriter. He co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 with Ron Howard. Brian has a new book, “Face-to-Face the Art of Human Connection. I really enjoyed listening to Brian talk about the work that is necessary for success – that most people are just not willing to do.

Three Secrets to Performing at Your Highest Level: Get started. Keep going. Stop.” Brad Stulberg. This is a very fast & easy read, and frankly quite obvious, but I still enjoyed the validation. Just start! Don’t put it off. Then, join a community to keep you going (CrossFit!), and finally, know when to back off (a lot of us have a problem with this).

Why Lifting Weights Can Be So Potent for Aging Well. “People who discovered that they enjoyed and felt capable of completing a weight-training session subsequently joined a new gym and showed up for workouts.” – New York Times. The bottom line: muscle is motivating – at ALL ages. 

The Food That Helps Battle Depression, Wall Street Journal. Needless to say, it’s free from processed carbs and sugar.

Why Don’t We Know How To Protect Our Time? Ryan Holiday on The Medium. We’re good at protecting our money, but terrible at protecting one of our most precious resources: time. Good tips. 

Craig Howard (yah, me) on the NCR CrossFit Podcast – November. I was down at CFHQ for the Doctors Conference and was invited to talk on the NCR Podcast. Owner & friend, Pete Shaw, asked about the 10yr Affiliate Gathering, the new Health initiative at CrossFit and business related stuff about Diablo. You’ll learn a little about how we do things and what I’m thinking about the future for our community.

4 Unexpected Benefits I’ve Noticed After 3 Months of Intermittent Fasting – Jaleh Bisharat – Medium. I have to agree with all of these: (1) More present with food, (2) Nothing wrong with being hungry, (3) More clear-headed, (4) Reduced cognitive load in the AM. 

The Keto Diet’s Most Controversial Champion – Sam Apple, The Atlantic. This is a FASCINATING article that gives an incredible back-story on keto expert and University of Florida researcher Dominic D’Agostino and Patrick Arnold, the chemist best known for creating “The Clear” steroid (remember Balco?!). Arnold is now helping lead the research into ketones and how they may help with weight loss and athletic performance.  

The Diet-Heart Myth: Why Everyone Should Know Their LDL Particle Number, Chris Kresser. Statins are one of the most prescribed drugs in the world. Yet, there is mounting evidence that there is no benefit to taking them – in fact, they may be doing more harm than good. Chris Kresser talks breaks down the cholesterol story and what we really need to focus on for heart health. 

The Game Changers – Netflix.  Produced by James Cameron & Arnold Schwarzenegger & other celebs. This is a well-produced “documentary” created to change perceptions about the vegan diet for sports performance. The stories are interesting and compelling, but the science is questionable. I’ll withhold opinion, except to say that anecdotal evidence should not replace clinical trials. And, if so, should include experiences from athletes who had different or the opposite reaction (there are several). At the end of the day, eating real, whole food is far healthier than consuming processed foods.

Joe Rogan with Chris Kresser: Debunking The Game Changers. This was a fascinating episode with one of my favorites: Chris Kresser is one of the most respected educators in the fields of Functional Medicine and ancestral health. Chris spend a lot of time breaking down the claims of the Game Changers movie and backing his arguments with science. The bottom line, supplementation is a necessity on vegan diet in order to obtain the essential nutrients needed for health and longevity, let alone sports performance. Plant proteins are much different than animal proteins and larger volumes are required for muscle growth and performance improvements. Chris is based in Berkeley. I spent a lot of time on the phone with Chris in 2014 & 2015 after my cardiologist strongly recommended statins to reduce my cholesterol. Chris help educate me on the role of cholesterol and helped me change my nutrition to improve my blood work and health – and prevent taking statins. 

CROSSFIT SETTLES LAWSUIT WITH HHS AFTER AGENCY RELEASES EMAILS SHOWING CONTINUED EFFORTS TO CONCEAL DONATIONS – While this is not relevant to our daily CrossFit workout, it is a really significant piece of news for all Americans. It also makes me very proud to be associated with CrossFit. These battles come with a significant financial cost and, frankly, little opportunity for a reciprocal return on investment. However, the long term benefit for future generations is priceless. The CDC and NIH have been hiding donations from the beverage and pharmaceutical industry for many years – which calls into question the validity of related published research from both organizations – that influences the care and treatment for all Americans. CrossFit was able to expose the gross cover up by the Department of Health & Human Services and force them to properly disclose donations and evidence of cover up in the past.  

The Zen of Weightlifting, NY Times, Brad Stulberg. Its sometimes difficult to explain the mental benefits of weightlifting to someone who has never spent time working with a barbell. This article does a fantastic job and is a must-read for all of us:  “The perennial wisdom traditions and decades of psychological research point to three basic needs that, when fulfilled, allow people to thrive. Weight lifting offers all three in full:

  • Autonomy: The ability to exert oneself independently and have control over one’s actions.
  • Mastery: A clear and ongoing path of progress that can be traced back to one’s efforts.
  • Belonging: Being part of a community, lineage or tradition that is working toward similar goals.”

Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide, Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, and an Oxford professor. His book, Outgrowing God is an impressive, scientific look at religion and God. You will need an open mind and a belief in science to enjoy this book. If you are deeply religious, I urge caution. I was raised in the Episcopal church and attended a Catholic (Jesuit) Highschool and University, but I found this book very entertaining, very educating, and well-presented. Prof Dawkins challenges many of the popular beliefs and dogma of Christianity, Judiasm, Islam and others using a basic scientific logic. 

MAJOR VICTORY FOR CROSSFIT: JUDGE ORDERS TERMINATING AND MASSIVE MONETARY SANCTIONS AGAINST THE NSCA  – If you’ve ever heard someone say “CrossFit is dangerous”, it is highly likely that that phrase originated with the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Assoc), the leading fitness certification & research organization in the world. Unfortunately, it was false. Yet, it has persevered and caused irreparable harm to CrossFit and its affiliates. The research report that the NSCA published pointing to a high rate of injuries was falsified. Furthermore, the NSCA then tried to cover-up their lies, including destroying data and withholding evidence. The Judge in this case was blown away by their behavior and awarded CrossFit almost $4million. Punitive damages have yet to be awarded. This is a major victory for CrossFit and will likely be the end of the NSCA. 

Talking With Strangers. What we should know about the people we don’t know. Malcom Gladwell.  Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite authors and he has a really cool podcast called “Revisionist History.”  In Talking With Strangers, Malcolm delves into how we communicate with strangers, and why we often misjudge them. He talks about why people lie – and how it is nearly impossible for us to tell when someone is lying to us. He describes important real-life scenarios or historical incidents to tell his story. It is incredibly fascinating and a great read. It’s fantastic for better understanding human nature.  

Women, exercise and longevity – “Women who can exercise vigorously are at significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease, cancer and other causes.” Inherently we know this, but it is good to see real research that supports this. The key thing to note here is “vigorously” – intensity of exercise is important to improving longevity. A strong body (muscle mass & bone density) along with a strong heart helps fight disease and injury! 

Frail Older Patients Struggle After Even Minor Operations – “These patients are not aware of the true risks, and surgeons aren’t telling them, new research suggests.” Interesting article from the NYT. A fit, strong body endures surgery better and recovers faster. Again, it’s kinda obvious, but it’s nice to see it in writing. Do you have elderly parents? Get them moving! Even better, get them lifting weights!

Talking Elite Fitness: The Numbers Game with Brian Friend – Looking Back on the 2019 Games – If you like numbers and CrossFit, you’ll love this episode of Talking Elite Fitness. Sean & Tommy talk about statistical scoring issues with the 2019 CrossFit Games – the impact of the cuts on scoring and workout flaws that result in statistical anomalies. Excerpt: “look at Alessandra Pichelli, she finishes 10th, 20th 16th, 10th, 21st, 11th, yet she gets cut (for the top 20). I mean, that is the model for consistency …”

Joe Rogan Experience #1399 – Pavel Tsatsouline – Pavel Tsatsouline, a fitness industry icon and  instructor who brought his training techniques from the former Soviet Union to US Navy SEALs, Marines and Army Special Forces, and shortly thereafter to the American public. He is also an OG king of the kettlebell! Pavel knows his stuff when it comes to strength training – and he keeps it simple. He is highly respected in the strength training world for his insights. This is a great podcast for anyone who wants to learn more about building strength.

 The American Diabetes Association finally acknowledges low carb diet for diabetes treatment and prevention! It’s actually quite shocking that it has taken so long. This event is a driect result of the efforts of CrossFit and others in the low-carb world to help influence the medical community – and fight the influence of the food & drug industries.