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Entries in mel is love mel is life (17)

Mel's Beast Mode + Weekend Schedule Reminder

Just a reminder that this weekend's schedule is back to normal.

Saturday

10 am (mobility/make-up workout)

 

Sunday

12 noon (team workout)

1 pm (babies)


If you notice the sidebar, Mel, our favorite fan from North Carolina, recently achieved a longtime goal of completing every CrossFit.com Hero workout. Here are the highlights from his final one last week.

Last Hero WOD (Hollywood) 2017 from Mel on Vimeo.

Great job Mel Man!

Mel's Musings Episode III: Why So Strict, Bro?

Dear Athletes,

I know you love kipping handstand push-ups.  But I’m writing to you today to explain why you should be doing strict handstand push-ups.

From the top, let’s get one thing straight.  A kipping handstand push-up vs. a strict handstand push-up is like a single-under vs. a double-under.  They are not the same movement.  And just like lots of singles won’t get you that elusive double-under, lots of kipping won’t get you a strict handstand push-up.

Reason #1: Power Output

You know I love me some power output.  And of course, this is the main reason why we choose to kip certain movements.  Because they allow us to do more reps in less time.  Kipping pull-ups are simply faster than strict pull-ups.  Interestingly, kipping handstand push-ups are not any faster than strict handstand push-ups.  In fact, compared to an efficient strict handstand push-up, they are slower.  Take a look at Chris Spealler, arguably the world’s fastest mover, performing a set of (strict) handstand push-ups in competition:

https://youtu.be/NEnxB3EF6cE?t=1m4s

From Spealler’s 1:52 “Diane” at the 2012 South West Regional.

Therefore, if strict is faster than kipping, then that should be our default.  And only when we reach fatigue, would we then make the switch to kipping.

 

Reason #2: Movement Hierarchy

The kipping handstand push-up is a more complicated movement than the strict.  Kelly Starrett would describe the strict handstand push-up as a Category 1 movement, one where the athlete has a connection through the entire movement[1].  On the other hand, the kipping handstand push-up is a Category 2 movement.  The athlete enters “the tunnel”, moving from a position of stability to a position of instability, and then back to a position of stability.  Category 2 movements are more complex than Category 1, and require greater stabilization demands, because that “connection” is missing for a period of time.  Athletes have a tougher time staying in a good (hollow) position when they kip because of this loss of connection.  When an athlete is learning a new movement, the default should be to learn and perfect the Category 1 movement, and only then progress to the Category 2 movement.

This admittedly “academic” discussion is reinforced in our laboratory (“the gym”).  Which pull-up do we teach first, strict or kipping?  Of course, we teach strict first, and if the athlete lacks the strength for a strict pull-up, we scale the load by using bands.  Several coaches advocate for athletes to acquire the strength to do strict pull-ups before kipping.  One in the CrossFit community is down here in my neck of the woods.  Matt Crabtree, former owner of 21 CrossFit in Durham, says, “If you aren’t strong enough to do at least five dead hang pull-ups, you should abstain from kips and build up the dead hang using bands, negative, jumping, bands + weight, etc.  And once you are strong enough, kips should never completely replace dead hangs.  Never.”[2]  Similarly, CrossFit HQ’s former gymnastics subject matter expert, Jeff Tucker, says that handstand push-ups “should be a strict movement”, and that athletes “need to be working strict form before adding momentum to it.”[3]

 

Reason #3: Transferability 

Increased strength gained from practicing and mastering strict handstand push-ups translates surprisingly well into the overhead Olympic lifts, such as push press and push jerk.  I say, “surprisingly well”, because most Olympic weightlifting coaches make fun of handstand push-ups and would never program them for their athletes.

Why does the movement translate so well?  First, being inverted in a fully locked-out position (the top of our handstand push-up), is basically the closed kinetic chain equivalent of the finish position of our (open-chain) jerk.  Perhaps the isometric strength gained in the handstand supports a strong jerk receiving position?

But if this is true, wouldn’t a kipping handstand push-up be just as beneficial?  Yes, in theory; no, in practice.  If the athlete is doing a set of kipping handstand push-ups, and rests at the top of the handstand, there will be isometric gain.  But in my experience, athletes performing kipping handstand push-ups tend to rest at the bottom of the movement.  No benefit!

Pat Sherwood hates HSPUs.  He also lists the push jerk as his least favorite lift.[4]  Coincidence?

Similarly, the strict handstand push-up is the closed-chain equivalent of a shoulder press (with decreased ROM).  We never really do a partial-range shoulder press, but we often do push press.  The push press is initiated by the legs, but finished by the arms.  So where do the arms start pressing in the push press?  When the bar is somewhere near the top of our head.  Bingo!  The same range we start pressing on a strict handstand push-up.  Am I the only one for whom the light bulb just clicked on?

Finally, performing strict handstand push-ups is much easier when the athlete can maintain midline stability (hollow body position), not breaking into overextension.  This hollow body position is also the strongest position in our press/jerk.  These movements serve to reinforce one another.

 

Get Strict

If all this is true, why don’t athletes do more strict handstand push-ups?  My belief is: simply because they don’t have the requisite strength.  Strict handstand push-ups are hard; but then again, most things worth accomplishing are.  Perhaps you thought you would never get a pull-up, and now you bang out 10 of them, no problem.  There is nothing magical about the strict handstand push-up.  It just requires practice and patience.

You probably already know some options to increase your strength in the strict handstand push-up.  But here are a few:

  • Decreased ROM.  When I first started CrossFit, I could only do a few handstand push-ups at a time.  So when something like a 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 came up, I would scale the range of motion.  You don’t even need an Abmat for this.
  • Assistance.  It can be tough to rig up a band for handstand push-ups (although I’ve seen some), but you could also use a friend to help.
  • Negatives.  Just like with pull-ups, these can help build strength.
  • Hollow Body.  When I first did handstand push-ups, I was always overextended.  Thus, I was never in a strong position, and my lower back would be sore after several reps.  Somewhere along the line, I learned how to stay in a hollow position – the self-cue that worked for me was “squeeze your butt”.
  • Shoulder Mobility.  I know folks who really struggle with handstand push-ups, and the reason is they can’t fully open up their shoulder, and they are never “stacked” over their hands – again, not a strong position.
  • Practice.

A recipe for upper body strength?  Red meat and strict handstand push-ups.  Whiskey if you’re over 21.

 

Summary

Is there a place for the kipping handstand push-up?  Probably.  Like when the workout prescribes 100 HSPUs for time[5].  Or when learning how to do a freestanding handstand push-up.  But when it comes to the power output, movement hierarchy, and transferability, the strict handstand push-up is superior.

 


[1] Starrett, K., “Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance”, 2015.

[2] Crabtree, M. “CrossFitters: Why I Haven’t Taught You to Kip”, published online 2013.

[3] Interview with ASRX, 2011.

[4] Athlete profile from 2009 CrossFit Games, published online 2009.

[5] It’s all relative.  For some, the number may be 50 or 10.

Mel's Musings Episode II: Your Total Cholesterol Reading, Your Fitbit, and Other Worthless Items

Chris has graciously provided me a soapbox.  A place to rant about all the things in the world that I think are worthless: misguided, misinformed, or just plain stupid.  I actually keep a running list of these things.  The list is titled, “When Conventional Wisdom is Not Wise”, which I alluded to in Episode I.  Here are some of my current hot buttons.

Total Cholesterol as a Marker of Cardiovascular Disease

Everyone knows they need to watch their cholesterol number, right?  Wrong.  Total cholesterol is a very poor biomarker.

The origins of cholesterol as a marker go back into the 1970’s, with Ancel Keys and the “Seven Countries Study”, the thesis of which is that blood cholesterol level is a risk factor for heart attack.  Long story short, here – the study had major flaws, and total cholesterol is not as predictive as we used to think.

Your physician may even tell you as much.  He will say, “Well, we really care more about your HDL (high density lipoprotein, or ‘good’ cholesterol) and LDL (low density lipoprotein, or ‘bad’ cholesterol) levels.”  And of course there’s also VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) and triglycerides.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Hip doctors (well-read doctors, not orthopods) now look at ratios, such as the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL, LDL to HDL, or trigylcerides to HDL.

These are admittedly better measurements (i.e., they have higher predictive value).  And since most lipid panels will break these out now, knowing your total cholesterol number is meaningless.

You want to see your physician with a blank look on his face?  Ask him if your levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation, and perhaps a better marker of cardiovascular disease than cholesterol) are elevated.  He will either think you are grossly overeducated, or that you are a pharmaceutical rep about to pitch him something.

Too much of a good thing?  HDL levels and all-cause mortality shows levels exceeding 70 as being less than ideal. [1]

Total Activity as a Marker of Fitness

Another worthless item is the Fitbit[2].  You should go return this Christmas present before it’s too late and the store won’t take it back.  Hurry, it’s February!

Using a Fitbit is a complete waste of time, energy, and money.  “But Mel, people can achieve ‘fitness’ this way!”  No.  People may be able to find some semblance of “wellness”, but they will not approach “fitness”.  Yes, Fitbits will get people moving.  Getting out there, counting their steps, logging their miles, etc.  (Until they stop doing this, 3 months later…)  But in any case, steps and miles are not intensity.  Fitbit rewards volume and duration, not intensity.

Fitbits may get you to Wellness.  But to get to Fitness, you’re going to need something more[3].

That is the answer for those of us who drink the Kool-Aid, anyway.  But studies support the claim that fitness wearables don’t help people lose weight any better than other techniques, “Devices that monitor and provide feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioral weight-loss approaches.” [4]

Anecdotally, these devices do work for some people.  Why is this?  Is it simply the reminder – “Time to get moving, Faust!”  Perhaps.  I actually think the biggest advantage is the social aspect that Fitbit has intentionally cultivated.  People love to share their progress, and people love to compete.  Did you get more steps today than your sister, your brother, or your husband?

To me, this sounds an awful lot like “community”.  Or back before that was such a CrossFit buzzword, “friends”.  Why do people like to work out with friends?  Camaraderie, sure.  But there’s more than just that.  How about accountability?  On the days you don’t want to go to the gym, you might be pushed to go anyway, because you know someone is waiting for you.  Someone with whom you can compete.

So yes, the Fitbit may be better than nothing – if it can increase the sense of accountability to exercise.  But if you already train with a group of friends, or you have a dedicated workout partner, or you’re just self-motivated, you’ve already checked off this box.

Goring Other Sacred Cows[5]

So what else shall we tackle?  Here are some other items that, in my view, are just “silly bullshit” (can’t seem to get through an article without quoting Rippetoe – his article of the same title should be required reading, and was likely my inspiration anyway[6]), to wit:

  • The continued efforts of the popular press, the USDA, and dieticians in general to demonize fat, while they look the other way on the health problems associated with sugar.  For instance, at my kids’ public school, you can’t get whole milk, but you can certainly find chocolate and strawberry milk (low fat, of course).
  • Squatting below parallel is bad for your knees.  If you still get this comment from your friends who don’t work out, send them this clip of Boz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSSkNn2P2B4.           
  • Eggs are healthier if you don’t eat the yolk.  I went to a Subway for breakfast once.  The lady asked if I wanted my breakfast sandwich with “white egg” or “yellow egg”.  I asked, in pseudo-naiveté, “What’s the difference?”  She said – with a straight face, mind you – “The white egg is healthier.”  Although I wanted to launch into a rant about how the yolk contains 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and B-vitamins – not to mention 100% of Vitamins A, E, D, K, omega-3 fatty acids, and carotenoids[7] – I bit my tongue and said, “I’ll take the yellow egg.”
  • The fact that my children are strongly encouraged (read, “need”) to have a water bottle on them at all times, including at school (drinking fountains), at basketball practice (ditto), and on a 1-hour hike with the Cub Scouts. 
  • Red meat is bad for you, because:
    • Too much fat[8]
    • Too much saturated fat[9]
    • Too much iron (!)[10]
  • And something fellow CrossFitters should appreciate, this sign, from a hotel gym (underline mine)…

When the going gets tough, maybe we should just quit.

There are so many things we should care about, so many things we need to pay attention to.  Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of caring about things that are worthless.

 


[1] Ko, et. al., High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and cause-specific mortality in individuals without previous cardiovascular conditions. JACC. 2016; Vol 68 No. 19 2073-2083.

[2] Or actually any fitness “wearable”: Jawbone, Garmin, Misfit, etc.

[3] Glassman, What is Fitness?, CrossFit Journal – October 2002.

[4] Jakicic, et. al., Effect of wearable technology combined with a lifestyle intervention on long-term weight loss: The IDEA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2016; 316(11):1161-1171.

[5] And mixing metaphors, apparently.

[6] Rippetoe, Silly Bullshit, CrossFit Journal – Issue 59, July 2007.

[7] Source: USDA.

[8] Mozaffarian, et. al., The 2015 Dietary Guidelines – Lifting the Ban on Total Dietary Fat. JAMA 2015; 313(24):2421-2422.

[9] Siri-Tarino, et. al., Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2010 March; 91(3):535-546.

[10] Seriously.  In researching this article, someone out in Internet-land cited this as a reason to avoid red meat.

Mel's Musings Episode 1: Explaining Power Output to Your Grandma

If you’ve done CrossFit for any appreciable amount of time, you’ve been there.  You know, in that awkward conversation with your relatives or your friends, where you’re trying to tell them how great CrossFit is?  If you somehow manage to get them over the first hurdle – i.e., “CrossFit is dangerous!”, then you are immediately met with the next objection.  It usually runs something along these lines:

CrossFitter:     “CrossFit is awesome!”

LSD[i] Junkie:   “Why is that?”

CF:                  “Well for one, the workouts are short.  Most are shorter than 20 minutes.”

LSDJ:              “You can’t get in shape that way.  You don’t burn enough calories.”

CF:                  [Puzzled look.]  Thinking to self, “Was Glassman wrong?”

The Myth of “A Calorie (Burned) is a Calorie”

It’s hard for folks to part with conventional wisdom.  Even when it’s dead wrong.  Many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that all calories (eaten) are not the same.  In the same way, most folks think the only important thing to look at in exercise is total calories burned.  We’ll have to save the first myth – the eating one – for another day, but let’s look a little more closely at the second.  Isn’t a calorie burned a calorie burned?

Well what is a calorie, anyway?  It’s a unit of energy, and in the context of exercise, it’s a unit of work.  CrossFitters love to talk about “work capacity across broad time and modal domains”, right?  So calories burned should be a pretty important number.

But if you’ve been involved with CrossFit, you know that our focus is on intensity, or power output, not total work.  So our thesis to Grandma is this, “Intensity (not duration) is the most important factor in maximizing health benefits.”  But why?

Let’s Get Physical

Fitness, circa 1981

Parents, pop in your Olivia Newton John cassette for this next piece.[i]  What?!?  Am I the only one who owned this album?[ii]  Okay, no matter.  To really understand power output, we have to get into some rudimentary physics.  First of all, we know that exercise is doing work, but what is work?  In physics, work is force times distance, and is represented by this equation:

W = F x d

And what is force? Force is mass times acceleration, represented as thus:

F = m x a

Mass is easy, right?  That’s the object we’re trying to move.  What is acceleration?  Stay with me, because people sometimes get confused here, thinking perhaps that moving a weight quickly implies more acceleration than moving a weight slowly.

Acceleration in this formula is gravity.  In fact, that’s what gives us “weight” in the first place.  Weight is a force, namely mass times gravity.  Morrow will tell you that a kilogram (unit of mass) equals approximately 2.2 pounds (unit of weight), but Jacob will rightly correct him by saying, “It only does here on planet Earth!”  The mass of a kilogram never changes, but its weight is dependent on gravity.

So back to our Force equation, mass times acceleration is simply the weight we’re trying to move.  And then Work is how far (distance) we move that weight.

Walking or Running a Mile

Let’s go back to the premise asked by our LSD Junkie friends, that calories (total work done) is the most important thing to focus on in exercise.  If this is the case, then there should be no difference between walking or running a mile.  Because in each case, you are moving a set weight (your bodyweight) a given distance (1 mile).  Work = force x distance, so total work is the same.  Therefore, if work is what you focus on, walking a mile should be just as good at burning calories and therefore improving your fitness.

Of course, we know this to not be the case.  Most of us don’t break a sweat or even breathe hard walking a mile.  I mean, walking a mile has another name – it’s called “shopping”.  (I’m pretty sure I stole that from Mark Rippetoe.)  But running a mile – really running, like as fast as you can – well, you will be feeling that during, immediately afterward, and maybe even tomorrow.

And this is one way to explain CrossFit to your Grandma.  People understand the difference between walking and running.  What they may not initially appreciate is that the work performed is exactly the same.

"Calories burned" is a good example of conventional wisdom

The Single Most Important Variable

Well, if work is not the right thing to focus on, what is? Greg Glassman writes, “Intensity is defined exactly as power, and intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise.”[iii]

Well then, let’s define intensity – i.e., power.  In physics, power is simply work divided by time.

P = W / t

We can now see that the power output of running 1 mile vastly exceeds that of walking 1 mile, namely because the same work gets accomplished in less time.  Compared to walking, the power output can be 2-4 times greater when jogging, and up to 6-10 times greater when sprinting (not that anyone is sprinting for a mile).[iv]

You may have noticed the beginnings of the CrossFit methodology here, of performing constantly varied movements at “high intensity”.  The intensity can be measured in terms of power output, and there are even websites devoted to this (e.g., Beyond the Whiteboard).  Nearly all CrossFit WODs are seeking to maximize intensity, whether it be time-priority (Cindy, Fight Gone Bad!), or task-priority (Fran, Murph).

Scientific Literature

There is a growing body of evidence from the academic literature to support the superiority of high-intensity exercise.  Here are several pieces of evidence:

  • "12-week controlled study in Denmark of high-intensity interval walking for patients with Type 2 diabetes showed it helped control blood glucose levels better than continuous moderate exercise, even though the same number of calories was expended by both groups."[v]
  • “…intensity of physical activity is inversely and linearly associated with mortality.”[vi]
  • “Improvement in insulin sensitivity after six months combined supervised group training in female diabetic subjects is related to exercise intensity…”[vii]
  • “Light activities were not associated with reduced mortality rates, moderate activities appeared somewhat beneficial, and vigorous activities clearly predicted lower mortality rates. These data provide some support for current recommendations that emphasize moderate intensity activity; they also clearly indicate a benefit of vigorous activity.”[viii] 
  • “…moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly…”[ix]

So if Grandma likes science, send her the links to these studies.  Yet perhaps Grandma prefers anecdotes to data – you know, feel-good stories and personal testimonials.

From Personal Experience

I ran the 800 meter run (primarily) and the 1600 meter run in high school, and after my freshman year, my father got me turned on to the writings of Bill Bowerman, the former track coach at the University of Oregon.  Bowerman advocated for a combination of interval training and overdistance.  Interestingly, “overdistance” was still the flavor of choice for most track coaches in my day; it consisted of longer distance runs (runs “over” the distance you raced at) done at a speed slower than your race pace.  In contrast, in interval training, you ran multiple “intervals” shorter than your race distance (with breaks between), but at a pace equivalent or faster than that of your race.

Because intervals are run at a faster pace, they have a higher power output.  Not coincidentally, interval workouts are just awful; I used to dread them.  My least favorite – by far – was ten 400’s.  Despite hating them, I had to admit they were very effective, and I became a much faster middle-distance runner.  As a sophomore, I started beating the seniors who trained only LSD.  As a junior, I was named team captain.  My senior year, I finished in 7th place at State in the 800 meter run.

Because of this experience, CrossFit resonated with me from Day 1.  I had seen firsthand the power of interval training, and it made complete sense to me that one might incorporate this into other movements, not simply running.  If you watch closely, you will even see intervals come up on main site.[x]

You may have personal experiences of your own which support the thesis of intensity.  Sometimes, people are swayed more by personal stories and anecdotes than they are by real data.  The scientist side of me hates this, but the business side of me realizes that sometimes, marketing works.

Geeking Out

Why is intensity the most important variable?  Answering the why of power output is a more challenging task, and perhaps beyond the scope of this article.  But let’s try; if you’re one of those TL/DR people, just skip this section.  The short answer, anyway, is that we’re just beginning to understand the reasons.  Because of that, I will dispense with the citations for this section, although the statements I make below are supported in the literature.

Let’s look at a few factors that make power output more important than total work performed.  First, exercise done at higher intensity means your heart rate, breathing, and metabolic system is elevated for a much longer period of time post-workout – by several hours in some studies.  This means additional “work” done while you are recovering.  Therefore, the total calories you burned during the workout may not at all be indicative of the total calories expended because of the workout.

What do you mean, "That was only 20 calories"!?!

Second, increased intensity drives muscle gain and fat burning.  Muscle requires more calories than fat to maintain itself; therefore, if you have more muscle, your basal metabolic rate increases (you burn more calories in a resting state).

Third, and perhaps most importantly, increased intensity drives larger responses in the neuroendocrine system.  One role of the neuroendocrine system is the regulation of your anabolic hormonal levels, including insulin and glucagon.  Exercise, and especially high-intensity exercise, causes increased production of: glucagon, epinephrine, human growth hormone, cortisol, and insulin-like growth factor (to name a few), and decreased production of insulin.  The reason behind the hormonal response is thought to be adaptation.  After an intense workout, your body says, “This person is trying to kill us.  We need to build more muscle; we need to grow new blood cells and new blood vessels; we need to scavenge all these free radicals; we need to increase our mitochondrial production.  Bottom line - we need to make sure that we are ready if this &#*! ever happens again.”

Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother

In Summary

Maybe Grandma hasn’t bought in quite yet to CrossFit.  But we know that she should!  “The needs of an Olympic athlete and our grandparents differ by degree not kind.”[xi]  Intensity is one of the defining characteristics of CrossFit.  Perhaps we would have a better time convincing folks to try CrossFit if they understood why intensity is so important.  To do that, we have to explain power output, and we have several options on how to do that.

First, we can explain the concept through physics and the 1-mile discussion, why doing the same amount of work in less time is higher power output, and also better for fitness.  Second, we can cite scientific literature, which shows many examples of why higher intensity exercise leads to better fitness and health.  Finally, we can rely on personal stories and testimonials.  And knowing Grandma, if she thinks it’s working for us, she may become a believer.

Of course, the next challenge will soon rear its ugly head, when Grandma says, “Sure, dear, CrossFit sounds great.  But I’m not one of those athletes I see on TV!”

Sigh.  Another issue for another day.

 


[i] Don’t judge me, “aerobics” was huge in the 1980’s.

[ii] Technically, my Mom owned this cassette.  But I listened to it a lot, especially when I was “working out”.  

[ii] “Understanding Crossfit”, CrossFit Journal Issue 56 – April 2007.

[iv] Assumptions here: walking speed is 2-3 mph; jogging speed is 6-8 mph; sprinting speed is 15-20 mph.

[v] Karstoft, et. al., The effects of free-living interval-walking training on glycemic control, body composition, and physical fitness in Type 2 diabetes patients. Diabetes Care 2013; 36: 228-236.

[vi] Warburton, et. al., Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006;174:801–809.

[vii] Dunstan, et. al., High-intensity resistance training improves glycemic control in older patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 25: 1729 –1736, 2002.

[viii] Lee, et. al., Associations of light, moderate, and vigorous intensity physical activity with  longevity. The Harvard Alumni Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 2000; 151:293-9.

[ix] Tabata, et. al., Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anerobic capacity and VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1996; 28(10): 1327-1330.

[x] I routinely avoid these.  They are still awful.

[xi] G. Glassman, “What is Fitness?”, CrossFit Journal – October 2002.

MLK Day Update + Mel's Editorial Announcement

Hey folks, just a quick correction on the schedule. For this Monday only the morning session will be at 11 am instead of 8:30 am. Most of the kids and parents are off for MLK Day, so I figured we'd have it a little later in the morning.

Maybe we'll see some familiar faces back?


Mel's Musings: Episode 1 will be released Tuesday at 5 pm.

Schedule Change Starts Next Week + New Editorial Series

Starting next Monday the weekly schedule will be as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

8:30 am

4:30 pm

5:30 pm

6:30 pm

 

Wednesday

5:30 pm (mobility/make-up WOD)

 

Saturday

11 am

 

Sunday

12 noon (team workout)

1 pm (babies)

1:30 pm (middle school kids session)


In other news, I have persuaded our favorite North Carolina native Mel to start a string of guest posts for the site. The series - which is yet to be named - will be debuted within the next week or so. Hopefully you guys enjoy it!

Sunday Conversation: Misleading Metaphors from Mel

... well, not ecactly from Mel directly, but reference from Mel. If you are aware of the goings on of the Sidebar, our favorite North Carolina fan dropped us a link to an article from The Economist under their Language and Thought section.

Declare War on Misleading Metaphors

I think the article is even more related to fitness than what Mel suggested because so much of our fitness output is determined by how well we view reality. Metaphors (comparisons) are a great way to translate the way you see something to another person. I have found they also help my understanding of the topic at hand. But as the author, "HJ," suggests, lazy or one-sided comparisons can skew the other person's view of reality, and therefore negatively influence how they react. It's a short article and very to-the-point, but just in case you are Jack Trastevere here are a few sound bites from the piece.

The metaphor of “stress” for mental or emotional strain or tension has shaped thinking about mental health since it was coined in the 1930s (see article in this week’s issue). Borrowed from physics, it suggests that people can withstand adverse or demanding circumstances up to a certain point, after which they will break. Yet it is wrong. New studies suggest that the mind is more like a muscle than an iron bar—weakened, not protected, by being saved from significant challenges. To grow stronger it needs to tackle hard tasks in fruitful ways—and to be allowed to recover afterwards.

The notion that “the body is a temple” misleads slimmers and health freaks into pursuing purity and eschewing contamination when choosing foods. That can cause malnutrition and eating disorders—and supports a vast, quack-ridden diet industry.

If you think talent is a treasure possessed from birth, you will believe too easily that if you cannot do something now, you never will.

Language is an incredible tool to bring about the change you want. That's what kept me interested during my brief time as an English major. One of my teachers, Mr. Martin, was very emphatic about not using big words and metaphors just so make your paper sound better; it had to fit exactly as the meaning suggests. But even more than that I am just really behind this article. The examples the author uses seems like those common sense things like, "well of course that's the way it is" but for some reason you never thought of it before.

I guess what I'm trying to say is both my English head and my athletics head are in nodding in agreement.