Between media reports decreeing the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and experts pinning the obesity epidemic on its prolific consumption, it's easy to see why many avoid it altogether. On the other side of the spectrum we have the corn refiners association fighting back and telling anyone who will listen that their product is "natural" and "fine in moderation". As usual, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Continued...
- I’m going to start with a quick movie review. Saw X-Men Origins this weekend…. Had its moments but overall disappointing. I would be remiss though if I didn’t provide a physique review, too. Hugh Jackman looked…well, “Jacked”. Waking up at 4am to eat egg whites and training like a fiend for 15 months will do that, though. Heavy weights, intense cardio and 7 high protein and veggie meals. Don’t try this at home, folks.
- Fat-burning supplement Dangers: Just when you thought banning Ephedra (Ma Huang) would make “thermogenic enhancers” safe, people are developing major liver issues including severe jaundice and failure. A 19-year-old’s death is being linked to the use of “Hydroxycut” – a popular fat burning supplement. It’s a safe bet that most adverse reactions occur because of misuse and overuse, however it’s enough to raise an eyebrow. Nothing trumps hard work and sensible diet – start there and keep going.
- Gym Observations: This is sort of a good news/bad news scenario. The bad news? Nobody uses the squat rack at the community center where I lift. This is a shame as everybody should be incorporating some squatting and deadlifting into their programs. The good news? I don’t have to wait – except for the occasional jackass who uses the rack to do bicep curls with 2.5lbs weights on each side.
- “Low carb Taliban” up in arms: If you think Dolph Lundgrun and Niklas Lidstom are tough Swedes, meet Martin Berkhan, a nutritional consultant and intermittent fasting proponent. Berkhan pointed out some flawed logic of extreme low carb supporters and nearly caused a riot on his site and popular low carb forum, Active Low Carber. It’s actually a pretty funny to see extreme groups get riled up about their nutritional views. Bottom line: Shoot for a sensible middle.
- Defining dietary extremism: The above probably requires some further explanation/definition. A dietary extremist can be defined as; believing that your way is the only way or the best way. This is by no means a “low carb” thing. There’s the “vegan Taliban” (read: Animal products are bad and you are a bad person if you consume them), “yoga Taliban” (Yoga is the best and only form of exercise you will ever need/flexibility = health… I am spiritually-grounded and thumb my nose at your crappy yoga mat), “Raw Food Taliban” (cooking is evil – you will destroy enzymes and ruin your health). To be sure, I’m not anti-low carb. I think certain people under certain circumstances benefit greatly from a carb-controlled nutritional approach.
- What we can learn from kids: My super-human 1-and-a-half year old daughter performed a chin-up today. The funny part was that she got PO’d that I tried to help her – which was as amusing as it was cute. In that same park visit my 3 year-old son shot his first basket on an 8 foot hoop. The best thing about it was not the accomplishment but the attempts. I’m sure he fired about 80+ shots at that net – a shooting percentage that would make Tracy McGrady cringe. It taught me a lot about a) children’s innate desire to be active – whether it’s climbing, running or jumping. And b) Where do we go wrong when we move into adulthood?
- Dose of Inspiration: If you’re having a bad day or “just don’t feel like” working out, watch this and be inspired. (Note: This isn’t a Susan Boyle youtube clip. I will withhold all accolades until I have proof that she and Blues Traveler’s John Popper are not the same person).
Until next time!
The “random thoughts” idea came to me from 2 of the industry’s top people, Eric Cressey and Tony Gentilcore.I have decided to stealborrow the idea.You’ll note that I replaced the word “thoughts” with rants to make it look like I wasn’t actually biting from them.Pretty clever, huh?
My random rants will range in topics from health, training and nutrition to, well… random stuff; from film to culture to anything else that comes to mind. I hope to make this a weekly instalment. Here goes the inaugural episode.