Monday, November 26, 2012

We move weights.

Reminder: We will be off 12/14/2012 - 01/07/2013 to observe ChristmaHannuKwanza. Spread the word.

Welcome back! Before we get too much farther into the guilt-fueled exercise season, lets review a few things.

WE MOVE WEIGHTS. Plain and simple. Why? Because it makes your muscles bigger and stronger. Bigger and stronger muscles CAN DO MORE.

We also get you breathing heavy. Why? Because it makes you function better under stress and it helps your blood carry oxygen around your body more efficiently.

Granted, exercise produces a cascade of benefits, we stick to the easy-to-grasp aspect. Strength & Conditioning. We don't "burn" things or undo things or create deficits. We aim for gains. So please keep this in mind when you show up to exercise. If your idea of a good workout is one that just feels hard and gets you all sweaty and achy, then I suggest holding your breath in a plank.. Let me know how "good" of a workout that is when you come to.

Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks boys should aspire to be big and strong.. Apparently life itself has something to say about it (other than the obvious).

Seems obvious enough that developing an athletic body is a good thing (rather than just bulking), but I suspect that this is a correlation study so I would hesitate to credit all of the benefits to exercise. I figure that a kid that grows up exercising will also adhere to healthy habits down the line as opposed to someone that picks up exercise as a method of treating a long-standing poor health methodology.

"Thin and fat men alike fared worse in terms of life expectancy if they had weaker than average muscles, while more burly men had better survival odds even if they were overweight."

From a survival stand-point, having MORE strength is can only help regardless of the circumstances. I doubt anyone ever said: "Boy, I wish I wasn't so strong!" Ever.

Surprise surprise. Weight loss has little to do with calories burned? Say it isn't so!

Trust science! Especially when it is paid for by a for-profit industry. What can go wrong?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bacon wrap it!

It was great seeing everyone who started the 5K trot finish it on Monday. Well done. Just goes to show: everyone can get through 5k. We don't train for it specifically, we just do it as an expression of our general physical preparedness training. It's great to just be able to do anything and everything that life throws at you, isn't it?

That's one of our biggest tenets. Empowering the UCLA community to be better at life. To be better prepared to handle tasks that seem(ed) too challenging. To just say "YES!" and go for it, whatever that "it" may be.

To optimize this, we asked that everyone, including our instructors let go of the flawed notions of training specific muscles and specific, yet nebulous goals, and most importantly the b.s. calorie concepts that plague the health & fitness world and just adhere to simple Truths of strength & conditioning. For many this has proven more than successful, but for some it's just too hard to let go. I get asked "what muscle is this working?" or something like that. Others will brag about how many calories the might have  burned off and that now they're permitted to guiltfully consume a few more.

I'm tired, folks. I can't go on explaining the same simple concepts to people who are just looking to debate. If you believe something different, then there is no point in debating. None. At the end of the debate, two tired and bitter people will stand in disagreement just as they started, but worse. The truth is that one of the belief systems is flawed. I suggest objectively evaluating your belief systems to figure out where those flaws may lie, and if you're an adult who is capable of making choices based on discerning critical analysis, trying to address those flaws with some sort of change. What's the worst that can happen? Progress? Learning something?

The great part about BHIP is that it's more than just exercise. It is a community; and communities are great for making changes at the individual level. So help each other out! Share your successes with each other. Encourage others to make positive changes in your lives (eating habits). You see a good deal on high quality protein at a market, share that info. This is the progress that politics and regulations fail with. Not us, though.

Here's Dan John (a notoriously effective coach) musing the same thing I do every day: is there any part of life that doesn't benefit from being stronger..

So for the last several decades, we have been told that saturated fat is BAD and will definitely kill us all in a sudden violent stroke or heart attack.... We've been scared away from eating things simply because "they" told us not to... Turns out, it's still just something we are told. No one has YET proven anything bad about consuming saturated fats. It's all just correlations.. Here's a correlation for you: as the consumption of ice cream increases, so do pool drownings.. (the fact that both of those things happen MORE in the summer months has nothing to do with it, right? WRONG!)

My question has always been: if saturated fat is so "bad" for me, why does my body produce and store it as a preferred lipid-oxidation fuel source? Wouldn't MY OWN fat do just as much damage as consumed fat? (hate to break it to you, folks, but we all have a certain amount of fat in our bodies, including our brain.)

Anyway, have a great break!


Thursday, November 8, 2012


The monsoons are here, as you can tell. If it is wet tomorrow (11/09) then we won't be able to conduct exercise sessions.

But you can still get access to the gym in The Wooden Center.

Thank you for understanding.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tis the season for cravings

Locations for this week:

FRIDAY 11/09: Meet on Bruin Walk, just outside of the track.

With the onset of November comes the season of people gaining weight. The holiday season is notorious for this miraculous event.
Quick survey: is the weight gain from lack of exercise or from the certain foods that are exclusive to this season that people are consuming with reckless abandon?

Yep. That was a trick question.

This made me realize that I'm working from the wrong end of this fitness scheme. If I really wanted to make a lot of money, I'd start a sweet snack company that makes irresistible foods.

I'm a numbers guy, so all I have to do is invest into "craveability". I think I can gather a team of researchers to quantify "craveability" and from that start producing things that even the most determined and disciplined individual would cave into. Then I could also run a fitness program on the side and have those same people pay me to try to undo the damage that I caused them. I probably won't tell them that you really can't "outworkout" poor food choices; you just have to live with them. Any investors?

Here are some of the things already out there, tempting your sweet tooth, and making your pancreas twitch in fear.

I think I need an insulin pump after looking through all of those.

What's up, 185 pounds?