Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random Rants part I

The “random thoughts” idea came to me from 2 of the industry’s top people, Eric Cressey and Tony Gentilcore. Needless to say, I stole errrrrr... was inspired by the concept. 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.

1. While nutrition is a vastly complicated and intricate science, the practicing of it shouldn’t be. Don’t ask me about intermittent fasting, calorie zig-zagging, ketosis or re-feeds if you only eat veggies as pizza toppings.

2. Recently completed Eric Cressey’s 16 week “Maximum Strength” program. First off, it was refreshing to follow someone else’s program after years of designing my own programs and a couple of years worth of hap-hazard gym sessions. Let me tell you this is by far the most effective program I’ve come across. Here are the results;
- Max box squat before: 255. After 315 (+60lbs)
- Max deadlift before: 275. After 315 (+40lbs)
- Max bench press before: 205. After, 235 (+30)
- Gained 8lbs of muscle (not bad for a “hardgainer”)
This too after a 2 week layoff from getting sick. Overall, it’s a kick-bottom program – highly recommend it. You can order the book here.

3. Pertaining to the above, after kicking and screaming, I finally integrated front squats into my training arsenal. They are uncomfortable at first, but they are worth it once you “man up” and get used to them. They promote better spinal alignment and better core activation amongst other benefits.

4. Another training revelation for me? Barefoot squats and deadlifts. Aside from not having to go down as far (for deadlifting), doing your closed chain leg work barefooted helps activate the smaller accessory muscles in the foot/ankle, helps with balance and the ability to spread the toes. Plus, it looks badass.

5. Keep “Toto”, “Dead or Alive” and “Soft Cell” in the 80’s where they belong. These remakes of old songs make me want to vomit in my mouth. Oh, and please… it’s called “stealing”, not “sampling”. Note to self: Re-charge Ipod.

6. I love an underdog story. And while I would rather watch an “all Rosie O’Donell, all the time” channel than watch unscripted TV, I was alerted to this youtube clip (thank you, Tony Robins via Twitter). Witness an unassuming, nervous chap who evidently lacks self-esteem on “Britain’s Got Talent”. His performance is nothing short of magnificent.

7. Just watched the Boston Bruins take a 5-1 lead on my Habs. I want to down a bottle of pills right about now.

8. Celebrity weight loss/weight gain update: I can’t believe I’m going to bite on these stories but here goes. Jessica Simpson; I really don’t care that she put on a few pounds. What I am concerned about, is how she broke into my mothers house and stole her jeans from 1986.

9. Scarlett Johansson’s weight loss. She dropped 14 pounds off of her voluptuous frame. That’s like 7 pounds per… nevermind – what’s more important is that she was rumoured to be taking advice from skeletor errrrrr Madonna and her nitwit bestie Gwyneth Paltrow’s braindead trainer Tracy Anderson. Massive fail to Scarlett if that is true. Why not go with your hubby’s trainer instead?

10. In this corner: Fat Loss Troubleshooter Leigh Peele, in the other corner, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels. In a fight, Jillian looks like she may be able to crush Leigh like a grape, but in the intellect and pure knowledge department, Leigh wins hands down. Read Leigh’s brutally honest review of JM’s book “Master your Metabolism”. Lucky for Jillian, Leigh was only critiquing her dietary ramblings and not her kettlebell and lunge form!

Until next time!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Happy Easter Everyone!

No better time to discuss one of nature's best foods - eggs. I realize the kind of eggs we think about this weekend are of the chocolate and suspect-looking white and yellow sugary insides variety, but let's talk real eggs. I'll make this short and sweet.

- In terms of protein quality, nutrient profile, caloric value and cost, you would be hard-pressed to find a better quality food than eggs.

- Eggs have about 6g of protein (yolk in), 77calories, and an almost full range of vitamins and minerals.

- Eggs (both white and yolk) contain antibacterial, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.

- Egg yolks contain health-enhancing substances such as; lutein and zeaxanthin (great for the eyes) and choline (for brain and memory).

Yolk - in or out? The question of cholesterol

Evidence is very conclusive now that under the majority of circumstances, cholesterol from eggs will not raise blood cholesterol. The link is quite weak between egg and cholesterol consumption and cholesterol levels. The link between cholesterol and heart disease is also suspect.

Bottom line: If you are having only 1-2 eggs at a time, leave the yolks in. This is more than sufficient to impart its nutritional benefit. If you eat 4 or more eggs at a time and your goal is health and fat loss, leave out some of the yolks as they add unnecessary calories.

Enjoy your eggs - whether they are poached, scrambled, fried or omeletes!