The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
In the last several weeks testosterone has come up on a pretty regular basis. I’ve written about it before, of course, but there’s something about the novel elements (e.g. solar irradiation for certain choice body parts) in recent conversations that’s kept the exchange going. I thought I’d pull back from the peripheral findings a bit today and re-center the discussion.
As you know, testosterone plays a pivotal role not just for libido levels (although we won’t leave that out), but also for bone density, protein synthesis and muscle building, hair growth, estrogen production, red blood cell production, sperm production—amid other key functions in the body (for men and women by the way).
So, what are some factors that influence testosterone levels for the better and worse for both genders? What are the mechanisms behind these associations? And how do they relate to a healthy Primal life?
Let’s dig in…
By now, you know that CrossFit and Primal are totally compatible. You can get enough carbs, calories, and micronutrients eating this way. The specific foods we recommend support healthy recovery, injury prevention, tissue health, ample energy reserves, and even longevity. The lifestyle recommendations—the Primal Laws—provide extra advantages most “diets” completely ignore. And the focus on fat-adaptation buttresses an energy system many athletes lack. All in all, Primal is a great choice for any CrossFitter.
But one final question remains: Can it support and enable elite performance?
Today’s awesome guest post is offered up by a good friend to MDA—Ryan Hurst, Co-founder and Head Coach at GMB Fitness. I hope it helps you during your work week. Enjoy, everyone!
Our shoulders carry a lot of our stress. We hunch forward at our desks trying to get work done, tensing up over issues we thought we’d fixed already. And it doesn’t help that we often have to stay in the same position, even if we are lucky enough to have standing desks, typing or doing some other repetitive tasks.
As a result, a lot of us have issues with tight shoulders, and we know we really should move and stretch them, but stiffness and aches can make this even more difficult and uncomfortable. And that dreaded vicious cycle sets in. Your shoulders are tight because you don’t move like you should, but when you start moving it starts to hurt. And that stops you from moving….
There are some who hold the view that at birth, each of us is allotted a finite supply of energy which exercise depletes, thus hastening our demise. An intense regimen like CrossFit, in this paradigm, would hasten a person’s demise.
That’s wrong, of course. Those who remain sedentary their entire lives often have short, miserable ones, while regular exercisers enjoy better health throughout their time on earth. Exercise has real potential to prolong life and compress morbidity. But it is a major stressor that, if applied incorrectly or excessively, can reduce health and overall wellness.
Exercise is a major stressor. But it’s a major acute stressor, rather than a chronic one. It hits us, then it’s over, and we recover. When the next session rolls around, we’re better/faster/stronger/fitter. We adapt. At least, that’s how exercise is supposed to go if you have enough buffer time between sessions. Most people do provide enough buffer time between their exercise sessions to promote recovery. Many provide too much, leading to detraining.
Some people go the other way. For these people who train 4, 5, 6 times a week, workouts can become, for all intents and purposes, chronic stressors. String enough acute stressors together with small enough buffers in between and you’re stewing in low level inflammation. Never quite recovering, never quite wringing out as much adaptation as you should.
The core muscles are responsible for supporting the spine, balancing the body (1), facilitating functional movement, and limiting low back pain (2). As they’re located at the center of your trunk, you can think of them as the mainframe that controls how you move. Try these 12 ab exercises to stabilize your core and turbocharge your body today.
Despite what the glossy fitness magazines are telling you, crunches are not the best way to strengthen your core. It’s important to understand that strengthening your core doesn’t mean doing isolated abdominal exercises. In fact, true core strength comes from toning all the muscles from your sternum to your pubic bone, which include those found in the stomach, back, butt, chest and upper thighs (3).