Meet Mark

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...

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February 05, 2012

Weekend Link Love – Edition 176

By Mark Sisson
78 Comments

Chris Highcock, longtime proprietor of Conditioning Research, one of the finest fitness and nutrition blogs around, has just released a fantastic fitness e-book that I had the privilege to read. While Hillfit is intended to make hillwalkers – hill-hiking enthusiasts – stronger for their activity of choice, it also describes a simple routine that anyone can use to get stronger, fitter, and healthier, using just their own bodyweight and a few simple household objects. Give it a shot and support one of the good guys – and your own body. See what others have said about Hillfit while you’re at it.

From Catalyst Athletics comes a more intense variant of the Grok squat: the Russian Baby Maker. Everyone (but perhaps expectant mothers) should try it.

I don’t recommend the consumption of popcorn, but if you’re gonna do it, make it on the stove. Microwaveable popcorn bag pollutants (PFCs, which are also found in stain repellants) make vaccines less effective.

A scientific look at the dangers of high heels. Duh.

A 13-year old girl holds eight powerlifting world records, deadlifts twice her body weight, wears knee high socks with BACON emblazoned along the sides, and has a coach who promotes a Paleo diet. That’s all.

In a recent Spanish study, consumption of fried foods was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease. They mostly use olive and sunflower oil for frying, and before we make any assumptions about omega-6 oils, it’s worth nothing that the Spanish have long been using high-oleic (monounsaturated) and high-stearic (saturated) acid sunflower oils.

Is diet soda actually bad for you? Independent of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and hypertension, diet soda intake was strongly associated with “vascular events.”

Speaking of soda, should the regular stuff have a legal drinking age?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jan 30 – Feb 5)

Comment of the Week

He’s probably making a classic Simpsons reference.

“Bojourrrrrr ya cheese eatin’ surrender monkeys”

JSully’s got it. Sorry about the confusion, guys!

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78 Comments on "Weekend Link Love – Edition 176"

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Caleigh
4 years 7 months ago

That’s amazing about the 13 year old and her powerlifting records! Hope to see her in the Olympics!

Soft drinks should just be banned. My mom suffers from intense heartburn and acid reflux but still won’t cut out her diet soft drinks because, as she puts it ‘I’m too old to give up the things I like’. Bah! She’s 57! Bah.

Primal Toad
4 years 7 months ago

That would be awesome if she made the olympics and won a bunch of gold medals. Her secret is her diet I think…

win for us!

Trav
Trav
4 years 7 months ago

Yep. Then they’ll ban “unhealthy” saturated fat, salt, cholesterol, raw dairy, etc. Just think, an entire black market for soft drinks. Cartels shooting it out with police and other cartels (and killing innocent bystanders). Oh, and then they’ll have to ban carbonated water, sugar, all sorts of fruit juices so folks can’t make their own at home. Sounds like laws most people wouldn’t want to live under. Perhaps simply EDUCATING people about the effects things have on health might be a better route.

AustinGirl
AustinGirl
4 years 7 months ago

Right on, Trav.

Justin
Justin
4 years 7 months ago

And ALL restaurants will be Taco Bell . . .

Reijo
Reijo
4 years 7 months ago

There is no powerlifting in the Olympics, only Olympic lifting. As she does not compete in Olympic lifting she will not be at the Olympics.

Ben
Ben
4 years 7 months ago

Thank you, that was bugging me.

Jonathan Sabar
4 years 7 months ago

Hey all – Abbey’s coach here. Yep, they cut out the part of the interview where Abbey talked about learning the olympic lifts. She’s well aware of what lifts are contested in the Olympics 🙂

Burn
4 years 7 months ago

that powerlifting 13 year old is awesome!! go bacon!!

TokyoJarrett
4 years 7 months ago

Those have got to be custom socks… They’re too friggin’ cool not to be!

susan
susan
4 years 7 months ago

I saw those very socks at my local New Seasons grocery store.

Maggi
Maggi
4 years 7 months ago
Steven
Steven
4 years 7 months ago

That article about sugar scares me. How about we help educate people and let them be responsible for what they put in their mouths instead of looking to government to stone our problems? Isn’t government involvement what helped bring about a lot of the flawed conventional wisdom in the first place?

Steven
Steven
4 years 7 months ago

Solve not stone. Damn phone lol

Primal Toad
4 years 7 months ago

Great question. It’s a challenge. We are truly in a mess and I think with 7 billion people living in this world, its going to be very difficult to get out of it.

I’m sick of the government making decisions for all of us. I mean, if wheat, corn, rice, soy, etc. was not subsidized then many of our problems would probably be non existent.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 years 7 months ago

If our government spent more time being stoned and less time interfering with our lives, they’d solve more problems! 🙂

Moshen
Moshen
4 years 7 months ago

I’m taking a sip of Diet Mt. Dew and I see “diet soda intake was strongly associated with “vascular events.”

You bet I’m going to read that one!

Chris
4 years 7 months ago

Mark – Thanks so much for the kind words about Hillfit! You know we’ve both been in this game for a good few years! A treasured possession is the signed copy of your Primal Blueprint that you sent me when it was launched. Thanks again for you support!

Chris

Animanarchy
4 years 7 months ago

I already did the Russian Baby Maker intuitively. Another hold in a similar position but for different muscles is to put your hands down flat and lift up your feet. It’s the Russian Baby Maker Handstand.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
I’m a bit confused about how to view the results of the Spanish study on fried food – from a primal perspective. Yes, the point about not re-using oil is quite clear from any perspective. YUCK. I never did that at home and don’t plan to start now. I avoid take out or dine in fried foods – unless I KNOW the kitchen well. For instance, if I am going to eat out I go to a local family owned Greek restaurant that prides itself on fresh foods and fresh cooking methods – opens its kitchen to new customers on… Read more »
Anthony
Anthony
4 years 7 months ago

I’m a little confused by the “re-using” oil part actually. I thought it was ok to save bacon grease and re-use it for cooking. Should I not be doing this?

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t think bacon grease is an “oil” in this context. However, I only use the saved bacon grease once anyway. Just a personal preference.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 years 7 months ago

Check your nutritional database on the fats–olive oil isn’t as loaded with O-3 as we’re led to believe…assuming we even GET real olive oil here (which we don’t).

WAPF says using seed oils (high-oleic acid ones, that is) should be used COLD, as in salad dressings, and not hot, because they change into a dangerous substance when heat is applied. Not just oxidize, but turn into other harmful compounds.

Federkeil
Federkeil
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t understand why everyone is congratulating the 13 year old and 10 year old for power lifting.

I understand it’s a great accomplishment.

But those kids aren’t done growing yet, and are likely to do damage to their growth plates.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

I hadn’t gotten to that link yet but I was thinking the same thing.

hipgnosis
hipgnosis
4 years 7 months ago

http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weightlifting/YouthMisconceptions.html

I think “likely” is a dangerous word to use because it tries to make an uninformed generalization without any statistically significant data to support it.

Also, these aren’t kinds in their parents’ basement doing hunchback “deadlifts” in spinal flexion to impress their friends. They’re being coached and monitored in a sport that is far more dependent on technique than raw strength.

Alessandra
Alessandra
4 years 7 months ago

This was the basically the first response in the reply section under the article. Her coach actually replied to that response.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

Thank you for pointing that out. I read the whole response section and viewed the video – rounds out the article significantly.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
OK, here is my personal bias. I REALLY, REALLY hope that its OK for young people of both genders to get involved in weight lifting and/or powerlifting. Any safe sport or fitness program that can be used by the “middle school” age group (and up) is a great idea – not only for fitness and self-confidence, etc – but also to prevent bullying. Did you hear what Abbey Watson said in the video about kids not messing with her anymore? Go, Girl! I remember all too well the limiting myths that young girls were confronted with when I was Abbey’s… Read more »
Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 years 7 months ago

Kids in Russia do it all the time.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

OK, I get it now about the PUFA factor in sunflower oil. Standard sunflower oil has a huge percentage of PUFA – the highest of all plant oils at about 69%. HOWEVER, high oleic (70% or more) sunflower oil is very low in PUFA – about 4%.

So, what the study in questions tells us pertains to the low heart attack risk from frying foods in plant oils low in PUFA – similar to the primal practice of frying foods in palm, coconut, bacon grease, etc.

Now I’m going to look into the matter of heating olive (and high oleic sunflower) oils.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

Looking again at the article discussing the study, the term “sunflower oil” is used with nothing to suggest that it isn’t standard high PUFA sunflower oil. I did note what Mark said about Spain’s consumption of high oleic sunflower oil – but I’d want to see the actual study in its entirety before I’d assume that the PUFA level of the oil was controlled for. Given that the study was not a controlled study but a longitudinal study that may well have relied on self-report the issue of making inferences regarding PUFA is a concern.

Harry Mossman
4 years 7 months ago

As for banning soft drinks or making them for adults only – typical San Francisco, California knee-jerk liberal nanny law fascism.

bbuddha
bbuddha
4 years 7 months ago

Amen, educate about the effects and make people responsible for their own actions. And parents should be responsible for what their kids ingest, not some idiot bureaucrat. Banning things in general is stupid. Did we learn nothing from prohibition?

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

Bingo! Anyone see the documentary “Prohibition” by Ken Burns?

Chris
Chris
4 years 7 months ago
These are from Dictionary.com Fascism – (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. Liberal – lib·er·al ? ?[lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl] adjective 1.favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs. 2.(often initial capital letter ) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform. 3.of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism. 4.favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and… Read more »
Harry Mossman
4 years 7 months ago

Ho hum. You know perfectly well that in everyday conversation, nazi and fascist now refer to anyone who imposes rigid views, like soup nazis and grammar nazis.

Mike Gager
Mike Gager
4 years 7 months ago

well by your definition, conservative republicans would definitely be fascist nazis.

Chris
Chris
4 years 7 months ago

I personally don’t think this is the venue to discuss one’s political views and since you mentioned it, does “typical San Francisco, California knee-jerk liberal nanny law fascism” sound like a rigid view to you, Harry? It does to me.

And you know perfectly well that you’re not using the term “fascism” like Jerry Seinfeld when he’s talking about the soup Nazi. Please.

Harry Mossman
4 years 7 months ago

I am only going to reply to assure anyone reading that I am not a right wing fascist. I am an Obama progressive.

rdzins
rdzins
4 years 7 months ago

Some of this is politically, unfortunately. However it really doesn’t matter what side you are on, having government tell you what you can and can not eat takes away everyone’s freedom and choices. It also allows them to pick and choose the winners and losers based on who is backing there campaigns, as well as manipulate the data based on who is funding the study(ies), which almost always has a special interest involved.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
On the subject of heating plant oils – there is a good article at the Weston A. Price website that begins to address this issue. “Trans Fatty Acids Are Not Formed by Heating Vegetable Oils” Written by Mary G. Enig, PhD February 24 2004 Here’s what I take away: 1. Specific conditions are needed for creating trans fatty acids – and the resulting trans fats are not the same in each condition. One condition is hydrogenation – the worst offender. The other conditions are: pressurized deep fat friers, high pressure deodorization, and high heat extrusion with an alkaline catalyst. NONE… Read more »
rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

With regard to high pressure deodorization related to primal cooking – check your coconut (and palm) oil manufacturer to be sure that they are not using this method.

fritzy
fritzy
4 years 7 months ago
If those researchers testing the results of wearing high-heels long term really wanted to know the effects, all they needed to do is go to a rehab hospital or nursing home and look at female patients that wore high-heels all of their lives. As a therapist, I’ve seen the mangling that occurs as a result of long-term high-heels–and I’m not talking about just the feet and calves (althought that’s pretty bad.) I’d go out on a limb to say that a huge number of the falls I see are a result of having worn shoes with heels (in this case,… Read more »
rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
One of the great things about a study like this one is that, incomplete though it may be, it does provide ammunition for those women (and men) whose work place (or school) requires shoes with heels – who wish to fight these requirements. I had a hard time arguing against professional dress code that required me to wear at least low (2 inch) heels all day long. Over time, I learned how to avoid these requirements, to find a way around them, and often kept a pair of flats, Birkenstock sandals, slippers, or moccasins (all with relatively non-slip soles) tucked… Read more »
fritzy
fritzy
4 years 7 months ago

I would think you could argue against this dress-code on sexual discrimination grounds–I have a difficult time believing they require a minimum 2 inch heel for the male employees. Your workplace dress code sounds incredibly regressive and borderline illegal.

I agree, this study certainly has merit, and because so few studies have actually been conducted on the subject, it is important. That said, it would not have been that difficult to place electrodes and motion sensors higher up on the body.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
Appreciate your sentiments – but part of the reason that the dress code sounds regressive was that I was talking primarily about earlier years in my career. And, was working in a regressive part of the country as well as in a conventional, male dominated field. Foot wear was the least of my problems – and I quickly found less confrontational ways around the problem. Discrimination (and sexual harassment) laws are more recent – and, trust me, its not as simple as it may seem to exercise your rights under those laws. Lawsuits can drag on for years, cost a… Read more »
rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
P.S. At the same time that there was/is a professional dress code for women, there was/is also a dress code for men. That code may not have involved requiring men to wear high heels, but it establishes equity. Without studies like the one shared here in the link love it would be hard for women to argue against a rigid demand to wear heels in the workplace. If you read the article about the study, you’ll see that there haven’t been many studies done to date on the damage related to high heel wearing. People have know for a long… Read more »
Paul Devine
Paul Devine
4 years 7 months ago

Hillfit: 50 page ebook for £9.95 just seems way overpriced- sorry

Chris
4 years 7 months ago

Paul

Picking a price was tough and I am not sure that I got it right. I am trying to reflect the work that went into it. I’ve also got a money back guarantee – if people have a problem with it, or think it is not worth it I refund the cost.

Email me (Chris AT Hillfit.com)

Paul Devine
Paul Devine
4 years 7 months ago

I understand the difficulty in pricing ebooks and appreciate both the refund guarantee and you taking the time to reply- thanks.

I hope the book is a success for you and all who read it (including me!)

(Dear Paul Devine,
You sent a payment of £9.95 GBP to Hillfit.
This charge will appear on your statement as payment to PAYPAL *HILLFIT.)

Chris
4 years 7 months ago

Thanks for taking a risk on this Paul. If you are not satisfied there is a refund no questions.

Anne
4 years 7 months ago

A legal drinking age for soda? I appreciated the article’s creative solutions for working around the damage wrought by the sugar industry (and its powerful lobbyists).

And to Abbey, the 13yo paleo powerlifter: You go, girl!

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
That diet/regular soda study news caught my attention this week – so glad to see Mark include it in this weekend’s link love. Haven’t read the study yet – but as the article suggests the study did control for major confounds (e.g. pre-existing health conditions) and the study authors make no claims about mechanisms – further study is indicated. I also noted that “light” (no added risk) diet soda consumption could be as much as one diet soda per day SIX days per week. Only one “vacation” day a week marks the difference between no added and added risk consumption.… Read more »
rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

As diet sodas are not all created equal, we’d want to know more about types and amounts of sweeteners, caffeine, and so on. Hopefully, when future researchers look for mechanisms they won’t neglect to control for these variables. It’s conceivable that there are “safe/safer” diet sodas as well as “unsafe/more unsafe” ones – with regard to the current findings. Not that I personally like any sodas at all but still….

Primal Toad
4 years 7 months ago

That powerlifter girl is awesome. The fact that she eats a paleo diet and loves bacon is huge for this movement I think.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

Yeah, didn’t you just love how her trainer turned the tables on the reporter regarding bacon? LOL! Her “kryptonite” remarks gave him a great opportunity to bring the paleo aspect of her training into the conversation.

I would love to see some good studies done on the bone formation, growth, and mineralization of paleo kids versus other same age kids in training like her. She may actually be in much less risk of injury to her joints than other kids doing similar training/competing.

Mountain
4 years 7 months ago

“The risks extend to workouts, when heel wearers abruptly switch to sneakers or other flat shoes.”

So the lesson here is, if you wear high heels at work, wear high heels at the gym! Haha kidding…

Michael C
Michael C
4 years 7 months ago

I find the fear of nitrates and nitrites in bacon a bit off base. Veggies are full of them as is our own saliva. In addition the “no nitrates added’ label is a complete scam. Just don’t burn your bacon and you’ll be just fine.

http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/

Casey
Casey
4 years 7 months ago

Actually, that squatting technique is exactly what expectant mothers SHOULD be doing. I did a lot of yoga and other exercises while I was pregnant, and definitely did this squat (and another one that’s also a fantastic hip opener) almost every day throughout my pregnancy. Without going into gross details, I’ll just say it definitely paid off.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

I was also thinking that – and have been trying to remember what that squat was called in Yogic terms. I remember doing it as a warm up to another posture – but that’s my memory fails. Its been a long time since I practiced Yoga. I don’t remember what posture’s typically preceded by that squat. Anyone?

Sonja Fairfield
Sonja Fairfield
4 years 7 months ago

Garland Posture is the posture you are thinking of

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

Thanks

Danielle
Danielle
4 years 7 months ago

I agree! Mark, squatting (all forms) is an excellent exercise for expectant mothers!

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
About that “Time Capsule” on central heating – makes many good points that make sense to me. Americans have been called “hot house flowers” in other countries where central heating isn’t so common. May well be why the obesity epidemic has been such a trend in America even before other countries. I used to swim outdoors in a lake in winter – as an “immune booster”. I rarely have colds or other viruses/infections. But, maybe I’ve been supporting my health in other ways as well. Let’s hear it for brown fat! To this day, I sleep much better in a… Read more »
Sonja Fairfield
Sonja Fairfield
4 years 7 months ago

Please switch off your heating at night and put it on timer, for your wake-up, instead of wasting resources (that way you can reduce your carbon footprint)

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago
That’s good advice. I don’t know if you were addressing me with that advice – but if you were, no worries. I normally keep the thermostat set so low that the heat never comes on day or night. The reason that I do that is that I have one of those digital thermostats that gives a lot of readings – as long as the system is on – like relative indoor humidity. Using the fireplace for heating like I do tends to dry the air out so that’s how I monitor the humidity. The HVAC system that I have is… Read more »
Turnip
Turnip
4 years 7 months ago

About the high heels — female professional ballroom dancers (and even many amateurs) dance in 2 to 4 inch heels for several hours a day, nearly every day, for decades. Sure, there are people who complain about the shoes in ballroom dancing, but the shoes don’t keep the professionals off the floor. What gives? Is it that ballroom dancers wear heels differently than the average woman?

fritzy
fritzy
4 years 7 months ago

I’m an occupational therapist who has seen the results of long-term heel wearing in ball-room dancers. The effects are pretty much the same as someone who wore them in the office or to church–mangled feet and lack of dorsiflexion in the ankles. Heels are an orthopedic nightmare.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 years 7 months ago

They most likely wear different shoes than the average woman–as in CUSTOM MADE or a brand that is specifically manufactured for professional dancers, like Capezio. Dancers don’t buy their shoes from Payless, Sears, or any old store–they go to where they know their feet will be properly fitted for their work.

The stuff we wear is cranked out in China, using bizarre foot forms, bizarre styling, and bizarre ideas of foot sizing (much like our clothing, and everything else). Everything is standardized for ease of manufacture–not for comfort or individual need.

rarebird
rarebird
4 years 7 months ago

Yes – but have you ever seen the feet of professional dancers – like ballerinas who wear toe-shoes? Their feet take a real beating in those professionally designed shoes.

KentH
KentH
4 years 7 months ago

When I coached baseball, softball, and basketball, I had my players do the Russian Baby Maker–only I called it the Swahili Birthing Position. It is a great stretch for the hips.

Audrey H
Audrey H
4 years 7 months ago

I’m very glad my parents didn’t allow me to drink soda for many years as a child… not sure about making it illegal though. I think the only good thing that would come of making it illegal would be to draw attention to how insidious it is.

chris
chris
4 years 7 months ago

Just to say, i have acquired a copy of hillfit! looking forward to seeing great results in the hills!

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
4 years 7 months ago

Those weightlifting kids better watch their epiphysial growth plates…

Dan
Dan
4 years 7 months ago
ban soda NO way…butter would surely be next (or more likely would come first). As Lustig points out in his youtube video sugar consumption went up when HFCS was developed because HFCS is cheap. If we stop subsidizing grain production with tax dollars the cost of corn will go up. If the price of corn goes up the price of HFCS will go up too. If HFCS is no longer cheap they’ll stop putting it in virtually everything. Manufacturers would either have to charge more for their product, which would have create a limiting effect on consumption, or they’d have… Read more »
PB
PB
4 years 7 months ago

I love how studies of something we disagree with from the “conventional wisdom” camp get dissected by Denise Minger and ridiculed (anything with saturated fat, for example), but the diet soda-vascular event study gets held up as some sort of example. While I’m certainly not in favor of diet sodas this smacks of the same bad science we often criticize. Why the double standard?

shannon
shannon
4 years 7 months ago

We decided just this weekend to spend our vacation next summer on the opposite coast (CA!) and ending with hiking the Grand Canyon. I did it in 1991 and now I’ll do it again with my husband and four children (15, 12, 6 and 6). As we’re not physically ready for it, Hillfit looks like it may be a great thing for some of us. Thanks for letting me know about it!

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