Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: 3/19/12

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I know, I was pretty lame last week and was only able get a post up three times.  And now I’m starting things off with yet another Miscellaneous post.  What gives Gentilcore????  Well, for starters, I don’t like that tone of yours.

Secondly, since we’re entering our “slow” time of year with the baseball season right around the corner, I’ve been taking the opportunity to get some extra writing done.  As such, you can expect to see some articles on T-nation and Livestrong.com soon.  Thirdly, and this is just me being honest, writing these type of posts where I just shoot from the hip and see what sticks is definitely one of my more preferred ways to write.

I mean, writing an 800-100o word post on the supraspinatus is way less cool (not to mention more time consuming) than having what I like to call “diarrhea of the brain” where I can just casually write on several topics that openly come to mind.  Maybe not the best analogy in the world, but I’m sure you get the idea.

And on that note, since I can’t really think of any appropriate segue to use, lets get to it.

1.  I’m actually making some rounds in the print world this month.  In this month’s issue of Men’s Health (pg. 60), I’m featured as the creator of the 15-Minute Workout: Switch Up for Strength, which emphasizes the idea of offset (or 1-arm) loading.

On the other side of the genetic pool, in Women’s Health Magazine, I make my very first cameo appearance in their version of the 15-Minute Workout on page 55.

Click ME (<—–evidence that I’m not kidding).

Hopefully this will be the foot in the door I needed to get more content in WH, as I feel I have a lot to offer in terms of empowering women to lift heavy things.

Note:  thanks to Ann for the heads up on this (the link take you to a pic she took on her Twitter page).

2. It’s almost the end of March, which means we’re approaching the 1/4 mark of 2012 , which means that many have already forgotten about their New Years Resolutions.

Not me.  Here are some updates.

The Paleo Experiment:  both Lisa and I have been toying around with the Paleo lifestyle since the beginning of January, and for all intents and purposes, we’re both holding strong.  Admittedly, we like to go out on the weekends and explore new restaurants and eateries in and around Boston, but outside of that, we’re golden.

Every Sunday morning (after laundry) we hit off Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and stock our fridge and cupboards with lots of greens (baby spinach, broccoli brussel sprouts, etc), fruits, meat, nuts, seeds, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and even Larabars.  I am completely addicted to Larabars.

All in all, we both definitely feel less groggy and bloated due to eliminating the majority of grains (and hence, gluten) from our diet.

Further, having followed this diet for a prolonged period of time, it’s always interesting to (inadvertently) find out what foods tend to be problematic.  For instance, being a huge fan of Dr. Jonny Bowden and pretty much taking his word as bond when it comes to choosing what are the best foods to eat, we used to CRUSH beans (black, garbanzo, etc) as they’re all an excellent source of fiber as well as many other nutrients.

The thing is, with the Paleo Diet, beans are generally poo-pooed on, and as such, we eliminated them from our diet…….

Unbeknownst to me, and this is something that only came to fruition following the diet, I DO NOT handle beans well. Not that this is any surprise to most – beans cause gas: shocker – but for me, I really had no idea that this was the case until I started omitting them from my daily diet.

Of course, it’s only through the process of elimination where you can find these things out. On an aside, I also found out that peanut butter is a “problem food” for me, which basically was the saddest day of my life.

Having said all that, though, I’m still often amazed at how dogmatic some of the Paleo bullies can be.  For some potatoes are fine.  While for others, eating a potato is akin to idolizing Hitler.

At the expense of overgeneralizing things:  seemingly, a lot of Paleo followers (certainly not all) will take ANY opportunity to vilify carbohydrates.

Which is why I really liked  THIS article from one of my favorite bloggers, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, touching on the notion that there are a lot of Paleo heroes out there who tend to go a little ape shit for no reason at all.  More appropriately, when it comes to relaying sound nutrition advice, the mainstream media – to no surprise to us – is really, really, really, really, douchy.

Speaking Engagements:  I have to say:  I’m pretty much making this resolution my beeeotch. As I mentioned last week, I’ll be speaking in Edmonton this June with the rest of crew from Muscle Imbalances Revealed – Upper Body (see more below). In addition, I may (or may not…..it’s still in the early stages) have another opportunity to speak up in Canada – this time in Toronto – later this summer.

On top of that, I may have some cool news with regards to super secret, 007, Cressey Performance seminar that we’re trying to put together for the Spring. Like the Toronto seminar, it’s still in the early stages, but suffice it to say, I’m setting myself to take over the world in 2012.

Hydration:  I’m happy to report that I’m still rocking Operation Hydration.

To reiterate, here’s my formula for how much water to drink per day.  Take your body weight and divide that by half, and THAT’S how many ounces of water you should take in per day…..MINIMUM!

Granted, at first, I was peeing like a race horse every 15 minutes, but my body has finally adjusted to increased water intake.

More importantly, though, I feel great.  I have more energy throughout the day, my skin just looks better, and more interestingly, my knees are less sucky.

Wouldn’t you know it:  ample hydration levels have a VERY positive effect on fascia.

3.  With regards to the Spinal Health & Core Training Seminar I’ll be presenting at this summer, one of the major themes I’ll be covering in my talk is the concept of taking more of a bottoms-up approach to core training as opposed to a top to bottom approach.

A term popularized by Mike Robertson, using more of a bottoms-up approach just means you’re taking into consideration the role the rectus abdominus plays in functional anatomy.  What does the RA do?

  • Trunk Flexion
  • Posterior Tilt of Pelvis

The latter point is important because depressing the rib cage (bringing the sternum closer to the pelvis) is exactly what you DON’T want to happen – especially considering the bevy of research out there demonstrating that repeated trunk flexion (crunches, sit-ups) – and yes, I understand the argument that crunches increase fluid flow and nutrition to the posterior disc, I read Bret Contreras’ article, too – is the exact mechanism for disc herniations.

Improving the force couples on the pelvis (especially with regards to posterior tilt) is still important, but there are certainly better ways to do so than crunches (which is more of a top to bottom approach).

A bottoms-up approach, conversely, takes into consideration the external obliques and how they’re often neglected like a red-headed stepchild.

In this case, by placing more focus on the external obliques – which do not have a direct pull on the sternum, and thus, do not depress the rib cage – and by utilizing exercises like reverse crunches and various chops/lifts, we can encourage posterior tilt without all the detrimental “disc herniation” business.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course – I’m going to be talking about deadlifts and squats, too – but hopefully this sparks a little interest.

4.  Speaking of Bret Contreras:  he wrote an excellent series on happiness that you can read HERE.

I especially loved the video he included showcasing his new digs in Phoenix. One part in particular that I liked was how Bret had a GHR stored in his bedroom.  Once I saw that I immediately started nodding my head as if that was the best idea in the history of the world………but Lisa put the kabosh on that really quick.

Nonetheless, Bret’s post really resonated with me and I think you’ll all enjoy it as well.

5.  Last week I posted a video of a presentation given by Susan Cain, author of Quiet:  The Power of Introverts.

To say that it struck a chord with a vast majority of fellow introverts out there would be an understatement. I was really overwhelmed with how many people contacted me via my email, as well as my Facebook and Twitter pages expressing how thankful they were that I shared the presentation.

A few days later, I actually went out and bought the book (link above), and it’s been an absolutely eye opening experience.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I read it several times, and I’m really hoping that Ms. Cain makes an appearance in Boston soon.

6.  And finally, as a cat-owner myself, I couldn’t help by LOL at this commercial.  Easily one of the funniest one’s I’ve seen in a while:


Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

Comments for This Entry

  • Brian Lelli

    I've had the same revelation with some foods after going gluten free. Though there are some foods (Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream) that are worth having gas for and thankfully my wife has yet to ban me from the frozen section; she knows better.  Oh and yes; Lara Bars are probably one of my favorite "health food finds" so far this year. Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Brownie post workout?? Yes please!!!

    March 19, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply to this comment

    • Anonymous

      hahahaha. Yeah, you're not going to find me giving up ice-cream anytime soon either. Granted, I only have it like MAYBE once a month.....but it's TOTALLY worth it. And, I CRUSH Larabars......easily two a day.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jeff Barnett

    After I went completely Paleo, I found that dairy is a problem food for me. Never realized it in my many months of being "almost Paleo." Soft cheeses and butter don't give me the same reaction, but now any form of milk will tear up my gut.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply to this comment

    • Anonymous

      I'm fine with butter - LOVE ghee. I also buy grassfed milk yogurt (in Whole Foods) and it seems to agree with me. I've definitely cut down on my cheese consumption, but with the farmer's market season right around the corner, I'm sure I'll be adding in some goat cheese into the mix soon.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply to this comment

  • P. J. Striet

    Tony: Do you guys utilize a bent knee hanging leg raises at all? Essentially, this is just a  reverse crunch (assuming it's performed properly. Thoughts?

    March 19, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply to this comment

    • Anonymous

      Hmmmm, we have on occasion. I guess my only real issue with it, is that most trainees will "cheat" and use momentum. But, assuming it's done correctly, I can see it being a viable option.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:07 am | Reply to this comment

  • Geoff Pritchard

    Great update on all things Tony (and Lisa)! Although, it only confirms that even though I eat a "respectable" diet, I will eventually have to leap into the realm of Paleo or Whole 30. I suppose with only 10 weeks until beach season, it's not a bad time to start.  Also, congrats on your success with the water and public speaking. Way to conquer the world in 2012!

    March 19, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply to this comment

  • Barath

    On a totally unrelated topic, I stumbled on this gem of a video (make sure to watch starting at 1:17): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbanhij1wSc&feature=related

    March 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jimmy Smith

    TG-Nice read. The whole paleo society is funny to a point. While I LOVE their emphasis on health (you can get big and lean while also improving your health, just not if you want to be XYZ pro bodybuilder size) the entire notion is false to a point, like I wrote on my site. The general theory around paleo eating that since our ancestors didn’t eat grains or dairy and since they didn’t have the common diseases that we see in todays society that we can’t eat those foods. Researchers looked at the  biomarkers of our ancestors and found that they didn’t have our diseases so we should eat that way right? It’s not a direct observation and there’s a TON of selection bias involved. It’s just an observational study that's used to generate a a theory, which is fine when you use it as a base for a longer, direct study.  Nothing about the paleo diet illustrates cause and effect, there's 1 million reason why cancer is so big these days and quite frankly, it's a slap in the face to cancer sufferers or their surviving family to even suggest that. History lesson: Species after species have traveled and found new foods and started eating them and they adapted and survived. How do I know? Look at every race and color around the global. NOTE: This is not to say that Tony is a paleo freak or implies any of the above, I just know you enjoy a good conversation. Jimmy Smith

    March 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lauren L

    Great info and I loved that cat commercial! Bret's cribs vid was pretty hilarious too. Was he trying to be funny or did I just find his deadpan super amusing? "this is my fan..." just killed me.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Stone

    Tony you arent the only one that loves Larabars they are the best. Also its good to hear your finding out about what foods work with you and dont work with you. I read Wheat Belly a few months ago and stopped eating wheat and it has made a big difference in how i feel, just like with you and the paleo diet and finding out what foods work for me and not work for me. I am trying to get out to Canada to check you out to the seminar flying from cali to there aint cheap lol.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply to this comment

    • Anonymous

      That's what I love about Paleo: while there ARE certain things set in stone, it's really about finding the (real) foods that work best for you and sticking to it. I am by no means a Paleo snob or anything - I ate some pizza the other day - but it seems to work for me. Hope to see you in Canada!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Good Reads of the Week: Edition 4 | LaVack Fitness

    [...] Technique Mistakes – Eric Cressey The Red Meat Scare: What Do We Make of It? - John Bowden Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday 3/19/12 – Tony Gentilcore The Power of Touch: Where Some Trainers Miss the Boat – Tony Gentilcore Q & A: Fixing the [...]

    March 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply to this comment

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