Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: The Day After Hurricane Sandy Edition

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WHEW – well, that wasn’t fun. Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance yesterday and hammered the east coast.  From what I can tell, we didn’t get it too bad here in Boston (I had to dodge a lot of fallen trees on my way home last night, and understandably there were areas that had blackouts), but we survived relatively unscathed.

Sure it was an inconvenience, but I’m simultaneously grateful that that was all we here in Beantown had to deal with.

Unfortunately, I know that’s NOT the case further south towards the Cape and especially down in the New Jersey/CT/NYC area.

I’ve been glued to the news this morning and have seen all the reports of massive flooding, fires, and blackouts, so my thoughts and prayers goes out to all of those who are most affected.

1. Coincidentally enough we hosted out very first annual Cressey Performance Fall Seminar this past Sunday, and while some attendees from the NYC and Connecticut area had to (understandably) jet out early due to the pre-hurricane festivities, it was a massive success!

I first want to thank EVERYONE who attended and made it such an awesome event to begin with.  The feedback we’ve been receiving has been nothing short of “the best thing since sliced bread” (only a slight exaggeration), and we’re really looking forward to making next year’s addition even better!

I’ll be handicapping the entire day later this week and offering up some highlights/knowledge bombs that were offered by all the presenters (myself, Eric Cressey, Brian St. Pierre, Nate Tiplady, Eric Schoenberg, Greg Robins, and Chris Howard), so stay tuned for that.

All I’ll divulge now – as it relates to MY presentation – is:

1.  About fifteen minutes before I was scheduled to speak, Michelle, our office manager, walked up to me and handed me this note:

For those who can’t read the print, it says:

Those are the worst pants I have ever seen.

How’s that for a vote of confidence??? Hahahahahaha.

2.  As part of my introduction I was thanking everyone for coming and for taking a day out of their busy schedules to come to the seminar.  I think my exact words were, “I know many of you could be working, spending time with family, or sitting at home watching football today – by the way, the Pats won!”

Then all I hear is a massive “nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.”

Like an a-hole I spoiled the game for those who were recording it on DVR and waiting to watch it when they got home.


In my defense (sorta), the Pats won 45-7, so it’s not like it was a close game.  But still, I felt a bit sheepish about it and definitely made a mental note to myself to try not to spoil results of games in the future.

Next thing you know I’ll just tell people who haven’t seen The Sixth Sense yet that Bruce Willis is dead the entire time!

3. Brian St. Pierre and I were catching up over the weekend and we both got on the topic of vitamin D.  I’ve long been an advocate of vitamin D supplementation and feel  it’s one of those things that people should look into just for the health benefits alone.  Well that, and because most people are woefully deficient.

Anyways, we were discussing dosages and what’s an acceptable range for most people (of course, there are many factors that come into play here: overall exposure to sunlight, light skinned people need less than darker skinned people, for example), and I had mentioned that because I rarely ever get exposure to sunlight and that I’m whiter than a Coldplay concert, I usually take around 5,000 I.Us per day, which is definitely not out of the ordinary or “aggressive” by any means.

We had a lengthy discussion, but the take home message from Brian was, “you should at least get your levels checked so that you KNOW where you’re at, because if you’re too high, you could be doing more harm than good.”

As it happens, he just sent me this message yesterday via email:

Here is an interesting study that just got published a few days ago – http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047458

They looked at mortality statistics and people’s vitamin D levels.  They determined the best levels were 20-40ng/mL, with 30-40ng/mL showing the best numbers.  5,000IU per day will take you FAR beyond those numbers.

Overall adverse events (overall mortality, some cancers, CVD, and fractures and falls) have been noted when levels get into the 40’s and higher.  Specifically there was a study in Denmark where when people’s levels were 56ng/mL or higher they had a 42% increased risk of dying than people with a level of just 20ng/mL – http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/early/2012/05/09/jc.2012-1176.abstract.

Just some food for thought.

It’s not to say that people shouldn’t supplement with vitamin D, and that in certain circumstances people shouldn’t have higher levels as directed by their doc (which happens), but in general I think many take a good thing too far.

4. For those interested, I recently wrote a little sumthin sumthin on kettlebell training over at TribeSports.com.

I like kettlebells.  It think they’re a valuable “tool in the toolbox.” But what puts a bad taste in my mouth is when people who are passionate about what they like – whether it’s powerlifting, yoga, TRX, and yes, kettlebells – feel that their way is the ONLY way.

In this article appropriately titled Tony Gentilcore on Kettlebells, I shed some light on what I feel are the best uses and applications for most trainees, and I even provide a video of a staff in-service I filmed a few months ago breaking down the KB swing and get-up.

5.  Speaking of staff in-services:  we “host” a weekly in-service for our staff and interns where we cover a bevy of topics ranging from upper and lower body assessment, program design, anatomy, or anything you can think of.

While myself, Chris and Greg like to think we’re the bees knees when it comes to presenting to the staff, the highlight, of course, is whenever it’s Eric’s turn and he goes all Jedi on us and blows our minds.

He recently filmed an in-service on movement training that, while it sounds about as exciting as watching NASCAR – was really informative.

And that’s just ONE example. He’s also filmed in-services on breathing patterns, shoulder anatomy, and how to deal with sports hernias, just to name a few.

And they’re ALL available to you – along with other content from Mike Robertson, Tyler English, and Dave Schmitz – by joining the Elite Training Mentorship, which is a monthly membership site geared towards personal trainers and coaches who are seeking to take their knowledge base to the next level.

I’ve noted this service in the past, but thought I’d mention it again now because after listening to Eric speak the other day it reminded me just how valuable this resource is and how it will make anyone who invests in themselves exponentially better and separate themselves from the masses.

6. I normally don’t go out of my way to post shirtless pictures of myself, but I recanted on this one for a few reasons:

  • I didn’t take this picture myself.
  • I’m not standing in front of a bathroom mirror.
  • It’s Halloween, and like most bald dudes this year, going as Bane is way more badass than Mr. Clean or Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

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

  • Sean Norwood

    Tony, The CP seminar on Sunday was amazing! Big thanks to you and the rest of the CP staff for all of their great presentations. I learned a ton, and now have a lot more to go and research! -Sean

    October 30, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply to this comment

  • Barath

    I have to compliment you on your natural ability to look utterly creepy. Whether it's Bale or Mr. Clean, or hell, even that innocuous picture at the top of this page......

    October 30, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mike A.

    Great job this weekend; the seminar was awesome. I look forward to next years installment!

    October 30, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lars Krogstad

    WHERE DID YOU GET THAT MASK??? (great excuse to go shirtless, nice going ;))

    October 30, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply to this comment

  • Paul F.

    I find the vitamin D subject very interesting. I also have been taking about 5000IU a day for quite some time. I just "assumed" that I was deficient too. Didn't know that I may actually be doing more harm than good. Good reason to have it checked.

    October 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Yeah, me too. I don't think 5,000 IUs is out of the ordinary or anything, but after talking with Brian a little bit on the topic, it definitely made me pause and think that I should at least get my levels checked.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • Ross

    Welcome to Con Air. Mr Garland 'The Marietta Mangler' Greene

    October 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Michael Richards

    The seminar was fantastic. It was one of the best I have been to in a while. Unfortunately out here in Mystic CT our gym got flooded :( we are going to have to move everything out and go to a temporary location until we can get the gym cleaned up.

    October 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Monika Volkmar

    I am so sad I missed the seminar this past weekend!!!! SO SAD. It was my own fault. I couldn't get my passport application on time. It's no excuse... But I was there in spirit!

    October 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Josh Heenan

    Tony, In regards to too much Vitamin D, check this out. I couldn't pull up the full text, but some interesting correlations noted possibly correlating too much or too little to lower testosterone levels. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.p.atsu.edu/pubmed/23042450

    October 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jonathan

    Hey Tony, Its a great idea to get your D levels checked when supplementing as absorption rates vary from person to person, but for most people 5K IU per day is a good place to start. This is recommended by the Vitamin D council. A couple of comments regarding the studies referenced by Brian. "They looked at mortality statistics and people’s vitamin D levels. They determined the best levels were 20-40ng/mL, with 30-40ng/mL showing the best numbers. 5,000IU per day will take you FAR beyond those numbers." Vitamin D council suggests that the appropriate blood levels should be between 50-80 ng/mL This study's conclusion was that overall mortality was about the same for blood levels between 20-40 ng/mL , yet that might be because even the upper level stated is still considered to be below the optimum levels for D efficacy. Vit D lower level should be minimum 50 ng/mL , and for most people the 5K per day level will appropriately raise blood levels to this point. - references available from vitamindcouncil.org. The second study has been scrutinized regarding the way the data was interpreted and other authors have argued that the upper level limit quoted and the assumption that it produced higher over all mortality rates then the more moderate levels is inaccurate for many reasons. If you pull the study and read the letters after you see among other things "Potential health benefits of vitamin D are currently hotly debated. Our data demonstrate that it is absolutely necessary to measure both, 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, before any conclusions from epidemiological studies about harmful vitamin D effects can be drawn." At this point there is more data suggesting that the 5K per day level is safe and appropriate in order to raise Vit D levels to an effective level. There are a lot of studies that conclude that Vitamin D supplementation is not effective yet these studies are often done with inadequate levels of Vit D to begin with, often 2000IU or less. So I would keep championing the 5K IU levels Tony along with the great advice to have levels checked before supplementing and then again 3+ months later to see how effective the 5K has been in raising blood levels. For anyone interested www.viitamindcouncil.org is a great resource for all info regarding D.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kedric

    * in banes voice* Welcome to the gun show. Did you find Batman and engage it a fist fight? Pretty bummed that I missed out on the seminar,woes of living on the other side of the world. Finally thank for the always awesome miscellaneous miscellany Mondays,really enjoy it.

    November 1, 2012 at 6:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • galapogos

    I have been supplementing with about 5000IU a day for a few years now(much more when I feel I'm getting sick), and I get my Vit D levels checked every year. Surprisingly, my levels have been dropping over the past 3 years. It was 80ng/mL in 2010, then dropped to 64ng/mL in 2011, and just earlier this year I got 37ng/mL. Does anyone know why this might be the case? I'm 33 and live in a tropical country (but with a desk-bound job so I'm still pretty pasty). I buy my vit D3 in bulk though, so it's about a year's supply and I didn't put them in the fridge so might that have caused a loss in potency in the gels?

    November 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Reply to this comment

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