Here’s another great batch of links for you to enjoy. While you’re reading them, I am preparing to head off to the first weekend of my personal training course. Wish me luck…
Pure and unadulterated lifting
- Developing connective tissue is just as important as developing strong muscles. Bodybuiltbetter reminds us to spend time thinking about our ligaments and tendons too.
- Chad Waterbury posts infrequently so you might have missed this article about how to get bigger arms. This isn’t the usual “do twenty sets of biceps curls supersetted with twenty sets of triceps pushdowns” advice either. Chad has some interesting tips to help you break your plateau.
- Complementary Training discusses the use of subjective factors in regulating an athlete’s training. An interesting choice of subject at the moment, I thought…
- Vintage Barbell shows a picture of Hermann Goerner pressing a 330lb barbell – 2 3/8″ thick…
- Clay Hyght discusses the principles of functional and non-functional hypertrophy, often termed myofibrillar hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. From the tone of his article, he is setting up a deck of cards in order to knock them down, which could be interesting. For similar reading, check out Project Goliath on hypertrophy (part one, and part two) and Kelly Baggett on the myth of non-functional hypertrophy (although I have posted these links before).
Diet, paleo diet and evolutionary adaptations
- Matt Metzgar has drawn our attention to an interview with Loren Cordain at Healthy Fellow. Metzgar quotes Cordain saying that: “…there likely were two norms for meal patterns in foragers. First, a large single meal at the end of the day wherein the hunters brought their spoils back to the group and/or the gatherers brought their food back to the group for a central meal. Men almost always were the hunters, whereas women, children, the elderly and men were the gatherers. If food existed in camp then everyone stayed in camp and tended to nibble and snack all day long. Hence three formal meals were not the norm and intermittent fasting was a common pattern, particularly among the hunters.” Metzgar himself comments: “First, this shows a sex difference in regards to fasting: men were more likely to fast than women. Second, it shows that intermittent fasting happened on an irregular basis.”
- The whole “butter makes you smart” idea is going mainstream, as this Boing Boing post makes clear. Seth Roberts, who has discussed this issue before, explains his thoughts on the subject.
- Did paleolithic people eat any grains at all? HuntGatherLove investigates but Wired have seen the story too…
- Apparently, the BBC reports that there is an ingredient in dark chocolate that may reduce cholesterol. Apparently, chocolate with high levels of cocoa solids is rich in polyphenols, which other studies suggest can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Health and mobility
- I liked this personalised message to the fat person inside all of us…
- The Atlantic has published an interesting article titled Lies, Damned Lies and Medical Statistics, about the work of John Ioannidis. Seth Roberts explains why we should read it and why the contribution of John Ioannidis is so important. Ioannidis has published several papers saying that medical research is far less reliable than you might think. More comment on this topic is available here.
- Become an immortal by reading up about the proceeds of the Immortality Conference 2010 that was held recently in Brussels at Fight Ageing.
- Another interesting post from Fight Ageing is a discussion of sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle as a result of the ageing process. Fight Ageing says: “With advancing age, muscles weaken and lose mass. This makes it harder for older people to gain the benefits of exercise, and eventually it leads to frailty. This process of degeneration was given the name sarcopenia some twenty years ago, and efforts have been underway for some years to have the FDA recognize it as a disease rather than a normal part of ageing. Until the FDA does so, there is no way to raise significant funds for research and development, or make the results of what research has taken place commercially available.”
- Looking to keep the “barefoot” experience through the winter? Check out this article from Hunt Gather Love about the various options, including traditional footwear, for snowy climes.
- And the increasingly awesome Overcoming Bias has a great discussion about whether cancer is purely an industrial phenomenon. They draw attention to a recent press release as follows: “Finding only one case of the disease in the investigation of hundreds of Egyptian mummies, with few references to cancer in literary evidence, proves that cancer was extremely rare in antiquity. The disease rate has risen massively since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer — proving that the rise is not simply due to people living longer. … The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization.”
- Clarence Bass has published a new article on the anti-ageing medication trend. Anti-ageing is there defined as “a medical specialty founded in 1993 and dedicated to a new approach to aging and to preventative medicine. The purpose of anti-aging medicine is not to live longer as an older person but rather to delay the onset of the aging process and give people a greater number of healthy, quality years. Anti-aging medicine believes that aging is a treatable condition which can be slowed through existing medical and scientific interventions.” It is an informative article but there is a horrible use of statistics at the beginning that put me off, stating that the average life expectancy of a person in the Middle Ages was 40 years. I thought that everybody knew that this is a function of the huge infant mortality rate. It’s a bit like saying that the average number of legs on a human being is 1.99999 because there will always be some people who only have one leg. It’s a completely meaningless number. As I understand it, people who lived past the age of about 5 years old tended to reach reasonably old age. It certainly wasn’t the case that everybody dropped dead at around 40, as this statistic implies. (See here for more Clarence Bass articles).
- And Conditioning Research has noted a recent study about lumbar disc herniations (very popular amongst my friends and colleagues) stating that “the results of this case-control study reveal a positive association between weight and lumbar disc herniation… A non-significantly lowered risk of lumbar disc disease was found in men with high levels of cumulative bodybuilding and strength training.”
Other interesting stuff
- Chris Brogan expains why you have to push past the feeling of defeat in order to make progress. Sounds like he may have been a lifter in another life…
- And the PLoS blogs have a great article about science journalism that discusses the gaping gap between scientific research and the public media.
That’s it for this week. Same time next week for another batch of great links…