31 March 2010

Dispense with the Bullshit

There will come a time in every one of you motherfuckers' lives when you just don't have it in you to hit the gym. You're bored, you've stagnated on your lifts, you're hurting, your fucking dog died... who knows why you don't feel like lifting. The point is, you just don't. I know, you must think that I've never hit the wall in my life, but my fuckers, nothing could be further from the truth. I vacillate between periods of gangbusters, balls-out, ridiculously brutal and frequent lifts, and times when it's all I can do to drag my sorry ass into the gym.

Ah, well, everyone on the planet says that's the perfect time to take time off from the gym. Paint a picture, Mike Mentzer says! Spend time with your family, says Stuart McRobert! Re-charge your batteries, says Joe Weider! Well, fuck all that, says I. Every single successful lifter in history of whom I read credits unflinching, robotic, nearly psychotic, stringent adherence to a workout routine, and a complete abnegation of the practice of skipping workouts that leads to greatness. Read about Chuck Sipes- he never skipped a workout, according to various writers. Arnold skipped his dad's funeral to prep for the Olympia. DeFendis obliterated every facet of his life outside of training to achieve greatness. While I don't advocate the abandonment of life outside of the gym in the incredibly vain and self-absorbed pursuit of a brutal squat and a ripped midsection, I will point out that there is a lesson to be learned from these lunatics- skipping the gym is bullshit, and will lead to bullshit lifts and a bullshit physique.

If you're a hooligan, you eschew bullshit and all of its unpleasant trappings, and you grab life by its throat and fuck it into submission.

That stated, there's still going to come a time when you just don't feel like going to the fucking gym, and this is a post to address that time. I've posted in the past about various shit to pump you up, and I'll rehash it a bit here.

So, what to do when you hit the wall? Here's what I do.

1) Find some new music. Generally, I like shit filled with breakdowns, with brutal lyrics that I can growl in betwixt sets. To find it, I'll usually enter a band I like into www.last.fm's search engine and create a station, then download shit I like therefrom. That's worked wonders recently.

Embraced By Hatred pumps me the fuck up.
2) Watch part of a movie that pumps me the fuck up before the gym. No, I'm not talking about fucking Pumping Iron- that shit is for the Under Armor-clad douchebags on Bodyspace. Shit like Fight Club, Snatch, the fight scene in Alpha Dog... whatever gets your fucking blood pumping. I don't give a fuck if it's gay porn- just find something that gets your blood up.

3) Here's the most important one. Take this shit to heart, because it works.

Dispense with the bullshit you generally do in the gym. Cut out all of the extraneous shit you usually get into. To do this, CAREFULLY time your arrival at the gym. Give yourself NO MORE than 45 minutes before the gym closes, or you have to get the fuck out to go elsewhere. I'll generally shoot for anywhere between 30 and 45 mins. On the way to the gym, you should formulate a general plan of attack- shit you want to do while you're in the gym. This part is critical- make them high-percentage exercises. Shit that fucks up your whole body. Deads, clean and press, ultra-heavy BTNs, squats, etc. Then, BLAST THE LIVING FUCK OUT OF THAT EXERCISE FOR A HALF HOUR OR WHATEVER. It doesn't matter how many sets and reps you do- just make the most of your limited time in the gym. No chatting. No bullshitting. No meandering. No vacillation about what exercise you're going to do. Just pick something and murder the fuck out of it. Fuck it up like OJ did Nicole.

Do this at least 5 times a week. You might like the results. Once you've got your vim and vigor back, start rocking some two a days to capitalize. I just got back in the groove, and here's the type of thing I'm doing:

10 mins jumping rope, with as little rest as I can manage.
20 mins of as many sets of 3-5 reps with 115 on the bear as I can manage. Yeah, it's light- that's the point. I'm not out to set records- I'm out to increase my total workload without killing my heavy lifts later in the day.

Heavy as FUCK. The exercises vary, but I've been hitting a lot of Day 1: push/pull, Day 2: Squat, alternated 6 days a week, with arms thrown in on occasion.

200 lbs, and not fucking fat about it. 
To have the highs, you have to have the lows... the key is making those lows your punk bitch.

Time to go fuck life into submission, because if this chick is life's avatar, it's ready and waiting.

24 March 2010

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself

Teddy Roosevelt, greatest President and doubtless the coolest person ever to live in the United States of America, hated the fuck out of his crippled cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and I'll admit I'm not much a fan either.  Frankly, I take issue with just about everything FDR did, from the establishment (and no prescription or instruction for the abolishment of) a massive bloated social welfare system for which we cannot pay, the creation of the Social Security Card, which he knew for a fact would be used (illegally) by federal and state governments for yet another piece of identification, he married an ugly bitch who openly disliked sex for her money and name (something I mistakenly believed was the sole purview of women), he made it legal for the government to seize privately-held gold, and he was a complete fucking asshole to TR's son, Ted Jr.

You might be thinking, what the fuck does this have to do with lifting?  I'll tell you- FDR is the progenitor of one of the dumbest fucking nonsense statements ever to be uttered, up there with "it is what it is" and "we're gonna do what we do", namely "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  You might associate that statement with another political shithead, JFK, but as it turns out, the only useful thing to ever come out of JFK's mouth was Marilyn Monroe's thong.

Back to the point at hand- the statement "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" is patently fucking ridiculous, and an affront to both logic and the entire human experience.  There's plenty in the world to fear- if you see some motherfucker from the African bush bleeding from his pores, you should shit your pants in fear as you run the other fucking way, screaming at the top of your lungs for someone to black glass everything within 100 miles, because he's got fucking Ebola, and is thus a man to be feared.  And though you might think that's an extreme example, assholes who have the bad social grace to bleed out of their pores deserve to get nuked, because they're assholes, and should be feared, because if they bleed on you, you'll be an asshole too.   My logic is as unassailable as that twink werewolf from Twilight's cock is untouchable to females.

Now, how does this apply to lifting, you might ask?  Well, if you're asking that question, slap yourself, limp-wristedly, in the face for being a fucking pussy, because if you've never been scared in the gym, you've never lifted a weight worth talking about.  That's right- it's the motherfuckers who have never been scared who are the pussies, not the guys who brazenly strut around the gym fearlessly lifting weight far below their limit.  A man knows himself because he's tested himself- if you're untested, you're unproven, and thus unknown.  These are relative tests, by and large, because everyone has their own limits, but there are certain rites of passage- the first time you bench 315, or dead or squat 500+.  Getting under those weight initially is ridiculously scary, usually.  I knew a guy, years ago, who always benched with 25s, rather than 45s, simply because he could do more that way.  He'd pull off a rep or three with 6 25s on a side, but got pinned, hilariously, every time we loaded 3 wheels on a side for him.  Odd, and slightly sad, but fucking hilarious nonetheless.  His problem was "mental", as we like to call it, but that's just putting gold paint on dogshit- he was shit scared of the idea of 315lbs, and using wheels made that weight real.

So, when you're scared, what exactly is happening?  Fear's essentially the body's natural response to the onset of external stress, and manifests itself in the form of a massive adrenaline dump.  This adrenaline dump has a well-documented, evolutionary effect on the human nervous system- it either causes you to spazz or to freeze (which would enable you to fight off an attacker/animal/Mothra or would freeze you to the point where you appeared dead, at which point the attacker/animal/Mothra would terminate its attack), and in the first case can give you extra strength.  In either case, your fine motor skills are impaired, and your form while lifting will look like country-fried cowshit.  This is even worse in a competition, as people almost invariably perform worse when the stakes are higher (1)- I personally shake like I'm fucking palsied during my first two attempts at any competition.  It's not uncommon to get that sort of an adrenaline rush, or to have a somewhat unpleasant reaction thereto- just try not to pass the fuck out with several hundred lbs over your face or on your back.

So, how to combat this effect?  Sgt. Rory Miller believes that the best method by which to combat this is to train, extensively, so that your body can go on autopilot and ignore your brain altogether. I personally agree wholeheartedly, but I'll take it a bit further.  Utilizing shit like partials, walkouts, and supports is an awesome way to inure yourself to ridiculous weights and eliminate any fear you might have at handling a given weight.  In fact, these methods do you one better- they train your nervous system to dump adrenaline in a useful way, and they ready your body for future punishment with those weights in larger ranges of motion.  Additionally, I think of it as a nerve-saturator acting much in the same way squeezing your thumb after smacking the fuck out of it does- the pressure actually reduces the pain.  A 45 second google search did not provide me with the scientific reason doing that works, but we all know it does, so suck it.

I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to succumbing to this fear, and my BTN press has been remarkably shitty after nearly killing myself with the bar a few short months ago.  As such, I've tried a variety of methods to overcome this mental block, among them:
  • switching to front push press
  • doing lighter, higher rep sets with 225
  • focussing more on clean and press, and abandoning presses only altogether
  • doing partial btn presses with a variety of weights
Take a guess as to which ones worked and which ones did not.  Give up?  The partials, which included nearly full range BTN presses with strict form from the bottom position, push jerks from the midpoint, and overhead squats/BTN push press lockouts with >315lbs.  The result?  The vast majority of my fear of 315 is gone, I'm able to do between 5-10 BTN push press singles with better lockouts and very short rests, and far more stable lockouts.
I probably should have tried this... just for experimentation's sake.

What did I learn?  The only thing I have to fear is picking the wrong place to do a wildly dangerous exercise, and then continuing to do it after I'm exhausted.  

Stop fearing the weights and fucking attack them with partials.  That is all.

1) Miller, Rory.  Meditations on Violence.  Boston:  YMAA, 2008.  p. 58. (This book is the tits, by the way)

21 March 2010

Metabolic Typing, Parte Dvah: A Brief History of Metabolic Typing

Metabolic typing systems have existed about as long as an organized practice of medicine has.  Given the fact that prehistoric peoples practiced such detailed and systematic medical treatments as trepanation (there's evidence that prehistoric peoples bored holes in peoples' heads to treat anything from mental illness to head trauma in cave paintings and the fossil record) and acupuncture (Otzi the Iceman was covered in tattoos, many of which corresponded with traditional acupuncture points for treating the arthritis with which he appeared to have), it stands to reason that systems by which people identified the best method by which they could maintain their health via dietary choices were also extant.

According to the historical record, metabolic typing began with the Indians and Chinese, who are essentially the only two peoples worldwide whose traditional medicines have remained unfucked by modern medicine.Frankly, I don't put much stock in either system, but this is where the whole shitterree starts, so this is where we shall begin.

On Guard, I'll Let You Try My Wu-Tang Style

The Chinese divide people into 6 basic types, though one can be a confluence of more than one type.  There appears to be no real consensus on the types, but as nearly as I can tell, here are the basics(1 & 2):
  1. Hot (Yang abundance) Individuals have a sturdy body. They often feel hot, experience dryness of the mouth, prefer cold drinks when thirsty, have a reddish complexion, are easily annoyed, and tend to suffer from insomnia. They usually discharge scanty urine of a dark color, and have hard stools. Upon examination of the tongue, it appears red with a yellowish coating, or may have no coating at all. Such individuals are very sensitive to high temperatures.
  2. Cold (Yin abundance) Individuals have a frail body. They usually feel cold, have an aversion to wind, and their limbs are cold. They prefer hot or warm food and drinks, are reluctant to speak, get easily tired and have a pale or whitish complexion. They usually discharge clear urine frequently, stools are soft, and tend to suffer from diarrhea easily. Upon examination of the tongue, it appears pink and bulky with a whitish coating. Such individuals are very sensitive to cold temperatures.
  3. Dry  (Qi abundance?) Individuals belonging to this constitution feel thirsty easily and experience dryness in the eyes, throat, lips and skin. When common flu is prevalent, they will usually have a cough without mucus. Such people tend to be skinny and do not put on weight easily. Their common complaints are itchy skin, nose or eyes, and constipation - all due to lack of lubrication. They are very sensitive to low levels of humidity.
  4. Damp (Phlegm and might also be a Qi deficiency) A person of this constitution perfers sweet food. They experience heaviness in the body, dizziness, and tire easily. They look fatigued and sleepy in day time, and snore easily during sleep. Such people have a low metabolic rate. They tend to become overweight or bloated due to retention of water. The person may look fat but is drained of energy. The tongue looks moist and bulky, and is covered with a greasy coating. Such people are very sensitive to damp weather.
  5. Somehow the 5 elements get worked into it, as can a blood superabundance or deficiency

According to Dr. Henry Lu, "The individual's balanced diet, therefore, is always a mixture of foods with different flavors and energies suited to the needs of the individual's physical constitution." Thus, instead of focusing on macronutrient profiles as we do in the West, the Chinese actually base their metabolic typing diets on food flavors, energies, and movement.  Yeah, I know- food movement?  What the fuck does that even mean?  That aside, the Chinese might be onto something with the flavors and energies idea, in my opinion, at least insofar as certain flavors might suit a person's palate better, and therefore lend themselves better to assimilation.  "Flavors can be pungent, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Inherent energies are cold, hot, warm, cool, and neutral, and are food qualities quite apart from the temperature of the food. Food movement includes outward, inward, upward, downward, glossy, and obstructive. For a person vomiting, a food with a downward movement might be recommended. A patient with a runny nose might solve that problem with an obstructive food. Pain with an inguinal hernia might be relieved with an upward food."  (2)

Slurpees, Not Casinos
The Indian Metabolic types are somewhat simpler to discern.  Ayurvedic medicine divides people into three distinct doshas, and each individual is comprised of varying degrees of the three types.  Ideally, you'd like to have 33% of each to have a balanced internal system, but most people have a dominant type, for which they must compensate with diet in order to achieve optimal health.  These three types, Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha also corresponded with the 5 elements to create 7 subsets of the 3 doshas.  They are (1,2,3,4):
  1. Vata (Ether/Space and Air) People with more Vata in their constitutions tend to be thin, with a slender frame and prominent joints, delicate skin that is naturally dry, and dry voluminous hair. They are quick and lively in thought, speech and action, and make friends easily. There is an element of airiness to their step, a quality of lightness in their laughter. Change is usually their second name. They are light sleepers and gravitate towards warm environments. Creativity and enthusiasm are hallmarks of balanced Vata.
  2. Pitta (Fire and Water) People with more Pitta in their constitutions tend to be of medium proportions, with a frame that is neither petite nor heavy, warm skin that is very fair or ruddy and may be sensitive, and fine hair that tends towards premature graying or thinning. They are sharp and determined in thought, speech and action. There is an element of purpose to their step, an intensity to their voice. Ambition is usually their second name. They are moderate sleepers and gravitate towards cooler environments. Self-confidence and an entrepreneurial spirit are hallmarks of balanced Pitta.
  3. Kapha (Water and Earth) People with more Kapha in their constitutions tend to be of larger proportions, with a robust frame and padded joints, thick smooth skin that may tend towards oiliness, and rich, wavy hair. They are stable and calm in thought, speech and action, and are easy-going and supportive in relationships. There is an element of steadiness to their step, a quality of serenity in their smile. Loyalty is usually their second name. They are long, heavy sleepers and uncomfortable in damp, clammy environments. Calm and sweetness of disposition are hallmarks of balanced Kapha. 
  4. Vata - Pitta (combination of Vata and Pitta doshas)
  5. Vata - Kapha (combination of Vata and Kapha doshas)
  6. Pitta - Kapha (combination of Pitta and Kapha doshas)
  7. Vata - Pitta - Kapha (combination of all 3 doshas in balance)

Like TCM, Food in Ayurveda is divided into 6 tastes (neutral, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent), which are thought to have varying effects on individual's types. There is a diet for each of the 3 basic types (doshas) while the combined metabolic types will use parts of several different diets.  Avurvedic medicine takes it a step further than Chinese medicine, though, in that it dictates the manner in which one should eat, sleep, drink, exercise, and live based on your unique combination of the three doshas.  A bit much, in my opinion, and I'm not really in the habit taking medical advice from a group of people who wash, shit, and bury their dead in the same river from which they draw their drinking water.  In the event that you are, though, take any of the Ayurvedic Typing tests available online.  I took the one offered by Deepak Chopra and confirmed that I am a Pitta type (Vata: 3 Pitta: 5 Kapha: 2)- had I gotten Kapha out of the fucking thing, I'd tell your to avoid the whole thing altogether, but check it out if you've got some time to kill.  For more information on that shit, you can check out the Ayurbalance site I posted in the bibliography.  And for the love of 8 lb, 6 oz., tiny baby jesus, don't give Matt Furey a fucking scent- if you want info on Indian training techniques, clubbells, or diet, go here for free e-texts, which I guarantee you is the source of that fucker's training "secrets".

Gyros and Baklava
The Greeks also formulated a metabolic typing system by which they treated mental and physical disease, based on what they called the four humors.  This system was established around 500 BC with a great deal of input from Hippocrates and persisted until well into the Middle Ages, and focuses on four liquids common in the body and ascribed a variety of issues to problems with each.   Hippocrates's theories became known as "humorism " or "humoralism" and basically stated that everyone has all four, but that the preponderance of one relative to the others (which he called "dyscrasia") is the root of sickness. Each of these humors was believed to be associated with one of the four elements which, when combined in various proportions, make up all things:
  • The humor of Blood, associated with the liver and with Air, which is the hot and moist element. A person in whom blood predominates is said to be "sanguine," from the Latin "sanguis" (blood).  People who are blood dominant are considered to be:  Self-composed, Not given to worry, Liberal, Tends to follow rather than lead, Cordial, Peaceable, 
    Talkative, Not averse to change, Adjusts easily, Tends to prefer informality, Aware of surroundings, Impetuous, Impulsive, Lacking in perseverance, Lacking in initiative, Prone to carelessness, hedonism, flightiness, and lust.
  • The humor of Yellow Bile, associated with the spleen and with Fire, which is the hot and dry element. A person in whom yellow bile predominates is said to be "choleric," from the Greek "khole" (bile).  Yellow Bile dominant people are associated with the following traits: Self-composed, Not given to worry, Persuasive, Independent, Rarely shows embarrassment, Tends to lead rather than follow, Persistent, Insistent, Decisive, Dynamic, Impetuous, Impulsive, Touchy, Prone to hypocrisy, deceit, pride, and anger.
  • The humor of Black Bile, associated with the gall bladder and with Earth, which is the cold and dry element. A person in whom black bile predominates is said to be "melancholic," from the Greek "melas" (black) and "khole" (bile).  They're associated with being: Sensitive, Intuitive, Self-conscious, Easily embarrassed, Easily hurt, Introspective, Sentimental, Moody, Likes to be alone, Empathetic, Often artistic, Often fussy and perfectionist, Deep, Prone to depression, avarice, and gluttony.  
  • The humor of Phlegm, associated with the lungs and brain and with Water, which is the cold and moist element. A person in whom phlegm predominates is said to be "phlegmatic," from the Greek "phlegmatikos" (abounding in phlegm) .  Pleghmatics are Peaceful, Easy-going, Deliberative, Faithful, Reliable,Relatively unaffected by environment, Reserved, Distant, Slow in movement, Constant in mood, Not prone to worry, Prone to stagnation and sloth.
According to a weirdly Catholic website that provided the most in-depth examination of this pre-Christian medical system, "Humorism greatly affected medieval cuisine as cooks endeavored to prepare foods in proper balance, for example, cold, moist fish would be served with hot, dry spices or prepared with wine, which was also considered hot and dry; game was considered to be dry, so was prepared in moist fats; vinegar was considered cold and dry, so was tempered with honey, which was considered hot and moist, etc. The goal in cooking for the ill, however, wasn't "a balanced diet," but a diet that would counteract the effects of the humor causing the illness. 

Note that it isn't the actual temperature or actual liquidity of a food that determines its classification as hot or cold, dry or moist; it is its inherent quality and its effects on the body. The degrees of hotness/coldness and dryness/moistness were often rated on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest.

Humorist theory also affected cooking techniques: dry foods were boiled instead of roasted, moist foods were baked instead of boiled, and so on." (5)

As you can see, all of these traditional systems share a decent amount in common, which means they all independently arrived at similar conclusions, making them at least somewhat valid systems of thought, or that they all arose out of an earlier universal system that coexisted with the pre-Chinese acupuncture techniques of the Neolithic era.  Either way, that they persisted for thousands of years lends a bit of credence for them, and provides a fairly solid basis upon which modern methods of metabolic typing were formulated.
If this shit bores you, you suck.  In any event, here's a palette cleanse for those of you whose brains now hurt, and expect some training shit and a new Baddest Motherfuckers entry this week as well.

1.  "Constitution and Disease." http://www.tcmadvisory.com/BasicTheoryofTCM/info/20080925_392.html
2. "Diets Based On Metabolic Type." http://www.chichoices.com/metabolic_type_diets.php
3.  "What Is My Dosha?"  http://www.ayurbalance.com/explore_articlethreedoshas.htm
4.  Wharton, Charles Heizer.  Metabolic Man:  Ten Thousand Years From Eden.  Orlando:  Winmark Publishing, 2001.  
5.  "The Four Temperments."  http://www.fisheaters.com/fourtemperaments.html

16 March 2010

Metabolic Typing Part 1.5: If You Need a Little More Convincing

  • I've been a lazy motherfucker about blogging recently, arousing the ire of a bunch of you, but fuck it- I work for free, which means I work whenever the fuck I feel like it, haha.

I know that some of you are still highly skeptical of my initial premise- that people of different racial/ethnic phenotypes are biologically varied enough to justify markedly different diets. First, consider this- natural selection, as an educated person knows, is a phenomenon in nature in which the mean phenotype of a given species moves a fraction of the way towards the local optimum phenotype, while gene flow causes the mean phenotypes to be averaged. Thus, ethnic pheotypes develop first according to environment, and then are gradually modified by gene flow over time. (TPG 118-128) You might think, upon first reflection, that this would merely mean that a person's ethnic diet would rely solely on the area from which his ancestors came and the available flora and fauna therein, but think for a second about what else would occur- the area in which those people lived would also exert a profound effect upon that ethnicities' biological makeup as well. Thus, not only would they develop a prounounced increase in metabolic abolity to digest lean meats if they lived in a rocky, mountainous area like the Caucasus, where goats might be a prevalent source of calories, but the people living there and hunting those goats would develop greater lung capacity and ability to metabolize oxygen, due to the altitude in which they lived. Their physiques would then change over time, both ontogenetically and genetically, to facilitate success in these regions.

It is this way, through both a tradition of very specific diet and exercise, that certain ethnicities developed a genetic predisposition to certain types of exercise- the Kalenjin of Kenya became the world's most dominant runners due to a long and storied tradition of running great distances at high altitudes, the Norse (described throughout ancient texts about the Germanic tribes as 'immense' and 'strong') developed world-famous size and strength, allowing them to dominate modern strength competitions, etc. (PP 171-172, 181)

As you can imagine, these taditional diets and lifestyles would continually reinforce themselves, creating a distinct biological phenotype for that ethnicity. It's not just the placement of their organs or the levels of efficiency displayed therein that would change, though, or simply their skeletal structure. The composition of their muscle fibers, in addition to a genetic predisposition toward an ideal muscular bodyweight, would also emerge, which would then create in that phenotype a distinct biological nutrtitive need.

Stay with me, baby birds.
Examples of titties, type 2, and type 1 fibers, respectively.

The human body is comprised of two major types of muscle fibers- type 1 and type 2. Type 1 muscle fibers are called slow twitch fibers, which are slow to contract, have an abundance of mitochondria and are surrounded by capillaries to bring in nutrients and carry away waste- these are the fibers that facilitate success in endurance sports. Type 2, obviously, would be the type associate with strength, contracting and relaxing faster, having higher glycolytic activity (that means greater use of muscle glycogen, and greater stores thereof, for the slow ones), greater phosphagen stores, and less capillaries.(NT 151) All muscle fibers can respond to athletic training by improving their ability to perform according to the way they're trained. Training aerobically, like the Kalenjin, increases the mitochondria and capillaries in type 2 muscle fibers, while training anaerobically enhances the phosphagen system of the type 1 fibers. Thus, even though most people have a muscular composition of about 50/50 type 1 and 2 fibers, training aerobically or anaerobically can make the fibers unsuited to a certain type of training more akin to those that are. This is what makes those crazy-ass log running Xavante indians in Brazil good at running long distances carrying 200 lb logs. Westerners, however, suck shit at that sport.

Thus, the demands their physiques would place on a phenotype's respective metabolisms would be altered even further. It is this combination- dietary availability, traditional recreational activities, traditional work activities, and basic evironment- that creates the basis on which metabolic types have arisen. It's because we no longer stick to our traditional stomping grounds, due to displacement and migration owing to the general shittiness of modern life, that have left us utterly confused as to how to eat. Well, that and ridiculous subsidies by the asshole peddlers of shit we shouldn't eat, like corn, the makers of Twinkies, and all of the other evil motherfuckers that comprise multinational corporations worldwide.

Next up, the history of metabolic typing, so help me Odin.

Felsenstien, Joseph. "Contrasts for a Within-Species Comparative Method." Modern Developments in Theoretical Population Genetics. Slatkin, Montgomery, and Michael Veville, Eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Ivy, John, and Robert Portman. Nutrient Timing. Laguna beach: Basic Health Publications, 2004.

09 March 2010

Metabolic Typing Gets in the Mix, Finally

Before I even kick this motherfucker off, I enjoy you people to reread my shit on Biological Individuality, as all of this shit is intertwined, and the very basis of Metabolic Typing lies within the central concept of Biological Individuality.

Assuming you've done so, let's move on. This shit is fairly heady, but if I lose some of you along the way, google is your friend, as is Amazon. Don't be a bitch and bail because the concepts are too weighty for you to wrap your arms around. First off, all me to point out exactly how my conception of nutrition works.
This pretty much lays it out in simple chapter and verse.  The basis of the whole philosophy is Paleolithic nutrition.  Paleolithic people, however, had widely varied diets, depending on where in the world they called home, and what flora and fauna was available to them at the time.  That's where the rest of the ChAoS and PAIN nutritional considerations come in.

Roger Williams, the father of the modern concept of Biochemical Individuality, claimed that "every individual organism that has a distinctive genetic background has a distinctive nutritional need which must be met for optimal well-being." (BI 190)  The American Medical Association, supplement companies, and your doctors will have you believe differently- we're all exactly the same organic machines propelled through life utilizing the exact same nutritional regimen, and requiring precisely the same fuel for our biological powerplants.  until recently, most in the scientific community refused to even acknowledge the need for differing nutrition in elite athletes, believing instead that a Centrum was nutritional overkill, and that everyone needed the precise 60-30-10 ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to achieve optimal health.  If that makes sense to you, consider this- the Roman philosopher Lucretius, who was a student of Epicurus (the founder of the eponymous school of philosophy based on the belief that pleasure is the chief good in life), stated 2300 years ago that "what is food for one man may be fierce poison to others."(MM 185)  Thus, practitioners of modern medicine have actually regressed in their understanding of human nutrition, much like the astronomers' adoption of geocentrism and abandonment of heliocentrism in the Dark Ages.

Super fucking sweet, right?  When it comes to the issue of nutrition, most people in the medical science and nutrition communities are like mongoloids with horse blinders on- about as useful for advice in the extreme strength athletics community as that bitch from Precious.

I suppose, at their core, they're partly right- deep down, we're fundamentally the same biological organism, in that we all share similar nervous, endocrine, and hormone delivery systems.  As such, we're kind of like paper snowflakes- we might be cut from the same material, but we're all remarkably different thereafter.  What similarities do you share with Gabriele Sidibe?  I hope not many... that bitch is barely even a human being.
Captain Ahab?

So, we've established that doctors know fuck-all, and that we need a modern-day Captain Ahab to off that pig pictured above.  Getting back to the point at hand, though, Paleolithic nutrition is still the basis of any sane dietary prescription due to the fact that the human genome has changed less that .02% in the last 40,000 years.(PD 9)  In the grand scheme of things, that seems unimportant, as homo sapiens have been around for around a million years.  They, however, didn't diverge from Neanderthals, who were almost exclusively carnivorous, until around 250,000-500,000 years ago, however.  That means that as recently as 250,000 years ago, humanity was as carnivorous as tigers.  Cro-magnons, who sort of briged the physical gap between neanderthals and homo sapiens sapiens didn't even arise until 36,000 years ago, so the fact that we've only had a deviation of .02% of our genetic code since before Cro-magnons arose is significant.(TPG 157-158)  Given our similarities to pre-modern humans, it would stand to reason we share many of the same dietary requirements as our pre-modern ancestors.

There's more to our dietary requirements, however, than simply genetics.  Change can occur within a generation due to ontogenic biological alterations.  Blending inheritable traits between populations constantly introduces new variants to a gene pool(TPG 2), as do utero conditions (temp, water, O2 supply), leading to a wholly different biological makeup and subsequent nutritional requirements than preceding generations.  Thus, it's a combination of heredity and environment that create vast biological individuality in each individual, which makes determining an ideal diet somewhat difficult, and necessitate a method by which you can determine your specific nutritional requirements.

I told you motherfuckers it was about to get heady.  Chew on that shit, and I'll hit you guys with a history of the search for accurate means of determining metabolic type next time. 

Cordain, Loren, Paleo Diet. Hoboken:  John Wiley and Sons, 2002.  (PD)
Slatkin, Montgomery and Michael Veville, Ed.  Modern Developments in Theoretical Population Genetics.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2002.  (TPG)
Williams, Roger.  Biochemical Individuality.  New Canaan:  Keats Publishing, 1956. (BI)
Wharton, Charles Heizer.  Ten Thousand Years From Eden:  Metabolic Man.  Orlando: Winmark Publishing, 2001.  (MM)