Sunday, September 28, 2008
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A New View of Energy Balance
By Dr. John M Berardi, Ph.D.
A Violent Uprising?
Arthur Schopenhauer, a preeminent 19th century philosopher, once said that truth isn’t always as easily accepted as we’d like it to be. Specifically, he stated: "Truth always goes in 3 stages. First it is ridiculed, then violently opposed, and finally accepted as self-evident."
The Current View of Energy Balance
The next image below represents the conventional view of the energy balance equation during weight loss. As the diagram represents, when "calories out" exceed "calories in," body mass should be lost.
Now, in looking at these pictures it’s important to understand exactly what they represent. These pictures represent a scientific model, or in other words, a mental picture, or idealization, based on physical concepts and aesthetic notions that account for what scientists see regarding a particular phenomenon. And not only does a scientific model, as described above, explain a particular phenomenon, it allows scientists to predict a future course for the phenomenon in question.
Three Strikes and You’re Out
Client Information from September 2002:
Client Information from December 2002:
Net result — 12 weeks:
*Note that in case study #1, we increased energy intake by a whopping 1500 per day while energy expenditure remained the same. Since the athlete was weight stable in September—prior to hiring me—you might have expected her to have gained weight during our 12 week program. However, as you can see, she lost 25lbs (while preserving most of her muscle mass). Since the energy balance model above, as it appears, can’t explain this very interesting result, that’s one strike.
*Case Study #2:
Client Information from August 2003:
Client Information from October 2003:
Net result — 8 weeks:
*Notice that in case study #2, we increased energy intake by between 500 and 700 per day while increasing energy expenditure by about 400 per day. Again, since the lifter was weight stable in June, prior to hiring me, you might have expected him to have gained weight or at least remained weight stable during this 8 week program. However, as you can see, he lost 7 lbs. But that’s not the most interesting story. During the 8 weeks, he lost almost 20lbs of fat while gaining almost 13 lbs of lean mass. Since the energy balance model above, as it appears, can’t explain this very interesting result, that’s two strikes.
*Case Study #3:
Client Information from June 2004:
Client Information from August 2004:
Net results — 8 weeks:
*Notice that in case study #3, we increased energy intake by between 1100 and 1300 per day while increasing energy expenditure by only about 300 per day. Again, since the lifter was weight stable in June, prior to hiring me, you might have expected him to have experienced a large gain in mass, both significant muscle and fat gains. However, as you can see, he gained 8 total lbs, having lost almost 14lbs of fat while gaining nearly 22lbs of lean mass.
Simplicity and Energy Balance
After looking at the case studies above, you might be wondering where the
Although scientists are still trying to work out what types of metabolic
Factors Affecting Energy Balance
Now, when I say that most people assume too much simplicity by associating energy intake with calorie intake alone, and energy expenditure with exercise activity alone, I’m not shaking my finger at them. Obviously, of the factors playing into energy balance, these are the most readily modifiable. But, assuming they are the only factors playing into energy balance is what gets people into trouble.
Obviously, this relationship is much more complex than most people make it out to be. Sure, on the energy intake side of the equation, things are fairly
Relationships Between Energy In and Energy Out
In order to add another touch of complexity to the discussion, as discussed
Dr. JB’s Energy Balance Model
Let’s walk through this model together.
Notice that there are two possible "uncoupling points" in this energy balance model.
The first uncoupling point lies in the communication between energy sensing/brain signaling (the lower arrow) and the second lies in the communication between the brain and the body—particularly in the drive to eat and the drive to move (the upper arrow).
First, on the energy sensing/signaling end, periodic re-feeding, the use of
Also, uncoupling can occur as a result of performing more exercise and non-exercise activity (including using strategies for increasing the cost of each activity — wearing an X-vest when walking, for example) in an attempt to maintain pre-diet energy expenditure.
In addition, as most of you know, I believe that alterations in food type (what
And if after reading these articles, you still don’t buy into the calore is not a calorie argument (which is closely related to the concepts presented in this article), check out this recent scientific paper by Buchholz and Schoeller (6).
Finally, check out my review of my presentation at the 2004 SWIS Symposium for a more complete treatment of how to use the information presented in this article to impact fat loss.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008
Today was an auspicious day, CrossFit-wise. One of my long-term goals, to get 300RX on "Fight Gone Bad!" was met. I have been coming close to this for, literally, years, and during the FGB 3 Fundraiser I got 309, all with excellent form, and full ROM.
I made a change which helped A LOT, which was to change the order and the number of reps I went for in various movements. I have always started with the rower in the past, and the wall-ball has always been the choke point. I have always gone for 20 or better in everything and fallen apart in the last round when I have gotten close.
This time I started with box jumps, which have been a trouble spot as well, so I could do them fresh, and I just went ballistic on my strongest suit, push-press. I basically gave the wall-ball up as a lost cause and used it to recover for SDHP. I actually went to total muscular failure on the SDHP at about 16:53, so I don't think I could have gotten much more. The only bummer was that I was 3 points away from getting the CFEB record (311 presently). Next time I'm sure I'll get it. Ynez was an awesome wingwoman, I'm going to have to enlist her aid next time when I go for 325.
|Exercise||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3|
|Box Jump 20"||27||27||27|
Friday, September 19, 2008
...ideal diet, that is.
The more I learn about nutrition, the more I think genetics play a truly huge role in how we process food. IF is doing me righteous, but I think many people would fall apart on this protocol.
Today is day four of IF (intermittent fasting) as follows:
14-20 hour fasts
super-high quality near paleo foods.
I have eaten basically this for the last three days:
.5 pound red meat
6 oz dark meat chicken
1 oz cheese
one pound broccoli
2 cups marinara sauce
2 oz whole wheat pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
one packet "black powder"
4 GNC fish oil caps
2 TJ multivitamins
2 TJ Joint complex
2 GNC l-glutamine (1 gram)
small pot coffee, splash milk
Yesterday was a clear PR on "Grace" and I felt like I could do better.
Today in hour 14 of a fast I ran 5K, with 500 meters of elevation change in 24:45 , (and the first somewhat flatter 1.5 miles at a 7:00 pace).
I used to be a serious runner, so I am fairly certain this would translate to a 21:00 or so on a track, and this is by far the best I have felt on a run in long, long time (the last serious FLAT 5K I did took about this long!!).
And, again, at the end I felt like I had a lot left and had not pushed hard enough! Also I felt ecstatic rushes about 10 minutes into it that usually only happen at the end of a really long run (the "runner's high")- bonus!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Done in hour 16 of fast.
Grace (30 Clean and Jerk for Time)
4:40 (PR, last time was 5:59).
I think I could do this in 2:59 with proper coaching.
Climbed with Andrea after CF:
5.10a "Ira" - surprisingly difficult
5.11a "Green" - fail, got about 60% of the way
5.10d - finished, first try, best climbing I have done in a while.
5.11a "Pink" - tried hard, got pumped, fell off
V3 - got it!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Builder Bar - 3 blocks
Muscle Milk - 4 blocks, low carb, 3x fat
2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread, .5 lb 96/4 beef, ounce cheese, apple - 6 matched blocks
TJ's flatbread pizza, .25 lb lox 2 tangerines - 6 blocks 2x fat
19 blocks 2x fat
Analysis: a bit too much food, a bit to many calories, I'm going to tweak this today. I'll let you know how it goes.
New Posterior Chain Mass
I'm well on track with my fitness goals, but my body composition is sticking stubbornly in the 16-18% range.
However, and this is quite interesting, I have put on 7 pounds or so of lean mass in the last 3 months. I am at about 150 pounds of lean mass right now, almost the highest I have ever been at, and it shows: the 185x2 push-jerk the other day was a surprise.
Quarter One (ends Oct. 6th):
* Bodyfat 11% (17%)
* Weight 169# (183)
* Lean = 146# (completed: 150#)
* CFT 800 (completed)
* Mile 6:30 (completed)
* Fran 5:00
* C&J 165 (completed + Push-Jerk 185x2)
The dreaded Fran is today. 5:00 seems unlikely, but I will try and equal my best of 5:45:
00:00 11 thruster
00:30 5 deep breaths
00:45 10 Thruster
01:15 5 deep breaths
01:30 11 pull-Ups
01:50 5 deep breaths
02:05 10 pull-ups
02:20 5 deep breaths
02:35 8 Thruster
03:05 5 deep breaths
03:20 7 thruster
03:50 5 deep breaths
04:05 15 pull-ups
04:35 5 deep breaths
04:50 9 thruster
05:20 5 deep breaths
05:35 9 Pull-ups
Fran RX 7:30
- a variety of factors could have caused this dismal performance:
b: hypocaloric state/17 hour fast
c: smoked cigar on Saturday
I'm tempted to keep it real clean and try this again in one week, in a fasted state. God I hate Fran.
Did some climbing with Andrea at Diablo Rock Gym:
5.9x2, no break
5.10ax2 no break
5.10ax2 no break
5.10bx2 (needed 3 minute break, overhanging)
Friday, September 12, 2008
Day 3 of IF, and while it is too soon to make any solid judgments, early signs are favorable:
-A near PR in FGB; 284
-A decent performance in Josh
-A PR in the Push-Jerk (185x2)
-Increased mental acuity
-Improved recovery time
-Improved injury healing
-Probable ease in compliance
If this works favorably for my body composition, and the above effects are persistent, I'll be ecstatic!
*21 hour fast (except 30 calories in one serving of "Black Powder" pre-WOD)
*WOD: Push-Jerk 3-3-3-3-3
155-170-175-180(PR)-185x2(F, but a PR)
Food: .5 lb broccoli in cheese sauce, double cheeseburger (96/4 lean) on Diabetic Lifestyles bread, Can of Salmon, 2 builder bars, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. 1 Trader Joe's Thin Crust Pizza with Ham and Gruyere Cheese.
About 16 blocks +2x fat
Yesterday I only managed about 11 blocks before the clock ran out on my 6-hour window, so I need to make sure to plan my eating well.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I had a hard time eating enough yesterday, maybe 12 blocks, and I could barely sleep last night.
Very interested to see how this affects my WOD performance today, I plan to do it before eating.
Update: I did the 9/11 "Hero of your choice" WOD, I chose Josh:
* 95 pound Overhead squat, 21 reps
* 42 Pull-ups
* 95 pound Overhead squat, 15 reps
* 30 Pull-ups
* 95 pound Overhead squat, 9 reps
* 18 Pull-ups
I never did this so I have no comparison, but coming of the heels of severe caloric deprivation and a 17 hour fast, it felt tough.
Time: 12:20 RX
I seemed to be needing more recovery time than normal, but since I have never done this it is hard to say. I think sub-10 would be a good performance for me.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Daniel over at ROCK ON is getting good results with IF, and I'm intrigued. I did something similar to this in Tucson back in 02 and got decent results. Today I did Fight Gone Bad in a fairly fasted state (.5 cup milk in coffee, 30 calories in "Black Powder" that I took pre-WOD).
Score was 284, subbed 45# thrusters for wall-ball
Box Jump 20/18/15
Total - 284
I think my best ever score was 289 with shitty form and best legit was maybe 279, so I am pretty happy with this. I am fairly certain I will (finally) hit 300 at FGB III on the 27th.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I actually do have a cosmetic augmentation (a prosthetic eye). Is this shallow vanity? If not, what is the difference?
Is is acceptable to have giant fake tits, like those featured prominently on the national site recently? Is that different?
Is it shallow vanity to remove an unsightly but harmless mole? Why or why not?
And who amongst us has nary a tat? Is that not shallow (almost by definition) vanity?
Beginners who become overtrained will recover fairly quickly
Intermediates/advanced athletes can take weeks or months to recover
Elites can blow a whole season or year by overtraining
I did Linda RX in 28:34, a good six minutes off of my PR (at a lower bodyweight) and I'm crushed again. I took yesterday off and will give FGB a shot today, but I'm not optimistic about it.
-Plan your breaks or nature will provide them for you.
Been solidly in the zone for the last few days - 13-17 blocks fairly clean. I went shopping yesterday and I have all good clean zone food again.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
My post-atkins results are very discouraging.
Pre-Atkins: 178, 18% bodyfat, 146 lean
Post-Atkins: 172, 14% bodyfat, 146 lean
Now: 182, 18.5% bodyfat, 149 lean
OK, so I am a bit stronger, but I seem to go right back to an unacceptable 18% bodyfat as soon as I stop paying attention: mind you, I'm still working out harder and more frequently, and eating better than 90%++ of people so this really sucks.
Anyway, the thing that has worked the best so far is just strict zone, between 1x and 3x fat, with 14 blocks for loss and 18-19 blocks for maintainance, so I'm back at that.
I went to Bikram Yoga (which was my pre-CF fitness regimen) and it was great, but you stare in the mirror the whole time: I actually am satisfied with my body overall, but I always have "love handles" that I just hate, and I have had them even at 10.5% bodyfat, the lowest I have ever been measured at (159 pounds, over 10 years ago). I am seriously considering liposuction on just this area, at the very least I think I will go in for a consultation. I certainly would not do this before at least getting as lean as I have been in the last 10 years (13% bodyfat or below).
Yesterday I had 13 blocks, all clean and did about 150 burpees.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I'm eating strict zone today and doing a bit of rowing, hopefully that will help.
9AM: 3 eggs, 1.5 oz salmon, tbsp. cream cheese, .5 tsp olive oil, .5 lb broccoli, couple of cherry tomatoes, 1.5 slice diabetic lifestyles bread. 4 blocks, 2x fat.
Did Bikram which seemed to help my elbow enormously. I was really hungry after, ended up with 22 blocks for the day.