Monthly Archives: July 2008

Low Carb Wins Again

Here is the link to the recent Low carb vs. Low fat vs. Mediterranean diet study recently published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

One of the dopiest things they did in this study was increase the low carb group from 20 grams to up to 120grams after the initial 2 months of a 2 year study. So after 2 months the low carb group wasn’t necessarily low carb diet anymore.

They also urged the low carb group to get their protein sources from vegetable based sources as if low carbers would ever do such a vile thing.

Seems like the researchers wanted the low carb group to fail wouldn’t you say?

You can look over the entire study yourself later but here are the final results of the parameters they tested. Take a look at how powerful the low carb diet fared and how as carbs rose after the 2 month period many of the parameters got worse. If it’s too hard to read go here.

http://content.nejm.org/content/vol359/issue3/images/large/04f4.jpeg

Only in the levels of HOMA-1R did the Mediterranean diet do better. HOMA-1R is a way to measure insulin resistance. I can’t say much more about it as I am not an expert in this but suffice it to say you want it to go down from baseline.

My guess is that if the low carb group kept their carbs to 20 grams or a touch more they would have experienced a better lowering in this as well as other parameters – closer to the Mediterranean diet, not to mention if their source of protein was actually meat and not tofu or rice and beans. (I wonder how they did and and kept carbs low enough?)

But the press and the researchers of this st did not report this study properly. They’d have you believe that all 3 diets work just as well saying it is personal preference. Compared to the others, the low fat diet rots. And eating a low fat diet rots worse.

Dean Ornish and others of his ilk cried afoul. They said that a real low fat diet has only 10% of calories coming from fat. But when the Ornish diet was compared to a low carb diet in the Atkins vs. LEARN vs. Ornish vs. Zone study, the low fat Ornish diet got its butt kicked. Here was the conclusion of the study:

“Conclusions: In this study, premenopausal overweight and obese women assigned
to follow the Atkins diet, which had the lowest carbohydrate intake, lost more weight
and experienced more favorable overall metabolic effects at 12 months than women
assigned to follow the Zone, Ornish, or LEARN diets. While questions remain about
long-term effects and mechanisms, a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet
may be considered a feasible alternative recommendation for weight loss.”

When will the low fatters learn? When will the NIH learn? When will the AMA learn? When will the AHA, the ADA, the NIRM learn?

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

It appears from a new study that slow and steady does indeed win the race. I’d comment more on this but I am unable to get my hands on the full text of the study.

When it is made available, we’ll delve deep. Promise.

Moronic Musings

A friend sent me this article a few days ago and I have to say that the depth of the stupidity of it is staggering.

The fact that this sort of drivel is out there is a testament to how screwed up the field of exercise really is. Morononic musings like the article below by Mr. Scott abound.

Allow me to dissect, destroy and pulverize his blatherings.

Here we go….

Excerpts
: Is Your Workout Wasting Your Time? A no-nonsense look at the often
nonsensical world of fitness clubs.
By Paul Scott, Best Life

“Researchers, for
instance, have known that the leg-extension machine (the unit in which you sit
with your shin behind a padded bar attached to a weight stack and then
straighten your leg in front of you) trains you to do just one thing: become
very strong at the leg-extension machine.

Really? That’s it? We don’t know if this statement is true as Mr. Scott does not cite any references. If true then biceps
curls only get you good at biceps curls, chest presses at chest
presses, squats at squats, etc. By inference Mr. Scott suggests that
strength training exercises do not promote muscular hypertrophy. Where
oh where has Mr. Scott been?


“In one of the few studies on this
subject, researchers from the University of Kentucky studied 23
patients with knee pain to see what made them stronger: a step-up test or doing
leg extensions. While they found that both groups eventually became stronger at
doing leg extensions, only the group doing the step-up test actually became
stronger at stepping up and doing functional activities. The reason: The seated
leg-extension machine has nothing to do with how we use our legs, which are meant
to hold us upright against gravity while we walk, climb, or descend.”

A few things here – a step up test is a specific task. In order to get better at the step up test, you have to practice the step up test. The group doing the knee extensions should have been doing the step up test too so that they would become skilled at the task and THEN tested to see who did better. If both groups did as well you could conclude that knee extensions contributed nothing to the step up test. Secondly, step up involve knee extension and hip extension. If the test in performed in a rigorous manner, you will increase the strength of the quads, glutes and hamstrings. The leg extension is only designed to strengthen the quads.As for the leg extension exercise having noting do do with how we use our legs, tell that to a soccer player.

In fact, Chris
Powers, a biokinesiology researcher at the 
University of California determined that although the
thighbone rotates under the kneecap as we walk, using a leg-extension machine
actually causes the kneecap to rotate on the thighbone. The mechanics of the
leg-extension machine simply doesn’t simulate what happens in functional
activity (e.g., walking, running, or going down steps).

Again no reference cited. And if this is true that the knee cap rotates on the thighbone rather than the other way around, so what? When we strength train we are not attempting to mimic what we do in functional activity whatever that truly means. That is not the purpose of strength training. Do we not extend our knee in in functional activity? A football punter thinks so I’ll bet.

“The leg-extension
machine puts a lot of strain on the knee ligaments and the patella,” says
Tim Hewett, PhD, a professor in the departments of biomedical engineering and
pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati
“I
would never consider letting our athletes use a leg-extension machine.”

Yes I can hear the training room dialog now – “Boomer – get your butt off that dangerous and evil leg extension machine! Your really gonna hurt your patella doing that. Now, go on over there and snatch that barbell over your head as fast and as explosively as possible 50 times and then get out on the field and ram your cervical spine into the blocking posts till you drop.”

“When it comes to promoting strength that is not
meaningful, the leg-extension machine is one of many.”

Unmeaningful strength – now that statement is a doozy!

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