Sunday, April 8, 2018

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PurdyJourneys.com: Follow my family's journey across the world. Currently in Indonesia.


Our family skydives in New Zealand

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sterling Purdy featured in the new Tony Horton book: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life

Tony Horton released a new book in February 2014.  Tony Horton: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life.

Under the 'Consistency' Law I was featured after meeting up with Tony on the beaches of Southern California in what turned out to be a 5-hour workout!  Loads of fun and success couldn't happen to a better human being, Tony Horton.

If you are looking for simplistic inspiration and direction to change your fitness life, this book is for you!!

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Embracing Hope Ethiopia Event

Embracing Hope Ethiopia Event

We are hosting an EHE event for our friends, The Shannons.

Where: Nashville, TN
When: Saturday August 16 @ 6PM
Contact: Sterling Purdy
Contact info: sterlingpurdy@gmail.com

I'm attaching an informational page & 2 links that tell more about EHE and what The Shannons have been building in Ethiopia for 4+ years.  Their selfless work is helping many families find their way out of poverty and have provided an avenue for hope.

EHE is in the middle of an expansion, where it will grow by 50% and add 66 new kids to the program.  It’s an exciting time!  At the event, we’ll have photos available of kids who need sponsors, and will have the technology available for people to sign up to sponsor families at the event.

We'll also have handcrafts made by moms who are a part of EHE as well as jewelry, baskets, and ornaments made by moms.  We'll also have EHE T-shirts.  ALL will directly benefit EHE and the families of Kore in Ethiopia.

Please also feel free to pass this on to anyone.  Please let us know if you’ll be attending or if you’d like to contribute to the Shannons in any way.  Private message your email and I’ll include on an evite list as well.

Thanks to all in advance!

VIDEO: What does EHE do?

EHE Website

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Systematic Review of Intermittent Fasting

Below is a thorough review of the beneficial effects of Intermittent Fasting (IF).  Once again, IF proves to be one of the best ways to reduce calories, rid body fat, and improve overall health including positive effects on glucose metabolism.

As discussed here before, IF coupled with short, high-intensity workouts has a synergistic effect when the goal is ridding body fat in a highly efficient manner.

Enjoy!

Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Human & Animal Health - A Systematic Review

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sprinting and Fasting

Below is GREAT (as usual) insight from Mark Sission on eating after an intense sprinting workout and intermittent fasting.

These are tried and true methods that I've personally used.

Enjoy!

Refueling after a sprint working and Fasting for a caloric deficit

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ribbon?!




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thursday, December 22, 2011

P90X2 is here!

If you're a P90X graduate, it's time for P90X2!

Even if you've not completed P90X, P90X2 is the 'upgraded' version that will absolutely get you in the best shape of your life!

Get it here now!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

If You're Wondering Where I've Been...

As you may have noticed, I've been 'absent' for some time.  To set you at ease, I've not begun a lavish career in fast-food or fitness gadgets like 'the shake weight'.  I have, however, been on the back-end of a long journey of adoption.

After a 2.5 year process, we were finally able to bring home our first adopted child to add to our family of 6.  She is from Ethiopia and she's beautiful.  As part of that process, we've traveled back & forth to Ethiopia on various mission and humanitarian/medical aid trips.  If you've never traveled to help in a 3rd world country, I'd encourage you to do so.  You'll soon realize that your problems are not problems, but simple mole hills compared to what 2/3 of the world deals with on a daily basis.  AND you can be part of the solution.

Until next time...

Below is a video that shows 2 of the 3 projects that we are a part of:


The City of Addis - A short documentary from Session 7 Media on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Potatoes: Good or Bad?

My good friend, Mark Sisson, sums up potatoe consumption with this thorough review.  I'm a fan of potatoes (white potatoes in this case) and its cousin, the yam.  I'm especially fond of the 2 related tubers when carb cycling during a lean down period.

Enjoy!

Until next time...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 10 Fasting Myths

Here's a great post debunking myths about fasting.

Until next time...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

REVISIT: P90X: What's all the fuss about?

P90X has grown to massive proportions even since this original post in 2009.  Have questions about P90X?  Shoot me a comment or email.  It's a challenge - Will you accept it?  Summer is the time to commit to a high-quality, high-intensity workout like P90X!  -Sterling

Original Article:

By now you've seen P90X everywhere. You've seen it on TV at all times of day. You've seen it plastered on web page after web page. You've seen it on QVC. And certainly you've heard of it by word of mouth. Chances are that you know someone that is an active P90Xer, has tried P90X, is about to try P90X, or at the very least...you've had someone ask you, "Have you heard about this P90X? What is it?" So you get the point. P90X has reached tipping point levels.  So what's all the fuss about?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

REVISIT: Where To Start?

So you've decided that it's time to make a change.  You want to eat better.  You want to feel better.  You want to look better.  You want to improve your life.  So where do you start?  Let's look at 5 key things to help change your health and fitness future.
#1: Change Your Mindset

This is absolutely crucial.  You have to look at everything in a different way.  Food, exercise, weightlifting, cardio, priorities; anything that has set you back in the past -- change your thinking about it.  Don't think about food as a crutch or something to do while bored.  Food is fuel; look at that way.  Everything you eat will do one of two things: hurt you or help you. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vacation Notice

I'll be on vacation and won't be posting until the week of May 24.  Life has been very active and busy so I've not been able to post lately.

I just wanted to let you know that I'm alive and well.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Intermittent Fasting and The Holy Grail

Today is the 2nd to last day to get Tom Venuto's 'The Holy Grail' FOR FREE.  This $47 value is guaranteed to work if you follow Tom's advice and detailed plan.

The Holy Grail

But I am here to tell you how to make Tom's program even better and more efficient...

The answer: Intermittent Fasting (IF)

You can read about IF in past posts on Sterling Advice:

Until next time...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Meal Idea: Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Squash & Zucchini Salad

I wasn't starving tonight so I cooked a very light and full-of-flavor dinner. The grilled chicken was well complimented by a light, raw squash & zucchini salad (for lack of a better term).

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast (1/2 pound)
  • Rosemary, thyme, Tony Chachere's, onion powder, garlic powder, black peper
  • 1 raw squash, chopped
  • 1 raw zucchini, chopped
  • 2 slices of red onion, chopped
  • A handful of fresh cilantro
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
Directions:
  • Chicken
    • Season chicken generously with spices.  Use fresh rosemary and thyme if available.
    • Grill chicken
  • Squash & Zucchini salad
    • Chop squash and zucchini into small pieces
    • Chop cilantro and red onion and add to mixture
    • In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, and mustard
    • Add 'dressing' to veggie mixture
    • Squeeze lemon juice in veggie mixture and stir
    • Add Tony's to taste
  • Note: After I cut my grilled chicken into smaller pieces, I tossed the chicken with 1 TBSP of BBQ sauce (a mere 25 extra calories and 6 carbs).
  • Enjoy!
Calories: About 300
Macronutrient Breakdown: 62% protein, 21% carbs, 18% fat 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Video: Richard Nikoley interviews Mark Sisson

Below is an interview with Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint.  The interview is conducted by Richard Nikoley of Free The Animal.

It's a great interview about how Mark's business & experience came about to bring to fruition The Primal Blueprint.  Thanks to Richard for making the video interview embeddable.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Barefoot Running: Legit or Crazy?

Until about 2 years ago, I had never heard of barefoot running.  I mean, seriously?  I'm not talking about kids running in the yard barefoot.  I'm talking full-fledged running on a football field, soccer field, open grassy areas, or pavement.  Huh?

Picture this: you are driving around town and as you are waiting for a red light to turn green, you glance to your right and you see a guy running...barefoot.  'What the...' you say out loud.  Must be some crazy hippie...

So is barefoot running just some fad?  Is it something that's been brought to the forefront lately by fitness blogs, websites, and major newspapers only to fade away with time?  I don't think so.  And here's the reason why:  It's good for you.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meal Idea: Filet Mignon, Spinach with Cream Sauce & Cottage Cheese

Pretty much everyone enjoys a tenderloin filet mignon (unless your a vegetarian).  I thought I'd share a delicious meal that I whipped up for you to enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • Tenderloin Filet Mignon (I used a 7.3 oz filet/.45 lbs/206 grams)
  • A bag of spinach (142 grams)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 4 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • Parmesan cheesed, zested (about 20 grams)
  • Salt, pepper, other spices

Directions:

  • Season steak to your liking 6-8 hours in advance of cooking.  Stick back in fridge.
  • Remove steak from fridge about 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Chop onion and add to 1/2 TBSP butter -- sauté
  • In a separate small sauce pan, melt 1.5 TBSP butter, then add heavy cream, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and black pepper to taste -- simmer.
  • Throw steak on grill.  For an average filet, 5 mins of each side will achieve medium rare (cook to your liking).
  • Add bag of spinach to onion and cook down until spinach is wilted.  Season to taste (I like Tony Chachere's)
  • Take steak off grill and cover for 5 mins.  This allows steak juice to re-absorb back into the steak and maintain incredible flavor.
  • Putting it all together:
    • Place spinach on plate
    • Spoon 1/2 cream sauce over spinach.
    • Place steak on spinach and sauce.  Spoon remaining cream sauce over steak.
    • Serve with 1/2 cup cottage cheese.
Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 965
Protein - 68.9 grams
Carb - 27.1
Fat - 65.5

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How To Get Fat and How To Lose Weight


Sometimes it is incredibly frustrating to see people on the internet and on fitness boards constantly try to defy the law of thermodynamics.  'Calories don't count' is a term I often read 'You'll go into starvation mode' is a phrase I'll often hear when suggesting to cut calories to lose weight or when I suggest one to embark on a IF regimen.

Some are so blinded and myopic that they believe that low-fat is the ONLY way to lose weight or that low-carb is the ONLY way to lose weight.  I'm here to tell you it is all about calories.

People who eat a diet low in fat to lose weight (a fad that has thankfully been reduced to a few) are eating less calories because they've cut the macronutrient with the most calories (more than double that of carbs and protein), but they usually 'starve'.  Those who embark on a low-carb or low-carb & high-fat diet lose weight because they are EATING FEWER calories.  Studies have shown that protein is highly satiating and protein and fat together are even more so.

Now I'm not hear to bash a low-carb lifestyle, because that is generally how I live.  In fact, I'm a big supporter of Mark Sisson and The Primal Blueprint.  I believe eating primally is the healthiest way to eat.  A diet that is full of protein, fat, veggies, and fruit is the healthiest option.  It's devoid of overindulgence in processed fats and processed carbohydrates that have lead to the obesity, diabetes, and CV disease epidemic in our country.  Eating whole foods is how we were meant to eat.

However, when believing in a way of life becomes so myopic (take notice internet board groupies) that you start to deny that calories don't matter...you've gone too far and you lose credibility.  People on the internet suggesting that calories don't matter are WRONG.  Do not listen to them or you will stay fat.  You'll also never achieve low body fat levels if that is your goal.

Listen to experts like Tom Venuto, Lyle McDonald, and Martin Berkhan.  These guys are considered experts in the fitness and fat loss world.  Each will tell you that a low-carb diet works beautifully to help rid fat and achieve lower body fat levels.  BUT each will tell you that in the end, it's about calories.  Listen to a guy like Mark Sisson who will tell you to eat a diet rich in protein, fat, veggies, and fruits and he'll also tell you that if you eat too many calories -- you will not lose weight.  Oh and not to mention, ALL of these guys will tell you that you need to get off the couch and exercise.

With all that said, I'm linking below some great articles for you to sink your teeth into.  Folks, if you want to lose weight -- you've got to eat few calories.  Eat McDonald's for all I care, but you've got to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.  Eat lots of protein, moderate amounts of fat, lots of veggies, and moderate amounts of fruit.  Limit processed carbohydrates and completely avoid processed trans fats and oils rich in omega-6's.

AND FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE TRYING TO 'HELP' PEOPLE: 

STOP TELLING THEM THAT CALORIES DON'T MATTER BECAUSE THEY DO!

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/how-we-get-fat.html

http://fitnessblackbook.com/diet-tips/martin-berkhan-scorch-through-your-fat-loss-plateau/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-context-of-calories/

http://www.maxcondition.com/page.php?11

http://burnthefat.com

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/all-diets-work-the-importance-of-calories.html

Comparing Diets: Part 1
Comparing Diets: Part 2
Comparing Diets: Part 3
Comparing Diets: Part 4

Until next time...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Meal Idea: Egg Casserole

Here's a quick meal idea for your weekend.  It's high in protein and fat with limited carbs coming from fresh veggies.

Egg Casserole:
6 Eggs
Chopped squash & zucchini (about 200 grams)
2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Chopped mushrooms (about 100 grams)
Chopped onions (1 small onion/about 200 grams)
1/4 cup of your favorite cheese
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of butter
Seasonings of your choice

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325-350
  • Butter a small baking or casserole dish
  • Chop all veggies and set aside
  • Beat eggs and cream together
  • Mix eggs with chopped veggies
  • Add cheese and mix
  • Add seasonings and mix
  • Pour into pre-buttered dish
  • Bake @ 325-350 for about 40 minutes or until the middle is firm
Enjoy!

Until next time...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Direction, Not Intention, Determines Destination


I ran across this article today and it's well worth reading.  If your goal is one thing, yet your decisions lead towards a different goal?  Are you serious about your goal?

Take a look at the article.

Ask Yourself 4 Questions

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Satiety Effect: Macronutrients and Meal Frequency

Most people know that a diet that is low in carbohydrates is the most efficient and effective way to lose weight, specifically body fat.  Some chalk it up solely to a stabilization and decrease in glucose and insulin levels.  Others say it's only because you eat less on a low-carb diet, therefore it's a simple matter of calories or the resulting calorie deficit.  I believe it's a combination of both and a little more...

The advice I give to frequent email inquiries and clients is keep protein relatively high -- for a variety of reasons.  1) Protein keeps you fuller, longer; 2) protein 'preserves' lean muscle in a calorie deficit; 3) protein has the greatest thermic effect, i.e. it takes more energy for your body to process protein.

With that said, there was a great article published recently in Obesity Journal regarding the effect of higher protein and meal frequency on satiety, appetite, and hormonal responses.  It supports what I believe to be true.  a) keeping protein high is essential in controlling appetite and b) fewer meals is better (which is 'automatic' when using daily IF).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

There's nothing like Spring!


There is nothing like Spring!  For those of us who don't live in places like Southern California where spring-like weather is an everyday occurrence, spring is thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated.  Mild temperatures, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and bountiful amounts of blooming flowers and trees just scream "COME OUTSIDE, ENJOY ME"!

Since Spring has arrived in Baton Rouge, I've not missed one day to get outside and bike, run, walk, eat, drink coffee, drink beer, cook, or just relax and listen to the birds chirp as the sun rises or sets.

The picture you see above is a sunset at the LSU Lakes in Baton Rouge.  This is where my wife and I love to spend time (with and without the kids) walking, jogging, or just enjoying the sites and sounds (we saw a small alligator last week).

Spring is the PERFECT time to make a decision to get in shape, lose body fat, get your body ready for summer and the beach, and just enjoy God's beautiful creations.  Spring provides you with no excuses!  It's not too cold; it's not too hot.  

Just last night, my wife and I took our 4 kids on a beautiful bike ride to our local market.  We grabbed some water and a variety of meal choices and headed for a pretty area to park our bikes, enjoy our meals, and enjoy each other.  What a great way to get exercise, enjoy a meal, and spend time together!

So what's the point of this post?  GO OUTSIDE!  Enjoy Spring!  There are no excuses.  This is the time to eat right, eat less, move more, get outside and get in shape.

Until next time...

Friday, April 9, 2010

The 'Buy-In' Factor

First of all, I apologize for my recent, unplanned hiatus from the blog. Life has been very busy. Family life has been crazy -- with 4 children (soon-to-be 5 or 6), life has a way of happening like that. Work has been very busy as well. I like to post one or two times per week, but sometimes life gets in the way. If that happens, always feel free to email me with questions. Want me to cover a specific topic? Just let me know.

Now onto the topic of the day...

Much of what we talk about on Sterling Advice is about choices. And when one makes a choice, many dynamics play into that decision (or series of decisions) -- family, friends, health, attitude, social norms, social pressures, mental state, etc.

So what nudges one to make a specific choice related to health or fitness?
  • Family death directly related to unwise health choices.
  • Family history of obesity or diabetes and you want to reprogram your genes and break the 'cycle' of slavery to unwise life choices.
  • Desire to feel better.
  • Desire to eliminate 'needed' prescription drugs.
  • Just want to 'get healthy'.
  • Want to change your body composition.
  • Want to lose weight and/or body fat.
  • Want to get ripped.
  • Upcoming family reunion or class reunion.
  • Upcoming meeting where you want to look better and feel better.

All of these reasons could lead you to make an immediate choice to change your health and fitness for the better. But what makes you stick with that decision? What causes that paradigm shift that truly changes your life?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tom Venuto Speaks on 'Healthy' Fast Food

Tom Venuto, author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle and most recently The Holy Grail, speaks on 'healthy' fast food.  I think you'll find his article below helpful, enlightening, and truthful about fast food and what is really meant by 'healthy' fast food.

Be sure to check out his Burn The Fat Inner Circle.

Until next time...

The Double-Edged Sword of “Healthy” Fast Food
Tom Venuto


What’s on the menu at fast food restaurants lately? Ironically enough, the answer increasingly is… “health food!” Even more incongruous, many fast food joints are advertising their food for weight loss. Healthy weight loss food at Taco Bell and McDonalds? Is this a positive move to be applauded, is it a big corporate money grab or is it a double edged sword? Here’s my two cents:

Almost everyone remembers the Jared weight loss campaign for Subway. He was the guy who lost 245 pounds during which time he ate at Subway regularly. He simply picked the lower calorie items on the menu. Jared later became a spokesperson for Subway in their nationwide advertising campaigns which became known as the Subway Diet.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Holy Grail Available: Inner Circle Special

Last week Tom Venuto released a NEW ebook called,  "The Holy Grail Body Transformation System".  I featured it on my blog because I'm a big believer in Tom Venuto.  If you want to understand how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, there's no one more qualified or more knowledgeable than Tom.

This program teaches you how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, a goal many people once thought was impossible.

The proven fact is - you CAN gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. But it's more complicated than most people think and you must have EVERY aspect of training, nutrition and lifestyle in place to make it work.

So Tom has finally simplified and demystified the process of gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time in this short (74 pages) new manual.

The public offer expired last weekend. No one outside our inner circle can get the ebook anymore until its re-released officially in its final version several months from now for the regular price (will probably retail for $37-$47 range).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Primal Shopping For Fat Loss

Recent posts have centered around several core issues in health and fitness.  Fat loss, eating primal foods, and calories were central in all of them.  Today, I thought I'd talk about how to shop at your local grocery store in order to help you reach your fat loss and fitness goals.
 
In the end, calories take precedence over all.  But I believe eating, and that means shopping, primally is the healthiest way to reach your goals.  Keeping your diet devoid of processed carbohydrates and fats is essential in maintaining a heathy, anti-inflammatory body.

Limiting these processed foods also allows you to avoid huge spikes of glucose followed by massive rushes of insulin -- both leading to cardiovascular disease, obesity, & diabetes AND putting those folks at high risk for cancer.  Research has strongly sugggested that intakes of fat, saturated fat,and cholesterol are NOT the culprits in heart disease; but rather highly processed foods and beverages in the forms of carbohydrates and frankenfats.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Is a calorie a calorie? Thermodynamics, metabolic advantage, Colpo, & Eades.


Pull up a seat! 

Brew a cup of coffee or pop some poporn.  Whatever fancies you...just set aside some time to read the links that I will provide below.  If you are even remotely interested in health, fitness, nutrition, and fat loss then you are going to enjoy the next hour or so...

The subject?

Do calories from a carbohydrate, a protein, or a fat gram differ in their ability to incite weight loss, specifically fat loss?

Can you eat more calories on a low-carb diet than you would otherwise and still lose weight?  Do you eat less calories on a low-carb diet and is that the reason that they are successful?  Is there a metabolic advantage?  Or is a calorie still a calorie?

Is weight loss about controlling insulin levels or about calories?  Is it a little bit of both?  Does the satiating hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) play a role in weight loss? 

I'll let you decide the answer(s) to the above questions.  Click on the links below.  I'd love to hear your comments.

Dr. Michael R. Eades
Anthony Colpo

Until next time...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guaranteed Fat Loss and Muscle Gain...At The Same Time

There's only 2 days left to get Tom Venuto's FREE 'The Holy Grail' with your purchase of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle. 

After reading it for a 3rd time, I want to emphasize how good it is.  There is no doubt in my mind that if you follow the recommendations in his ebook, you will lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.

I'll take it a step further.  I believe that if you follow the advice that Tom gives AND enlist intermittent fasting, then you'll truly get the best results possible by losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time giving you lean gains that you never would have imagined.  

Steps to GUARANTEED muscle gain and fat loss AT THE SAME TIME:

1. Read The Holy Grail.  Get your free copy here.
2. Use the techniques that Tom discusses in his free ebook, specifically using high calorie days with larger muscle group resistance days.
3. Use intermittent fasting (IF) daily.  Use a 14-18 fast daily, followed by 6-10 hour feeding period.  This will be done in 2-4 meals.

As a reminder, Tom is only offering this special offer until Friday, March 5th.

Stop looking for the solution to simultaneous muscle gain and fat loss.  It is possible.  And this is the answer.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How To Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time

Almost everyone knows about the biggest loser - that reality show/weight loss contest on TV where overweight people drop ridiculous amounts of weight -like 15 or 20 lbs in a week, and 150 or 200 lbs by the time the show is over.

This past January the guys at over at the Burn the Fat websites completed their first ever body transformation challenge contest.

But their contest was NOTHING like the biggest loser.

In fact, Josh Ketter, the overall men's winner, and Ryan Cochrane, one of the finalists, only lost a pound.

Now, you must be thinking, "what the heck kind of weird body transformation contest were they running where the winner and the finalists only drop a pound?

Well, it would seem weird if you thought that success at body transformation meant dropping weight on the scale

But did you ever stop to think about the difference between fat weight and muscle weight?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Reader Question: P90X and Primal?

I get lots of emails during a given week asking my advice on certain health and fitness issues.  I am humbled that so many seek my advice, but please know that I'm still learning.  I immensely enjoy sharing what I've learned during the peaks and valleys of my health and fitness journey, which is why this blog exists in the first place.  I'm not always right and I'm constantly evaluating what and how I do things.  I'll reiterate what I have said before: do your research!  Read what you find to be credible, but make your decsions based on the successes and faliures of you and others, science, and logic.  With that said...

Sterling Advice reader David posed an interesting question to me recently.  It concerns P90X and a primal-like lifestyle.  Can they coexist?  Below is David's question(s) with my following answer(s).

Part I:

I stumbled on your blog via MDA and was very excited to find another person who is living primally, but also chooses to continue P90X (contrary to primal exercise dogma).  For the record, I haven't started P90X yet.  I started with a round of Power90 in November and lost 25 lbs.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Carbs, carbs, carbs


Has there been any more debated food group over the last decade than carbohydrates? Nope! 

Do they make us fat?  Are they killing our kids?  How many carbs do we need in our diet?  If you're sedentary do you need them?  If you exercise, surely you need them?   Can we survive without carbohydrates?  Do you need carbs post-workout?

Why are they the topic of such hostile debate?
 
A carbohydrate is an organic compound that includes simple sugars, disaccharides, and starches.  A carbohydrate’s role is supplying energy.  Most tissues in the body can use glucose for fuel and most will use glucose unless it's not available.  If not derived from food, the body enlists gluconeogenesis to provide glucose from the liver responding appropriately, as needed, to glucagon (a peptide made and secreted from alpha cells in the pancreas).  When glucose is not available, fat and ketones are used for energy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sabotaging Your Efforts With Overtraining

In our quest for that perfect body, perfect health, and the fountain of youth, many of us overtrain.  We lift too often, run too far -- too often, lift too heavy before we're ready, all in the name of good health.  But are we sabotaging ourselves by pushing too hard, too often?

Ironically, Mark Sisson over at MDA spoke to that very topic in today's post.  He gives you 8 signs that you are overtraining.  Make sure you check it out.

Overtraining is something that takes place at every level of fitness, from beginner to elite, olympic athletes.  Here's the key: you need to stress your system, not strain your system to create change.  Let me clarify.  I'm not talking about pushing for those extra 5 reps in any one given exercise; but rather working that same muscle with too many sets, with too little rest between workouts.  Overtraining can lead to immunne system breakdowns, poor quality of sleep, stress fractures, muscle tears, tendon strains and tears, not to mention an overall rundown feeling of crapiness.  So in effect, you're bringing on the very thing that you're trying to avoid by exercising and eating right.  Overtraining can lead to hormone imbalances that can lead to a lot of unwanted metabolic abnormalities as well.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Is your coffee making you fat?

I apologize for the melodramatic title, because I really don't think coffee makes you fat. Now the overabundance of sugar, milk, cream and syrups that Americans typically partake in along with plain ole coffee is another story entirely.  But for the purposes of this post let's talk only about black coffee or more specifically, caffeine.

Adenosine is an important nucleoside involved in (one of its many roles of cellular signaling) insulin signaling and glucose uptake and disappearance.  Caffeine happens to be an adenosine receptor antagonist; this means that caffeine will block the actions of adenosine.  In this case, we are considering its specific actions on adenosine that effect insulin signaling and glucose transport.

So what does it all mean?  Below is a study published in Diabetes in October 2001.  Don't worry, the science still applies to today.  The findings of the study?  Apparently caffeine decreases glucose disposal and suggests that adenosine plays a role in regulating glucose disposal in resting humans.  So caffeine can have a blunting effect on insulin sensitivity, thus inhibiting your body's ability to take glucose and use it for energy as effectively as possible. 

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So should you eliminate caffeine completely from your daily routine?  I'm not going to eliminate it from my diet.  A black coffee or Americano is essential to my existence (well, not really).  Should you take breaks from caffeine every once in a while?  It's probably not a bad idea.  However, there are benefits to caffeine, but we'll save that for another day.

Will caffeine make you fat?  I'm going to go out on a limb and say...NO!  But I think it's always important to know exactly how things that you ingest can impact your overall health and fitness.

Thoughts?

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Special Announcement: PrimalCon 2010


PrimalCon 2010!


Sterling Advice Readers:

I'm pleased to announce that my good friend, Mark Sisson, has announced his first annual PrimalCon to be held Friday 4/23 - Sunday 4/25.  This will be a one-of-a-kind conference/workout weekend to learn from one of the most respected health & fitness experts around.  As you know, I fully endorse Mark Sisson's 'Mark's Daily Apple' and 'The Primal Blueprint'. 

I'm offering a Sterling Advice special offer!  If you click on the 'PrimalCon' button on my blog, I'll pay $25 towards your registration fee after you have registered and confirmed for PrimalCon 2010.  Please see the details below and click on any of the the PrimalCon buttons on my blog to get ALL the details.  GrokOn!

PrimalCon Press Release

Health and fitness expert Mark Sisson, publisher of the acclaimed MarksDailyApple.com, is pleased to announce the inaugural "PrimalCon" a 3-day health and fitness retreat at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard, CA. Guests will enjoy a mix of educational seminars focused on the principles of Sisson's acclaimed book, The Primal Blueprint; small-group workouts guided by fitness experts on the beach or expansive grass park; outdoor play sessions, beach hikes, ocean plunges, mind/body obstacle courses and other innovative recreation; and Primal-style breakfast, lunch and dinner feasts daily. "PrimalCon offers a chance for our vibrant community of Primal enthusiasts connected by the Internet to come together in person for the first time and enjoy an intensive weekend experience leading the Primal lifestyle. The resort and picturesque surroundings offer incredible relaxation and luxury at an affordable price, while our lively daily agenda gives participants a comprehensive education and hands-on experience about all things Primal", commented Sisson. Registration fee of $695 includes all meals and an attractive kit of participant apparel, gifts, and nutrition products.

Email me with any questions: sterlingpurdy@gmail.com


PrimalCon 2010!

High-fat, ketogenic diet effective treatment for seizures

This study is a little bit outside the realm of health and fitness, but I found it very interesting.  It seems that a high-fat, ketogenic diet (one that derives most of the body's energy from fat & ketones) is an effective treatment for seizures with no 'long-lasting side effects' such as heart disease and death most associated with a high-fat diet (by conventional wisdom definitions).

By definition, a ketogenic diet is also a low-carbohydrate diet.  I believe this study gives credence to those that link diabetes and obesity with a high-carbohydrate diet, which is what most Americans partake in.  Although, as I've stated before, obesity is due to eating more calories than one burns in a given period of time.  Incidentally, I don't think I've seen too many fat people whose lifestyle revolves around a diet rich in protein, veggies, and fat and very low in carbohydrates.  Take a gander at an obese person's diet and I guarantee (with very few outliers) that their diet is 50% or greater carbohydrates.

From what I could find, I did not see the researchers specify the source of the subjects fat intake, i.e. processed fat, animal fat, etc.  That would be an interesting detail to know, given that most processed fat are found in processed carbohydrates.

At any rate, I found it an interesting read.  I'll try and get the full PDF of the study.  Meanwhile, take a look at the abstract.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The ketogenic diet has well-established short- and long-term outcomes for children with intractable epilepsy, but only for those actively receiving it. However, no information exists about its long-term effects years after it has been discontinued.

Methods: Living subjects were identified who were treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital with the ketogenic diet from November 1993 to December 2008 for ≥1 month, and had discontinued it ≥6 months prior to this study. Of 530 patients who were eligible, 254 were successfully contacted by phone or e-mail with a survey and request for laboratory studies.

Results: Questionnaires were completed by 101 patients, with a median current age of 13 years (range 2–26 years). Median time since discontinuing the ketogenic diet was 6 years (range 0.8–14 years). Few (8%) still preferred to eat high fat foods. In comparison to the 52% responder rate (>50% seizure reduction) at ketogenic diet discontinuation, 79% were now similarly improved (p = 0.0001). Ninety-six percent would recommend the ketogenic diet to others, yet only 54% would have started it before trying anticonvulsants. Lipids were normal (mean total cholesterol 158 mg/dl), despite most being abnormal while on the ketogenic diet. The mean Z scores for those younger than age 18 years were −1.28 for height and −0.79 for weight. In those 18 years of age or older, the mean body mass index (BMI) was 22.2.

Discussion: This is the first study to report on the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet after discontinuation. The majority of subjects are currently doing well with regard to health and seizure control.

NOTE: Conflict of interest disclosure: Dr. Kossoff has received grant support from Nutricia, Inc. and consultant fees from Nutricia and Atkins Nutritionals Inc.
 
Until next time...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Milk: Does it do the body good?

There have been multiple discussions and internet blog posts about milk lately.  Is it good?  Is it bad?  Should you drink it when leaning down?  Should you use it to bulk up?  Some say that it's nature's recovery drink and excellent for recovery.  Others say it's flat out poison.  So who is right? 

I'm providing links that will offer much food for thought; these are some of the most respected and knowledgable bloggers in health and fitness.  Let me know your thoughts and experiences with milk.

Milk 'Roundtable' Discussion
Mark Sisson's take on milk

Until next time...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jump Start Your Fat Loss

Do you want to jump start your 2010 fat loss goals?  Here's some ways to do it.
  1. Intermittent Fasting: Method 1 OR Method 2.
  2. 2 weeks of high-protein, low-fat, low-carb
    • Base this on your lean body mass (LBM) -  Estimate your body fat percentage and multiply that number times your body weight.  Subtract that number from your body weight.  For example, you weigh 180 lbs and you're 20% body fat (180*.20 = 36).  Then take your body weight minus your body fat weight (180-36 = 144).  Your lean body mass is 144 lbs.
    • Eat 1.5 grams of protein per lb of LBM.  In this case, you'd be eating 216 grams of protein each day.  (NOTE: The leaner you are, the more protein you need, so you'd need more like 300 grams of protein if you were 15% body fat AND you'd need more like 165 grams of protein if you were 25% body fat.  These are just estimations but you get my point.
    • Shoot for 80%-85% of your total calories to come from protein.  Fat and carbs will make up the rest. About 10% for each.
    • This will make your diet extremely low calorie for 2 weeks.  But this will allow you to burn lots of body fat while sparing hard-earned muscle.
    • Continue to lift weights 2 or 3x's/week.  Do not do cardio unless it's low level stuff like a slow-paced bike ride or brisk walk.
    • THIS IS ASSUMING THAT YOU ARE ALREADY ACTIVE
  3. Start a high intensity program like P90X or Turbulence Training.
  4. After your 2 week high-protein period eat a balanced diet, but on the low-carb side.  Shoot for 10-12 calories/lb to lose 1-2 lbs/week.  Here's a simple macronutrient breakdown.  Eat about 1.5 grams of protein/lb each day. On larger muscle days, i.e. chest, back, legs -- eat more carbs (between 150-180).  On all other days, keep carbs relatively low (below 60-80).  Make up the rest with fat.
  5. Once you are at your goal weight eat about 15 calories/lb to maintain your body weight.
  6. Always stay within 5-10 lbs of your 'ripped' body weight.  This will enable you to easily hit your body fat goals when summer rolls around.
  7. Stay patient and adjust your macronutrients as necessary.
  8. If you're obsessive about your goals and need a step by step nutrition guide, then find someone to help you design it.  BUT make sure they know what the hell they are talking about and make sure they've done it before and arent' just trying to 'sell' your something.
  9. Remember these things & you won't go wrong.  Eat lots of protein.  Eat lots of veggies.  Eat moderate amounts of fruit.  Limit grains.  Eat fat. Don't eat processed crap.  Don't eat much sugar.  Drink lots of water.
  10. Stay accountable and don't make excuses.  If you are fat, it's your fault.  If you are fit, it's because of your positive food and lifestyle choices.
Now look, don't pick apart what I've pieced together above.  It's a guideline.  Be smart, make good choices, and be accountable.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is it all about calories?


In a recent blog post by Dr. Michael R. Eades, he thoroughly discussed a 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).  The gist of the study was to address the issues of calories vs. macronutrient composition in weight loss.  Will one lose weight if calories are kept in a deficit regardless of macronutrient composition?  The answer was a definitive YES! 

So what does this mean?  Does it mean that the carb curve that you see above is useless?  Does it mean that you have to eat 'low carb' to lose weight and keep it off?  Can you eat a low fat diet and lose weight just the same all the while keep carbohydrates very high, yet still keeping oneself in a calorie deficit?  These are all valid questions.  Yet, they are also confusing a lot of people when it comes to weight loss and the best way to accomplish weight loss goals.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fight Heart Disease With A Fat Ass

Wanna protect yourself from heart disease?  Forgot about a healthy intake of food and exercise; just shoot for that beautiful pear shape.  "Oxford University scientists -- who have looked at all the evidence on the health effects of storing more fat on the hips, thighs and bum, rather than around the waist -- show that having a 'pear shape' is not just less bad for you than an 'apple shape', but actively protects against diabetes and heart disease."

Beautiful!  Don't worry about that 30% or 40% body fat.  Don't worry about the healthy outcomes of eating meats, veggies, and fruits.  Don't worry about the benefits of exercise.  Just aim high; aim for that pear!  Seriously, are you kidding me?  I understand the premise of this study.  It shows that if you're going to be obese, then just shoot for a pear shape rather than an apple shape due to the awful side effects of abdominal fat and thus, most surely, lots of visceral fat.

What's next? 

"The Pear-Shaped Workout - How To Shift Fat From Your Belly To Your Ass.  But wait, there's more.  You also receive our low-fat, high-carb diet guide guaranteed to keep you fat and lead you to certain death even earlier than expected.  But wait, that's not all!  And to top this special offer, we'll throw in 1 year of free Lipitor to do absolutely nothing positive but make you think you're helping yourself..."

"Thigh fat might also secrete more beneficial hormones like leptin and adiponectin, Dr Manolopoulos says, although this is unclear at the moment."  Uh..umm...ever hear of leptin resistence? 

I understand that the study is pointing out that if you're going to have one or the other (not because of choice), then you should feel better about thigh and butt fat vs abdominal fat, but come on people.  Don't make people think they are FIGHTING heart disease because their fat is in a different place.  Adipose tissue has many bad side effects including, but certianly not limited to...cardiovascular disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, leptin resistance, & cancer.

Move More.  Eat Less.

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More on Intermittent Fasting

The guys over at Fitness Spotlight are big believers in IF, as am I.  Take a gander at the many reasons to use IF in your daily life.

http://bit.ly/6YS6og

Until next time...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cruel Kindness

I ran across this over at Conditioning Research.  If you're fat, then you're eating too much.



Until next time...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cold Weather Making You Fat?

Here's a great article from fat loss expert, Tom Venuto: Does Cold Weather Make You Store Body Fat? 

It's pretty simple; we want to look better in the summer and so we do.  Enjoy!

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Flaws of Conventional Wisdom


As you know by now, I'm not a conventional wisdom kind of guy.  I think conventional wisdom is vastly flawed.  In many cases it's bought and paid for.  In some, gross negligence.  In others, arrogance and ignorance.

With that said, it comes as no surprise to me that the molecule that you see to the left makes about $13,000,000,000/year.  Yeah, that's right -- 13 BILLION!  And the statin market?  Try this on for size: $26 Billion +.  With negligible benefits, even by conventional wisdom standards, tons of side effects and a big price tag it has quite possibly added to cardiovascular morbidity.  We've been sold a bill of goods.  All of us: doctors, consumers, media, mom, dad, grandma...

This brings me to my point.  I'm not going to talk about all the flaws of conventional wisdom (that would take too long and I don't even know them all).  But this one pisses me off (especially because of reasons that hit 'close to home').  I think it stems from a number of things: ignorance, arrogance, greed, money-generated flawed 'wisdom'.  I don't fault all involved.  I think there are many, many well-meaning people who research, develop, and sell medications  On the other hand, I think there are ill intentioned people that spend hundreds of millions on the development of a molecule, see the flaws and dangers and move forward anyway.  I think this one is a mixed bag.
 
Most believe in conventional wisdom when it come to a diet rich in fat and cholesterol -- they believe that fat promotes cardiovascular disease and paves the road to an early death; I do not.  I believe a diet rich in processed, chemical-laden food and processed carbohydrates that obliterates your pancreas year and year with masses and continual amounts of insulin is what leads to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Mix processed fats, high insulin levels and processed carbohydrates and you have a recipe for an unhealthy, disease-ridden and likely earlier-than-should-have-been death.  So what?

The flawed conventional wisdom that fat and cholesterol kill you is why the pictured above molecule has been a blockbuster seller for more than a decade.  Yet, now research is showing (and it doesn't coincide with CW -- uh oh --) that statins actually promote and worsen Alzheimer's.  My father died from Alzheimer's in 2006 after (what we now know) a 10 year battle.  He started showing sign of Alzheimer's at age 51!  He was gone at 61.  I believe aspartame played a part in the development of his disease; CW does not agree.  Google aspartame -- make your own judgment on its safety.  I think other factors played a role as well that I won't discuss that here.  But at about the mid-way point of his battle (2002), he started taking Lipitor for his 'high' cholesterol.  It seems now that not only did it not help him, but it likely worsened the progression and further development of Alzheimer's.

"Alzheimer's is a devastating disease whose incidence is clearly on the rise in America. Fortunately, a significant number of research dollars are currently being spent to try to understand what causes Alzheimer's. ApoE-4, a particular allele of the apolipoprotein apoE, is a known risk factor. Since apoE plays a critical role in the transport of cholesterol and fats to the brain, it can be hypothesized that insufficient fat and cholesterol in the brain play a critical role in the disease process. In a remarkable recent study, it was found that Alzheimer's patients have only 1/6 of the concentration of free fatty acids in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to individuals without Alzheimer's. In parallel, it is becoming very clear that cholesterol is pervasive in the brain, and that it plays a critical role both in nerve transport in the synapse and in maintaining the health of the myelin sheath coating nerve fibers. An extremely high-fat (ketogenic) diet has been found to improve cognitive ability in Alzheimer's patients. These and other observations described below lead me to conclude that both a low-fat diet and statin drug treatment increase susceptibility to Alzheimer's."

I'll not belabor my point any longer or delve into the specifics of fat and cholesterol transport and the importance of it to our body, specifically our brain; the study below explains it all in fantastic detail.  But I'll leave you with this.  Make up your own mind.  Don't let one person, a company, a doctor, or any one entity make your decision for you.  Use your mind and make your own decisions about your health.  Look around you.  You are surrounded by an epidemic of obesity and diabetes and it's not because of fat and cholesterol.  And by the way, medicines don't seem to be helping all that much.


Change your life.  Move more, eat less, educate yourself.

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Endogenous Growth Hormone and Fat Loss


Nutrition, fitness, and fat loss expert Lyle McDonald recently wrote an article on growth hormone (GH).  Specifically, he covered the raise in GH after intense exercise and what that means.  Does it mean that we can take advantage of raised GH levels in our quest to burn fat?  Well, sort of.  Lyle, as always, is succinct in answering that question.

When I'm leaning out or providing advice for others when trying to lean down (for summer as an example), I advise to always follow workouts with a slow, low-intensity jog, walk, or ride (a heart rate of about 100).  The intense exercise releases free fatty acids from their fat stores and provides a prime opportunity to 'burn off' those fats.  Thus, the use of low-intensity exercise.  What's interesting is that GH plays just a small, secondary role in this process and Lyle's covers this in this article.  What hormones are mainly responsible for this 'burn off' opportunity?  Read this.

Taking all of this into account...it's still about calories.  Eat less, move more, lose body fat.  Don't make it harder than it really is. 

Until next time...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Intermittent Fasting's Positive Effects on Metabolic Hormones, etc.


Just another reason to employ an intermittent fasting lifestyle; not to mention that it will absolutely, positively, keep your weight in check -- even during the holidays.

People: IF works!  It will help you live a happier, healthier, life.  Do your research and then employ it.  Let me know how you feel.
__________________________________________________________

Dietary restriction has been shown to have several health benefits including increased insulin sensitivity, stress resistance, reduced morbidity, and increased life span. The mechanism remains unknown, but the need for a long-term reduction in caloric intake to achieve these benefits has been assumed. We report that when C57BL/6 mice are maintained on an intermittent fasting (alternate-day fasting) dietary-restriction regimen their overall food intake is not decreased and their body weight is maintained. Nevertheless, intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or exceeded those of caloric restriction including reduced serum glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic stress. Intermittent fasting therefore has beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake.

Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

More Reasons for IF and Calorie Restriction

Here's a few good reads regarding intermittent fasting and calorie restriction.  There's is an accumulating mound of evidence to support IF as a lifestyle.

Move more, eat less, make your life easier.

Enjoy the links.

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Are sprinters made differently?


I stole this story from Dennis Faye over at Fitness Nerd, but garnered it worth the thievery (thanks Dennis).  It's a study that he referenced that confirms that sprinters really are born and not made.

It's not that you cannot improve your speed, get stronger, and faster; but 'born' sprinters have an innate advantage over me and you.  It seems as though their heels are shorter and their toes are longer, thus giving them a leverage and 'time of contact to the ground' advantage. 


So that's why I'm so slow?

Until next time...


Friday, November 27, 2009

Did you plan for Thanksgiving?

If you ate to your heart's delight on Thanksgiving like I did, I'm hoping you had a plan.  I incorporated a pre-Thanksgiving fast coupled with a hard high-intensity-full-body workout,  a Thanksgiving sprint workout, and a post-Thanksgiving fast.

I'll also get in a quick, high-intesity workout today during my post-Thanksgiving fast.  And this is no small feat as I'm preparing a post-Thanksgiving turkey gumbo...but I'll wait to eat my serving tomorrow.

For me, it's not a huge deal because I'm currently eating in a small surplus to gain a little more muscle.  But Thanksgiving will put you in a HUGE caloric surplus if you don't adjust on the front-end or back-end; I've chosen to do both.

If you are not familiar with intermittent fasting, I suggest getting a copy of Eat Stop Eat.  There are countless benefits and it's a simple, easy way to manage your calories and still enjoy a normal life.

So enjoy all the goodies and dishes that you look forward to all year, but have a plan.  You'll feel better and thank yourself later.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Reduce Inflammation and Live Longer

I ran across a great article on the benefits of intermittent fasting.   Just more proof that IF is a legitimate way to lose weight, manage hormones, reduce inflammation and, yes, live longer.

I don't refer to IF as a diet (as the article does), but the benefits are well documented in this article.

Enjoy: http://bit.ly/4P81ud

Until next time...

Friday, November 13, 2009

To Marathon or Sprint

I recently ran (no pun intended) across a great article on marathons and 10 reasons NOT to run in marathons.  There are so many reasons not to run long distances...ever!  We were not made to run long distances.  Our bodies combat running long distances in a variety of ways and will do anything to protect us from doing so.   Signals from our mind and bodies tell us to halt immediately.

Top Ten Reasons Not to Run Marathons, by Arthur De Vany

In light of the three deaths last week in Detroit and the two deaths the week before in marathons or half marathons, I am reposting this old post of mine on the dangers of marathoning. The readers of my private blog have known not to engage in this dangerous activity for some time. I put this post up with some sadness and take no pleasure whatsoever in these tragic and needless deaths. It is a measure of how poor the prevailing fitness advice is that so many needless deaths occur in the quest for health.

I was speaking with some of the participants in the St. George Marathon before the Senior Games. Most of them had chronic or recent injuries from their last event or from their training. There was a sense of pride among them as though they had done something to prove something about themselves. Perhaps, but there are other goals one could have that are more heathful and fulfilling. Not one of them looked really fit or healthy. Most said they had formerly been sedentary and wanted to get up and show they still had it. A few had been doing it for many years; they really looked bad, wrinkled and skinny with no muscle and poor posture. Only a few natural runners looked OK.

I told them of the risks versus benefits of marathoning and all were astonished and in total denial. I sent them to this site and told them to look for a reprise of this old post. So, here it is. Let the complaints begin.

With my apologies to David Letterman, here are the top ten reasons not to run marathons.

10. Marathon running damages the liver and gall bladder and alters biochemical markers adversely. HDL is lowered, LDL is increased, Red blood cell counts and white blood cell counts fall. The liver is damaged and gall bladder function is decreased. Testosterone decreases.

From Wu, Worl J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep 15: 10 (18): 2711-4, “RESULTS: Total bilirubin (BIL-T), direct bilirubin (BIL-D), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) increased statistically significantly (P<0.05) the race. Significant declines (P<0.05) in red blood cell (RBC), hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) were detected two days and nine days d after the race. 2 d after the race, total protein (TP), concentration of albumin and globulin decreased significantly. While BIL, BIL-D and ALP recovered to their original levels. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) remained unchanged immediately after the race, but it was significantly decreased on the second and ninth days after the race. CONCLUSION: Ultra-marathon running is associated with a wide range of significant changes in hematological parameters, several of which are injury related. To provide appropriate health care and intervention, the man who receives athletes on high frequent training program high intensity training programs must monitor their liver and gallbladder function.”

9. Marathon running causes acute and severe muscle damage. Repetitive injury causes infiltration of collagen (connective tissue) into muscle fibers.

From Warhol et al Am J Pathol. 1985 Feb: 118 (2): 331-9, “Muscle from runners showed post-race ultrastructural changes of focal fiber injury and repair: intra- and extracellular edema with endothelial injury; myofibrillar lysis, dilation and disruption of the T-tubule system, and focal mitochondrial degeneration without inflammatory infiltrate (1-3 days). The mitochondrial and myofibrillar damage showed progressive repair by 3-4 weeks. Late biopsies showed central nuclei and satellite cells characteristic of the regenerative response (8-12 weeks). Muscle from veteran runners showed intercellular collagen deposition suggestive of a fibrotic response to repetitive injury. Control tissue from nonrunners showed none of these findings.”
8. Marathon running induces kidney disfunction (renal abnormalities).

From Neyiackas and Bauer, South Med J. 1981 Dec; 74 (12): 1457-60, “All postrace urinalyses were grossly abnormal…We conclude that renal function abnormalities occur in marathon runners and that the severity of the abnormality is temperature-dependent.”

7. Marathon running causes acute microthrombosis in the vascular system.

From Fagerhol et al Scan J Clin Invest. 2005; 65 (3): 211-20, “During the marathon, half-marathon, the 30-km run, the ranger-training course and the VO2max exercise, calprotectin levels increased 96.3-fold, 13.3-fold, 20.1-fold, 7.5-fold and 3.4-fold, respectively. These changes may reflect damage to the tissues or vascular endothelium, causing microthrombi with subsequent activation of neutrophils.”
6. Marathon running elevates markers of cancer. S100beta is one of these markers. Tumor necrosis factor, TNF-alpha, is another.

From Deichmann et al in Melanoma Res. 2001 June; 11 (3): 291-6. “In metastatic melanoma S100beta as well as melanoma inhibitory activity (MIA) are elevated in the serum in the majority of patients. Elevation has been found to correlate with shorter survival, and changes in these parameters in the serum during therapy were recently reported to predict therapeutic outcome in advanced disease.”

From Santos et al Life Sci. 2004 September: 75 (16): 1917:24, “After the test (a 30km run), athletes from the control group presented an increase in plasma CK (4.4-fold), LDH (43%), PGE2 6.6-fold) and TNF-alpha (2.34-fold) concentrations, indicating a high level of cell injury and inflammation.”

5. Marathon running damages your brain. The damage resembles acute brain trauma. Marathon runners have elevated S100beta, a marker of brain damage and blood brain barrier disfunction. There is S100beta again, a marker of cancer and of brain damage.
From Marchi, et al Restor Neurol Neurosci, 2003; 21 (3-4): 109-21, “S100beta in serum is an early marker of BBB openings that may precede neuronal damage and may influence therapeutic strategies. Secondary, massive elevations in S100beta are indicators of prior brain damage and bear clinical significance as predictors of poor outcome or diagnostic means to differentiate extensive damage from minor, transient impairment.”  Other studies indicate confusion in post-event marathon runners.
4. Marathons damage your heart.

From Whyte, et al Med Sci Sports Ecerc, 2001 May, 33 (5) 850-1, “Echocardiographic studies report cardiac dysfunction following ultra-endurance exercise in trained individuals. Ironman and half-Ironman competition resulted in reversible abnormalities in resting left ventricular diastolic and systolic function. Results suggest that myocardial damage may be, in part, responsible for cardiac dysfunction, although the mechanisms responsible for this cardiac damage remain to be fully elucidated.”
3. Endurance athletes have more spine degeneration.

From Schmitt et al Int J Sports Med. 2005 Jul; 26 (6): 457-63, “The aim of this study was to assess bone mineral density (BMD) and degenerative changes in the lumbar spine in male former elite athletes participating in different track and field disciplines and to determine the influence of body composition and degenerative changes on BMD. One hundred and fifty-nine former male elite athletes (40 throwers, 97 jumpers, 22 endurance athletes) were studied. …Throwers had a higher body mass index than jumpers and endurance athletes. Throwers and jumpers had higher BMD (T-LWS) than endurance athletes. Bivariate analysis revealed a negative correlation of BMD (T-score) with age and a positive correlation with BMD and Kellgren score (p < 0.05). Even after multiple adjustment for confounders lumbar spine BMD is significantly higher in throwers, pole vaulters, and long- and triple jumpers than in marathon athletes.”

The number two reason not to run marathons.

2. At least four particiants of the Boston Marathon have died of brain cancer in the past 10 years. Purely anecdotal, but consistent with the elevated S100beta counts and TKN-alpha measures. Perhaps also connected to the microthrombi of the endothelium found in marathoners. [Sterling Advice note: 15,000 cases per year in U.S. general population and 10,000 deaths (.0200%) .  4 deaths in Boston Marathoners per 20,000 participants (.0033%).]

And now ladies and gentlemen the number one reason not to run marathons,

1. The first marathon runner, Phidippides, collapsed and died at the finish of his race. [ Jaworski, Curr Sports Med Rep. 1005 June; 4 (3), 137-43.]

Now there is a recommendation for a healthy activity. The original participant died in the event. But, this is not quite so unusual; many of the running and nutritional gurus of the past decade or two died rather young. Pritikin, Sheehy, Fixx, and Atkins, among many other originators of “healthy” practices died at comparatively young ages. Jack LaLanne, the only well-known guru to advocate body building, will outlive us all.

This got me thinking...

Compare a marathoner to a sprinter.  What would you rather look like?  Would you rather look and be healthy and strong OR unhealthy and weak?