Saturday, July 31, 2010

Save Money: Buy More Meat!

As you know, meat is a big part of a performance and health diet, but it can get expensive to keep the cuts of meat constantly varied! One solution is to buy bigger parts of the animal to cut down on cost and the number of trips you need to make to a butcher or store. Some people will buy a whole cow while others will split parts of the animal with groups of people. While the cost upfront can be steep (upwards of $2,000 for a whole cow), it will save you money in the long run because the cost per cut goes down. Plus, you don't have to head out to the store as much. All you need is some planning and enough freezer space. Deep freezers are ideal if you have the room for one. 

Here is an excellent guide by Iowa State on what cuts of beef and pork look like and what to expect when buying in bulk. It's very thorough and goes through things like the differences among live weight vs. hang weight vs. cut weight; plus it has colorful pictures of different cuts of beef so you can actually know what the difference between a NY strip and T-bone are: Beef and Pork Whole Animal Guide

Eat Wild has a listing by state of farms that will sell whole-eighth of animals, here is the link for my Pennsylvania friends, but you can get to any state from here: Eat Wild - PA

Have you bought animals in bulk? Would you consider doing it if a group of people went in on one?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Supplements: Vitamin D

Check out the video above for a great explanation of Vitamin D. Basically, you want to get a good amount of natural sunlight everyday (20-40 minutes at least, but without burning) and if you cannot (especially during the winter months on the East Coast) then supplement with Vitamin D from a store. Eating meat will also provide a small amount of Vitamin D, but the best source hands down is the sun. Supplements are super cheap and depending on skin color, diet, etc. you could take anywhere from 4000-10,000 IU per day. By doing so, you bolster your immune system, retains calcium, reduces inflammation, and help a host of other processes in the body, including defenses against cancer and infections.

How much sun do you get per day? Do you notice your physical or mental health vary with the amount of sunlight you are exposed to? 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Big Isn't Strong, Strong is Strong

Big isn't strong, strong is strong. Do you agree or disagree?  When I went to my USAW certification and saw a 26-year old guy clean and jerk 225# at 5'2" and 120 lbs. it really humbled me. (and that was his daily practice, not even an PR) Now to be clear, he had been oly lifting for 8 years and had amazing technique, but it was fun to watch him work. 
"Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy" occurs when fluid in the muscle increases due to muscle fatigue. The guys who want to get huge should train for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. "Myofibrillar hypertrophy" occurs when the actual muscle tissue increases in size due to muscle tension. This results in a dense muscular look. The small olympic lifter would train mostly singles and triples (reps) under maximal tension, therefore resulting in mostly myofibrillar hypertrophy. 
So, what are your thoughts on perception of strength and reality? Have you encountered people who you think are strong, but they don't live up to expectations? Or vice versa: have you encountered people who are "normal" sized or even small and are stronger than you ever expected? Is there a difference between technical lifts such as the the clean and jerk and "real world" strength such as lifting a box? Which would you rather be?

Shorter, More Frequent Posts

The title pretty much says it all. I find it challenging to sit down and write long posts that require a few hours of research/writing. So I'm going to change over to more frequent posts, but much shorter length. Every so often I will throw in a longer post when it's necessary. I hope this is ok with everyone! Of course you can always throw me anonymous feedback with the box in the upper right corner.
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