Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Questions for Chris: Eggs and A New Perspective

Q: How to hard boil eggs
A: I'm assuming you're asking "How do you hard boil eggs?" Well in that case, check out this post I did awhile back - At Home with Chris P. - Hardboiling Eggs

Q: Does eating a lot of eggs increase cholesterol or risk for heart disease?
A: No. First of all, dietary cholesterol is different than blood cholesterol. Secondly, even if it were, high blood cholesterol does not cause CVD (cardiovascular disease) and subsequently myocardial infarctions (heart attacks). If there IS a number to be concerned about about it, it would be your triglycerides, fasting blood sugar levels, and small dense LDL particles. These are more closely associated with the bad stuff.

Q: Hi Chris, I'm interested to hear your feedback on the article by Gillian Mounsey entitled "A New Perspective" that was posted on Aimee's blog with the 7/27 wod.  - Joe
A: For those that have not read the article, here it is: A New Perspective. Now, I'm not going to claim I know Gillian Mounsey very well. I do know she has been a "famous" CrossFitter in the past and I totally respect her athletic achievements. While her article can seem like CrossFit is bad for people, I think you need to read it with...perspective. 
This is a world class athlete with a clear need for competition and high standards. She grew up being a "natural" athlete and went through phases of gymnastics,  bodybuilding, CrossFit, and now strength training in the form of barbell lifts and olympic lifting. She paints a picture of CrossFit that is a program which runs people into the ground with high volume exercises where form is not the priority. Unfortunately I have to agree with her; but only to an extent. 
I do think that many people become addicted to CrossFit and the "unknown and unknowable" workouts stimulate that part of the brain that says "Yeah, let's do this crazy workout so I can look better naked AND tell my friends what I did." This is why I wrote my recent article on "Obsession with Epicness." It's not smart to run yourself into the ground day after day and expect to A.) get stronger and/or B.) think it's healthy. That's just fracking ridiculous logic.
The bottom line is that people need to be smart with training. And if you're not smart enough, then find a smart trainer. Like I said, I respect Gillian's accomplishments and her history, but a lot of the negative aspects of CrossFit were her own doing (or her coach's) If she didn't learn proper form, or decided to do a ridiculous workout with heavy weight and high reps, etc. then that was her decision. At the end of the day, no one forced her to Zone, lose form during Grace, or do 150 pull ups/150 burpees after a CrossFit hiatus. Those were her decisions. It's pretty clear that she either sets high expectations for herself or feels like others expect big things from her.
I think one of the benefits of CrossFit is that it introduces movements that normal people would never encounter. I see soccer moms deadlifting and backsquatting and this would have never happened if it weren't for CrossFit.  Gillian talks about the benefits of barbell squatting, pressing, etc. and I am confident that if it weren't for CrossFit, many women (and men) would not be doing these things at all. If CrossFit needs to be the gateway towards strength training, so be it.
If there is anything to take from her article, it's to focus on form first and not let your ego get in the way of smart training. Programming is important too. Instead of every day being a grind of 30 min+ workouts, you should be strength training and be ok with untimed workouts. Not everyone is looking to compete like Gillian. She needed a focus and she found it in olympic lifting meets. I think everyone will go through an evolution of training, but if you can establish a solid focus on form and strength training, everything else will fall into place. 

More reading: 

1 comment:

  1. Coach,
    Thanks for writing such a thoughtful and insightful response to my question!

    I'll take this article as a reminder to place a higher priority on form and mobility than on setting new PRs; to develop training plans and stick to them, i.e. working on a particular skill at an open gym instead of being talked into doing a long chipper; to program rest days; and as you said try to be smart in general about training.

    You also mentioned the importance of having a smart trainer. You Chris are an extremely smart trainer and I know I'm so lucky to work with you and hear your advice so frequently!


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