PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.

Cracking Your Holiday Calorie Code

Gaining weight during the holiday season has become as much an American tradition as the holidays themselves. It doesn’t have to be this way though. I will explain here the fundamental reason this weight gain happens, and your way out of this vicious pattern.

If you are a reader, then keep reading. If you would rather watch and/or just listen to this post in video form, just click this link: http://youtu.be/yPoHbTDmzgU

 First, I want to suggest that you change your approach and how you talk to yourself about holiday eating. Most people say the following things to themselves and/or others, or something similar:
  • “I don’t want to gain weight during the holidays this year.”
  • “I hope I don’t gain as much weight as I did last year.”
  • “Here it comes again. Foods I can’t resist, and the resulting weight gain.”
  • “I just love those holiday foods too much to resist. My willpower goes out the window during the holidays.”
  • “My darn family makes me go off my good eating habits and drags me down to their level.”

What ever message you tell yourself, even if it’s not listed above, it’s probably similar in some way and is a big part of why the holiday season is such a weight struggle for you.

Want to know why? Just read on.

Recent brain science has discovered that (more…)

Does anyone else see a problem here?

By Alki X Gym trainer, Aaron Wagar

 Many of you may have heard of CrossFit’s mascot Uncle Pukey. You may have even seen T-shirts depicting him. But I wonder how many of you have heard of CrossFit’s Uncle Rhabdo? Personally, I was shocked when I heard of him.

uncleRhabdoUncle Rhabdo is a clown. In the classic CrossFit-style cartoon, Uncle Rhabdo is standing in a pool of his own blood (pictured left). He is hooked up to a dialysis machine, his kidney has fallen out along with part of his bowel, and he is visibly exhausted. Uncle Rhabdo is suffering from Rhabdomyolysis.

This is a serious condition in which muscle cells breakdown and overwhelm the kidneys – body’s blood filtering system. This not a tiny bit of muscle damage, this is a catastrophic breakdown which always results in kidney damage and even potential kidney failure. Yes, Rhabdomyolysis can kill you.

I first heard of Rhabdomyolysis a few weeks back when a fellow exercise scientist shared a blog post with me. The blog post detailed how a young, fit physical therapist developed Rhabdomyolysis as a consequence of a CrossFit workout. The workout consisted of partnering up with a fellow Crossfitter, and doing as many sets as possible of pushups and overhead presses. The partners would trade off every 10 reps. This young woman did “hundreds of repetitions of each.” She explained that she did not want to “not match my partner.” Normally she probably would have rested a little, “but the partner workout kept me going.”

On the way home from CrossFit, her arms felt like Jell-O. Her triceps were in agony. She wasn’t sure why her (more…)