Interesting headlines this week about how unnecessary multivitamins are; they’re a waste of money; they might be harmful etc. etc.  As you know, there are always multiple sides to any story.  So I was pleasantly surprised to see an article in the latest NSCA Performance Training Journal (Dec ’13) by Brian St. Pierre and John Berardi
titled “Three Steps to help clients and athletes get their eating on track.”  If you’re not familiar with John Berardi and Precision Nutrition, he’s considered a leading expert in the field of nutrition and athletics, bottom line is that he’s knows his stuff.

So here are the three steps:

 #1: Identify and Remove Deficiencies
 #2 Adjust food type and amount
 #3 Adjust food and Macronutrient composition

 What I found most interesting given this week’s vitamin controversy was their info for step #1.   
Excerpts here:  “Surprisingly, people often struggle with the results not because of their entire eating lifestyle, but due to a dietary deficiency……..
A recent study revealed that it is very difficult to avoid a dietary deficiency from eating just food alone.  By analyzing 70 athlete’s diets, this study showed that every single person was deficient in three or more nutrients while some were deficient in up to 15 different nutrients…………Not having enough essential nutrients can result in altered energy levels, appetite, strength, endurance, and mood……New clients often experience deficiencies in water, vitamins and minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids. While this may seem daunting to fix, simply staying hydrated, eating more foods that are high in protein and essential fatty acids, and consuming more of the vitamins or minerals that they lack is usually the best way to improve their nutritional health. (Emphasis added).

Sounds like a multivitamin and some fish oil is pretty reasonable insurance to me!

Steps 2 & 3 go into general recommendations for men vs. women and ecto-, endo-, and mesomorph body types.   Won’t go into that here, but If you want a copy of the article, let me know and I’ll send you one.

Some recent things that caught my fancy, you might like
24 Free Downloads from Gun Digest 
Ammo, ballistics, concealed carry – probably something here you can download and read during football games over the holidays.  Found HERE

A Roadmap for BJJ by Stephan Kesting
Being a non-grappler (at this time), I found the concept of “positional hierarchy” very interesting.  Can’t say that I’ve seen it laid out like that before, maybe I just
haven’t been actively studying it enough.  Found HERE 
Jason C. Brown, Top 5 KB for BJJ
Love Jason’s materials and approach to KBs, movement, and BJJ.   My favorite on this list is the “Gorilla Cleans” or alternating DB KB cleans.   These are a go-to exercise when you want to put the hurtin’ on.   YouTube video HERE

Infographic – Why grains are really the bane of a healthy existence 
With the increase in gluten-free interest in our household, and a general feeling that people have been brainwashed into a high carb diet for no good reason, I thought this infographic was cool.
8 Sprints 
Because it can never hurt to have another Sprint workout to try.  Found HERE

Just a couple of quick weekend links.

The first for those of you interested in learning or expanding your knowledge about the Paleo movement.  Even if you don't follow it strictly, the basic principles can lead to some healthier eating.  Some recommended resources can be found here:  "
Must Read Paleo Books". 

And for those of you interested in barefoot or minimalist shoe running, some economical footwear alternatives can be found here:  "The Cheap Minimal Shoe / Cheap “Barefoot Shoe” Review Roundup".  I've also heard good things about these Parkour shoes:  Feiyue Parkour Training Shoes
“Becoming new” is a thing you can do any time you realize you and your adversary have got into the feeling of just scraping along – you should immediately change your spirit, and employ a totally different tactic to win.”
–Miyamoto Musashi, Go Rin No Sho, from the “Fire” scroll

So who’s your adversary? Unlike Musashi, it’s probably not an adversary bent on your imminent destruction.  But is it a feeling
of boredom or stagnation with your training routine?  Reluctance to embark on a better nutritional plan?  Feeling tired with the current 8-5?  All of these things can be considered an adversary, or at least adversarial.

In most of these cases, it is a matter of “spirit” or even “will”.  You have to want to  continue, to make a change, to train even if you don’t feel like it.  I’ve been training on a regular and serious basis for over 30 years.  Needless to say, I love to train!  But there are days where I have to drag my lazy tush off the couch and talk myself into getting something done.  It happens. One of the reasons I research and try different training techniques is to keep it fresh and interesting, to keep from “just scraping along.”  My philosophy is that if you keep things fun, interesting, maybe add a little element of danger or craziness, you’re more likely to want to train, and likely to train more frequently and for longer.   And that’s a good thing.  Because all the reps count, and they all add up.  Training is supposed to be a lifelong endeavor, and it’s supposed to be fun, not a chore.  
So follow Musashi’s advice – change your spirit.  Employ something totally different, become new, become energized, and train.

I like the latest and greatest training tools, techniques and supplements.  Who
doesn’t?  We’ve got pre-workout drinks and regimens, during workout drinks, post workout drinks and supplements.  G1, G2, G3….pretty soon there’ll be a G:Sleep iv-drip for optimum recovery when you’re body needs it most, during delta brain waves.

But deep down I think we all know that simple is better.  And certainly less expensive.  Endurance athletes that normally eat Sports Jelly Beans during prolonged sessions will find sun-dried raisins to be a cost-effective alternative (J. Strength Cond Res 25
(11): 3150 –3156, 2011).  They’re equally effective at maintaining blood glucose levels and I’m sure they taste better.  Likewise, low fat chocolate milk is found in more and more studies to be an ideal post-workout recovery drink (J. Strength Cond Res 25 (11): 3198 – 3204, 2011).  And who doesn’t like chocolate milk?

It’s not that complicated. Train on a regular basis in your chosen activity/sport.  Strive for steady, incremental progress. Keep records. Eat frequent, balanced meals (carbs/protein) of whole foods.  Have some fun.  Get some sleep.   That doesn’t sound hard, does it?  So get off your rump and just go do it.