Newsletter #82

About the Author: Eric Cressey

All my writing of late has been devoted to a new e-book, so I needed a break from the normal newsletter goings-on.  With that in mind,  It seems only fitting that for every 81 newsletters I write that are packed with content, I am allowed to have one rant. Here it is.

1. How is it that people find it so difficult to eat enough fiber? The average American consumes only 12-15 grams per day, roughly half of the minimum recommended dose per day. Even if you’re eating pure garbage, you’re going to accidentally get some fiber here and there; simply adding in an apple or two will get you to where you want to be.

Or, you can be like Tony Gentilcore and get it all at once. He busted out this concoction a month or so ago and I had to take a picture.

It’s a can of pumpkin, ½ cup (raw measure) oats, ½ cup blueberries, 1 scoop low-carb Metabolic Drive, and 1 cup steamed broccoli (yes, that last ingredient came out of left field) – for a grand total of right about 35g in one sitting.

Granted, Tony spent two days in the bathroom and has been too timid to speak ever since, but we’re confident that with another few years of therapy, he’ll come around.

Kidding aside, a little innovation can go a long way. It’s one reason why I like Mike Roussell’s Naked Nutrition Manual; there are a lot of great ideas like this, even if they aren’t quite as extreme!

2. I can’t stand it when I hear coaches talking about “producing” athletes. Athletes produce themselves and coaches guide them. And, the likelihood of a single coach completely producing an athlete is incredibly rare; you have managers, agents, tactical coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, massage therapists, physical therapists, athletic trainers – and of course, parents, friends, and teammates – that contribute to an athlete’s success. My goal as a coach is to do my part and work in collaboration with those other parties.

When a coach says that he “produced” an athlete, it does a disservice to all those other individuals and the athlete himself – and should make you wonder if that coach is more about himself or his athletes. More often than not, it’s about the coach – and he butts heads with the other parties. This illustrates just one more reason why being an effective communicator is important for being a good coach.

3. I have a hard time understanding how people can still write programs without single-leg work. Unilateral training for the lower body can go a long way in preventing lower back, hip, and knee issues, and has a fantastic functional carryover to the real world. Dropping a set of squat or deadlifts in favor of some unilateral work isn’t going to kill you; just do it.  Better yet, do the squats and deadlifts AND the unilateral work.

4. If you don’t train yourself, don’t try to train others. I don’t care if you run marathons, lift heavy stuff, or are a competitive eater. Get in the gym and work hard; it’ll give you a better perspective to work with the individuals you’re trying to help.

5. Fake research seems to be more and more prevalent with the growth of training discussion on the internet, and this really drives me nuts. I take issue with coaches blatantly lying about methods. Good research isn’t about sample sizes of one and making preposterous claims about how Supplement X will lower cortisol by 47% (they always use odd numbers), but only if you’re a Capricorn and it’s consumed prior to 4PM in the month of March.

Real research takes time and solid sample sizes. My master’s thesis “calendar” included study design, IRB approval, pre-testing, a ten-wek training intervention, post-testing, data analysis, loads of writing and revisions, and a defense in front of s panel of really smart PhDs before it was submitted for publication. From start to finish, the project took three years – about two years, 364 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 55 seconds longer than it takes to make something up.

The take-home lesson? Be a skeptic – especially when it comes to claims that can potentially lead to that individual separating you from your money.

Cynically Yours (at least for this week),