Thursday 151015

In 20 minutes work up to a heavy complex of:
1 Squat clean + 4 front squats

Then, every minute on the minute for 5 minutes:
1 Clean + 2 front squats @ 80% of today’s heaviest complex

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Just a little #TBT, and look forward to Saturday, picture of Eric and Courtney right after finishing the EOD 130 memorial WOD last year. Are you ready for this? Grab a partner and get signed up this Saturday.

Just a little #TBT picture of Eric and Courtney right after finishing the EOD 130 memorial WOD last year. Are you ready for this? Grab a partner and get signed up for it this Saturday.


Do not consume the cholesterol, the cholesterol has gone bad. Said by my Grammy. And really, what does she know? By Courtney Shepherd and Brett & Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness

I love my Grammy dearly and I’m certain she would laugh at me for accusing her of not knowing anything. . . my Grammy knows, that I know, that she knows everything. And yeah, I really call her Grammy. Grammy B to be exact. We do however have regular disagreements about all things nutrition. These disagreements are based on us coming from two very different generations of looking at food and food science. One of our disagreements is about cholesterol. My Grammy has a minor heart attack every time she hears about me eating 4-8 eggs per day. My Grammy is of the understanding  that diets high in cholesterol and fat result in heart disease and other health related problems. The truth is that the information most people believe about cholesterol has been found to be wrong. Cholesterol is not a bad guy, he’s just been given a bad guy reputation, when really he’s just misunderstood.

In the article “Everything You Know About Cholesterol is Wrong” by the fine people at The Art of Manliness, they dive into “the real dope on this right old molecular chap”.

Without cholesterol, you would die. Simple as that.

That’s because cholesterol is the raw material your body uses for a whole host of functions. For example, did you know that the membrane of all your cells consists of a good amount of cholesterol? Without it, we’d be gelatinous blobs because our cells wouldn’t have any structure to them. Besides keeping us from melting into puddles of goop, cholesterol also provides the following benefits:

*Sex hormones are made from cholesterol. Testosterone — the hormone that puts hair on your chest and makes you strong like bull — is made from cholesterol. And it’s not just T. Estrogen, and the sex hormones needed for female sex traits, are made from cholesterol, too.

Because cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone, a common side effect found among men taking statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) is a drop in libido as well as an increase in erectile dysfunction. Several studies have confirmed the connection between lowered cholesterol levels and lowered testosterone levels.

*Vitamin D is made from cholesterol. “Vitamin D” is actually a misnomer because it’s not a vitamin, but rather a hormone. And just as cholesterol serves as the precursor to sex hormones, it’s also necessary to the production of the hormone Vitamin D. Whenever the cholesterol in your skin is exposed to sunlight, particularly UV-B rays, a chemical reaction occurs which results in the production of Vitamin D3. Sure, you can take an oral supplement to get the same result, but if your body can make it free from just cholesterol and sunlight, you might as well take advantage of it.

Our bodies use Vitamin D for a variety of important functions such as immune response, regulation of calcium and phosphate, inflammation reduction, and even gene expression. Increased levels of it are associated with better mental and emotional health as well as increased testosterone levels.

*Bile acids are made from cholesterol. That steak you ate last night had to be broken down so your body could use it for nutrients. Bile acids play an important role in that breakdown process. And yep, bile acids are made from our handy friend, Mr. Cholesterol.

*Cholesterol is vital for brain health. Your brain is filled with cholesterol. Not only does your noodle use it to make new neural cells, it’s also used to maintain their integrity and facilitate cellular communication by helping form the myelin sheaths that coat the cells.

Studies have found that low cholesterol levels are linked to memory loss, depression, and aggression. Research has shown that cholesterol may play a role in the effective release of neurotransmitters; without it, your brain just can’t make all the cellular connections it needs to maintain its sharpness and vibrancy.

*Cholesterol may help fight infections. Research has shown an inverse correlation between cholesterol levels and infections — the lower your cholesterol levels, the greater your vulnerability to getting sick. So how does cholesterol fight infections? Studies suggest that LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol — more on LDL below) plays a role in stimulating our immune system to fight off infection. When cholesterol levels are low, there’s a decrease in the production of certain antibodies.

Why Cholesterol Got a Bad Rap?

If cholesterol provides so many health benefits, how did it get such a bad rap? It was a mixture of bad science and politics as usual. Based on a flawed study done in the 1950’s (click here to read full article and more info on the flawed study) the result was a boom in food products marketed as “Low Fat” and “Heart Healthy.” Low-fat Snackwell cookies, cholesterol-free margarine, and non-fat potato chips lined the shelves of grocery stores. Americans replaced natural foods that had been common fare for centuries with these lab-produced, factory-made products. They stopped eating eggs and butter, switched from whole to skim milk, and gave up on bacon.

What’s more, pharmaceutical companies jumped on this bandwagon and created cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. Statins work by blocking a substance your body needs to create cholesterol. Doctors began prescribing these drugs by the boatloads to any patient who walked in with higher than normal cholesterol levels. But a funny thing happened. Despite the fact that more Americans were eating low-fat and cholesterol-free foods, heart disease rates and obesity continued to climb. What gives?

Because it is not cholesterol and fat that cause people to gain weight and get heart disease; it is sugar and processed carbs. And guess what food manufacturers often replaced the missing fat with in their “heart healthy foods”? Sugar and processed carbs, of course. And that cholesterol-free margarine? It was made from hydrogenated vegetable oil that created trans fat, a type of fat that actually is linked to heart disease and stroke.

And all those statin prescriptions? They worked wonderfully at lowering cholesterol…but probably a little too wonderfully. Many patients began complaining about symptoms like memory loss, depression, increased infections, erectile dysfunction, and lowered testosterone levels. Researchers discovered that in many patients, statins lowered cholesterol levels so much that the body wasn’t getting enough of the cholesterol it needed for healthy functioning.

Thankfully, in the past few years, we’ve regained some sanity when it comes to fat and cholesterol. Recent research has confirmed what scientists 60 years ago knew. It’s not dietary cholesterol and saturated fat that causes heart disease, it’s sugar combined with other lifestyle factors — like stress and being sedentary — that promote inflammation.

Next Thursday we will continue on our “Cholesterol isn’t bad, he’s just misunderstood” journey and discuss how our bodies get the cholesterol it needs, good vs bad cholesterol (LDL vs HDL), and answer the big question on everyone’s mind. . . is it okay to eggs? Seriously Grammy, lay off me!!

So stay tuned. AND get signed up for the EOD 130 memorial WOD this Saturday. For more info, to register, and to donate, click here.



  1. Jason A :

    Yes I’m stealing this

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