Title is a bit misleading as I am not discovering the concept of carb cycling for the first time but rather, some effects from what may have been unintentional cycling, or perhaps put better, radical diet change as a result of moving to Germany.
Apart from the heaps of uncritical yes-sayers that froth and foam over comment status in semi-intelligent text (read: someone who sometimes uses citations), what really gets under my skin is a systematic hash of bad ideas combined with circumstantial and cherry picked evidence to the tune of sardonic haughtiness.
I can’t help saying a few points just to kind of solidify my stance on this debate between the carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis and the food reward/calories in calories out hypothesis for which Gary Taubes and Stephan Guyenet have ascended their respective soap boxes.
Continuing my discussion of athletic sport training, I’d like to look at the unique role of the brain and nervous system in what may be termed the mind-muscle connection and mental training. A good sports training regimen is not complete without time spent in mental preparation. This can be in the form of play visualizations, conscious muscle innervation or motor pattern training, or residual self-imaging and awareness where one imagines how they want to look or feel during sport performance. Mental training is a powerful tool in the athlete’s training arsenal because it is indefatigable, can increase muscle coordination, and can be performed anywhere at any time without the person ever lifting a finger.
I’d like to begin a couple of posts about physical training for sport and general athletics. As I’ve mentioned before, I played a sport called kayak (or canoe) polo competitively for a number of years and was also a gymnast in a past life. So there have been a few periods in which sport specific training was required of me, but none of which I felt were very well organized. I’ve had a fair bit of time to experiment, read, learn and ferment some solid opinions on how a casual to semi-pro athlete should conduct their training in order to reap some maximum benefits without the full time investment of a pro-athlete.
There’s been a lot of new developments since my last post and I’m feeling rather guilty for not updating anything in a long long time so this is my concession to begin blogging again. And if anyone reads this, they can understand that the dialogue potentially will become much more present tense and less speculative as it evolves to fit with what I will be doing for the next 3 years.
After perusing the internet for a half hour and skimming a few articles this morning (nothing out of the ordinary), I felt especially annoyed at the amount of advice out there from established “advice givers” who are at best up-jumped know-nothings who happen to be at a certain level of comfort in their own lives that they feel qualified to instruct others in how to achieve this sort of satisfaction.
This advice tends to be some variety of the “don’t stress” talk and “everything in moderation” and it’s complete crap. If anyone ever says “all things in moderation” as an answer to a legitimate question you have asked, completely disregard them. It’s a cop-out that really means “I don’t have a clue about what I’m talking about” and “I don’t have to think about what I do and things work out so why shouldn’t the same work for you?”. It’s not an answer, it’s not helpful, and it’s just plain belittling to the people that are actually establishing facts from real research and real work. A question deserves an answer or at least an honest assessment of whether or not one can provide that answer. It does not deserve some hand-waving dismissive fluff talk by someone who can’t admit that they don’t have the answer and, worse, don’t feel like trying.
I am becoming more and more amazed at the frequency with which stochastic principles apply to theories in human health. According to the black swan theory and effect (the impact of improbability on a certain outcome), infrequent, intermittent or chaotic actions impart the largest influence, rather than predictable and repeated stimuli. We’re learning this in exercise where an 8 minute Tabata drill outperforms a 40 minute endurance run with regard to fitness level. Now, Gary Taubes is very logically arguing the same concept in regards to caloric balance. He points out that remaining in caloric balance requires a precision of better than 1% and asks whether this is truly the answer to a stable body weight.
To be completely honest, I had expected my discussion about muscle activity to eventually roll into a broader talk about metabolism sooner or later. It’s not a point I intend to drive home necessarily, but I think there’s a lot of relevant connection between the metabolic response to food and the metabolic actions of our muscle tissue. However this post does come a little bit sooner then than I had hoped, but it seems to be an appropriate time in the general omniscient wave of collaborative circulating thought to discuss the heated back and forth about adequate or responsible carbohydrate consumption.