My Thoughts on the Biggest Loser
I watched the recent episode of the Biggest Loser, the one where Bob Harper brought his obsession of CrossFit into one of the shows workouts by having the contestants do “Fran”. The first thing I thought about was how I felt at those bigger sizes trying to do things like jumping pull-ups, and squats. At one point of one of the younger guys fights for air, which is a feeling that I will never forget, because the more you try and open your mouth and open your throat for air the more it feels like it’s closing.
This happens not just because of poor fitness, but because your body weight actually compresses your internal organs. When you are carrying an extra 200 lbs your fat presses down on your lungs, and it is a laboring process to just breathe, which is why sleep apnea is so prominent in obese people (when I had a sleep study done before I was told that I stopped breathing 50-60 times an hour). You add to that decreased lung function taxing cardiovascular work, and it’s like breathing with a plastic bag on your head.
Second I was getting annoyed by the contestants. Listening to these people bitch, and moan, made me want to fly out to California and say to them this fucking shitty attitude you are displaying is how you ended up as obese fucks in the first place, I know from experience. The guy who just won a spot back on the ranch has the best attitude, and he’s a guy who will stay lean once he gets there, everyone else I assure will be on a road back to obesity.
I know a large percentage of the people who were contestants will regain the weight; in fact more than one winner has had to do something drastic to lose the weight a second time.
Having just posted about my body weight issues yesterday, I had a bit of my neurotic insanity thrown back into my face. I’ve lived in a similar environment to what the contestants go through on the show, and had been taught the same concepts of nutrition.
What really started to irritate me was the attitude the contestants had with each other which was a direct result of viewing weight loss through the lens of balancing a mathematical equation of caloric input versus caloric output, if that were true the following would have not happened(read previous post here) to me.
I also found it ironic that the two new people added to the show this week lost the smallest amount of weight because their diets had changed at the ranch to include more “Healthy Carbs” like oatmeal, when it appeared that at home they had stayed away from carbs.
I just thought to myself if they were eating a low carb diet, and then started taking in more refined carbs, of course weight loss would be inhibited because their insulin would be going “What the fuck just happened?”
I can’t remember if I read this on Marks Daily Apple, or another similar blog, but the writer posed a simple question to people to name an essential carb, meaning that he/she wanted you to name a single carbohydrate that you had to eat to survive. The answer is none.
What smacked me in the face, and made me realize how my neurotic Asian behavior is probably causing me to stress while I sleep, was the connection made between effort and weight. The contestants were saying things such as, “well this person should have worked harder, because they only lost a small amount of weight”, and that they were being lazy.
Ian tried to explain to me months ago, that my output and weight loss aren’t necessarily connected, that I shouldn’t judge my efforts based on feedback from output mechanisms like how much I sweat, or how tired I feel, or how long I workout.
He told me that my best changes every day.
He tried to get me to think about results oriented measurable goals like weight moved, or movements mastered, things which are tangible and quantifiable, because I have to judge performance based on something which can be measured.
You know there was one other guy who was saying something similar, but it sounded more like caveman grunting so I needed an interpreter.
On the one hand I am going to focus more on my performance in the gym, like being able to do strict pull-ups, or to do at least half of the Metcons as prescribed. These are realistic performance oriented goals.
At the same time my obsession with my weight will probably not change but it won’t be the primary focus. I am 10 lbs away from 250 lbs, and I’m 16 lbs away from having lost 200 lbs…I was 443 lbs at my heaviest. This is a real goal that I want to hit. From the 240’s down I don’t think I would care if it took an entire year to get there, but the shorter term goal is something that will make me nutty.
Thanks to the MoMos on the Biggest Loser I’m less likely to bang my head into a wall when I work hard and see no results on the scale. I call them Momos because not all that long ago I considered putting in an application.
When you feel helpless, you are…when you realize you have control over your life there is nothing that will prevent you from achieving your goals.
Today’s WoD involved establishing a one rep maximum for your jerk, and then a metcon of Ring-Dips, Box Jumps, and weighted lunges.
During the jerks, I partnered with Loren, who previously had only gotten to 185 lbs, the most I had done was the previous week doing 185 lbs, so we paired up pretty well, and in the end he was able to jerk is body weight at 205 lbs.
After 2 failed attempts on the third one I was able to Jerk 215 lbs. When I got 215 lbs up, I felt like I could get 225 lbs, but ran out of time. I am so close to jerking two red plates…damn you 225 lbs.
Here is video from my 3 attempts at 215 lbs.
Here is video of Loren at 205 lbs.
The metcon was a 21-15-9, doing the above mentioned motions, so the first round we did 21 reps, the second 15, and finished with 9 reps per exercise. The prescribed work was to do ring dips, box jumps at 30”, and lunges with a 45 lbs plate, remember what I wrote yesterday about doing 2/3 rx, not this one. I had to use a green band to assist on the dips, and had to use a 24” box. I was able to do the lunges as prescribed.
I finished the WoD in 7:18, and look forward to the day I can do the dips, and the 30” box. Ricky gave me a good bit of advice today. He told me to pause at the top, and not on the bottom. I am going to have to work on getting down, and up, instead of up and down.
Here is the ugliness.
I also started doing Recon Ron today. Recon Ron is a training program from the Marine Corp designed to help improve someone’s ability to do pull-ups, or push-ups. It’s a 38 week program done over 5-6 days. If it’s good enough for the jarheads, it’s good enough for me.
It’s done with 6 sets and varying number of reps, it simply adds volume over time, but I think it’s a nice simple way to improve at something without a huge time commitment. So I started week 1.
Week 1 day 1, I did two sets of 6, two sets of 5, one set of 4, and one set of 3. I used the black and purple band. I’m hoping as time goes on I can reduce the bands as well; I also did the same sets above for push-ups. I would like to get stronger at push-ups so during something like Murph I can do all of the push-ups strict.
I went to my first addition of Barbell Club aka Ryan Powell’s kingdom. Barbell club is the equivalent to an “open gym” time that some other CrossFit gyms have, it’s an opportunity to work on Olympic and Power Lifts. It’s not a class, and intended for instruction but King Powell is there to help direct, or provide feedback on your lifts. I went with the intention of working on my 1 rep max power clean, only to find out that the mechanics of my cleans in general suck.
Right before barbell club I went to see Doctor Moses and NOVA Pain and Rehab. I went to see him because I keep having a reoccurring tightness and soreness in my hips and groin. Doctor M told me that I have serious mobility issues in my hips, and that if I don’t work on improving my mobility I will be limited in my ability to lift heavy and will most likely injury myself. I don’t know the technical diagnosis of what is wrong with my hip, but I can’t rotate my hip outward.
The test is simple. From a seated position with your legs hanging over the edge of a table or bed, you are supposed to be able to rotate your leg the same distance in, as you can out. So if you take your foot and try and turn it up to your face, you should be able to take it out towards your ear as well.
It was thus no surprise that, at Barbell Club, most of the things that Ryan had me work on were related to hip mobility issues. As my hips have gotten tighter I’ve been moving my feet closer together, and limiting the range of motion for my squat. I’ve compensated by rolling my entire chest forward. You couple this with lack of shoulder mobility and I have a recipe for failure. It’s no wonder during the Metocn last week with thrusters that I was in such bad shape.
Barbell Club proved to be a huge boost in enhancing my positioning, and technique for front squats, and cleans. I have a couple of reference points now that I didn’t have last week.
Needless to say, I’m reserved to the fact that I have to take a step back and go a bit lighter on cleans, and front squats until these new body positions feel natural.