Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Sodium Myth

Recently in my Anatomy and Physiology class at school, we have been doing some studies on the kidneys. One function of the kidneys is balancing the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in the blood. One factoid that has been preached for years in most diet circles is that excess sodium consumption leads to hypertension and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, based on what I was studying, the kidneys are able to filter huge amounts of blood over relatively short periods of time. So are they really that limited in filtering sodium?

I discussed this with my professor, and he made it very clear to me that HEALTHY kidneys have NO FILTERING LIMIT. Basically, if you drink enough water, there is no limit to how much sodium your kidneys can remove from your blood. The problem only lies with people who already have high blood pressure or unhealthy kidneys, where the excess sodium can worsen the situation. This also goes for people whose ancestors lived near the equator (certain Hispanic, African and Asian populations), who are more prone to high blood pressure since their bodies naturally retain more water. However, for the majority of us, sodium is nothing more than another diet "boogeyman" just like saturated fat and cholesterol.

I found the following link interesting, and it kind of backs up what I am saying. Give it a read if you have the chance.

Best regards,


Friday, April 2, 2010

Affiliate Cup

Since I didn't make it to the Regionals, my next Crossfit adventure will be training for the Affiliate Cup in Fort Worth on May 29th. The Affiliate Cup is the Crossfit team competition, where multiple athletes form a team which will compete in workouts together. As of now, it looks like Crossfit Denton County's own David Nichols, Casey Caudle, Dustin Andrews, Becca Rother and Lindsey Sullivan might be my teammates. Due to the nature of this competition, our team captain David decided we should all follow the same program and try and workout together if possible. The programming is being designed by Crossfit celebrity Dutch Lowy (7th in the 2008 Crossfit Games), so I am excited to see what results will come of it.

Due to some schedule conflicts I did not follow this week's programming exactly, but next week I definitely will. Anyway, I thought I might post what I have done so far this week...

1 RM Snatch - 180# (I performed this as a split snatch rather than a squat snatch. It felt really good, and is a PR by 10#)

AMRAP 10:00
12 Burpees
8 Bodyweight Back Squats (155#)

8 Rounds + 2 Burpees (I actually weigh about 149# but I decided to go a little heavier)

Cash Out:
2:00 L-Hang

4 Rounds for Time:
Row 750m
30 Double-Unders
15 Burpees

18:11 (This was not part of the programming, but I felt like I needed to hit a longer met-con)

Cash Out:
50 Box Jumps (24")

Push Press 5x4 155,165,175,185,190 (In retrospect, I should have kept the weight stable throughout)
2:30 Static Handstand Hold (I broke this up 4 times, which is too much. Definitely found something I should work on more)
1:30 Weighted Plank (45#) (I broke this once because I held the plank in a pushup and my shoulders were already shot)
Good Mornings 3x10 (75#) (I really tried to focus on contracting my hamstrings on these. They definitely felt strange!)
Max Rep Pullups - 60 (this is a PR by 8 for me, which I am very happy with. I could have kept going but my grip gave out)

3 Rounds for Time:
21 Power Cleans (155#)
Run 400m

10:00 (My hamstrings were definitely a bit sore from those good mornings! This workout felt pretty good. I kept a constant pace on the cleans, and my runs were all around 1:30)

Front Squat x 12 - 185# (Dutch wants us to find a starting weight with this, and then do it twice a week adding 5# each time. This weight felt pretty tough, so I guess I will have a challenge ahead of me!)

"Jackie" For Time:
Row 1000m
50 Thrusters (45#)
30 Pullups

5:57 (This is a PR by over 30 seconds, and I wasn't too tired at the end. Everything was unbroken. This also wasn't part of Dutch's programming, but I felt like I needed a little more volume)

Rest 10:00, then For Time:
75 Burpees

3:16 (I started off strong, then my shoulders really started yelling at me, and I slowed down quite a bit at the end. However, I didn't stop moving the whole time, so I am happy)

Cash Out:
50 GHD Situps

Run 5-6 miles


Every now and then, I will keep ya'll posted on what my workouts are. If you're lucky, I might also post what my diet looks like, too ;)