Monday, March 2, 2015

THE VIKING MANIFESTO Part 7: How Do I Get Started on the LCHF Diet?

THE VIKING MANIFESTO: Piecing Together a New Approach to Nutrition and Training for Swimmers from Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence.
Part 7:  How Do I Get Started on the LCHF Diet?

Mark’s Daily Apple just helped you lose the extra weight with one drawing.

If you are still following along with the Manifesto at this point, then you must at least be intrigued enough to want to know what the low-carb, high-fat diet would look like in real life.  You may not quite be ready to drop the traditional nutrition info recommended by USA Swimming in articles like this, and presentations like this, but you at least want to know how different this might really be.  I doubt anyone wants to take it as far as I have, which means going almost completely carnivorous, but if you read below you can see that it doesn’t have to be that extreme.    This cat lived to be age 39 on bacon, eggs, broccoli and coffee. It can’t be that hard, right?  

39 year old cat.jpg
Bacon, eggs, broccoli and coffee.  This is key in my plot to break Jaring Timmerman’s records in the 100-104 age group.

The question is, do you have the nuggets to give this a try long enough to adapt and see if the low-carb, high-fat diet is really for you?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ketones, Inflammation, and Some Thoughts on Cholestrol

The article linked above is kind of important.  One of the points I make repeatedly in my manifesto is that in regard to the ketogenic diet, we are still in uncharted territory as there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered and there is a lot of important science that still has not been done.  (Even worse, there is a lot of science that has been done that just hasn't hit the mainstream as well though, too.  Check this book out to see a collection of it.)

In a part of the manifesto I spoke briefly on reduced inflammation with the ketogenic diet, I think with regard specifically to more and healthier mitochondria, but I remember I also linked out to the /r/keto subreddit, stating that reduced inflammation is one of the most common side effects brought up by new dieters.  Browse /r/keto for a while and you will see it come up in so many different ways it is astounding.

The ketogenic diet is being studied as a new possibility for the treatment of many diseases, mostly inflammation based, all the way from acne to arthritis, bipolar disorder to Alzheimers, and diabetes to atherosclerosis.  The link above says that Yale University has discovered a direct link between Beta-Hydroxybuterate, one of the prevalent ketone bodies, and inhibition of one of the components of what they call the "inflammasome."  Please take time to read the article at the link above.

This would explain a lot.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


THE VIKING MANIFESTO: Piecing Together a New Approach to Nutrition and Training for Swimmers from Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence.

Part 6: USRPT.  Duh.

Okay guys, it's time to add one more thing to the list of topics to avoid when you are drunk:  the list is now religion, politics, nutrition, your friend's mom, and USRPT.  That’s right SwimSwam commenters, I know which of you loudmouth regulars is playing that game where you take a shot every time Braden mentions Michael Andrew’s name in an article.  If the SwimSwam comments section was a bar, I know which of you guys I would want to party with.

Yup, in case you haven't already pieced it together, the Viking does Ultra-Short Race Pace Training.  What other type of training could I fit in with only 20-30 minutes, two or three times a week to swim?  

Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and don’t waste a lot of time training old-school when you could be doing USRPT.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

THE VIKING MANIFESTO Part 5: Muscle Fiber Types, Recruitment and Specificity

THE VIKING MANIFESTO: Piecing Together a New Approach to Nutrition and Training for Swimmers from Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence.
Part 5: Muscle Fiber Types, Recruitment and Specificity.

bullcrap meter.GIF
At this point, I hope my arguments are interesting enough that you want to read more, but I understand if you feel like this guy. It's a lot to take in.

In the last chapter we focused on energy metabolism within the muscle, paying particular attention to the idea that mitochondrial density, the utilization aspect of the supply vs. utilization argument, is supremely important, and that the ketogenic diet may enhance this metabolic adaptation in athletes.  This would open the door for the LCHF diet making a difference in swimming no matter the race distance.  Today, we are still on the topic of metabolism, but we will also be looking more at the supply side, as well as looking into how it applies to the concept of specificity, which should be at the heart of any athletic training, especially for a sport as training and technique intensive as swimming.

Monday, February 16, 2015

THE VIKING MANIFESTO Part 4: LCHF and Energy Metabolism Within the Muscle

THE VIKING MANIFESTO: Piecing Together a New Approach to Nutrition and Training for Swimmers from Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence.
Part 4:  LCHF and Energy Metabolism Within the Muscle

In part 3 I explained that while VO2 max may be important, focusing training on raising anaerobic threshold to maintain longer durations at high intensities that are close to VO2 max would probably yield more applicable results. I then presented research that implies that a low carbohydrate, high fat diet can help improve this aspect of aerobic conditioning, even in already extremely fit athletes, by making fat a more available and faster burning fuel.  Now I intend to show that the implications for adaptation to the LCHF diet go beyond long-distance swimming at low intensity levels.  

To do this, I must start with some of the perceived limitations to the LCHF diet and why they might not be limitations at all.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

THE VIKING MANIFESTO Part 3: LCHF and Aerobic Capacity

THE VIKING MANIFESTO: Piecing Together a New Approach to Nutrition and Training for Swimmers from Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence.
Part 3:  LCHF and Aerobic Capacity

In part 1 I gave you a summary of some general nutrition advice that seems to contradict most of what we have been taught all our lives.  In part 2 I laid out some of the science of swim training in relation to the energy zone descriptions recommended by USA Swimming.  This time, it starts to become about how a low-carb, high-fat LCHF diet matters to you, the swimmer or swim coach.  

Yup, this is kind of what researching for my manifesto felt like.

When I first started burrowing down the rabbit hole on this topic I saw unbelievable pictures of overweight and obese people who said they had tried everything and this was the first thing that ever worked to help them lose weight and keep it off.  I saw a lot of posts from body-builders who claimed they could gain muscle and get lean by eating fat.  I saw a lot of pictures of bro's from the gym showing off their progress and heard lots of stories about how everyone else at the gym (as well as their doctors) thought they were idiots until the progress in body composition and lipid profiles were obvious. The anecdotal evidence was overwhelming, and the science they presented and dissected was fascinating.

Interesting Stats at Complete Nutrition

A couple of my athletes have been stopping by a place called Complete Nutrition lately, which seems to be a place that focuses on supplements and meal replacement products for the bodybuilding crowd.  Both of these athletes are beyond high school age and it is nice to see them taking an interest in nutrition.  They have been asking me a lot of questions and bringing up things they are learning as they read up on it.

I got curious about visiting the store because one of those swimmers has been checking in there to get detailed stats on his body composition.  He was actually able to tell me how much his body fat percentage had improved and exactly what his lean mass is.