Category Archives: Female Training

The Quick on WHY Carbs make people FAT

The consumption of Carbs (sugar/starches/fiber) causes the pancreas to release insulin.  The presence of insulin promotes FAT storage in FAT cells!

NOTE: The presence of Insulin  ALSO promotes the uptake of amino acids into muscle and synthesis of PROtein in muscle as well.

Therefore, Carbs, PROtein and FAT intake can all be manipulated through nutrition to attain one’s goals be it FAT LOSS or MUSCLE GAIN or both.

Not magic, just knowledge!


The Problem with Carbs…UPDATED!

What’s the problem with Carbs (carbohydrates)?  Nothing!  Nothing….UNLESS, you eat too many or all you eat is carbohydrate.

Consider 2 conditions: Quantity and Quality

Quantity:  If you eat too many calories you will very likely gain weight.  Eating too many calories is a highly relative event.  It’s relative to yourself and no one else.  It’s relative to your genetic disposition (look at your parents) and it’s relative to your level of activity (more likely a lack of activity).  Simply put, people who are overweight and/or are suffering from symptoms of metabolic syndrome may very well be consuming too many calories.  Not all!  But, many!  Therefore, the 1st order of business/effort for someone desiring to get better/healthier/lose weight is to EAT LESS.  This is by no means the end all, be all, fix all as there are many other circumstances that prevent success in the face of calorie cutting.  But it’s a logical start.

Quality:  The glycemic scale measures a carbs impact on blood sugar (and thereby, insulin release).  It’s range is 0-100 with 100 being “high glycemic” and causing the most rapid rise in blood sugar.  Carbs range all up and down this scale e.g., white bread is very high whereas veggies tend to be very low (slow) in causing blood sugar increases.  People who are diabetic or who are pre-diabetic or who are living la vida high-carb should heed this index.  Having steady blood sugar is ideal.  Processing is a necessary and almost unavoidable event in today’s world and carbs have many aliases (maltodextrin, cane sugar, glucose, lactose, fructose, sucrose, sugar, corn syrup….on and on…) so just be aware that long ingredient lists tend to indicate more processing/more sugar potential  – exercise caution.

I say again – EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.  Whereas some folks are carbohydrate sensitive (they readily clear excess glucose) others are the opposite (cells are insulin insensitive causing a buildup of glucose AND insulin as they have no where to go – an issue compounded by continuous feedings) and have high glucose levels which typically results in Type 2 diabetes.

One very well known fact is that with the presence of insulin, the body’s ability to oxidize (use/burn) FAT as a source of energy is inhibited.  Eating CARBs causes an immediate response from the pancreas – a release of insulin.

One might consider this carb = insulin release = fat storage/non-fat oxidation sequence when he/she chooses to indulge in the non-science/sense (to date, to my knowledge, there is NOT a single study proving/supporting this dogma) supported notion that eating 6 (several) meals a day is a viable means of losing weight.  6 opportunities to store/not burn FAT!  Woo hoo!!!

Ahhhhh…more rain…and more rain…

Find a treadmill, SkiErg, Rower or just stay under the covers “b/c when you’re sleeping you’re not eating and when you’re not eating, you’re not getting fat.”  -Steven Bubel.

Training For Hypertrophy

Happy Veteran’s Day Weekend to all Veterans and Veteran’s Families – Thank You for Your Service!

The Importance of Rest & Recovery

Stronger, faster and frequent!  That describes how your workouts have been for some time now.  Gains and success have been the norm.  You’re determined to achieve and/or maintain an Uncommon level of health & fitness.  Good for you!  EXCEPT, wait a sec, you’re telling me you feel like crap all of the time, you’re chronically fatigued and you’re actually getting weaker in addition to other physiological and psychological symptoms that are becoming more pronounced with your continued effort?   Well, that doesn’t sound right!  Hmmm…in fact, that is completely opposite of what you should be experiencing based on your efforts.   Stronger, faster and frequent equals more…and more is better right?

As right as it sounds it is often times WRONG.  Without proper periods of rest/recovery, appropriate nutrition (right type of Protein, right kinds of Fats and Carbs) and reasonable sleep you’re very likely spinning your wheels while going nowhere fast or perhaps even 1-2 steps back.  That’s right.  As counter-intuitive as it seems, more is not better in the world of human performance.  At Uncommon Athlete it’s ok to be uncommon in your efforts.  In fact, we encourage it and even require it to a degree.  So too, do we encourage an uncommon (read: counter-intuitive) approach to recovery.  In fact, facets of recovery are included in every single workout we program for our clients in the form of warming up, mobility drills & stretching (both dynamic and static) and cool down actions.  What we can’t demand but will certainly never stop preaching at Uncommon Athlete is the need to REST.  Just like NO means NO…REST means REST.

What is overtraining?  In the scientific literature, overtraining is referred to as overreaching, under-recovery, etc.  If you’re the type that needs a specific definition then consider overtraining any increase in volume and/or intensity of exercise training resulting in short & long-term performance decrements.  Overtraining results in fatigue, due in part to a lack of proper rest and recovery. (Sports Med, 1997).  Quite frankly, the condition of being overtrained/under-recovered can get ridiculously complicated and way too esoteric in description when referencing specific affects within the neuroendocrine system based on the type of training i.e. endurance vs. resistance and the neuroendocrine response…blah blah blah.

So, to keep it simple for you, we at Uncommon Athlete have by and large assumed the responsibility for keeping our members a safe distance from becoming overtrained by programming not only the day-to-day efforts but also by “dialing down” periodically, the intensity of some of our UA programming.  We at Uncommon Athlete are in essence protecting you from yourself!  If you’re a consistent UAer then the plan works perfect.  Better adherence equals greater results in the aggregate.  Ultimately, life IS an aggregate event.  Rest/Recovery is too often an under-appreciated variable in getting more out of your uncommon efforts and thus more out of life.

“You cannot be common, the common man goes nowhere; you have to be uncommon.” – Herb Brooks

Fitness through Movement…