21 Days and you will believe

Friday, April 20, 2012

Good luck to everyone running the SoCal Ragnar Relay this weekend!

10 PVC Dislocates
Hip Prep
10 PVC Dislocates

Burgener Warmup
with PVC
Skill Transfer with PVC
Burgener Warmup with Barbell
Skill Transfer with Barbell

Workout of the Day:

Snatch 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps

Watch some videos to prepare!  This is one of the most advanced movements we teach, and one of the most fun when you can do it!  Be sure to watch both of the breakdowns of the Burgener Warmup and Skill Transfer Exercises.  Also, check out the form and speed of Olympian and CrossFitter Natalie Burgener as she performs this workout at a bodyweight of just under 140lbs wmv/mov.

Cool Down:
100 Situps
Row 500 meters, slowly and focus on pivoting at the hip
Straddle Stretch, 90 seconds
Sampson Stretch, 30 seconds each


Their epi-genetics are changing right before our very eyes!  The Future of Fitness!

Right now I am reading The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton, PhD.  So far it is an awesome book that describes in very simple terms for the layman the complex biological processes that occur in our bodies.  He begins his presentation from the point of view that individual cells are essentially “mini-humans”; autonomous, intelligent, and equipped with comparable processes to our nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, endocrine system, reproductive system, immune system, etc.  He believes then that to better understand the biology of your body (a multicellular life form) one must first study and understand individual cells.  “While cellular communities appear as single entities to the naked eye—a mouse, a dog, a human—they are, in fact, highly organized associations of millions and trillions of cells”.

Although it’s a little dense and long (apologies in advance), what follows is an intro into the science of epigenetics, which literally means “control above genetics”.  I thought it was perfect for the nutrition challenge to highlight the power you have to control your DNA and its gene expression!:

“In the last decade, epigenetic research has established that DNA blueprints passed down through genes are not set in concrete at birth.  Genes are not destiny!  Environmental influences, including nutrition, stress, and emotions, can modify those genes without changing their basic blueprint.  And those modifications, epigeneticists have discovered, can be passed on to future generations as surely as DNA blueprints are passed on via the double helix. (…)

In the chromosome, the DNA forms the core, and the proteins cover the DNA like a sleeve.  When the genes are covered, their information cannot be “read”.  Imagine your bare arm as a piece of DNA representing the gene that codes for blue eyes.  In the nucleus, this stretch of DNA is covered by bound regulatory proteins, which cover your blue-eye gene like a sleeve shirt, making it impossible to be read.

How do you get that sleeve off?  You need an environmental signal to spur that “sleeve” protein to change shape, i.e., detach from the DNA’s double helix, allowing the gene to be read.  Once the DNA is uncovered, the cell makes a copy of the exposed gene.  As a result, the activity of the gene is “controlled” by the presence or absence of the ensleeving proteins, which are in turn controlled by environmental signals.  (…)

Let’s present an analogy, which hopefully will make the relationship between epigenetic and genetic mechanisms clearer.  Are you old enough to remember the days when television programming stopped after midnight?  After the normal programming signed off, a “test patter”’ would appear on screen.  Most test patterns looked like a dartboard with a bull’s eye in the middle, similar to the one pictured on the following page.

Think of the pattern of the test screen as the pattern encoded by a given gene, say the one for brown eyes.  The dials and switches of the TV fine-tune the test screen by allowing you to turn it on and off and modulate a number of characteristics, including volume, color, hue, contrast, brightness, and vertical and horizontal holds.  By adjusting the dials, you can alter the appearance of the pattern on the screen, while not actually changing the original broadcast pattern.  This is precisely the role of regulatory proteins.  Studies of protein synthesis reveal that epigenetic “dials” can create 2,000 or more variations of proteins from the same gene blueprint.

We now know that the environmental influenced fine-tuning described above can be passed from generation to generation.  A landmark Duke University study published in the August 1, 2003 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology found that an enriched environment can even override genetic mutations in mice. (Waterland and Jirtle 2003)  In the study, scientists looked at the effect of dietary supplements on pregnant mice with the abnormal ‘agouti’ gene.  Agouti mice have yellow coats and are extremely obese, which predisposes them to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

In the experiment, one group of yellow, obese, agouti mothers received methyl-group-rich supplements available in health food stores: folic acid, vitamin B12, betaine, and choline.  Methyl-rich supplements were chosen because a number of studies have shown that the methyl chemical group is involved in epigenetic modifications.  When methyl groups attach to a gene’s DNA, it changes the way regulatory chromosomal proteins bind to the DNA molecule.  If the proteins bind too tightly to the gene, the protein sleeve cannot be removed and the gene cannot be read.  Methylating DNA can silence or modify gene activity.

This time the headlines “Diet Trumps Genes” were accurate.  The mothers who got the methyl-group-rich supplements produced standard, lean, brown mice, even though their offspring had the same agouti gene as their mothers.  The agouti mothers who didn’t get the supplements produced yellow pups, which ate more than the brown pups.  The yellow pups wound up weighing almost twice as much as their lean, “pseudo-agouti” counterparts.

The University’s photo, shown above, is striking.  Though the two mice are genetically identical, they are radically different in appearance: one mouse is lean and brown and the other mouse is obese and yellow.  What you can’t see in the picture is that the obese mouse is diabetic while its genetically identical counterpart is healthy.”

You have more control over your body and genes than you think!  You are the master of your fate, not the victim of your genes!  Keep up with the nutrition challenge, and after the 30 days you will, literally, be a completely different person!

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