CrossFit | 191231


Workout of the Day


Complete as many reps as possible in 12 minutes of:

1 strict pull-up, 2 push-ups, 3 squats
2 strict pull-ups, 4 push-ups, 6 squats
3 strict pull-ups, 6 push-ups, 9 squats

Start at a higher round if you think it will allow you to complete more reps in the 12 minutes—e.g., 5-10-15, then 6-12-18, then 7-14-21, etc.

Post starting point, finishing point and total reps completed to comments. | Compare to 190101.

The Cholesterol Myths

book cover

Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease

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Deane Ketzner
May 27th, 2021 at 1:56 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

“You’re not allowed to eat more than 1 egg per day”- my dad’s words echoed in my head with every sentence I read. For 28 years, I believed that eating more than 1 egg per day had the ability to kill me. The diet-heart idea, or the idea that high cholesterol causes heart disease, is a belief that seems to simply be accepted as true amongst the majority of society, with few questioning its legitimacy. 

The critical approach Uffe took to this myth, and to multitude of other myths, has opened the door to anybody, including the lay person, to question and challenge proponents of the diet-heart idea. The golden thread that runs throughout the entire book, is the discussion of a host of scientific experiments that entirely disprove the diet-heart idea. Uffe uses tens, if not hundreds, of various scientific analyses and conclusions which logically invalidate the cholesterol myth. What better way to disprove a scientific conclusion, than by using science itself?

A question that I kept asking myself while reading this book was “what if this author is just biased?”. I did not think this question would be answered, until I reached the epilogue. The mere fact that Uffe thought to include an answer to this, proves to me that the myths associated with cholesterol deserve to be delved into a little deeper by everyone.

What stood out to me in this book, was that things I had believed in since childhood, for example that eating high fat foods raise blood cholesterol, or that high cholesterol blocks arteries, were so clearly and easily invalidated. The clear explanation of the contradictions that riddle the diet-heart idea has made it easier for me to explain these concepts to clients, and to help change their perceptions, while inviting them to conduct their own investigations.  

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Nicolas Delay
May 15th, 2021 at 12:57 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

This book is awesome.

At first read, it seems to be a solid review of the litterature on the subject presented in the title of the book, but in the end, it's offering a lot more content than that.

Being a CrossFit coach since 2011, my take on the subject of atherosclerosis and cholesterol, and its link to CHD has been highly influenced by the great content gave us the chance to discover and reflect on for the past years. As a result, I was quite familiar with most of the arguments presented there.

However, what I loved about the book what the enjoyable education Dr Ravnskov gave us on the scientific metodology, and how to correctly seek for truth and facts going into a research paper analysis. Not only did he present counter-arguments to the lipid hypothesis, but he highlighted some study's methological flaws that gave us no other choice but to objectively reject their conclusions. For exemple, the graph presenting a clear correlation between Atherosclerosis and Cholesterol was eye opening. Presented in it's simple form, as it was in the study critisized, it lefts few doubts, but when you add co-factors to the equation like Age, the correlation stops and another ones emerges.

Defining and differencating Correlation & Causation was a must. Using the image of the witness and the killer both present on a crime scene but not BOTH linked to death by a causal link was gold. Truth is, this seems to be such an evident concept when explained like this, but when those simple words are replaced with medical terms that themself carry such a bad reputation, sound reasoning is harder to apply for us, but most probably completely lost for most.

Ultimately, I liked the idea that Dr Ravnskov not only explained the methodological flaws, but also questioned why the correlation was here. Not only did it exonerate the defendant (animal fats & cholesterol), but he was trying to find the real culprit and establish an objective argument to the presence of cholesterol as a witness in some CHD.

All in all, thank you for those eye opening arguments and enjoyable lessons built on honest scientific analysis.

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Stephen Pinkerton
March 16th, 2021 at 8:24 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

This is a book that wouldn't have been on the top of my list but in the past 2 years, I've had more and more issues personally with this and the book gave me a starting point to work with my dad with his issues. He goes to the Mayo Clinic Annually for his lab work and annual medical work. I was blown away by how different they believe in the causes for his cholesterol issues. They have had him on statins for years and have attributed it to bad genetics and things out of his control. No time was spent on Nutrition and lifestyle changes that could potentially help rectify this problem. 

No matter how hard I try, I will not be able to compete with the recommendation from a physician whose generation grew up believing every word from their mouths. As a son and a Coach to my members, the best way to deal with this is to provide the research and storytelling that our parents' generation can read and learn from to form their own opinions. I've had the exact same issues with the stigma of eating too much fat causing the obesity problem. No matter what we say as Coaches and loved ones, the M.D's will be the ones they listen to until we provide them the research and justifications that there are better ways.  

These are the types of books that Universities should be requiring their students to read and become educated on. Not too mention, allowing our medical professionals to break away from the mold that has turned our country into one of the most obese in the world. Dr. Uffe Ravnskov lays the groundwork for this conversation and it is up to us as Coaches to carry this message to as many of our clients as possible. Knowledge is power and this book creates the opportunity for us to gain some power. 

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Jason Yule
February 18th, 2021 at 12:26 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

The reading of Cholesterol Myths couldn't have been more timely considering just yesterday I had an appointment with a client who was put on Cholesterol meds about 6 months ago, and upon asking his mood he admitted that he has been dealing with depression for the same amount of time. He had never admitted that to anyone, and thankfully I had the foresight to connect the two.

After finishing the book, it only affirmed my belief that the body is so intuitive at regulating itself that we shouldn't need medical intervention except in emergency situations. As Ravnskov explains, Cholesterol is naturally produced in our bodies and it is produced for a reason and more specifically, HDL and LDL each have distinct roles in stabilizing our cells. It stands to reason that there is an optimal amount of cholesterol that our bodies need and that LOWER cholesterol is not always the answer. Too low, and we may put our bodies at risk as well.

So that begs the question, why the lower cholesterol narrative? Ravnskov explains this as well - in the scientific community, the objective is to look for a problem and to test hypotheses until there is a sound answer. So, in search for causes of atherosclerosis and heart disease, researches created the Diet-Heart Idea that goes as follows: first, the amount of fat in our diet determines our level of cholesterol. Second, high blood pressure causes atherosclerosis, and third, atherosclerosis causes coronary heart disease by blocking blood vessels of the heart. There is evidence that supports this is a sound hypothesis. However, there is also evidence that doesn't align with this idea which seems to be ignored by it's proponents.

I'll end with the evidence given to us from the African tribes of the Sanburu and Masai - these tribes exist purely off of milk and meat, yet have some of the healthies cholesterol levels ever recorded. This goes to show that the answer is not and should not be exclusion of real, healthy animal products, but goes to reason that if cholesterol levels are dangerously high in a patient, they need to examine other factors than what animal products are being eaten. Sugars, processed foods, activity levels, smoking, ect all need to be evaluated to come up with the solution.

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Chris Meldrum
December 18th, 2020 at 5:16 pm
Commented on: 191231

As rx’d, got through round of 10-20-30, plus 8 squats in next round (371 total reps, PR). (Started at 1-2-3.)

That’s more than a full round and almost 100 reps better than last time.  Strict pull-ups the difference.  Some of this is likely attributable to better conditions – inside on regular pull-up bar, vs. last time outside, very cold, on rings – but have to think some of this is continuing to get better at strict pull-ups.  Started strategically breaking in round of 5.  Started breaking push-ups in round of 14.  Unbroken squats.


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Ryan Landis
September 28th, 2020 at 9:24 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov was a very interesting

read that I’m glad I spent the time on. All through my life I have had

borderline high cholesterol and have had doctors continually tell me to reduce

the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in my diet without any further

qualifications. Thankfully, I have never taken a statin (and never will!), but

it has been recommended to me on several occasions, and always by M.D.’s. It indeed

seems to be a case of the blind leading the blind.

As a subscriber to the CrossFit methodology of eating meat,

veggies, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar, my diet tends to include

a lot of meat. Red meat, fish, poultry and pork on a regular basis made my old

Dr. very upset and he wanted me to go vegetarian. Uh, no thanks doc! Well,

thankfully I have a new Dr. now and this book really backs up with science and

research that I am on the right track and thank God I never let them give me a

statin! Hearing about the “pseudo science” of big pharma misleading people just

to line their pockets of a multi-billion dollar drug industry really gets my

blood boiling! All of this misinformation just to sell drugs.

Cholesterol is a buzz word for a lot of people and a lot of

negative stigma is usually attached to it. Hopefully as more people (read:

doctors!) become informed about it as well as saturated fat, we can move to a

place where healthy eating and exercise can take the place of drugs like

statins and people won’t have to fear-mongered into taking these substances

that have a laundry list of side effects. Educate yourself and live the healthy

life you deserve! I recommend this as required reading for anyone currently

taking a statin or who has issues with high cholesterol.

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Marko Crljenec
September 26th, 2020 at 11:56 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

This one was an interesting read to say the least, not an easy one though. Although this subject is not my domain as a fitness professional and CrossFit coach it was interesting to get more insight of the unbiased science behind cholesterol and it`s role in our bodies.

Since whole food/paleo type diet is something I practice for myself and my family, it is something I recommend to my affiliate members as well. The problem is that by traditional recommendations and opinions on cholesterol and cardiovascular health I am not really eating healthy and for sure not giving healthy advice by reducing carbs, processed foods and vegetable oils, but recommend vegetables, meat, nuts & seeds... (sounds familiar? It is written on my gym wall) and in general saturated fats in healthy amounts. It is sometimes hard to recommend something contrary to mainstream medical advice and I wanted some proof that I am doing good and to have some facts to back it up. And did I get it by reading this book? Well, not really solid proof that I`m giving the right advice to my members but lot of facts that traditional cholesterol lowering practice is not really proven and it is to biased to be rock solid. There is yet a lot to learn on this subject and I think medical practice is getting there, it will just take time.

On page 159 there is a quote that is a perfect description of what needs to happen to change the opinion and practice of doctors on this matter. "The idea that saturated fats cause heart disease is completely wrong, but the statement has been published so many times over the last three or more decades that is very difficult to convince people otherwise"(Mary Enig). I guess it takes time to publish enough facts like in this book so many times to counteract the current opinion.

And us, fitness professionals, should be the force to push the opinion that "the best, the cheapest and least risky way to prevent heart disease is regular exercise" (page 122). The more we push that idea and have facts to back it up the more people will listen and rethink their recommended diets and medical prescriptions and seek other opinions.

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Tyler Robbins
September 12th, 2020 at 4:07 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

To be honest, I had a hell of a time getting my hands on a copy of Uffe's Cholesterol Myths up here in Canada. I finally managed to get my hands on a used copy. Upon reading the book, I was both surprised and unsurprised that this book isn't more widely available. Surprised because you would think that this rhetoric should be more widely known. Unsurprised because you are constantly hearing the opposite to what Uffe presents and discusses in his book. Dietary fats are bad, cholesterol is bad, saturated fats are bad...yet somehow CHD continues to kill so many. If statins are so effective, why is this still such a massive problem?

I especially enjoyed the discussion on cholesterol levels in Japan. A country that has some of the lowest cholesterol levels in men on earth, so they must be incredibly healthy, no? Instead, what the data presents to us is that the Japanese also suffer from some of the highest rates of brain haemorrhages in the world. Cholesterol is not only needed to function, but for the human body to function optimally.

Although I just recently came across The Cholesterol Myths book, I heard and read about just how beneficial saturated fats and cholesterol are years ago, and fully began to incorporate these dietary practices in my own life. I consistently consume full fat products, not to mention going through a couple dozen eggs every week. I also spend much of my time encouraging clients and members of our gym to aim for a diet rich in dietary fats and cholesterol.

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Nicole Christensen
August 17th, 2020 at 10:48 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

I have seen the Cholesterol Myth play out daily as my father works with his cardiologist who has put him on statins. At one point my father proudly told me that his total cholesterol was 135. My father has also uses his statins to give him the "ok" to eat foods of which he normally would say no to, but with the backdrop that the statins will keep his cholesterol low, he consumes foods like ice cream, cookies, cake, to name a few - with little thought about his health.

I found this book to be extremely well thought out and approachable. Perhaps one of the most clarifying elements is learning how much cholesterol is made by the human body and how much (or little) human cholesterol is affected by the food consumed. Choosing LDL as an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, within the landscape of chronic disease and general poor health amongst Americans is a shortsighted and "villain" game. By choosing LDL as the villain - doctors, hospitals, and drug companies are able to capitalize on this single marker as an assessment for health. In the process though we are perhaps making those very individuals sick.

I enjoy this book immensely but am also saddened to read another book that points to big business, medical giants, pharmaceuticals, and poor logic as the culprit behind the cholesterol myth we face.

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Kury Akin
April 18th, 2020 at 9:38 am
Commented on: 191231

9R+5r = 275 (completed round 10 in further two minutes)

Previously...264 total but...Start 1.2.3. End 6.12.18. +7 pull, 14 push, 3 squat.126+24

I continued for the full 12 minutes and added a further 114 reps (5R+6r) so 264 in total.

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Evan Saber
April 11th, 2020 at 1:42 pm
Commented on: 191231

9 rounds+ 11 air squats RX

55 strict pull ups

110 push ups

145 air squats

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Joe Cormier
March 9th, 2020 at 10:08 pm
Commented on: 191231


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Clint Michael
February 21st, 2020 at 1:12 pm
Commented on: 191231

231 reps

started at 5’s

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Nate Gordon
February 7th, 2020 at 3:53 pm
Commented on: 191231

finished round of 8-16-24

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Fabian Delaflor
January 15th, 2020 at 6:19 pm
Commented on: 191231

8R + 9 pullups

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Morgan Greene
January 13th, 2020 at 9:05 pm
Commented on: 191231

started 1-2-3

ended 10-20-30 plus 6 pull-ups in following round

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Cy Azizi
January 12th, 2020 at 4:05 pm
Commented on: 191231

Start: 1-2-3. End: 7/10 pull-ups. Total: 277.

31 rep PR

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Dan Kremer
January 10th, 2020 at 5:33 pm
Commented on: 191231

1 2 3

9 18 27


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Coastie Nick
January 9th, 2020 at 9:36 pm
Commented on: 191231


Started at 1-2-3

Finished at 12-24-36 plus 1 pull up

469 total reps

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Giuseppe Petrillo
January 9th, 2020 at 5:43 pm
Commented on: 191231


10 rounds rx’d

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Hank McKibban
January 8th, 2020 at 6:27 am
Commented on: 191231


9rds+23 sqts (323)

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Greg Glassman
January 8th, 2020 at 12:26 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

The Cholesterol Myths was chosen as this months read, in part, to introduce many of the youngsters among us to the CF legacy that may not have caught their notice.

We first linked to this book on in 2002 and ran the dozen myths serially for as many days. Each of the links contained the myth and supporting material and references. (The original post was beautiful and was archived by our tech department to look like shit.)

It was the complete book. It's still available from the same link: Uffe was spot on then and he is now. Nothing has come down the pike that would change any thinking person's mind about any of this.

So what's changed in the intervening 18 years? Millions and millions of needless deaths is about all, but we can be proud. When Uffe published The Cholesterol Myths he wasn't yet convinced as we were that excess carbohydrate was the culprit in metabolic disease, but he is now. Back then he was our chief weapon against the lipid hypothesis of chronic disease and it didn't matter that he'd not joined our anti-sugar/anti-refined carb bandwagon.

We were about 20 years ahead of the pack that is now "woke" to the realities of runaway metabolic disease and its carb driven etiology.

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Joseph Alaimo
January 6th, 2020 at 4:44 pm
Commented on: 191231

10.20.30 + 1 pull up (rx)

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Nathaniel Robichaud
January 4th, 2020 at 8:43 pm
Commented on: 191231

Start at 1,2,3. 9 rounds +16 pushups. 296reps

Pull ups were all singles starting round 5. Meh...

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Monica Scurti
January 4th, 2020 at 10:05 am
Commented on: 191231

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Joe DeGain
January 3rd, 2020 at 11:30 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

The book was full of studies that debunk the myths we have learned to know about cholesterol & and heart disease. Similar to how I felt during Rigor Mortis, I slowly became more and more inspired to believe it is the job of all of us to be the front line.

For the practical application, I believe having a short, concise statement that can be used for those who are still believing the myths could be uber helpful. Similar to teaching any movement, a trainer impressing someone with all of the anatomy/physiology knowledge on hand usually hurts the teaching process.

For me, explaining to someone in my box that: "There is a lot of conflicting data out there about cholesterol, its role in heart disease, and the risk/reward ratio of statins on the human body. Essentially, there is a considerable amount of information that has been fed to us as consumers of big soda and big Pharma. First of all, consider that cholesterol is not all bad, it IS needed by the human body. It is a necessary component of brain cell membranes and the function of neurological synapses. This means cholesterol is needed for proper cognitive and neurological functions. Next, very few studies have truly linked high cholesterol to to heart disease/mortality. Lastly, have you ever heard the list of side effects in a statin commercial? The myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, and heart failure are big hitters in addition to the common dizziness, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, and other items spouted off at the end of the commercial. It is worth looking into and weighing/measuring your options."

I think I will steal these lessons from the book and make them "ground zero" for me. Of course, I can dive deeper if their level of inquisitiveness increases. I am stoked to add another tool to my arsenal in an attempt to be the front line. Thankful for the opportunity!

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Anton Gross
January 3rd, 2020 at 2:07 pm
Commented on: 191231

M/ 45/ 5’-6”/ 135 lbs. As Rx starting at 1/2/3.

completed round of 11 plus 16 push ups.

That gives me a total of 424 reps in 12 minutes.

i completed the round of 12 in about 30 seconds after time expired. (468).

good workout. For me I felt it in the push ups the most by far. Pull ups were easy and squats were just a lot of reps. Started breaking up push ups in 8 round to 10+6, then kept doing 10 resting a few seconds and banging out the rest.

my shoulders were tired from heavy OHS and lots of housework (sanding and painting over the past 2 days.) still happy overall.

i thought I’d get to round 14 but we’ll see next time.

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Andrea Ferendeles
January 3rd, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Commented on: 191231

6/9 pup

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Bridget Deschner
January 3rd, 2020 at 1:43 pm
Commented on: 191231

Strict pull-ups

Chest-to-deck, elbows in push-ups

Air squats

7 rounds + 4 pull-ups

Pull-ups were the limiting factor, but they went a lot better than I anticipated. Good day!

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Mike Andridge
January 3rd, 2020 at 11:23 am
Commented on: 191231


Started 1,2,3....


9, 18, 27 plus 8 strict pull ups

278 total reps.

compare to was 219 total reps


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Hendrik Bünzen
January 3rd, 2020 at 9:56 am
Commented on: 191231

320 rx’d

start at 1-2-3

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Pavel Stas
January 3rd, 2020 at 9:17 am
Commented on: 191231

9 rounds + 7 pull ups

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Eric Son
January 3rd, 2020 at 8:30 am
Commented on: 191231

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Robert Cassels
January 2nd, 2020 at 10:24 pm
Commented on: 191231

8 + 9 Rx


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Matthew Aukstikalnes
January 2nd, 2020 at 6:21 pm
Commented on: 191231

2/4/6 --> 10/20/25 = 319 reps vs

1/2/3 --> 10/9/0 = 289 reps

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Adam King
January 2nd, 2020 at 6:12 pm
Commented on: 191231

Completed 2020-01-02

completed the 7-14-21 round plus 2 reps

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Alex Pham
January 2nd, 2020 at 3:06 pm
Commented on: 191231


Slow goblet squat (10 lb) for form

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Sam Meixell
January 2nd, 2020 at 12:42 pm
Commented on: 191231

6 Rounds plus 17 reps

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Tony Fitzgerald
January 2nd, 2020 at 4:44 am
Commented on: 191231


9 rds., 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups

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Keith Wittenstein
January 2nd, 2020 at 12:35 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

"The Cholesterol Myths" is what I've been looking for. I sympathize with so many of the commentors on here that have been trying to find ways to help clients, friends, and family navigate the rhetoric regarding cholesterol, statins, high fat/low fat, and salt. While trying to stay in my lane and counsel people I have urged them to ask more questions of their physicians. Sadly, most people come back with a prescription in hand for statins. Or they report back to me that their doctors told them to cut the fat, reduce the salt, avoid the eggs and red meat, etc.

While I understand doctors find it hard to deviate from the standard of care and go against what they have been told, I, nevertheless, wish more would question the status quo. Books like this are great to give to clients (friends, family and even doctors) that need to be educated. I only wish more doctors would deign to read books like this.

The fear of heart disease and death looms large in the background of every conversation about cholesterol and fat which makes these conversations so unfair. A doctor comes into a room and tells a person their cholesterol is high. Suddenly that patient is scared, worried, and irrational. Then instead of reassuring conversation and education, the doctor scribbles a prescription for a statin and hands it to the patient and says (or implies), "take this or die!" Well now it's going to be pretty hard to walk that person back to a calm place of understanding and get them to think clearly about diet and exercise. Every person I speak to that is on statins tells me their doctor assures them that if they stop taking them they'll die. People are convinced that these drugs are keeping them alive and if the statins aren't working it is because they are genetically predisposed to heart disease and the statins are at least prolonging their lives. Meanwhile as Ravnskov makes clear, there is little evidence that high cholesterol causes heart disease or that statins save lives.

Here's hoping that these myths are busted sooner rather than later.

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Chase Hiland
January 1st, 2020 at 11:34 pm
Commented on: 191231


Rx'd 334 (10 rounds + 4 strict pull-ups)

Started with 1-2-3

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Benjamin Schill
January 1st, 2020 at 10:36 pm
Commented on: 191231


311... through the 10/20/30, then got 11 pull-ups.

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Christian Simpson
January 1st, 2020 at 9:52 pm
Commented on: 191231

Rx from 123

9 rounds + 7/-/-. Total 277 reps

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Scott MacArthur
January 1st, 2020 at 8:25 pm
Commented on: 191231

Started with 2,4,6, finished at the 10,20,30 + 4 more pullups.

Totals 58, 108,162

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Eric Love
January 1st, 2020 at 7:29 pm
Commented on: 191231

up 9 pullups completed

started at 1,2,3...math is hard

135 total reps

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Mark Rosenquist
January 1st, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Commented on: 191231

9 rounds +10 +10.

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Jacqueline Clark
January 1st, 2020 at 5:57 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

The Cholesterol Myths

As long as I can remember I have heard, read and seen that having high cholesterol leads to high risk of heart disease.. and in turn a heart attack.  Was fascinating to read the ideas behind these myths debunked., and beyond fascinating, it opened my mind to become curious to understand the workings of the heart, and how and why heart disease is of great concern at this point in my life as I enter my 40s along with my husband, in my parents and in-laws lives as they are in their 60s and 70s and in my kiddos lives as they are just starting out in this crazy world.


I put so much trust, weight, belief and faith into what I read, especially when it comes from such credible sources. So for years when we are told to that the type of fat we eat in our diet determines the level of cholesterol in our blood , which then prompts us or in reality scares us to lead a low fat diet and as the book indicates creates animal fats as villains. I want to know more!!


What was quite a real moment as I read through this is when Ravenskov empowers us the reader to think for ourselves, continue to be curious and want to learn and become educated. He states, “this book is written for people who can think for themselves “. Yes!  He’s not telling us this is the only way. But rather to be open to knowing there are sources of learning more and reading between the lines.  And not always to believe what we see and read!


Also very relatable and love the analogy that a hypothesis is not like sporting events, where the team with the greatest number of points wins the game. So my interpretation is that if the majority of people believe a particular hypothesis and only a few don’t , that doesn’t make it “majority rules”. And it’s ok to question something if you don’t fully understand or believe. Continue to investigate and learn more!


Dr. Keys. His findings state that “fat is the culprit” of heart attacks.  He suggests avoiding fat foods you will never have a coronary. His findings you have to interpret and understand the data, or more specifically, be aware that data was not included or was omitted from his reports.   I equate this to the recent documentary “Game Changers” in that at first you believe what is being shown and proved based on the research and data but then after further consideration and research , there is considerable data that was merely just omitted to prove a point. So it isn’t that the data is incorrect but how it’s being presented.. or not at all!


My final point is merely just a statement in that I find it a scary truth about the inaccuracies of death certificates and the causes of death that are not accurately documented. How tragic!

Thanks CrossFit HQ!  

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Carlos Fernandez
January 1st, 2020 at 5:13 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Many years ago my attention was brought to the diet heart idea thanks to another book, Eat Your Yolks, and since then I’ve questioned the recommendation of eating less saturated fat to lower our cholesterol was in our best interest. 

The Cholesterol Myth, has explained with great insight that the research used to demonstrate that we should reduce our dietary intake of cholesterol and take medications is purely bad science. After reading Rigor Mortis understanding the books dissection of the research/results was easier had I not read the book prior. I now have a stronger sense on how we have been deceived and will be confident to recommend clients to question why they should lower their intake of saturated fats or if they should consider cholesterol as a variable when talking about coronary heart disease. 

It’s easier to fool people than convince people they’ve been fooled.

Mark Twain

This quote in the beginning of chapter 7 stayed in the back of my mind and  throughout the book I would stop to think how I can bring awareness of this topic to the people who surround me. I’m still not one hundred percent certain the best way, but I suppose just shedding light on the topic is the best way to start. 

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Christopher Voght
January 1st, 2020 at 3:26 pm
Commented on: 191231

20200101 - 8 rds plus 4 = 220

20190103 - 8 rds plus 50 = 263

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Weon-Woo Lee
January 1st, 2020 at 3:15 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

It’s very interesting to notice that there are lots of different conclusions from one premise. Surprisingly, Ravnskov brought out this topic almost 20years ago. But very few people tried to listen to him. And that made us spend tons of money to support one point of view and created culture based on it. 

 I am so curious why we could not have a chance to look another side in the past. Our eyes and ears could see or hear very limited and controlled information.  So we needed to lean on somebody for some unique situations. 

 Compare to the past, now we are so lucky because there are so many ways to get the latest information and compare different opinions. If we are concerned about something, we can make a choice by ourselves. It’s a great power and a very different situation from the past. Of course, we cannot be experts in all areas. However, the deluge of information gives us a chance to make a decision. That means that we can own ourselves in most situations. 


 This book tells me that you are the person who needs to seek the truth and you are 100% responsible for your decision. 

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John Clarke
January 1st, 2020 at 2:46 pm
Commented on: 191231

Start - 1-2-3

Finish - 11-22-33 plus 6 pull-ups

Total - 402 reps vs 335

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Brendan Mullan
January 1st, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Commented on: 191231


Used band after 6 pull ups 😅

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Ricardo Mendes
January 1st, 2020 at 11:09 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

It is frustrating to see how much of the knowledge is getting corrupted and affecting so many peoples lives. We live in a society that trust and boast the doctors and they are supposed to be the experts. To realize that so many of them are prescribing drugs like statins to prevent a heart attack is rather unpleasant. To me the most interesting part of the book was the chapter about statins and it was very interesting to know about the side effects. I specially related the memory lost and my father’s history on this drug.

To me this book is one more example of how much we can not trust in somebody else’s truth. You got to find for yourself. Be open to learn, process the information and give it back. Relate to your life and the ones you can reach. This goes into reading an article and going through the study and how it was done and also reading a book like this one where Dr Uffe Ravnskov did a fantastic job exposing how our diet does not affect the cholesterol in our blood and more important how it is not related to heart diseases. It is important as trainers for us to be able to talk about this with the doctors.

I like to focus my effort in what is under my control and what has happened can not be changed. For me it was a difficult reading The Cholesterol Myths because it is overwhelming the amount of content and data on how people have gotten all wrong but it does not bring as much on an alternative hypothesis. It is admirable anyone who stands out and are courageous enough to speak against the “system” and that is what Dr Uffe Ravnskov is doing for so many years. The thing for me is putting this into action here in Brazil and for me, If there is any hope of making any change is at the affiliate level. The network with the doctors is the bright spot on the horizon because if it is not a CrossFit physician, they will keep inventing imaginary cures to treat imaginary diseases.

The more important is that we are on the right path helping people to get into a community of support with Functional Movements and off the sugar. I am so happy that we have CrossFit and Coach Glassman making this fight and exposing all this fallacy and corruption in medicine science.

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Daniel Orozco
January 1st, 2020 at 5:33 am
Commented on: 191231

Starting at 1 strict pull-up. 10 rounds

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joseph griffin
January 1st, 2020 at 4:30 am
Commented on: 191231


Start 1,2,3

Finish 8,16,24

Didn't get to squats on last round

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Jade Teasdale
January 1st, 2020 at 4:20 am
Commented on: 191231






270 reps total!

Could’ve gone faster, but I was sore from yesterday! 🤣

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Brandon Myers
January 1st, 2020 at 1:15 am
Commented on: 191231

started and 1,2,3

last full round was 6,12,18

total reps was 133

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Tim Bullas
January 1st, 2020 at 12:52 am
Commented on: 191231

Only managed 6 rounds, so 126 reps. 😔

I've never had great upper body strength, so I've still got some work to do. 😉

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Jason Ackerman
January 1st, 2020 at 12:48 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Wow, this book is in-depth. What's funny is how much I can relate to this book. As a child of the 80s and 90s, I can't begin to tell you how many times I heard from my parents, teachers, and others how fat is bad for us, limit cholesterol, no more than 2 eggs per week, all while encouraging me to eat high carb, loaded with sugar, and processed foods.

It's amazing how companies that have their own best interests in mind, namely Big Soda, can have such a profound impact on the world and our perception of proper nutrition.

The CrossFit book club should be mandatory for all teachers as I feel they don't realize they impact they are having on the next generation. Nutrition and my beliefs forged by my influencers as a child are something I still deal with today.

Box owners need to educate themselves as well. We are now the influencers. Our members and families come to us for advice, we must be at the forefront of this. We know nutrition is the foundation for health, it's imperative that is discussed regularly at the box level.

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Tripp Starling
December 31st, 2019 at 10:46 pm
Commented on: 191231

Started 1,2,3

Ended 10,9

289 reps



ring row, knee push up, squat

298 reps

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Kieron Boyle
December 31st, 2019 at 10:38 pm
Commented on: 191231

6 rounds + got to 10 squats of round 7

Happy New Year!

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Michael Bishop
December 31st, 2019 at 10:37 pm
Commented on: 191231

9 + 48

318 reps I wish I had a score to compare to

Happy New Year


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Shane Azizi
December 31st, 2019 at 10:08 pm
Commented on: 191231

Start: 1, 2, 3..... finish: 11 pull-ups, 7 push-ups..... total: 348 reps Rx (Pr by 13 reps)

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Shaun Stapleton
December 31st, 2019 at 9:52 pm
Commented on: 191231


Rx 10 + 20= 350 reps

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Jonathan Gary
December 31st, 2019 at 9:03 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

How cool is it that a measure of fasting blood triglycerides is a biomarker that tracks with weight, smoking, type 2 diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, and stress; rather than ask on a questionnaire about these chronic diseases and risk factors, this blood test can give quantitative results that are more difficult to disguise (or fib about)! A solid screening tool.

Best line of the book: “It might be possible to reach the correct conclusion from the wrong premises.”

I wonder if all remaining iterations of that sentiment are possible (and observable in various human endeavors):

Correct premise & wrong conclusion

Correct premise & correct conclusion

Wrong premise & wrong conclusion

Keeping in mind, of course, that “correct” and “wrong” are not necessarily static parameters…

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Nathanael Akin
December 31st, 2019 at 8:53 pm
Commented on: 191231

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted on here! We had our baby back in June and I got a new job in July, which meant moving into a new house...long story short, we've been Crossfitting with dumbbells, med balls, jump ropes, and a power tower. It's been fun, but we decided to gift ourselves the rest of what we would need for our home gym instead of getting Christmas presents for each other. Sooooo the last few days we've done some barbell movements and WOW...nothing can really replace the barbell. We decided to start from the beginning: 010210; Crossfit's first posted workout. Today we did "Fast and Heavy":

21-18-15 DB Thrusters as heavy as you can go, with a 400m run after each set.

We'll follow through those original workouts for the next few months, and maybe do some of the "modern day" WODs every now and then as well. Should be fun. Happy New Year to all!

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Nicole Deaver
December 31st, 2019 at 8:57 pm

Congratulations on that exciting 2019!

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Charlie Pokorny
December 31st, 2019 at 8:52 pm
Commented on: 191231

10 rounds + 15 reps = 345 reps Rx (hand release pushups)


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Jeffrey Howard
December 31st, 2019 at 8:35 pm
Commented on: 191231

191231 (today)

Start (1-2-3)

Finish (11-22-33, 1 pull-up into this round)

Total (10+1), a lot better at push-ups.


190429 (was not able to do this last new years for 190101. Was on winter break for school.)

"1-2-3 (starting round)

10-20-30 (finishing round)

9 + 14 (total)"

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Troy Bruun
December 31st, 2019 at 7:53 pm
Commented on: 191231

10rds + 1

Total: 331

Previous total: 243

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Jon Wilson
December 31st, 2019 at 7:40 pm
Commented on: 191231

Got through 8 pull-ups and 2 push ups.

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Jessica Pilling
December 31st, 2019 at 7:28 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

I have found myself bringing this book and Rigor Mortis into conversations with my family, my friends and my affiliate members and coworkers. We’ve had opportunity for discussion on these topics, some think what I’m sharing is bizarre, others are afraid of the info I’m sharing and it’s truth. It’s my hope that if we [the HQ Training Staff] and others who join in on our monthly book club, continue to do this-spread the truth- and not what the media shares, into our 15,000 affiliates and become an agent of change. Much like how Coach changed what the public views as group fitness when he brought us CrossFit.

I especially liked the epilogue in Cholesterol Myths, it left me with a feeling of hope rather than anger(unlike Rigor Mortis)...”everyone must gain the truth in an active way. If you want to know something, you must look at all the premises yourself.” It’s the same as a coach saying to her athlete: “if you want to get strict pull ups, I can coach you and train you there, but you’ve got to put in the work.”

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Blake Hoopes
December 31st, 2019 at 7:26 pm
Commented on: 191231

S: 1-2-3

F: 10-7

T: ?

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Scott Jacobson
December 31st, 2019 at 7:12 pm
Commented on: 191231

5’8” / 169 lb / 21 / M


Started at 5-10-15

Ended after 13-26-39 plus four pull-ups for a total of 490 reps

Compared to 1/1/2019: Last time I got 411 reps

Happy New Year everyone!!

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Tyler Hass
December 31st, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Hard to believe that Cholesterol Myths is now 20 years old! Dr. Ravnskov’s case is still air tight and largely uncontested. If anything, the case is even stronger now. A lot of relatively recent studies have been posted here, showing the lack of efficacy for treatments based on the diet-heart and lipid hypotheses.

My favorite line from the book is on p 62: “Thus high cholesterol is said to be dangerous for Americans but not for Canadians, Stockholmers, Russians or Maoris. High cholesterol is said to be dangerous for men, but not for women; it is said to be dangerous for healthy men, but not for coronary patients; and it is said to be dangerous for men of 30, but not for those of 48. And high cholesterol may even be beneficial for older people.” With the evidence pointing in all directions, cholesterol readings might mean something, but cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease.

For example, cholesterol tends to rise with age. Heart disease is also more common in old age. Thus, there would be a correlation between age, cholesterol and heart disease. But just because they are all moving in the same direction does not mean one causes the other. Another is stress and cholesterol. In response to a stressful event, your liver and adrenal gland can rapidly produce enough cholesterol to raise your level 10-50% (p 66). So, would it be more urgent to resolve the stressor or remove the cholesterol? Sadly, most experts even today would be more concerned about the cholesterol reading. 

One area of curiosity for me in this book was the people of North Karelia in eastern Finland. They had the highest rate of heart disease in the world at the time Ancel Keys published his 7 country study. Finland was the tip of the blade on Ancel Keys’ famous “hockey stick” graph showing the correlation between cholesterol and heart disease. Finland has both a high rate of heart disease and high cholesterol. What is interesting to Ravnskov, but not Keys, is that rates of CHD deaths are 5x higher in Northern Karelia than western Finland (Turku). The cholesterol concentrations were similar, but not the rate of heart disease.

North Karelia has since become an object of interest in the health community since its rates of heart disease have dropped by about 73% since the 1970s. An intervention happened, led by Pekka Puska, which included several prongs: reducing saturated fat intake, reduce smoking and eating more vegetables and berries. This success story has been touted as proof of the diet-heart hypothesis by many. One glowing report I read was an excerpt from the Blue Zones Solution, published in the Atlantic.

Not mentioned was that levels of CHD dropped everywhere in Finland, not just where the community health programs took place. With a little digging, I found 2 potential reasons for the high initial levels of CHD death in North Karelia. First was the history of the region. The people of North Karelia were brutally oppressed by the Soviet Union and came to Finland by forced displacement. This would be a major stressor. Second, the population of North Karelia has an abnormally high rate of familial hypercholesterolimia. This condition causes blood cholesterol to skyrocket and is associated with high levels of CHD, even in people under 40. It could just be a founder effect due to the original inhabitants of this area having a genetic quirk.

Another curiosity for me was the EXCEL trial, which was one of the first and largest statin trials. Dr Ravnskov mentions (p 214-215) that there was a higher death rate in the untreated group than in the groups treated with various levels of the statin drug, Lovastatin. The initial reports of the study were impressive, showing a dramatic reduction in cholesterol and a drop in deaths by heart disease were reported. Ravnskov found it curious that the final study results had not been published in 2000, even though the trial started many years earlier. Good news tends to be published quickly. The fact that total mortality went up seems to be a footnote lost to history. Everything I have found on the drug reports it to be a highly effective cholesterol lowering drug that is well tolerated with minimal side effects.

Cholesterol Myths was clearly ahead of its time when it was published 20 years ago. Hopefully now is its time to make a major impact.

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Michael Marrone
December 31st, 2019 at 10:24 pm

Hi Tyler, I enjoyed your write-up, and your incorporation of data from outside research. Just wanted to piggyback off of your review. Drawing from Ravnskov’s myriad of examples that disrupt and disprove the diet-heart idea, I wanted to focus in on the Masai people in Kenya to further illustrate a common theme, and scientific shortcoming, across both this book and “Rigor Mortis,” which I will call the “researcher’s bias.” This can be summarized as a researcher’s inability to objectively interpret data, instead biasing data to fit an underlying hypothesis. Consider Dr. Bruce Taylor’s conclusion of the Masai people in Kenya (Kindle Loc 549). Taylor states that the Masai are genetically superior in their ability to reduce cholesterol production compared to Westerners, and thus are able to consume disproportionately large quantities of animal fat without increasing their cholesterol levels. As indicated by Ravnskov, however, Taylor failed to consider additional possibilities as to why the Masai have lower cholesterol than Westerners, to include the potential that Westerners have an inferior cholesterol controlling mechanism due to environmental factors, diminished activity level, higher rate of smoking, etc. Furthermore, Taylor failed to objectively quantify additional data concerning Masai living in Nairobi, for which cholesterol levels, according to the diet-heart hypothesis, should have been lower for these individuals since a city dweller’s diet consists of less animal fat. However, as Ravnskov indicates, this was not the case. In fact, the cholesterol levels for the Nairobi-based Masai was even higher than their cattle-breeding colleagues. Yet, Taylor discounted these findings in favor of the status quo that is the diet-heart idea. The integration of the “researcher’s bias” is all too common, and a degradation to honest science and research.

As discussed at length in “Rigor Mortis,” this biased, misinterpreted, and otherwise skewed interpretation of research should be of concern to all of us - not merely statisticians, medical doctors, and researchers, but the laymen and laywomen who passively abide by the advice and recommendations of those branding themselves as the stalwarts of health, wellness, and nutrition (e.g. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; Food & Drug Administration; and the media, which is “supported in large part by advertising revenues from pharmaceuticals and a food industry” that profits from vegetable oils, drugs, and dietary change, p. 160). The fact that we, as a global community, cannot pin down a cohesive and factual understanding of cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease is not only astonishing, but disappointing. Yet, as Ravnskov writes, and as you summarized in your discussion, “the association between high cholesterol and coronary disease is not due to simple cause and effect” (Kindle, Loc 869), but must also account for other factors, including smoking, weight, familial hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, and perhaps most importantly, emotional stress. Of course, this is the very reason that CrossFit HQ initiated this book club, so that those seeking facts about health, wellness, and nutrition can interpret and convey evidence that points to truth, and embodies a position not of power and politics, but of wholehearted care and well-being for the community

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Tyler Hass
January 2nd, 2020 at 8:47 am

Thanks for the reply, Michael. I found the Masai data point interesting as well. I dug around the internet and found a variety of explanations for their low cholesterol in spite of a diet high in animal fat.

In the quote below, Ancel Keys attributes their low cholesterol to seasonal food scarcity and low BMI. So, they’re natural intermittent fasters. And they drink fermented milk which contains bacteria that can pass through the acidic environment of the stomach. For reasons unexplained, this can lower cholesterol.

“Keys, however, dismissed Mann's Masai work in several ways. He pointed to studies of other Kenyan nomadic peoples whose dietary behaviors and blood cholesterol levels fit with the diet-heart hypothesis.65 Keys then proposed several explanations for the Masai's apparent peculiarity. He maintained that the Masai were “chronically unfed and frequently half-starved,” which might account for their low rates of heart disease, an observation that reflected insights derived from his own work on semistarvation. Furthermore, Mann had suggested that the Masai's inclusion of sour milk in their diet might prevent their blood cholesterol levels from rising.66 This theory, Keys pointed out, supported the notion that dietary intake was somehow related to the pathogenesis of heart disease.67 Most interesting, perhaps, was Keys' suggestion that the Masai had developed a “very effective feedback mechanism to suppress endogenous cholesterol synthesis.””

In the link below, several additional explanations are offered.

-The Masai live at high altitude and this can lower LDL levels and raise HDL levels.

-Masai frequently suffer from parasitic infections which also tend to lower cholesterol. Another source posited that these parasitic infections had a protective effect against heart disease. This begs the question: in which aisle of the pharmacy do I find these worms?!

-Their high level of physical activity enlarges their coronary arteries, which reduces the likelihood of obstructions. This is in spite of fairly normal (by American standards) levels of atherosclerosis found in autopsies.

-“Some plants can also be thought of as lipid lowering agents.  We know they can be almost as effective as statins. The Masai recognized the medicinal properties of many plants... So they may have benefited from this fact.” Surely these plants must be available in supplement form at the local pharmacy.

-The Masai have a genetic adaptation that allows them to thrive on a high fat diet. I have seen many references to this, but no further explanation. My guess is that it’s a purely conjectural deus ex machina that gets thrown out when all other arguments fail.

There is no shortage of explanations for the curious case of the Masai tribe. It’s possible that several of these explanations are true in general of the Masai or to varying degrees in an individual Masai. Even granting this, at best it only eliminates one argument against the diet-heart hypothesis, but there are many others to choose from. Epidemiological studies are a weak form of evidence anyway. The case of the Masai generates a lot of interesting questions, but cannot provide definitive answers.

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Andrew Charlesworth
December 31st, 2019 at 7:07 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

LOVED THIS. Recently having a conversation with one of my members who is in amazing physical and mental condition. Truly happy and looks 25 even though he is going on 54. 5 years in the gym. He is in a panic of his cholesterol numbers. This book gave me some good talking point with him. Such as the skewed numbers of "death certificates" Basically having no actual evidence on cholesterol having no correlation with all caused mortality. It is extremely sad that big pharma plays such a role in these statins that can cause more harm then good just by going off of one "number" If i went to a traditional doctor and paid traditional insurance I would be on statins already at the ripe age of 30 with a 400lb backsquat, 2:30 Fran and + 25 cindy score. CrossFit is defining "health" and "fitness" and these are correlates (yes 210/100 BP is not great) but if I have a slight high reading 2x of 140/70 and 128/70 there should be no reason that is a cause for a statin based on my LBM and overall size. Cholesterol falls equal to this category.

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Jose Zumoza
December 31st, 2019 at 6:49 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

The depth in analysis and data in this book can be overwhelming especially for me not being used to heavy scientific material. But I can take away the effort of Dr. Ravnskov and his colleagues in digging deeper searching for the truth and destroying made up facts about cholesterol. Gor example most people don't know that cholesterol is what makes our cells waterproof and therefore needed to maintain vital function in our organism.

Cholesterol is found in HDL and LDL, and this types of lipoproteins can fluctuate when gaining or losing weight and this increases the HDL/LDL ratio, this is the main measurement to tell if you have favorable cholesterol rate, what this sole number ignores is the other health factors, like insulin sensitivity which is directly correlated to diabetes and thus cardiac decreases.

Big food and big pharma have done a great job of creating a stigma on fat consumption when in reality is what can saves us or prevent being victims of this deceases.

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Steve Day
December 31st, 2019 at 6:44 pm
Commented on: 191231

9 rounds plus 54

324 total reps

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Manchild Manchild
December 31st, 2019 at 6:43 pm
Commented on: 191231

9 rounds + 4 pull-ups

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Nicole Deaver
December 31st, 2019 at 6:39 pm
Commented on: 191231

10 Rds + 11 pull-ups + 10 push-ups = 351 Reps Rx

Compare to 1/1/19: 331 Reps Rx (4/29/19: 325 Reps Rx)

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Matthew Letarte
December 31st, 2019 at 6:35 pm
Commented on: 191231

10rds + 13 = 343reps

All strict form

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Steven Odom
December 31st, 2019 at 6:35 pm
Commented on: 191231


Start- 5/10/15

End- 11/22/33

+ 10 SPU’s

Total= 346 reps

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Michael Arko
December 31st, 2019 at 6:26 pm
Commented on: 191231


9 rounds + 10 pull + 7 push

55 + 97 + 135 = 287 reps

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Jim Rix
December 31st, 2019 at 6:02 pm
Commented on: 191231

371 reps (10 rounds + 8 squats)

190101: 360 reps (10 rounds + 19 push-ups)

Farewell 2019! Can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!


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Kevin Marshall
December 31st, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Commented on: 191231

Rx got to 8 then back started to seize up really hard

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Gregory Kerschbaum
December 31st, 2019 at 5:33 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Reading the Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, was a very eye opening experience. I really enjoyed how he laid out what the Myths are and then point by point was able to show the  flaws in research, or application or a myriad of other areas that lead to misinformation being spread as truth for so many years. This very thorough analysis left me wondering how the truth could be suppressed for so long and

this misinformation could spread so broadly.

Something that really hit home for me was some of the stories and examples used. One such example was of a woman named Karla, from Sweden, who lived what appears to be a healthy lifestyle, until her company mandated a health checkup where she was told her cholesterol was too high and was at risk of a heart attack. It then talks of her becoming fearful, and making large changes to diet, becoming weaker, and thinner, and not enjoying life as much. All of this while not making significant change in her cholesterol. Her attitude on life changed and depression seemed to grip her now, and she now felt guilty upon even a small treat. The quality of this woman’s life changed all because of bad science and money hungry drug companies wanting to push statin drugs. I found this story made me

incredibly sad and angry because this is just an example of many people have similar experiences.

Thinking about myself, when I was young my father had a serious heart attack, my mother on the recommendations from the doctor got us on a low fat diet kick, we had these Dr. Dean Ornish recipe books that basically all the food had no taste. My dad has taken numerous statins and many medications, and oddly over the years, has continued to have problems. We were all made to fear cholesterol and fat, and led to believe that these are the causes of heart disease. I truly believe that I have lost years with my father potentially from the advice he has been given, and its caused a lower quality of life. It makes me really sad to think how much this misinformation is affecting people’s lives. I feel pretty impassioned after reading this to continue to educate myself, so that I can better communicate with others at my gym and in my family about what the truth on cholesterol and heart disease really is.

Additionally, I also really enjoyed how Dr. Ravnskov looked at different groups of people and pretty much poked a hole in every bit of research for the diet heart hypothesis. He looked at groups that lived on animal fat and blood and milk, and didn’t even eat vegetables, but they never had issues with Coronary Heart disease. And it wasn’t just one example there were many examples with data to show. I really continued to have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that people wanted the diet heart hypothesis to be true so much that they could disregard so much data that flew in the face of it. I loved seeing the correlation arguments completely dismantled, I highly recommend this reading to anyone.

To end this thought I am just really thankful to have found CrossFit, and that there is a group that is willing to spread the truth, I am sure I would be on a path with unhealthy eating habits, and I would have taken a Dr. recommendation to start statin drugs and I would be on the same path as many others and probably living in fear of heart disease. I am thoroughly enjoying this book club for my own educational development and love seeing all the posts from everyone else. It’s been great to really spark me back into consistent reading of books, and continue the never ending quest to be better.

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Michele Mootz
December 31st, 2019 at 4:43 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

This book hit home with me given the populations I am coaching. I get more questions about cholesterol and statins than any other subject.

It is a fine line we walk between telling people outright that what their doctors are telling them is wrong, and giving them the tools and resources to figure that out on their own. I have chosen the latter approach with the seniors that I am working with. This is a generation that was told that whatever your doctor tells you is true. Changing that mentality will not happen overnight, and is much more digestible to them if it is given in small doses. I sent this book to three of my seniors to read, and each one of them had a different response, but everyone of them has more information and ammunition to become their own advocates.

To quote Uffe Ravnskov, "The cholesterol in your food has little or no influence at all on the cholesterol in your blood".

Such a simple statement that clearly goes against EVERYTHING we have been told by Western medicine. In a time when doctors are using statins as a "preventive" medication, this book is a great tool in beginning to reverse thinking and educating our family, friends and ourselves about what cholesterol is and how it works in our body.

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Melissa Reed
December 31st, 2019 at 10:30 pm

Ive experienced the same Michelle. Clients will often approach with questions about nutrition, blood pressure, cholesterol, ect. Many of the resources and information I have utilized in the past were completely de bunked in this book. Much like Rigor Mortis my big take away is to continue to question everything, and to encourage others to do the same. Having access to works by Ravnskov, and others like Zoe Harcombe to help us REALLY understand data and studies are so helpful. I have already referred 3 others faced with being put on statins to read this book. I hope it will help encourage them, to not just take Dr advice at face value but to question and advocate for themselves when it comes to their health.

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Joe Alexander
December 31st, 2019 at 4:39 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Follow the bouncing ball…eat too much saturated fat and cholesterol, then your blood cholesterol level rises and causes heart disease by way of atherosclerosis.  Well that’s a major bummer.  Fortunately, Dr. Ravnskov’s intense review of the literature clearly dismantles the diet-heart proponents argument.  This is important work especially given the backdrop of so many taking medication to derail the aforementioned mechanism.  Tying back to Rigor Mortis, I found it particularly interesting how ignoring evidence, the selection of particular statistical tests (E.G. one tailed vs two tailed t-test), and data representation (percentages) can all impact statistical significance to achieve a desired result.  Simply stated, the review of research linking heart attacks/heart mortality with animal fat consumption simply doesn’t jive.  This book provides great perspective during a time when so much emphasis is placed on one’s cholesterol numbers and the associated health risks in light of these numbers.  Hey, go ahead and enjoy those eggs.

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Nathan clukey
December 31st, 2019 at 4:36 pm
Commented on: 191231

36-56-84 or 9 rounds or 176

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Michael Bishop
December 31st, 2019 at 10:34 pm

Edited? Ah cool feature better late than never 😁

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Todd Widman
December 31st, 2019 at 3:55 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

The Cholesterol Myths

I was stoked to see this as our second book, not just due to the fact that it presents a uniquely contrarian view on the importance of saturated fats and cholesterol blood markers in relation

to our health, but also because I had previously intended to read the book but had, until now, not done so; thank you for the nudge to add this knowledge to my library.

As Coach stated in seminal nutrition lectures captured on page 45 of our Level 1 Training Guide, the CrossFit message is contrarian…with Nutrition the theme continues: What most everyone thinks is wrong. Since being exposed to his early articles and spending the better part of 15 years reading on the subject, I feel that I am just now

coming to grips with how accurate that statement is…what works for one person’s Nutrition regimen does not necessarily work for another, and as this book reveals, what one (or a multitude) of Doctors/Nutritionists/Researchers say is healthful is not necessarily true. Like Richard Harris artfully articulated in last month’s book Rigor Mortis, it is extraordinarily difficult, for innumerable reasons,

to go against the system and common line of thought on a subject; I applaud Dr Ravnskov and others like him for the incredible courage to do so.

I personally found The Cholesterol Myths somewhat difficult to read, mostly due to the fact that it (as titled) focuses on how other research and common ideas about saturated fat and cholesterol’s link to heart disease is wrong, without also explaining what is right. Throughout the book I found myself excited at the potential for a

solution from Dr Ravnskov, only to be faced with more exposure of potential fallacy and problem. This, however, led me to what I most valued from the book: a powerful lesson that one cannot believe something that someone says/writes/teaches as absolute truth or fact. As summed up beautifully in his epilogue, Dr Ravnskov wrote:

Everyone must gain the truth in an active way. If you want to know

something you must look at all the premises yourself, listen to all the arguments yourself, and then decide for yourself what seems to be the most likely answer. You may be easily led astray if you ask the authorities to do this work for you”.

We are, in fact, ultimately responsible for finding the truth, and as HQ staff we are responsible to relay this truth to others to the best of our abilities. Here’s to lifelong study…thank you for this illuminating read.  

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Zachary Forrest
January 1st, 2020 at 12:40 am

Todd - I'm glad I read your comment before I posted.

The book was a difficult read for me but mostly because of the redundancy I found in verbiage and claim. Like Rigor Mortis, this book centered more around the problem of bias researchers, poor experiment design, corruption, or laziness in science. I've now enough examples of these things to be completely jaded about modern research (at the very least, highly skeptical).

I, too, read on hoping to find Ravnskov had cultivated some map or blueprint to facilitate answers:

"So...IS high cholesterol something to be wary of?"

I finished the core book somewhat deflated, without having read the epilogue...I felt mentally drained, the magnitude of issues we face now fully exposed. The quote and your end note on personal responsibility towards truth, however, is something I appreciate.

I'll go back and finish the epilogue now.

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Eric O'Connor
January 1st, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Todd: I share a lot of your thoughts. It makes sense that what is commonly taught about ingesting cholesterol/saturated fats and their effects on the heart is accurate, but once again this community continues to provide me with information that is different (and more accurate) than what I have thought to be true. The evidence that Dr Ravnskov provided simply cannot be ignored…in particular to me, the information showing: 

-How many of the studies on the diet-heart idea are inaccurate 

-How the cholesterol in our food has little or no effect on the cholesterol in our blood

-The common thoughts on cholesterol and saturated fats role with heart disease is wrong

-The misconceptions of HDL/LDL cholesterol

This information is great but, much like you, I was also looking for the “what is right” explanation. I agree with you that the epilogue sums things up nicely….listen, think critically, and actively seek the truth. As Michele mentioned below, I can give others this book and arm them with this information. Another big takeaway, from this book, is that I need to check in more often with the people that I work with on their overall lifestyle habits. To me, Ravnskov showed a potential focus on not just nutrition for potential health improvements but all other lifestyle components as well. I should talk to others more on the importance of stress reduction, sleep, physical activity, etc….this book was a good reminder. 

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Peter Shaw
January 4th, 2020 at 11:55 pm

Todd, Zach, and Eric,

I agree with finding myself looking for the "solution" under the sea of facts and fallacies. Then as I read further I understood that these were merely tools and information to arm ourselves with on the front lines as Trainers.

Joe D. makes a wonderful analogy comparing the information in this book to the knowledge we accumulate to become more effective teachers and ultimately Trainers.

This book arms us effectively by bolstering our internal process before we (as Eric O. puts it) "talk to others more on the importance of stress reduction, sleep, physical activity, etc...." (external process).

I too found valuable lessons in the epilogue, but also at the beginning of each chapter. The short quotes summarized the ideas needed to effectively communicate these issues to others.

For example, the quote on p. 210 by the philosopher John Locke ties in nicely to your final conclusion:

... the fourth and last wrong measure of probability I shall take notice of, and which keeps in ignorance of error more people than all the other together, is... the giving up our assent to the common received opinions, either of our friends or party, neighbourhood or country. How many men (or women) have no other ground for their tenets than the supposed honesty, or learning, or number of those of the same profession? ...

To me, these are the concepts we must remember to help us use our tools effectively.

And remember, "Only dead fishes go downstream." (Polish Proverb)

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Lily Cosgrove
January 7th, 2020 at 4:17 am

I’ve read all of these comments and I appreciate your response especially Todd (and also Joe D’s). Personally, I did not find the book easy to read. To retain and understand all of the pertinent facts within it I would have to spend a lot of time digesting and reflecting. Even then I wouldn’t feel confident in any deep dialogue on the topic of cholesterol. But, I have certainly come to the conclusion that there is more to this topic than most of the people we coach are aware of. You echoed Ravnskov’s epilogue to make the point that as trainer’s we can help people question the status quo in this regard. I grew in a time when the “healthy” foods in Australia received a flashy red Heart Foundation tick. It wasn’t until recently that the donation links between big food companies and the ticks were exposed. But the damage has been done and it takes a lot to undo. Most people in this country still associate those “ticked” foods with health (even though the tick system has been dropped). As trainers we can at least start new conversations with people and this book may be a helpful one to point to. 

On a side note, I’ve been musing around the fact that my old hippy mum has always been such a rebel. I used to roll my eyes in the 80s and 90s when she said margarine was poison, birth control was terrible for hormones, people should wear shoes as little as possible and move in a natural way. Well here we are ;) 

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Gene Williams
December 31st, 2019 at 3:50 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov is a deep dive into the studies done on the possible links between high cholesterol levels and heart disease. By dissecting the methods used, the test subject’s details, and the data interpretation he pokes holes in the purported links between the two. It seems like the two are more likely correlated than high cholesterol causing heart disease. 

 “If cholesterol is only an innocent bystander witnessing the crime and being influenced by it, then a reduction in its concentration would not have any effect because the unknown villain continues his activity. Crime is not prevented by killing the witnesses.”

The diet-heart idea is that everyone needs to eat less fat which will lower cholesterol and thus prevent heart disease, however, in study after study the results do not prove this to be true! This idea is so prevalent that studies showing contradictory results are hardly cited and the scientists that speak out against the popular ideas are shunned. 

Although this is not a page turner or a “fun read” the depth of the author’s knowledge and research on the topic is impressive and the discussion of the details of each study is important.

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Claire Fiddian-Green
December 31st, 2019 at 3:25 pm
Commented on: 191231

9 rounds even. Rx push-ups and squats. Rx strict pull-ups for rounds 1-3, then added bands (first red only, then blue only, then red+blue, ended with green only).

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Miguel Puyod
December 31st, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Commented on: 191231

Star from 1 strict pull up.

9Rx + 3 pull ups = 273 Reps

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Brian Rolle
December 31st, 2019 at 1:38 pm
Commented on: 191231

Are the squats air squats?

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Miguel Puyod
December 31st, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Don't think so.

I had done the normal one.

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Jim Rix
December 31st, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Yes, unweighted air squats.

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Fernando Iglesias Garcia
December 31st, 2019 at 1:30 pm
Commented on: 191231

Starting at 1-2-3, finishing with 10-20-1. Total 301 reps.

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Brunno Silva
December 31st, 2019 at 1:28 pm
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Impressed me in the very beginning of the book how they use statistics to prove what they wanted to see, correlation between colesterol and heart disease. When you say there’s a 4 times more death in high cholesterol group when compared with low cholesterol group is alarming. But digging into the data He showed us the difference is just 1%.

More alarming is seeing how this data are used to guide prescriptions and guidelines in Health Sciences. Talking to a friend who is a doctor, She saw the flaw in the data but still tends to considers the study. When it comes to statins she has no doubt it should be used to prevent another heart attack. Even having good heart and intention a lot of people are guided for missinterpration of studies.

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Mat Pec
December 31st, 2019 at 12:33 pm
Commented on: 191231

Start from 1 strict pull-up

10 rounds + 7 strict pull-ups.

Total: 337 reps

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Matthew Swift
December 31st, 2019 at 10:21 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

“In both politics and religion, ideas can be more powerful than any army”. This is a very profound quote from Dr Ravnskov, and very apt given that the diet-heart hypothesis seems to be largely based on both politics and religion, and this is a book that covers a lot of ideas.

A summary of the major takeaways for me (there are many!):

- We produce cholesterol and it is essential. Intake of cholesterol through diet has minimal impact on serum cholesterol … “Like other mammals, we produce cholesterol ourselves, day and night. When we eat lots of cholesterol or animal fat, our own production of cholesterol decreases automatically. If we eat only a little, our production increases. This mechanism keeps the cholesterol level in the body fairly constant and explains why it is so difficult to lower cholesterol with diet.”

- Risk factors are not the same as cause … “Risk Factors do not necessarily produce disease. But most diet-heart supporters rarely distinguish between risk factor and cause … thus, although a risk factor changes parallel to the death rate it is not necessarily the cause. But if the risk factor is the cause, its rise and fall must be reflected in the death rate from the disease”

- Support for the diet-heart hypothesis is weak. Dr Ravnskov systematically dismantled the proponents arguments and identified many flaws in the various trials that are often cited as support.

- The Seven Countries data looks very weak when regions within the countries are compared and anomalies are considered … “But Switzerland is never mentioned because parallel with declining heart mortality, the Swiss intake of animal fat increased by 20 percent”

- Animal trials can inform mechanisms of physiological processes but well designed clinical trials are required to show causality. We need to be cautious extrapolating animal trials to humans.

- It is important to consider total mortality from all causes, not just coronary mortality. “Overall, in trials where the drugs had been used to lower cholesterol, mortality from non-coronary causes had increased significantly. The authors’ conclusion was that the benefits from cholesterol lowering drugs seem to be produced in only a small number of patients at very high risk of death from coronary heart disease”

- There is no “Exposure-Response” relationship between cholesterol and coronary mortality. The association of high serum cholesterol with coronary mortality is unsystematic and weak. Five other explanations other than cholesterol … Familial Hypercholesterolemia, smoking, overweight, high blood pressure and emotional stress. “The most likely interpretation is that a high cholesterol is not dangerous in itself but a marker for something else”

- Once again, the researchers have been asking the wrong question … “We should ask if fat, sedentary, smoking individuals with a high LDL-cholesterol level are at greater risk for coronary disease than fat, sedentary, smoking individuals with low or normal LDL-cholesterol”

- There are many adverse effects of Polyunsaturated Fats (vegetable oils) and Trans Fats and they should be avoided

- There is a U-shaped association, very low cholesterol as well as very high cholesterol can both be associated with many adverse health effects

- High cholesterol in the elderly is protective, i.e those with high cholesterol live longer. Cholesterol also plays an important role in protecting against infection.

- Side-effects from Statins are frequent, serious (myopathy and rhabdomyolysis; heart failure; violence, depression and suicide; memory loss; peripheral polyneuropathy; impotency; cancer) and poorly disclosed

- Non-supportive results get ignored. “The trial directors themselves were especially unwilling to cite an unsupportive trial; since 1970 up to 1992, no trial considered unsupportive by its directors had been cited in another trial report.”

However, the most fascinating takeaway was in considering “surrogate outcomes”, where laboratory changes are used as a measure of treatment effect rather number of deaths. The term surrogate means that it is not self-evident that the laboratory changes can be translated to clinical outcomes. Lowering cholesterol is a surrogate outcome, whereas reducing mortality is the desired outcome. Efforts in reducing cholesterol are misdirected if mortality is not reduced, which is the compelling case presented by Dr Ravnskov. There is a cautionary tale in this for the CrossFit Trainer as well. We can also find ourselves chasing surrogate outcomes in the gym, particularly with clients that continue to chase better numbers for workouts and lifts, but don’t change their diet to improve health. We need to ensure that workout performance, particularly in the client that cherry-picks, doesn’t become a surrogate outcome instead of improved health and fitness.

There were 3 things that I struggled with throughout the book.

Firstly, it was published in 2000, and being 20 years old, it felt dated, referencing research from the 60’s through to the 80’s. I found myself wanting a more up-to-date set of references. Are the conclusions still valid? My mind was put to ease after reading two more recent papers from Dr Ravnskov that further support his work in the book. For those that are interested, they are:

“Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review”

“LDL-C does not cause cardiovascular disease: a comprehensive review of the current literature”

Secondly, Dr Ravnskov does an exceptional job at debunking the diet-heart hypothesis, but there is little explanation of any alternative hypothesis. There is a minor suggestion that oxidized cholesterol (i.e, cholesterol damaged by free radicals) may be the cause of heart disease. There are also some references to “wear and tear” being the cause of atherosclerosis, but given the amount of discussion of what doesn’t cause heart disease (i.e cholesterol) I was frustrated that there was no alternative discussion of what does.

Lastly, it was noted consistently that familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) was a disease condition that should not be extrapolated to a normal population. FH causes cholesterol to increase because the defect makes the body unable to remove LDL from the blood. It is also acknowledged that FH have higher incidence of CHD, but does FH cause atherosclerosis? Dr Ravnskov stated “I shall not discuss here whether it is the high cholesterol that causes atherosclerosis in people with familial hypercholesterolemia or not”. I am still confused by FH and although I understand that the failure to control for FH cases biases the data, I felt that the issue of FH was left unresolved.

Overall, very useful read and I learned a lot. Most importantly, we are on exactly the right track with CVFMHI and MVNSSFLSNS !!

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Tyler Hass
December 31st, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Great summary, Matthew. I highlighted many of the same passages you did. The lack of a dose or exposure response to cholesterol lowering was especially interesting to me, too. It was one of the stronger arguments to support the case that cholesterol is just an innocent bystander and something else is going on underneath.

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Tiago Oliveira
December 31st, 2019 at 8:59 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Like we had seen in Rigor Mortis this book illustrates the role that science has in shaping the public understanding of things. The selective blindness of biased expectations towards results puts us in down spiral leading to misinformation. Money makes the world go around and we left our scientists unprotected against the greed of Big Pharma, Big Soda and others.

The fight against cholesterol is ongoing for as long as I can remember and midway through the book it’s becoming clear to me that high cholesterol is not the bad guy they painted it to be. There’s study after study that shows high cholesterol being helpful in maintaining functional and mental capacity across age. These types of bogus claims grounded in correlation and not causation in witch the only goal is to sell us something are so laud that books like this one from Dr. Ravnskov rarely cross our paths and Dr. Ravnskov himself puts it best “it’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled”.

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Lachlan Learg
December 31st, 2019 at 8:02 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

"The Cholesterol Myths" takes a deep dive into the commonly held belief that cholesterol and heart disease are inextricably linked. A belief so widespread that it has almost become unquestioned scientific fact. Much like last month's reading - "Rigamortis," Ravnskov effectively educates us about the pitfalls of sometimes shoddy and often biased research and its far reaching effects. To find that most of our picture of cholesterol and heart disease was built around negligently selective research in the 50's comes as something less of a surprise after also reading "Rigamortis," although it is still troubling.

Many of his findings that fly in the face of our commonly held conceptions about cholesterol were fascinating but also alarming when one thinks about what it means for modern medicine to have been misdirected for so long. Looking at how cholesterol effects people (or doesn't for the most part) across cultural, nutritional and lifestyle factors Ravnskov offers an optimistic belief that there are so many more answers out there for us if we leave scientific dogma behind and expand our thinking.

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Wen Qing
December 31st, 2019 at 7:58 am
Commented on: 191231


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QiHui Xing
December 31st, 2019 at 7:46 am
Commented on: 191231



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Natalia Diez
December 31st, 2019 at 6:17 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

Beyond the myths that can tell me this book, my conclusion is one more time that we cannot believe in one truth. Not even the one in this book.

In the end we have to create our own truth, making ourselves responsible for it.

We have repeated ourselves to satiety: cholesterol is the main enemy of our heart. However, in this book the author assures us that this issue has been fed by the pharmaceutical industry to continue entering millions a year thanks to statins. In other hand the controversy surrounding the relationship between fat consumption and cholesterol has always created debate.

Who is right?

If I have taken something from this book, it is my interest to differentiate between HDL and LDL cholesterol, large LDL and small LDL, reaffirming my believe that fats are essential in our diet so our organs and system can obtain all their nutrients and functions with normality (and this is extensive to saturated fats), and in patients suffering from heart attacks the metabolic syndrome is the real problem and not high cholesterol levels.

In life almost nothing is white or black, and I think the same goes for cholesterol and fats.


Más allá de los mitos que pueda hablarme este libro la lectura que saco de el una vez más es que no podemos creer una verdad. Ni si quiera la de este libro.

Al final hemos de crear nuestra propia verdad, haciéndonos responsables de ella.

Nos lo han repetido hasta la saciedad: el colesterol es el principal enemigo de nuestro corazón. Sin embargo, en este libro nos aseguran que ha sido alimentada por la industria farmacéutica para seguir ingresando millones al año gracias a las estatinas. Y la polémica en torno a la relación entre el consumo de grasas y el colesterol siempre ha creado debate.

¿Quién tiene razón? 

Si he sacado algo en claro de este libro es diferenciar entre el colesterol HDL y LDL, las grandes LDL y las pequeñas LDL, reafirmarme en que las grasas son imprescindibles en nuestra dieta para que nuestros órganos vitales y sistemas puedan obtener todos sus nutrientes y funcionen con normalidad  y esto es extensivo a las grasas saturadas, y que en pacientes que sufren infartos es el síndrome metabólico el verdadero problema y no unos niveles altos de Colesterol.

En la vida casi nada es blanco o negro, y creo que lo mismo ocurre con el colesterol y  las grasas.

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Chris Sinagoga
December 31st, 2019 at 4:31 am
Commented on: 191231

Champions Club Scaling Notes


I really want to thank the HQ people for allowing me to post on here. This has been by far the best learning experience for me as a coach for this past year. And also thanks to the peeps who have commented on the notes. Seriously, this is so freaking cool coming from posting on the main site as a 16-year old high school sophomore in 2006 to doing this thing now. If I remember correctly, the first WOD comment I posted was "good lord burpees are so freaking hard." Now I rant about being a temperamental Michigan football fan.


Test ourselves against our year-ago selves


Pick a rep scheme you can stay moving with and not resting. On a side note, I've always wondered how doing 1-2-3 for 12 minutes would be. I've never been brave enough to try it though.


Now that I mention it, I might try that out with the group. Or like 2-4-6. Either way it would be good to keep the rep scheme consistent to avoid the "wait, how many do I do here?" questions mid-workout. If pull-up bar space is scarce then timed stations would be fine. It would just turn into more of a stamina piece the entire time, which is not a big deal.


as is Or if you wanted to shade a bit towards intensity/endurance then pick the number above where you finished at last time and work your way down the ladder instead of up. See if you can finish in under 12 minutes.


extend the time cap to 20 minutes and really pay close attention to your midline position on all 3 movements. Slow down to keep position rigid.


Pick any 2 movements you can do in a high quantity and go up in rep scheme for 12 minutes. 1 &1, then 2 & 2, then 3 & 3, etc.


Honestly this would be one to pick 4 or 5 movements you suck at because the WOD's movements are hard to break down further.


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Matthew Letarte
December 31st, 2019 at 3:41 pm

oh Michigan :'(

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Jim Rix
December 31st, 2019 at 6:03 pm

And know many appreciate the advice from you and the other coaches.

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Drake Sladky
December 31st, 2019 at 4:30 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

I could sit and complain about all the data about cholesterol and diet and how we have been misled for all the past years but I would prefer to think about how this book highlights the importance of what we do day in and day out in out CF Boxes.  

Dr. Michael Marmot prepared his doctoral thesis about coronary heart disease and its relationship between blood cholesterol, social factors, eating habits and lifestyle. Dr Marmot found that Japanese immigrants who maintained their traditions but preferred high-fat American food ran a smaller risk of heart disease than those who became accustomed to the American way of life but ate the lean, Japanese food.  The book goes on to explain that traditional Japanese culture puts an emphasis on group cohesion, group achievement and social stability, additionally it says “members of the stable Japanese society enjoy support from other members of their society and are thus protected from the emotional and social stress that he believes to be an important cause of heart attacks.

I am always amazed about how many benefits there are to doing CrossFit and especially about being part of a community that cares about each other.  We talk a lot about the physical adaptations people get from the CVFMHI and we now deliver Nutrition lectures in both the L1 and L2 but I don’t think we (well especially me) spend enough time talking/thinking about the importance of our communities and its affect of both physical and emotional health.

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Peter Shaw
January 4th, 2020 at 11:16 pm


Well said re: the CrossFit community and its psychological benefits (in turn having a physiological benefit). We all know the benefit of the community because we experience it first hand on a daily basis.

Is it possible that, of all the risk factors, loneliness and/or social isolation should be a top candidate for predicting metabolic disease (CHD, T2DM, Alzheimer's)?

If Dr. Marmot is correct, and emotional and social stress are important predictors of heart attacks, then is it crazy to lead ourselves toward an idea where hyperinsulinemia is at the physiological root of the issue?

Chronically elevated stress --> chronically elevated cortisol --> chronically elevated blood glucose --> chronically elevated insulin --> hyperinsulinema


Chronically elevated stress --> chatecholamine release by adrenal glands --> chronically elevated blood pressure --> hypertension (caused by hyperinsulinemia)

If hyperinsulinemia is the cause of the "Deadly Quartet" (according to Dr. Norman Caplan, 1989) this may a useful place to start redirecting our attention instead of the apparently false association between cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

It would be interesting to know if there are current studies narrowing in on this... (and who is funding them...)

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Fernando Fernandez Dosal
December 31st, 2019 at 3:34 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

I very much enjoyed reading this book. I find it speaks in a very friendly and easy to read tone a strong reminder of being weary and questioning the information and motives of those who propose to know the one and only truth - it shows through numerous studies that the belief of cholesterol markers leading to increased risk of death is unfounded and has been misinterpreted and Medicine's acceptance and lack of questioning affects a tremendous amount of people around the globe. People become fearful of following potentially more sound nutritional advice, take unnecessary and unproven medication with probable strong side effects all because of our societal tendency to just say yes and give in to laziness versus informing ourselves, keeping our curiosity alive and sharpening our minds through finding out the answers to the questions that will make us better. I am thankful to be part of this book club. And eager to keep lighting torches dissipating disinformation. Lets keep asking our inborn question : "But why?"

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Juan Acevedo
December 31st, 2019 at 3:15 am
Commented on: 191231



Hell yeah! Learning day. This is a fun game! This is all about pushing the limits of your gymnastics stamina.  One excellent skill to have in CrossFit is to know how to flirt with failure in a gymnastic movement but without ever reaching it. Learn to listen to your body and you will be able to push harder when you can and hold back when you can't. This workout provides an excellent context to learn that. If you did this workout on 190101 or 190429, check your notes from that day. Based on what you see decide on your starting point. The objective for you is to compare your previous performances with the present one and to learn, this will make you fitter. If you haven't done this workout ever, don't get married to a particular rep scheme, go in and find out what you are capable of. Athletes scaling should find movements that allow them to keep the strictness aspect in both arm movements, choose a level of assistance that allows you to do ten repetitions unbroken with great form when fresh. Let's end the year fitter than we started it! LEARN!

*Today the options are not based on difficulty. The aim is to provide two different ways of modifying the movements. Choose the option you think it would provide you a different stimulus than what you are used to.


Complete as many reps as possible in 12 minutes of:

1 band pull-up, 2 plate push-ups, 3 squats

2 band pull-ups, 4 plate push-ups, 6 squats

3 band pull-ups, 6 plate push-ups, 9 squats


Start at a higher round if you think it will allow you to complete more reps in the 12 minutes—e.g., 5-10-15, then 6-12-18, then 7-14-21, etc.


Complete as many reps as possible in 12 minutes of:

1 box-assisted pull-up, 2 box push-ups, 3 squats

2 box-assisted pull-ups, 4 box push-ups, 6 squats

3 box-assisted pull-up, 6 box push-ups, 9 squats


Start at a higher round if you think it will allow you to complete more reps in the 12 minutes—e.g., 5-10-15, then 6-12-18, then 7-14-21, etc.

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Juan Acevedo
December 31st, 2019 at 3:16 am

Also, I am back! I MISSED YOU ALL!

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QiHui Xing
December 31st, 2019 at 8:04 am


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Jim Rix
December 31st, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Glad to have you back Juan!

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David Swicegood
January 10th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

Welcome back!!


Complete as many reps as possible in 12 minutes of:

1 box-assisted pull-up, 2 box push-ups, 3 squats

2 box-assisted pull-ups, 4 box push-ups, 6 squats

3 box-assisted pull-up, 6 box push-ups, 9 squats


20 in box assisted pull ups

box press ups


started at 5-10-15

ended at 10-20-30

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Dave Eubanks
December 31st, 2019 at 2:11 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

While reading through The Cholesterol Myths I found it challenging to remove my focus from the chapter focused on statins. This was a personal issue that drew my interest because as I began reading my father had recently been prescribed statins.

Though I'd heard to be wary of statins I was not prepared to have an in depth, educated conversation with a family member that contradicted the advice of his physician. Not until finishing the chapter on statins from this book that is.

Reading about all the various side effects of reducing serum cholesterol levels with myopathy, rhabdo, heart failure (ironically), brain problems, peripheral polyneropathy, impotency and cancer (!) gave me some ammunition in our discussion. I was able to sit down with my dad and have a real talk about the pros and cons of the drug he was taking. I showed him real data on the relatively worthless prophylactic effects of the drug.

My hope now is that the data (and the additional reference supplied in the book) can do the job and get him off statins since both he and his doctor agree that he is not a high risk and was only even prescribed statins in the first place as a (in their minds) risk free precaution.

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Emily Jenkins
December 31st, 2019 at 8:48 am

I had a similar experience, Dave. I found it difficult to remove my emotional reaction to this chapter because of the personal nerve that it touches upon.

Even though my father has not been prescribed statins, he is very much concerned with his "high" cholesterol. Every time we go into a grocery store, he disappears for a few minutes to monitor his blood pressure in the pharmacy. For a little context, my father is 62 and runs a lot. His 5k time is around 19:00 right now. I know that there are tons more factors to consider regarding his overall health, but after reading this book, I can say with confidence that his cholesterol levels are not worrisome.

Now the difficult thing to do is to be able to speak with others, non-family members, about these sensitive topics. As a trainer, I feel that our recommendations can often only go so far. My hope is that the MDL1 courses are helping to create a wider base of medical professionals who are open to learning more about topics that have been generally accepted as true in the United States for decades. Together, we can work on debunking some of these fallacies and calling out the red herrings. "The Cholesterol Myths" is just the tip of the iceberg, but we need to start somewhere.

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Melody-Sara Feldman
January 1st, 2020 at 8:48 pm

Dave and Emily,

This chapter (on statins) resonated the most for me, as well. I read the chapter while vacationing with my parents and brother. My parents (73 and 74 years old) are both on statins. Statins are effective at lowering cholesterol, but high cholesterol is not an actual risk factor for heart disease (the book does an amazing job of dispelling this fallacy in previous chapters), so it is necessary to stop treating this "condition" with drugs. From Ravnskov's analysis: Chance of not dying from a heart attack with a patient who already has heart disease within six years--92 percent without statins and 93 or 94 percent with statins. From the WOSCOPS trial, the chance of not dying from a heart attack with a patient who does not have heart disease within six years--98.4 percent without statins and 98.8 with statins (AFCAPS/TexCAPS trial: 99.5 percent without treatment, 99.67 percent with treatment). These stats are abysmal at best and not worth the side effects.

"Drugs that interfere with normal bodily functions usually have unexpected and unintended effects." While they are marketed as being mild (of course they are), the side effects of these so-called "miracle drugs" include myopathy or muscle weakness (from the blocking of an enzyme vital to the mitochondria of cells), rhabdomyolysis (a progression of the previous condition), and heart failure (!) (due to lowered levels of coenzyme Q10, important in heart function). But most disturbing to me is the correlation between LOW cholesterol and impaired brain function. Because "cholesterol is used as a component in the membranes of the brain cells and the nerve fibres and is also vital for proper function of the synapses," it seems evident that lowering cholesterol levels would lead to reduced cognitive and neurological functions. Indeed, causal associations have been shown between low cholesterol levels and violent behavioral patterns, depression, and suicidal attempts, and likely more commonly, increased irritability and shortness of temper. Additionally, LDL cholesterol levels are related to memory (as studied by Henderson). High LDL cholesterol was strongly associated with a more positive memory score. As the book states, maybe age-related loss of mental ability or changes in personality from aging should not be so unquestioningly accepted.

I read much of this chapter out loud to my brother, because the cholesterol/heart stance is so entrenched in our society that he needed the full explanations that the book provides. I will use the information above to try to convince my parents to stop their use of statins.

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Peter Shaw
January 4th, 2020 at 10:24 pm


The connection between low cholesterol and brain function was one that struck me as well... If cholesterol levels tend to rise with age could this not be a potential protective mechanism against decreased cognitive function? Statins would be essentially eliminating this defence if this is the case.

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Matthieu Dubreucq
December 31st, 2019 at 1:41 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

“Your fear of dying—if you happen to be one of the great many people who suffer from this morbid preoccupation—may well have made you a victim of the cholesterol controversy. For, if you have come to believe that you can ward off death from heart disease by altering the amount of cholesterol in your blood, whether by diet or by drugs, you are following a regime that still has no basis in fact. Rather, you as a consumer have been taken in by certain commercial interests and health groups who are more interested in your money than your life.”

This sums up the book for me.  But what did I learn other than « the Cholesterol Myth »?  Other then the book is a great third party analyse of what is wrong with treating Cholesterol as the causal effect of heart disease it teaches us something that as been forgotten in our society.  

You should not read or listen or learn to become convinced.  You should educate yourself, talk to experts and multiple points of view so you can make up your own judgement.  It is not about becoming convince you posses « THE » knowledge.  It is about learning that you can never be certain of what others say.  Sometimes they will bend the truth for commercial purposes (Big Pharma), sometimes it will be for pride or financing (some scientists) sometimes it will be by lack of rigor or time (some doctors), sometimes it will be by lack of education and believing the person « with the right title » (most of the general population).  

Ravnskov lists some extremely courageous scientists and experts in the last chapter.  I now realize that it is far more difficult to go against the « industry » rather than following the general guideline.  It may cost you your job or name but in the long run it is the right thing to do.  It is the good fight and that is why I am proud to be involved with CrossFit inc.  

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Thiago Borges
December 31st, 2019 at 1:40 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

In this book, Ravnskov does a good job in an almost didactic way about the myths we were prompted to believe about the level of our cholesterol. Going through body fat, vegetable oils and wild diets to the use of cholesterol control medications that interfere with the functioning of cancer cells, the author tries to "calm" the fears of those with high cholesterol and mainly warn society about the effects of lack of cholesterol information and even bad information on health issues. It is a good book, full of good references that endorse the struggle and the possibility of greater adherence in the struggle to break these pre-shaped cholesterol concepts.

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Meagan Burns
December 31st, 2019 at 1:38 am
Commented on: The Cholesterol Myths

I am so inspired by courageous individuals who choose to speak up about what is true regardless of the opinions of others. In his book, Uffe Ravnskov (along with other scientists he mentions) is choosing to speak up to educate individuals on cholesterol and statins (a drug prescribed to lower cholesterol). He essentially takes a stand against Big Pharma in order to help people.

Ravnskov explains how often times medical research today is based off connectivity vs. causality. The studies that he dissects look for a connection between high cholesterol and CHD but never really take a look into additional factors such as, stress, weight, sedentary lifestyle, overall health markets, environmental factors, etc as potential causes. Through each myth, he is able to explain how many studies are either tweaked in order to show the researchers desired result or just simply not true at all, but yet they are still pushed out to the lay population without much explanation. This is most likely why the majority of people believe that high cholesterol = bad and if their doctor tells them to go on a statin, why would they argue? 

I find myself becoming frustrated (especially around the holidays) with family members that believe what companies like Big Soda and Big Pharma are putting out, instead of the truth that I know and have tried to tell them! I believe it is an education problem so I decided to gift this book to a couple of them in hopes of them finding out the truth from a qualified medical professional. The book is very easy to read and understand for any individual looking to learn more.

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Jobst Olschewski
December 31st, 2019 at 8:58 am

I empathize with your feeling of frustration, Meagan. It is shocking how the public in general has been misled by those myths, by people like Keys and the endorsement of the industries you mentioned.

Hat off to Uffe Ravnskov who does a great job in debunking the myths one by one in a way that I found well structured and fun to read. The recap and case-specific application of the scientific method in the introduction is worth picking up the book, alone. The read fits in well with Prof. Noakes series "It's the insulin resistance, stupid" on this site, revealing the origin of much of the wrong information out there.

I think gifting the book to people who still have trouble seeing the truth is a great idea. The challenge is certainly one of education and the more we can get the word out, the better. And while there is a lot of work to be done, I think CrossFit and its affiliates are already doing a good job with this. Here is part of an email that I saved from a client of my affiliate Cape CrossFit in 2013 to "concerned" friends and family members. Concerned because he would follow our recommendation of mostly ignoring the cholesterol content in the foods that he would eat:

"Yesterday I went to Claremont hospital to have my Cholesterol and blood sugar (glucose checked) to find out once and for all if I was on the right track or not. 

Please see the results attached. To quote Dr XYZ a few moments ago: “XXX, I have never seen results like these, these are SUPER normal, your total cholesterol is 2.9, your good cholesterol 1.6 and you want it to be above 1, and your bad cholesterol is 0.9 and you want that to be less than 3. This is probably the best lipogram I’ve ever seen!! ” 

Thank you again to everyone who was concerned about me. oh and by the way, I’ve been eating 6 eggs for breakfast EVERYDAY for over a year, perhaps all this PALEO nonsense has some merit after all???"

Further, he was adding links and articles about Prof. Noakes recommendation on restriction of carbohydrates.

I understand that this is just an anecdote of "one soul saved", but I am sure he will inspire others. Uffe, Noakes, CrossFit and its affiliates and many others are on the right track once again to do "all the right things for all the right people for all the right reasons".

Happy Holidays and all the best for the New Year everyone!

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Chris Meldrum
December 31st, 2019 at 1:35 am
Commented on: 191231

Last compare to is 190429

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Troy Work
December 31st, 2019 at 2:24 am

I think the intent is to see the progress made from the first day to the last day of the calendar year.

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Chris Meldrum
December 31st, 2019 at 2:41 am

Understood. My point was for those who may have done it last April.

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Steven Thunander
December 31st, 2019 at 1:10 am
Commented on: 191231

Globo scale: as rxed. Hand release (new US Army pushup standard) or super strict on the pushups. "Prisoner style" on the squats with good form.

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Bryan Rosen
December 31st, 2019 at 1:10 am
Commented on: 191231

Warm up for 191231:



10 Mt. climbers

10 PVC pass-throughs

10 bent over rows with an empty barbell

10 lunges


Strict pull-up

10 scap pull-ups

5 bottom-half pull-ups

5 top-half pull-ups

3 negative pull-ups

1-3 strict pull-ups


30-seconds of high plank

2 sets of 5 tempo negative push-ups (5s down)

5 push-ups from bench

5 push-ups

Air squat

2 sets of 5 squat therapy reps

2 sets of 5 tempo squats (3s down, 3s hold, 3 up)

5 air squats

Practice round:

1 strict pull-up

2 push-ups

3 air squats

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