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The CrossFit stimulus—constantly varied high-intensity functional movement coupled with meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar—prepares you for the demands of a healthy, functional, independent life and provides a hedge against chronic disease and incapacity. This stimulus is elegant in the mathematical sense of being marked by simplicity and efficacy. The proven elements of this broad, general, and inclusive fitness, in terms of both movement and nutrition, are what we term our CrossFit Essentials.

This 2018 trial, funded by Virta Health, tested the impact of a high-compliance ketogenic diet on measures of liver health in Type 2 diabetics. Over one year, subjects saw significant improvements in measures of liver fat and fibrosis, with 61% of patients with abnormal ALT at baseline achieving ALT normalization. Among patients who showed significant weight loss and/or improvements in HbA1c, an even greater share achieved normal ALT levels. This trial suggests a ketogenic diet can significantly improve liver health in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Read MorePost hoc analyses of surrogate markers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and liver fibrosis in patients with type 2 diabetes in a digitally supported continuous care intervention

CrossFitters see physical education as a primary vehicle for teaching virtues essential for achievement. For us, the world of physical challenge and achievement have become metaphors for harvesting life’s riches and battling its plagues. As metaphors our efforts enlighten, instruct, encourage, and explain much of what is everywhere and dear to us. Fitness, ultimately, exercises and develops the will. Shakespeare said, “Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners.”

Read the article Why Fitness

This 2018 trial, funded by Virta Health, tested the impact of a high-compliance ketogenic diet on cardiovascular and lipid outcomes in Type 2 diabetics. Over one year, during which subjects were largely compliant with the ketogenic diet, 262 subjects in aggregate saw significant shifts away from atherogenic dyslipidemia via lipoprotein profile. This trial suggests the vast majority of diabetic subjects do not see an increase in cardiovascular risk and may see a decrease, depending on the specific markers used to assess risk.

Read MoreCardiovascular disease risk factor responses to a type 2 diabetes care model including nutritional ketosis induced by sustained carbohydrate restriction at 1 year

The Olympic lifts and their variations are well known for increasing power, strength, and speed. This classic movement is traditionally an excellent test of overall strength. Performed at higher reps, it becomes an extraordinary metabolic challenge, as evidenced by max heart and respiratory rates. Every major muscle and joint in the body must work in a coordinated effort to make the lift successful.

Watch The Clean & Jerk

The speed and force with which the clean (and, yes, the snatch) drives loads give it developmental properties that other weight training movements cannot match. Deadlifts, squats, and bench presses will never approximate the speed and force and consequently the power required of a clean at larger loads. For this simple reason, while these are important movements, they are not the clean’s peers. Power is that important.

Read the article The Clean

Prof. Tim Noakes shares a telling anecdote that demonstrates how Gatorade and the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) sought to promote their commercial interests by mischaracterizing dehydration as a medical disease and propagating a fundamental misunderstanding of the causes of hyponatremia. In 2004, Noakes took a quiz on the GSSI website. The quiz was designed to test scientists’ and medical professionals’ knowledge of the factors that cause hyponatremia. Noakes, a foremost expert in the field, failed the quiz, which he determined was a lesson in indoctrination, not real science. Here, he recounts the experience while analyzing the flaws in each of the quiz’s seven questions.

Read MoreThe hyponatremia of exercise, part 10

A number of muscles attach to the occipital protuberance that projects medially from the occiput. The slightly raised lateral ridge of bone at the level of the occipital protuberance is called the superior nuchal line. A couple of inches inferior to this line, there is another similar but less obvious feature called the inferior nuchal line. As with the occipital protuberance, both of these features serve as sites of attachment for muscles.

Read MoreThe Bones of the Skull

This 2017 review surveys 17 trials that tested the effects of a very low calorie diet (VLCD) on people with diabetes. A VLCD is defined as a diet of fewer than 800 calories per day. Seven of 14 trials that looked at fasting glucose showed that a VLCD led to significant improvements, while three out of four found the same for fasting insulin. Nine studies looked at blood pressure, and all showed significant improvements. Ten of 14 studies that tracked blood lipids showed significant reductions in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. No adverse effects linked to VLCDs were reported. This review shows the difficulty of using existing evidence to clearly assess the impact of a VLCD on diabetes, in large part because the parameters of a VLCD have not been consistently defined. However, the review also shows that a number of trials using VLCDs demonstrated rapid, clinically meaningful improvements in metabolic markers that were sustained even after the VLCD concluded.

Read MoreA Systematic Review of Evidence on the Use of Very Low Calorie Diets in People with Diabetes

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