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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.

The most powerful forces that can be generated by the human body are initiated, controlled, and dominated by the hip. Unfortunately, in the majority of trainees, some degree of hip dysfunction creates unsound postures and mechanics that reduce power and stability. Such faulty mechanics arise from inadequate training and insufficient practice of critical hip movements. We term this widespread fault “muted hip function.”

Read the articleA Postural Error

All the seeds of the scientific method lie within the derivation of science (which is the method’s application). The scientific method consists of a set of attributes that can be neatly organized into four major categories: foundations, discovery, creativity, and validation.

Read MoreThe Scientific Method, Part 1

What is the mechanism behind muscle growth? The exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) hypothesis posits intense exercise causes damage to muscle fibers, which then repair and adapt to better tolerate future exposure to stress. Eccentric training is thought to be particularly effective in stimulating hypertrophy (muscle growth). Tyler Hass discusses related studies and evaluates popular theories about promoting muscle growth.

Read MoreMuscle Damage for Size and Strength?

The swing to backward roll to support is challenging and should only be attempted if an athlete is prepared for its unique positional and strength demands. The recommended prerequisites and scaling options include deep and confident ring dips, a strict muscle-up, a pull-over on the bar, and a strict backward roll to support. The keys to the movement lie in elevating the hips above the plane of the hands and keeping the rings close to the body.

Watch Swing to Backward Roll to Support

The musculature around the hip includes some of the largest and most powerful muscles in the human body. The extension of the hip can move thousands of pounds, propel the body up and over obstacles equal to or greater in height than the body in motion, and move the body at speeds greater than 25 miles per hour. But running, jumping, and lifting are just a few of the hip’s unique abilities.

Read MoreHip Musculature, Part 1: Anterior Muscles

Non-sugar artificial sweeteners (NAS) have been alternately hailed and demonized as the sweet, low-calorie saviors of the diabetic and obese on the one hand and destroyers of health on the other. Mary Dan Eades, MD, surveys the medical literature and discusses studies that have found an association between artificial sweeteners and Type 2 diabetes (T2DM). She then summarizes current hypotheses for the mechanisms behind the association, from the disruption of the gut's microbiome to the amplification of glucose and insulin signaling.

Read More Do Artificial Sweeteners Contribute to T2DM?

The Sots press (named after Viktor Sots) is often incorporated as a skill-transfer exercise to build confidence and positional awareness in the receiving position of the Olympic lifts. The movement demands a high degree of mobility and coordination. It is traditionally performed from the front rack but can also use the back rack as shown. Start with very light loads and strive for flawless positions before increasing the weight.

WatchThe Sots Press

This series tackles the problem of constructing a formal definition of modern science, developing a definition that meets the needs of practitioners. This definition and its implications are useful, maybe essential, to any individual seeking to understand reality in terms of cause and effect.

Read MoreModern Science, Part 1

In the generally accepted model for Type 2 diabetes (T2D), excess calorie consumption is thought to lead to obesity, which then causes insulin resistance. Here, Malcolm Kendrick, MD, shares evidence that contradicts this model, instead suggesting insulin is itself obesogenic, which means reducing insulin levels may aid in weight loss and reverse Type 2 diabetes. He calls for a reevaluation of the standard of care for T2D patients and recommends lower carbohydrate consumption, exercise, and stress management for those suffering from the disease.

Read MoreDiabetes, Part 3: Insulin, the Obesogenic Hormone

Movements of the hand are, by nature, complex. Even muscles attaching at the shoulder affect the orientation of the hand in space. If we look specifically at the intrinsic muscles of the hand — i.e., those that have both attachments within the carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges — we find a number of small muscles that control thumb and finger positions.

Read MoreWrist Musculature, Part 3: The Hand

Michael Eades, MD, revisits a seminal study from 1992 by Samuel Klein and Robert Wolfe on the metabolic effects of carbohydrate restriction and fasting. Klein and Wolfe determined their results “demonstrate that restriction of dietary carbohydrate, not the general absence of energy intake itself, is of fundamental importance in the adaptive response to short-term fasting” and claimed their study “underscores the importance of carbohydrate intake for normal fuel homeostasis." Eades explains why their findings led him to different conclusions but confirmed that he was “on the right track using a low-carb diet to help ... obese, diabetic, and otherwise metabolically deranged patients.”

Read MoreRevisiting “Carbohydrate Restriction Regulates the Adaptive Response to Fasting”