Tag Archives: double under

Workout of the day for 27th March – Strength & Gymnastics!


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Bench / Shoulder press superset
5 Rounds of:
8 Bench press
10 Seated dumbbell strict press
8 Deficit push-ups

B) Gymnastics stability work
3-5 rounds of:
20 seconds ring support + 20 seconds dip support
1 Wall Walk with a 15 second hold + 5/5 Shoulder taps
20 seconds chin over the bar hold

Workout of the Day – MetCon Class

For time:
800m Run
75 Double unders
30 Sandbag ground to overhead
75 Double unders
800m Run

Eating for performance vs eating for fat loss & Workout for Mon 12th March

Often when I ask a client about their goals they usually revolve around performing better and losing weight.

Pretty much the same for the majority of us, right?

So what’s the issue here then? Surely these seem like logical goals?

They are, and there’s nothing wrong with them.

In performance sports it often pays off to be a little bit lighter: CrossFit and gymnastic efforts; weightlifting/powerlifting classes etc.

The issue lies in the approach required to achieve these goals.

You see, in order to lose weight we need to be in some form of a caloric deficit (taking in less energy than we burn). Whereas to increase performance we need to be in a caloric balance at least (if not a small surplus).

So then how do we achieve these goals simultaneously?

It can be tricky to do, and partly comes down to how long you have been training for.

Oftentimes it is best to focus on one or the other, and this is where nutritional periodisation comes in.

Prioritise weight loss in the ‘off-season’, where performance gains aren’t necessary. Then, when the target weight is achieved, a recovery/reverse diet can ensue.

This allows the weight loss to be maintained while picking the metabolism back up and improving strength/performance.

First let’s take a look at eating for fat/weight loss.

Nutrition for fat loss

If you’re a beginner (0-1.5/2 years training), then you’re much more likely to be able to put on muscle while in a caloric deficit, as long as you eat adequate protein to spare and build muscle tissue.

However, if you’re beyond the 2 year training mark, you’ll find it hard to build muscle while in a deficit. Again though, you can spare muscle tissue being lost as long as you eat enough protein (1-1.2g per lb of BW is the most agreed amount).

However, if this is your first time tracking your intake and paying attention to your nutrition, you may find that by regulating your intake you get a slight performance increase whilst being in the deficit.

No matter your level of training, you want to ensure that your deficit is as small as possible while still allowing fat loss.

This prevents loss of muscle tissue, increases dietary adherence, and lowers the risk of a rebound when you’re done losing weight. This also ensures that you can still eat a decent amount of carbohydrates to fuel your efforts in the gym.

For performance athletes focused on losing weight, the best macronutrient to lower is fat as long as you don’t go below the minimum amounts (around 10-15% of total calorie intake).

This allows plenty of carbohydrates in the diet to fuel the performance efforts, and also provides a large enough deficit (as fat is so calorific at 9kcals per gram).

As you lose weight, your body will begin to adapt to your intake. This is known as metabolic adaptation.

This means if your rate of weight loss slows, you’ll need to make adjustments to keep losing fat.

I would recommend a weight loss target of 1-1.5lbs per week, so that you’re still getting plenty of food for performance and muscle mass retention.

It is often quoted that 3,500kcals = 1 pound of weight. Although it isn’t as black and white as this, this is a good starting point.

So for a weight loss of 1lb per week you can aim for a 500kcal daily deficit.

No matter your weight loss goal, I would recommend a deficit for around 2-3 months before coming back to maintenance and having a break.

This not only will allow you to progress further, it also limits metabolic adaptation and keeps you sane!

So when you’ve reached your target, then the time comes to restore your metabolism, keep the weight off, and start fuelling your performance gains.

Nutrition for Performance

As mentioned earlier, performance increases requires caloric maintenance or even a slight surplus.

The body requires a certain amount of food in order to perform at it’s best, so you better fuel appropriately if you want optimal performance.

If you’re coming out of a weight loss diet, then bringing your calories up slowly is the key to avoiding weight rebound.

Start by adding in 200-250kcals per day each week and monitor your weight and how your body feels so that you don’t overdo it.

If you’re not trying to lose weight, and are focused solely on performance, then it’s worth tracking where you are now and how your body feels.

A lot of the time if we’ve chronically under eaten then our bodies will have simply adapted to this and gotten used to it.

If you feel tired all the time, sluggish in workouts, and have zero mojo, then you’re probably under eating.

This is common for a lot of performance athletes focusing on the highest quality foods and often avoiding a lot of carbohydrates.

My advice here would be to obviously eat more food, and especially carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are the optimal fuel source for intense training and glycolytic activity. It is also the preferred fuel source of the brain so can help in adequate CNS recovery and function.

In Conclusion

If you’re a beginner trainee, you’ll often see some performance improvements while in a calorie deficit.

However, it is still best to try to lose fat when your performance needs are lowest (so far away from competitions/qualifiers).

You can then reach your target weight while being happy with muscle mass maintenance, and then slowly ramp things back up as your performance needs increase.

For those of us in performance sports, decreases in intake should be mostly from fats (though obviously personal preferences will affect dietary adherence), and increases should then come from dietary carbohydrates.

Stay tuned to how your body responds to your approach. Stay clued in to your energy, sleep, hunger, and performance and make decisions based on evidence, not what you hear may work.

If you’re reading the above and think your approach needs work, then get in touch.

If you are interested in finding out more about nutrition coaching with Jonny Landels, check out this info.


Workout of the Day – CrossFIt

A) Back Squat 1-1-1

B) In a 3 minute widow complete:
10 Thrusters 40/30kg
30 Double unders
10 Thrusters
30 Double unders

In the next 3 minute window complete:
12 Thrusters
30 Double unders
12 Thrusters
30 Double unders

In the next 3 minute window complete:
14 Thrusters
30 Double unders
14 Thrusters
30 Double unders

*Start a new round every 3 minutes, adding 2 reps to the thrusters each time.
*Repeat until you cannot complete the work in the 3 minute window.

Workout of the day for Weds 28th Feb – Heavy deadlifts!


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Deadlfit – Build to a heavy single for the day

B) For time:
800m run/1 km Row
75 Double unders
30 Kettlebell swings 32/24kg
75 Double unders
800m run / 1 Km Row

Workout of the Day – Weightlifting Club

A) Power clean: 6 x 2 80-85%

B) Front squats: 4 x 4 @ 75-80%

C) Seated one arm dumbbell press: 4 x 6/6 @ by feel

D) Pull ups (weighted if needed): 3 x 5 reps

Upcoming Events & Weekend Workouts

The CrossFit Open, Feb 22nd to Mar 26th

Yes, it’s nearly CrossFit Open time!

Unsure of what the Open is? Then check this out…

…and then read THIS BLOG POST.

The Open is for everyone and anyone and it’s some of the most fun you can have doing CrossFit!

We will be joining CrossFitter’s worldwide to complete 5 workouts over 5 weeks that we will perform during Friday’s classes at the gym. Each Friday we will have a theme to make the day even more enjoyable. The schedule for the 5 weeks is as follows:

Workout 18.1 – Feb 22-26
Workout date: Friday 23rd Feb (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Pretty in Pink

Workout 18.2 – March 1-5
Workout date: Friday 2nd March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Smoothie Bar

Workout 18.3 – March 8-12
Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Total Blackout

Workout 18.4 – March 15-19
Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Be your own Superhero

Workout 18.5 – March 22-26
Workout date: Friday 21st March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: End of Open Party

Read more about the themes for each week here.

T0 register for the CrossFit Open just head over the CrossFit Games website.



Yoga for Athletes, Saturday 12.30-1.30pm

We’re in week 4/8, so halfway through the current cycle, and therefore you get a well-deserved snooze this Saturday – in other words, it’s time for a progressive muscle relaxation after a short restorative practice. To find out more about this type of guided relaxation, please click here.

It’s bound to be chilly this weekend, and as you will be still for a good part of the class, please layer up appropriately – wooly socks, a big scarf, a hat…perhaps a blanket even. Bring whatever you need to stay nice and warm throughout, and treat yourself to a hot bevvie afterwards


Workout of the Day – Friday

A) Every 2 minutes, until failure:
9 Thrusters 40/30kg
15 Double unders
9 Chest to bar pull-ups
15 Double unders

Workout of the Day – Saturday

A) “Tailpipe”

3 Rounds each for time, of:
P1: 250m Row
P2: Double kettlebell front rack hold 24/16kg

B) With a partner I go you go for max team reps of each:
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Dumbbell strict press
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Dumbbell push press
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Burpee
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Push-up
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Kettlebell swing

Workout of the Day – Sunday, Weightlifting Club

Deload Week

A) Clean + high hang clean: 6 x 1+1 @ 75-80%
B) Strict press: 3 x 3 @ 75-80%
C) Push press: 3 x 2 @ 80%
D) RDL’s: 4 x 6@ by feel

The CrossFit Open & Weekend Workouts

The CrossFit Open is upon us! Yipppiiieee!

If you are not sure what the CrossFit Open is, take 1 minute and 40 seconds and watch the video above!

…It’s ok, we can wait….

The CrossFit Open is for EVERYONE and with both RX’d and Scaled versions of the workouts even the newest of CrossFitter’s can get involved.

Here are just some reasons EVERYONE should do the CrossFit Open!

Reason #1 – CrossFit is for everyone!

If you are doing CrossFit then you know that absolutely anyone can do it. The Open workouts are programmed so that anyone can take them on regardless of their ability, and anyone will find them challenging, whether you’re fresh from Fundamentals or a seasoned Thames athlete.

CrossFit HQ also release scaled versions of the Open workouts to better suit the needs of the fresh faced CrossFitters out there.

So you can’t use the ‘I’m not ready‘ excuse, in all reality none of us are ever ready for the minds of Dave Castro and his workouts!

Reason #2 – It’s fun!

The Open always brings out the best of people, whether its during the workouts or when you are on the sidelines showing your support.

It doesn’t get much better than going head to head with your friends and blasting through a workout being cheered on by those around you. The energy at the gym often inspires people to get some big PB’s, get their first muscle-ups or finally manage some double unders, so what have you got to lose?

Reason #3 – You might meet some new cool people!

If you are tempted to skip the CrossFit Open workouts and stay at home, you aren’t likely to find any new cool friends. Nope, the cool kids are hanging out at the gym on a Friday night.

Reason #4 – It’s a chance to test yourself and your fitness!

The CrossFit Open workouts give everyone an extra push into the realms on intensity, and we often find we all have another level or two when it comes to pushing ourselves in a workout. Not only do you get to test yourself, but you can see how you stack up to CrossFitters around the world and who knows,you might surprise yourself.

Reason #5 – …because it’s THE CROSSFIT OPEN!

If you do CrossFit, then joining in the CrossFit Open is a rite of passage, this is the ultimate way to experience what the wonderful world of CrossFit is all about.

The Open at Reebok CrossFit Thames

We like to shake things up a little and this year we doing these a little differently.

For us, the Open is about getting together with you best training bud’s, crushing a workout and having a good time (whether you register for the Open or not!).

Each week we will have a theme which you can choose to get involved in and we will be holding a post-wod party after the morning, afternoon and evening classes.

So whether you train with your girl squad at 6am or enjoy a late evening bro-sesh everyone can get involved and enjoy the Open.

This year the Open kicks off on February 22nd with the following schedule:

Workout 18.1 – Feb 22-26

Workout date: Friday 23rd Feb (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Pretty in Pink

“Pink is not a colour, it’s a culture”…said somebody famous at some point in time.

Even better than that the colour pink plays a huge role in psychology. Pink is a sign of hope, it calms and reassures our emotional energies, alleviating feelings of anger, aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect. So if we see a sea of pink at the gym it can make us all feel a little more jolly.

Studies have also confirmed that exposure to large amounts of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves and create physical weakness in people…so if you want to beat your buddy in the Open workout distract them with all the pink you have!

Workout 18.2 – March 1-5

Workout date: Friday 2nd March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Smoothie Bar

Anyone who is evenly vaguely health conscious loves a Smoothie bar. So if you need a pre-wod energy boost or a post-wod protein refuel we have your back.

Smoothies are all the rage right now and there are loads of benefits to smashing a fruit and veg filled glass of good stuff.

Firstly they are a easy way to boost your fruit and vegetable intake and are great for getting a variety of produce into your diet. They are high in fiber and a smoothie can deliver an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals (if you includes the fruit skins and pith). Add some yogurt or milk and you can get a great calcium kick too!

Workout 18.3 – March 8-12

Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Total Blackout

Workout in the DARK!

Well that’s what we thought, but Coach Hannah’s idea had NOTHING to do with potentially causing a mass casualty incident with by trying to do thrusters and pull-ups in the pitch black.

It’s simple, the theme is black, do with it what you will.

Whilst we may not be working out in the dark…we may have some disco lights?!

Workout 18.4 – March 15-19

Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Be your own Superhero

We all have our heroes, whether it’s Thor, Superwomen, your favourite CrossFit Games athlete or the teacher from school who inspired you into the career you have right now. This week we want you to honor your Super-hero!

Workout 18.5 – March 22-26

Workout date: Friday 21st March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: End of Open Party

The last workout of the Open Season means it’s just a straight up party. Wack on the disco tunes (Taylor Swift, obvs), hit the final Open workout (full throttle, don’t hold back!) and then sit back with a beer or two and celebrate the end of Dave Castro’s 5 workouts from hell.

It’s going to be great 5 weeks, so head over to the CrossFit Games website to register for the 2018 CrossFit Open!


Yoga for Athletes, Saturday 12.30 – 1.30pm


We’re in week 3 of our current 8 week cycle, which means it’s time to get to work on that midline strength. When we talk about core strength, we don’t typically mention the diaphragm, the primary muscle of respiration – yet it is located right at the centre of the abdomen.

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle and tendon and separates the chest (or thorax) from the belly. In very simple terms – the diaphragm contracts during inhalation, which causes air to be drawn into the lungs, and relaxes during the outbreath which forces the air back out again.

Now, what does the diaphragm have to do with core strength? For starters, it attaches to a number of stabilisers, such as the ribs, sternum and (lumbar) spine. In terms of surrounding muscles, imagine your abdomen like a pressurised container – with the pelvic floor being the bottom, the deep abdominals and back muscles forming the sides, and the diaphragm acting as the lid on top. If any of these components don’t work optimally, the container will start to lose pressure and weaken the base – your core.

The diaphragm also connects to the thoracic and lumbar erectors, the QL (the ‘back muscle’) as well as the psoas (main hip flexor) – all of these are involved in moving the spine, and giving it stability. Conversely, this means that impaired function of any of these muscles will lead to a knock-on effect. Our pranayama (control of breath) practice in this week’s class will be bhastrika, which strengthens the diaphragm through the forceful in- and exhalation through the nose. This will generate a little bit of heat in the body to prepare you for the main sequence, which as the theme suggests will feature
a bunch of postures working those abs.

For further information about yoga at CrossFit Thames please click here..


Workout of the Day for Friday – CrossFit

A) Bench Press
Build to a 10 rep max for the day

B) Tabata Fun
8 x 20 seconds on : 10 seconds off for each station, 1 minute rest between each one
Floor press KB/DB
Double unders
Seated Z press
Double unders

Workout of the Day for Saturday – CrossFit

In a pair complete:

10-1 Burpee pull-ups (Each, “I go, you go”), then

2km Row, then,
*partner holds kettlebells in front rack position 16/12kg

10-1 Kettlebell swing ladder 24/16kg
+ 5 Burpees for each rung of the ladder 🙂

Workout of the Day for Sunday – Weightlifting Club

A) Snatch
2 x 1 @ 80%
2 x 1 @ 82.5%
2 x 1 @ 85%

B) Overhead squat
3 x 2 @ 90% of snatch

C) Front squat
3 x 2 @ 80-85%

D) Bent over row
3 x 6 @ by feel

Workout of the day for Wednesday 17th Jan – Gymnastics Skill Work

The Double Under

The double under is quite possible one of the most frustrating movements in CrossFit and many of you have the whip marks to prove it, nothing sparks awkward questions like walking into the office after a big double under session!

But why are double unders so hard to learn?

Double unders require us to develop co-ordination and accuracy and these are two traits we can only improve by practice…regular and consistent practice.

Anything that requires these traits (shooting an arrow at a target, hitting a golf ball towards the hole, delicately performing heart surgery) NEEDS to be practiced if our brain is to build the neuromuscular pathways for improvement.

So if you have a goal to get your first double unders aim to spend 5 minutes before/after class each time you train and spend time on the rope.

Double under tips
– Is your rope too long or to short? Stand on the rope with one foot and pull the handles up, they should reach around armpit height.
– Hold the hands just in-front of the hips. When looking straight ahead you should able to see your hands in your periphery
– Keep your torso upright and body straight
– Spin from the wrists, not the arms

If you have more time take a watch of this video from Again Faster…


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Skill Development

This is a gymnastics skill day with a focus on mindful and dedicated practice.

200 Double Unders (in as few sets as possible)
20 Muscle Ups
100 Double Unders
30 HSPU

Workout of the Day – Weightlifting Club

A) Clean + Hang clean: 6 x 1+1 @ 70-75%
B) Strict press: 3 x 4 @ 70-75%
C) Push press: 3 x 2 @ 70-75%
D) Romanian deadlifts: 4 x 6 @ by feel

Nutrition Programming with Jonny Landels!

It’s finally happening!

Jonny Landels of Next Step Nutrition is partnering with his old haunt to offer his nutrition programming services to you!

Jonny’s mission is to educate people about food and to clear up the nutrition myths that surround and confuse us on a daily basis.

There’s no bullshit here. No quick fix. No “6 weeks to flat abs”. Just real advice, coaching, and accountability, that brings real results. “I’m not about ‘diets’. I’m about small lifestyle changes that make a big difference.

Jonny moved into nutrition coaching back in September 2016 to continue pursuing his passion of improving people’s health and fitness. His own journey with fitness began back in 2009 when he started going to the gym to fill the gap from playing rugby.

He found CrossFit in 2010 and became a CF-L1 instructor in 2012. This led him down the path of learning more and getting more coaching experience, before becoming a full-time trainer with us at Reebok CrossFit Thames in London in 2014. He coached here full time up until September 2016 before re-located back north and moving full time into nutrition coaching.

So how can Jonny help you, well let’s have him explain…


Nutrition programming with Jonny is a 3 month commitment (Rome wasn’t built in a day!) to develop healthy habits and a nutrition program for you to improve how you look, feel and perform.

During those 3 months you get:
– 90 day ongoing food log review
– 1x/week check-in (online) with Jonny,
– A website to submit weekly check-ins for review allowing Jonny to track your progress and adjust your plan
– Specific guidance based on your goals whether it be body composition or performance (or both!)
– Specific macronutrient and/or habitual recommendations based on your goals
– Before and after measurements with each weekly check-in
– A members-only Facebook group to lean on for extra support

At the end of the 3 months many clients feel comfortable going off into the big wide world by themselves full of confidence with what they have learned!

If you want to find out more, or get signed up just email us.

Bonus: The first 10 sign-ups also get a free e-book from Jonny on “Flexible Dieting”


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Deadlift: Find a 10 rep max

B) Pacing and quality control:
50 Box jumps 24/20″
50 Knees to elbows
50 Double unders

EMOM until completed , 3 Power Cleans 60/40kg

Workout of the Day – MetCon

A) For time:
50 Kettlebell swings 24/16kg
40 Calorie row / airdyne
30 Wall ball sit-ups 9/6kg
20 Sandbag squats
10 Sandbag/DB clean and press
20 Sandbag squats
30 Wall ball sit-ups 9/6kg
40 Calorie row / airdyne
50 Kettlebell swings 24/16kg

Upcoming Events & Fridays Workout – AMRAP Fun!

Open Weekend – Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st January

Are you friends always asking you about CrossFit but yet to try it? Or are you tired of being the only one in your group to talk about ‘the gains’ and take pride in barbell bruises?…Well now is your chance to get a friend involved.

On Saturday (08:30 and 13:45) and Sunday (13:30) we are holding some free taster sessions for those wanting to give CrossFit a shot.

You can register your friends here.

Docklands Throwdown – Saturday 3rd February

We are joining up with our neighbouring CrossFitter’s for a Throwdown.

The Throwdown is a same sex pairs event and athletes of all abilities are welcome, and there will be both RX and scaled divisions.

To sign-up just find a team-mate and add your name to the list on the whiteboard at gym!

The Throwdown runs from 9am to 12pm, with food and drinks afterwards!


*A reminder this gym is closed this weekend for a CrossFit Level 1 Seminar, we apologise for how annoying this is! However, this is the last Seminar we are hosting until July!*


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

AMRAP Funzzies

A) 10 Minute AMRAP:
200m Row
15 Unbroken wall balls 9/6kg
10 Pull-ups

– Rest for 3 Minutes –

B) 8 Minute AMRAP:
100m Sprint
15 Unbroken Kettlebell swings 24/16kg
10 Pull-ups

– Rest for 3 minutes –

C) 6 Minute AMRAP:
15 Burpees
30 Double unders

Monday 13th November – Workout of the Day

It’s nearly time to re-test our lifts. Hopefully you have been following the prescription and are starting to feel the benefits. By this stage the barbell work will be feeling heavy, but keep on grinding for a litttttllle longer. Nearly there gang!


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Back squat: 3 x 5, accross
*Aim to increase load 2-5kg from your last squat session.

Nearly time to re-test those lifts!

B) Seated dumbbell press: 3 x 3-4
*Aim for same weight as the 2 last week

C) 6 Rounds of:
15 Russian kettlebell swings 32/24kg
30 Double unders
*Hit this hard! This should be short and sharp

Red meat will kill you…but only if its packin’!

I am sure you have all read or heard about the latest piece of research to come out that says red meat will kill you, today we shall delve into that claim. The study in question is an observational study called Red Meat Consumption and Mortality which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and since its release the media has been alive with anything anti red meat.

The study claims that red meat increases your risk of death from everything!…”researchers found that a single daily serving of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 13% increased risk of death from all causes, while a single serving of processed red meat was associated with a 20% increased risk.”. The lead researcher in this study also claimed “ the study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death,”. Thats a pretty strong statement, it must be one hell of a study to get to this conclusion.

So is this the end of the paleo band wagon?

Answer: No, not even close.

When reading sensational stories about groundbreaking findings the alarm bells should start ringing when the research in question is an observational study. In these studies subjects are placed into groups alongside a control group, the researchers have no control over the groups and what the do/eat/drink/smoke etc, the just sit back and observe. This is in contrast to controlled experiments such as randomised controlled trials where each subject is randomly assigned to a treated group or a control group before the start of the experiment. Each group has a tight set of controlled conditions with some slight variance between groups, this produces accurate results that can be compared.

Observational studies do have there benefits in that they are much cheaper and easier to run that controlled trials, but they cannot, ever, be used as definitive proof. What they can do is provide a broad picture which can help to form hypotheses which can go on to be tested in a more controlled environment.

The method….more like the madess!

Lets take a look at how this study was conducted and also what interesting things our researchers found.

1) The data used in this study came from what is called Food Frequency Questionnaires, these were questionnaires handed out to participants to fill in regarding their food intake between 1980 and 2006. At first glance this looks quite impressive, a study that spans over quater of a century! However, do you know how often these questionnaires were given to the participants? Once every 4 years. This should highlight (the first of many) glaring reliability issues, I cant remember what I ate two days ago never mind 4 years ago!

2) Not only does this study rely on people having incredible memories but it also assumes that everyone is being honest. As Denise Minger puts it ‘expecting people to be honest about what they eat is like expecting one of those “Lose 10 pounds of belly fat” banners to take you somewhere other than popup-ad purgatory: the idealism is sweet and all, but reality has other plans.’ Its usually the case that with these forms of questionnaires people tend to put answers that they believe they should be eating, not what the actually are.

3) Here is what I found to be particularly perplexing about the study. The participants were split into 5 groups based on how much red meat they reported (read guesstimated) to have consumed (remember, it was not measured or controlled). The researchers showed the different meat eating groups and their levels of activity, smoking etc and this is what they found. The groups eating the most red meat also happened to smoke the most and were also less physically active. The researchers clearly didn’t think that smoking and exercise played any roll in ones cancer risk, they just pinned it on red meat consumption, crazy!. An interesting side note our researchers found was those that ate the most red meat had the lowest cholesterol levels, those that ate the least red meat had highest cholesterol levels. Now if I was going to jump on the wagon I could write a new newspapers headline ‘Eating red meat lowers cholesterol levels!‘, however as this is an observational study it proves nothing but would be a exciting area for further research. From these observations one could make any number of  other conclusions such as:
– Lower activity levels decreases cholesterol
– Smoking decreases cholesterol (or not-smoking increases cholesterol)
– Eating red meat makes you smoke more….All pretty ridiculous claims but if using the researchers logic they would all be perfectly valid, they just happened to be looking for a pattern in red meat consumption.

What do now?

Nothing, if you eat red meat then keep eating it, if its not your thing then fine (but it makes you less awesome). The most important thing to remember is correlation does not mean causation, but what does that mean exactly? Correlation is when 2 or more things occur when looking at a data set e.g. The more money people have, the bigger house they live in. Causation means if A happens, then B will occur, e.g. If I kick a ball, it will move. Just because you see a pattern occuring it does not explain the reason it is happening.

Here is an example of when it it goes wrong, I may find the correlation that the more firefighters at fire, the bigger the fire tends to be. From that I could claim the causation is that firefighters cause fires. Hopefully this highlights the problem when people mix correlation with causation and this is what we see with this study. This study has been so poorly conducted that the fact it has got so much attention is baffling and the media hysterics has giving it more credibility than it deserves.

There will always be those that get hold of these studies and either through ignorance, a desire to sell papers, or perhaps genuinely not having a clear understanding of what their looking at, will declare it as definitive proof. Im not sure whats worse, the media miss-informing millions of people, or the researchers who claim this as conclusive evidence. Sadly this is not the first (nor will it be the last) time something like this has happened, the ever pervasive ‘Fat makes you fat’ idea was born from similar circumstances.

There are far more fallacies with this research than I have commented on here, but if you require more evidence to provide to your red meat phobic friends and family take a look at Robb Wolfs article on the matter or Denise Mingers more in depth writings.


Workout of the day

Ten rounds for load and time of:
1 Clean and Jerk
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

– 15 minute Time Cap
– Choose a load and maintain it for each round. This should be a heavy clean and jerk.