Monday, July 28, 2014

Untangling Complex Situations

Rafael Mendes and Rubens Charles "Cobrinha" Maciel locked in a complex guard position

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Martial arts was created to help us understand the tough situations we find ourselves in

There are so many ideas from martial arts that I find to be transferable to any situation. To think martial arts is only about fighting or cheap parlor tricks is a mistake, and if you train martial arts purely for those aspects you're leaving a lot on the table you can benefit from. Maybe because we compartmentalize and don't transfer knowledge well (here's martial arts, here's everything else), maybe it's the Puritanical foundation of American culture where we take everything literally and at face value (a punch just represents a punch, what else could it mean), and it's why we need a good bonk or two to the head through fighting to realize martial arts is so much more than physical conflict.

Sadly I have met few modern teachers of any martial art who have been able to accurately convey this message, and my goal is to remedy that. Nothing more ironic than to be a black belt on the mats and a white belt in life (or the board room).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Are You Running Low On Fats?

Our views on fats has changed a lot in 30 years

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

For thousands of years, people ate saturates fats. Several decades ago, due to rise in heart disease, it was decided that saturated fats were bad, in it's place came an increase in refined carbohydrates (sugars), low-fat, low-calorie processed foods, and man-made fats such as trans-fats and polyunsaturated fats. This also increased monocultures and GMO crops to meet the rising demands of a low-fat culture. Animal protein was replaced with man made protein products, using mostly corn, soy, and wheat.

Like many things with health, when it sounds too simple, it may be missing the bigger picture. Removing animal fats and saturated fats sounded like a simple easy fix yet it made obesity, diabetes, and heart disease worse. Health and science is complex and the more we study, the more complex it becomes. Intuitively many in the science world felt that the saturated fat hypothesis was overly simplistic and now after several decades, our views on fats have shifted back to the way it's been for thousands of years.

Like views about genetics, we thought many diseases were related to environment and heredity, then for decades people who had an overly simplistic view of genes thought genes explained everything, diseases were preordained. Now that we understand more about genetics, we know it is still about environment and heredity.

Time magazine along with nearly every other media outlet published stories that it's time to end the war on fats. That the USDA guidelines about saturated fat intake was wrong. Fat is an essential nutrient and without healthy fats as a form of fuel, we turn to and crave sugar. That is the direct relationship that has harmed our health for the past few decades.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Low-Fat Diets And Statins May Cause Alzheimer's

Healthy brain vs Alzheimer's

APOE-4: The Clue to Why Low-Fat Diet and Statins may Cause Alzheimer's

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By Stephanie Seneff, MIT Senior Research Scientist


Alzheimer's is a devastating disease whose incidence is clearly on the rise in America. Fortunately, a significant number of research dollars are currently being spent to try to understand what causes Alzheimer's. ApoE-4, a particular allele of the apolipoprotein apoE, is a known risk factor. Since apoE plays a critical role in the transport of cholesterol and fats to the brain, it can be hypothesized that insufficient fat and cholesterol in the brain play a critical role in the disease process. In a remarkable recent study, it was found that Alzheimer's patients have only 1/6 of the concentration of free fatty acids in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to individuals without Alzheimer's. In parallel, it is becoming very clear that cholesterol is pervasive in the brain, and that it plays a critical role both in nerve transport in the synapse and in maintaining the health of the myelin sheath coating nerve fibers. An extremely high-fat (ketogenic) diet has been found to improve cognitive ability in Alzheimer's patients. These and other observations described below lead me to conclude that both a low-fat diet and statin drug treatment increase susceptibility to Alzheimer's.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Do You Feel Uncomfortable At The Gym?

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

I was recently asked on Quora:

I want to go to the gym but I'm fat, and will feel like I'm being judged. Should I avoid it?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Maintaining That Athletic Edge

Life isn't fair, you need that training edge

Maintaining A Rigorous Training Schedule

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Being a martial artist who trains at probably one of the most competitive schools in the world, Cobrinha BJJ, I literally have to be at the top of my game.

The athletes there regularly train forty hours a week. There are world champions in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as MMA. I lovingly call them mutants. I don't train nearly as much as they do, I'm at least thirty pounds lighter, and at least ten years older than the average. Yet we all live and spar on the same mats. I have to train smart and keep my body from falling apart. I try to maintain my conditioning without burning myself out and get proper amounts of sleep. I also have a host of injuries to consider during my training.

So what the hell do I do? Especially if I have a demanding work and personal life?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Deconstructing The Idea Of BJJ "Flowing"

Water flows not because anything allows it to. That's just what water does.

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

No matter what kind of BJJ you train, whether it's self defense, MMA, competition, or hobby, there are unifying concepts to all BJJ. Even without them being spoken, after a while you get the sense of them.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What Getting Punched In The Face Taught Me

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Getting punched in the face is rather unpleasant. You should avoid it if at all possible. If you however have gotten punched in the face, or train in a sport or art where you're constantly getting punched in the face, get the most out of it. There's valuable life lessons there and it would be truly said if all you got from the experience was a black eye.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Testimonial From Calvin

The hardest part is when it's you versus you out in the real world

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One of our long time clients, Calvin has been thoughtful enough to write up some of this thoughts regarding our process:

If you want to drop weight really fast and have someone shout at you to do more burpees then go on a fad diet and join a boot camp. But, if you are serious about your physical and mental health and want to make long lasting changes to your lifestyle that will result in healthier AND happier living then...

Join All Out Effort.


There are three: Sam, Michelle, and Cindy. And they're all very knowledgeable, friendly and fun. You get to work with all of them and each has their own style, which gives a nice variety. And you never know which of them you will get when you walk in for your appointment which makes for a nice surprise.

You might find yourself in a very heady conversation with Sam while grunting your way through your workout. Sometimes, it works in your favor because you might get a slightly longer break while he finishes his thought. ;-)


They can be hard, but never grueling. Although some would disagree. And they don't yell out you to pull more weight or do more reps or anything like that. First, they see how you move to ascertain areas of weakness like shoulders, knees and ankles.

Then they get you moving correctly. Then they get you moving well. Then they get you moving a lot. Always building. Pushing, but never punishing.

They have ropes, kettle bells, weights, rowing machine, climber, medicine balls, pretty much everything you can think of. Some days you'll just do body weight and movement. Other days you might do a lot of weights. Depends on the trainer and where Sam thinks you are in your progression.

The workouts, ironically, are the smallest part of the AOE experience. The hardest part is when it's you versus you out in the real world.


Sam is constantly providing new perspectives on how to look at both fitness and how you're living your life. Never preaching, but always sharing. To ignore this part of AOE is to miss out on the most important thing they have to offer in my opinion.


It's a very inviting, friendly community between the coaches and the clients. You start seeing the same faces. There is no "beefcake posing and flexing in the mirror" aspect to it. In fact, there are no mirrors at all.

So, no matter how you might perceive yourself, no one is going to make you feel bad about what you can or can't do or make you feel bad about yourself. It's very welcoming and inclusive.


I think what you can expect from All Out Effort can be best summed up in a blog post written by Sam Yang (head coach) on his AOE blog: The Boring Guide To Weight Loss

And like anything, you get out of it what you put into. If you don't adhere to the things they teach you then it will get in the way of your goals. If your goal is to lose twenty pounds, but you just can't stop eating a pint of ice cream every night at midnight then recognize you might never reach your goal.

But, bottom line is... these guys will make you rethink the way you look at fitness in the best possible way.

Source: Yelp

Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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