Podcast 23: Self Treating, Tracking, and Competing

What happens when you merge the worlds of doctor and personal trainer?
What do you find at the crossroads of medicine, theory and practice?

The Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor (RRCD) Podcast:  Simplifying complex issues for healthy living


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The podcast exists to take our daily efforts in the physical world and distill usable information for you, the listener.

In Episode #23 Roger and Dr. Champ Discuss:

  • Dr. Gene Fine’s recent post on Richard Feinman’s website regarding his pilot trial on ketosis.
  • Amy Kubal asks what shade of Paleo are you?
  • Jason’s comment on the new study correlating carbs and cognitive impairment
  • Trigger point therapy and the potential published benefits (see here and here)


    Transcript (BIG shout out and thanks to Kaila!!!):

    RR: Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor, Episode 23: Today we ask: are you actively trying to fix your injuries, what shade of “Paleo” are you, and whether it’s with yourself or others, are you tapping into your competitive spirit?

    [Theme song plays.]

    RR: Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor, Episode 23. I am Relentless Roger, here with Dr. Colin Champ, the Caveman Doctor. What’s going on?

    CD: Lot of work these days, pretty busy. Everyone’s tired of hearing that. Roger and I are a little delirious right now. It’s pretty late. Roger’s mad at me. We were supposed to do the podcast last night, but I got caught up at work. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a radiation oncologist, and we do CT scans on patients, and it’s hundreds of slices–images–and I have to draw out all the structures that we treat and I have to draw out all the structures that we avoid. It’s all your normal structures, and I spent about three hours yesterday doing this plan and it all erased.

    RR: Oh man.

    CD: So I called Roger in a frenzy. It was, what, seven ‘o’ clock, and we were supposed to meet an hour later, I think, saying “I can’t make it.” And I was at work until after 11. It was a disaster. So Roger’s pretty mad at me. He’s pouting a lot.

    RR: Dude, what are you, T.O.? Throwing me under the bus?

    CD: Just kidding. And otherwise, you know, I got interviewed on Jimmy Moore’s show, on Ask the Low Carb Experts, on a ketogenic diet. I think it went well. I rambled a little bit, but I tend to do that. But yeah, check it out. I think it was a decent, information rich podcast.

    RR: Good questions, good experience?

    CD: There was good questions. There was a lot of, like, “I have a family member with this, does a ketogenic diet work for it?” And it was a lot of, like, “No, there was no data out there.” There was no data out there on a lot of stuff with it. So it was a lot of those kind of questions. And then my other thing is, I got a nice message from a listener, I think–Tim. I said that Mazeroski hit a home run for the Pirates in ‘79, and it was actually 1969. 1979 was Parker and Willy Stargell.

    RR: Okay.

    CD: So I often get that wrong. I’ve actually had my grandfather correct me multiple times. So I just wanted to apologize to the listeners. You know, we tell you wrong medical advice all the time, and I never tell you guys what we get wrong, but the Pittsburg Pirates is pretty important, so I gotta…we actually don’t give you wrong medical…so anyway, I apologize for that, I apologize to the listeners in the city of champions…

    RR: Show correction on the Pittsburgh Pirates leads off episode 23.

    CD: So I apologize for that. But how are you, man? You’re looking beat up these days–I mean, you’re looking good, but from talking to you I can tell you’re pretty beat up.

    RR: It’s–this happens every time. Every single time. Started a transformation program, and just kind of end up sinking myself into it. And by the end of it, you know, I joke with participants: you’re going to end up almost killing me by the end of this, but that’s kind of the way I want it. And we are getting toward closing time now. There are just a couple weeks left, and it’s tried and true, man. I’m running into the ground as, hopefully, they all get healthier. It’s like a transfer of energy.

    CD: You’re a doer, and that’s why the listeners love you. But it comes–does not come without a price.

    RR: In the midst of it all, I actually have something really fun going down next week. We invited 19 of the meanest, fittest, Relentless Fitness participants, whether they come to classes or they come to training sessions or both, and we invited them to our first ever “Top Dog Challenge.” We’re going to settle, once and for all, non-gender specific, who is the fittest Relentless Fitness participant.

    CD: Good stuff.

    RR: So we’re going to do a bunch of indoor things, a bunch of outdoor things, we’re going to have a bunch of trainers on hand, timing and repping and checking form and all that good stuff. Someone is going to walk away with a championship belt.

    CD: Nice. It’s this weekend?

    RR: It’s going to be next Friday. You’re welcome to come, man. We’re going to invite everyone out to cheer. Actually, I think we’re going to go out on the town afterwards.

    CD: Yeah, man, keep me posted. I’ll be here.

    RR: Alright. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

    CD: Nice.

    RR: See a lot of people dripping sweat. I think we can clean the floors that night with some sweat.

    CD: Yeah?

    RR: Yeah. That’ll be good. And I’m really looking forward to–and it’s a couple weeks out now–but, our trip, man.

    CD: Yeah, we’re heading out to an undisclosed location somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean. (No, actually, we’re just going to Florida.) We have, what, 8 or 9 days of just pure writing, trying to get everything in the books…

    RR: I’ve been setting up my calendar and talking to some clients about that week I’ll be away. And every time, like, “Oh, what are you doing, where are you going?” And I’ll say, “Florida.” And they’ll immediately: “Oh, you’re so lucky,” this and that and the other thing–

    CD: No.

    RR: No, and I’m telling them, “This is going to be a brutal trip.” I’ve been terming it a “writing boot camp.”

    CD: Yeah, that’s pretty much what it is.

    RR: That’s really what we need to do with it. We need to remove ourselves from the hustle-bustle and enter into a whole ‘nother hustle.

    CD: Yeah, I told my boss, and she was like, “Oh, so, let me get this straight: you and this guy are going to Florida for 8 days?” I was like, “Yeah…”

    RR: Yeah, there’s really no coming back from that one.

    CD: Anyway, so any of you guys in Boston this weekend, I’m giving a talk on acoustic schwannomas and hearing preservation with radiation. It’s going to be the most boring–It’s going to be the most boring half hour of your life.

    RR: If any of you are looking for sleep aids, and melatonin is not working then you can…

    CD: Check it out. Alright, man, should we hit it?

    RR: Let’s do it. You’re up.

    CD: First article. Dr. Fine sent this to me, it’s called Targeting Insulin Inhibition as a Metabolic Therapy in Advanced Cancer. He was a guest writer for Richard Feinman’s podcast. That’s Richard David Feinman. I’ll post this article. It’s a great podcast. He’s a true and true low-carbohydrate believer. Not necessarily Paleo. He was at Ancestral Health, actually.

    RR: He had a presentation there, right?

    CD: He was on a panel. An insulin/cancer connection panel. And Dr. Fine actually gave a talk there about his protocol. And that’s what this is commenting on. Basically did a pilot study looking at the safety of a ketogenic diet in advanced cancer patients. And he basically showed–it was a small trial, there was only 10 patients, which is normal for a safety and feasibility trial. But he did look at PET scans, and PET scans are these imaging that shows–you give radioactive sugar, and cancer cells take them up, because most cancer cells run on glucose. And basically he tracked the response in these patients when they got put on a ketogenic diet. And interestingly, the patients with the highest levels of ketones, and therefore, you know, the lowest blood glucose, basically the lowest insulin, actually had the best response on PET scans. A bunch of them had stable disease, and one actually had a response to the diet. So their cancer responded and shrunk–and these are patients with advanced cancer that failed chemotherapy. So it’s only a safety and feasibility trial, but the implications here are very large. A lot of receptors are clearly down-regulated via insulin inhibition, and this is just the beginning here. This is a great paper. And for those of us trying to do these kinds of studies, such as myself, it’s great, because we can point to this, showing that it’s safe. Because, basically, every cancer site, if you want to do this diet, you generally have to show that it’s safe. So then we could do further higher-level studies. I will post it on here. It’s a great paper. He’s a great writer. He’s a nice guy, and just the way he puts it, it’s not as boring as some of the other ketogenic stuff you’ll read.

    RR: It seems like there’s so much untapped territory. So many studies that haven’t been done, and so much that we’d like to believe that we quote-unquote “know” or intuitively believe. But to see that stuff borne out in some serious papers is a good thing.

    CD: Absolutely, and it’s, to a degree, it’s low-hanging fruit, because there’s very little that exists. I think it has a lot of potential. There’s a lot of naysayers out there. For instance, in one of my interviews I was just talking about the ketogenic diet, and he was like, “Yeah, yeah, what’s…I want more data, etc., etc.” And I’m like, “The data doesn’t exist.” We need to make the data, that’s the whole point. So it’s good to see people like Dr. Fine out there pushing the good word.

    RR: Yeah.

    CD: So check it out.

    RR: Just because there’s not data yet doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way, or, you know, especially in certain disease states.

    CD: Or, yeah, exactly, and it’s clearly worth exploring.

    RR: At a minimum.

    CD: So, whaddya got?

    RR: Let’s lighten it up today a little bit. Alright?

    CD: We need it.

    RR: I want to shout out the, who I think is the funniest person in the entire Paleosphere–well, actually, she’s gonna compete with Dan French, so–what’s his… “Healthy Comedian”–something like that–is his new Twitter handle. Dr. Dan French is pretty hysterical. He’s based out of Austin, Texas. But, I am not talking about Dan French today, I am talking about Amy Kubal. And Amy Kubal is awesome. And she put out this–she writes on RobbWolf.com–and she put out this article called “Seven Shades of Paleo.” And, you know, she does these funny plays on different pop culture references, and this was no different. You know, Seven Shades of Grey. But anyway, the funny part of it is, she defined the seven types of Paleo, or seven different types that you’ll see. And five of them are serious. So there’s “Autoimmune Paleo,” that if you have a certain type of condition going on you may need to be even more strict to cope with that condition or to improve that condition. “Low-Carb Paleo”, which, you know, Dr. Champ you know a lot about. You know a thing or two about that.

    CD: I’m in that boat.

    RR: “Lacto-Paleo,” also known as “Primal,” so that’s the Mark Sisson-esque, Mark’s Daily Apple, you can allow cheese and other full-fat dairy products. “80/20 Paleo,” also known as “Weekday Paleo”, so Monday through Friday you keep pretty strict, and on the weekend you kind of let yourself indulge a little bit. That’s a popular one. “Vegetarian Paleo,” as Amy says, also known as quote-unquote “difficult.” But then it is, to lighten up the podcast a little bit, the first and the seventh shade are the funny ones. And the first one is “The Militant Paleo,” also known as quote-unquote, “That Guy.” And I think if anyone listening to this podcast has been into Paleo for any stretch of time, and you know anyone else who has been, you may know someone just like this.

    CD: The Paleo Nazi.

    RR: The Paleo Nazi that we talked about just last week. It cracked me up. I read this and this was the first thing I thought about. It’s a person who thinks there’s fault in everyone’s approach except their own. So just got a little laugh at that. To quote this article a little bit: “They hunt their own meat, gather berries, climb trees to harvest nuts, and make dinner outside over the fire pit. Or, at least that’s what they tell you.”

    CD: Yeah, exactly. Who knows what they’re doing behind closed doors?

    RR: Yeah. So, you know, I think it’s important to mention that, I guess we can come off maybe here and there as militant. I mean, I think we have very open minds, but maybe if people don’t know us very well, or they catch the wrong podcast as a unique sample, you know, maybe they think we are a little bit militant. I wouldn’t say that’s the case at all.

    CD: People at my work, I think they think I’m crazy. That’s why my biggest thing recently is just telling people–just getting people off of their trigger foods. Once you have control of yourself, I think you can go whichever way you want.You don’t need to be , you know, Paleo Nazi. Once you have that self-control, I think that’s most important for people. I’ve kind of just stepped back, and that’s my approach.

    RR: Yeah. It’s huge. And it’s done in stages. It’s not done overnight. And even at the most advanced stage–I think we’d probably agree, we have a ways to go. We have different personal evolutions, ways that we can even kick ourselves up a notch. But, at the same time, we’re not climbing trees to harvest our nuts. We definitely, we respect it all. And, as always, acknowledge the initial difficulty. The difficulty to start hopping off some of those addictive foods.

    CD: That’s why I’m all about “get off your addictive food, get control, and go from there.” You will gradually get crazier and crazier.

    RR: Absolutely.

    CD: It’s only a matter of time.

    RR: The other funny one–so that was the first shade–then the seventh shade, it goes all the way to the other side of the spectrum, which is the quote-unquote “I Decide Paleo,” also known as the “WTF Paleo.” And it goes something, quote, it goes something like this: “The ‘WTF Paleo’ says, ‘Yeah, I’ve been, like, strict Paleo for a year now, but I’m not seeing or feeling results.” And, Dr. Champ, I’m sure you can conjure up a few memories of someone like that.

    CD: Oh my god. Even now we get emails, so many–which are fine. I get a lot the ketogenic, like, “Oh, I’m on the ketogenic diet, and it’s terrible.” And, “Are you eating high fat?” “Yes.” “What’d you have for lunch?” “A skinless chicken breast.” You know, so, it’s tough.

    RR: Amy lists out under this an example, average day of that “strict Paleo” person. And “breakfast is eggs and bacon, so far so good. Midmorning, Starbucks latte with three sugar packets and a Kind bar. Lunch, burger, no bun, with mayo, ketchup, and mustard, and a side of sweet potato fries. Mid-afternoon, gluten-free cupcake and a handful of trail mix. And dinner, order of wings, steak, mashed potatoes, two Bud Lights, and coconut ice cream for dessert.” It really does crack me up.

    CD: Bud Light’s Paleo, right? It’s the Paleo beer? That’s what they should start advertising.

    RR: You know, you mentioned something on this podcast a little while ago, and I think I brought it up at another stage, and I think it’ll be a good talking point for today (and I think I’m going to bring it up later in the show as well). But you say sometimes that we all overestimate what we’re actually doing. Right? So we all think we’re doing a little bit better than we actually are, before we lay out in front of us what it is. You know, if this was “strict Paleo” person, and they’re eating the gluten-free cupcake in the afternoon, and the wings, steak, mashed potatoes, Bud Light, and coconut ice cream for dessert, and you put that one a piece of paper, that doesn’t look so hot anymore. Maybe it’s not so strict. Maybe Paleo’s not being given an honest shot in that case. And maybe not experiencing the boost in energy. Again, maybe you should try some different things.

    CD: That’s why I think it’s always good at least for a short amount of time or periodically to write down, get a gut check on what you’re doing. Makes total sense.

    RR: There’s no doubt about it. So: evaluate, right? Evaluate today where you’re at, what your goals are, and just make sure that the goals that you’re after line up with your actions. And I think that the most frustrating thing for me, as a trainer working with someone, when it’s clear to me that someone has these goals and they believe that they’re tearing after these goals, but they’re actual, underlying actions are not lining up. So it creates this “frustration gap,” as I call it sometimes. Because when you think your actions are lining up and you’re tearing after your goals and you’re falling short of your goals, that’s very frustrating, especially when your underlying actions aren’t what you think they are.

    CD: Absolutely.

    RR: So take an honest assessment today.

    CD: Do it. Alright, I’m getting back to carbohydrates today. It’s a big sugar, carbohydrate day.

    RR: Take us back to a serious article.

    CD: Yeah, so, Jason, thanks for sending me this. Interesting article here: “Eating lots of carbs, sugar, may raise risk of cognitive impairment.” And this is a study from the Mayo Clinic over in Rochester, very famous institution. Not a great study. It’s another epidemiological study, but that’s pretty much all we have to go with. You know, if this were reverse, saying that “eating lots of fat may raise risk of cognitive impairment,” this would have been on the NBC News and USA today, and God knows where else–Dean Ornish would have been–.

    RR: All over it.

    CD: I don’t know what he would do. So they tracked 1230 people who provided information about what they ate during the previous year. So we all know how that goes.
    Don’t even need to get into that. Roughly 940 of them showed no signs of cognitive impairment. they were asked to return for follow up. And four years into the study, 240 of them were beginning to show cognitive impairment. So they looked at what they ate and tried to correlate what they ate with cognitive impairment. They found that the highest carbohydrate intake at the beginning of the study, patients that ate this, were 1.9 times likelier to develop mild cognitive impairment than those with the lowest intake of carbohydrates. Participants with the highest sugar intake were 1.5 times likelier to experience mild cognitive impairment than those with the lowest levels. But those whose diets were the highest in fat compared to the lowest were 42% less likely to face cognitive impairment, and those who had a high intake of protein had a reduced risk of 21%. So highest reduced risk, so 42%, about in half, was highest fat intake. Next was 21% with protein intake. And then highest carbohydrate intake actually doubled your risk. So, again, epidemiological, very interesting. I mean it makes sense: your brain is made up of fat. You know, the study is not one of the best studies, but it’s nice when you read these and it supports your own lifestyle.

    RR: You know what’s crazy? That just sparked a thought: There are these words out there, right, that the majority of the population shies away from. Right? The first word I’m thinking of is calories. The second word I’m thinking of is cholesterol. And the third word I’m thinking of is fat. these are all buzz words that the populace is littered with. “Low fat” or “fat free.” “low cholesterol” or “cholesterol-free.” “Low calorie,” right? But you need all of those things to survive and thrive. So with all the energy that’s sinking into going “low cal” or going “low fat” or going “low cholesterol”–those things are all necessary.

    CD: Yeah, we’re fighting–I mean,so much medical advice is counter to what we’ve been doing for millions of years, counter to what our bodies were made to function on…yeah, it doesn’t make sense.

    RR: It doesn’t make sense.

    CD: This is just another one of those. And even the Fine article, or the blog post that we talked about in the beginning here, he even talks about Warburg hypothesis, which we’ve talked about here. And then he says, you know, 1982 the food pyramid encouraged Americans to eat 300-400 grams of carbohydrates per day. And now, to their regret, 90% of these were sugars or starches that digested to sugars, all useable by many cancers. And this makes sense, because we’re telling people to do stuff that’s counter to what nature has laid down for us, and what our body is meant to process, and that’s why this article, while epidemiological in nature, makes total sense. Our brain’s made of fat, our body’s used to running on high levels of fat. So you switch it up, you follow the food pyramid, you follow the recommendations from our government, and this is what happens: you end up with cognitive impairment.

    RR: Yeah. Craziness.

    CD: Craziness. They all have cognitive impairment though. The leaders and the lawmakers, so maybe that makes sense.

    RR: I feel like this is going to be a common theme today. So let me bring up another case study, with this tracking theme. This writing down on paper what you’re actually doing and analyzing it. I think another fault I know I’ve had in the past, and I know a lot of people, and a lot of clients who have had it in the past where, let’s say that a result is not lining up with the goal. And they actually check out what they’re consuming. Or I check out what I’m consuming, okay? We all have a tendency to reflect on a good day, right? A quote-unquote “good day.” Like a Wednesday of the most boring week in the world, when you ate 1400 calories and kept your carbs low, and why the heck aren’t I achieving what I want to achieve if that’s the case?

    But what’s often forgotten about, or what’s often not tracked is a day that’s just as important. And that’s that Saturday, when you went out and had six drinks and two pieces of cake and a burger with the bun and fries, and chalked it all up and ended up putting down a boatload of crap. Right? That’s just as important as the boring Wednesday.

    So, I think, again, I’m harping on this theme today of occasionally tracking and coming to terms with what you’re actually doing versus what you think you’re doing. When you do that, you have to consider the bigger picture. It can’t just be track it for a couple days, but exclude the weekends that involve the other, the quote-unquote “other 20%.”

    CD: And everyone does this. We do it too.

    RR: And that’s what I’m–I was careful in the beginning. I do want to put myself into that equation as well. I think it’s a very human, it’s a very human thing, in a sense it’s tricking ourselves. You know, we want build ourselves up. You know, we want to think we’re doing good by ourselves, and so we remember those days where were strict and awesome. And we tend to push away those days where maybe we weren’t so strict and awesome.

    CD: It’s like those studies where they test people and ask 100 people how many of them think they’re in, like, the top 5%, and like 80% respond that they are.

    RR: It’s because that’s what they want to believe.

    CD: It’s like you, man. I see you gallivanting around on the weekends, eating cupcakes.

    RR: If only. If only.

    CD: Oh man. No, good stuff.

    RR: I think in the last–dessert’s been pretty rare for me. I mean all the way back, if we take this podcast all the way back to the cheat meal or treat meal expose, remember that man? All the way back in the beginning of time. Full blown desserts, which I used to do once a week, like it was my religion–like every single week I had to do that one treat meal, you know it just had to be in there. It’s been really, really few and far between. So just in case, anyone was wondering, you know, how that’s worked out, it really is in many ways a thing of the past.

    CD: Roger’s cheat day’s squats. He just does tons of squats.

    RR: Or like a whipped heavy cream and berry kind of thing. That’s what it’s boiled down to.

    CD: Alright, workouts? We ready to do it?

    RR: Yeah, it’s that time. Takeaways.

    CD: Alright, so, I got a nice email from Ethan. It was a while ago. So I apologize, I told you I was going to post this I think it was on the last podcast, but I ran a little behind. Talking about basically some of his issues and his back pain. This isn’t necessarily a workout, but it’s highly workout related, because I’m all about fixing my back pain, my issues. That’s why I went down to IFast in Indy, and fix all these things so that I can workout better. Just like why I workout: for the opposite reason. I work out to be more productive and my muscles be more productive when I’m not in the gym. So kind of reverse psychology here. I want to be healthy so that I can do that. And he was talking about some issues that he had, and his fiancée had low back pain. And he talked about trigger point therapy.

    And it’s interesting because my medical student right now today was just, barely could walk around, his back is so bad. And I played basketball with him a couple times, and he doesn’t come anymore. And I rarely see him in the gym, he said because his back pain is so bad. And then we kind of went through it, and it’s like, “Did you see anyone, etc., etc.” And he’s coming back at me, and we’re talking about like we’re talking about physicians. And meanwhile I’m not talking about physicians at all. And then we kind of went through it. You know, you see a doc with back pain, and it’s like physical therapy’s number one, steroids number two, Flexeril or muscle relaxants are the third step, and then they start taking some images, and the fourth is surgery, which, all things being equal, I think those are four equally terrible options.

    So, like, you know, I went through it with Bill Hartmann. You know, assessing–something’s obviously wrong that’s making your back hurt. So just covering it up with steroids, etc., etc., these other things aren’t going to help it. So I think it’s just so important, especially for you guys out there, to figure out, for those with injuries, figure out why you have an injury. If you were squatting 600 lbs and you slipped and broke your leg or something, that’s a different story. But if there’s some reason you’re having an injury, get to the bottom of it. Find out why that’s happening, find out how you can fix it. And Ethan just kind of brought up some good points about trigger therapy–trigger point therapy. It’s the same thing with muscle release, which we talked about. So foam rolling, etc., to release your muscle. And he asked if there was any legitimate studies, and interestingly there are.

    Now, these studies get difficult to do, but the first study they took 63 individuals with “low back strain” (they called it), and they treated them conservatively for four weeks before entering the study. They gave them injection therapy with four different types: Lidocane, Lidocane combined with a steroid, then they just did acupuncture, and vapocoolant spray and in those areas, they did pressure as well. So this is basically saying pressure therapy, so kind of like we said: “muscle release,” with or without injecting Lidocane or some of these other things. And therapy without injected medication had a 63% improvement rate. So that’s pretty good: Two thirds of patients. And those that had drug injections only had a 42% improvement rate. So it was actually better. The p value was .09, so they’re pretty much equivalent. So this is another thing where these muscle release, some of these therapies, which are dirt cheap, may be one way to fix it.

    RR: So real quick: trigger point therapy. Can you just give a rundown on that?

    CD: So I’ve been–it is new to me, so I’ve been trying to read up on it. And he actually recommended some–there’s a workbook from Pressure Positive, but I haven’t looked at it so I’m not endorsing it. I mean, it seems like it’s the same thing about muscle release.

    RR: Okay.

    CD: There’s this ART–you know, Active Release Therapy. I think they’re all kind of code words for the same thing, but–

    RR: One of my clients just sent me Active Release Therapy as well.

    CD: My brother does Active Release Therapy and claims it’s pretty awesome. It’s all the same–somewhat of the same thing–I know people that are very passionate about it are probably going to be upset that I’m lumping this all together. But for the sake of the argument here, we’ll say they’re all kind of the same. Then they did another one, this is a little bit bigger. It’s in spine. And there was 78 patients with chronic low back pain. They randomly assigned them to a control group or a treatment group: 37 patients in the control, 41 in the treatment. And one group underwent “neuro-reflexo-therapeutic intervention” and the control group received “sham” treatment. Now I can’t get to this article, because it’s a random journal, so if anyone can actually get to it that would be cool. But the sham treatment consisted of placing he same number of epidural devices within a five centimeter radius of the target zone, so they just put them in wrong places.

    So whenever they do these treatments, they do sham. Some of my research that we do, we radiate these cell lines. We’ll take breast cancer cells, put them on a petri dish, and we do sham radiation. And we just, like, set them under the machine and don’t turn it on. So anyway, very random. And then they evaluated them within five minutes before the intervention, within five minutes after, and 45 days later. And the treatment group patients showed immediate lessening of pain compared with the results in patients in the control group, and it lasted at 45 days. So it was a durable response.

    And this is exactly what Ethan told me in his email, that his fiancée had issues, he had issues, she had low back pain, and this just kind of wiped it out. And I know the stuff I’ve been doing, especially with my breathing and some of these assessment–or alignment-type exercises, it’s amazing. I’m deadlifting–I haven’t deadlifted in so long because of my back. I’m deadlifting now. I’m deadlifting a lot of weight. It’s good stuff.

    RR: That’s great, man.

    CD: So for you guys that have issues, just like all the other stuff with diet, with weight loss–they’re not going to fix themselves. They’re not going to fix themselves by cortisone shots or whatever. We have to get out there and figure out what’s wrong.

    RR: I was just going to say: all the more reason to be proactive about it.

    CD: Yeah.

    RR: You have access to so much information. Almost–almost any condition under the sun can at least be slightly improved. There’s a least a slightly better way to life, if not a much better, or complete 180 degree turn way to live.

    CD: Yeah, actively make yourself feel better. And, sorry, this is, we haven’t done this before. But I have one more workout thing–just a quick–

    RR: Do your thing.

    CD: For those of you guys deadlifting, please drag the bar along your legs. And if you’re worried about scratching up your shins, wear pants. It’s driving me nuts watching these guys in the gym that are just going to destroy their back. And it’s pretty much 9 out of 10 people deadlift terribly.

    RR: I totally agree. And that’s part of the reason why my favorite deadlift to teach is the trap bar deadlift. Actually to do. You know, I have slight curvature in my lower back and sothe standard deadlift, you know, if I’m pulling that bar, even if I’m keeping it tight to the body, it still could mildly upset my back. You know, I could do it, and that’s fine, but I prefer to feel great afterwards, you know? So switching out to the trap bar deadlift and just raising it, you know, a little bit more off the floor, it’s perfect. It’s perfect world.

    CD: Yeah, when you guys start out, activate those lats. So pull the bar back, activate your lats. Those are the wings, the wing muscles underneath your arms. When you activate those and and pull it against your legs, it really takes the strain off of your lower back.

    RR: And I think learning glute activation, learning how to activate your glutes, whether it’s through the kettle bell swing or through some deadlifitng or through some squatting, I find that that really pays off. I find that that’s helped my deadlift motion, you know, night and day.

    CD: And don’t, when you’re at the bottom, don’t look up. You’re not pulling the weight up with your head, you’re pulling it up with your butt and your hands.

    RR: I used to do that. I used to look up. And I slowly changed it to basically looking forward.

    CD: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

    RR: Because neck crank.

    CD: Anyway, we’ll get off our soap boxes. Whaddya got, man?

    RR: Yeah, so every now and again on the show we like to talk about sprints. Sprints, remember, for those out there who either aren’t runners or don’t run, or can’t run for whatever reason, sprints don’t just have to mean running. Sprints can mean a lot of things. It can mean mountain climbers on the floor. It can mean squat jumps. It can mean running in place. It can mean jump rope. It can mean swimming in a pool. It can mean any number of things, so when I say, when I talk about sprinting, just remember it doesn’t have to be running-based.

    What I want to talk about today is a way to do sprints that I’ve been programming a lot lately, and that I really like. And it’s the on-minute structure. So, depending on how long your sprint is, like, let’s take a popular length: 200 meter sprint. So, let’s say you started a stop watch and busted out your 200 meter sprint as fast as you possibly could. Whenever you finish that 200 meters, the amount of time left before the clock hits two minutes is your rest break. As soon as the two-minute mark hits, you’re back on another 200 meters. And, again, whatever’s left of the next two minutes is your rest break, and you do that for a specific number of times. So some popular on-minute structures are, like, 8 x 200 meters. So you would do eight sprints of 200 meters, each new sprint happening at the next two-minute mark.

    I love the format because it inspires effort. It rewards effort. The faster you sprint, the longer you rest. It’s that simple. The slower you sprint the more it’s going to feel like one continuous run, which is what we want to avoid. Right? So I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve put it in some of my boot camps lately. I’ve given it to a client or two, and I’ve done a little bit of it myself. And I do want to throw it out there. So pick your sprint length, build in a little bit of natural rest. So if it was 200 meters, you might go on two minutes. Maybe if you were well-adept at running, or doing whatever and you did 400 meters, you’d do on four minutes. But, you know, pick your sprint wisely. Pick your distance wisely. Let’s say you’re doing jump rope, pick your repetitions wisely, and have a blast.

    CD: I like it. It’s all about that personal motivation.

    RR: Yeah, absolutely. And, really, the end goal of the sprint is to send your heart rate climbing, you know to really max out for a short period of time and then give yourself plenty of time to rest.

    CD: Nice.

    RR: And you’d best believe that some of those sprints are going to be in that “Top Dog Challenge.”

    CD: I’m excited.

    RR: Yeah, man. Alright, whatcha got? Nutrition.

    CD: Food. Just a real quick one. We talk a lot about bacon, nitrates, etc. Sharon, who sends me some awesome, and hilarious at times, emails, she was talking about nitrates in bacon as well. And she gets hers from a local goat farmer. They have eggs, pigs, beef, all this. So she asked about the nitrates in bacon, and the response was that sodium nitrate used in the smoking, curing process is not a celery derivative, so that’s one of kind of the normal nitrates that we use. It’s a natural compound; it’s not synthetic. In the curing process it changes to nitrous oxide, which has great health benefits because it is a vasodilator, which helps reduce blood pressure.

    So, I don’t know what to make of it. It’s very interesting. Because we talked about, last week or the week before that, once again, if you’re pumping something–it’s easy to say something’s not bad for you, but if it’s made in a, a chemical made in a factory, you gotta really question how the body deals with it. So it’s interesting whether–you know, they’re calling it a natural compound, so it’s not one of these factory-made things, but they’re not saying what it actually is. So…I don’t know, man. I stand by what I said.

    RR: Yep. So say it again. Just in case someone didn’t listen to that other episode.

    CD: So we went back and forth about nitrates, whether they’re good or bad for you. And, you know, there’s sketchy data on, definitely on whether they’re good for you. There’s sketchy data too on whether they’re bad. Everyone just kind of pretty much assumes they’re bad for you from studies that show that it might increase cancer rates, might increase gastric cancer or some other GI malignancies.

    And, you know, they do serve a purpose: they kill some bacteria, decrease infections, etc. And now they’re trying to say they’re vasodilators, they may actually reduce cancer. Though some data shows there’s definitely, you know, the opposite. So I don’t know what to make of it. My take on a lot of these things is just it’s one thing if they’re naturally occurring, but if they’re made in a factory, just like all the vitamin studies, they’re probably not good. Just like Vitamin D from the sun is better than Vitamin D in a pill.

    RR: Speaking of, on a future episode coming soon, I do want to do a little segment on bioavailability. So we’ll do that at some point.

    CD: Sounds good.

    RR: Sweet. Alright, so, you good?

    CD: Yep, I’m good.

    RR: So my nutrition is really what I’ve been building to all show. And why this is on my mind so much. Every transformation program, I really do like to have a stretch of time, usually it’s a week in length, maybe some people will go two weeks where we diligently track what’s going on. And not just, again, not just track on the best days, track all week long what’s happening Monday, Tuesday, and also what’s happening Saturday, Sunday, which are typically less-strict times. And I created, back from my finance days, I tapped into my Microsoft Excel skills and created a sheet that I think is very easy to use and track this stuff. And it’s always a fascinating time for me, because it shows you a lot. And it shows the transformer, or the person, a lot about what they’re doing.

    And, you know, a lot of the times, one of the very popular things that I’ll see is that someone is under-eating, and I’ll have to have that long-view or long term conversation with them. And say, hey, this can get you results in the short term, but that’s not, this is not a “Biggest Loser” program. I want to set you up for lifelong success. So it’s just funny some of those things that come out of the woodwork that you have to really flesh out. So I’m right in the throes of the tracking stage, and it interests me, it intrigues me, I get that unique case every time that teaches me something or forces me to look at things a little bit differently. So it’s very, very interesting. So I’ll shoot you that sheet. And, for that matter, I have no problem if a couple people out there want to take a look at this sheet, and are interested in tracking, and don’t necessarily like the looks of Fitday and all the stuff out there. So I’m happy to send the sheet out to a few people.

    CD: Track. You’ll be thanking yourself. Caveman Corner, let’s rock. So, my–

    RR: Dude, you just introduced yourself and everything. Forget this tracking nonsense.

    CD: Sorry, man.

    RR: It’s all good.

    CD: So my brother sent me this hilarious “someecard.” I don’t know if you guys know what that is: it’s this website, and there’s these ecards, and you can put in whatever dialogue you want. And the best ones–people vote–the best ones, I don’t know what they do–they put them on their site for everyone to see. And there’s a girl jump roping on this one, and it says, “Oh, ‘what am I training for?’ you ask?” And then it says, “comma, life” and there’s an expletive–a four-word expletive–four syllable–

    RR: But we are a clean show–

    CD: Four-syllable expletive. But, first off, it’s hilarious. But, second off, it just made me really think, because this week–the last couple weeks now have been so stressful, and it’s like, why do I do what I do? And a lot of this stuff is just that. It’s training for life. Some of it’s training–people train to look better, to feel better, to be healthier, etc., but in the grand scheme of things, that’s exactly what we’re doing: training for life. Training–all this stuff for the back, fixing your back, what I’m talking about now, I mean, it’s to work and feel better. But it’s also in 30 years I can walk down the street without using a walker. So many of these things we’re doing here are really investments for long term gain. And it’s easy to forget that, and it’s easy to look at, to fight over the nitty-gritty of Paleo with “Paleo Nazis.” Or easy, for those of you who are debating quitting doing it, thinking, “What’s the long term benefit?” You know, there’s a huge long term benefit.

    RR: Absolutely.

    CD: Walk through your local hospital. So anyway, Roger and I are training for life.

    RR: You’d best believe it.

    CD: We hope you guys are as well, and just keep that in mind. And you can Google the ecard. I can’t post that on the website. So that’s my big thing.

    RR: One day you’re jsut going to say, “screw it,” and start dropping bombs on the podcast.

    CD: That’s like, Robb Wolf was on, what’s that? Joe Rogan? I mean it was hilarious. My brother was playing it. We were in the car on the way down to Indianapolis. And he was playing it. And it was great, but they were just dropping F-bomb after F-bomb. They were saying the most ridiculous things. And I’m like, yeah, that’s hilarious. But we are on a family-oriented, professional production here, so unfortunately we can’t do that.

    RR: There’s probably people out there who’ve seen this ecard, and they’re, like, screaming the curse at the podcast–”Come on, just say it guys!”

    CD: Exactly: as they’re driving home.

    RR: You say it for us.

    CD: But that’s my big takeaway. My big…

    RR: I like it. Relentless Report: I’ve got competition on the mind today, being that there will be this “Top Dog Challenge” at Relentless Fitness next Friday. Competition. I know there are some people out there say, “Hey, I’m not competitive,” and that’s all well and good. It’s not that you have to seek out a race or an event or anything like that. I totally get it if you’re not wired up for that. But that doesn’t tell me that you can’t at least compete with yourself. And so today, you know, we bring up things like tracking and challenges, and that might bring up sprints, injury therapy like the trigger point therapy…challenge yourself. Compete with yourself. Or someone else. Somehow. And figure out one way to do that this week. Whether it is to find an event and just plug yourself in and put yourself up against a field of people, or if you’re uncomfortable with that really evaluating where you are in your own life, and competing with a past version of yourself. And just always, again, striving to be better. Competition, whether it’s external or internal, can be a really, really valuable tool for advancement, so tap into it.

    CD: Yeah. It’s all about motivating yourself. Whether it’s from listing things, or from tracking, the time thing you brought up today was great, but yeah, you need some competition whether it’s with yourself or someone else.

    RR: And there’s so much under the sun that you can do. Again, there’s anything from an actual event all the way through some of the other stuff we talk about every now and again, which is just–challenging, you know, competing with your sleep duration from last week, seeing if you can bump it up a little bit. Competing with the amount of time you cleared from your schedule to disconnect from the grid and do some stress management. You know, whatever, it doesn’t just have to be exercise, it doesn’t have to be tracking your food. It can really be anything under the sun.

    CD: Good stuff, man.

    RR: Is that a wrap?

    CD: That is a wrap.

    RR: Episode 23, we went Jordan on them today?

    CD: We did go–not-so-Jordan. I don’t know. We’re both pretty beat up.

    RR: You should see us right now, we’re slumped over chairs and…

    CD: Dragging.

    RR: Sorry if this podcast lacked in a little inspiration, but we’re pulling through, every week. Rain or sun.

    CD: We’re training for life here.

    RR: That’s right.

    CD: So keep it up. Keep training for life as well.

    RR: And remember, when you’re not having a great week, when you’re not necessarily feeling up to life, keep the groove greased, so to speak. Sometimes just showing up is what really matters.

    CD: And we’ll catch you guys next week.

    RR: Sounds good.

    CD: On the flip side.


    © Caveman Doctor 2012. All Rights Reserved.


  1. andrea

    Spreadsheet, please, if you would be so kind…. 🙂

    1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

      Hey! Email Roger at relentless-fitness.com


  2. aimee

    Hey, i have just recently found your site and podcasts and I love you and Roger. My favourite podcast in the paleosphere! Thanks for entertaining and educating me on my commute into London!

    1. cavemandoctor (Post author)


      Glad you are enjoying the show and thanks for the nice comments!

  3. Trina

    Back pain is sometimes improved with a wheat free Paleo diet which reduces inflammation, which your listeners might be aware of, but I thought I would also add that if you are sensitive to oxalates this can also cause back pain. If I eat almonds particularly, I have terrible back pain. With all of the almond flour used in the paleo community, this might cause problems in some. Beets and spinach are also high in oxalates.

    1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

      Thank Trina for the great points. I think almond flour is way overused and should be limited. It is inflammatory and leads to overeating.


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