Starting Strength: Week One

I haven’t done a CrossFit WOD in almost two weeks now. I thought for sure last week, even as I wrote what appears to be a pretty scathing list of reasons why I hate CrossFit (it wasn’t meant to be), that it wouldn’t be long before I pined for ‘testing myself’ with a WOD. But, honestly, with each passing day I’m feeling better and better, and amazingly I am leaning out and am clearly, just after 3 Starting Strength sessions, seeing an increase in my muscle definition. I don’t miss CrossFit at all. Will I do it again? Definitely! But no more box memberships for me. I’ll just do the occasional WOD at my gym (they have scheduled daily CrossFit sessions, with a whiteboard and all). I’m going to try to shoot for once per week as a “sprint” session, ala Primal Blueprint Fitness (PBF). Incidentally, PBF is the over-arching exercise ‘architecture’ that I’m following and plan to follow for a long time now. CrossFit was completely incompatible with it, and as a result I felt like shit. Two weeks later and I feel better than I have in a long time, and most surprisingly, I am lifting heavier weights and losing bodyfat/weight.

Things aren’t all rosy. I haven’t mentioned it specifically, but I have been suffering from some neck/back of head pain for a while now. I assume it is from the pinched nerve that I have, but the pain changed to a different kind a few weeks ago. Eventually, it got bad enough that I woke up Saturday morning at 5am with a throbbing pain in the back of my head.

Yesterday morning, the first thing on my work To Do list was to make an appointment to go to the doc about it and hope he could do something other than simply tell me to get an appointment with a neurologist. To my surprise, the doc was pretty thorough yesterday. I always felt rushed there in the past. But this time, he sat down and asked me a number of things, praised me on my weight/fitness progress and told me to keep up the great work. I mentioned to him that the work-sponsored ‘Health Fair’ cholesterol test indicated I had high total cholesterol. My numbers were:

Total Cholesterol: 240
HDL 76
LDL: <100 (in other words, too low to even measure)
Triglycerides: <100 (in other words, too low to measure)

So, based on the numbers above, with the TC being “high”, I’m about to die of a heart attack right? No. The formula to calculate TC is lame and for those of us with super lipid test results (i.e., high HDL and low Trigs), the TC is meaningless. I knew that, but to my surprise, when I mentioned to the doc the 240, his immediate question was: What was your HDL? Your Trigs? When I told him he just smiled, shook his head, and said, “That is phenomenal. Keep doing what you’re doing.” Then I looked down and noticed he was wearing a brand new pair of Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes. Perhaps he is a bit more up to date with the latest research and thinking after all?

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