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FitTips for One and All - Vol. VI, No. 2

FitTips for One and All
Volume VI, Number 2

Presented by Fitness for One and All
Director: Gary F. Zeolla

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God-given Foods Eating Plan - The approach of this book is to study different foods and food groups, with a chapter devoted to each major classification of foods. First the Biblical evidence is considered, then the modern-day scientific research is reviewed. Foods are then classified as "God-given foods" and "non-God-given foods." The main point will be a healthy eating plan is composed of a variety of God-given foods and avoids non-God-given foods.

A Real Disease, MCS

By Iris Harden Brooks

MySpace Page

Remember, just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If someone mentions to you they have an environmental illness, sick-building syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, mold poisoning, take them seriously.

Most of us who suffer from such illnesses already feel hesitant to talk about it because people often look at us like we have a spot on our forehead. We are making a great big deal out of some little allergy! Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Social Security Administration, The American with Disabilities Act, EPA and Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies recognize multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Over 36.5 million Americans are chemically sensitive, and more than 5.2 million are at risk of losing their jobs as a result. Yet this most devastating illness is poorly understood or accepted in the real world.

It's hard to explain this affliction in a way that others can really understand how serious it is. It's chronic and can be life-threatening. We have to be very aware of our surroundings and need people to respect our disability the same as if we had any other illness. We are real people with a very REAL illness.

Most of us end up with MCS as a result of a single exposure to a highly toxic chemical or long-term chronic exposure. I have a good friend with MCS due to an exposure to toulene. Yet in our case, we were exposed to mold and dangerous mycotoxins: trichothecene and aflatoxins.

As we inhale, absorb and ingest these poisons our whole body is affected. Our immune system breaks down, our cells become almost dormant, and we have multiple organ damage. At this time, we know of no cure.

The effects of MCS are never identical in any two people. Our genetics and bodies are all different. There is no exact pattern.

My physician said MCS is well recognized in the environmental community as the spreading phenomenon. The initial chemical triggers a biological reaction mechanism which causes the body to react to a wide range of substances that never seemed to bother us before. These can be air fresheners, pesticides, cleaning products, perfumes and so many others.

Sometimes we can't predict how we'll react to what. Often we don't even know what it was that caused the reaction. But we know we got around something that had a dangerous chemical in it.

We often appear to look perfectly normal. We are repeatedly told, "but you don't look sick!" People, often even our family and friends, feel our symptoms are highly exaggerated. Sometimes we get an immediate reaction. Other times we seem to suffer a delayed reaction to an exposure.

What others might perceive as a minor exposure to inks, paints, smoke, perfumes, carpet cleaners, exhaust fumes, electrical fields, etc. can steal all quality of life for days or even weeks. We can even lose our life! Obvious and immediate reactions can be headache, nausea, pin-hole pupils, seizures, muscular pain, mental confusion, slurred speech, loss of voice, lack of coordination, etc. Delayed reactions can include longer-term neurological impairment, respiratory malfunction, bloodshot eyes, choking, insomnia, and severe chest pain, etc.

With very few physicians who understand this illness and many who even deny its existence they will try to treat symptoms with antidotes that can further break down our immune system and do us no good at all.

The cycle continues. Our body gets weaker and weaker. It gets where it takes smaller and smaller exposures to cause an adverse reaction. We become even more hypersensitive. It seems like everywhere we go something makes us sick. We have no control over it.

We stay in a state of turmoil. One day we appear halfway normal, but then out of nowhere we have are debilitated. We did not choose to have this illness and we know it's hard for others to comprehend. We couldn't even understand it ourselves until we experienced it taking place over and over again. Many of us had no idea what was happening to us. Our sense of smell is so keen...

All we ask is to show us the same respect you would show others who are disabled or suffer a chronic illness. If we tell you certain products and chemicals bother us, please know that we have already seen what they do to us. We never forget the pain inflicted by these chemicals.

We are being straight with you. We really can't tolerate certain things! If you really care about us, please take us seriously! I know in my heart I would do that for you.

Some of you may somehow think if you tell us you're not wearing scented perfume or hide the fact that Pest Control just sprayed your house with pesticides that we won't know the difference. We'll probably be okay. It doesn't work that way. It's not the smell that makes us sick. It's the biological action of the chemicals on a now sensitized brain and body.

You really are playing with our life when you don't try to avoid using these products around us. We know the world is not going to change for us. Yet we don't want to have to live in a bubble. We want to be around the people we love. We want to be more than a mere existence. Our hopes and dreams still live within our hearts. If you really care about us, please realize how serious this issue really is.


Definitions of "Raw" in Powerlifting

Forum Post

By Gary F. Zeolla

Many powerlifters wear a squat suit and bench shirt in training and in competition. A squat suit basically looks like a wrestler's singlet, while a bench shirt looks somewhat like a short sleeve T-shirt. However, both are made of very strong and thick material, using polyester, denim, or canvas. Briefs are also sometimes worn under the squat suit. These look somewhat like boxer shorts, except they come up much higher on the torso, and again, are made of much stronger material. The suit, briefs, and shirt are also usually fitted so that they fit very tight. It can sometimes take one or two helpers for a lifter to get the gear on and off.

Originally, the purpose of the suit was to protect the hips and of the shirt to protect the shoulders. However, the gear has evolved to the point now that they can significantly add to the amount of weight a lifter can lift. Some report getting as much as 100-200 pounds or more out of a good suit or shirt (although this writer only gets about 50 pounds out of my suit and briefs together and about 30 pounds out of my shirt).

But whatever the exact added poundage, it is for this reason that there is much controversy over their use in the powerlifting community. So there is now a growing "raw" movement in the sport. "The term raw" refers to not wearing a suit, briefs, or shirt. There are a couple of raw powerlifting federations, and some federations have a raw division separate from their geared division. However, there are debates among raw lifters as to whether a belt and wraps should be worn by raw lifters.

A power belt is similar to a standard weightlifting belt seen in many gyms, except it is 4" all the way around and is 1/2" thick. Its purpose should be rather obvious, to protect the low back. Wrist wraps and knee wraps look somewhat like "Ace bandages" except they are made of much stronger elastic material. The wrist wraps vary from 12-36" and knee wraps are either 2.0 meter or 2.5 meters long. Their purposes should again be obvious, to protect the wrists and knees, respectively. Knee sleeves are simply the type of knee supporters that one can by at a drug store. A belt and wraps do add somewhat to the amount that can be lifted, as will be discussed shortly.

With that background, I "lurking" a powerlifting forum and reading a rather heated debate in on what it means to lift "raw." I didn't want to contribute there since things were getting too nasty for my tastes. So I instead I posted some thoughts in the forum I normally participate in, Weight Trainer's United, since things are much more civil there. Below is a revised version of my post.

From what I can tell, there are five possible definitions of "raw"

1. No supportive gear whatsoever

2. A belt

3. A belt and wrist wraps

4. A belt, wrist wraps, and knee sleeves

5. A belt, wrist wraps, and knee wraps

In my workout logs, when I say a lift is done raw, I usually mean it by definition #1. But as far as I know, every raw federation or raw division within a federation allows a belt. But 100% Raw Powerlifting, Anti-Drug Athletes United (ADAU), and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) only allow a belt.

The International Powerlifting Association (IPA) and American Drug Free Powerlifting Federation (ADFPF) allow a belt and wrist wraps in its raw division. The “Raw Unity” contest that was held in Florida on January 26, 2008 allowed a belt, wrist wraps, and knee sleeves. The Natural Athletes Strength Association (NASA), American Powerlifting Association (APA), Hardcore Powerlifting, and World Natural Powerlifting Federation (WNPF) allow a belt, wrist wraps, and 2.0 meter knee wraps. So it would seem that any one of these definitions is valid.

Now it might be helpful if powerlifting were to come up with a different word to describe each of these levels of gear. And I guess the biggest difference would between knee wraps vs. no knee wraps. Some have suggested using "raw" for without wraps and "unequipped" for with wraps but no suit or shirt. That might help to clear up some of the confusion. In fact, NASA uses the term "unequipped" for its belt and wraps division.

However, I would say there is still less of a difference between any of these types of raw lifting than there is between any of them and lifting with a suit and shirt. So frankly, I think the raw advocates should quit fighting amongst themselves and band together.

As for myself, when I first started thinking about competing again five years ago, I was looking for a federation which allowed a belt and wraps but no suit or shirt. My reason for doing so is that I remembered all too well from my college powerlifting days how much of a pain it was squeezing into a squat suit. Bench shirts weren't around back then, but I figured they'd be just as much of a pain.

On the other hand, I always wore knee wraps and wrist wraps back in college, and I was very leery about doing max squats without knee wraps, and max benches without wrist wraps. So if the above federations that now allow belt and wraps had done so back then, and I had found one of them, it would have saved me a whole lot of hassles, problems, and money that I’ve wasted on gear over the last five years.

As for using knee sleeves instead of knee wraps, that might be a good comprise between those who believe "raw" should mean no wraps and those who believe knee wraps should be allowed. Knee sleeves would provide some protection for those who are leery about doing max squats without wraps but without adding much of anything to the lift poundage.

However, I tried knee sleeves in a squat workout recently. They're better than nothing, but not really good enough for squats. I like wearing them on DLs, where they give enough support without getting in the way. But for squats, I would prefer to wear knee wraps.

I've found that good pair of 2.0 meter knee wraps add about 20-25 pounds to the squat. In my opinion, that is not enough added poundage to eliminate them given the benefits they provide. And it is a far cry for the 100-200 pounds or more than some get out of their squat suits.

Meanwhile, wrist wraps are purely protective, adding nothing to the bench. So I've always found it kind of silly not to allow them.

So for me, when it comes to competition, I would prefer for "raw" to mean with a belt, wrist wraps, and knee wraps. I think that combination would provide protection to the lifter without significantly adding to the poundage being lifted.

New on Fitness for One and All

Full Workout Logs: Starting 1/13/08: Alternating Weeks Routine: Off-Season; Weeks 1 - ? Details my change in contest plans and will record my workouts.

God-given Foods Eating Plan:
For Lifelong Health,
Optimization of Hormones,
Improved Athletic Performance
Paperback and eBook by Gary F. Zeolla


Also by Gary F. Zeolla:
Darkness to Light Web site and Darkness to Light newsletter.
Christian Theology, Apologetics, Cults, Ethics, Bible Versions, and much more.


Disclaimer: The material presented in this newsletter is intended for educational purposes only. The director, Gary F. Zeolla, is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any medical treatments or diet, exercise, or health improvement programs, consult your doctor. The director is in no way responsible or liable for any harm ( physical, mental, emotional, or financial) that results from following any of the advice or information in this newsletter.

All material in this newsletter is copyrighted 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla or as indicated otherwise.