View Full Version : More ?'s on James Fitzgerald's Article

Pat McElhone
04-16-2008, 12:15 PM
James Fitzgerald is a remarkable athlete and I read his recent article with interest. After reading the article, I was not able to answer the following questions. Can someone help?

How does one measure bodyfat to determine hormonal patterns? I deduced from the article that calipers are used to measure bodyfat at various locations. The areas where the most fat is measured with a caliper determines what a specific individual hormonal pattern is. Is it an absolute measurement? For example I can pinch the most on my hips/back (above my iliac crests), so I am an insulin guy?

Next, what are the "alternative medicine assessment tools"? How is digestion assessed? Finally, how is adrenal balance determined? If the answer is blood work, what specific tests?


Garrett Smith
04-16-2008, 02:01 PM
Pat, James and I are talking and working on those exact subjects. More will likely be forthcoming from James in future articles. Many of the things you're asking about are tests that are run and interpreted by licensed healthcare practitioners (such as myself).

Pat McElhone
04-16-2008, 07:09 PM
I am asking about those because I am a licensed health care professional. I look at a multitude of labs test on a daily basis and still can not figure out how looking at TSH, LFTs, HCT, pH, or anything else can lead to determines ones metabolic rate or what type of exercise is the best for them.


Neal Winkler
04-16-2008, 10:08 PM

I maybe can answer some of your questions:

The caliper measurements are not absolute, they are relative. For example, if the pec is higher than your ticep, then you are aromatizing your testoserone into estrogen, and if your tricep is higher than your pec than you're producing more estrogen than testosterone.

I think James asseses digestion from a questionaire/consultation and stool analysis with MD or ND's that consult with his practice.

Adrenal balance you're looking at lifestyle factors (sleep, stress), digestion, recovery capacity, umbilical skinfold. No doubt he has other ways of assesing this as well, which at this point are jedi mind tricks to me.

Of course everything I just said may be wrong. Jedi mind tricks I tell you, jedi mind tricks...

Garrett Smith
04-17-2008, 08:31 AM
Most of the common bloodwork tests that you mentioned, give very little indication of health status, much less metabolic rates and things like adrenal status.

These examples lead up to the question of how the normal ranges are created in the first place. They are produced by statistics generated by measurements obtained in healthy volunteers. In the case of the BUN measurement, for example, this substance might get measured in the blood of, say, 100 people without kidney disease. An average number would be calculated by adding the numbers produced by all 100 people, and then dividing by 100. This average would be the center of the normal range.

But the upper and lower numbers are produced by another method looking at how widely spread apart the BUN measurements are in these 100 people. After all, it would be highly unlikely that all 100 people would produce the exact same number-value. So how far from the average is still okay? The 100 measurements are plugged into a mathematical formula to compute a "standard deviation," a widely-used statistic related to how widely the numbers are spread apart. Numbers that are farther apart produce a larger standard deviation, while numbers that are closer together produce a smaller standard deviation.

The next step is to decide how many standard deviations above and below average should be accepted as normal. A typical choice for a blood-test is two standard deviations in either direction. It is known that measurements falling within the range of two standard deviations above and below the average will include, on average, 95% of the healthy people. It will also exclude or label as apparently abnormal the other 5% of healthy volunteers. So if the "normal range" is generated in this fashion, one thing we already know is that it will be wrong 5% of the time.
The "standard" blood tests are really only good at showing outright disease, often only after it has progressed significantly. That's not what we're after.

We're talking about tests you may regard as "alternative", tests looking at markers in saliva, stool, and other areas. This is beyond the simple disease/not-disease approach, and as such is often not in the realm of health insurance and managed care.

sarena kopciel
04-23-2008, 05:34 AM
I sent this article over to one of my coaches. His response is below. After reading some other people's experiences, I tend to agree that metcon doesnt always work for everyone and the variables are exactly that--varying as in different times....I know that the metcon was working for me but I was also being overstressed at some point and had to drop it--at least the intensity and frequency!!
The article had a lot of useful info. Unfortunately, it also lacked objectivity. The study of hormonal influences as they relate to body composition and response to exercise is nothing new, but more people have started paying attention to it for a good reason.

Let’s keep in mind that the influence of hormone production is only PARTIALLY influenced by exercise. It is the summation of all factors (emotional, environmental, immunological) what dictate how the body will react and adapt.

It is refreshing to see how the attitude is changing towards a bit more individualization and a lot less of the madness. However, the author still defends the CF style of training as the holy grail of exercise. I find it interesting how the author refers to CF style of training as a “natural method”. There’s absolutely nothing natural about a closed environment filled with man made devices and where most responses to external environmental influences have been removed. Go figure!

That’s my take on the article. Thanks for sending it over.

Mike ODonnell
04-28-2008, 01:22 PM
Let’s keep in mind that the influence of hormone production is only PARTIALLY influenced by exercise. It is the summation of all factors (emotional, environmental, immunological) what dictate how the body will react and adapt.

Good response....also would add the hormonal responses to food too...but I guess technically that could fall under "environmental" factors.