The Best AND Worst fitness & nutrition MEME's

How long is it before we stop referencing scientific literature like the JSCR (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research) and start citing MEME's?  Let's pretend my grandfather were to be reading this blog post (RIP & Vaya Con Dios Gramps), and begin by defining the word MEME.  MEME = a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users-  

Students, clients, and even worse, trainers, are discussing MEME's as if they're the truth.  There are some great MEME's, and there's some really shitty ones, so it must be hard to tell if the information is valid.  Let Show Up Fitness help you navigate through the ambiguous land of The Google and analyze the Best AND Worst fitness and nutrition MEME's.  

#1 for Worst MEME:

THIS IS NOT A REPLICA OF 5lbs of FAT vs 5lbs of MUSCLES!  IDIOTS!!!!!!!

THIS IS NOT A REPLICA OF 5lbs of FAT vs 5lbs of MUSCLES!  IDIOTS!!!!!!!

This is not an exact replica of 5 pounds of fat vs 5 pounds of muscle; IDIOTS!  This MEME is  the exact replica of 5 pounds of fat vs 1 pound of muscle.  At the Show Up Academy in Santa Monica, I have the replica of 5 pounds fat and 5 pounds muscle and they're pretty freaking similar.  Let Mr. Contreras, aka the "Glute Hunk" better explicate in our Best Meme #1:

Bret contreras glute guy Show Up Fitness 5-lbs of fat vs 5-lbs of muscles

On his Instagram post he says, "I'm sure you've seen the images floating around the Internet showing what 5lbs of fat vs. 5lbs of muscle looks like. The replicas typically shown are a giant blob of fat next to a tiny mound of muscle, and you're inevitably left believing that 5lbs of fat takes up 5x more space than 5lbs of muscle.  This is a myth! In actuality, the density of mammalian skeletal muscle tissue is 1.06kg/L, while that of adipose tissue is 0.9196kg/L. In other words, fat only takes up 15% more space than muscle. So 5lbs of fat weighs the same as 5lbs of muscle - obviously! But muscle is only slighter more dense than fat. How did this misconception arise? I do not know, but I surmise that some sleazy marketer fabricated the idea to sell a product or service by dramatizing the visual effects of getting into shape. Whatever the case, this individual clearly never chased down the science like I did. Unfortunately, these images are so common nowadays that they aren't questioned and are passed along as fact. Exaggeration is never a good idea; people deserve the truth."

- Bret Contreras @bretcontreras1

Bret knows his shit and he's what I call a "fitness bully."  Most would associate this nickname negatively, but don't, it's a compliment.  Bret's beyond intelligent.  If you were to gather 5 of the smartest "trainers" that you know, they wouldn't be able to compete with this man's grasp of the scientific literature within bio-mechanics and kinesiology.  Bullies usually use their strength to overcome weaker counterparts; Bret uses his intellect (he's also strong AF!)    

Worst MEME #2:

did you know broccoli has more protein than steak

Similar to the recent documentary, aka worst fucking film ever, WHAT THE HEALTH, by using scare tactics (Steak has more fat), it qualifies the other food source as a superior choice.  First off, don't watch that documentary, it's terrible.  Second, how good are you with numbers?  At face value, this MEME make sense, right?   Hold on for one second and lets take a look at BEST MEME #2:

The Chow Babe, as she says on her Facebook page, "Organic Living, Nutrition, Fitness...screw all of that. We're just satirizing Food Babe. She's nuts" breaks down those numbers.  100-calories of steak is not even a freaking bite, whereas 100-calories of broccoli is over half a pound.  I don't know about you, but if I'm looking for a great protein source, I'll stick with 8-10 ounces of steak and add a few ounces of broccoli to compliment it.  Let it be noted, we're not saying broccoli is bad, or not filled with phytochemicals (it is.)  What were attacking is the idiocy of claiming broccoli is a better protein source compared to steak.  If you're a vegetarian it's a great choice, otherwise, STEAK for the win.  

Onto the Best MEME #3

Seriously, KERMIE MEME's can't be beat!

Back to fitness & nutrition.... Worst MEME #3

"Milk is bad, we're not designed to drink it, and we're the only other animals who drink other animals milk."  When it comes to diary products, there's a ton of weird shit people come up with.  Let us ponder what else humans can do e.g. go to the moon, shit on a toilet, and have ALEXA on Amazon.  EVERYTHING is bad and will probably cause cancer sooner or later e.g. Drink too much water and you can die (hyponatremia), workout too long and hard and you'll die (rhabdomyolysis.)  Humans have evolved to drink milk as an advantage.  When we began to domesticate cattle (e.g. Northern Europe) we could survive the harsh winters by drinking cows milk.  We eat everything else on a cow, but why do we demonize the milk? PUS CELLS, Antibiotics, and Bovine Growth Hormone; oh my!  Pus cells are confused by the non-farmer as somatic cells.  These cells (which mainly consist of white blood cells aka leukocytes) when elevated, indicate an infection in an organism.  The FDA regulates the maximal allowable somatic cell count to be 600,000-750,000 cells per milliliter*.  Sometimes cows can develop an infection which is called mastitis (humans can too.)  This infection leads people to believe that ALL milk is filled with "pus."  NOT TRUE.  For all you conspiracy theorists, I'm sorry to inform you that our government ISN'T TRYING TO KILL US or are they hiding the cure for AIDS /Cancer.  When a cow has mastitis, you need to, A- Massage it out by milking the cow (if you were to get this on film, it would look like a farmer is milking "pus" and then deliberately giving to consumers- NOT THE CASE. They have to throw it away,) B- the animal goes on antibiotics.  The milk is then delivered to a processing plant to make sure no harmful residues are detected.  CONTAMINATED MILK RESULTS IN A LARGE FINE! Do you even know a farmer?  Seriously?  Or are you reading a blog from David Wolff?  The next time you come across a farmer, ask them to break down their job in detail.  Milk is highly regulated.  As with anything, there may be trace amounts of particles.  If this bugs you, don't eat or drink it, and PLEASE don't bother anyone who chooses to do so.  I guarantee your bathroom floor, bed sheets, and fingers are filthier than what we consume at the store.  

The evidence behind recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is inconclusive.  People freak out because cows are able to produce more milk with the use of this synthetic hormone (rBGH) which produces more IGF (insulin-like growth factor).   Increases in IGF MAY BE linked to cancer.  Therefore, drinking milk gives us cancer.  hmmmm, not so fast, that's not Logic 101...

A = B

B = C


A = C

If that's the case, then:

A = B: You can die from an increase in blood pressure (true) 

B = C: Blood pressure increases during sex (true)

A = C: If you have sex, you will die (I HOPE NOT!)

Our bodies are badass and the proteins of hormones are denatured during the digestion process. This is the reason why many anabolic hormones are not ingested, they're injected (Insulin cannot be taken orally, nor can many forms of testosterone.  The active chemicals are present in the oral form, but once digested, are denatured into inactive chemicals and removed via the liver.)  If you are concerned about hormones, you can pay more for the "hormone free."

I don't care if you drink milk, nor am I telling you to start; if you do, SWEET, if you don't, SWEET!  As the American Cancer Society states, the evidence behind milk consumption is INCONCLUSIVE and more studies are needed.  Personally, I haven't had milk in ages due to my intolerance to lactose.  Recently, I began drinking lactose free milk (1-2 cartons a week) without any gastrointestinal distress.  I will continue to drink milk until otherwise noted.  It's frustrating hearing about the misconceptions about milk, and I care about the information being delivered to the public.  Research isn't typing in "is milk good for humans?"  Research done well is performed via a meta-analysis as seen below, and to date, milk (if you want to drink it), is FINE...

Meta-Analysis on Milk Consumption

Read more from the United States Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Food Regulation HERE

Speaking of detoxing, BEST MEME #4

Detoxing 101 summarized perfectly by the reliable and educated Jordan Syatt.  Succinctly put, be thankful for your kidneys, liver, and lungs, they take care of everything for you.  If you'd like some liver support because you drink more whiskey than an Irishman, drink more water, exercise, and supplement with some Milk Thistle.

Onto the last Best MEME #5

It doesn't matter the diet aka lifestyle, that you subscribe too.  What matters is if you can adhere to the diet for your life.  At the end of the day, WHATEVER works for you to be mentally and physically happy without harassing other people with your confirmation bias.  


Are you GREAT, or good?

May 25th, 2017, 4:30 am Santa Monica, CA.
Chris- "Hello Amber, how are you?"
Amber (Barista at Starbucks) - "I’m good Chris; Grande or Venti?"
While I paused to look up from The Snowball Warren Buffet and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder, I automatically replied, “Great Amber; Grande please!”  
My eyes widened as I smiled. 

In his book, From Good to Great, Jim Collins says, 

from good to great jim collins Show Up Fitness

As a regular of the 3rd street promenade Starbucks, you’d think that Amber would know what I order at 4:30 am every morning.  The feller in front of me has ordered the same thing for the last 5-months.  Frank and I walk in together and he has two coffees waiting for him on the counter.  As for me, I change my order daily because I don’t like routine.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions (yes, I keep to them) was to change my routines and get out of doing the same shit over and over again.  My main resolution was to change the way I respond when someone asks how I’m doing.  My trainer just walked in at 5:39 am and I asked him how he’s doing, “Good, going to get coffee.”  GRUMP.  Around 7:40 am when Bret comes in, it’ll sound like this, “Morning Bret, how you are doing?”  
Bret – “Good, Good, Good.”  Do three goods equal one great?  

Good is the enemy of great; CHANGE THAT MINDSET BOY!  

For me, it took over five months to automatically reply “GREAT” instead of the mundane “good.”  What score would you give someone who received a 90-100 on an exam?  GREAT!  What about a 70-80?  Good.  50-65?  Shitty!  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be closer to GREAT, rather than SHITTY.  What does all this mean?  We need to change our mindset and expectations for CHANGE, because change TAKES TIME!  

I was reading an interesting post by Show Up Fitness Academy Board of Education Dr. Layne Norton.  

Layne Norton weight loss Show Up Fitness Academy

For change to take place, you need to recognize the behavior, EDUCATE YOURSELF, and want to change it.  I'm a fitness fanatic; I may drink a keg of whiskey a week, but I still live and breath fitness.  I’m highly competitive and constantly disappointed with my outcomes (we all have those inner demon voices; I let them vent, but I NEVER LET THEM WIN.)  A common compliment is “you’re a very positive person.”  I better be- in The Vulgar Truth Diet II, I focus on a POSITIVE FUCKING MINDSET!  If it took this whiskey drinking, fitness lunatic almost 6-months to create a change, what’s a fair time frame for the average Joe / Jane?  Have you been Winning the Week for over seven years (I haven't taken a week off from lifting heavy shit in that time period)?  Do you carry yourself with a positive disposition?  Do you LOVE lifting heavy shit?  If the answer is NO, then stop beating yourself up- your fitness goals were probably too unrealistic to begin with.  Let us help change that.  From here on out, start by giving yourself a ton of mulligans.  If you go out and get drunk, WHO CARES, start again tomorrow.  If you eat a whole pizza, FUCK IT, start again tomorrow.  If you miss a workout, it doesn't matter- one workout will not change your body, it's the combination of them all over the course of a year.  When you talk negatively, all you do is allow those negative inner voices to take over and win.  Remember, YOU'RE IN CONTROL.  You need to learn to laugh at the mistakes.  It’s going to take a long time to make a positive change.  I tell our clients at Show Up Fitness, change will take around 6- months…if you have awesome hair like I do, otherwise, show up regularly, work hard, persevere, and in 9-18+ months, you’ll be a new you.   Don’t get mad or frustrated; GET EXCITED!  This is your life to own, start by recognizing the behavior and by telling people you’re GREAT, not good. 

Does the way you regurgitate a meaningless reply really mean anything?  Probably not, BUT, but the inner shrink in me says, why not start every day off by saying you're great?  

How to read lab results and a blood analysis

How to read lab results and a blood analysis

Howdy Show Upper's!  I'm excited to have my friend and MD, Doctor Chris Perry guest blog today.  He's been a great resource for Show Up Fitness to consult with in terms of contraindications for different medical issues.  He's recently developed an AMAZING sports supplement for endurance athletes that our trainers and clients LOVE.  Ultra 26 is the perfect recipe of caffeine, carbs, and protein to help push you through those tough workouts and/or endurance events.  Check out his website here and or stop on by Show Up Fitness Santa Monica for some free samples or containers of Ultra 26.

I've always been a fan of clients getting their blood analysed every 6-12 months.  It's a great way to monitor what you're putting into your body, how your heart and organs are functioning, and how exercise affects everything.  It's not about how "healthy" you look on the outside, it's about how well the engine and oil levels are working inside.  I challenge you to schedule an appointment to get your blood lipid profile, liver functioning, inflammatory markers, kidneys, and testosterone / hormone levels checked out.  If you're approaching menopause or over 50, throw in a bone-mineral density test (BMD) to see how strong your bones are (which will only get stronger from lifting HEAVIER weights.)  Doesn't hurt to get an STD / STI check as well.  They say it's best to keep it in your pants, but that ain't fun, is it?  So do the world a favor and make sure your juicy parts aren't jaded.  Mine came back all positive which is a great thing.  Wait a second, I mean NEGATIVE right?  I'm kidding, you want all your results to be NEGATIVE, just as mine were.  Instead of turning a blind eye, take responsibility for your actions by getting your blood analyzed bi-annually.  You'll be setting realistic goals and it's a great way to CRUSH 2017. Without further ado, I want to introduce you to a qualified professional who can analyze my lab results.  

Dr. Chris Perry. MD, CISSN, CNSC, and owner of Ultra 26.  

Dr. Chris Perry. MD, CISSN, CNSC, and owner of Ultra 26.  

Really stoked that my buddy Chris at Show-Up Fitness asked me to do a guest post for his blog.  Love what he and his trainers do out there, applying sound training principles and science in helping people meet their personal fitness goals.  And most of all, always emphasizing that the first and hardest step is just showing up!
Chris asked me to write about his blood work from his recent physical, in the hopes that I could further explain it.  With his permission, his recent results were as follows:
Hb A1C                                               5.2%
Alkaline Phosphatase                         60 U/L
Total Bilirubin                                      1.8 mg/dL
Alanine Aminotransferase                  33 U/L
Lipid Panel
            Cholesterol                              164 mg/dL
            triglyceride                              92 mg/dL
            HDL                                         80 mg/dL
           LDL Calculated                       66 mg/dL
           Testosterone                            613 ng/dL
To begin with, let’s take a look at the Hemoglobin A1c (or HbA1c for short).  The HbA1c is a common test that healthcare professionals use to screen for diabetes or, if you are already a known diabetic, to see how well your diabetes is being controlled.  It is useful because it gives a good idea of what your blood sugars have been running over the previous several months, as opposed to just what it is at this very moment.  Sort of like a baseball player’s batting average gives a better indication of how good his season going, rather than just judging him by his last at-bat.  A HbA1c below 5.7% is normal, and values between 5.7 to 6.4% are considered to be “pre-diabetic”.  A value of greater than 6.5% is considered to be diagnostic of diabetes (1). 
Next, let’s look at the liver tests: the alkaline phosphatase, the total bilirubin, and the alanine aminotransferase.  The liver is an incredibly complex organ, so obviously these tests are by no means comprehensive.  But they do act as a good screening test to alert us that something could be wrong. 
Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme found in many parts of your body, but primarily concentrated in the liver, the bones, and (for pregnant women) in the placenta.  With regards to the liver, alkaline phosphatase is an important part of the biliary system, so a raised level could indicate an obstruction.  Similarly, the total bilirubin also will go up if the biliary system is obstructed.  However, there are many other causes of elevations in these lab values, so often they just need to be repeated or to be followed up with an imaging test, such as an ultrasound.  For Chris, both levels are normal, so no issues there!
Like alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is also an enzyme found throughout your body but concentrated heavily in liver cells.  If your liver is damaged from hepatitis or any of a number of other causes, the cells release ALT into the blood stream causing the blood levels to rise.  A level above 60 is generally considered abnormal and warranting further evaluation.  Chris’s value of 33 is entirely normal.
Chris also seems to be good with his lipid panel.  The lipid panel is in general a very important part of our screening blood work to identify those at risk of developing heart disease.  Interpreting and applying the results can depend on a variety of factors, such as whether or not you have other risk factors (e.g. diabetes or high blood pressure), but a total cholesterol under 200 and a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol under 100 is acceptable for an average adult.  Chris’s triglyceride level is also great, being well under the goal of less than 150.  With high-density lipoprotein, a higher number is actually desirable, preferably above 60.  So Chris’s value of 80 puts him in a low-risk category for cardiovascular disease.
Chris’s testosterone levels are also within normal range, although this represents a bit of a more controversial topic.  Testosterone levels generally go down with age, leading to many of the physiological effects you normally see as you get older.  As a result, many have sought testosterone replacement therapy to overcome this normal decline.  However, this approach is controversial as there do exist risks, most concerning of which is a potential increase in prostate cancer (2).  Granted, the topic is very controversial, but with regards to over the counter testosterone replacement, the FDA specifically directs manufacturers of such products to state these products are only approved for men with low testosterone due to known causes (3).  My personal recommendation is to only consider testosterone replacement in conjunction with your physician.
Anyways, looks like Chris is okay until his next check-up.  I hope this information is useful to all of you.  Be sure to check out my blog at and follow me on social media (@ultra26sports) for more of my articles and info.  Happy holidays and remember to take care of yourself and keep up showing up!
Chris Perry, MD, CISSN, CNSC
Founder/Owner Ultra 26 Sports Nutrition® Products, LLC
Ultra 26


Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @ultra26sports

1. Chamberlain JJ, Rhinehart AS, Shaefer CF Jr, Neuman A. Diagnosis and Management of Diabetes: Synopsis of the 2016 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.  Ann Intern Med. 2016 Apr 19;164(8):542-52.

2. Huggins C, Hodges CV. Studies on prostatic cancer: I. The effect of castration, of estrogen and of androgen injection on serum phosphatases in metastatic carcinoma of the prostate. 1941. J Urol. 2002 Jul;168(1):9-12.

3. Nguyen CP, Hirsch MS, Moeny D, Kaul S, Mohamoud M, Joffe HV. Testosterone and "Age-Related Hypogonadism"--FDA Concerns. N Engl J Med. 2015 Aug;373(8):689-91.

The Chris Diet

The Chris Diet.  If you're looking for the best personal trainers in Santa Monica, look no further.  Chris Hitchko explains what he eats on a daily basis.  Carbs aren't bad, nor are proteins or fats.  Learn what your body functions best on by monitoring hunger and energy levels, while enjoying the foods you love.