EDITORS NOTE: The following is further correspondence between myself and Inner Circle members that I think you might find helpful, or offensive. One or two are from Facebook.
Q. Pat, I’ve had terrible anxiety most of my life but it really flares up whenever I do high intensity workouts. What’s wrong with me? (Ashley)
A. An interesting question, and something I think I can help you out with. Anxiety issues are a chemical imbalance, yes, but not the kind of chemical imbalance Zoloft commercials would have you believe.
As with any issue with the mind we must find the correlating body issue. Everything is connected, and everything matters. And the answer, I assure you, is not any attempt at treating the brain directly with pharmaceuticals (SSRIs or other such anti-depressants) which are proving to be more and more harmful as research emerges. As well, they only mask symptoms and do not treat the root cause, they do not even PRESUME a root cause exists. But there is ALWAYS a root cause to mental “disorders”–anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive, and right on down the long line.
Diet needs to be addressed first, because every good “cure” starts with food. Simply getting rid of carbs and having your brain run on fat will immediately correct many issues. Sugar is a major contributor to anxiety, depression, and other such issues, and needs to be eliminated entirely and completely. Getting enough quality fats is also essential for healthy and normal brain function. I recommend plenty of high quality coconut oil and high quality fish oil when switching over to a low-carb diet. In brief, take a low-carb and primal approach to eating.
Secondly, is finding the true cause of your anxiety issues, or where the imbalance is coming from. In my experience, and with studying under many doctors far more experienced than myself on this, it’s usually one of two things: it’s either a liver issue or an adrenal issue. More commonly, it’s both. [To find out exactly what your issue is you will need to seek a competent doctor of transformational medicine, or something similar, and get assessed.]
If your liver is flabby and your adrenals are burnt, then you are guaranteed issues. The liver is what makes it possible for the brain to run preferentially on fat, and to function optimally. If you liver isn’t working right, then neither can your brain. Adrenal fatigue, too, can cause anxiety, and more commonly depression.
After identifying the fundamental issues, a simple (or complex) herbal regimen is the next step. A possible regimen to correct issues with the liver and adrenals could look something like this (NOTE: I am not giving doses, brands or instructions, because I am NOT recommending this as a specific protocol for anybody. For such specifics, you would need a personalized assessment and consult. My intention with this is to simply show you what such herbs are effective for what).
For the Liver: Artichoke Leaf, Dandelion Root, Milk Thistle Fruit, Bupleurum Root, Fringe Tree Stem Bark
For the Adrenals: Licorice Root, Rehmannia Rhizome
For Anxiety: Bacopa, Kava (water extract only), Valerian
*Typically a whole-foods based vitamin and mineral supplement would also be required
Again, don’t go and try and figure this out on your own, that would be exceedingly imprudent, and I am in no way even suggesting that this would be the right regimen for you. Simply this is an example of what such a possible regimen MIGHT look like.
At any rate, I hope I have given you some actionable advice and set you in the right direction.
Q: Pat, my girlfriend is a vegan and wants me to try it out for a month. I’m sick of hearing her argue that people aren’t meant to eat meat, so I think I’m going to try it out. What are your thoughts? (Dave)
A. Grass is green. Dogs have tails. Rain is wet and Hell is hot. The sun is bad climate for a snowman, and the only way a train can run is on the tracks. Cats suck. Peanut butter goes with jam, the sun comes up in the Japan and goes down in California, and mudcats are of a very low quality of species.
These are definite and easily discernible truths, and so nobody argues them. People quarrel only over things they are unsure about, or insecure about, or desperately want to be true, but aren’t. Politics is a good example, the economy is another. Diets, too. (But when is the last time you heard somebody argue over the wetness of rain?)
Vegans: They have constructed a moral philosophy of how the world SHOULD be, and have tried fitting the world to it. And this is the problem with most philosopher types, evidently. They make round ideals and try to fit them into a square reality. What they should do is just take five seconds to see what’s really going on, accept things as they are, and stop insulting Nature by acting like they know better.
I saw a hawk come down and tear the life out of a rabbit once, and it was just so gruesome how that big bird mangled his prey into rags and guts, and how that little rabbit just screamed and strained in one gigantic contortion of pain, and was dead. It was the most vicious thing I think I’ve ever seen. But whoever said nature is humane?
Vegans; so they won’t butcher so many horned cattle, but will boil away a whole society of streptococcus? At what point down the chain of complexity has life lost value? And why?
This has been a question never acceptably answered for me.
[That said, I think animals should be raised healthily and treated humanely. I think you should visit your food while it’s alive, and know exactly where it’s coming from, and know how it’s treated or mistreated. Happy cows, you know…]
Q. Pat, I’m Curious about which program you would recommend and the differences between The Modern Womna’s Guide to Strength Training and Jen Sinkler’s Lift Weights Faster Program? Both seem very similar? (Devyn Peterson)
A. Devyn, I will briefly offer my input, and then I’ll let Molly chime in.
Programs, similar or dissimilar, are never mutually exclusive. For example, Pavel’s programs and Dan John’s programs, two men I greatly admire, both take a very similar approach to strength. However, I have never thought of just getting “one or the other.” I get them both, I study them both, I learn from them both, then I do JUST one.
That last point is important and enormous. When it comes to programs from great coaches like Jen and Molly, or Dan John or Pavel, or whoever, get them all, study them all, but don’t try to DO them all. I mean, don’t try and do them all at once. Pick one, and do it, and do it all the way through before moving onto the next one.
I’ve studied both Jen and Molly’s programs. I’ve learned from both of them, stolen ideas, already, from both of them, and think them both fantastic, and both worth far more than what either of these two ladies are so graciously charging for them.
So, I recommend that you, too, acquire both, study both, and then do just one. Then do the other and decide for yourself, after giving them both a fair run, which is a better fit for you and your lifestyle.
Now, as to the particular differences between the two programs, here is what Molly has to say:
Q. Pat, I came up with this kettlebell complex, by your and Som’s inspiration. It’s called the interrupter. Any feedback? (Mike)
A. Mike, I like this. It’s easy to paint a complex up gaudy, and make it so colorful and outlandish as parrot, but you’ve demonstrated sensibility here–snatch with a mid-rep thruster. Is this original? If so, I’m stealing it.
Questions? Comments? Drop them in the comment section.