Episode 174: The Last with Fass?

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Kevin Larrabee (Twitter),  Dr. Jonathan Fass,

and Leigh Peele


  • Winners!!!
    • TRX Gift Card: BKMacky9288 (iTunes)
    • Valslides: @DanielMossler
    • T-shirt: @mx5d (Debby L)
  • Videos
  • Jason Ferruggia Episode
  • TODD DURKIN (questions@thefitcast.com)
  • Steve Cotter (questions@thefitcast.com)
  • Vibrams
  • Accountability Blog revamp
  • So Long Jon
  • What Up Leigh?


  • Hey again Kevin, Leigh (whattup), and DOCTOR Fass,

    My question relates to artificial sweetners such as Stevia, Splenda, etc… . I’ve heard that in some individuals, simply introducing the taste of sweetness to the tongue can increase insulin levels in the body (through the secretion of incretins???). Would it be possible to determine this, on the individual level, by testing one’s blood sugar then applying (swishing) an artificial sweetner to the tongue; wait 5-10 minutes and testing the blood sugar again to see if there is a drop? Would this be a valid test to determine a person’s sensitivity to artificial sweetners as it relates to insulin? If yes, what are your thoughts regarding the applicability of this type of test with body-composition (competitive or otherwise) oriented clients?

    As always, thanks for all the effort you guys put into making such a great podcast!

    Alex Europa
    Owner, CrossFit Barbarian Fitness

  • (For Leigh)I have a super long commute and I recently started to download your podcasts for listening in the car. I wanted to thank you because I am really enjoying them and learning a lot.
    I just listened to the interview with Alli McKee and I checked out her blog as well where she describes her figure training in more detail. I was struck by how intense the training seemed for a fat loss stage and was curious about the deficit a person could handle while performing that type of training. She didn’t go into a whole lot of detail about diet on her blog, I assume because she has a diet coach who doesn’t want to publicize everything. I was curious what your thoughts are about what is an appropriate deficit to support this type of training but still lose bodyfat.



  • (For Jon) Hello gang! I am resending this question in response to kevin’s statement from the 3/28 episode that went something like,”if we don’t get to your questions please follow-up and ask again…” I do apologize if you answered this and I missed it but I really tried to listen hard.

    Beginning in high school I have always back squatted to a bench or box. Never “ass to grass” with a lot of weight. I can go parallel to the bench with 315 for 10 easily, I weigh170lbs and have been lifting for 10 years straight.

    My questions and comments are: am I missing out in some way on not going all the way down? My main goal is strength and not-so-much physique. The bench does feel like a psychological crutch. I think if I didn’t have the bench there I would not even attempt 315 because I’ve been using the bench for so long now. Will there be something gained in scratching this crutch and going “ass to grass” with lighter weights?

    Thank you so much! -Wes

  • (For Jon) Hey guys, good (expletive of choice) show! Been listening for about a month just catchin up on all the past episodes. My question pertains to a friend of mine (and by friend of mine I mean me of course). When doing a Standard pull up, overhand pronated grip, I seem to to elevate faster on my right side, my left shoulder visibly below my right. Any ideas on how to fix this problem?


  • (We hit on this a few episodes back, Episode 169) Top of the morning to you !
    Great show last week , I really enjoyed it, you really got theenergy of the seminar across Kevin (maybe it was the Spike!!)
    Once a week I train 2 friends Des and Jason at the local leisure centre. I cant get them past 2 or 3 reps on the assisted pull up machine (with out assistance) yet have been trying for years !!! After 2 sets they need to use the assistance. I have tried getting them to do sets of 1 rep for a few weeks, but that did not help . After pull ups we use the smith machine – lying under the bar, body horizontal, pulling up so chest hits the bar. They can do 7 reps a set at this. Usually they do 6 or 7 sets (with decreasing reps )until they cant do any more.
    They only do pull ups once a week, I told them they need to do them more often, any suggestions on how to up their total, more use of the lat pull down machine may be ? ( No pull up bar or bands available)

    Appreciate any advice !
    David in Belfast

  • (For Kevin) What up guys,
    (I meant to write this via e-mail first, then leave a separate comment on the fitcast site. In my haste to get an entry for the raffle, I screwed up the order.)
    I’ve been listening for about 40 episodes now, and all you guys have really helped me along in my training and reaching my fitness goals. Over the holidays I picked up both a TRX and a set of Valslides for myself. My question regards the differences between the two apparati. For exercises that have both a TRX and a Valslide variation such as mountain climbers, atomic pushups or hamstring curls, is there any appreciable difference performing them on the TRX vs. the Valslide when it comes to factors such as core activation or muscle isolation? Or does it vary from exercise to exercise?
    Thanks in advance,


  • I’m a 25 year old American girl living in Finland for the time being. I graduated from College with a degree in Psychology in 2007 and immediately following graduation, I moved overseas with my husband rather than continuing school for a graduate degree in Counseling.

    When I moved over seas I decided to begin taking courses and certifications in the Health and fitness related fields. I have always been interested in helping people and I have also always been a fitness enthusiast and an athletic person. Since beginning my studies, I have completed the NASM Certified Personal trainer, the AFPA Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Cert, as well as the NASM Corrective Exercise specialization cert etc. I’m not able to work while I’m living overseas and the language barrier makes it difficult to find people I can work with so I’ve really been spending all my time reading articles, taking Certs, reading books (the Lou Schuler books, Alwyn Cosgrove, tom venuto etc etc), studying anatomy etc…my husband thinks I’m obsessive haha… I really just have so much of an interest and desire to learn more that at times the more I learn the more I realize how much I don’t know!

    What is your advice to me to continue learning and to prepare myself to start working? the hardest part is that I haven’t had much experience with actually training other people that aren’t my friends of family. What can I read to help me with planning programs? Are there any seminars in the Midwest that I can attend? (in the summer I live in North Dakota, I’ll be working at a local gym there as well) Do new trainers attend those seminars as well? In my distant future (10 year plan) I want to open a gym that offers more semi personal training and kettlebell, body weight etc. that you guys all speak of so often on the Fitcast (my town doesn’t have anything like this aside from the University that is located in the town). what can I read or take to help me learn more about this style of workouts?

    sorry if this is long and rambling but I have been listening to the podcasts for three weeks now slowly making my way through all the old episodes. I’ve been hesitant to write in just because I don’t want to ask questions that have already been answered…

    by the way, I listened to the episode yesterday where Kevin says he has trouble with his public speaking because he is staring at a blank wall and Leigh’s remedy was to set up stuffed animals with little dumbbells and word bubbles…I was laughing out loud while doing my stretching in the gym…happens often while tuning in…

    thanks for the entertainment and info! -Aunna

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8 Responses

  1. Debby L says:

    Cool! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I see I won a shirt!

    I am listening to the show as I type this. Good luck with your Vibram Five Fingers. I did intervals in mine today. Started with minimal shoes a little over 2 years ago and progressed to the Vibrams last summer.

    Didn’t have any calf issues with the vibrams, due to already being a forefoot striker.

    Back to listening to the show…

  2. Chris S says:


    I’ve been using the Vibram Five Fingers for about 8 months now and I have to say I wouldn’t lift without them. My ankle mobility has improved tremendously and I feel much more grounded when performing single leg exercises. Give them some time and they will grow on you.

    Also I have to chime in that I’m a toe walker too, always have been as long as I can remember. It really does contribute to my calves as well being almost 18″ @ 5’10” 210 lb with only some minor work every third week or so. The Vibrams have really helped stretch out my achilles tendon and the tightness and muscle cramps I used to get in my calves due to the toe walking nature has subsided slightly.

    They can really be used for anything too, so far I’ve been: lifting, hiking, mountain biking, golfing, and even swimming in them.

    The availability is something a lot of people struggled with, Vibram really didn’t anticipate the positive response this great with them. From their initial production they tripled production last year and this year they are working on increasing production 6 times over just to keep up with demand. New models are coming out too, and I’m excited about the running specific model the Bikila (http://birthdayshoes.com/five-fingers-bikila-information-resources-2010).

    Sorry about the lengthy post, these issues really just hit home with me.

  3. daniel says:

    Yeah! Valslide goes to germany;) Thanks Kevin for the price,
    it can hardly expect them to my training to install. And does not become lazy
    with your blog at KevinLarrabee.com, wait for the next blog entry. Not that it takes as long as Jon’s blog;)

    Great show, keep up boys and girls

  4. Carol says:

    I haven’t listened to the show, I’m really hoping that Jon is not leaving the show…..

  5. John W. says:

    Hey Kevin, thanks for the shoutout on this week’s show 🙂

  6. Brendan McGreevy says:

    WOOT WOOT!!! So how do I redeem that Badazz TRX card ??

  7. Bentzurm says:

    Kevin great podcast. One thing though, there is not k or x in especially. Please

  8. Aunna says:

    Listened to the show…My question was answered and it was exactly what I was looking for ! It was so great to get that kind of feedback….
    For future reference…my name is pronounced like ON-a but Anya does sound exotic…and YES living in North Dakota is very much in the middle of nowhere! but hey, living in -50 degree weather in the winter and having to entertain ourselves with little resources gives us character!:) thanks again!
    and Jon, Good luck !…its been an amazing experience for me to travel and live in Europe so enjoy it and take advantage of it!