Commenting Note

I've discovered a problem with TypePad's new commenting platform (TypePad Connect) that those who comment need to be aware of.

If you look at my three comments in reply to the troll on this post, let me inform you that I composed that as a single comment and could not get it to post no matter what (via email, directly on the form, with Safari, Firefox, IE; Mac or PC). Nothing worked. And, what happens is that when you post, the comment just goes away. No error with a return to your compose screen. Nothing. So, if you haven't saved what you've written, it could be lost.

The way I got it all up there was to break it into three parts, and that worked. So, that suggests the problem is with the length -- fabulous news for those who put the most effort into adding value to a post.

So, if this has happened to you, I'm dreadfully sorry. I have alerted TypePad and will keep on them. What I suggest is that when you compose a comment, select the text and copy into your clipboard. For added safety, a good method is to paste it into an email and email to yourself so you've at least preserved your work. I have no idea what length causes this blowup, so you'll just have to work that out each time; but if you're preserved your work you should be able to accomplish it.

Later: Please let me know via email (list on my about page) if you experience any issues with comments.

More Later: I believe I have found the issue (have alerted TypePad). It seems that if your comment has up to four URLs, no problem. If you have five or six URLs (and presumably more, but I only tested five and six), it blow up, doesn't post, and worse, you lose your work unless you've saved it elsewhere. This is probably not an issue for most, as it's rare to put that many URLs in a comment anyway. Just something to be aware of until rectified by TypePad.

Reader Questions and Results

Let's plow through another group. First up is some results from Deborah.

I stumbled across your site probably on a blogroll from someone else (Mark Sisson maybe), and have been enjoying your writing immensely. I'm trying very hard to stick to a Paleo diet (or the Eades plan or Atkins ... anyway, a way of eating based on principles of all three), and I find that it really helps to read all the bloggers. I just turned 56, and have had the same 25-30 pounds on my frame for so long I surely can't call it "baby weight" anymore. The babies are 21 and 19, for pete's sake. My husband, who is most marvelous in every other way, isn't particularly supportive of this way of eating, though at least he doesn't try to sabotage it (he's been told by the doc to skip the chicken skin, lay off the butter, all the usual doctorly advice).

Anyway. Deciding to take control of my own diet, I've finally lost a few pounds (I need to get from 185 or so down to at least 160, which on a large-boned woman who does weight training is, I think, reasonable), by eating protein and fat, cutting the bad carbs (yay, cauliflower) and weight training. And though the fat is now starting to come off slowly, I just feel so much better that I really relate to the posts on your blog about the major changes in well-being fostered by this way of eating. When energy, sleep, concentration and mood improve so drastically, there's no question about falling off the wagon.

Absolutely! Patience. The fat will come off, and in the meantime you get to feel great. As I saif in my email reply to you, you're husband is more likely to "evolve" into a Paleo-like approach as he observes the results you obtain. Be sure to always gently point out when he's tired and weary, and you're not, and can go and go.

Next, minneapolis J asks:

If I just want to grill hamburgers what sauces could I use that are more accomdalbe to paleo eating?

Well, I personally like to do the same sorts of sauces that I do for steaks and other meats (see the Food Porn category). Use a beef stock, reduce, and go to work. The possibilities are endless. Here's a couple of posts showing what I did sauce-wise for ground beef.

Low-Carb Meatloaf

How About Some Food Pics?

Another thing you can do is make your own tomato sauce, or get canned, and then spice it up with various things to make it Italian like, or more wild, such as with rosemary, sage, savory and such. Again, possibilities are endless, experiment, and never do it exactly the same way twice. That's my policy. Let us know how it goes, J. Also, I'll point out that J has decided to do some blogging, so I wish him well with that.

Brock emails:

I know nanotechnology isn't your normal blogging topic, but I thought this was relevant to why we should approach diet as scientists: confidently assuming we can understand with enough data, but humbly assuming we don't have all the data yet. This fascinating protein structure is common to all forms of life (which means it must be -really- important to be genetically preserved through a billion years of evolution), and we have no idea what it's for. Humbling.

It's important, now and then, that I reiterate my profound respect for science, medicine, and technology, as well as my confidence in man's mind, along with its ability to continually gain knoweldge, build, and improve human life.

Frankly, I would like nothing more than to pop a pill every day for perfect optimal nutrition, and plug into the wall to recharge. Well, perhaps that's going a little far; suffice to say that I strongly support efforts leading to "escape velocity".

Next up is Mario:

Great blog. I've been following your progress for some time now. I am a university instructor at UNM and CNM here in Albuquerque, and I must say, your enthusiasm for D3 is persuasive, which is why I thought you might find the following line of thought interesting. Taubes (who's book I know you've read) tells us (p.439) that seasonal weight fluctuations in hibernators suggest that annual fluctuations in insulin drive the yearly cycle of weight. He then speculates that this same mechanism might explain the annual patterns of weight fluctuations in humans as well. He cites two studies and states that "when researchers have measured seasonal variations in insulin levels...they have invariably reported that insulin in late fall and early winter [is] twice as high...and lowest in late spring and early summer." What is signaling these changes? Vitamin D3 may be a likely candidate since it is the one thing we know of for sure that is radically influenced by seasonal changes, especially since its peak synthesis occurs in the spring and summer in temperate climates.

I found two studies to support this notion (though I didn't really look very hard). A study from the Int. J. Clin. Pract. 2003 May, 57 (4) 258-61 evaluated the effect of D3 supplementation on insulin resistance and found a 21.4 % decrease in insulin resistance after one month. Another more recent study in Diabet. Med. 2009 Jan, 26 (1) 19-27 showed a similar effect. In light of your recent trip to Mexico and your extensive reflection and experience with this topic (and supplementation), I was wondering what your reflections are regarding this line of conjecture.

Well, this is probably a bit out of my league, and so those better educated, please chime in on the comments. By coincidence, this very thing was alluded to in Jimmy Moore's interview of Dr. Steven Gundry I blogged the other day.

Enlightened Heart Surgeons and Cardiologists

Bears, for instance, actually become insulin resistant, i.e., temporary T2 diabetic (perhaps signaled by eating sweet berries, length of day, sunlight, internal clock, or some combination). The body seems to know just what to do to pack on massive weight in advance of hibernation.

So, some of the same is likely going on in humans, only the hibernation never comes and the fat just stacks up year after year.

Well, that's it for this session. I'll hopefully be able to get to the rest by tomorrow.

Grassroots Health D Action

Thanks to commenter Dave, who alerted me to a great vitamin D study and service at GrassrootsHealth.

It's called D Action, and for $30 you can get a your vitamin D levels checked. You can do it once, participate for a year for two tests, or every six months for five years.

I just signed up for a year's participation.

The Latest Nonsense

By now, many have heard of the latest "study." Oh, sure. It's already in the news.

We randomly assigned 811 overweight adults to one of four diets; the targeted percentages of energy derived from fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the four diets were 20, 15, and 65%; 20, 25, and 55%; 40, 15, and 45%; and 40, 25, and 35%. The diets consisted of similar foods and met guidelines for cardiovascular health. [emphasis added]

That emphasis hides a lot of sin, I'll bet. Well, no need to guess, as they provide a reference for such guidelines:

...consume a diet rich in vegetables and fruits; choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods; consume fish, especially oily fish, at least twice a week; limit intake of saturated fat to <7% of energy, trans fat to <1% of energy, and cholesterol to <300 mg/day by choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives, fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1% fat) dairy products...

No wonder "high fat" is only 40%, and I'll bet they had a tough time getting even to that level. If I recall correctly, the average American diet is already about 30% from fat, so what are they showing? They certainly aren't emulating the Tokelauans at 50% saturated fat, or anything. Massai, Inuit? Forgetaboutit.

Well, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, because it's just ridiculous (with a shout out to: Frank M. Sacks, M.D., George A. Bray, M.D., Vincent J. Carey, Ph.D., Steven R. Smith, M.D., Donna H. Ryan, M.D., Stephen D. Anton, Ph.D., Katherine McManus, M.S., R.D., Catherine M. Champagne, Ph.D., Louise M. Bishop, M.S., R.D., Nancy Laranjo, B.A., Meryl S. Leboff, M.D., Jennifer C. Rood, Ph.D., Lilian de Jonge, Ph.D., Frank L. Greenway, M.D., Catherine M. Loria, Ph.D., Eva Obarzanek, Ph.D., and Donald A. Williamson, Ph.D. -- hey, guys & gals; enjoy).

Simply A few points:

  1. There's no such thing as a "low fat diet." They're all high fat diets if fat loss is the goal.
  2. The lowest carbohydrate intake of all the diets was a whopping (yea, I can do the media hype, too) 35%. Presuming an average 2,500 kcal intake per day, that's about 220 grams of carbs -- not "low carb" by any means. So, this is merely a comparison between various moderate to high carb approaches -- approaches that leave insulin high and fat mobilization low.
  3. The highest fat intake is only 40%. A true high fat diet is 60%+ of energy from fat. You can't go above about 35% from protein, and that's pushing it (25% is more realistic). Simple: protein remains about the same, and the tradeoff is between carbs and fat. This study was heavily weighted in favor of carbs, particularly when one considers that carbs hammer insulin and fat has little to no effect. High insulin = no fat mobilization.

In conclusion, they proved that all diets with excess carbohydrate are crap and deliver virtually no results for most people. Hopefully, Dr. Eades will take this up. Stephan, at Whole Health Source, hadn't seen it until I emailed him. He laughed, of course, and might take it up.

I'll stay tuned.

Warning: Respond Immediately to Philip Downey’s ([email protected]) Emails

No, really. Seriously. This is serious...

Judge for yourself.

~~~

From: Philip Downey <[email protected]>

YOu are nothing more than an internet scammer trying to make money

I really appreciate how you totally IGNORE my emails

You asshole.

2 emails longer than a week

Paleoman did nto live long you nut PLUS Loren Cordain an actual REAL educated man, KNOWS 800 year old Eskimos who ate an all meat diet had EXTENSIVE ATHEROSCLEROSIS

YOU OR I OR ANYONE ELSE WAS NOT AROUND THEN. YOU DON'T KNOW.

FURTHERMORE WE DON ;T KNOW HOW HEALTHY THEY WERE

GET IN THE MODERN WORLD

~~~

Yea, sorry about that; I've been busy counting all the money I'm making off all of you scam victims. But thanks, y'all. And you keep coming back for more.

Anyway, what's sort of instructive about the sort of person Mr. Downey is can be found in the question I did answer for him (in the order received, so I guess I owe a big apology to Michael, Marc, Liana, madmax, Paleo Newbie, and Ankit, all of whom waited even longer for answers or acknowledgement). The second email, incidentally, was yet another question about what Art De Vany advocates.

I'll simply point out that's it's ironic that I'm the "scammer," yet I am a paid, legitimate subscriber to Art De Vany's private blog and Mr. Downey apparently wishes that I essentially pass along Art's information to him for free so that he doesn't have to go to the time and expense himself. Incidentally, Art and many of his subscribers are very thorough at answering these questions in the comments of his subscription blog.

Alright, enough. For your general amusement, I've copied the other emails that have come in from Mr. Downey this morning. An abuse report has been emailed to Comcast after I warned him to stop, and he sent two additional emails. Finally, why am I doing this? Character matters. This will stay up forever; Googlable, forever. My apologies to the other Philip Downeys of the world, but I suspect those who know this one will understand what they're looking at.

[Read more...]

Reader Questions (Part 1)

I accumulated a number of questions while away, so this is where I'll attempt to deal with them. I'll have Part 2 up tomorrow (I went from oldest working my way to newest).

Michael asks:

I recently subscribed to your blog. I had tangentially followed dietary issues over the years, but never put much thought into what I ate. A few months ago, though, due to some new medicine I was on which decreased my appetite quite a bit, I started eating a lot less and what I did eat tended to be relatively high in fat. I've lost 15 pounds since then. Now, having discovered that there's a whole way of managing diet that lines up with my recent experience, I want to start doing it right. So, what's the best place to start for someone who needs to learn from the beginning about paleo eating? Any advice you can give will be very much appreciated.

Well, I think right here is a good place, as well as my other resources. It's not well organized, but over time -- not much -- you'll really start to pick up on things. I am attempting to organize things better on this page, and I'll try to get some more updates in there soon, but check out the links already there. In the meantime, feel free to ask further questions in email or the post comments.

Marc asks:

Question for on Vit. D supplements. Do you take sublingual tablets or regular (swallow) capsules? Curious if there is a big difference that you know off. Thanks in advance.

First, make sure it is D3 you are taking and not anything else. I take Carlson gel caps, 2,000 units each, three per day. They're the size of a raindrop. According to Dr. Davis, he has had no success with D3 in tablet form. See here.

This next is a comment from Liana. No question, really, but I did want to highlight its importance for you vegans and veggies out there.

Next is a comment from madmax:

This is tangentially related to this post but I am really curious of what you make of this. Is it me or does McDonald just not get it?

Without digging too deeply into it (I've read enough of his stuff in the past), I think he has not given adequate thought or attention to hormonal signals and hunger.

For me, it's about hunger, not calories at all. If you're hungry all the time, and it's usually that deep, gnawing, nauseating hunger when you are, you're going to fail. Now, whether you're fat 'cause you eat too much (McDonald), or you eat too much because you're fat (Taubes), it doesn't really matter in that context. Cure the hunger (Paleo-like does it every time -- as well as fasting), and you will revert to a natural human being in body composition over time.

Next, not a question as much as an admonition from an MD. Paleo Newbie says:

I used to try (I am out of my general medicine internship and into specialty now) to get all my diabetic patients to low carb diets but they cant quit the fast food and refined carbs and barely got any physical activity. I know you are very critical of pill pushing doctors but we don't get much to work with. Also, our hands are tied by medicare practice guidelines (we are reimbursed this way) or malpractice will follow. For example, a 6 month trial of diet and excercise for a patient with high blood pressure before we offer an anti-hypertensive unless the patient declines. In my personal experience, 1 out of every 30 or so patients gave a reasonable effort to get out and walk and change their diet. As such, I just added on the diabetic drugs and anti-hypertensive until control and wean once they do better. Do that, and you get labeled a pill pushing drone doctor. I could debate this for hours but I can't do much unless the patient takes some responsibility. I can't cure double cheeseburgers and milkshakes, but I can give you an extra 10 units of insulin!

Hah! "I can't cure double cheeseburgers and milkshakes, but I can give you an extra 10 units of insulin!" Beautiful, and you're exactly right. Thank Zeus (and all the gods who've come along later) that we have that stuff available. So, I agree. Help them however you can, even if it means giving them insulin so they can eat Snickers bars.

That said, I wish doctors would 1) think more independently, and 2) learn about proper nutrition and give patients the choice: "red pill, or blue pill," to reference The Matrix. T2 patients should know that insulin is an option but not generally a necessity. Looks like you're one of the good ones, Doc.

Ankit asks:

When you have a minute, could you tell me what you have against legumes? I'm curious to learn more, so if you could point me toward any information; I would appreciate. Its my understanding that if I were to remove the toxins via soaking; they would be an acceptable foodstuff. Look forward to your thoughts.

Well, I deal in principles and for a Paleo-like plan, legumes are somewhere on the scale that's worse then dairy (for most), better then grains. I just don't do them much. Yea, a couple tablespoons of refried beans (hopefully with lotsa lard) every now and then. I like things simple, I don't really need legumes (I like animal fat lots better), so it's my choice to avoid them 95% of the time. But, if you do, I believe lentils are the best in terms of available protein and low anti-nutrients. Also, always soak them. The Weston Price Foundation has a good article on that.

Philip asks:

Art seems to really know what he is talking about. Could you tell me how to do an Art DeVany approved workout. What does he advocate for cardio? (I already lift) A long one hour walk with random sprints? How often?

I don't really want to speak for Art, and I especially don't really want to be a surrogate for his paid subscription blog. That said, he explains his workout routine reasonably well in his EvFit essay. Unfortunately, the link to that is not working -- though it was very recently. I've sent Art an email to let him know, in case that was unintentional.

From what I recall, he does a hierarchical workout, i.e., he lifts until a burn sets in, increases the weight and immediately goes again until burn, then increases and immediately goes again. So, it might be something like 12, 6, 3 in terms of reps. Of course, you'll need to figure out the proper weight through trial. He doesn't advocate cardio at all. The heart, he contends, is designed to operate on randomness and not steady state. As for walking, we are of course evolutionarily designed to do a lot of it. I walk 3-4 miles per day and have been doing so for about 7 years. Yes, sprints are great (and Art had a post on it on his subscription blog just today).

Personally, I get good enough results with my trainer (an exercise physiologist), and so have never been that interested to follow Art's exercise advice in terms of weights (though, one day, when I decide to go it alone), so sorry I can't be of more help.

News Flash: Above 40% Dietary Calories From Fat Virtually Eliminates Heart Disease

The data is in:

Picture 11

Now quick, quick, and go see the shocking rest.

(Note: Ancel Keys was an utter fraud.)

And later: I hope everyone gets the tongue-in-cheek about this post...

Do You Need to Gain Weight? Try Paleo

For the most part, because it's the chief problem most face by far, people come and follow this and other blogs in order to lose weight (fat), recompose their bodies (lean to fat ratio), and to maintain.

But for a (lucky?) few, that's not the problem. Rather, they are skinny and can't seem to add muscle mass. For that, here's Nathan's story.

~~~

Two years ago, I tipped the scales at just over 130lbs. I'm 5'10" and living in Southern California, that didn't make for me feeling especially great about myself when hanging out at the beach. Don't get me wrong, I was not horribly depressed with the way I looked or anything, I just knew I could be better. I have always been the skinny guy, was sick of it and wanted some shape. I started hitting the gym 4x/week and following the "standard" bodybuilding diet of eating as much as I could, with very little effort to make sure it was quality food. Last summer, I was at a solid 150 and quite pleased with myself. On Oct. 1 I crashed my motorcycle and that quickly led into the holiday season, so I went for three months without going to the gym. In the meantime, I had been reading your site and began taking steps toward a paleo-style diet.

Immediately after Christmas, I started in on the paleo diet in earnest. On Jan. 5 I started hitting the gym again, still 4x/week, this time with a modified paleo diet and the difference has been amazing. Before, when doing a tough leg workout I used to get nauseous and/or lightheaded nearly every time from the strain. Neither has happened once since starting up again in January and I've been hitting it harder than before. I only rest 30 to 45 seconds between my sets except for when I switch exercises, when I grab a drink of water and then immediately start back up. My workouts went from an average of 60-75 minutes to 30-40 minutes and are much more intense. I have also been hitting the major muscle groups harder, as you suggest, to help stimulate the release of GH.

I was gaining lean mass previously, but was also gaining a bit of fat along with it. That is no longer the case. I checked my weight after the first week of lifting, 150 dead on. I am not looking to get huge, 170 or so should be good for me depending on how I look and feel. I have not checked weight since after that first week and won't until my birthday in April, but I have seen some great progress in six short weeks, much more than I saw in twice the time with my previous diet. Three of my shirts, which fit perfectly at the New Year, are now too small and I have yet to lose any definition in my abs, which is my only gauge for whether or not I'm gaining fat.

I just wanted to relate that this lifestyle will not only work for those who wish to lose weight, but for those who want to gain weight as well. It is a far cry from the "standard" bodybuilding diet of constant eating, but I have found it to be much more effective... not to mention easier to stick to. All the constant eating takes up lots of time. Instead I am eating good food when I'm hungry, feeling great and seeing great results.

Thank you for all the great information. People I talk to still think I'm slightly crazy but there is no denying the way I feel and the results I see.

~~~

Thanks for the great story, Nathan; and congratulations to you for listening to your body and making that your primary guide. It never surprises me. That's because this blog is about the principles of evolutionary biology. That is our guiding light. It should be no surprise that when living in accordance with sound principles delivers the goods every time.

Enlightened Heart Surgeons and Cardiologists

Hopefully, this sort of ignorance, that I blogged about here, will someday be a thing of the past.

Surgeon Shyam Kolvekar from The Heart Hospital at University College London, who performed Mr Haj's triple bypass, said cases like this were increasingly common and highlighted the dangers of eating too much saturated fat.

A priori thinking: "his heart is clogged with saturated fat, thus eating saturated fat is what caused it." That's false, as well as being ignorant of the research; it's also ignorant of the fact that high saturated fat-eating primitive cultures don't get heart disease.

As you know, I've many times highlighted the work of Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who used to be ignorant, just like the guy above, and who now detects and reverses heart disease, all the while his patients eat plenty of fat.

Then just recently, I highlighted another hero: heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell, in two parts (Part 1 / Part 2). You know what Dr. Lundell says about himself? He says that he "made a big mistake."

Picture 10 Now comes Dr. Steven Gundry, Director of The Center for Restorative Medicine at The International Heart and Lung Institute for Advanced Cardiac Surgery in Palm Springs, California, as well as being Clinical Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He was named America's Top Doctor by Castle-Connolly Publications, for three three years running.

He has also invented many of the instruments used in heart transplants, and specialized in infant heart transplants. So, don't listen to me. But please do listen to Dr. Gundry.

And, you can. Jimmy More did a two-part interview with him a couple of months back. Jimmy called it his favorite interview yet, and that's inclusive of many great people he's interviewed in about 200 podcasts so far. I have to agree. It was very fascinating.

Dr. Gundy himself lost 70 pounds on a Paleo-like diet, although he advocates that after the initial super high-fat, high protein, low carb phase that one gradually transitions to a sort of modified raw vegan approach, i.e., mostly greenish vegetable matter (which is about half vegetable protein, by the way) with about 5-10% of calories coming from animal and fish protein. He points out, correctly, that no primates are vegetarians. They eat lots and lots of bugs in the process of eating leaves, limbs, and stalks. At any rate, I'm fine with that, if that's what you prefer. Not for me in a million years, but such a diet is in every way vastly superior to the SAD (standard American diet).

Now, how do you think Dr. Gundry became enlightened? He tells the story in the first part of the interview, but let me just recount it to wet your appetite. It was about 7 years or so ago that a male patient in his 40s came to him, had already had several heart attacks, and had been pronounced inoperable, as every single artery was 95% clogged. In essence, he had been given a death sentence, and it was only a matter of time.

About a year later, the gentleman returned to see the doctor and begged him to do another angiogram. Guess what? The 95% blockages had been reduced to 50% blockages. So, a "know nothing" -- kinda like me -- cured the profound ignorance of one of the world's top heart surgeons and changed Dr. Gundry's life and medical approach for good.

Now, go listen to these marvelous interviews.

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 179: Dr. Steven Gundry Takes Low-Carb Through A ‘Diet Evolution’ (Part 1)

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 180: A Closer Look At Dr. Steven Gundry’s ‘Diet Evolution’ (Part 2)

If you want to know more, then you can also get his book: Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You--And Your Waistline--And Drop the Weight for Good.

Sprinting

Still trying to get to the lingering emails and comments I've not replied to. They will all be handled today as my head is now above water.

Well, I had hoped to maintain or even lose fat on my vacation, but it was not to be. I gained 3 pounds. I ate pretty Paleo the whole time, excepting a few sessions with a few corn tortilla chips with salsa and/or guacamole (I usually felt awful for several hours after -- I've simply lost my tolerance for them, just as you can build and then lose tolerance for alcohol, nicotine, caffein). Speaking of alcohol, that was another issue, most likely. I consumed it daily in immoderate amounts of spirits over a long period of time (afternoon to late evening), though never enough to become noticeably intoxicated. The other thing is that I didn't fast until beginning the trip home on Sunday, where I had breakfast in Puerto Vallarta, then went trough the process of enjoying the last few hours on the beach, getting to the airport, flying to LA, driving 1 1/2 hours down to Vista, spending the night, then getting up in the morning for the 7 hour drive back home. I finally ate Monday evening and accounting for the two hour time gain on the way back, the fast was just shy of 36 hours.

Traveling is an excellent opportunity to fast.

I also didn't work out in the standard fashion. Instead, I sprinted barefoot on the beach for three sessions during the week. I was impressed with the results, especially when I consider how little time of actual exercise is involved. Once again: high intensity wins the day. Here's what I learned:

  • For the first session, I did two sprints, all out for about 20 seconds each (about as much as I could take). Running on moist and slightly packed beach sand is quite different from running on grass or a paved surface. In each, I exploded off the line with full intensity, and quickly developed quite a tightness / cramping in my quadriceps, especially the left; and in exactly the same way I used to get it in HS playing soccer -- a sport that requires explosive bursts. So, the explosive off-the-line bursts limited what I could do that first time. 
  • Also, I was trying to do long strides and I quickly found that a long stride seemed to equal less intensity. Think about it. A sprint is mostly push, little if any pull. If you get your foot way forward, you can't push until the weight of your body gets over the point of pivot. So, more time equals less intensity. I shortened my stride substantially in sessions two and three and got way more intensity out of it, with full-body results that were quite noticeable. I suspect that for world class sprinters, the name of the game is to develop a lot of intensity with a long stride. Of course, part of why they use spiked shoes is to give them the ability to pull with their foot until their body weight going forward gives them the leverage to instantly shift to push.
  • Though I want to be able to develop the ability to explode off the line with full intensity, I let that go for now in sessions two and three. As such, I was able to get in four sprints in each of those sessions instead of two. So, a bit of a tradeoff; no benefit from the initial explosion, but double the sprint time. What I did was begin with a jog and immediately and steadily accelerated to all out, in a time compressed to maybe three seconds, at most. You want to very quickly get to full intensity. So, rather than 1-2 strides to full speed off the line, it was maybe 6-7 strides. 

I was really blown away by the results. I've sprinted now and then in the mornings, walking the dogs, out on a paved surface. However, I never felt any particular result I could identify. This is perhaps because I was doing my two intense sessions at the gym anyway, so it would have been difficult to attribute any results to the sprinting. However, I didn't do any workouts this vacation week and I can definitely say that the sprinting essentially gave me the same feeling, i.e., that wonderful substantial muscle tightness for the next two days, and not just in the legs, but over my entire body. In essence, I felt as though I'd gotten a good workout of my arms, chest, back and shoulders.

Quite amazing. I'm now firmly sold on sprinting as part of my weekly routine.

Later: Having thought about Keith's comment setting me straight on the push/pull issue, I have to conclude he's right. If you watch sprinting, bodies tend to be erect / vertical, so it has to be more of a pull than a push once off the line.