Monday, January 18, 2016



Some of you may know that the legendary John Howard, 3-time Olympian, Ironman champion, and former world record bicycle land speed holder (153 mph), is undergoing Maximum Overload training, and his metamorphosis from great to greater will be documented in the book I am now writing with M.O. creator Jacques DeVore. Well, since John is a renowned coach himself, he couldn't help but see MY tremendous potential to become a world-class athlete. I politely suggested that I have already missed that window by 4 decades, but Howard would have none of it. He knows talent when he sees it, even when everyone else apparently missed it altogether, and insisted that I come down to his house/cycling museum in Encinitas today and undergo my first computerized SpinSpan session and his own patented anatomical analysis. The results:
SpinScan found that my right leg was way underpowered compared to the left. John did not need the sophisticated analysis to see why: My right hip was stiff, compacted and locked-up. However, being a trained Dynamic Motion Therapist and ex[pert bike fitter, John went to work on me. After just a few minutes of his rotational stretches and hands-on bodywork, my hip loosened up, my sacrum leveled off (it had been crooked), and my efficiency went through the roof; compared to a half-mile time-trial test I did 30 minutes earlier, my power jumped by 20 % on a second test. "You have the power," he said, "and now you are learning how to use it."  Howard himself is learning stretches from Jacques to limber-up his kyphotic thoracic spine, which will allow him to safely lift more weight, which will increase his sustainable power.
As for me, with Jacque's Maximum Overload and Howard's coaching, clearly the sky's the limit for my future cycling greatness.
Did I mention that Howard is also a car collector?  His red 1951 Jag goes for $150k

Go to or the Bikeforlifebook Facebook page to see more. Photos below: Howard trying to fix my misaligned legs with several hip mobility stretches; his home is a veritable cycling museum; he also restores classic cars; John on the podium with the gold medal at the Pan Am Games in Columbia in 1971, finishing in first place at the 1981 Hawaii ironman, and setting a new world land speed record of 153 mph in 1985 on the Bonneville Salt Flats. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

CrossFit's War on BIG SODA.
Coke and Pepsi don't want warning labels  spelling out the dangers of sugar on their cans and bottles. Greg Glassman, the outspoken founder/owner of CrossFit, does, and says he's dedicating his life to reduced sugar consumption. 

I had a story in the L.A. Times on Sat. Jan 2, 2016  ( about CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, who is pushing for support of  California State Bill # 203, which would make California the first state to put warning labels on sugar-laden colas and sports drinks,  noting their contribution to obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes. The story named names, spotlighting the state senators who abstained from a crucial vote last year that killed the bill. The same bill is up for a vote again in 10 days.

FYI:  The story was toned-down in the editing process, deleting any mentions of a link between beverage industry contributions  to politicians and their votes (or non-votes) on this issue. So while the thrust of the story is intact,  the politicians and the Coke- and Pepsi-led American Beverage Association (ABA) got off easy. Also removed: Some quotes from Glassman that referred to his attempts to meet with one of the four state senators who helped defeat the bill by abstaining from a key committee vote: Isadore Hall of Compton, who ironically has his own anti-obesity/diabetes  website for kids that warns against consuming soft drinks.  After that, Glassman threatened to spend big money ("$5 million") to unseat  Hall in his bid for a US Congressional seat this fall, backing an opponent more favorable on the cola issue.

The big picture to me here that it's only fair to ask politicians to be accountable to the public.  Saying one thing and doing another?  The press has a responsibility to call attention to this.

You can read my original story here:

CrossFit flexes its muscles against sugar and “Big Soda” 
Aiming at diabetes and obesity, it presses for warning labels on cans and bottles
by Roy M. Wallack
CrossFit changed fitness. Now, the high-intensity workout colossus, with 13,000 licensed gyms world-wide, 150,000 trainers, and millions of gasping participants frantically doing burpees, thrusters and clean-and-jerks, wants to get us to cut back on sugar-packed sodas and energy drinks, considered by many the key agents in the steep rise of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
“We’re in a holy war with Big Soda,” said CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman to a crowd of 200 at Carson CrossFit on a Saturday night in late November. “It's killing this country's health." 
Pitting CrossFit against the powerful beverage industry, Glassman recently led a dozen rallies at affiliated gyms across the state in support of State Bill # 203 (SB203), the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Safety Warning Act. Sponsored by Bill Monning, D-Carmel, SB203 would make California the first state to require sugar warning labels on soft-drink cans, bottles and vending machines The warning, similar to that on cigarette packs, would read, "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."   Labels are known to lower use by causing people to think before they drink. 
The Coke- and Pepsi-backed American Beverage Association (ABA), which represents the soft-drink industry, has lobbied hard in influential California; in 2014, it spent $12 million against proposed soda-tax laws in San Francisco and Berkeley. SB203, up for a vote on January 13, 2016, was defeated a year ago in a narrow loss widely credited to ABA pressure.  Despite a poll that showed 74% of voters favor warning labels, the bill failed in the 9-person Senate Health Committee, which voted 4 "ayes," one "nay" and 4 abstentions, one short of the five "ayes" needed. One more vote for the resubmitted bill next month, will move it forward. 
Although CrossFit would see no financial gain from reduced soda use, it's a mission for Glassman. He's been anti-sugar for decades. 
"Training thousands of clients taught me that you are not going to exercise your way out of a shitty diet," he said. So in 2000, when he operated a single gym in Santa Cruz, he made "Eat No Sugar" a part of CrossFit’s philosophy. Today, rich beyond his wildest dreams and determined to do the right thing, Glassman flew up to Sacramento to meet anti-Big Soda and pro-SB203 crusader Dr. Harold Goldstein, founder of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. He hired a high-priced lobby group, built a website called to generate emails, and targeted his November gym talks to the abstainers’ districts. 
Claiming 4,500 emails were generatedGlassman says he'll ask the rest of his 900 California gyms to swamp the senators with 100,000 emails if he has to — as well as organize his own Political Action Committee and threaten to financially back the abstainers’ opponents in the next election. 
So far, a month before the vote, the abstainers haven't budged. All four, Health Committee Chairman  Dr. Ed Hernandez (D -West Covina), Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside), Isadore Hall III (D -Compton), and Janet Nguyen (R -Garden Grove), ignored calls to talk with Glassman and to comment to the Times for this story. Among them are three Democrats, a doctor, an African- American, and two districts with large black and Hispanic populations, groups that disproportionately suffer high diabetes and obesity rates — roughly 1.5 as much as whites and Asians, according to several studies.   
Senator Nguyen's chief of staff, Mark Reeder, admitted his boss’ abstention didn't go down well in the heavily Hispanic district, which includes Santa Ana. "We got a fair amount of unhappy letters back in April, generally saying 'It’s a health issue,'" he said. "Some minority groups met with us, thinking they are being targeted by the soda makers."  

The ABA also turned down a Times interview request;  its CalBev affiliate sent this statement: “Addressing obesity and diabetes is more complicated than a warning label, which is why California’s legislators have repeatedly rejected misguided policies like S.B. 203." 
Health activist Goldstein, a force behind SB203, wasn't surprised. He’s fought Big Soda for two decades, winning a soda ban at California schools in 2006 and a calorie labeling on restaurant menus in 2010. 
 "The beverage industry tries every trick in the book —  campaign contributions, hiring their own researchers," he said.  "They've been paying politicians to keep quiet for a long time. They beat soda taxes in Chicago and San Francisco. They’re fighting tooth and nail to kill SB 203. "
When 76% of Berkeley’s electorate voted "yes" on the nation’s first-ever soda tax in 2014, ABA spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger issued a warning: “Berkeley is not like mainstream America. If politicians in this country want to stake their reputations on what Berkeley’s done, then they do so at their own risk.”
Goldstein hadn't heard of CrossFit when Glassman called him last summerHe advised targeting Hall, an African-American, Compton native, city councilman, state assemblyman and senator since 2008, and now candidate for the U.S. 44th Congressional seat in 2016.  Thought to be less subject to ABA lobbying efforts, Hall’s district was also home to 40 CrossFit gyms and the annual CrossFit Games at Carson’s Stub Hub Center. Despite that, he cancelled two appointments with Glassman, including on December 16 after Glassman had flown into LAX from his Arizona home. 
“I don’t think he had a choice,” said an irked Glassman. “Hall's stuck. He picked his allies early. Well, now I go to Plan B: Support his opponent in his campaign for Congress. His district is 70% Latino, and I’ll back his Latina opponent in the Democratic primary, Nanette Barragan [mayor pro-tem of Hermosa Beach], who is making ‘health inequity’  —unequal health care for minorities — a key issue. I’ll throw $5 million into his face. I’ll have people dig into his finances — and expect to see lots from the ABA.” 
Glassman, used to seeing people sprout muscles and shed fat in a few weeks, knows beating Big Soda will take time.  "Money is no object," says the 58-year-old father of seven, six of them aged from 9 years to six months. "Every day in the gym, we fight chronic disease, but the debilitating effects of sugar are overpowering.  For the rest of my life, I'll be a one-issue guy — and it’s not global warming or ISIS. It’s reducing sugar consumption." 


IS ABOUT TO GET ...........      FASTER !!!

The white-haired gentleman above is the great JOHN HOWARD, 3-time Olympian, Hawaii Ironman Triathlon winner, and man who set a bicycle speed record of 153 mph behind a rocket car on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Almost 70, he's still a monster, having won the 75-mile race at the Tour de Tucson last month (in 3:07!). That's 24 mph!

Now he is training to take it to the next level. Agreeing to be a "guinea pig" for a new training book I am writing (more on this below), Howard is doing MAXIMUM OVERLOAD -- the radical strength-training program developed by coach-to-the-stars JACQUES DeVORE. Jacques coached time-trail specialist Dave Zabriskie in his last year, with exceptional results. I briefly wrote about MAXIMUM OVERLOAD in pgs 57-to-60 of my book "BIKE FOR LIFE: HOW TO RIDE TO 100 — AND BEYOND." Now Jacques and I are turning MAXIMUM OVERLOAD into an entire book for RODALE PRESS.

Here is Howard, working-out out Sunday morning in Jacques' gym, Sirens & Titans Fitness in West Los Angeles, doing one-legged presses and deadlifts, two exercises that are part of the innovative MAXIMUM OVERLOAD protocol. The woman is someone you'll be hearing about soon: DENISE MUELLER, a former junior national champion who now, at age 42, who is being trained by John to set her own 150mph Bonneville speed record! Their workout, consisting of about a dozen exercises and warm-up drills, takes about 45 minutes. It is done twice a week in the off-season and once or twice a week in season.

                                                        MAXIMUM OVERLOAD builds fatigue-proof sustainable power. Translation: You won't gas-out on the second half of a long ride anymore! You will climb the 6th hill of the day as fast as the first. You'll recover faster. You'll be faster because you won't slow down. You'll finish higher in the pack because everyone else does slow down. And athletes over 35 will not see their muscle mass shriveling anymore.

Why weights? Weights — especially heavy weights that you can't do more than 6 or 7 reps of — can give you an "overload" that the hardest riding can't. The more you overload the muscles, the stronger and more powerful they get. "Maximize" the overload (using Jacques's unique but simple protocol) and your power really jumps. Make the exercizes comparable to and supportive of cycling movements, and you can harden the mover muscles against fatigue like never before!

<<<<To the left: DeVore teaches Howard how to pinch his scapulas to reduce his kyphosis, common in cyclists and anyone who sits a lot. 

Find a 6-pg INTERVIEW of HOWARD on pgs 23-28 of the new edition of BIKE FOR LIFE. Also, as I mentioned, find an abbreviated version of MAXIMUM OVERLOAD on pgs 57 to 60. Jacques and I will try to train as many people as possible in order to collect data for the book, which will be called "MAXIMUM OVERLOAD FOR CYCLISTS." Want to be trained in M.O. or know of someone who does? PLEASE CONTACT ME at You'll join Howard and other fast people...getting faster.

>>>Below:   Former 14-time Jr. National Champion Denise Mueller, who Howard is now training to set a new women's cycling speed record of 150MPH at Bonneville, demonstrating the deadlift.