YOU MAY NOT have noticed while you were scarfing your avocado toast, but 2015 was the year of the egg, at least as far as the food industry was concerned. An Avian flu outbreak briefly sent egg prices soaring. Meanwhile, McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food chain and one of the biggest egg buyers anywhere, announced it would ditch its conventionally farmed eggs and sell nothing but cage-free eggs in all of its US and Canadian restaurants. By the end of the year, just about every major fast food chain and a handful of multinational food companies had followed suit, including Subway, Starbucks, Nestle and most recently Wendy’s, which joined in just this month.
But these announcements had a catch. The companies said the switch to cage-free would take anywhere from five years to a decade to complete. How could it possibly take ten years to let a bunch of chickens out of their cages?
As it turns out, going cage-free requires much more planning, money, and logistical engineering than the seemingly simple notion of setting some hens free would suggest. Ironically, this massive supply chain overhaul stems from consumer demand to return to the egg-producing practices of our pre-industrial past, but without undoing all the positive benefits of scale, affordability, and safety that were achieved through industrialization. It actually took farmers a really long time to figure out how to put the bird in the cage—and it’s going to take a while to figure out how to get it back out. Read More…
Q: What do you see when you look at the physique of an Olympic male gymnast?
A: You probably didn’t have to look very hard to notice those insane triceps attached to a mountain of a shoulder, and of course, a set of rippling abs. Despite their impressive development, though, gymnasts don’t lift weights. They do, however, use their own body weight as resistance, and while it would be difficult to replicate many of the gymnasts’ signature moves in a conventional gym, there is one you can do that will target your triceps and abs like no other exercise: the L-sit.
The L-sit hold is a deceptively brutal exercise with benefits that go beyond merely the visual. Not only will this exercise help fill out your sleeves and chisel your abs, it will improve the health of your shoulders, help you with your deadlift, and build functional core strength as well. How do you do it? The L-sit hold is best done on a pair of parallettes. They look like a tiny version of parallel bars (hence the name) you’d find in a gymnasium or outdoor park. Most CrossFit gyms will have a few of them lying around, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one in a commercial gym. However, nearly every gym has dip bars, and you can even do L-sits on a pair of pushup bars, on kettlebells, yoga blocks, or even on a pair of benches. You just need two sturdy and secure platforms of the same height that will lift your butt off the ground when you lock your arms pushing down in between them.
To perform an L-sit, position yourself between the parallettes, set shoulder-width apart. Using a firm, neutral grip, push your body off the ground, locking your elbows as if you’re at the top of a dip exercise. Make sure to keep your shoulders down as you lock your knees and hold your legs together tightly, forming a 90-degree angle with your torso. Your legs should be parallel to the ground. Now hold…and hold…keep going. Is it at least 20 seconds yet?
So your first attempt at an L-sit made you feel like a little girl. You can work your way up by trying the following intermediary variations.
You will need a dip station or something higher than most parallettes for this easier version of an L-sit. It’s the same as a regular L-sit, except your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. You’ll look like you’re sitting in an invisible chair in the end position. Read More…