Monday, 28 December 2009

Taubes Getting Mainstream Exposure

Gary Taubes authoritative nutritional tome "The Diet Delusion" continues to make waves in the medical world.

Let's admit it - most popular media is bollocks. By that, I mean what passes for journalism nowadays seems to be largely bollocks. Ever wonder why News International newspapers give superb reviews for films made by 20th Century Fox? News is basically an infommercial where the truth resides in between the extremes of opinion rather than on fact. And news is filtered in response to commercial interests.

I don't put myself above all this - but then this is my little box from which I can spout stuff - and hell, I might be wrong, and I have every right to be wrong. Major news outlets in contrast have some level of social responsibility because they have the veneer of respectability. People trust them to give the truth.

Thus it has fallen to bloggers to expose the truth. For some time now a small select group of bloggers have done a great job doing what the damned media should have been doing. Dr Eades in particular is among the best at cutting through bias on the low carb and nutrition front.

On the wider medical front there are the likes of Ben Goldacre on the Bad Science site and another noteable addition is DC's Improbable Science site. Now for some months the latter has been promising a review of Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories. Finally, it is here.

Ok, so it does not go in to that much detail about Taubes hypothesis, but that a book that is two years old continues to grow in influence, that this same book should be reaching the shores of the BMJ, and that that same book drives firmly against everything we have been told for thirty years and has received a broadly favourable review, well, THAT is something of great significance.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Control Aging

Don at Primal Wisdom has posted a link to a two-part film by Cynthia Kenyon. She looks at the role of hormone controlled aging. The hormone receptor she studied (DAF-2), is similar to two hormone receptors in humans - the insulin receptors and IGF-1 receptors:

  • Once it was thought that aging was just a random and haphazard process. Instead, the rate of aging turns out to be subject to regulation by transcription factors that respond to hormones and other signals. In the nematode C. elegans, in which many key discoveries about aging were first made, the aging process is subject to regulation by food intake, sensory perception, and signals from the reproductive system. Changing genes and cells that affect aging can lengthen lifespan by six fold, and can also delay age-related disease, such as the growth of tumors.
Part 1 : An Evolutionarily-Conserved Regulatory System for Aging (42:46)

Part 2 : The Regulation of Aging by Signals from the Reproductive System, and, also, a Link Between Aging and Tumor Growth (37:16)

The long and the short of it is that elevated insulin and IGF-1 'block' longevity. In mice it was found that if you removed the insulin receptors from the fat tissue in particular, they were healthy, didn't get fat (even on a high fat diet), and lived 20% longer:

  • "What does all this mean? Why should inhibiting insulin and IGF-1 extend lifespan? They are important as insulin and IGF-1 promote growth and food storage. When you lower the level of insulin and IGF-1 you shift the metabolism of the animal from one that favours growth and food storage to one that favours maintenance and resistance to stress."

Looks like ADV is ahead of the game once again!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Monday Climbing

So, Britain has been plunged in to a big freeze. Such conditions preclude me from sprinting or KC work - but on this Winter Solstice night, I was psyched to give it some 'grrrr' in my sub-zero garage.

I was cheered by the knowledge that as of 1747hrs GMT, the sun had reached its lowest southerly position and so the evenings are going to get longer once again!

I ended up walking for a few hours (to the shops and the library). At least one of these journeys involved carrying Flash for time. I also cleared the snow from the paths of a few elderly neighbours. It is all training I guess. But the ice meant that the core of my session was indoors. It was cold but things soon warmed up.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)
1a) Pistols (3x3)
1b) L-Sit Muscle Ups to Basic Ring Routine to Tuck Lever (1MU wighted to 10kg, 3MU, 3MUs)
1c) Laddering

2a) Ring Splits/Cuts (2x3 each way)
2b) Frog Planche (30s, 30s)

3) Deadhang Repeaters (321, 3a:7r:120s on small rungs)

4) 10 Minute Fingerboarding

I did three passes through 1a-1c and two through 2a-2b. The session was finished with a ten minute hang-fest.

By big gain was with the weighted Muscle Up and ring routine. I put in three inverted pull ups for good measure so the ring routine was tough. I reckon I could have done more weighted MUs but on losing the weight vest for the second set, I could feel how much I had given on the first set.

The three sets of pistols also cheered me up. I really worked the lowering and tried to explode on the positive phase.

Now for those of you who think that snow is a suitable excuse to veg-out. Check out this dude.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

2010 Training Plans

I have been thinking about cutting down on the length of my routines and adding a midweek workout in to the equation. I just feel hungry to do a bit more.

I also want to try to implement a 'grease the groove' as my planche in particular has plateaued. Pistols are also going backwards a bit and might benefit from a GTG approach!

My week should look like like this (sets, reps and rests are all instinctive. For strength the rests will be longer. On occasion I will emphasise aspects such as negatives, or an explosive primary phase of the movement):

Warm Up (5 mins)

Main 1
1a) Sprint (2x10s)/Assisted Pistols (1x6)
1b) Frog Planch (30s, 30s)
1c) Tuck Lever (30s, 30s)

2a) Ring Splits/Cuts (2x6 each way)
2b) Rope Climb to Cirques (2 'laps')

3a) Kill Carry* (5 minutes of walking with a shouldered punch bag - 35kg)

4a) Fingerboarding
1a) Sprint (2x10s)/Assisted Pistols (1x6)
1b) L-Sit Muscle Ups to Basic Ring Routine to Tuck Lever (3MUs, 3MUs, 2MUs)
1c) Laddering

2a) Ring Splits/Cuts (2x6 each way)
2b) Frog Planche (30s, 30s)
2c) Tuck Planche (30s, 30s)
2d) Deadhang Repeaters (321, 3a:7r:120s on small rungs)

Main 2
1) Rowing (500m:L8:1'35")

2a) Tuck Planche (6s, 6s)
2b) Tuck Lever (6s, 6s)
2c) Wall Walk (2x4)/BackBridge(2x15s)
2d) BBS Leg Extension (1x120x12s)
2e) BBS Leg Press (1x60sx50kg)

Main 3
1) Figure Eight Shuttles (4x15s)

2a) Straddle RLLs (8)/Deadlift (8x70%RM - 90kg)
2b) Chin Ups

3a) Dumbell Press/Snatch/HSPU
3b) Tucked Lever (30s, 25s)
3c) Frog Planche (20s, 22s)

1) Pistols (2)
2) Headstand to Handstand Press (1)
3) Finger-Tip Pull Up (5)
4) Tuck Planche (5s)
5) Tuck Lever (5s)

So there are one of a choice of two routines for a Monday (Main 1), then a leg-heavy routine on Wednesday (Main 2), followed by a Friday's routine (Main 3).

The planches and levers are on the GTG list and also feature throughout the week's main training routines. The GTG approach will have a strength emphasis - so slow and controlled and only done if feeling well rested between attempts.

I will also back-off 'to-failure' work to accommodate the increase in volume. I have had some thoughts about the evolutionary perspective of a GTG approach. The increase in strength and the development of all gross motor skills of infants are based around this approach. Makes me think my training should err towards least of a while.

Maybe 2010 will see me embrace volume the way 2009 saw me backtrack on the deadlift. I am starting to love the DL and am aiming for 2xBW. Bread and butter to most lifters, but not something I have ever really focused on.

Outside of the climbing-focused routines (Main 1), the other two routines are pretty much standard, with an emphasis on planes of motion and novelty to maintain interest and motivation.

Got to watch my weight as well. This year saw me settle at about 81kg and I don't want to go much over that or all gymnastic and climbing endeavours will be for nought!

Oh yeah, and that indoor rower - 500m:L8:1'35" - I am not happy about that 5 at the end so either I go to Level 10 or start crushing the time to under 1'30". I am not going to train physically for this, I am just going to push myself mentally and try to stick to 29spm.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Greasing the Groove

Christmas will be spent in Dublin. I will be there for about two weeks and so I get a break from training....well, from the training routines listed down the side of this page.

I have been toying with the idea of a Greasing the Groove (GTG) routine for some time and this looks like a suitable opportunity. So each day I am currently looking at something like this:

Warm Up (5 mins) - It's a good warm-up so no point in not using it!
1) Pistols (2)
2) Handstand Press Up (1)
3) Pull Up (10)
4) Frog Planche (12s)
5) Tuck Lever (12s)
6) Wall Walk (1)
7) Splits (5s)
8) Cuts (5s)
9) Handstand (Freestanding - 5s)

I reckon that the main workout will take about five minutes maximum. The whole workout should be done in ten minutes.

I could easily dispense with seven and eight. The dynamic nature of the warm up seems to be sufficient to maintain much of my flexibility. But the rest of it should be feasible to maintain each morning for at least five days of each week I am away.

And looking over the list, maybe I am trying to do too much? Maybe I could split it up throughout the day. I could focus on one exercise - for example crank out a pull up every time I go take a leak.

There are lots of ways of implementing a GTG approach. Whatever my implementation, it will be instinctive and lead by how I feel from day to day.

Of course I might just toss it all off and wash cake down my neck with Guinness for a fortnight.....!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

High Rep Shoulder Workout

The intention here is 'greater than eight, but less than fifteen' reps each. I aimed for two sets each (unless specified otherwise) of 2a-2e and one set of .

Look to create 'heat and light' with your movements. Emphasis here is on shoulder work.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)
1) Rowing (500m:L8:1'35")

2a) Dumbell Press (10kg x 15, 12)
2b) Tucked Lever (30s, 25s)
2c) Wall Walk (2x2)
2d) Straddle RLLs (8)/Deadlift (8x70%RM - 90kg)
2e) Frog Planche (20s, 22s)

3a) BBS Leg Extension (120x12s)
3b) BBS Leg Press (60sx50kg)
3c) Back Roll to Handstand (BRtH) (1x10)
3d) Sl0w Chins to 'just short of failure' (12)

Watch the BRtH as you'll be fatigued although this is largely skill-based so tired shoulders should not be too much of a problem and will force you to use your legs more (remember to kick upwards with your legs) . Don't worry if you cannot hold the handstand at the end of the roll (I can't either!).

Bad Luck

  1. Sunday 13/12/09. Damaged my left hand thumb by trying to jump a childs scooter down some wet, green steps. I made the jump but on landing, put my foot down to brake. The foot skidded sending me on to my butt, bending my wrist and thumb in the process. The thumb is heavily bruised.
  2. Monday 14/12/09.The car was parked in a bay and I was actually outside the vehicle. A car reversed out of a neighbouring parking slot, the front bumper of which crashed in to my rear bumper. Totally NOT my fault.
  3. Wednesday 16/12/09.Fell down a man-hole whilst carrying my sleeping child and have absolutely stripped my left shin of skin!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Animal Workouts

I find myself drawn more and more to Parkour. My climbing and more recently my gymnastic and martial arts background should (I guess), give me a pretty good basis. Plenty of drunken escapades on the building of Nottingham in my youth (late 80s), give me a bit of 'previous' not too far removed from modern Urban Freeflow.

Whilst on the Urban Freeflow site I came across this article on training. It is very similar in places to my own workouts and as a general approach to training, I cannot fault it. In addition there is a recommended exercises post.

Well worth reading. Both posts were produced by Will Wayland who has runs a blog here.

As an aside, at the bottom of the recommended exercises post is a list of Parkour Techniques that are pretty usefule. This guy below demonstrates a handstand, that is pretty rock solid. From a gymnastic perspective is technique is a wee bit dodgy - given the big arch in his back, but his dismount is cool-as!

The God Helmet

The God Helmet refers to an experimental apparatus in neurotheology. The apparatus, placed on the head of an experimental subject, stimulates the temporal lobes with magnetic fields. The result is a 'supernatural experience' the nature of which is correlated with the subjects cultural background.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Best Bodybuilding Diet Plan Revealed!

The way-honed Mark McManus at Muscle Hack might just have the strategy to allow me to enjoy Christmas in a more...ahem...'traditional' manner. Figgy pudding all round (for 36 hours in the week anyway).

Best Bodybuilding Diet Plan Revealed!

Sunday, 13 December 2009


I am a big fan of 'hustle' (NOT 'Hustler!') . Hustle is simply an expression of focus, application and drive. I have posted several times about Damien Walters. His showreels are awesome and his 2009 one can be found here.

This post is to highlight another phenomenal parkour athlete showing serious hustle. His name is Daniel Ilabaca. I watched these films with a smile on my face throughout and limited myself to about seven expletives. Seriously good viewing.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Ninja Assassin

Rain, the star of Ninja Assassin, gets it together for his new film. Credit where credit is due. This is an impressive transformation.

MunFitnessBlog lists the 300-based workout Rain apparently which Rain also incorporated:

25 pull-ups
50 deadlifts at 135 pounds
50 push-ups
50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
50 “floor wipers” (a core and shoulders exercise at 135 pounds)
50 “clean and press” at 36 pounds kettle bell (a weight-lifting exercise)
25 more pull-ups

Although the results are impressive, the volume of work and the frequency required for Rain to achieve this kind of physique would not appear to be appropriate for him as a 'lifestyle choice' as it involved "four months of every day six days a week, twelve hour days" training. (This will include skill and strength work).
Rain himself said he will never workout like this again unless the film is a hit (in which case he will be expected to turn up for a sequal way-honed again).

His diet was largely low carb ("Rain hasn’t eaten rice since the end of last year and has been living on chicken breast, raw fish, sweet potatoes and salad.") - and further details can be found on Ninja Assassin's official blog site here.

Negatives Session

As the title suggests, the emphasis here is on the negative side of the exercise. I normally concentrate on this phase of the exercise anyway, but in this session it is EVERYTHING.

Make two passes through 2a to 2d. On the vertical jumps, focus on minimal ground contact time.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)
1a) Rowing (500m, L8, 1'35", 27spm)

2a) Deadlift (5 reps @ 85-95% 1RM - 110kg) to Vertical Jumps (8)/BBS Leg Press (120:1'50") to BBS Leg Extension (25:55").
2b) Planche (15s) to "Hand Stand Lowers or One Arm Dumbell Press (8x16kg)"
2c) Lever (15s) to "Chin-Up Alternate One Arm Lowers (2x5 per side)"
2d) BackBridge (15s)

The big change here has been the introduction of a Body by Science single leg press followed by a leg extension. The are introduced in place of the deadlift to vertical jump performed on the first pass through. The extensions should see you thigh rippling in anguish after the presses!

There is some debate as to the danger to the knee of performing leg extensions - hence my use of the BBS protocol. The reason for the inclusion of this exercise? I want a devastating turning kick (yeun tak).

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Robson Green: Wild Swim

'Housewife's favourite' Robson Green features in a new program called 'Robson Green's Wild Swimming Adventure'.

I don't really watch much TV and can't say I would feature in Robson's natural demographic, but this program, the first episode of two which was shown this evening, actually proved quite interesting:
  • Actor Robson Green undertakes an aquatic journey through the wild waters of Britain in this new two part documentary series for ITV1. From a decidedly shaky start in the Tyne to his ultimate goal to swim to Holy Island off the coast of his native North East, the programme charts Robson’s adventures as he swims his way through lidos, tidal pools, lakes, rivers and seas.
Taking its lead from The Outdoor Swimming Association founder Kate Rew's book, Wild Swim, Green goes for a dunk in various locations in an around the UK.

Of particular note are his swims around Burgh Island in Devon - which I have always wanted to do ever since visiting the place back in 1996 (I didn't have my cold water 'hustle' on back then) and Llynn LLydaw, in the Snowdonia National Park (my spiritual home). Whilst next weeks' episode features a swim in the mighty Corryvreckan. A feature that I have sailed passed - and it scared the Jesus out of me. I never thought you could swim it - but now I know better, my next visit to Scotland will be with real purpose!

Until then I have my annual St. Stephen's Day/Boxing Day dip in the Irish Sea to look forwards to. I initially prepared for this by finishing my morning shower with two minutes or so under the cold tap. That was about three years ago and is something I have done just about this every day since and continue to do so.

I will try to post up a photo this year!

Diet Trends for 2010

I think MSN are on to me. They seem to bombard me with fast-car porn and diet/fitness items on my home page. I am like a candle to a flame....

The reality is that I'd take a pair of climbing shoes and big crag, or a snowboard and powder snow black-run over ANY fast car any day....but there are some nice cars out there which I find aesthetically pleasing!

As for the diet stuff - I get reeled in by 'The Next Big Thing' - which invariably turns out to contradict the last 'Next Big Thing'.

This item however, does seem to have a heavy paleo bias:
  1. Bare foot running
  2. Matcha Lattes
  3. Clubbells
  4. The every other day diet (IF'ing)
  5. High intensity training
  6. Cinefit
  7. Anti-energy food
  8. Group training

Number four comes with this particularly piece of 'fuckwittery' (my emphasis):

  • "While fasting is not something health experts would ever recommend, there is a - rather worrying - trend that suggests more and more people are turning to it as a way to lose pounds.

    Gwyneth Paltrow has written on her blog that she "likes to do fasts and detoxes a couple of times during the year", despite the fact that several studies have shown that fasting actually slows your metabolism to prevent the burning up of your body's fuel supplies.

    More extreme is the alternate-day-diet, whereby you starve yourself for one day and then eat whatever you want the next.

    This regime was shown in a very, very small study to help obese people lose weight and could become this year's version of the ludicrous maple syrup and cabbage soup diets we have seen in recent years. Our advice, stay well clear!"

So while we can all appreciate the inroads paleo tenets are making in to the mainstream, we can safely ignore and feedback thusly generated.

Number seven is already amongst us in the form of highly refined carbohydrate and fructose laden food.

Baise moi!

The Great Tantra Challenge

An oldie but goodie. (Nothing to do with paleo, but EVERYTHING to do with superstition).

Feed your mind. Free your mind.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Monday Climbing Session

I wanted to have some time off, but having rested Friday, I am itching for some work! The ritual of unlocking and preparing the garage gym in winter is becoming quite a source of inspiration...Much needed on a cold night.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25* mins)
1a) Sprint (2x10s)/Assisted Pistols (1x6)
1b) Frog Planch (30s, 30s)
1c) Tuck Lever (30s, 30s)

2a) Ring Cuts (3x6 each way)
2b) Rope Climb to Cirques (2 'laps')

3a) Kill Carry* (5 minutes of walking with a shouldered punch bag - 35kg)

4a) Fingerboarding

  • 1st minute 15 second hang, 3 pull-ups, Large Edge
  • 2nd minute 2 pull ups, Round Sloper 20 second hang, Medium Edge
  • 3rd minute 20 second hang, Small Edge 15 second 90ยบ bent arm hang, Pocket
  • 4th minute 30 second hang, Round Sloper
  • 5th minute 20 second hang, Large Edge 4 pull-ups, Pocket
  • 6th minute 3 offset pulls each arm (high arm jug, low arm small hold), Jug/Small Edge Change hands and repeat
  • 7th minute 15 knee raises, Jug 15 second hang, Medium Edge
  • 8th minute 25 second hang, Medium Edge
  • 9th minute 15 second hang, Slope 3 pull-ups, Jug
  • 10th minute Hang as long as you can, Round Sloper
I made two passes through 1a - 1c, although I finished with an additional set of pistols. I made three laps of 2a-2b. Then there was a Kill Carry and to finish, a fingerboard session.

With the Cirques, emphasis is on the 'lock-off' and the gradual lowering with one arm. Take care as 'brutal' is the name of the game.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Those Crazy Japanese

The Japanese seem to specialise in game shows based upon human suffering. In the 1980's several UK programs (usually hosted by Chris 'Bonkers' Tarrant), were based upon excerpts from several Japanese game shows. I think the main one was called 'Endurance'. "Oh how we laughed..."

I enjoy two current Japansese-gameshow guilty pleasures at the moment; Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke. Of the former, several Olympic gymnasts have entered the competition and done quite well (including the Hamm Brothers and Jordan Jovtec). The latter seems to be a little more niche and has some incredible bike-skill based events although for me 'Hand Walk' is king.

Finally Olympian Paul Terek showing his hustle:


Saturday, 5 December 2009

Captain Kid Swims Like a Fish

How time flies! I remember clearly when Captain Kid was born (five and half years ago). That half-decade has flown by. There are times when I reckon I have learned as much from her as she has from her mother and I.

There are loads of things she has had to learn in that time - all to do with her development but which would come 'naturally'. I am thinking of gross motor skills and social skills. But there are the 'big five' abstract skills I want/wanted her to learn:
  1. Swimming
  2. Cycling
  3. Reading
  4. Writing
  5. Arithmetic

Sure there are other important skills, but the above are quite significant skills that many adults never master. (The last three are more academic and I see no need to emphasise them just yet - there is plenty of time for that. Also, her simple love of books and stories is her gateway to academia. She is something of a bibliophile and her love of "Calvin & Hobbes" - which she occasionally reads on her own, seems to be encouraging her to pursue these skills further.)

Last July, CK nailed cycling. It was a big day for me. Now, five months later, I am proud to report that she has nailed swimming ("he wrote all misty eyed and weeping"). She completed a width of the pool (all five meters of it), totally unassisted.

She is heavily motivated my the reward of the certificate which underlines this achievement - but for me it is her realisation that a willingness to try, enthusiasm, focus, persistence, challenging and overcoming fear - these are the real skills needed in life.

I try to praise the effort rather than the achievement - she can never repeat the achievement, but if she repeats the effort, greater achievements will come.

Hmmm - I wonder if she is ready to join me on my annual festive 'wild swim'/paleo-dip in the Irish Sea?

Friday, 4 December 2009

Taubes Interview

Might well have been posted before, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Phew - just finished a tough Lau Gar session. I was tripping over the skipping rope and failing to hit my usual 200 skips per minute. Danger! Danger.

"When the student is ready, the teacher arrives."

This is a classic 'leak'. I need to rest. More. I need to expend less. I don't need to go to failure. Looking back over some recent posts I notice other 'leaks'. Sometimes you can't hear for listening. A schedule or program can make us deaf.

It could be the time of year - winter blues - that kind of thing. It could simply be the product of a few hard weeks.

"Fitness is not a load to me moved or a muscle to be grown, it is a fire to be lit."

I am still inspired - or rather I have been prior to each recent workout. It is just some aspects of performance during my workouts that suggest I need a bit more recovery. I am going to engage is some light and very short sessions for the coming weeks. Keeping it random and instinctive.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Talent Code

I have just finished reading Daniel Coyle's 'The Talent Code'. It adds some biology to the idea that 'you are what you do' and '(deep) practice makes perfect'. It is no revelation that our brains are plastic and can adapt throughout life - but Coyle digs a little deeper.

Myelin is a waxy substance that can be prompted to insulate neural networks. The significance of this is that:
  1. All human thought and deed is simply an electrical pulse between neurons,
  2. Myelin wraps around these circuits, the insulating effect of which is to boost signal "strength, speed and accuracy",
  3. Increased firing of a circuit promotes myelination of that circuit and so it fires with increased efficiency and fluidity.
This manifests as 'skill'. The general idea is to engage with 'deep practice' - which is driven by passion and persistence, but which is 'mistake focused' - a situation where you push yourself to the borderline of your ability, where mistakes will occur, but at a point where you can self-correct. The challenging nature of this approach, the novelty of random error, forces us to learn, prompting myelination which makes us remember.

Broadly, Coyle advises us to:
  1. Break the skill up in to manageable chunks, and,
  2. Repeat.
As electrical impulses are sent down the nerve fibres, the chain of fibres is wrapped in myelin. This process of myelination is paramount. It insulates this neural circuit and optimises the impulse:
  • "Neural traffic...with myelin's help [can] accelerate to two hundred miles and hour. The refactory time (the wait required between one signal and the next), decreases by a factor of 30"
The combined effect of this is " boost overall information-processing capability by 3000 times". He goes on to note that "...myelin has the capacity to regulate velocity, speeding or occasionally even slowing signals to they hit synapses at the optimal time".
Finally, Coyle gives us the four fundamentals of myelin:
  1. The firing of a circuit is paramount. Myelin responds to the 'urgent-firing' of electrical impulses along a circuit.
  2. Myelin is universal. It doesn't care what you are doing, it responds to what you do! Coyle describes it as 'meritocratic'. Those circuits fired most get priority myelination. (Those of you inclined to watch soap operas or daytime talk-shows on TV for large amounts of your time might want to reflect upon this!)
  3. Myelin wraps - it doesn't unwrap. This is why habits are hard to break! Myelinating a new habit will change behaviour! Only disease or aging removes myelin.
  4. Age matters. We net-gain myelin until about 50 years of age (although after this time we can still myelinate).
Fascinating subject.