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81. Amy West, MD | CrossFit Health

81. Amy West, MD | CrossFit Health

In this episode, Jason Ackerman sits down with Amy West MD. Amy is truly amazing human being who is working with Crossfit and Crossfit health to make people healthier. She found earlier on the push back from her co-workers by saying this like “CrossFit is bad” “crossfit will injure you” to lessen 10 years on from when she first start and see this more neutral stance which is a good thing. They discuss the influences on the medical industry which are creating this problem. Along with the ideas, Greg Glassman have been pushing most in most recent years. 
This is a very interesting episode which hits on a lot of different problems and topics and will be facing your box today. We hope this helps you navigate through them and your athletes.

Time Stamps 

How’d Amy found Med school? (4:38)

Are we wanting Doc to take on the whole of crossfit or just movement or just the nutrition? (6:03)

Did you believe in Crossfit while at med school (15:33)

Primary scope in Medince (17:36)

Adaptive athlete work (18:34)

Helping athletes who are smart enough to know better (21:05)

The rebranding of Crossfit (34:10)

Recommended book:

Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients – Ben Goldacre
https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Pharma-Companies-Mislead-Patients-dp-0865478066/dp/0865478066/ref=mt_paperback?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1569173269

That Sugar Film (2014):


Two ways to get involved:

Facebook Pages: Crossfit Physicians

OR 

Contact Amy West MD on Instagram @amywestmd and she’ll help you out. 

We value your feedback. After listening, please hit me up with any questions, comments, or thoughts on how we can make this show even better, and if you enjoyed it, please share it!

Instagram; @besthouroftheirday

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jason-ackerman

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Check out our website – besthouroftheirday.com – to learn more about our private coaches development group.

Amy West MD .mp4 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Amy West MD .mp4 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Ackerman :
All right. Welcome, Amy. A Harvard graduate, but struggled to figure out her headphones on Zoom.

Amy West MD:
So a former audio engineer, which is also what's embarrassing about it,.

Ackerman :
Is there user error. Or maybe zoom just that you're not the first person that's struggled to do that. But I thought I was saying it. But you weren't hearing me. I was like, you can graduate Harvard. But Zoom got her today, I like those headphones.

Amy West MD:
Oh, thank you.

Ackerman :
So I wanted to talk to you because you are involved in Crossfit, health, you know, being a physician. And I'll let you kind of explain your your degree. I think we all see BMD and we're just like she's a doctor, she's smart. She knows what she's talking about, which is sometimes which is good, which is great. But I think right now it's a great opportunity to dive into what's happening in Crossfit, and your involvement there. I think it's phenomenal, of course. I think we're changing the world. But I'm anxious to hear from a doctor's perspective because. Correct me if I'm wrong, there's still a lot of. Obstacles when it comes to enduring the world of medicine.

Amy West MD:
Yes, as far as Crossfit, entering the world of medicine, certainly I think we haven't necessarily got to the point where physicians and people, the public realize that Crossfit, is for everybody and can be accessed by everybody. And that's been one of one of the goals of Crossfit, health movement is to show that it can benefit anyone and that it can also be an effective tool in fighting chronic disease, which at the end of the day is what is killing people. You know, hundreds of years ago as infectious diseases and things like that. And now it's it's chronic disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, things like that that are totally preventable with lifestyle choices. But still they still plague us. And the huge costs of health care dollars is a huge cost of time, money, energy. And it could be a simple fix just getting people to the box.

Amy West MD:
So if 100 percent of doctors brought in, it's 100 percent every doctor in let's go country every day. What percentage you're currently brought in right now?

Amy West MD:
Oh, boy. It's more that you know, I think if you would ask me that maybe a year ago, I would have said.

Ackerman :
1 percent.

Amy West MD:
1 percent. I think it's an expanding and it's also the kind of thing that it's. It's less of a taboo to talk about my initially when I first started working in Boston almost 10 years ago. I've mentioned Crossfit, and I get a lot of naysayers in the medical community. And I think over the 10 years I was there that got sort of started to change as more and more people started just as I talked about it more and people started realizing I'm getting out there and trying it for themselves. I think that Tide. that tide is turning. It's not exactly turned yet. So I'd say maybe it was 1 percent before and we were like 5 to 10 percent. There's a big cohort of us now. They're involved in the Crossfit, health things.

Ackerman :
You think, Based on that, I think really if we saw 10 doctors, we crossed paths with 10 doctors. One out of every 10 would be am I like Crossfit,?

Amy West MD:
I would say I don't know if I'd even say, is that high? I think it would depend on the specialty of physician, you see. I also think, you know, my my biggest thing when I was first talking about Crossfit, amongst my medical colleagues was to get people from telling people not to Crossfit,. So maybe I'm having a neutral opinion about it. I think maybe that you might have people instead of telling you you shouldn't. Crossfit, is dangerous. I might say, well, if that works, will fine and I think that's it. That's progress.

Ackerman :
That is probably not what you say. Ten years ago in Boston, you were in a good area. Yeah. Because Crossfit, was booming in that area. Reebok was near that area. It is a good area. It kind of begin now. When you stop and think, though, is it so much? We're trying to get doctors to buy into Crossfit, as far as the methodology, constantly very functional movement on high intensity or the nutrition component of meats intention was not cede some a little starch, no sugar intake to levels that support exercise, not body fat, just dropping some knowledge. The listeners. Yeah.

Amy West MD:
So that's a complicated. It's a complicated answer because well, I'll say as so as a physician and a med school. So I was at Harvard Med School.

Amy West MD:
The amount of nutrition.

Ackerman :
How heard is that, by the way,

Amy West MD:
Yeah.

Ackerman :
How hard is it? I mean,.

Amy West MD:
Med school isn't easy no matter where you are. I think it's challenging no matter where you are.

Ackerman :
Where'd you get an undergrad?

Amy West MD:
Oh, I was at actually New York University. I was in there film and television production and programs. I was not I was not med school bound at the time.

Ackerman :
I went to I mean, NY use it. That's actually the school my father went to. NYU is a great school as well. Yeah, he became a dentist.

Amy West MD:
Oh yeah. I was in the film and television production program, so I wasn't even thinking about it at the time.

Ackerman :
So how did you do that? You go back to get all your baggage to organic chemistry at some.

Amy West MD:
Exactly. I had to go back. I ended up going back to doing a called the Post Baccalaureate Program at Columbia University

Ackerman :
and oh my goodness. You go NYU to Columbia.

Amy West MD:
You know, sometimes sometimes I can be, but yeah. So I had to go back to school, but I was working in television and stuff and I was like, I think I need to do something better for the world. Of the short answer of it.

Ackerman :
So how old were you when you decided to do that?

Amy West MD:
Oh, I was 20. 6 Maybe not.

Ackerman :
Certainly not. Only a minor 20.

Amy West MD:
No. Twenty three. Twenty fourth. Like that.

Ackerman :
I basically had to do a reboot and I would assume very few of your TV credits mattered right? .

Amy West MD:
Oh yeah. I was starting from scratch all over again.

Ackerman :
So anyway, you were saying, you know, I asked about the movement vs. the nutrition.

Amy West MD:
Yeah. So it's a complicated it's a complicated answer because part and part of the Crossfit, health movement is also we discuss sort of the influences on the medical research and the guidelines that physicians are given on the influences that come from industry, from pharma, from the show, specifically like the sugar industry, the Coke and Coca Cola, things like that. And a lot of the stuff that a lot of the guidelines were given us physicians or exercise guidelines, for example, are heavily influenced by these outside forces who may or may not have good science behind them. So as physicians we learned in bulk, so we learned very little about nutrition, certainly nothing about movement at all. And then as professionals, we're sort of we have to make these recommendations in. The best that we have sometimes are these guidelines that are shady at best sometimes.

Ackerman :
So with shady about them.

Amy West MD:
Well, for example, something like our exercise guidelines are are. So I was just so I was just at a sports medicine conference. And one of the main sponsors of this conference is Gatorade, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, as it's called. But Gatorade is a Pepsi company. And they were presenting their science and their know why you should drink Gatorade at certain times. And to people who are all, you know, well intentioned, wanting to provide good care to people and they don't necessarily realize what who these guidelines are influenced by. And the the thought is that. The reason that these cola companies in particular have sort of cozied up to the people making the guidelines is to sort of divert attention away from their product as a cause of obesity, too. Look, you just don't exercise enough. Yeah, you can have your coke. You can have anything in moderation. But you really should be doing is exercising. And I as a as a physician, I don't feel comfortable with that influence being there.

Ackerman :
Is it because. Because I've kind of had this internal debate about when Coach Glassman, you know. You know, I love everything that's going on in Crossfit, period. I know not everybody agrees with me. But I here's how I put it. And we are not smart enough to understand what Coach Glassman is doing. You know, when it comes to, you know, the average person complaining, you know, he's not a multimillionaire, which I assume mean, I'm making a mess about Coach Glamass. It doesn't matter what you think. You're not a visionary. And maybe one day you will be. But currently, at least for Crossfit,, you're not.

Amy West MD:
Yeah.

Ackerman :
You know, but my thought is just Coach Glassman hates soda or Gatorade or is it the fact that they have this influence over science? Like I don't think Coach Glassman is going to knock a Diet Coke out of your hands like that in and of itself isn't the end of the world. That's a fact. Yeah. He blew putting out false propaganda, if you will, trying ..

Amy West MD:
And that's and that's killing people, you know? I mean, at the end of the day, this is this stuff doesn't kill people, instantly kills people over time. And what it's similar to the tobacco industry, you know, back in the 40s and 50s or maybe at the time they're marketing to physicians. And it took some pretty strong undisputable evidence to then finally turn the tide on that. And and Greg, has said this as well. You know, that's why he's not he's not trying to railroad the tobacco industry because they're not involved in the health space anymore. But Coca-Cola has and its sugar companies. They they they contribute money to big sports or well, to big medical organizations. They influence research and guidelines within the health space, which of itself is pretty questionable. So I don't you know, it's not so it's obviously it's a health hazard. But a lot of things are help the alcohol. Alcohol is a health hazard. Tobacco is a health hazard. But those things don't have an area in the fitness space. They're not going to influence it directly anyway. So I think that sort of is what is motive is Greg's motivation. I can't speak for him, but I.

Ackerman :
And that's just that they have an influence. They've lied about Crossfit, and all that stuff as well. Which has been proven in court.

Amy West MD:
Exactly. And that's and that's a whole other thing is a lot of the negative attitudes that exist in the medical sphere about Crossfit, were based on B.S. data essentially, and most people don't. I must just I talk to don't just don't realize that they don't know that they know what the paper said. They know kind of what their friends have said. They know sort of what the media has said. And when you actually distill it down, the principles of Crossfit, constantly functional movements perform at high intensity.

Amy West MD:
That's that those same principles are being used as injury prevention programs. They just kind of call it something else. And now it's an injury prevention program. So it's kind of interesting for me who some kind of sit in the middle of the two of the organizations and try to watch the I have watched the evolution of it. I think Greg Greg as Greg as a revolutionary. He's he's all about like knocking it down and building his own thing. And because of where I am in my career, have far, far less influence than he does. I sort of have to look at it from an evolutionary standpoint and sort of track it over time and see. So I try to educate people and kind of work from within the system to kind of get people to see the light rather than just saying, well, screw you, you guys are wrong.

Ackerman :
So, yeah. So, yes, not everyone who dies and exactly is getting away with anything but.

Amy West MD:
Right. Yeah. So I. But you know, it's it's it's sort of a fun it's a fun place to be in a sense to kind of try to help help educate people as much as I can and spread the word.

Ackerman :
Have you had doctors that you truly look up to and respect, you know, maybe at school that you learn from your co-workers that are so obtuse or against Crossfit, that it makes you lose your respect?

Amy West MD:
I wouldn't say lose respect. Someone that I work with very closely right now.

Ackerman :
Wanna give their name, so everyone can know.

Amy West MD:
I'm not going to disclose any names. So, you know, when I first met this person, the statement they said to me was, you know, all those people Crossfit people are nuts. That guy who runs a company is nuts. Just so you know that. You know, I didn't tell a oh, I don't know that I know that guy. You know, I think Greg's that's in a good way, you know? But, um, but, you know, I've and this person happened to be the president of a very large organization that I think Crossfit, kind of tried to go after directly. So he was sort of on the receiving end of it and he wasn't happy about it. And this person is somebody who I respect a great deal, who is an excellent physician, who's someone who's helped me out a lot. But I know when it comes to the Crossfit, word, I just we don't we don't talk about it because it's just not.

Ackerman :
It's like religion or politics.

Amy West MD:
Exactly. But it's, you know. But I love being in the sports medicine space. It's you know, it's it's sometimes kind of odd to not talk about it,.

Ackerman :
But it's it's. It is like religion in politics, except there is a definitive answer with this where.

Amy West MD:
Right.

Ackerman :
Religion and politics say you're entitled to your own opinion. It's kind of hard to accept someone's opinion when it's clearly wrong.

Amy West MD:
Right.

Ackerman :
And I know that sounds in and of itself narrow minded, but I believe Crossfit, works.

Amy West MD:
Yeah. And it's the same thing. So like people will say, you know, sort of amongst the sports medicine providers that I work with. You know, it's like I always say you will get injured all the time and keep our clinics busy. And I've said this before, but I think when we have we have problems of fitness, you know, people hurting their rotator cuff for like spraying something rather than problems of illness like diabetes and hypertension and all the stuff that comes along with that. Like, we're pretty lucky as as a population at large, if that's if, you know, someone's rotator cuff is the biggest problem we have to worry about.

Ackerman :
So that's a really good way to put it. I like that, you know. Yeah, you may tweak your shoulder doing the kipping pull up, but it's better than having type 2 diabetes.

Amy West MD:
Yeah. You know, what's the alternative? Telling someone to sit on a couch?

Ackerman :
Yeah. Which we all know we've all had to exercise and then fall and break their hip.

Amy West MD:
So. Yeah.

Ackerman :
So I mean and I tell people that like today's Thursday we're recording I'm sore as like I'm very sore and I wouldn't want any other way. My back's a little tweak, from some deadlifts and I know I can take a rest day and I'll feel better tomorrow. The alternative is not being able to pick up your grandkids in 20 years. I'll take this.

Amy West MD:
Yeah.

Ackerman :
So you went to Harvard. You went back to school, I should say. Yeah. Twenty four. Twenty five. Did you feel this way already? Was this in your belief system or is this something that developed in your time at school?

Amy West MD:
So when I first went back to school, I hadn't found Crossfit, yet. When I started med school, that was 2009.

Ackerman :
So you started at Harvard in 2009?

Amy West MD:
That's a nine. Yeah. And that's when I first really just as a person started thinking about my own diet, my own health, you know, because as a physician, you're 30 putting on.

Amy West MD:
So not easy to that. I think at that time I was maybe two twenty five when I started med school. That's what I was I was twenty five when I started. But I you know, I hadn't really kind of looked at myself because I had been an athlete my whole life. But I never really focused on the fitness part of it. I was just like, you know, can I do this sport that I'm doing? And I really started kind of looking at myself and saying, OK. So I started running a lot and I was bored by that. You know that you play team sports your whole life and then you hit a certain age and it runs like, all right, get on the treadmill. This is it. Yeah. And it's like for me, it was not fun. I was getting a lot of like little ticky tack overuse injuries. I just wasn't loving it. And then I very close to where Harvard Med School is. It was the original Crossfit, Fenway. And I say I'd pass it. And one day I said, I'm going to try that looks like fun and never look back.

Ackerman :
And right away, did you think to yourself, this is going to influence how I practice medicine?

Amy West MD:
Yeah. You know, so that it ties in really well, and I found these sort of two things sort of at the same time. But my so my primary specialty is called physical medicine and rehabilitation for Pam and all of his dietary. It has it's called a lot of things, but it's a very small field of medicine that most people don't know about.

Ackerman :
So what is it? What do you. What's your primary scope or focus?

Amy West MD:
So what we. So essentially, we're doctors of function and we focus on the physical manifestations of disease processes, whatever those are. And looking at injuries, whether they're permanent injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries or temporary things like a sports injury. And, you know, we treat we treat sort of the physical problems associated with the disease. So say you have cancer or I'm not the person who's prescribing the chemo and figure out how to beat the cancer. But I'm the person who thinks about, OK, how are you gonna get up and get to the bathroom? How are the side effects of the chemo affecting your quality of life, things like that, which it's a fortunate position for me to be answered, to be able to think about those things and people's function in daily life. I mean, at the time that I really started looking into it was right around the time of the Boston Marathon bombings. It just happened.

Ackerman :
So maybe five years ago.

Amy West MD:
Yeah. And we was involved in the treatment of a lot of people who lost limbs during that. And, you know, helping improve their function as new amputees and getting them involved in sports and things like that and the goals of physiology and the goals of what Crossfit, are or in many ways identical. And I thought the two complemented each other so well, but one didn't know about the other. And unlike all my social media profiles, I have a little phrase I use as explaining Crossfit, to desire, trust and presided true to Crossfitters. They're all very similar, but they usually don't know about each other and they should have. You

Amy West MD:
Worked with some of the adaptive athletes in China, had advanced and had a man in Saudi and Logan on. Have you worked with them at all in the adaptive course?

Amy West MD:
So I I am hoping to take the up, of course. And we're actually trying to organise one up here, know what the status of that is. But I've met Kevin Ogar. We've we've chatted about it cause he actually works, you know, has worked with visitors out over Craig rehabilitation. Yeah. And so, you know, he's he's aware he's very aware of the field as someone who has a spinal cord injury. So it's he's been a great resource and sort of figuring out how we can bring these things together, get things going in parallel. But I would like to take the the of chorus on. So fine, of course, that lines up from me to you.

Ackerman :
When you say out here you're in you're in Maine, is that correct?

Amy West MD:
For another couple of weeks, I'm sort of in flux right now, I'll actually be in New York starting in July.

Ackerman :
Where in going are you going be in New York.

Amy West MD:
I will be as part of Northwest Health System. This sort of cover Queens Long Island area.

Very Cool

Amy West MD:
but I'll be working with their Department of Orthopedic, Department of Orthopedics and Human.

Ackerman :
Well, you have to let me know because I have some great boxes out in that area. But you know, my friend Josh Murphy. Yes. You're a castle.

Amy West MD:
Oh, yeah. Yeah, he's awesome. He's great.

Amy West MD:
Here's a great example. And I don't want to throw Josh under the bus, and I hope he's listening to this. Josh Murphy needs to lose a good 70 pounds.

Ackerman :
You have someone, you're smart. I'm not saying if you're not still saying it. It's not like it's what I love. Josh, now, I helped his brother lose over 100 pounds.

Ackerman :
I don't know if he knows, brother. I don't know. I don't know. He lost over 100 pounds. He's in my new book, Keto his name. You know, we called Murph, but he came in at about 500. He probably lost 200 some pounds anyway. From a coach's perspective, let's take it like this. Your doctor, you have someone, let's call him Josh. You know, we're speaking generally, right?

Amy West MD:
That cold man.

Amy West MD:
Who understands, who understands Crossfit,. They're willing to work hard. Now we know it's your nutrition coach. Glassman used to say, I don't ask you how your nutrition is to find out how your nutrition is. I asked to find out if you're gonna lie to me because I know what your nutrition looks right now looking at you. How can a coach. This is you know, this is a podcast about coaching. How can a coach help that person?

Amy West MD:
So. So if you're talking about somebody who's already made that step to say, I want to change this.

Ackerman :
Yeah, everybody's box has their. Everybody has.

Amy West MD:
I guess that is key because I think as physicians, we don't really see those people.

Amy West MD:
Right. Coaches. Yeah. You know, guys. Coaches. Yeah. As coaches, you kind of. They've already made that step that they're willing to try something, you know. And we can as physicians we can refer refer people or, you know, make recommendations to people. But the real lifestyle change happens when those things become habits. And that's where the box comes in. That's where the habits can be formed. And I think the important I think what makes Crossfit, particular such an effective tool in making those lifestyle changes into habits is the use of community and a supportive environment with other people going through the same thing and sharing each other on. I think that is is the key. And as well as coaches who seem invested in that person's success, it's really it can be intimidating walking into a box with, you know, a chiseled bunch of chiseled people. But if if if that coach shows, you know, takes joy in someone's success, however small it is. That is a that could be very effective as well. I know. So I just finished a nutrition program here in Casco Bay. It's led by a great coach, Emily Hanley and Beal.

Amy West MD:
And, you know, there's a little face group book group involved and everyone sharing recipes and checking in with each other. And it's accountability. It's, you know, weekly check ins with data points that you can track and a plan, a very specific plan. I think it's like what we do as physicians. We say go lose weight and we don't give any kind of formal plan other than these kind of vague guidelines, which in and of themselves are influenced by things sometimes that are not great. And people walk into our office and say, OK. Whereas if they can show up at a box and someone says, here's the things you need to eat every day. Eat exactly this. Exactly. This much of that and I will check in next week to see. We're going to we're going to hold you accountable to that. And then here's a bunch of people to give you ideas for other things. I think that's a super effective tool that's very much underutilized, certainly in the medical space.

Ackerman :
But at the That's a great point at the box space. You really need to create this accountability. You know, we. And, you know, I was joking about Josh and every box has those people that are diehards for Crossfit,. An hour at the box is the fun part, the challenging part of the other twenty three and eating healthy. But that's really where you can make the greatest impact on someone's life. You know, the old quote is, I have an hour to help you, but you have twenty three hours to mess that up. Right. And we see that a lot. Is it? Do you find it easier for you as a doctor and so invested in this? Crossfit, health and his push in pursuit of it to eat healthier. Or do you even do some find there are times when you're like, I want to drink or I want to have a snack?

Amy West MD:
Yeah. So, you know, I think part of it is the mixed messages. Right. As physicians, like I said, we don't really learn very much. And the stuff we do learn sometimes has influence. You know, it doesn't. They're not very clear or very specific. The guidelines we get and then even in the media, as someone who kind of can understand the the the literature behind it, you can if you want to eat a certain way, you can find literature that supports that regardless of whatever it is. So if you eat nothing but. Candy, there's some show, there's a paper somewhere that will say that that's the way to go and myself, I've been the way I've been figuring it out as far as what to recommend to people is experimenting with myself. So back when I first started med school, I was I was trying out against being a big and just to see there was a lot of convincing literature about that. And then when I started Crossfit, Crossfit, full time, I didn't really I wasn't seeing the performance, my performance doing all that well. So I started incorporating more meat. And then I know a lot of people who are Keto and who have great results from that. It's a little hard for me to stick to that, but I see the value in it. And then recently when I did this nutrition program at at my local gym here at Crossfit, Casco Bay, I the ice started the whole macro counting and tracking that way. And that's really what's worked for me. So, you know, through experimentation is how I've sort of come to what works best for me and what I would feel comfortable recommending to somebody. Yeah, I know.

Ackerman :
I had Nicole Quinn on recently from Healthy Steps Nutrition and we delve into both of those lifestyles, veganism and Keto. And she basically had the same things to say about it, which I agree with it that's, you know, find out why you're members. You're doing that. You know, so many people these days, the buzz word is Keto. And I think really what they're associating with that is weight loss is more sustainable and fun ways to lose weight, such as tracking your macros that, you know, big, big takeaways. It can last forever and build those habits. With that being said, so Coach Glassman, off the couch, out the carbs, that I believe is also a statement that gets misunderstood. Yeah. I don't think he's telling people you cannot have carbs when he's referring to carbs. He's referring to processed carbs and even more specifically, sugar and even sodas that people take in because of my message a lot of the time is have some food you enjoy. You know, people know that I will eat a donut. I will have pizza. Last night I had Chipotle late, but it's within order. And it's you know, I track my macros to people like argue against would push Glassman saying, no, those are not the people that track their Chipotle. They are not. The problem is they're not the people developing chronic disease. Those that are eating Chipotle plate decided chips and Glacu and then refilling their large soda three times.

Amy West MD:
Right. Right. And that's I think I know as far as the Crossfit, health meetings that we have, there is a lot of emphasis on nutritional ketosis and the research behind that. And as a way of treating cancer, as a way of curing chronic disease. And I think for people who are so far kind of in a diabetic state, it's been shown to be a very effective way of rapid weight loss, blood sugar control, et cetera. But I think the general message of off the carbs, off off the couch of the carbs, is that exactly that like you have to start with eliminating the soda, eliminating the junk food, eliminating the process crap that you're eating. And then then you sort of after you get peeled away those layers, then you can start to think about the nitty gritty of do you want a macro count? Do you want to know what are your goals? And this is a performance. Is it just, you know, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, etc.?

Ackerman :
Yeah, so. What is one way box owners can help this? What can we do from a box level? Yes.

Amy West MD:
So there are a few a few things that I think could be important. And one is identifying the person, a person in your constituency, if you will. That can be a point, a point of contact with the health system, the health system, whatever that is in your neighborhood.

Ackerman :
Meaning most likely. I'm sorry, doctor.

Ackerman :
Yeah, but also a good resource for Xbox owners is looking into the rehab community, not just the M.D. of his iris, but also physical therapists, occupational therapist, because they really focus on function as well. And they they will often treat someone as an inpatient and they'll need some kind of further exercise plan going forward that they can't necessarily provide at that high level or insurance doesn't cover it or whatever. And they can be a good referral source for Fox owners. But finding that person in your community who can be a point of contact with the health care system and brainstorming with them as best ways to sort of interact with the medical community or setting up a referral source or holding classes or fundraisers, getting involved in things like fall prevention and elderly people, that's a huge it's a huge problem and it's a huge health care expenditure and people are looking for ways to help combat that. So setting up some kind of free class or some kind of senior thing, contacting a local diabetic care centers or primary care community centers and working with them for diabetes and nutrition counseling. Because I think, you know, I'm not a primary care doctor, but I know a lot of them and they're overwhelmed. You know, they have 15 minutes to talk to somebody and figure out all their chronic diseases and make recommendations and then they get sent on their way and they're looking for somebody who's interested in taking these people on for so to help improve their health. So or give them a plan, because like I said, we're not really educated how to do that. So I think that's important. And I think it's really it's important, too, to find that person to make the connection with someone in your box who can help you.

Amy West MD:
Because, I mean, I like when I came up here that the people who were in that box were super excited and seemed really engaged and trying to figure out how I could help them, how they could help me figure out something to work in the health space. I know a guy up in near Killington, Vermont, who's super excited at Crossfit, Rising Star who superrich sit in, you know, getting stuff started. And I've been in other places where they don't they're not really seemingly interested or or even know that I'm a physician or, you know. So this is it's one of those things. Are you making those connections within the box boxes then try to help reach the community in different ways?

Ackerman :
So, you know, the other question we get, though, is, is a lot of doctors in every box that is lucky enough to have a doctor being an MVP once they get involved in Crossfit, health or maybe take a seminar that you guys. It seems like early in a romance at the time. I know the goal is to expand them. How can they find out more about that?

Amy West MD:
Yes. So it's a little bit tricky now with the whole departure of Crossfit, from Facebook. But we had a we have a Crossfit, physicians group on Facebook, and that's how we originally all sort of connected with each other. I think there are still if you want to be part of that, I still think it's the best way to help get connected within the movement.

Ackerman :
So that's still on Facebook somewhere. There's a doctor.

Amy West MD:
Yeah, it's Crossfit, physicians. I don't know who officially. I think it sort of. Now we're sort of moderating it ourselves. But there are people who sort of interact with HQ, a check in time to time on it.

Ackerman :
So if you're a doctor listening or if you have a doctor, because I get e-mails about that, I can heard about this, how did I get involved? And I didn't know. So maybe seek that out. And then also they can check out the Crossfit, health Web site.

Amy West MD:
Yes. I don't know if the Crossfit, health website necessarily has information about how to get involved. I haven't looked at it recently. Certainly people can reach out to me on social media at. Amy West MD. So once I can connect people to other people, not really. But that's what it's been about. It's been sort of like this grassroots movement. And people started talking and other people in that person e-mails that one. And it's still sort of in its infancy as far as getting like very formally organized.

Ackerman :
Well, that's what they said about Crossfit, in 2001. So, yeah, I think I think we're moving in the right direction. I do I do want to ask you about this. I mentioned, you know, you were gonna be on here in a couple of people reached out and they say. There are people that are kind of turned off to some extent about what crossfits putting out there, especially on dot com. Not so much the workouts, but the images. It's like all dull old people now how we get people that want to do it, you know. And I've kind of spoken my piece about it, but I like to hear your thoughts on that, especially as it pertains to the affiliate level.

Amy West MD:
Yeah. So, I mean, I actually spoke about this with. With someone from HQ about the sort of also explicitly rebranding, but the sort of imaging that we're seeing now in person said, well, yeah, we're putting people in our media that ten years ago we would've been embarrassed to put on the front page of something, you know. That was a Crossfit, Crossfit, branded thing. And the goal in that list is to show exactly, you know, that this is for everyone. It's not just for the Rich Forning of the world. And I think, wow, we're gonna have the greatest impact is not is through reaching is reaching the people who are morbidly obese, the person who is 80 years old. That's those are that's the way that we have a large impact on the health space. And I think at the end of the day, that's one of the goals of Crossfit,, is to make people healthier, move better, be more functional, have a better quality of life long term. So I think that's sort of where the shift in sort of the image the public imaging has gone. I mean, I. That is what I take from it. I can't really speak exactly for them. But what they're thinking. But I. That's what I. That's the sense I got.

Ackerman :
And I agree with you. My philosophy is. People are afraid of Crossfit, to this day. Exactly. Most likely if you're listening, you understand why that happens. But it's not. It shouldn't happen. In other words, anyone can do it. But it's. But it's intimidating. Yeah. So what that's doing is saying, hey, anyone can do this. You can do it in your in your house. We recommend. You know, for me, when I want to learn something, I seek out a professional and I try to learn from the best. So if someone stumbles upon Crossfit, common old guy or old lady do any water jug deadlifts, they think, well, where can I do this in town? I want to learn. And they do find the box. So you are going to get those people, but you're still going to get let the games are still going to be on at some point. No one's going to be like, oh, Crossfit, doesn't get you in shape. You'll still get the crazies and the fanatics and the young people that want to come and get the best shape of their life. This is for the affiliates only doing more so to open the door to everybody.

Amy West MD:
Oh, sure. And now, even as a physician, I can say go on Crossfit, dot com at home section and look up some exercises. They're like and that's super useful tool for me. It's a helpful tool for physical therapists who are who, you know, I can say, you know, before I could say, oh, it's for everyone, even older people can do it. You don't have to be in shape. And if everything that someone sees as these elite athletes, they go, oh, yeah, OK. Sure. So now is I can I can point to some things and say this is something you can do also. So I think for the for the boxes, it's certainly a great tool to help them reach people who might be afraid to try it. And then the medical data to tell people this is not just for people who are already in shape.

Ackerman :
What's one thing you used to believe when it came to medicine and nutrition that you no longer believe is true?

Amy West MD:
Oh, that a good one thing that I used to believe. I think I will, and I think this is something that applies to a lot of positions and not just me. It's almost being a little naive to the idea that. You know, the evidence you read. Is legit or is is. Maybe not, is it not does not have influences behind it that are maybe not the best and with the with the best intentions, the best. So you were in when I first started med schools. You know, we we all know we also practice evidence based medicine and, you know, looking at the literature, finding recommendation recommendations based on that and and pointing people to the studies to sort of back up like what we think and through this process. But also just my own kind of. Digging around, you realize how maybe that that data isn't in some cases isn't as good as you think it is. Maybe the the the the funding behind that study influenced it in some way. And the stuff certainly that makes it to the media, the general media sometimes way, way, way off or it is a very small part of whatever it is they're talking about is what they're choosing to highlight. So. Yeah. I think in general, everyone's for the most part. Everyone's very well intentioned, but I think there are a lot of things at play sometimes that we don't realize it's positions that can influence influence us and we're not sometimes even aware of it.

Ackerman :
Yeah. No different than your nutrition needs. We all have our beliefs primarily because when our parents told us in the commercials we watched, you know, when we were 13.

Amy West MD:
Yupe

Ackerman :
What's one book you recommended? All the listeners check out.

Amy West MD:
Good one. Books?

Ackerman :
So I'm ideally not a Harvard textbook.

Amy West MD:
Yeah. No. I'm not going to do it. Those are not exactly fun reading. Oh, well, it's a good question. I want a book that I read was interesting, was called Bad Pharma. I'm trying to remember the author of that. I don't want to top of my head, but that was actually a book that I found sort of through and got to go all day. Yeah, that sounds right. Yeah. When Google search. That's good. I also enjoy that. It's sort of an interesting look at the data that comes out about some of the pharmaceutical company. Stuff which is interesting. That's a good one. Also, Angela, you know, any books about kind of good movement? You know, we start at stuff like that.

Ackerman :
Yeah. Can't go wrong with supple leopard. Exactly. It's been great really diving into this. I feel like having you and your expertise on here. There's even more to talk about, is there? We've only scratched the surface, is ready, as you know it, that the listener should take from this. Think about it. It's a lot of coaches, a lot of box owners, a lot of just people that do Crossfit, about what they can do. I mean, you know, when we give the nutritional lecture level ones, 70 percent of the world's going to Western society is going to develop chronic disease. You know, 80 percent of medical costs are going to fight these things. The average up needs one hundred and fifty six pounds of added sugar every day. All things that are born to know. Anything else you think they should take from this? They can implement, you know, other than like you've said a couple of times and I say lead from the forefront, lead by example.

Amy West MD:
A couple of things, I think. One is so something that I work a lot with us, people with with pain, like back pain, chronic pain. And I think sometimes that that Condition. Gets the talk of chronic disease, chronic back pain, chronic pains. People sometimes sort of get sort of left out of that discussion and we're focusing on diabetes and obesity. But I would argue that most people with bad diabetes and who are obese have back pain as well. That's another thing on their list. And I think.

Amy West MD:
Good movements and getting people moving again and feeling comfortable with movement is a way to also is a way to augment the health of that population as well. The patient population. And I think that's a that's also a way for Crossfit, coaches and boxes to sort of connect with the medical communities as by saying, you know, this is also effective tool for treating that condition as well. And another thing, I think one way that Crossfit, is super effective. So like I saying before, I was someone who really liked to move and I was going to these global gyms and was bored out of my mind. But, you know, going across today and having someone tell me what to do. Exactly. Wanting to do it. How many times you do it. And it was very helpful in me sort of getting on track. Same thing with with nutrition. So I think being, you know, having definite plans for people to follow. So this way, it's very hard for them. We're going to wander off if these are to have very definite, explicit plans, whether that be for nutrition or for movement, whatever. It's super helpful tool because as physicians, we we kind of can't provide that. We don't have the education to provide it hour.

Ackerman :
Or time.

Amy West MD:
Or the time. And that's the that's the biggest biggest problem is we really don't have the time to delve into it. So I think that's really where. Crossfit, Crossfit,. Boxes sort of can continue that really journey.

That piggybacks off of a recent podcast I did with the co-host Fern about programming and it's you know, most people are not at your box to have three parts and to be shuffled around from strength to met co to this to that. They're there to learn. And the last thing they want to do is think they've been at work eight hours or they're dealing with kids or whatever is going on. They want to come in and be told what to do and do it well and do it safely. And now if you're doing too much in that hour. This is what you don't have the opportunity to do, to interact with the members, to drop some nutrition knowledge here and there to to coach them, to make sure they do deadlift better than they are out of pain when they're doing it. Yeah, that's what most of us that open the box did not do it to take the average person to the Crossfit, games. We did it to impact exactly the average person's life. And most people that come in, if you stop, if you're listening and really reflect on your membership base, it's the people that want to play with their kids, their grandkids, you know, get rid of their dad bod, get rid of the weight they needed when they were pregnant and happy or healthy, more balanced life. And I think you nailed it with that. And we have this privilege and honor to do it because of college class and because of Crossfit,. And it's know it's why I get so frustrated when I see people upset with the direction. It's like if you just stopped and took a broader, wider lens view, you'd realize how much more of this will actually allow us to impact people.

Amy West MD:
Yeah, I think one thing we've you know, we've learned is and I think this happened several when I first joined Crossfit, is that you think you think you're in good shape and you think you're doing healthy things, then you realize, wow, I'm really not. And there's a great there's a great movie called that sugar film. And you've seen it?

Ackerman :
Yeah, I have seen it with a guy who lost his teeth with Mountain Dew. Oh my goodness.

Amy West MD:
But the way that got so, you know, the way that the the the guy sort of goes about eating sugar in his day is he doesn't eat anything sweet. He eats all these things that are supposed to be healthy or at least not sweet or sugary. And they all have in sugar. And, you know, I think the average person, even someone who thinks, you know, is not they think they're being healthy and there's all these hidden sugars in it. Same thing with exercising. People go to regular gym and they get a treadmill for an hour or whatever and they think I'm fit now. And there's always a lot of holes in that Crossfit,. It's a great way to expose that.

Ackerman :
And it's a great point because we got to I think if you're listening, you've you've probably been the guy who laughs and people doing curls and an hour on the treadmill. It's like no one hops on that treadmill for fun they're doing. They think they're they're doing the right thing.

Amy West MD:
Yeah.

Ackerman :
And so it's our job to educate them.

Amy West MD:
Yeah.

Amy West MD:
And that's social. The social piece of it is so huge, you know, knowing that I'm gonna see certain people every day and talk to them, knowing that they're going to ask me where it was when I'm not there. You know, things like that are huge in affecting lifestyle change and forming those habits.

Ackerman :
Absolutely. You know, I met my wife through Crossfit,. We had, like I said, Nicole Acoin from Healthy Steps, met her husband through Crossfit,. And I'm sure most of the guests I've met, if not their significant other than some of their closest friends. So it's it's really awesome and it's awesome to talk to you about this. And again, I'll put your information out there. But if you're just listening at Amy West M.D. on Instagram, you can always reach out to her if you know somebody that wants to get involved from the health aspect. And then we'll put out another ways to get in touch with you. But I really appreciate you being on. Amy, it's been great.

Amy West MD:
Thanks. I enjoyed this a lot. I'm happy to. I'm glad to meet my fans at anytime.

Ackerman :
Glad we get your headphones working.

Amy West MD:
Yeah, it's great.

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