Run Medium, Squat Also Medium

The class politics of Instagram face; buffing your glutes (metaphorically); one (1) Gwyneth Paltrow skiing trial recap. This is Link Letter 79!

Run Medium, Squat Also Medium
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The next Run Fast Squat Heavy update is here; now it's become more like Run Medium and Squat Also Medium:

Thanks in large part to Run Fast Squat Heavy's extremely pared-down program, I haven’t done any direct upper body work in several weeks, and in my almost nine years of lifting, this the longest time I’ve gone without it. I’m glad about this, though, because for the last two weeks a lot of my upper-body energy has gone into holding up our puppy Luca’s back half in a sling while she pees, or trying to carry her in one arm while I open the door with the other arm to bring her back inside.
A few weeks ago, Luca bolted out of our (stationary) car window before she was properly secured in the back seat. When she landed, she fractured her pelvis and partially dislocated her hip. She’s been on strict crate rest for two weeks, and in the last few days seemed to be showing signs of improvement. But when we took her to the doctor for her follow-up appointment he pulled up her x-rays and said “have you been letting her run around a lot?”
“No, we’ve been really careful. I actually can’t imagine being any more careful,” I said.
Well, her fracture was healing, but also showed a wider gap between the cracked bones than last time. Three more weeks of somehow even stricter crate rest.
I know most people believe their dogs are babies. But Luca is especially a baby. Something about the orientation of her eyes and eyebrows gives her an undeniable pure and innocent appearance, which I’m astonished to hear myself say about an animal who interacts with me primarily via her teeth. While I waited for Luca to come out of the back during the visit where her pelvic fracture was diagnosed, I saw many dogs peacefully come and go through the waiting room, with nary a second glance in their direction, no fuss made by or for them.
When a nurse emerged with 37-pound Luca in her arms, she was swarmed by at least four other cooing and squealing attendants. They told me that she was popular in the back because, even while she is sedated, she shambles her way across surfaces like a dolphin or an otter until she lands in a lap and/or within licking distance of a face. I know this is true because she has spent many evenings doing the same thing from one end of the couch to the other, ottering between me and Seamus until she gets sleepy. I take this as incontrovertible evidence that, while all dogs are good dogs, our dog is a real and true baby-baby, whose babyness shines from the inside.
Interruptions (Weeks 5-7)
Life gets in the way~


~Discord Pick of the Week: Chelsea Sodaro Conquered Kona. Then the Real Struggles Returned.~

Diligent readers of this newsletter are already on the page that periods don’t affect us consistently enough to train according to our hormonal cycles. Well, if you weren’t convinced, here’s yet another study: “Current evidence shows no influence of women’s menstrual cycle phase on acute strength performance or adaptations to resistance exercise training.” This doesn’t mean that no one is ever ever ever affected; it means the effects are nowhere near consistent enough to merit a single sweeping approach.

The myth of the alpha wolf: “Although field biologists no longer use the terms ‘alpha’ and ‘beta,’ they have proved too useful for humans to drop—now we use them in relation to our own groupings and conflicts.”

The class politics of Instagram face.

MIT Researchers Twisted Apart Hundreds of Oreos to (not) Find the Perfect Method. I could have saved them some time: Sounds gross, but you need a warm Oreo. Some Oreos left in the sun, but not for too long.

“I recently went to an orthopedist and asked her if there was anything I could do to make sure I can still walk when I’m 60. She told me the problem is actually in my hips. They aren’t strong enough to compensate for my goofy legs, so my ankles roll in a weird way with every step, which in turn puts pressure on my non-existent arches, causing them to cry out in pain. To save your feet, she said, buff your glutes.” (This piece is not really about buffing your glutes.)


Gwyneth Paltrow, a wellness hack who has an at best tenuous relationship with reality and facts, stood trial this week for allegedly skiing into someone back in 2016. The only recap you need--truly, it has all the information and all of the good clips--is from Drew Magary.

I do think walking is good, but there are a lot of “are you okay” quotes in this piece.

How is there no penalty for health insurance companies behaving the way they do? You can’t have an insurance company if you can’t read; politicians feel free to encode this in law if we haven’t yet.

Kim Kardashian claims to lift weights for two hours 5 or 6 days per week. Someone in my Instagram follows characterized this as “yet another desperate attempt to deflect accurate assessments that the Kardashian bodies come from surgery and cosmetic intervention, not anything else.”

A great discussion on how JoeySwoll is not all he’s cracked up to be. Previously and previously.


On the now-historical experience of being stuck with good-enough friends and good-enough albums.

These pieces make a good pairing: The Data Delusion and The End of the English Major (which mentions that several times more students enroll in intro to statistics at Harvard than 20 years ago). We’re in a weird time, but I’m still not scared of computers.

Upsetting AI re-creations of various historical and/or ethnic groups cheesing for group selfies; devastating use of this Trump son photo as a reference.

Unsolicited recommendation: I normally brush my teeth with an electric toothbrush, but while on the road, I went back to a regular analog one. Now I feel like trying to properly brush with an electric toothbrush is like trying to paint with a power drill.

Lastly, my talk from the Ann Arbor Library is online! You can watch here to see me synthesize some old teen magazine covers, the avocado diagrams, and the principles of LIFTOFF.

That’s all for this week! I love you for reading, thank you, let’s go—