Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's Really In That Protein Bar?

Sometimes I feel that being a coach is kind of like being a parent (in the loosest sense). Clients will ask questions all day, and most of the questions have to do with food. "Can I eat this?", "Is ___ bad for me?", etc.

It all depends on what their goals are, but usually if you have to ask, the answer is no. Michael Pollan has a food rule that I really like to live by: "Don't eat anything with ingredients a third grader couldn't pronounce". While it doesn't encompass everything you shouldn't eat, it certainly narrows down the list. Protein bars are one of the items on a long list of products that are full of  ingredients. The unique problem with that is most people eat them because they feel it will help with fat loss, muscle gain and so on. A lot of people tend to fall for the flashy label and the "organic/natural" logos on the front and forget to look at the ingredients. More often that not a protein bar will actually contain more sugar than protein.

I am going to look at the ingredients of 3 major protein bars and see what kind of crap I can come up with. I won't be looking at things like saturated fat content though, because we like our fat, don't we?

Clif Builder Bar

Ingredients: Soy Protein Isolate, Beet Juice Concentrate, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Rolled Oats, Cocoa, Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Flavors, Organic Dry Roasted Almonds, Rice Starch, Evaporated Cane Juice, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Cocoa Butter, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Oat Fiber, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Red Cabbage Color.

A big selling point for these bars is that they are "32%" organic. Well that's great, except organic sweeteners are still sweeteners, and they are 2 of the first 4 ingredients. I count a total of 4 sweeteners in this product, the brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice (it's on there twice) and the vegetable glycerin. In addition to this, the protein in this bar comes from two versions of soy. Soy protein is not an effective alternative to animal based protein.  It is high in antibodies, and the more soy you eat, the more likely you are to develop allergies to it. Unless the soy has been fermented, it will contain protein enzyme inhibitors that block the the enzymes need for protein digestion.

Not exactly what you want when you are trying to eat more protein, is it?

Met-RX BIG 100

INGREDIENTS: METAMYOSYN® V100 Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Concentrate, Calcium Sodium Caseinate, Whey Protein Isolate, Dried Egg White, L-Glutamine), Corn Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Glycerin, Milk Powder, Natural Flavors, Crystalline Fructose, Maltodextrin, Canola Oil, Water, Potassium Chloride, Corn Starch, Chocolate Liquor, Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Tricalcium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid, Ferrous Fumarate, d-Alpha
Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Copper Gluconate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Cyanocobalamin), Cocoa Butter, Butter Oil, Soy Lecithin, Wheat Germ, Almond Meal, Peanut Flour.

Where do I begin with this one? Ever wonder how it can taste so much like cookie dough? With the 30 grams of sweetener, it pretty much is. In addition to containing corn syrup, brown rice syrup, sugar, HFCS, glycerin, it also contains maltodextrin which has been known to cause gas and make you crap your pants. It also contains canola oil, wheat germ, and peanut flour for some strange reason. Soy makes another appearance, and corn starch shows up high on the list as well. It may contain 27 grams of protein from whey and egg whites, the trade-off is nowhere near worth it. How many of these ingredients can you pronounce?


MuscleTech Smart Protein™ Bars

Ingredients: Protein Isolate Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Soy Protein Isolate, Chocolate Coating (Maltitol, Palm Kernel Oil, Whey Protein, Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin), Chocolate Cookie Pieces (Wheat Flour, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Salt, and Sodium Bicarbonate), Glycerine, Polydextrose, Corn Syrup, Water, Hydrolyzed Gelatin, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Sugar, Rice Flour, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Fructose, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Chocolate Liquor, Non Fat Dry Milk, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Rice Starch, Sucralose, Evaporated Cane Juice, Peanut Flour, Wheat Starch, Almond Flour, Pecans, Walnuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts.

This is one of the most interesting ingredient lists I have seen in awhile. You have about 8 sweeteners present, including Hydrolyzed Gelatin (that's a new one). We even have some trans fats from the partially hydrogenated soybean/cottonseed oil. Ever heard of polydextrose? Me neither. Polydextrose is an indigestible synthetic polymer of glucose. Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil is used to keep the chocolate from melting, and is the lowest grade of palm oil.  And finally, soy makes yet another appearance. It seems to be a theme with these bars. Most soy is processed with hexane, a gasoline by-product,and since all of these bars contain soy it is safe to assume that you will be ingest some hexane as well.

Contrary to the name "meal replacement", bars can never replace a meal, because they are so full of trash that you are better off not eating anything. If you are having trouble bringing a bunch of meals to work. Try dried coconut, nuts, making your own jerky, or leaving a gallon of milk on the fridge, like me!

Here is a video of a recipe I have used before. I use almond butter instead of peanut butter, and I don't add any honey, I don't think its necessary. Try it out for yourself and stop buying protein bars that are filled with trash.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Sugar Deception

Over the holiday weekend I, like many people, ended up in the bottom of a carton of egg nog. When I woke up from the coma, I checked the ingredient lists of a few items in my parents fridge, and not surprisingly some form of sugar was in most of them. Another thing I noticed on the lists were the various forms of sweeteners that were spread throughout the lists, and it reminded me of a topic I helped present at a high school coaches clinic during the summer. 

It's no secret that food manufacturers are sneaky little wankers when it comes to just about everything. One of the big tricks they use to trick customers is instead of using one form of sweetener, they will use up to 10 various forms of sweeteners. By doing this, it will keep sugar from being listed as the first ingredient. It's common knowledge that the closer to the top of the list an ingredient is, the more of it there is in the product. If they were to use one sweetener, it would probably put the sweetener at the top of the list. Here is an example:

Clever girl.

This is most common in heavily processed foods, but can show up in condiments and even your precious bottles of soy protein drinks. Another trick manufacturers use is changing the name of ingredients which are obviously sugar to something that sounds a little more wholesome. Here is a list of ingredients that are actually sugar, but the name have been changed to trick you. 
(from About.com)

  • Barley Malt Syrup
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
  • Dehydrated Cane Juice
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum or sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Xylose
Your body doesn't care if its sugar from a cane or from rice syrup, it's still all just "sugar", even if the sweetener is coming from apple, pear or grape juice concentrate.

There is also the presence of "sugar alcohol" in products like chewing gum, which can offer their own problems. Although it has alcohol in the name, it sadly wont give you a buzz. Instead, it means the body can't completely absorb them. They have been known to ferment in the intestines and cause bloating, gas or diarrhea. Everyone can have different reactions to sugar alcohols, I'm sure you know how you respond to them. I worked with a nutritionist who had a client that started putting 1 pack of artificial sweetener on her cereal every day, and by the time she came in for consulting, she was up to 44 packs a day, because nothing tasted sweet to her anymore. She built up such a tolerance to sweeteners that she had to keep increasing the amount in order to taste the sweetness. Does that sound like a drug addiction to you?

Some folks like to use sugar alcohols because they offer a lower glycemic load (GL), but the glycemic index is a range rather than a fixed number. Since a gram of sugar alcohol offers a lower level of sweetness than a gram of table sugar, more must be used to achieve the same effect. Here is a chart from the Livesey Research center that shows the different results that sweeteners yield:

Food for children is especially something for parents to watch out for. "Healthy" foods for kids often contain more sugar than most soft drinks (for example, GO-GURT contains more sugar than Coca-Cola). Breakfast cereals and snack bars often are nothing more than sugar and food coloring. Another reason to watch your child's sugar intake is the damage that the sugar will have on their teeth. Some parents actually give their 1-2 year olds cup after cup of apple juice!

Would you do that to this baby? (Nice bracelet bro)

I hope that this article will help you better understand some of the tricks of the ingredient list. Basically anything that ends in "-ose" is a sweetener. I recommend avoiding pre-packaged meals altogether, as most of them are devoid of real nutrients anyway. Personally, I have a pretty bad gum habit, and I know my gum contains xylitol. They claim that it helps tooth decay, but at what cost? 

I better get back to my habit of chewing on cinnamon toothpicks.

Make sure to become a fan of the new Lift Big Eat Big fan page on Facebook, I will be deleting the old one in the next 2 weeks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

General Physical Preparedness

 Article written for LiftBigEatBig.com by Brian Cavanaugh

"All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns." --Bruce Lee

Recently, I decided that it was time for me to set new goals for my physical fitness program. I decided that I needed to train and eat in the most professional manner of my life to break the current plateau. I also realized that I needed to start really training my weaknesses versus continuing to strictly develop my strengths. This decision led me to hiring a trainer from the competitive Crossfit community, reading the blogs of Lift Big Eat Big, studying the doctrines of Powerlifting gurus, examining different nutritional plans and chatting with a holistic health nutritionist.

One thing that I discovered through my research is that there are many systemsfor both nutrition and fitness protocols. And, many of the systems and people that follow them are very loyal and strict to their specific system. During a discussion with one fitness professional, she said, "I don't eat ”that“ because it’s not paleo." And, when I spoke to a recent convert to Crossfit, he said he doesn’t want to workout with Powerlifters anymore because he NOW does Crossfit. So, I realized that many people are restricting themselves and their clients to only one modality and rejecting all other systems as if one system invalidates another. As humans, we like to put specific titles on ourselves and our beliefs and classify them for identification purposes.

Truth be told, Olympic Lifting coaches will give you the best coaching for those movements; power lifting, gymnastics, swimming, running coaches will all know best about their specialties. And, yes, even major meat heads like us can learn important nutritional tidbits from the holistic vegan specialist. Am I saying become vegan? Hell no. I am saying that a vegan can teach us things like how to
use probiotics, spices, herbs and various other health and performance enhancing strategies.

Unless you are an elite specialist of a certain sport, I suggest not becoming a specialist by default. Too many of us, myself included, will focus too much time and effort on only one or two muscle groups--or even worse, one or two movements. For me, it was the bench press and back squat. Instead, become an elite generalist. As a lifter and fitness person, aim to be a decathlete versus a sprinter. Either hire a professional or ask a trusted friend who is a fitness professional to give an honest assessment of both your physique and your lifting program. Classify the things that you are great at, average at, mediocre at or even non-existent at and then create a plan to fix it. Seek proportionate strength ratios for all the muscle groups. Make sure that your hamstrings are developed in proportion to your quads and your rear delts and traps are in proportion to your chest and front delts. Simply stated: Train your weakness and maintain your strengths. 

I am challenging all of you to be more like the legend Bruce Lee and not restrict yourself to any one formal system of anything. If your goal is to be the most well rounded and fit athlete that you can be, then open your mind and heart to anything and everything that is of use to you when designing your program. Don't abandon years of wisdom and experience just because you make some new discovery. Yet, don't defend doing what you have always done just because it’s what you have always done.

 The one rule that all of us should follow is this: if it works to support our goals then do it. If it does not have value in our program, then don't do it. Our loyalties should never be to a system, but rather to ourselves.

Brian has participated in Karate and weightlifting for the past 25 years, and has been worked as a fitness club manager and personal trainer for the past 15 years. He is currently on a mission to become the biggest and baddest Spartan on the East coast.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Strong Is Your Desire?

Josh Bridges, 2011 CF games.
If there is one thing I have learned more about at school this quarter, it's desire. I don't mean desire in the traditional sense, but desire as the basis of all human emotions. You can take a step back and look at all of your decisions and realize that it is desire that either drives you to complete your goals, or keeps you from accomplishing them.

You may say that it isn't desire, it's willpower that keeps you on your path to success, but  I would have to disagree. So would Wendy Farley, a world renowned philosopher and theologian. She says that willpower is weak against the force of desire, and that only a stronger desire can replace another desire.  Put simply, this means that if you are someone who has trouble sticking to a strength program or restrictive diet, it's not that you don't have the willpower, you don't have the desire. Your desire to get stronger or lose weight has to be greater than your desire to go drinking every night and sleep in until noon every day.

Camille at the CF games.
Like I have written about before, willpower can't stand up to the force of desire. I may not feel like writing a blog article every day, but my desire to have a successful site is stronger than my desire to be lazy (and THAT desire can get really strong).

Another interesting facet of desire is that it's a flame that will never be extinguished, it is just human nature. This is why when you finally reach that 6 months goal of a 2.5x bodyweight squat, you aren't satisfied with it. You just set another goal. You are programmed to desire, whether its knowledge, material wealth,or a big TOTAL score; it doesn't matter. Whether you are the world's strongest man or a Tibetan monk high up in the mountains, you are being driven by desire for something more.  

Shannon Hartnett.
Realizing that desire is at the root of all your actions is important for athletes as they set their goals. Some athletes may feel sadness when they reach their goals because it didn't bring the complete happiness that they thought it would, it simply made a stronger desire. That feeling can be described as a fear that there is nothing better than that moment of success and a fear that there won't be another moment like it in the future. It is important to remember that a healthy desire is one that does not undermine ethical relationships between human beings.

Keeping your desire strong and rooted in the path to success will help you to achieve great things, just remember that when you get to the top, you will still be searching for a higher mountain to climb.


Wendy Farley, The wounding and healing of desire (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2011

25 Tell-Tale Signs That You Lift Big & Eat Big

From CrossfitJulia.com

With the holiday season approaching, many of us will be presented with family dinners, work parties, and free time on our hands for training. With all of this celebration going on, it is the perfect time to celebrate the lifestyle of those who get big. Whether its hitting PR's, shedding big amounts of fat, or shutting down the all-you-can-eat buffet, we are lifetime members in a club that is all our own. We receive odd looks from some people, looks of horror from others, but mostly people just choose to stay out of our way. This post is dedicated to all the members of the Lift Big Eat Big club.

1.Your waist may be the same size it was in high school, but you still wear 2 pant sizes bigger so your ass will fit.

2. People never ask when you will be finished with the squat rack because they don't want to be on the receiving end of your cobra death glare.

3. Going back for seconds is not a privilege, it's a duty.

4.Over 75% of your Facebook friends are either shirtless or have weights in their hands. The other 25% are just family members.

5. You know squat.

6. The meal is not over when you are full, the meal is over when you hate yourself.

7. A fridge full of milk and meat should last you until the end of the week.

8. Your eye twitches every time you see a set of half-squats.

9. You spend each night refreshing your gym's homepage, waiting to see tomorrow's workout. 

10. You keep an extra stick of deodorant on hand in case of a surprise outbreak of the meat sweats.

How I look heading into the 6AM class.

11. If you had a nickel for every time you explain that firming and toning is BS, you could retire.

12.You can walk into large groups of people on the sidewalk and they will always get out of your way.

13. No, it's not like Zumba or P90X.

14. After a day of heavy 5x5, walking down stairs is the hardest task imaginable.

15. You enjoy blacking out as runners tell you about how great their endorphin high was.

16. You don't need to go to go to the doctor, because squats and fish oil can cure every ailment.

17. You spend more time at work reading training logs than actually working.

18. You are happy when your butt looks big in those jeans.

19. The recession doesn't worry you nearly as much as when your new shirt is coming in the mail.

20. Being called "skinny" is offensive.

21. Have some pain? There is a MOBWOD for that.

22. Yes fat is good for you, and you make sure that everyone knows it.

23. Males shy away from the squat rack when you warm up with their max.

24. Every shirt you own has a gym logo or workout reference on it.

25. You base others self worth on their TOTAL score.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Benefits of Olympic Weightlifting

Come at me bro.

I am fortunate enough to be able to attend the USAW Olympic Weightlifting Coaching Certification in January, and I have been pouring over a wide array of material to help me prepare for the testing. This article will take a look at the many benefits and some common misconceptions about Olympic Weightlifting. Thanks to OWresource.com for the information.

Benefits of Olympic Weightlifting
You are probably wondering what makes Olympic Weightlifting a better choice for resistance training than others forms. Weightlifting offers many benefits over bodybuilding, powerlifting, and machines. However, the main reason people do not participate in weightlifting is because they are afraid of getting injury, however this is a false assumption that is easily discredited.
Safety and Injury Aspect of Weightlifting

Various studies were done showing Olympic weightlifting to be the safest form of resistance training there is. One study assessed the injury potential and safety aspects of weightlifting movements and Olympic weightlifting proved to be the safest (Stone, Injury). Another aspect that keeps many people away from weightlifting is the supposed fatal injury to the back. Again this is a false assumption spread through ignorance. A study was done comparing weightlifting to a control group of normal active men and their back pain was assessed. It turns out that only 23% of the weightlifters experienced back pain compared to 31% of the normal active men (Granhed). Another study was performed concerning the injury per 100 hours and yes again weightlifting faired better than other forms of resistance training. In fact, for weightlifters the injury rate was less than half of the other forms of weight training (Hamill). Weightlifting training and competitions together are much safer than other sports such as football, basketball, soccer, etc (Stone, Muscle). It is clear to see that Olympic weightlifting is an extremely safe form of resistance training and sport for people to participant in. 

A chart of injury rates.

Body Composition Effects

Another benefit of weightlifting is the amount of muscles used in the lifts. The Olympic lifts involve basically every muscle in the human body and this entails a great workout. Olympic weightlifting also forces stabilizer muscles to activate to secure the weight overhead in the lifts. For a recreational lifter Olympic weightlifting will cut down on the exercise time, allowing them to get done in 45 minutes to 1 hour what they used to do in "traditional splits" for 1.5 hours or more! In an 8 week Olympic weightlifting program study, participants lowered their resting heart rate by 8%, lean body weight increased by 4%, fat dropped 6%, and systolic blood pressure decreased by 4% (Stone, Cardiovascular). Not only is Olympic weightlifting safe it is a great way to stay in shape too!
Athletic Ability
Another important benefit of Olympic weightlifting is it teaches the body to fire all the muscle fibers at once; to explode in a sense (not literally). An 8 week study was done showing the capability of the Olympic lifts to improve sport performance and vertical jump ability. A study was performed and a group of lifters did various Olympic lifts (High pulls, Power Clean, and Clean and Jerk), and were compared to a group using vertical jump exercises (Single and Double Leg Hurdles Hops, Alternated Single-leg Hurdle Hops, etc) and after the 8 weeks of training the Olympic weightlifting group had significantly increased their 10 meter sprint speed and their standing jump over the control group using standard vertical jump exercises (Tricoli). Similarly a 15 week study was also performed using football players and compared a powerlifting program to an Olympic weightlifting program for athletic performance. After the 15 week study was over the Olympic weightlifting group had a significant improvement in the vertical jump and 40 meter sprint over the powerlifting group (Hoffman JR). Clearly there are athletic benefits that come from incorporating weightlifting into a sport training program and similarly Olympic weightlifters are also known for developing great athletic ability. 

Effect on Bone Mineral Density
Olympic weightlifting can also help prevent osteoporosis. To put it simply the greater the bone mineral density (BMD) the less chance of osteoporosis occurring. Bone mineral density measures the mineral density, such as calcium, in the bones. Calcium is also constantly being added and removed from bones and when it is removed faster than it is added then the bones become weaker and are more susceptible to fractures. Remember a solid dense bone is much better than one that looks like a honey comb! A study involving elite junior Olympic weightlifters compared their BMD, at the lower back and the neck of the femur, to an exact age group and an age group ranging from 20-39 year old men. The elite junior Olympic weightlifters BMD were found to be significantly greater then the age matched group and greater than the 20-39 year old men (Conroy). It is suggested that the high overloads of stress from Olympic weightlifting have a major influence on BMD. Again Olympic weightlifting has the ability to develop strong healthy bones that are resistant to fractures.
Enjoyment Factor

One aspect of Olympic weightlifting that people enjoy is the lifts themselves. People enjoy the feeling of the barbell being weightless as they drop underneath it or they enjoy the speed that it takes to complete the lift or maybe they just enjoy mastering a technical skill. For most people there is a larger sense of satisfaction that comes from successfully hitting a personal best in the snatch or clean and jerk than finally getting those 19 inch arms or something along those lines.
These are just some of the benefits a person can come to expect from participating in Olympic weightlifting throughout their life. Hopefully, this also cleared up the ignorance on the safety and injury aspect of Olympic weightlifting. Participating in Olympic weightlifting is a fun and enjoyable experience that everyone should get to know.

Conroy, Bp, Wj Kraemer, Cm Maresh, Sj Fleck, Mh Stone, Ac Fry, Pd Miller, and Gp Dalsky. "Bone Mineral Density in Elite Junior Olympic Weightlifters." (1993): 1103-1109. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 25 (1993).
Granhed, H. et al. Low back pain among retired wrestlers and heavyweight lifters. The American Journal of Sports Medicine,16(5):530-533. 1988.
Hamill, B. Relative Safety of Weightlifting and Weight Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 8(1):53-57. 1994
Hoffman, Jr, J Cooper, M Wendell, and J Kang. "Comparison of Olympic Vs. Traditional Power Lifting Training Programs in Football Players." 18 (2004): 129-135. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 18 (2004).
Stone, M. H., A. C. Fry, M. Ritchie, L. Stoessel-Ross, and J. L. Marsit. Injury potential and safety aspects of weightlifting movements. Strength and Conditioning. June: 15-21. 1994.
Stone, M.H., et al. Cardiovascular Responses to Short-Term Olympic Style Weight-Training in Young Men. Can. J. Appl. Sport Sci. 8(3): 134-9.
Stone, M.H. Muscle conditioning and muscle injuries. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 22(4):457-462. 1990.
Tricoli, V, L Lamas, R Carnevale, and C Ugrinowitsch. "Short-Term Effects on Lower-Body Functional Power Development: Weightlifting Vs. Vertical Jump Training Programs." 19 (2005): 433-437. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 19 (2005).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Improving the Front Rack Position

Besides keeping the heels down and the butt back, the front rack position is one of the hardest foundational techniques for a new athlete.  If you are unable to hold a secure front rack position, the all of your presses will suffer as a result, as well as your cleans and front squats. This inability is usually caused by tightness in the upper body which in turn is caused by things like hunching over a keyboard all day (you are doing it right now, open up your chest!) Some of the muscles that can be causing the tightness include the lats, posterior deltoids, and the triceps. The wrist flexors also play a big part in the front rack position, keeping them flexible will greatly improve your ability to rack the bar across your deltoids.

CF Invictus has a great post on stretches for the front rack, view the rest of the photos here

 When I first started lifting, I was unable to hold a proper front rack position. Instead I used that ugly technique that involves holding the bar on your deltoids with your arms folded across the top. This is not an optimal position. You will be unable to jerk, push press or press anything overhead with your arms folded across the bar, plus it just makes you look like an amateur. 

On the Mobility Wod, Starrett offers some easy ways roll out the triceps for an improved front rack. This is the same thing that happens when you roll out your quads. If you don't have a barbell and rack handy, you can still do this stretch by lying on the ground and putting your outstretched arm across the top of a kettlebell, palm facing up. I have been having my trainees do this lately, with positive results.

It's important to remember that the only way to improve the front rack is to stretch the muscles and work the position. Like anything in life, avoiding the problem will not improve the situation. If your position sucks, then you need to work on that deltoid and wrist flexibility, as well as keeping the elbows high. Loosening the grip on the bar also allows for greater flexibility. Think about these things the next time you are holding the front rack position.

Thanks to MOBWOD and CF Invictus for the photo and videos.