Thursday, 31 March 2011

Paleo 2.0

Kurt offers a new level of precision and clarity to the whole paleo paradigm in an attempt to drag it in to the neolithic!  Having recently come across a thread about paleo-vegansim, it is clearly high-time to "[leave] the tent to erect a proper building".

I speculated a while ago that 'paleo' (or rather Paleo v1.0), was eating itself -  becoming just another worthless term for narcissistic self-indulgence. Commodified.

If, like me, you keep it simple (the most you need to read is ADV's 'Essay on Evolutionary Fitness'), you should be running with Paleo 0.0.  But as with all human endeavour paleo is becoming Balkanised and if it is to have real impact in the places it NEEDS to have impact (academia, medicine, business, politics, pharma), we need something like Paleo 2.0.  We need to focus both on what Paleo is in terms of nutrition, and also on what it addresses - the Diseases of Civilisation.

Putting diseases of civilisation under the lens of (robust) scientific scrutiny may offer a form of redemption for the whole 'paleolithic' concept.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

RTK Wk8 W/O2

This is the last workout of an 8 week training cycle.  I have enjoyed it.  I think I have looked forwards to most of the workouts and certainly I finished the majority of them feeling much the better.


Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (45 mins)
1. Frog Planche (2x30s)
2. Tuck Lever (2x30s)
3. Squats, Asymmetric Leg Extension (20, 15)
4. Chin Ups/Pull Ups (15, 15)
5. Handwalk, ('for time'x2)
6. Inverted Row, Bent-Over Row (15, 15)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

RTK Wk8 W/O1

So here I am at week 8. The final week. The clocks has just gone forwards meaning lighter evenings. My injury list is as follows:
  1. Left elbow 'tweak' - healing nicely, but usually 'aware' of it. It originated from before this phase of training IIRC.
  2. Left hip 'tweak' - came from an intense Lau Gar session of 'low walks'.  It coincided with some hard DLing so I guess the two may be related.  But again, healing to the point of only being noticeable with my thigh in certain extended positions.
My general lifting numbers have gone up.  My weight has remained stable around 84/85kg despite lots more (starchy) carbohydrate.

It is time to give myself a week or two off.  Perhaps mix in some active rest.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Stairgators (1)
2. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10, 1x10, 1x10, 1x10)
3. 3xMU to L-Sits to Ring Routine (1, 1, 1)
4. Scissor Splits/Cuts (3x1)
5. 321 (7:3x8 A4, 7:3x8 B3, 7:3x8 F3)
6. Barefoot Kill Carry

Friday, 25 March 2011

How Western Diets Are Making Us Sick

Hat tip to ADV.  An interesting interview and article with physician Kevin Patterson:
  • In an essay published last November in Canada's Maisonneuve journal, physician Kevin Patterson described his experiences working as an internist-intensivist at the Canadian Combat Surgical Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

    One detail he noticed: The Afghan soldiers, police and civilians he treated in Kandahar had radically different bodies from those of the Canadians he took care of back home.

    "Typical Afghan civilians and soldiers would have been 140 pounds or so as adults. And when we operated on them, what we were aware of was the absence of any fat or any adipose tissue underneath the skin," Patterson says. "Of course, when we operated on Canadians or Americans or Europeans, what was normal was to have most of the organs encased in fat. It had a visceral potency to it when you could see it directly there."
Patterson also blogged about his experiences:
  • For someone used to the life and the pathologies of the rich and settled, much about practicing medicine in Afghanistan felt unfamiliar. One of the striking differences was the way gunshot victims’ abdomens looked in CT scans. Back home, I was used to seeing organs stand out with some prominence from the abdominal fat. In fact, in Canadians, the state of the kidneys can be partly assessed by the degree of inflammation in the perinephric fat that envelops them. It’s the same with the pancreas, and the liver often looks like it belonged to a French goose fattened for foie gras. Indeed, the idea of “normal” in a Canadian body proceeds from the assumption that it might be normal to spend one’s days tied to a grain spout, beak pried open, being filled with cracked corn.
Interesting to get an 'insiders' view - literally!

RTK Wk7 W/O3

Because of my 'day three' rest protocol, this is actually my last DL and OAC workout in this training cycle!  Next week is the final week of my RTK approach - but not sure I can discern much of a difference in my physique.  My numbers are still going up.  The Six Nations beer frenzy cannot help - and the fact that sometimes my eating (in terms of timing, quantity and quality), has not been as fixed as the CKD protocols require.  I might need to give it another go to do it justice, but TBH it is such a bore to have to eat to a program.  It might work for some, but I don't think I am that person.

Consolidation will be the word today for the DL.  The OACs will get pushed a little higher....

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1a.Deadlift (4X137kg , 5X123kg)
1b. One Arm Chin Ups (3/4x62, 5x55, 6x50)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge to In-L-Sit (2r, 15s, 15s)
3. HSPUs/Lowers/Dumbell Press (3lwrs/1+, 6x16kg, 6x14kg)
4. Ice Cream Makers (6, 5, 4)
5.Four-Way Rotator Cuff (10)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Beyond Hamster Fitness

There are some great ideas that bubble up under the paleo framework.  Recently I have come across a few threads and posts discussing 'information' and 'signalling'.  The idea that the meta-data around how the dose is delivered is as important as the payload itself.

I try to incorporate these ideas in to my training with mixed degrees of success.  By substituting exercises and changing reps and sets - all within a broader structure, I try to 'inform' my body and stimulate it, rather than trying to 'hammer it' in to improving.

Monday, 21 March 2011

LC and Orthorexia

I have sometimes questioned my interest in diet.  Reading back what I have written with regard to intermittent fasting for example, I have wondered if I have a 'disorder' and not really known about it.  I mean - not eating for 24hrs rubs so strongly against societal norms!

But I don't do calorie restriction.  I do one or two 24 hr fasts a week.  I don't avoid carbohydrates (although I do eat them 'episodically'), and I focus on REAL foods in as fresh a state as possible.  I try to emphasise seasonal food (roots in colder weather and fruits in summer)  I eat until full.  That doesn't seem too unreasonable does it?  If anything, to me, the chronic calorie restriction of conventional diets appears to scream 'eating disorder'. 

The guy in this story seems to be at an extreme end of things, taking the LC paradigm to a disturbing conclusion,
  • Sam Monkhouse, who's 21 and from Portsmouth, says he's very conscious about the types of foods he eats.  "I follow a high protein diet and don't eat carbs.Sam shows how he exercises during work breaks "Ninety per cent of the time, I only eat cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, eggs and chicken."I eat these foods because I want to have a good body." Sam also has a regimented fitness regime."I work-out twice a day, seven times a week. I work in a factory and at lunchtimes I do weights, sit-ups, and press-ups in one of the equipment rooms."When I get home I then go for a 45 minute run and do more toning and high-impact exercises. "All in all, I probably spend more than two hours a day working out."If I eat a burger, which probably happens once in a blue moon, I have to burn it off straight away because I know it will turn into fat and I don't want fat on my body."
 The stress from all that exercise is a concern, never mind the LC obsession.  In contrast, 'true paleo' most certainly means neither food nor exercise should dominate your life.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

RTK Wk7 W/O1 (P2)

After last week's break, it is back to barefoot badness and madness:

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (40 mins)
1. Wrist Push Ups (10, 10, 10)
2a. Barefoot Sprints (15s, 10s, 5s)
2b. Rope Climbing (4, 3, 2)
2c. Pinch Grip Pull Ups (4, 4, 4)
3a. Tuck Planche (3x5s + fill to minute)
3b. Barefoot Kill Carry (1)
4. Hangboarding (Intermediate)

Friday, 18 March 2011

RTK Wk6 W/O3

So today I have got to keep with the 'no rest between reps of DLs'! *THAT* is the primary goal.  Secondarily I have upped the weights on the OACs.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1a.Deadlift (4X137kg , 5X123kg)
1b. One Arm Chin Ups (4x55, 5x50, 6x45)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge to In-L-Sit (2, 2, 2)
3. HSPUs/Lowers/Dumbell Press (4 lwrs, 6x16kg, 6x14kg)
4. Ice Cream Makers (6, 5, 4)
5.Four-Way Rotator Cuff (15)

I Want To Ride My Bicycle!

Frightening! (I recommend you watch it in full screen mode as well!)

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

RTK Wk6 W/O2

This is actually my first workout of the week as I rested Sunday. But in terms of workout naming conventions, I know that W/O2 in any week is a depletion workout - so I am sticking with this convention.

Time to empty those glycogen stores. I will mix and match some of these exercises, sets and reps.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)
1. Frog Planche (2x30s)
2. Tuck Lever (2x30s)
3. Alternate One Arm Dumbell Snatch from Ground, Leg Extension (20, 20)
4. Chin Ups/Pull Ups (15, 15)
5. Handwalk, ('for time')
6. Inverted Row, Bent-Over Row (15, 15)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Shit IS Paleo, right?

BBC Radio 4 features an interesting program called Case Notes.  In this episode you'll be reaching for the sick-bag whilst at the same time as being compelled to listen, as Dr Mark Porter explores the incredible benefits of faecal transplant.  Yes, you read that right!
  • The idea of taking faeces from someone and transplanting it into the bowels of a loved one might sound disgusting. Medically, it might make good sense though. In fact a number of doctors have discovered that this procedure cures intestinal infections when all other treatments have failed. As Dr Mark Porter discovers, it's an illustration of the power of 'good' bacteria.

    Our bowels are home to an ecosystem of billions of bacteria and other microbes. Many of these gut bugs perform vital jobs for us, such as helping to digest food, making vitamins and priming the immune system. In the last few years, researchers have gathered evidence that a range of health problems and conditions arise from there being an inbalance between beneficial bacteria and potentially harmful ones. These conditions include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Clostridium difficile infection, allergies and possibly bowel cancer. Dr Mark Porter talks to researchers and doctors about some of the latest findings and treatments based on these insights.
The link between gut health and obesity is given brief coverage.  You will also find out about the link between a soldier from the world wars and modern probiotics.  But the big story is a woman who suffered intestinal 'distress'.  Courses of antbiotics damaged her gut flora and she became so desperate that she accepted the chance to try an 'alternative' therapy.  Using the stool of a familial member, a solution was administered to her gut and within a couple of days she was cured!

Fascinating.  And grim!  ;)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bigger Moon!

We will see the moon appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter next week!  It will be the 'biggest' moon for two decades:
  • On 19 March, the full moon will appear unusually large in the night sky as it reaches a point in its cycle known as 'lunar perigee'.

    Stargazers will be treated to a spectacular view when the moon approaches Earth at a distance of 221,567 miles in its elliptical orbit - the closest it will have passed to our planet since 1992.

    The full moon could appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter in the sky, especially when it rises on the eastern horizon at sunset or is provided with the right atmospheric conditions.
There is a suggestion that the resultant tidal effect might have an effect on earthquakes:
  • ...according to Dr Victor Gostin, a Planetary and Environmental Geoscientist at Adelaide University, there may be a link between large-scale earthquakes in places around the equator and new and full moon situations.

    He said: "This is because the Earth-tides (analogous to ocean tides) may be the final trigger that sets off the earthquake."
Hmmm - not sure about that last bit, but it should be a spectacular sight.

Friday, 11 March 2011

RTK Wk5 W/O3

The aim today is again to repeat last Friday's workout but to again try to OWN the deadlift.  I will try not to put the weight down between reps on the first set (I put the weight down on the last rep last time).

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1a.Deadlift (4X137kg , 5X123kg)
1b. One Arm Chin Ups (6/5x49, 7/6x44, 8/7x39)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge to In-L-Sit (2, 2, 2)
3. HSPUs/Lowers/Dumbell Press (4, 8/7x14kg, 8x12kg)
4. Ice Cream Makers (5/4, 4, 4)
5.Four-Way Rotator Cuff (15)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Marathon Scars

The New York Times is playing catch-up with Art DeVany.  This is not for the first time he has led where others follow:
  • Recently, researchers in Britain set out to study the heart health of a group of dauntingly fit older athletes. Uninterested in sluggards, the scientists recruited only men who had been part of a British national or Olympic team in distance running or rowing, as well as members of the extremely selective 100 Marathon club, which admits runners who, as you might have guessed, have completed at least a hundred marathons.

    All of the men had trained and competed throughout their adult lives and continued to work out strenuously. Twelve were age 50 or older, with the oldest age 67; another 17 were relative striplings, ages 26 to 40. The scientists also gathered a group of 20 healthy men over 50, none of them endurance athletes, for comparison. The different groups underwent a new type of magnetic resonance imaging of their hearts that identifies very early signs of fibrosis, or scarring, within the heart muscle. Fibrosis, if it becomes severe, can lead to stiffening or thickening of portions of the heart, which can contribute to irregular heart function and, eventually, heart failure.
The question remains whether all those carbs that fuel an 'elite' performance allow us to move beyond biological limits too often?  Or perhaps even without the carbs running marathons simply is not a good idea if you care about your heart.

The original paper is here.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Wizard and (Dr) Oz

'Calories in vs calories out' does NOT explain obesity.  It is all to do with hormones.  That is how your body functions - at the hormonal level, not at the mouth!

Taubes in fine flow.  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

RTK Wk5 W/O2

More depletion! I have to go steady this workout as I am feeling it from last night's Lau Gar. I might have to implement 'Day Three'. This is simply a rolling day-off. So If I have three workouts in a week I simply skip the third workout in week one, the second workout in week two and the first workout in week three. Of course you can mix and match the day off, but you get the idea.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)
1. Frog Planche (2x30s)
2. Tuck Lever (2x30s)
3. Alternate One Arm Dumbell Snatch from Ground, Leg Extension (20, 20)
4. Chin Ups/Pull Ups (15, 15)
5. Handwalk, ('for time')
6. Inverted Row, Bent-Over Row (15, 15)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

RTK Wk5 W/O1 (P1)

I am not sure the CKD approach is having much of a result, largely due to the massive alcohol spikes induced by the Six Nations rugby.  Damn good fun mind!

Another 'P1' workout and meaning we head on to the rings!
Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Stairgators (1)
2a. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10, 1x10, 1x10)
2b. 3xMU to L-Sits to Ring Routine (1, 1, 1)
3a. Scissor Splits/Cuts (3x1)
3b. 321 (7:3x8 A4, 7:3x8 B3, 7:3x8 F3)
4. Barefoot Kill Carry

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Stranger in a Strange Land

Well, it seems that Hardly can get his monkey on when he needs to!  The guy has bags of enthusiasm, and it is good that he can take the piss out of himself - I like that quality in a person.  But Raw Vegan?  Come on, it sucks.  This is not what I'd call 'athletic'.  Jacked he is not.

Friday, 4 March 2011


I have diverse musical tastes but mainstream rock, metal and a bit of progressive rock dominate my music collection.  All these elements have been masterfully combined by the superb Mastodon on their epic 'Crack the Skye'.

Some of my other interests include rock guitar and rock climbing.  In this video below you can see Mastodon combining all these elements in to one track, Divinations, and it even has a 'paleo' ending!

Rawk !"!

Mastodon: Divinations - New Video

Mastodon | Myspace Music Videos

RTK Wk4 W/O3

If you have not already done so then you really should listen to Jimmy Moore's interview with Art DeVany.  It is aabsolutely entertaining and rich in both breadth and depth.  Art really holds your attention with his ideas, some of which are truly amazing and comes across as very personable and engaging.

The aim today is to repeat last Friday's workout but to OWN the deadlift.  I will try not to put the weight down between reps on the first set (or to simply put it down fewer times).

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1a.Deadlift (4X137kg , 5X123kg)
1b. One Arm Chin Ups (5x49, 6x44, 7x39)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge to In-L-Sit (2, 10s, 10s)
3. HSPUs/Lowers/Dumbell Press (6x16kg, 7x14kg, 8x12kg)
4. Ice Cream Makers (4, 4, 4)
5.Four-Way Rotator Cuff (10)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Wasted Years

You are what you eat.  A picture paints a thousand words.  I am not going to rival Arnie anytime soon but body composition does give a good indication of 'fitness' - certainly in an evolutionary capacity.  Does he demonstrate good body composition?  "Hardly" (in fact I think that's his name).  The emaciated figure beneath should offer a cautionary warning to anyone willing to gamble their health with a dietary fad like raw foodism.  He has little muscle mass and is quintessential 'skinny fat'.  He needs to free his animal.

This guy appears to exercise WAY more than me.  He spends more time eating than me.  We are a similar height (He is 6ft to my 6ft. 3in.), and respective weights are (apparently) 65kg to 85kg.  I will let you work out who is the heavier of the two.

I don't train for endurance, but certainly don't lack it.  I'd like to see his O'Neill Test.  I reckon I could crush the fuck out of this guy in the gym.  Hell, I could almost chin with him strapped to my back!  Well, maybe not quite - I think my max weighted chin is about 45kg.

This guy looks like an emaciated child.  Years of malnutrition seem to have affected his mental capacity as well.  The same happened to me as a one time vegan.

UPDATE: Hmmm, I 'think' that the charicature on the left of this picture is of our friend 'Hardly'.  Looks like the artist could have saved some pixels by making his shoulders and pecs to scale!

How could 'Hardly' advocate the causing of suffering to, and the killing of, species that show sensitivity and possible intelligence with a physiological and neurobiological basis for their adaptive behavior?

RTK Wk4 W/O2


Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (40 mins)
1. Frog Planche (2x30s)
2. Tuck Lever (2x30s)
3. Squats, Leg Extension (15, 15, 15)
4. Chin Ups/Pull Ups (15, 15)
5. MBTs (15, 20)
6. Bent-Over Row (15, 15)