Land of the weak

April 17, 2013 — 3 Comments

Oh America….

Why must you be so out of shape? So unhealthy? We have so damn much, yet act like such assholes with our health.

Those of you who join me in trying to make our people better by respecting themselves and living a healthy lifestyle-you are American heros-because right now this unhealthy diabesity war needs us. Plus it’s cool to look like a superhero.

BA Training is starting a new campaign:

Don't be unamerican. LIft.

Don’t be unamerican. LIft.

To support this campaign, please share this picture and encourage your country men and women to stop being lazy slobs…and to start kicking more ass.

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If you are in need of some help on your path to Patriotism via badassery, contact me for online coaching.

If you take issue with me jokingly mocking communism-then stop reading my blog…and go be a dumbass somewhere else.

Leopard suppleness

April 11, 2013 — 1 Comment

I’d like to share with you my thoughts of the new book by Kelly Starrett, Becoming a Supple Leopard.

The original supple leopard challenge: Mobility WOD youtube daily videos for MORE THAN A YEAR was a hell of a resource. But a pretty daunting resource, because of the sheer volume of stuff available. If you entered into the anti douchebag posture youtube tunnel you might get stuck watching an hour of pain faces…while, ironically, sitting.

Well…the book solves that predicament by placing everything into easy to use body part sections. Which will make your tissue work more targeted, and get you going into the workout faster. The layout is quite nice, easily read, and doesn’t include too many up short shots. I would suggest the following: pick one or two of the drills in the book, try it, then move on with the workout. Don’t try to fix your entire body in one day….it didn’t get wonky in one day.

As a bonus, which I didn’t really expect: was the large amount of info that covers Kelly’s thoughts on torque, positioning, and generally creating better movement through organization of the body. I’ve been to a couple of his workshops and heard him at Perform Better, so I was familiar with the material already-for those of you who aren’t, it’s an excellent read.

There are gonna be people who will say that the methods aren’t proven, or maybe aren’t safe. Well, I can’t argue with that too much. There probably aren’t peer reviewed studies of “hulk smashing” tspine….and there are definitely knuckledheads out there who will drive a truck over someone’s thigh to ‘affect change’. But…doing what we can while avoiding the ‘pain face’ is probably gonna be ok!

I’ve had some smashing success with a number of the options presented in the book. I do X, I move more freely, then I train in that ‘better’ ROM. This makes sense to me as a good thing.

I particularly like the silly language and encouragement of fun throughout the material. It makes is more accessible.

 

Which leads me to something awesomely fun….

I have had the pleasure of teaching a friend, Geoffrey Hemmingway, a couple times now: at Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC, and taking him through a KB Athletics certification in west hollywood. Geoffrey’s bio: Mark Fisher Fitness Ninja, Dan John’s brother-in-law, Harski certified, Kettlebell Badass in training. Geoffrey is apparently a Big Lebowski genius, and has shared with me an amazing piece of work: (if you haven’t seen lebowski…shame on you)

48 kg–Jackie Treehorn. He’ll knock your ass out. Hell of a Caucasian Jackie.

40 kg–The Big Lebowski. He rolls around, abusing everyone. Not even Walter can hold him for long.

32Kg–The Walter. Ultimate badass. You are entering a world of pain, but he’ll get you a toe Dude, he’ll get you a toe by three o’clock this afternoon, with polish. Not for fucking amateurs, unless you want to see what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass.

28Kg–The Stranger. I like your style Dude. But be warned, If you’re tossing this around, you might find yourself using a lot a’cuss words.

24 Kg–THE DUDE!!! The 24 Kg is the Dude because it is the test bell, and the Dude is tested so much. He’s the man for his time and place. Pair him with the Walter (32k) for an amazing Loaded Carry. I call it the handoff. Bring your dirty undies. The whites. The ringer cannot look empty. Dude’s car will get a little banged up.

20 Kg–Donny. Donny is the guy that gets tossed around and then eventually lost while we try to get to the Dude. We kind of take him for granted, but we need him. He is the Walrus. He’s throwing rocks tonight. You’re dead in the water.

16kg–The Jesus. Fucking Quintana. Creep can roll man. Great for beginner single arm pressing, just like the Jesus’ opening move during the Spanish Hotel California.

12kg–The Maude. Where the ladies want to be. Delicate, yet strong. Tangle with her, and see what condition your condition is in. Use her with the Dude for a double loaded windmill, or what I call, “coitus” or “Jeffery, love me.”

10kg–The Bunny. Easy to Snatch. She probably kidnapped herself. I’ll just go find a cash machine.

8kg–Smokey!! Mark it eight Dude. These are for pacifists, for the fragile, the very fragile.

6kg–The Brandt. This is our concern Dude. Can be viewed as unnecessary, but under-rated.

Lolz=toning

April 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

Exercise makes you smart. Well smart exercise does anyway!

“And in this study, after six months, the women in the toning group scored worse on the memory tests than they had at the start of the study. Their cognitive impairment had grown.”

Here is the study showing that people get smarter with exercise.

I find it funny, and sad, because Toning is what all the ladies wanna do, when its not as effective as lifting weights and running at producing body/health changes AND it makes you dumb!

Ok, I’m overstating it, but it was just too good to not share!!

PaleoFX 13

April 3, 2013 — 4 Comments

I’m gonna ramble like a mofo in this post, as I slept less than optimally last night.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be able to go to Austin, TX and attend PaleoFX13. By attend I mean sit through as many speakers/lectures as possible while also sitting on the Mastermind for Training and Nutrition for women, as well as teaching a bootycamp and TGU workshop. Oh you want pictures of that? Sure….

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We can learn two things from this: 1. I am a dork. Or awesome. Or hilarious. Or all of those things. 2. Amy and I might actually have a career in superherodom.

PaleoFX does a really good job of giving USEFUL information to the uninitiated, and also to the paleo war veterans. What I mean is: if you are paying attention you can pick up new tidbits of awesome from the presenters, even though for the most part it is a huge rehash of what most of us “know”. Now, that is not a bad thing because IMO we all need validation/verification that what we are doing is the right thing to do, or at least maybe…which leads me into

SIDE RANT 1

The term that you should “find what works for you” is largely bullshit. That’s an excuse to NOT do what you might need to do.

Example: client-”I can’t lose weight” me-”have you ditched the wheat/liquid calories/sugar/dairy?” client-”no, that doesn’t work for me.” me (internally) – “you don’t know that. You just won’t commit to actually trying something, because you’re scared it won’t work/you’re physchologically attached/addicted to it/you don’t actually want to try.” (externally) – “well, perhaps we should try it for a whole month. Like legit removal. You know, where you actually remove it. And don’t eat it. For that 30 days. At all.”

Example: client-”I tried lifting weights, and it didn’t work for me. I was skinniest when I was running a lot in my early 20′s.” me – “yep, getting older makes things harder, you can’t get away with as much from diet/lack of sleep/exercise choices. Also, machines don’t count in my world, you probably did really not optimal training”

Look, things work until they stop working. When you are a sedentary POS, if you start anything you will see improvements. This is why when you are a beginner the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do is find an exercise/activity that you like, and do it as often as possible while maintaining safety (read, NOT CROSSFIT/SUPER HARD WORKOUTS 5-6X/WEEK!). As you gain fitness, continued progress becomes harder and harder, and so you must be more selective with the exercise/diet/lifestyle choices that you employ if you really desire to continue progress. This is really hard because you become emotionally attached to what worked for you: kettlebells, barbell, pilates, zumba, walking, whatever. You lost 20lbs and felt better doing what you did, and you LOVE it because of that, and you have a hard time switching gears to something else. All that happened is what you were doing stopped working for you, so find something else…there is one most important thing that you need to do from a health/performance/longevity standpoint: strength train.

But that doesn’t mean you only strength train. I’d like to see you lift relatively heavy (for your experience/strength level) 2x a week and then do lots and lots of easy fun stuff the other 4 days. Seriously, workout 6 days a week if you want to and the activities are enjoyable. Just pay attention to how you feel. One thing that we don’t get in the paleo crowd (which really means crossfit crowd) is that outside of crossfit, and other extreme/high intensity exercise programs is that most people don’t train that hard. I know that most of us have blinders on and don’t really look outside of our own community, so we only see the constant beatdowns and underfeeding of exercisers in our community-and we mock all other modalities/systems because we are so elite, but, there is tons to be learned outside of our community. This is why having Kiefer, & Joel Jameson at the PaleoFX was so important-hearing some “outsider” voices.

**I hesitate writing that last paragraph because of course it doesn’t cover job demands/diet/lifestyle, but I’m just gonna say that if you manage your stress levels with those things, you can exercise more and harder which will in turn make you more resilient to everything. If you can’t manage that other stuff…then yep, you’re gonna have to take it easy with the training most of the time.

Ok, that was a tangent and a half…back to PaleoFX

My favorite new-to-me tidbit came from Dr. Layne Sebring. The weston price folks/pottenger cats experiments have talked a lot about how poor nutritional choices affects the dental, jaw and facial structure development of offspring: generally being smaller and more frail. Now, this is easy to see with the high prevalence of people needing their wisdom teeth removed, and the large amount of orthodontics which I guess weren’t needed much before our shitty diets started. BUUUUUT…..the fascinating part to me was this: the nasal passage way, and nose itself has become smaller for most of us-which makes it much harder to breathe diaphragmatically. This is important because a hot hot “trend” in fitness/performance right now is addressing the diaphragm and how it functions. Well, bad news, if you got itty bitty shitty nasal passages, you might be mostly out of luck and be doomed to being an open mouth breather….which negatively affects posture, diaphragm and thus core function, and then that affects stability negatively, which then affects mobility negatively. So say thank you to your previous 3 generations for eating nutritionally poor food stuffs and leaving you with shitty small facial structure (not to mention indented chest and thoracic cavity as well which also negatively affects posture and then that leads to poor breathing as well). **Posture and breathing is sort of a chicken or egg type situation…we can argue which causes each but the right answer is they both affect each other. Now…since we can look at our diaphragm function and still improve it, be it through DNS/PRI/whatever we should do that. An interesting thing that many in the “gluten isn’t bad” camp would do well to listen to is this: both Charlie Weingroff and Dean Somerset have talked about how wheat/gluten can cause enough intestinal discomfort/bloating to negatively affect proper breathing patters. This is interesting because they are pointing out ANOTHER negative attribute of wheat/gluten/any food that causes distended belly-which may include beans/dairy/soy or anything that personally makes you “farty and bloated”. So basically I’m saying eating shitty foods like wheat/other nutrient poor yet gas/bloat inducing foods fuck up your breathing patterns now, and also through epigenetics probably predispose your kids to sucking wind through a dry open mouth as well. Seriously…just stop eating wheat. It has zero redeeming qualities except being yummy. I choose ice cream instead.

Also from the weekend I learned that PaleoFX presenters really love ice cream.

Notes from the training and nutrition for women talk: it is really really important that ladies strength train. But also really important that you find something you like to do, so that you have a positive association with exercise instead of viewing it as another ‘chore or job’. Women can handle more volume, generally speaking-of course this is with the caveat that proper form is maintained, and that the volume and intensity have been worked up to. My personal opinion is that beginners (to any new program) should do high frequency training at lower intensity/volume to get really good at what they are doing….then layer in the volume and intensity. If you must start heavy and hard, then go less frequently. Just don’t do both. I think learning the form and NOT beating the shit out of yourself is really important when starting out. Get good, then occasionally beat your ass down (again, read my ramble above).

I think an important piece that isn’t tackled much, because it is a very sensitive subject is the encouragement of leanness but not super leanness for women, as a little bit of extra bodyfat seems to be appropriate for proper hormonal function. I know that female body image is a very challenging subject, as is basically any talk about women’s health/fitness etc-but it’s still an important subject to discuss. I really dig the female centered websites that encourage to “lift like a man” “strong is sexy” “I’m woman hear me roar type thing” because they ARE/CAN BE very empowering for women-and I’m being sincere when I say that women seem to have it harder than men. Sometimes that’s because women don’t/can’t employ the “don’t give a shit” attitude that we men seem to be good at, and sometimes it is because we truly do live in a male dominated world-in the former, that perception that you have it really bad matters, and I/we men need to try and recognize/understand that perception is reality-even if/when we don’t understand how that seemingly small thing that happened sends a lady over the edge. Back to the “be strong” woman movement (and this can pertain to in the gym/workplace/anywhere): I think it sucks that it often times becomes an “anti girly” movement at the same time. Look, it is awesome when a woman lifts heavy, shucks girly stereotypes, and kicks ass, takes names and is a stud(dette). But…that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing when a girl/woman wants to put on a pretty dress, make up, heels, play with glitter and do stereotypical “girly” things. You CAN DO BOTH! It’s not one or the other. You shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting to do certain things. And any person who looks down/talks shit about that type of thing is being a bully, and can kiss the ass of every nailpolish wearing deadlifting #BA lady out there. I feel bad for you if you are constantly thinking about the image you are putting out there…that’s not someone else’s problem, that’s your own thing. I think that there is a serious lack of fun in much of the fitness industry, and that is horse shit. If you are so serious about your training that you don’t really enjoy it, or actually get mad at what other people are doing then you seriously suck at doing fitness. I dress up in short shorts and tights to try and relax people and get them to enjoy the experience rather than focus on the outcome. I only get mad when bad advice is thrown out about things like lifting weights will make girls bulky.

PaleoFX note: nobody agrees on carbohydrates and how many are a good idea. My thoughts: eat real food. You can’t overeat vegetables. You’ll shit on yourself if you eat too much fruit. And it’s really hard to overeat MOST animal products. Just don’t be an asshole. I’m pretty well firmly believing that carbohydrate timing can be optimized by placing it into the post workout window, or at the end of the day so long as you worked out that day. Broadly speaking, the leaner you are and the more muscle mass you have the more carbohydrates you get to have. At this point, after a certain small amount (in a range a state later) I basically see carbohydrates as a supplement for performance, not something you need for health. If you are looking to kick ass in the gym or in a sport, you need more of them. I’m not saying always be in ketosis-I’m saying have metabolic flexibilty where you can go no carb days, low carb days, and occasionally have more some days. Having to rely on gluconeogenisis all the time is probably too stressful for the body-for brief periods it probably provides some sort of benefit, as is the case with most things I think. Simple as that. If you are looking to lean out, you probably would do well to have less of them, at least for a while. I don’t see

534083_10151824738428098_1644194696_nthe debate ever ending, but I would be shocked if within the next 5 years we don’t start seeing sweeping recommendations across all fitness/health communities that involve LESS carbohydrates. Just understand that we probably don’t need to “optimize” our carb intake, and that a range of 25% of your BW in grams of carbs to 50% of your BW in grams per day is plenty for feeling awesome and staying lean in the absence of high intensity workouts. Carb up more on high intensity days. I basically just made those numbers up…but they make sense to me.

PaleoErs are (mostly) well to do anglo saxon americans. That’s not being discriminatory, its just an observation. It has some stuff to do with the fact that the diet/lifestyle can cost more-but I think mostly it comes down to the fact that for the people there, health and fitness are worth the $$. This is in contrast to anyone who thinks that $100/month for expert instruction in fitness/nutrition/lifestyle is not worth it, yet complains about their weight/health/energy and stress-but still manages to spend much more than that on self medication via booze/drugs/food. My opinion is that most people who won’t spend the money on improving their health could do a better job of not spending money on negative health inputs, and that would have exponential positive effects on their lives. We humans are exceptionally good at self sabotage and coming up with excuses for why things WON’T work. I’m not much for inspirationy quotes/talks, but please focus on the things you can control, and let go of those things that you can’t.

PaleoFX/AHS crowds are HAWT. Simple as that. I Haven’t seen that many fit and healthy people at any other gathering of people ever. Fitness conventions are visual proof that lean/fit/high performance does not = healthy. Those things have people who are wafer thin skinned freaky looking folks who are freaking out every 2 hours that they need a powerbar because they are hypoglycemic and going catabolic. Pretty funny. At this event we gots super smarty physchiatrist Emily Deans doing 1 handed stands, and the only Physician and athlete presenter I’ve ever heard of, Dr. Jacob Egbert.

Keith and Michelle Norris should be applauded and celebrated for working tirelessly to assemble the who’s who of the paleo crowd and putting on an awesome weekend. I wouldn’t want to take on the task of organizing that event, but I’m sure glad I got to be a part of it.

If you are interested in hosting a Turkish Get Up/KB workshop, or online coaching, email me.

genpop

March 23, 2013 — 1 Comment

RANT!

but first! PaleoFX is this weekend and I’m pumped….gonna be so many awesome people and so much good info to be had.

Perhaps the most telling thing I have as “evidence” for what the general public considers to be a healthy diet is my 12 years of experience at trader joes, where whenever I have a customer who is buying lots of whole wheat, quinoa, vegetarian food stuffs, and is devoid of meat I ask them “are you vegetarian?”, and if they are they say yes….but the telling part is at least 75% of the others reply with “no, but I really TRY to not eat much meat. Y’know, trying to be healthy”

I reply with “of course” while noting their candies, chips, and pastas. Then I take a sip of hot butter coffee/bite of beef jerky/handful of dark chocolate macadamias.

Everyone on here (the net) arguing what is bad…we all agree that processed foods are bad…be it because of the crappy fats, carbs, or mystery science food stuffs. The thing is y’all…like Sean Croxton says, JUST EAT REAL FOOD. That packaged pasta shit isn’t real food. That tofurky for sure isn’t real food.

Let the internet specialist/expert circle jerk party of arguing continue while the general public remains woefully ignorant of the fact that the USDA/ADA/AHA diet guidelines are bad news, as are most media stuff. It’s coming around, and the bestest ways we can spend our energies is by putting out good info, and working in the trenches instead of arguing online with the same people repeatedly.

Ranty over

Magic Mike

March 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

A fitness stripper magic east/west coast battle has started

Earlier today, the bootycampers named a move we did the magic mike

Then Kyle and BPM responded with this magic

This was amazing, and so only my most important contribution to fitness would suffice….

You’re welcome.

gettin in the corners

March 12, 2013 — 1 Comment

I can remember my favorite leg workout from 2003-8 involved a series of lunges mixed with medicine ball lifts, as well as some single arm DB snatches in different positions. I remember remarking about how I felt better on the basketball court, and the people I trained felt the same way, invariably.

Then I got more smarter.

I listened to how people ‘just need to get strong’ and do no other type of training than their sport.

Except that didn’t translate to better performance, but instead translated to injuries and less suppleness in my hip region. Now….that’s me personally, and I definitely think that people need to get strong first. But how strong is strong enough? Take me for example, I weigh 190-200 lbs depending on the amount of ice cream I’ve had recently. So, if I can comfortably squat 315 for 8-10, should I be worried about getting heavier? I don’t think so. Especially now that I’ve had a couple injuries. For me I’m getting back to my training athletically mindset-which to me means more abilities with submax weights….without entering the dreaded “WTF” exercise is that!

Here are some vids of things I played with yesterday morning, where I’m exploring bottom squat position on one leg, but doing so loaded with just 2x12kg. I’ve found these to greatly help out in getting some right knee rom back to normal(ish), and approaching my left side. Shout out to John Wolf for the twisting descending squat…he calls it the dragon squat. I’ve always been a fan of the curtsy squat, but this pivot into is really cool, very athletic. Not sure I’ve seen the added press to it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if so. These loaded mobility drills are sweet.

And then we have me just doing dumb stuff….but it’s pretty cool

3 vids

March 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

Saturday morning in the middle of 5 training sessions today, I put together 3 vids quickly.

the bootycamps are fillling up, so get your ass to it!

And 3 people just filled 3 of my remaining 5 spots for online coaching….so my public school math says, I have 2 spots left for you.

internetting

February 28, 2013 — 2 Comments

Before I reach my maximum number of shares on the facebooks in a day, I decided to instead share some things on here. This is mostly related…diet stuff, and this is the third post in a row where I recognize my assholeness tendencies.

I don’t like to think of myself as a militant paleo dickhead, but I know it can come across like that. My clients in san diego are encouraged to adopt a paleo-ish diet. However, if someone doesn’t eat meat I don’t “try to force it down their gullets” (though, a couple have started eating meat because their bodies wanted it). On the interwebz, especially facebook, I tend to post/share stuff espousing the benefits of a paleoish diet, and similarly will post things talking about how vegan stuff is probably not real good for you, (key word alert) in the long term. I think many things can be good for us short term, and in fact my belief is starting to be that basically everything should be cycled:

  • fasting should be cycled. Do it for a month then don’t do it for a month. After a certain amount of time that additional stress might not be the good type of stress anymore.
  • carbohydrate intake should be cycled. There is a reason this comes up in things like bodybuilding cuts, refeeds, carb nite, etc etc etc. Carboydrate manipulation is a really effective way to drive some body comp changes and take advantage of hormonal ‘stuff’.
  • protein cycling. What? Yep, I don’t think we should eat a shit load of protein every day of each week of each month. I read a little something from Brad Pilon about how when you eat less protein your body becomes better at utilizing it. Makes sense to me, even if there aren’t 400 scientificals out there “proving” it. I instead tested it on myself, and ate a little less than 100g of protein every day for almost 2 months. And I didn’t waste away! Weird. But then the cool part happened, I upped my protein to about 220g/day, and in a month put on 10lbs of sweet sweet anabolic mass.
  • workout cycling. don’t lift heavy all year long. don’t do zumba all year long. don’t do HIIT all year long. but stick to a program for 6-12 weeks at a time to actually see results. Then switch it up, unless you are competing or have a long term goal-then you need to keep the goal the goal.

So…here are the facebook recaps of stuff today:

1. real food messages need to continue to be told in different mediums. awesome.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mu8QthlZ6hY#!

2. Two vegan “vs” paleo posts. Both saying the same thing ultimately: you don’t have to eat Yuppie Atkins (my new favorite term for paleo) in order to be healthy. In fact you could do it in many ways, you just have to be educated and put in the effort.

  1. from the oh so sexy Dewey Nielson “There are a lot of anti plant based eating/vegan posts this last month on Facebook. All the way from “You can’t be lean, healthy and strong as a vegan” to “Plant based eaters are idiots and need to go Paleo or they will die”. To a degree, I agree with some of the things they are saying. I do think most plant based eaters do it wrong. They ditch the meat and dairy, and fill their gut full of processed foods, fake meats and become deficient in so many vital nutrients.What I find ignorant is that none of these anti-vegan folks ever ask the question, “why don’t you eat meat?”

    If the answer is “Because eating meat is unhealthy”, I would side with the meat eaters and say eating meat (wild/grassfed/organic) is not unhealthy. 

    Yes. A vegan just said eating meat is not unhealthy. This will piss off many of my vegan friends but come on. Humans have thrived on meat for a LONG time and I have seen blood profiles and amazing body fat %’s from meat eaters.

    I do believe eating factory farmed meat is unhealthy because the animal is fed hormones, GMO corn (poison) and antibiotics. I also think that eating factory farmed meat has causes far more destructive than just ones body health. When you consume factory farmed meat, you are giving the thumbs up to the government (monsanto, big pharma, oil) to continue to destroy our health and you are participating in the torture and death of billions of lives. 

    But if the answer to “why don’t you eat meat?” is “because ethically and morally it doesn’t make me feel good”, how in the world can you tell them they HAVE TO EAT MEAT? You can’t make an ethical and moral decision for someone. You can’t force someone to change their feelings at that level. Most plant based eaters (including myself) that I have talked to have made the decision to ditch the meat because of this. 

    Now how about instead of trying to force meat down someone’s throat that refuses to eat it, we educate them on how to eat a plant based diet the best way possible? This is what the best in the business do. You won’t catch the great ones like John Berardi trying to tell someone what their personal ethics should be. The great ones would help that person eat plant based in the healthiest way possible, which is through whole foods. REAL FOOD! Not the processed fake foods.

    Last year I actually had some digestive issues with eating plant based. I sought out help from a good naturopath, Tim Hyatt who never judged me or told me what my ethics and morals should be. What he did was guided me through what foods I tended to be a bit intolerant of. He did this because he is a professional (this is very important when seeking advice on anything…. Does the person you are seeking advice from, actually make a living on the advice they are giving?) and great at his job.

    If your reason for eating plant based is because of your morals/ethics and a person says negative things about why you shouldn’t eat that way, ignore them. They most likely don’t make a living giving their advice. Go find a real professional to help you through your journey because I will be honest, eating a plant based diet the RIGHT way is difficult. It takes a ton of work, time and dedication. Really, it takes much more work eating a healthy plant based diet than someone who consumes meat. I know this, I have walked in both pairs of shoes. Maybe this should be respected rather than hated on?

    I dislike posting pictures like this because it makes me feel like one of “those” guys ;) The reason for the picture is for everyone here to judge me. Judge my body. I’m putting it out there for you to appreciate or hate on. If I don’t look healthy, lean and strong, say so. Tell me I’m going to die from my vegetables and that I don’t get enough protein. But if you do, you must walk the walk. Show us what you look like without a shirt on if you choose to judge. Show us some feats of strength. Show us your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Humans can thrive on all sorts of diets, so let’s find out why someone chooses to eat the way they eat. If it has to do with personal, moral decisions, lets not hate them for that. Let’s educate them, empower them and help them become the healthiest damn person they can be.

    Be good to each other. Help each other. Peace folks.”

  2. The Vegan girlfriend from Supersize me gave up veganism and wrote about it. The ever awesome Krista Scott Dixon said:
    Forget about the specifics of the diet — substitute any other diet name for “vegan” if you like. Focus on three provocative points in this piece: Eating according to BODY rules; the ebb and flow of those bodily needs; and the role of shame/social pressure in shaping our eating choices. This article really resonated with me even though it’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve been vegetarian.
    The “ebb and flow” to me speaks to the idea that things will need to be cycled. I think that tons of people would see health benefits from short term veganism…partly because of the caloric restriction but mostly because of the taking out of bad shit. Ultimately I don’t believe it’s healthful unless you are very diligent-however most of us aren’t going to be able to keep up that diligence. So as much as I don’t like the attitude that Yoni Freedhoff preaches that “we should shoot for a “B” instead of an A+ because the amount of effort to reach the A+ is too much”, I also basically agree with it for most people. It feels like giving up and mostly I wanna tell people to suck it up and stop being a wuss…maybe we can find that middle ground and follow my diet advice, of “don’t be an asshole“.
    3. Just wanted to point out again that we should rename Paleo to “yuppie atkins” (adrienne harvey came up with that one). Here’s why:
    • Adrienne Harvey LOL don’t forget all that it entails… I EAT CHEEESE and stuff….
    • Clifton Harski Eating expensive cheese, grassfed meat, organic produce: yuppie^3 AND we get to brag about it to make ourselves seem cooler/more sophisticated! We win so much in feeling arrogant and awesome! Yes! That’s why I like this mockery new title so much!
    • Adrienne Harvey Don’t forget all the hipster-filtered instagram photos, i will admit to liking to take those too
    • Adrienne Harvey scuse me while I go wrap some bacon around the last of the goat camembert…
    • Krista Scott-Dixon Some days I wonder if we invented nutrition in order to have something else for bourgeious neurotics to narcissistically whine about.
    • Clifton Harski I’m not kidding, how cool does it feel when someone says “want a muffin?” and then I scoff, snort, and proclaim I don’t eat gluten while I bounce my chesticles at their poor nondefined features. Muah hahahah…..then I cry myself to sleep for being a jerk face.
      Lastly-if you are in or know someone in San Diego, and you aren’t training with me and haven’t recommended me to train your people you know in san diego…then we can’t be friends anymore. I’m pumped because I’m gonna be training out of two awesome facilities: Pacific Coast Kettlebells in Pacific Beach and Revolution Fitness in La Jolla. So Holla at me on the training page!
      Also….crossfit plus paleo = serious fitness gain and fat loss. But also alarmingly high rate of injury. “Basically, this study shows that in 10-weeks of Crossfit training and Paleo dieting, the average man will lose 7.6 lbs, gain 2.2 lbs of muscle, shed 4.2% bodyfat, and improve VO2max by 13.6%, while the average woman will lose 3.9 lbs, gain 2.3 lbs of muscle, shed 3.4% bodyfat, and improve VO2max by 11.8%. So it is highly effective for improving body composition and aerobic fitness, but it appears that all good things come at a price, as 16% of the subjects (9 out of 54) dropped out due to overuse injuries.” – Bret Contreras 
      Now, here is the key paragraph from the write up (IMO)- “”Also, the study was limited as all of the subjects also adhered to the Paleo Diet. It is therefore impossible to know how much of the results could be attributed to the training and how much could be attributable to the diet.“” Sssooooo….since we all like to repeat the whole “you can’t out exercise a bad diet/diet is 90% of fat loss” thing, maybe the CF wasn’t all that helpful? I “know” it was helpful of course, but what I’m getting at is perhaps we could produce very similar fitness gains and body comp changes through implementation of the diet, and inclusion of a HIIT style workout protocol that was based around more self limiting exercises and ‘safer’ drills than the typical CF workouts. READ: good swings, crawls, ropes, airdynes, rowers, hill sprints, and intelligent HIITing instead of max effort/reps of technical movements!
      That’s all folks. Sign up for online coaching here if you wanna increase badassery via the netz.

S&C Circle Jerk

February 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

I guess this is part 2 of me admitting that I’m an asshole. That I judge. That I think I’m awesome, that my poop is stenchless, and whatever else people think I think.  It all comes down to the fact that I take what I do seriously, have integrity, and want to provide the best material I can.

I want to share with you what I call the “elite” professional community in the S&C/Fitness industry: the S&C Circle Jerk Party.

Let me break it down a little, and explain how sometimes I find myself joining in-then realize that I don’t always wanna be part of the circle jerk party.

It goes like this:

ME “I saw this guy doing squats on BOSU ball…”

second trainer “what. a. dumbass.”

ME “I know. Clearly he hasn’t seen the scientificals about how that’s totally gonna minimize his clients results.”

second trainer “what. a. dumbass.” 

OR

ME “WTF is that person doing?”

second trainer “they probably think that’s a swing. more like a kneecap ugh-sploder”

ME “This is exactly why people think swings are bad for your back. That and biggest loser.”

second trainer “what. a. dumbass.”

OR

lecturer at Perform Better “….and that’s why you shouldn’t run”

everyone in crowd “yeah! fuck running!”

sorta reminds me of this

Now….

I’ve been guilty of all of those things above, and I’m torn….because I realize two things:

1. Us trainers who are striving for the utmost professionalism in our industry want to hold everyone who represents our industry to a high standard. We want for our messages which we have studied, have proven, and hold dearly to be the beacons of light in the dark world of commercialized fitness where women still think they’ll get bulky from lifting heavy weights, where people still think cardio is how to best reduce bodyfat, and where a low fat diet is touted as the best way to lose fat. We wish there was a barrier of entry akin to chiropractors, or massage therapy, or at the very least that everyone would have one of the nasm/nsca/acsm/ace credentials that are nationally accredited. (though, let’s be honest-does that really even matter? I’ll get back to that). We wish and want these things because we love fitness and helping, and we identify ourselves with the industry, we are emotionally attached to what we view ourselves as, and so we only want ourselves to be represented correctly. Yes, we are selfish. And without being to aynrandy I think that is a good thing, because if us in the industry don’t hold each other accountable then we might end up with Richard Simmons running the show again.

2. Conversely, 1 is still more than zero. What I mean is this: if someone gets off their ass, and into the gym and does anything that’s better than when they were doing nothing. If there is a trainer who honestly wants to help, who realistically doesn’t have a high expertise level (aka MOST trainers), but is so engaging and passionate that he/she trains 50 people a week who then have some positive results-should I still be mad? What if I tell someone that the things they want to do aren’t going to deliver them the results they are looking for? I’d be telling the truth but I also run the risk that I stop them dead in their tracks and send them back to their diet cokes, fritos, and couches. I have said multiple times that the best form of exercise that anyone can do is the type they enjoy…

but do I even really believe that?

Sort of. I believe it, but I don’t like it. I believe it and even embrace it because I hope that people see results and then hunger for more results….and to get more results one needs more knowledge, so I assume people will start to seek out that knowledge. Unfortunately this brings us back full circle to the uneducated trainer who is delivering suboptimal advice through limited knowledge-at some point that advice stops working, and then the person becomes disheartened and perhaps even mistrusting of our industry-or they actually get so into things they sorta join in the circle jerk themselves, which is basically what every paleo internet warrior does when they argue which starches/sugars are safe and which ones are poison. Which I guess is a win, albeit an annoying one.

I, like most trainers who are working with people still, enjoy seeing people improve their health, fitness, and hotness levels and want to maximize our clients’ results through the most effective methods available. Those methods generally are opposite of what people are willing/expecting to do.

What are those things?

1. Understanding that eating like an asshole will render you gym efforts useless from a body composition standpoint. (If you think working out allows you to eat shitty food-you are mistaken)

2. Accepting the fact that strength training is the most important thing you can do in the gym, and that ‘cardio’ may even be a bad idea for some. (Adding muscle and losing fat is what adds tone. Strength is what allows you to do things.)

3. Embracing the fact that you must work hard-not just show up. (If you think that just walking into the gym and spending an hour texting/facebooking/reading on the bicycle is gonna make a difference, you are mistaken.)

4. Understanding that even if you eat well, and workout smartly that you still have to have a healthy lifestyle to make serious changes. (if you are up late reading this on your electrical device, or watching TV, or getting up in 5 hours, or avoiding sunlight, or not enjoying the company of loved ones, or not taking the time to relax and enjoy ‘stuff’, your life probably sucks and you probably aren’t happy and probably aren’t maximizing your results because of that).

5. Understanding that nothing happens really really fast-nothing that lasts anyways.

These are the things that some of our, let’s say “less honest/educated” trainers, don’t mention or blatantly lie about while promising the world to potential clients. I know there are clients I’ve lost because I’m honest, and I can only do what I can do.

I guess the circle jerk isn’t a bad thing as long as we don’t turn it into a pissing circle with the less educated in the middle getting drenched. If we are just congratulating each other on good blog posts, or on who has found the most minimal shoe ever that isn’t just duct taped soles of their feet, then we aren’t hurting anyone—but sometimes the circle jerk does turn into a “piss on the uneducated person”….which isn’t cool when it’s just someone who is excited, and wants to help but doesn’t know that they don’t know. It is cool when it’s pissing on someone who is spreading crap info because they haven’t bothered to attempt to learn the whys and hows of things, or they’re jumping in on a trendy tool/name to cash in even when they don’t know WTF they’re doing.  In truly ignorant but good natured trainer cases, maybe we need to have a little more patience, perhaps even invite them to the circle and pass them some lotion knowledge.

An example: I’ve recently been introduced to the bulgarian bag training tool. I’ve had the opportunity to train with Steve Nave, maybe the “second in command” of the entire bulgarian bag system, and he showed me the three basic fundamental moves, (this was a month ago). I have not had any clients use the bulgarian bag in the new methods I’ve learned because I don’t think I’m expert enough in the teaching/cueing/demonstrating of the tool-and I like to think that I’m pretty good about my movements and ability to coach new things. I understand that you don’t need to be a certified kettlebell/dumbbell/shakeweight instructor to deliver solid coaching, but I also KNOW that you should be very confident and knowledgeable with what you teach before you start trying to teach it. If you aren’t knowledgable, first let your ego go and know that it’s ok to not be the master of every training tool/system ever, and second: go learn before you (mis)use new tools/concepts!! If you don’t do those things, then you deserve to get pissed on, and nobody will invite your to our circle jerk party.

Seriously, there ARE SOOOOO MANY opportunities for getting better! How and why wouldn’t you?! Here are some ideas to get started: 1. go to a convention/seminar and take notes at lectures, don’t just hang out at the socials and check out the zumba dancers 2. go to Mike Robertson’s site and read everything 3. pay attention to Ben Bruno’s site and read his “blog posts of the week” posts each week 4. get certified in something you are interested in 5. buy a dvd and watch it, twice 6. buy sessions with a personal trainer who is an expert in something you arent and learn it, then practice it, then finally teach it.

I remember when I did all sorts of stuff on the bosu ball, or only did bodybuilding splits, or loved yoga, then hated yoga, or knew that people shouldn’t eat too much saturated fat. What I’m saying is I have been, and will be again the enthusiastic uneducated person who is doing something that other people “just know” is wrong, and I might get pissed on—-but most likely I’m already working on watching a recorded lecture/reading a book/attending a seminar so that I can avoid getting urine allover my sweet V neck and can join in the S&C circle jerk instead.

I think the, including my, tendencies of starting to pee on people prematurely is because I/we are trying to continually learn, and I/we get upset at others who aren’t. We live this. We want our jobs to be made easier by all of us spreading the same message….well at least messages that aren’t completely false.

In summary: I’m still torn about whether being in the circle jerk party is a good thing or a bad thing…I know that anyone trying to help is realistically doing more good than bad if they are providing enjoyable experiences to people, but, I just wish everyone had the desire to keep learning and be true to the bettering of our profession. Sorry I’m not sorry for being passionate about keeping up our standards…I guess I’m just an asshole.

Oh well.

Back to the circle jerk where I’ll message my S&C buddies some awesome new blog post about the benefits of barefoot training the morning after ingesting at least 3.7 grams of O3 fatty acids in whole food form in conjunction with 1.2g of animal protein per KG of lean body mass….which is basically just putting a quarter sized dab of coconut oil in each of our hands.