Modified Whole 30- day 1

It was way easier than I expected.  I didn’t experience a caffeine headache,  I had no cravings and even though I was a little hungry, I felt satisfied every time I ate. 

I didn’t get quite enough sleep, but I was close.

I started my day off by eating at Chipotle, a burrito bowl with fajita peppers, shredded pork, Pico De Gallo, guacamole and lettuce.  This was at about 1:30pm.  At about 430 I ate 2 ground beef patties that were 8oz each before cooking.  Each of these had a slice of provalone cheese, and I ate half of an avocado with it.  At about 8pm I had the same Burger/cheese/avocado concoction and that was it for the day.

I also managed to drink over a gallon of plain water, which I don’t think I’ve done for a month or two.  Over all day one was a huge success for me.

It’s day 2 today.  I have a workout scheduled for today and will need some extra food.  So I’ll likely have mashed sweet potatoes with butter, and some type of meat, probably pork.  Who knows at this point?


What Am I Capable Of

Im getting married tomorrow.  Im certainly capable of doing this.  I have no doubt in my mind that Francesca is as good a woman as there is out there.  I say this unequivically, and without doubt.


When I ask what I am capable of, I mean to ask, what am I capable of achieving with my mind.  This is a resounding statement that I think all men should be asking themselves about at some point in their life, and I feel fortunate that I am asking it now instead of waiting until I’m 45 or 50.  Im 26 now.


I have started my own business and put my name on it.  Although the actual name of the business may change at any point, and likely will, its my creation to mould and take responsibility for.  Because of this I refuse to accept alternatives.  I refuse to comprimise my morals and values, and I refuse to trade judgement and independent thought for “security” or “the well being of the greater good”  and I am asked to on a continual basis.


Several months ago I was asked if I could put together exercise and nutritional programs for people in a clear and concise way.  My answer was “I have no doubt that I can put together the programs you’ve asked for, and bet my life and reputation on it.”  Or something to that effect.  I can and do bet my life on it, as these are the same programs that I follow myself.


When it came to the attention of the people that asked this of me that I was perscribing nutritional programs high in animal products and fat, I was questioned as to my methods and reasons and after defending my position was rewarded by changing the minds of the people who thought the program wouldnt anyone lose much in the way of body fat.  More recently Ive encountered a different, but similarly puzzling problem.  These people have now asked me if I know how to create programs that will help people gain weight.  The paradox, as confusing as it seems, is actually a matter of the same philosophical mistake.  How can a diet work to help one lose and gain weight?


The initial assumption these people had was that I perscribe a “low-carb” diet.  Although the diet I adhere to and give away free of charge to the clients that I have is a fairly low-carb diet, its predicated more on the OPTIMAL ratios of nutrients in the diet. 


I was asked, “how can you build muscle on a low-carb diet?”  and my reply was “carbohydrates are not used as structural components in the body.  they are an energy substrate and as such are used for energy production.”  The implication being that carbs arent required for building anything.  Which they are not.


I want to conduct an experiment on my self and I’m gonna do it starting Monday September 24th, 2012.  Follow a modified Whole30, exercise 2-3 x per week utilizing a twice weekly weight training regime and HIIT once a week, cold exposure, and sleeping and walking in biologically appropriate amounts.  It will be done.  And here are my whole 30 rules:


1) Eat meat, eggs and veggies, some fruits, a few nuts and organic dairy fats. NOTHING ELSE!!!

2) Eat 2-3 meals per day with zero snacking.  None.

3) Take 15min cold showers 3x per week, drink 1-2 gallons of cold water per day.

4) Follow a two-way split training program emphisizing compound movements and high intensity cardio.

5) Sleep 8 hours per night.

And anothers goal I have is to pick up atleast 5 more clients before the end of October.


Now, lets see what I’m capable of.

My workout today

This was my workout today.  Feel free to post your workout as well.


Seated Dip- 300lbs   dynamic only  1:47

Pullover/Pulldown- 180lbs static 90lbs dynamic   3:05

Overhead Press- 210lbs static  150lbs dynamic  1:14

Hammer Row 180lbs dynamic only  :48

Calf Raise in the Leg Press  330lbs dynamic only   1:45


Crazy pump in this workout.  In the overhead press I think I got 2 reps with 150lbs, it just wouldnt move.  The pulldown was too light however, I clearly went way over my projected time with it.  So a few adjustments are in order, but over all, id say it went very well.

My new protocol: Pre Exhaust Dynamic Timed Static Contraction

OK, so it’s not a super catchy title, but clearly that’s not what I’m concerned about. 

This is the 3rd attempt to write this post.  Excuse my brevity.

I’ve put together several protocols that already exist.  So not much of what I’m about to present is new.  But suffice to say it’s been brutally hard, and safe, and that is really the whole idea behind it. 

I bought nylon straps rated for 400+ lbs of tensile strength, and I hook them onto the various machines and tighten it to the point where my range of motion is limited to prevent locking out.  This obviously wouldn’t apply to most upper body pulling exercises, but I’ve found a way to use it there too.

Get your self into the leg press, and adjust the seat settings appropriately.   Your body position should create a situation where your heels, knees and shoulders are all in line.  Next, load a particularly light weight and attach the strap to the machine in a way that allows only slightly more than a 90 degrees bend in the legs.  One end of the strap will be attached to the foot pad and the other end on the seat.  Set the stack down and load with your work weight.  Now as slowly as you can, press the foot pad until the strap prevents further movement.  At this point you should NOT lower the weight.  Instead, continue to press into the foot pad as hard as you dare for as long as possible.

After failure occurs, and you can no longer keep the resistance from coming down despite using the maximum possible effort, lower the resistance as slowly as possible.  Remove 25-50 percent of the resistance, and remove the strap.  Now perform a set to failure in a normal fashion.  The time between the static hold and the dynamic set should be as small as possible. 

If performed properly, the reduced weight should feel impossibly heavy.  The last time I performed this on the leg press, I only took 25% of the weight off the stack before performing the dynamic set and my set was about half the amount of reps/time I normally achieve.

I have used this technique on several clients, and in machines such as the pulldown, barbell curl, overhead press, upright row, and pull over.  It is particularly effective in the pullover/ pulldown sequence, because you don’t even need to leave the machine.

Set the straps in a way that allows the arms to be pulled down to the point where your elbows are at 90degrees, but no further.  Now use another strap to wrap under your elbows and attach it to the movement arm.  Load the machine with your full work weight and start to pull down with your elbows.  When your arms are at 90degrees, continue to contract as hard as you dare for as long as possible.  Again, this will eventually become too heavy and when failure occurs, remove the straps, lower the weight and perform a standard set to failure.  Tell me how pumped your lats get. 

I have a workout scheduled for today, seated dip, pullover/ pulldown, overhead press, seated row, calf raise in the leg press.  I will report back with my results when I get feeling back in my fingers..

My program con’t

I’ve been eating 1800 calories per day for a few weeks.  A couple times I’ve gone over, but for the most part I’ve been pretty dead on.  It’s not really that difficult, but I’ve been at it without a food scale, so I’ve had to mostly overestimate on many occasions.

I arrived at 1800 somewhat arbitrarily.  I understood I could eat this amount without feeling dramatically hungry, and at the same time I am certain this would be a level of calories well below maintenance. 

I still mostly follow the Optimal Diet levels of protein and carbs, as ideally these wouldn’t change under most circumstances.  This means roughly 80-100 grams of protein and 40-50 grams of carbs per day.  Mostly meat and veggies including potatoes and mushrooms.  At 80% lean, most meats have somewhere between 64 and 90 grams of protein per pound, so this means I’m eating about a pound of meat a day, though sometimes I stick to eggs.  Each large egg has 6- 7 grams of protein, so I could eat 12- 15 eggs per day instead of meat.

Ribeye steaks are hands down my favorite food.  But even 1 and a half pounds in a sitting leaves me with room for more, and totals over 120 grams of protein,  overshooting my protein intake for the day. 

Omelettes are also in my top foods too, and these leave me without much to be desired.  A 5 or 6 egg omelette is one of the most filling foods around, as well as versatile.  There is literally no end to what can go into these magic meals, as preference is really the only limit.

Here are some of the best I’ve made:

Omelette Pizza
-5 whole eggs, whipped, cooked on pan with lid until solid
On top while eggs are still cooking add:
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
-1/4 cup tomato paste
-10-12 pepperoni slices

Spicy Mexican taco omelettes
-5 whole eggs whipped with 1/2 cup salsa and 1/2 cup Mexican cheese
And taco seasonings to raw eggs and cook
Add guacamole, hot salsa, Pico de Gallo, sour cream, or extra cheese

Super Fatty Optimal Omelette
-5 egg yolks, 1 whole egg
-8 tablespoons heavy cream
-2 oz mozzarella
-3 oz fried white potatoes (plain potatoes fried in butter)

I’m considering trying to eat nothing but omelettes/scrambled egg mixes for the 2 weeks leading up to the wedding.  I think I’ll be super satisfied with the amount of food I can eat, get enough variety to please my brain, and still not go over my protein intake.  More on that to come.

The Effect of Exercise

While it seems obvious that people are trying to achieve something by exercising, not many people know what it is they seek. Worse yet, some people are out trying to achieve something that isn’t necessarily healthful or beneficial in anyway. Many times throughout the day I sit and just watch people (mostly men) as they knock out set after set of bench presses, or swing away on the biceps curls with 12 different types of curl, all way to heavy, and without near enough time on each set. The women’s style, while different, is equally ineffective, performing upwards of 30 reps on the leg press, without enough weight to even come close to creating the requisite stimulus, then taking 5+ minutes to find the right song on their iPod before performing even more wasted effort on some other leg apparatus. While both approaches appear different, in reality they are very similar. In either scenario what we have is a profound failure to achieve the desired effect of exercise. The effect we are looking for is a definite deep exhausting of the strength of the target muscles involved in each exercise performed. While it is indeed a very difficult effect to achieve, it is necessary to understand why the examples above are severely ineffective, in order to understand the proper way to perform each exercise. Let’s start with the ladies example. Normally I will observe women performing far too much work for the hips and thighs, and not nearly enough work for the torso and arms. This by itself is a mistake for simple and obvious reasons. Many women mistakenly believe that by working their arms and torso they will develop a “man-like” musculature (even though they still exercise the hips and thighs without believing the very same thing) This is silly at a base level. (For starters, women are not men, and can only ever look like themselves.) All kidding aside, the muscle won’t develop to Greek God proportions overnight, and so if the muscles ever appear to be getting “too big” it’s easy to simply back off the upper body exercises for a long enough period to allow slight reduction in size. This rarely ever happens though, because women generally do not have enough of the hormone testosterone, or growth hormone to create this effect. Women can and should exercise as hard as is possible for all their bodyparts, in every workout, in the same way that men should. On the flip side we have the average dude in the gym who comes in and does the same thing the ladies do, accomplishing the same end by different means. They seldom perform work for their lower body, and perform far too many sets for the arms and chest, and far too often. Although the manner in which they perform their exercises are vastly different (jerking, bouncing, heaving and basically throwing the weight around, often dangerously fast, all the while grunting and screaming as if they are being fed into a wood chipper feet first) the end result is the same. They achieve exactly zero positive effects, and end up looking exactly the same, or smaller and weaker over time. And I’m not guessing they are weaker. I can see the weights on the bench. As I sit here right now writing this I am a mere 20 feet from the free weight section of my gym, and the closest station is the bench press. So all this begs the question, how should one perform proper exercise? Well as complicated as this may be upon first read, it’s actually very simple in practical terms. Here we go: 1-one set per exercise is all that is required. If one cannot properly perform this one set, doing multiple sets is not the solution. Improperly performing any exercise can be dangerous, and will be useless regardless of how many sets are employed. This merely serves to drain precious energy the body could have used to recover, grow, or properly perform the exercises in the first place. 2-each set has to be a life and death situation. Think of whether or not you could do another Rep if your life depended on it. If yes, then you simply haven’t worked hard enough. These reps must be done with perfect form or they won’t count. Other wise you are just “lifting weights” and not properly performing the exercise. 3-move slowly during the exercise and quickly between them. This makes the entire workout harder, which in turn makes it more productive. Your conditioning will also track beautifully with your strength increases, but it won’t happen the other way around. 4-chose exercises that follow joint function instead of forcing the joints to conform to the machine. This keeps tendons and ligaments safe and strong as well as allows a fuller range of motion and a stronger ability to properly contract and fatigue the target muscles. 5-keep the workout brief. If it takes you 45 minutes or longer to complete your workout, you probably aren’t working hard enough on each set. When properly performed, each individual set should leave you feeling very, very tired. Very. Even 20 minutes seems long and some of my clients can perform as few as 3 total sets in a workout and be so tired afterward they can barely stand. That is outright hard work. 6-full body workouts are best. Unless you can’t recover. Most people are perfectly capable of handling full body workouts at least 2 times every 10 days. Even if that means Mike Mentzer’s consolidation program of literally 2 sets performed once every 7-10days. In my experience, most people do just fine with 2 or even 3 fullbody workouts per 7-10 days. This is by no means a complete list of the bad habits people have, and is also not a be-all-end-all to everyone’s exercise problems. Just a few simple suggestions to make a bad program better. Very soon I’ll be talking about why cardio sucks, why fruit is not necessarily good for you, and probably a lot about why carbs are guilty of treason.