lessons

The best programming for rest days: For STRENGTH

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if you’re looking to get that total up as fast as possible you need to consider the aspect of your programming that doesn’t involve training, your REST days! Not to say that just focusing on rest days will solve all the problems, not at all, you need to address your diet and training always. And when it comes to your diet there’s no better solution that I’ve found for keeping the quality up and the time involved down, than with Quick Paleo Meal Prep, this book goes over all the need to knows and things you need to know but don’t want to hear about eating for performance and ease. But for now let’s address the rest. 

DO YOU EVEN SLEEP BRO?


I lose count every time I think about the number of times people say ” I function better on 4-6 hours of sleep”, what they meant to say was “I’ve adjusted to how crappy I feel when I only get 4-6 hours of sleep”. If your attempting to be competitive in any sport then sleep needs the main priority! 8-10 hours per night EVERY NIGHT, and if you can manage, put black out shades in your room as well as invest in a noise canceler. This will improve your quality of sleep dramatically, check out this episode of barbell shrugged when they interviewed a sleep doctor who studies athletes and sleep patterns and I’m sure you’ll agree. 

ACTIVE REST IS THE BEST REST


The main reason people who train for strength don’t take time off is because they don’t want to lose all that they’ve worked for right? So don’t do it! Active rest is simply staying active while giving your mind and body a chance to re build and catch up. So instead of sitting on the couch meditating about cucumber water and zen world peace, go to the gym with some lightly playing headphones (keep all stimulus low), warm up and mobilize for a little longer and then go through some reps with 50-60% of your max. This will not only keep your body active and awake but you’ll possibly make some gains on your rest period! Who’d of thunk it. 

CLEAN OUT YOUR SYSTEM


I used to be in the camp of those who looked at a rest period as a time to do as much carb loading and artery clogging as possible! But like I’m sure most of you know, that this will end in disaster when you’re back in the gym. You’ll lose any fitness that was there and you’ll look like hammered poo. So instead do a juice cleanse for 2-3 days and keep a strict Paleo diet for 80% of the day, let’s not get carried away here cause we all need that fix at least once per day ;). So focus on rest on the inside as well, your body works hard to keep you moving forward so show it some love once in a while. 

YOUR CHALLENGE 

On your next rest period apply these principals to your rest and note which helped and which you could toss out. Let’s face it, what works for some won’t work for all, so tweak the system as needed to fit your situation. 

RESOURCES Barbell Shrugged, Travis Stoetzel, Barbell Budah

When Should You “Lean Out”

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I started a YouTube channel as well, check it out here
life is all about balance, yin and yang, hot and cold, fat and skinny. The best way to create this balance is with proper nutrition above all else, which is addressed in the book I collaborated on “Quick Paleo Meal Prep.” This book goes over all the fundamentals of fixing your junk diet and manipulating portions and ingredients to take you from fat to ripped, or skinny to Froning. However this post is about “leaning out” to keep the gains going, whether it’s fitness or business, there’s always a time for rest and recouping. 
YOU CAN’T PERMA-BULK

  


By perma-bulk you know that I’m talking about the people who are always “bulking” with the intention of consistently adding muscle month after month. I’m not saying this is impossible, but I do know that your body has a point of critical mass when you’re constantly shoveling food in. After a while of realizing there will be a constant stream of food in excess, your body begins to store it as fat because that’s its primary method of operations after centuries of living on the edge of survival in the wilderness. So if you consistently shove in high calorie foods with no variation then you’ll only start to see “gainz” around your belt line. 

SAME GOES FOR BUSINESS 

I know first hand that you can’t mash the gas pedal everyday for too long before the wheels start coming off in one form or another. Whether it’s growing apart from your family or pushing the ones you love out of your life with your constant focus on work, to maintain these great things takes times of intensity and times of rest. 
WHEN TO “LEAN OUT”


I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on the Internet, see your licensed physician before applying anything you’re not used to. 

I personally go through a sustained low calorie diet anywhere from 1-3 months per year. This helps to reset the metabolism and give your body a chance to clean out all the garbage it accumulates during the bulking phase. Now I would get down to the point where I have a visible six pack and constantly visible vascularity just for the sake of asthetics and the beach season is usually when this happens. But you can get down lower or somewhat above, as long as you maintain it for at least a month and a half. I use the month and a half as a minimum because your body adapts quickly around the 90 day mark, and if you drastically shift around that point you’ll have the best results from my experience. We will discuss how to lean out healthily later, crash diets aren’t fun or useful for most people. Until then stay strong! 
YOUR CHALLENGE 

Set a time to go through a “leaning out” phase, whether it’s business or fitness. And make time for family and enjoying the good in life, it’s a struggle at first but the rewards are well worth it! And you’re worth it! 

Take A Step BACK

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ok first thing’s first before I forget, I collaborated with a book that has been recently published to kindle, Quick Paleo Meal Prep. And want some HONEST input. If I gift you the book will you post an HONEST review, it’s a bit more professional/technical writing. But if you could help me out then just leave a comment with your email (I’ll delete it as soon as I get it to avoid creepers). 
BACK TO BUSINESS


I decided to get a friend to video my squat to see if there were any technique issues I needed to workout. In short, I pretty much hung up lifting for about two weeks. Between the rounding of upper back and butt winking (when your lower back curves), and the knees diving in, I basically looked like hammered dog poo in the bottom of my squat. This is especially rough for me since I’ve worked my way from a 285 one rep max, to 305 for somewhat easy working sets. All at a body weight of 173 lbs., but here we go. 
SO WHAT TO DO?


Well after crying in a dark room for a few hours and eating my feelings, I came back to the gym with a goal to fix me. I started by subscribing to the Crossfit journal (only $30/year I think), and watched every video by jelly starrett that I could on fixing these issues. I started with ankle mobility and worked my way up. It’s challenging to not go all out on stretches. After all, you see him glide in and out of these positions that I’m shaking and panting in like an uncontrollable furbie doll (aging myself with that reference). 
THE PROGRESS


I’ve mobilized the nasty tissue and now I’m strengthening the muscles that are probably on par with a 5th graders at this point. However the form though is looking much better, and I feel more solid in the bottom of the squat. So that’s a plus! It’s going to be a long journey back to the top, but I’m confident that it’ll be a higher peak once I get there! 
YOUR CHALLENGE 
Video an exercise you enjoy and compare it to a professional with their technique. Analyze what they’re doing that you’re not, and how you can get better. 

Your Opinion Matters!

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Too many times in life we accept ourselves as someone with nothing to offer. We have things that we know, but shrink ourselves so as to not stand out. Nothing could be further from the truth! 
YOU KNOW IT ALL


Not in the literal sense of knowing everything, but your life has afforded you the unique experiences to grant you knowledge in different  areas. You may have grown up in an area that is filled with wealth, therefore you have the inate knowledge of sophisticated living that others couldn’t attain through years of study. The opposite is just as true, you could have bee so poor that you learned to appreciate life in it’s most simple elements. Either way, you and your experiences MATTER!
YOU HOLD THE KEY


There are things that you have a passion for that no one else does. You’ve taken the time to learn and grow your knowledge in this area, and that is an invaluable resource! Whether it’s fashion, investing, history or door knob shining, you hold the key to that information. Without people like you this world would be filled with the same person multiplied hundreds of thousands of times. It would be LAME! So thank you for your interest and passions. 
YOU EARNED IT!


I wanted to share this with you because I was involved (hopefully we have more content headed your way!) with the writing of a short kindle book “Quick Paleo Meal Prep“. It’s in the Amazon kindle store, just search the title and it’s either free or .99. But after it was done I couldn’t help but realize that if it weren’t for two people being passionate about something, things and information would never be shared like that. So anyway, you’re special and I support you! 
YOUR CHALLENGE
Find an area of your life that you’ve excelled in and take a moment to realize the joy it’s brought you. Also how that knowledge has been able to affect others lives. 

Eating Paleo For Muscle

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Yea that paleo thing is fine if you wanna loose weight or stay lean, but I wanna get JACKED! If I had a nickle for every time I heard this I’d have a lot of nickles. “Paleo” isn’t just a diet that people go on to loose weight, it’s a lifestyle. 
WHAT IS A DIET?


A diet is a short term way  of eating that restricts calories to promote weight loss. There is certainly emphasis on the “short” term. Most people get to where they want to be and then go off the rails in a big way, gain all the weight back, and start the cycle over again in a year when they’re heavier than the last year. It’s a cycle that 80% of people subscribe to and accept. 
PALEO FOR WEIGHT GAIN


So if a diet is a restriction of calories then weight gain is a surplus right? YUP, true you’ll need to eat more, volume wise, if you’re focusing on paleo, but your gains will have much more quality! So how I did it was about as simple as it gets. I ate balanced portions to total higher than average calories per day, but after my workouts I would have about a pound of mashed sweet potato and two cups of ground beef (fat drained). 
WHY DOES THIS WORK?


Because that’s the only time your body is willing to shuttle nutrients focused on muscle growth! Your muscle size is almost dead last on your bodies priority list, so when it’s been pushed to the limit or close, that’s when you need to cram all the QUALITY food in you can. Do a little home research on the glut4 compound and how it aids in muscle growth, you’ll be glad you did. For now you need to focus on totaling up how many calories you need to gain weight (300-400 over normal per day), and make that post workout meal as big as you can stomach without throwing up your gainz. Don’t factor in the post workout as your daily expenditure, as your body will put those foods to use ASAP. 
YOUR CHALLENGE


If your goal is weight gain then put this to the test. However if you’re focused on weight loss I would still add the post workout meal in there, just a whole lot smaller. This helps your body restore glucose stores after intense workouts and gets rid of the shakes of you’re training on a deficit. Again these calories basically don’t count if you put in a high quality workout, cause your body will put them to use right away. 

Cheat Day: Mission Complete!

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You have been maintaning a paleo diet for six days, nothing but the paleo all day every day.  And then God said “let there be calories!”, and there were and they were good…soooo good :P. 

HOW IT WENT DOWN


My Saturday began just as any other would, eggs with spinach and black beans in the morning (kept under 450 calories), but then something changed.  I drove to Waffle House at 8am, and before I went in I downed 6 oz. of grapefruit juice (to reduce insulin spike and promote fast passing). Then I walked in and ordered the all star breakfast with an extra waffle (two eggs, two sausage, hash browns, toast and a waffle). After I ordered I went to the bathroom and did 60-90 sec. Of high intensity cardio. I came back and squeezed lime juice into my water (reduce insulin spike further), and proceeded to gorge myself for the next 10 min. syrup flowing and smiles all around! 

CAN YOU EAT MCDONALDS ON CHEAT DAY?


I’m not sure if you “can”, but I did. Yup, two quarter pounder delux with cheese! This was the point where I didn’t want to look at myself for about 3 hours. Luckily we were on a road trip to Baton Rouge, so I sat in the back and questioned if I was going to live or not. But then we arrived…

HOW MANY CRAWFISH CAN YOU EAT?


6 lbs. after a big plate of dip and fruit, the dip must have been a Paula Dean recipe due to the pools of butter at the edges of the dish. After I push away from the table I smell something in the air….CAKE!! Suddenly I find room for two large pieces of chocolate and strawberry cake. At this point I’m not sure if I’m over-doing it, but I like to push the limits so let’s go! 

WHO WANTS CRACKER BARREL?


I questioned my future after saying I would go, but my friend who was allergic to most of the food served was hungry and wanted a dinner buddy. So we saunter over to the barrel, and wanting to test my bodies limits, I order the chicken fried steak with two orders of mashed potatoes and green beans (after the plate of cornbread and apple butter). I was half way through my plate and was seeing spots so I decided to live to gorge another day. We waddle back to the hotel, and hugging my belly I roll into bed and pray I wake up tomorrow. 

DID I GAIN ALL THE WEIGHT BACK??

Nope, I weighed 174.6 lbs. Friday, weighing Monday morning I was a bloated 175.3 lbs. just one pound over where I started. So all in all I would say that cheat day was a success and I look forward to next Saturday already :)) just FYI as well, I lost 4.6 lbs. that first week on this regimen. 

Your challenge: starting today, even if you’ve downed a few donuts already, start the paleo diet with the intention of pigging out Saturday to restart your body. It’s amazing!! 

It’s All About The 80/20 Folks!

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It’s Friday!! That means that tomorrow (and a little Sunday) is my day to go as wild as I want with my food, and I don’t even feel bad about it! No one can do the same thing over and over day in and day out, we just aren’t wired that way. So I encourage you to think as you read over this about what areas in your life you’re not giving the propper amout of rest to.

 

12,000 Calorie Day

That’s my goal every Saturday, and even though I never hit it, I satisfy every craving I had during the week. If you are following the Paleo Diet for weight loss, it’s reasonable to assume that you’re dramatically underfed most days. So balance this out with at least one day of the nastiest cheating you can stomach! This will not only fix the cravings, bring you to a reasonable amount of calories and bring you back mentally; this will reset your body to burn fat faster in the next week! That’s right, eating like a pig for one day has the potential to reset your body and enhance the fat shreddage!

GO NUTS…responsibly

I know after all of that you’re wanting to schedule your cheat day ASAP, wake up and dive headfirst into the tallest stack of panckakes you can find for breakfast, but let’s pump the breaks first. You need to set your body up to succeed on these days. Not only is this going to shock your metabolism, but your digestive track will be the primary casualty if you don’t take the necessary steps. First start the day with 40 grams of protein, some small beans and caffine on an empty stomach, this will boost metabolism and start your tummy off easy. Then before the first encounter with the enemy, drink 6 oz. of grapejuice to minimize the insulin spike for the rest of the day. Follow this with 16 oz. Herbamate tea, cooled to room temp., before every meal thereafter. This will promote fast exportation of whatever you put in, all the goodies with out the baggage!!

One Last Thing

And this could mean the difference between success and failure on these days. Imediately prior to every meal after the breakfast do 60-90 sec. of intense exercise, preferably out of sight and not at the table. This will open the glucose pathways to muscle that has been stimulated, that way the calories can go to a good cause, the swole patrol :). If you are diciplined enough to follow a mostly paleo diet for 6 days this shouldn’t be close to an issue, unless you’re a weenie, you’re no weenie are you??

GOOD LUCK!