goals

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! 

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Which people should lift heavy?

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the only people who should lift heavy are those with a pulse, period. And the key to lifting heavy is proper nutrition, which is covered in Quick Paleo Meal Prep. Nutrition is the foundation to fitness, and preparing food ahead of time to succeed eliminates options of cheating so check it out. As for the lifting, I’m not saying you need to go find your grandma and tell her to suck it up cause she’s about to board the pain train in route to a 315 bench record. But I think we can all agree that there’s a requisite amount of strength we all need for daily life. 
SHOULD GRANDMA LIFT ?


If you care about grandma then she is the first person you should explain this to. The reason elderly people become so frail later on in life is they’ve trained themselves not to move. I don’t mean they’re zen masters and have found enlightenment through days of stationary meditation, but they’ve sat down for close to 6 hours of the 12 hour days for years and have let their legs deteriorate to brittle sticks. The reason it’s so hard for older people to get up is because it’s basically a one rep max squat from a pause every time! Again I’m not saying older people should be thrown under a bar and made to do 5×5 every day, but at least get the functionality back with mobility work and body weight movements that translate to life. 
ATHLETES WHO SHOULD LIFT MOST


I’m about to say something that just might get me banned from the internet folks, so strap in! MARATHONERS ARE THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO SHOULD HAVE RELATIVE MAXIMAL STRENGTH AS A PRIORITY. Yup I just said it, and before you virtually crucify me, hear me out. As a runner your main objective is to move your body long distances right? So if your legs have a constant relative strength threshold then it doesn’t matter how efficient you move, you don’t have the POWER to move your body any faster.  You may be able to run longer with that training, but not faster because speed is a product of power or force (force=(mass x distance ) / time ). If you take a runner whose max back squat is 115 for 2, and another whose max back squat is 315 for 2, and they train the same outside of strength. Then the one who squats more will move faster AND more efficiently because he’s used to carrying a heavier load, so when he has to move his body around it’ much easier. 
YOUR CHALLENGE

If you’ve never lifted over moderately heavy, get your form nailed down PERFECT for the squat, bench and deadlift. Then take 90 days to follow whichever beginner strength program you want. Mark your mile times at the beginning and end of the program, don’t stop running all together but ease up enough to recover. 

Cooking Paleo Isn’t Expensive

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i can’t count how many times I’ve heard the excuse (yes excuse is the right word because that’s all it is) “it’s too expensive to cook paleo… Nope, it’s more expensive to eat out like you do, now that’s the truth. With some simple principals like in the book I collaborated with, Quick Paleo Meal Prep, it’s shown that it is in fact easier and less time consuming to cook paleo at home. So let’s get into this and why I can show you just how simple it is. 
WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  1. Stew pot
  2. Chefs knife
  3. Deep skillet dish
  4. Cutting board
  5. Wooden spatula with slits (I just like the feel of a wooden spatula over plastic)
  6. Fork and spoon 
  7. Colander for straining 
  8. Hand held peeler 

THAT’S IT, no more and no less, I’ve been cooking with these items for years and have never needed to go buy a fancy gizmo or whosahatsit. All together you can get these things for about $90 and you’ll be set for at least a decade! 
HOW TO MAKE IT CHEAP


BUY YOUR FOOD IN BULK! I don’t know how to make it more plain, unless WordPress has a super all caps setting I don’t know about. All evidence points to buy from Costco or SAMs to buy paleo foods. Yes you can get a better quality from farmers markets and what not, but this is about pleasing your wallet and not your indie food fetish, so hold onto that thought for later. For now let’s all accept the fact that these big box stores can help us reach our fitness goals much faster. If you don’t trust me then as Nick Massie of paleonick.com, which is where I get a great deal of inspiration for my cooking. The big box stores offer lower prices for the quantities of foods we’re needing, where else can we get 50 bell peppers for a nickle?? We are buying in bulk so that we can prep for a week ahead or even a month if you freeze the meals. 
YOUR CHALLENGE 

Go to your local big box store and get the necessary ingredients to prep for a week. Then if you want proof, go to target and get the same ingredients for another week and you tell me which price is better. Also visit paleonick for great recipes that are just as easy and entertaining 🙂 

Are you getting things done, or being busy?

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there is a difference in the two, and the difference can give you the life you’ve dreamed about, or keep you in the same rut forever. And example of getting things done is the book I collaborated with, Quick Paleo Meal Prep, this took time that was reserved for Netflix and mentally unoccupied time. Through that adventure I learned that time I had previously been wasting on tasks I thought were meaningful were seen as what they were, a glorious waste of time. I could have been growing my knowledge of the paleo lifestyle and other areas 6 minutes at a time, instead of watching 40 different 3 minute clips on YouTube of the same stupid stuff people do. My eyes are open now and I’d like to challenge you to do the same

MY NEW HABBITS

I used to binge on Netflix religiously on Monday and Thursday nights when I could, these nights were like a mental coma that separated me from my problems 45 minutes at a time. Now I’ve set up a “buy in”, for every episode I watch on Netflix I have to do 10-15 minutes of research or some productive activity. The best part is that most of the time around, 8 minutes, I’ll get so caught up in what I’m reading or doing that it might be an hour or so before I get back to Netflix if at all. This has been fruitful in many ways, most of all the amount of meaningful stuff getting done has increased exponentially! 

BEING BUSY


After starting this challenge I realized the amount of “busy work” that gets done is ridiculous. By busy work I mean when you know you have a paper due that could mean pass or fail or paycheck or no paycheck. You’ll sit down at your computer to do the thing, and then you see that you have 3 unread emails from friends or “potential clients” so you respond carefully to them and spend the next hour and a half in a back and forth conversation about nothing with people who don’t want to do what they need to either. Now you’ve cut into the time that you could have spent doing the thing that was gaurunteed to pay you, doing things that made you feel like you were “busy”.
I COULD GO ON FOREVER


But I won’t (because that would just be busy work lol), but you get the point right?? Instead of going home to watch tv for hours take the commercial breaks as an opportunity to do exercise or read or anything besides give your time to be persuaded to give your money to someone else through commercials! Better yet just skip the TV time and talk to friends or family in the room and bond with them in a REAL way. 
YOUR CHALLENGE

If you watch tv most nights anyway, then take time tonight to do something productive during commercials. Reading exercise, talk to your spouse or girlfriend etc.. Using tvo is not a valid excuse!

Finish Line Is In Sight!

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Well I’m nearing the end of the journey of the slow carb challenge, and while I’ve loved the results, im ready to get back to real carbs! Also being able to prep food in advance, for more info on that check out Quick Paleo Meal Prep. But today is the light at the end of the tunnel for sure!
THE RESULTS

  

Please excuse the cliche bathroom mirror pic, but I felt more comfortable doing this than asking someone to take the picture while I flexed and winked at them. But here’s the final results, I’m estimating about 7-9 percent body fat (the insta filters help) and ending weight is 168.8 lbs. I maintained a steady 2.5 lb drop per week, weighing myself every morning on the same scale after the same meals every day for consistency and accuracy. I don’t have a before picture mostly because I started this before I really started blogging, but I can tell you it’s been a while since those middle abs have seen the light of day. 
THE BAD NEWS


I’ll start with the worst news, the cold showers and what not didn’t have a single benefit! I lost the same amount with a week of warm showers as I did with 3 weeks of cold. I wasn’t happy at all… But the only way to know is to test it. Strength was another area I was concerned about, and unfortunately most of my lifts took a 10 lb dip for working sets. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t what I would have liked to see. 
MOVING FORWARD


I will be back to normal paleo diet following the 80/20 principal of clean eating. I expect my strength to come back pretty quickly and maybe even move ahead of where they were. I will maintain what I’ve lost, and I’ve heard that once a decent amount of carbs are added back with higher intensity work that extra fat loss isn’t unheard of. So stay tuned and give this challenge a shot, it’s only 30 days! 
YOUR CHALLENGE

Read the 4 hour body and makes one changes in your life 🙂 

I Didn’t Know SQUAT

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So it’s been a little while, my blogging got a little thrown off by work, but it’s time to regain control! And unfortunately the news has come out that Quick Paleo Meal Prep is no longer free in the kindle book store, but is only $2.99 so it’s not unreasonably priced at all. Now for some squat talk, it is always a little discouraging to think that you finally have your mobility and mechanics worked out, only to take a video from a different angle and notice a whole host of OTHER problems….
YOU MAD BRO?


This is the phrase used by people in the gym who are “youtubers” and video their workouts in an obnoxious way. I’m not that person. I video my squats from different angles not for cinematic reasons, but to make sure I’m not tweaking anything in the process of BEASTING. This video revealed something I’ve been working on for a year or so, and obviously neglected recently, because it’s come back. It’s a twist in my posture in the top and bottom of the squat 

  
IT’S SLIGHT BUT IT’S THERE


When I was younger I was in an accident that left me with only 30% hearing in my left ear. So since then my body has compensated by twisting my stance to point my right ear forward. This is great for survival but not fun dealing with muscular imbalances and corrections when lifting. So as you can see in the bottom of the squat I’m doing well with an upright torso, hips are not winking at the bottom any more. BUT HOLD UP! Why is my left leg rotated out for proper torque but my right leg is basically pointed forward? 
THE GLUTE’S GOTTA GROW!


This has happened because my right glute is stronger, which is why my torso is being twisted. I don’t notice this because to me I feel like I’m looking straight ahead (cause I have been living this way for almost 20 years). So I’ll be working on the external rotation strength of that glute, as well as doing some doggy style raises to activate the glute more throughout the day. Also a TON of single leg work…it’s gonna take a while…but once I’m done I’ll have the prettiest squat you’ve ever seen! 😉 
YOUR CHALLENGE

Video your favorite lift and see if there’s anything you need to work on to correct any imbalances 

Paleo Prep ONE MORE WEEK!!

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I can’t express how excited I am to be getting back to “normal” Paleo Prep Meals! If you’re interested in how to make your own PERSONAL Paleo Prep Meals for the week of gym madness, I collaberated with this book appropriately named Quick Paleo Meal Prep. It is the last day of the free trial (May 4), and the book will be sold for $2.99 for a while, then it might jump to $7.99 so either way it’s best to get your copy tonight! And to celebrate the return of prepping my meals for the week I decided to put a slight prep session on the Slow Carb Diet :). So as I sit here at night with the glow of the computer screen on my face, food next to me (paleo prepped food), yerba mate tea and Star Wars V playing in the back ground, I’m ready to get into this!

WHERE I AM NOW

Currently I am hovering around 170 lbs. with a significantly lower body fat than I had 4 weeks ago. I started this journey on the slow carb diet, among other things, as inspiration from Tim Ferriss. As I’ve said before, the diet is mostly meats and leafy greens with the added beans for energy. Now usually my strength goes down the tube anytime I start one of these semi-ketogenic diets; however, this diet has left me with my usual amount of strength incredibly. I’m used to dropping about 20-30 lbs on major lifts when I do a little recomp. but I’ve maintained all my lifts, I haven’t added much weight unfortunately, but not moving backwards is amazing to me in this area! My spirits are moderate, I started this change in eating with a positive outlook, mostly because I got to look forward to a full day of gluttony at the end of the week, but now it seems that even with the drastic results I’m ready to end the experiment. I started with a body weight of 180 lbs and a body fat level around 18%, now I’m comfortably at 171 lbs as of this morning with a body fat of approximately 9%.

PALEO PREP FOR THE WEEK

I was tired of buying Tyson’s Chicken for the week and eating a room temperature can of black beans with most meals. So this week I went back to my roots of prepping ahead, while staying in the lines of the diet as much as possible, and this is what I came up with. 4.17 lbs of chicken, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper cooked on a Emeril grill (I love this thing more than any other cooking tool I’ve EVER had).

  
Combine that with 5 cans of black beans and two cans of rotel tomatoes and green chilis, cause TexMex is only the best food in the world! Before you put these into the pot together make sure you strain the black beans of the goo inside and rinse them at least 3 times thoroughly to get rid of the lingering juices. combine these into a stew pot, bring to a simmer and leave the delicious mix for about 12 mins.

  
This should yield six servings, and will get you through the week mostly. I don’t prepare a meal for every occasion because I know that without fail we will eat out at least three times per week, so why bother. This recipe is fast and cheap, if you’re looking to loose weight fast in four weeks just eat this meal for lunch and dinner 6 days per week, and if you eat out get chipotle with no corn, tortilla or dairy. It’s very simple and VERY bland, but yields amazing results! I hope you enjoyed this 🙂

  
YOUR CHALLENGE

Attempt this recipe in a one or two day period to set yourself up for massive success! I look forward to reading comments about amazing results later 🙂