Monday, April 20, 2009

Get Right For Summer Nutritional Guide 2009

Nutrition Guide
(v. 1, 16APR09)

“Meat and veggies, seed and nuts, some fruit, little startch, no sugar.
Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”

Nutrition is NOT about numbers or types of the three macronutrients (Carbohydrates aka CHO, Protein aka PRO, Fat). It is about the hormonal response they put the body through. This is important for those who want to eat for performance, those who want to gain weight, and especially for those who want to lose weight.

When you ingest CHO the body breaks it down into glucose (aka sugar)- the body produces the hormone insulin which tells the body and its cells to store energy in. Too much storage becomes extra fat on your body. You know what “The Itis” or “Food Coma” is? That's the body getting fat. Stop doing that if you want to be healthy. It's not hot and you're not going to slim down or shape up.

When you ingest PRO the body breaks it down and produces the hormone glucagon. Glucagon tells the body and its cells to release energy. This is a good thing. Most people need to get more protein in. For you number people you should have half of your body weight in pounds in grams of protein. (ie. John weights 180lbs. He should have 90g of protein thoughout the day.).

Here's a great way to remind yourself how you eat (other than the quote at the very top): Look at your hand. You have 5 fingers: eat 5 times a day. This means three meals and two snacks. Or four small meals and one snack. Or five meals. Imagine your fingers dissapear. Memorize the size of your palm. This is generally the same size of protein you should have per meal. (My hand is about 4-5 oz, so I try to eat that much PRO per meal). Look at the inside of your hand. Do you have calluses? If not, you don't work hard enough. Get some.

So you've put down your protein for you meal. How do you finish it out? If you're using a normal 8-10” plate, fill the rest out (if you want) with vegetables and/or fruit. You can even have a little bit of CHO if you choose to (you had better just worked out!). Finish it off with some sort of FAT content to help keep you satiated.

When looking at products, read the label. If you're a calorie counter, cool. But it's not important to everyone. QUALITY over QUANTITY. Read the nutritional data. In order of importance, read Carbohydrate content (stay low), Protein content (get high), Sugar content (stay really low) and finally Fat content (stay relatively low). Read the ingredients. The less, the better. The more REAL foods, the better. High fructose corn syrup? Don't eat it. Sugar content per serving should be less than 20 grams. Why is America the most obese country in the world? Because we depend on the startches that are marketed towards us and most don't know any better. YOU do now. Did you know that the original food pyramid was funded by the grain companies? Where do you usually find the food pyramid posted? Cereals, breads, fucking “health” bars. They want you to keep buying their products. Foods that rot are good. Watch this:

Remember: mother nature is on no one's payroll.

WARNING: Truth is ahead. You've been warned!

If you're “too busy” to watch what you're eating or prepare the proper foods for yourself, your priorities are fucked up. Don't expect to see any results because you want to keep your comfort foods. You know what's comforting about eating well? YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR FUTURE HEALTH! Family history of diabetes? High blood pressure? High cholesterol? Heart attacks? I promise that with proper diet and exercise, these won't have to be a factor into your future. On a smaller scale, you won't be sick as much and you'll have more energy during the day. Who likes being energetic naturally? Who likes sleeping well and having a great day because you just feel good? I do. You should too.

The following is a list of foods to buy and eat. There are millions of different meal options you can come up with, and it's only six weeks. If you absolutely can't stick with anything after those six weeks, go back to the way you normally eat. I applaud your willingness to try, but I am so sorry that it didn't work out for you. I'll guarantee that if you eat more like that quote all the way at the top and become/stay active that you will have true health.

You can deal with it, I'm sure. On with the goodness!

beef (Grass-fed if possible)
chicken (breasts, wings, thighs)
pork (chops, tenderloin)
eggs (my personal #1)
ground meats (beef, turkey)
sausage (italian, beef, chicken, pork)
deli meats (fresh, roasted stuff, packaged)

Obviously there are plenty of options, but here are my favorites:
bell peppers
spaghetti squash
sugar snap pea
sweet potato/yam (great for post-workout)
romaine lettuce

SEED & NUTS – again, plenty of options. Go raw, the less processed, the better.
brazil nuts
flax seed
pumpkin seed
sunflower seed

*peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes so they're starches! Stay away!

berries (acai, black, blue, boysen, currant, goose, ligon, rasp, straw, )
pineapple (and other tropical fruits)

Irish steel-cut oatmeal
potato, sweet potato
corn tortilla

yogurt (greek-style, plain)
fish oil supplements (fish oil in the warmer months, cod fish oil in the colder months)
butter (butter > margarine)
olive oil
nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew)
tomato sauces
cheese (cheddar, feta, provalone, swiss)
coconut oil
ice cream (go natural, like Bryers Vanilla)

STAY-AWAYS!/IFFY – high glycemic loads produce a high insulin response!
carrots, corn, bananas (good for post-workouts)
the majority of all startches: pasta, bread, cereals, “meal” bars, chips, crackers, etc.

SORRY! But if you want to have more energy and let your bodies systems run better so you can lose weight, build muscle, climb a tree, get right for summer, etc. then you have to cut down on these.

Anything that says “healthy” is probably not.

Expect future info on snacks, eating out, “fast food” options, dialing in exactly on how to lose weight, gain weight or eating for performance.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Starting Strength program + Gallon of Milk a day = HUGE STRENGTH & SIZE

Why milk?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Mark Rippetoe on NPR

Original article here (courtesy CrossFit mainsite)

What Would Rob Do to Lose 10 Pounds in 2009?

Up until my mid 20's, I was one of those lucky guys who could down a milkshake, burger, and fries and then laugh about how fast my metabolism could burn it away. I never quite made it to the Michael Phelps 10,000 calories a day plan, but I didn't really have to think too hard about staying in shape.

The pinnacle of my athletic experience came in 2003 when I ran the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, California. Since then, it's been a slow slide down a few notches on my belt. It's not that I don't want to exercise; I just have a lot going on with my new daddy duties which makes it hard to figure out when to fit it in. Thankfully, my new pudge is nothing too alarming at this point. I haven't had to make any wardrobe changes yet, but I'd like to start this new year by trying to get into some better habits so I can hopefully reverse the trend.

Fortunately, my older brother, who is very into fitness and weight training, was able to point me in the right direction. He said the best person to talk to about getting in shape is Mark Rippetoe. Rippetoe has literally changed my brother's life. Big bro wound up canceling all of his muscle magazine subscriptions once he read about Rippetoe's training philosophy. I figure anyone that can do that is worth a call. Click above to hear my conversation with Rippetoe.

In my podcast next week I'll be talking over Rippetoe's tips with NPR's David Kestenbaum, but in the meantime if you have a comment on anything he said in the interview, feel free to post.

Monday, November 17, 2008

great thread

This one deals with the argument of CrossFit being a "superior training program". I agree that it is not the end all of training, nor the best thing to do for specificity, but damn if it doesn't do a good job of getting to a certain level of fitness (see: GPP). It's the Jack of All Trades, master of none... but we'll see how the program evolves.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Truth About CrossFit

by Chris Shugart for Thanks to Dwinson for the heads up!

"Was I in the right place?" I asked myself for the second time that day.

The little street near Southern Methodist University in Dallas was an incongruous blend of old houses and new bars teeming with college kids. It was 9 p.m. and the sun had set, making it impossible for me to read the street numbers. Finally I pulled over next to a bar called The Green Elephant to look at my directions again.

And that's when I saw them, a handful of men and women lunging down a long corridor holding Olympic bars over their heads. A well-built young man held a timer and appeared to be either encouraging them or yelling at them.

I'd finally found CrossFit Dallas Central, one of 650 CrossFit affiliate gyms.

Later I learned that the athletes — which included members of the SMU lacrosse team — were performing what the owner of the facility called a "single-movement mindfuck." This group was on their 28th minute of overhead walking lunges, the only exercise in that day's workout. The record was 400 meters in 20 minutes flat. The sweat poured.

Earlier that day, at 6:45 a.m., I'd had the same experience, driving around an industrial-warehouse district in Plano looking for building numbers in the dark. That time, instead of lunging lacrosse players, I was clued in by a man running by my truck wearing a weighted vest. I followed.

Ripping the vest off, he walked through a door with me close behind. CrossFit Plano was small but well-equipped with the standard markers of the "CF" gym: bumper plates, Olympic bars, kettlebells, dumbbells, gymnastic rings, climbing ropes, tractor tires, bands, Concept II rowers, medicine balls, pull-up bars.

gym rings

The runner dashed into the next room and began to do kipping pull-ups. I learned later he was doing "Murph": a one-mile run in a vest followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 body-weight squats, and another one-mile run, all done against the clock.

This "WOD," or Workout of the Day, was named after a Navy Lieutenant and CrossFit enthusiast killed in Afghanistan. Most other WODs are given girl names, like they used to do with hurricanes.

I was there to learn the truth about CrossFit, the training phenomenon dubbed "one of the fastest-growing fitness movements on the planet" by the Business News Network. Later, I'd do interviews with CF fans and critics, make phone calls, and read everything I could find online. But I'd start by driving to Dallas and doing CrossFit ... twice in one day.

This is what I learned. This, as I see it, is the truth about some of the most controversial aspects of CrossFit.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Post-Workout Nutrition

from Robb Wolf's site:

Jason had a great question that I receive fairly frequently:

Jason Arp

Hey Robb I’ve been zoning for a little over a month now, body comp has never been better, I have no problems with energy throughout the day and I continue to PR on most things but performance has not taken off like you say it should. I feel like I’m losing strength, as weird as it sounds, even though I continue to PR a little I can feel strength decreasing (i.e. some exercise just aren’t as smooth and I’m hitting muscle failure quicker than I was a few months ago). I’ve read 42 Ways and most of your diet stuff on here. I know about moving most of your carbs to the PWO meal and moving the fat from the PWO and spread it out the rest the day (I’m sure you’re tired of explaining that alot). But I’m not sure what exactly in detail I should include in my PWO meal (other than yams and apples that you mentioned in 42 Ways). I feel that the PWO meal is very important bc I think recovery is the most important aspect of training. If it’s not too much trouble could you go into a little detail about exactly what foods are good to put into PWO and why? I greatly apprectiate it.

There are two things that need to be tackled here, the first is PWO food recommendations, the second is the strength issue.

PWO Meal

The idea of a PWO meal containing carbs (and protein) is to take advantage of a period of time in which the muscles are particularly insulin sensitiveve. We can fly nutrients into the muscle “under the radar” via a mechanism called “non insulin mediated glucose transport”. Amino acids are also taken in during this time and may play a synergistic role in both glycogen repletion but also decreasing inflammation that accompanies hard training. Said another way, you recover from exertion faster. So, what should ya eat? We actually want a starchy carb as our primary carb. Yams and sweet potatoes are great options as they are also highly nutritious. Fruit should be used sparingly in this meal if one is focused on optimized glycogen repletion as fructose refills liver glycogen first, and once liver glycogen is full we up-regulate the lipogenic activity of the liver and start down the road towards fat gain and insulin resistance.

I know James Fitzgerald (OPT) has used a mixture of mashed sweet potato and apple sauce for PWO meal…getting just a bit of hepatic (liver) glycogen repletion with the lions share going to the muscles. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top to enhance insulin sensitivity and you are set. Why do the mixture? Perhaps James will chime in on this but for me a simple answer would be palatability and taste. If you just received an ass-kicking, stuffing food down your pie-hole may not be that appealing. Something yummy could certainly make that easier.

Why not shakes? I’ve not found them to be superior to solid food, I have noticed they make people fat. A new paper just came out comparing milk & cereal (shitty food) to a PWO shake (also shitty food) and the milk+cereal beat the shake with regards to glycogen repletion. Go figure. I’d wager salmon and sweet potatoes would be even better…not likely to see that study!

The PWO window is most potent immediately after a WO and drops off to about 50% efficacy by 30 min, and pretty much back to baseline by an hour. If you train at night, just try to get that meal in immediately after training and keep an eye out for fat gain around the mid-section. If thyis happens, dial back your carbs.


There is a reality that getting really lean will decrease your absolute strength. We loose a bit of intramuscular fat that improves leverage and it just tends to take a little off the top end of things like squats and DL’s. You can still have great absolute strength and your relative strength will greatly improve…but if you are leanign out you almost inevitabley will see those top-end numbers come dwon a bit as compared to running just a bit heavier. Also, I’m assuming you are ramped up to a 5x fat, athlete’s Zone diet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Five Worst Dietary Transgressions

from The Modern Forager:

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that my “body hates me” because I don’t generally eat pastured chicken. Because of the amount of food that I eat to support my body weight and activity level, it would be very expensive for me to eat $2/lb chicken everyday. So I grab antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken from the local grocery store at $.69-.99/lb on sale (wait until it’s about a week from going out of date, then stock up the freezer). While the chickens are fed grains, they are not pumped up on hormones. I can shore up the poor omega-3:omega-6 ratio with some extra fish oil, which I do.

In light of that conversation, I want to touch on what I consider to be dietary indiscretions that will make your body hate you.


Monday, October 20, 2008

10 Marathon Tips's The Gear Junkie: 10 Tips to Make It Through a Marathon

'Tis the season to run your legs off. Each autumn, from St. Paul to Seattle, tens of thousands of runners wrap up a year of training with a 26.2-mile run. I ran my requisite annual marathon this past weekend, pacing at just under eight-minute miles in the Twin Cities Marathon to pull my best personal time to date at 3 hours, 27 minutes. Here are 10 quick tips--some highly personal, some quite unorthodox--on the gear, running techniques and nutrition I use to make it from the start line through 26.2 miles and to the end.


Saturday, October 18, 2008


There's a CrossFit Total tomorrow at Local's Gym again.

Am I ready to compete? Will I not scratch multiple times again?

I hope so...

Friday, September 19, 2008

i suck

i will be moving and writing at this blog from this point on.

time to organize everything and get on track. the last post really put me onto time management.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Time Management

I don't know why I didn't check this out when I first saw news of this. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnagie Mellon University in Pennsylvania who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Here is the entire 1 hour 16 minute speech.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tabata Sucks!

Only when you're feeling like crap, hot as hell and lacking sleep.

I was waaaaaay off my PR of 67 today. I scored a 44.

I started with pushups. Probably should've done squats since it's my strong point. Ripped my left hand on the pullups, blisters on my right AND I came out of the gate waaaay too strong (first round=22) only to mess myself up physically and mentally during the last set (1). Boo!

Is there a reason it's so much harder for me to function in heat? I was raised in Washington so I love and thrive in the colder weather. This was like when I was down in Vegas- I had to pause throughout my workout because I was gasping for air. Taking shirts off don't do much there.

I also made a mix for today's "Tabata This!" that you can download here. It's more hip hop, of course.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I've neglected this site for too long. My laptop crashed a while back and I've been busy with running the Foundation CrossFit blog to put anything in here. I'll get back on this, I hope.

Quick updates:
  • I'm on my 6th week of the 20-rep squat program. I'm currently at 210lbs for twenty reps. It is some hard stuff. I'll be finishing up on my 10th week 09Sep08, the day before my 23rd birthday.
  • I was on a roll of PR's for a while. I have since hit some workouts and have not outperformed myself. It's ok though, I'm really satified with my progress. I need to figure out a proper programming.. I've only been going on a truely random template, making sure I don't repeat too many things.
  • My nutrition took a big fall. Enough said. I'll get to cleaning it up AFTER September. It's my birthday month and I'm going to party. The way I see it is I'm waaaaay healthier than most of peers. In high school and post-high school I didn't NOTHING. I didn't develop any bad habits. I have taken plenty of complete sobriety breaks. I don't go crazy, but I'm going to enjoy it while I'm young. Nothing crazy, but you only live once.